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Summary Over the past two decades, women and girls in Indonesia have faced unprecedented legal and social demands to wear clothing deemed Islamic as part of broader efforts to impose the rules of Sharia, or Islamic law, in many parts of the country.…
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(Jakarta, March 18, 2021) – Dress codes for women and girls in Indonesia discriminate against students, civil servants, and visitors to government offices and should be revoked, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should…
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  “Evelina” (not her real name), 17, looks immaculate in her pressed white-and-blue school uniform and her neatly divided cornrows, as she futilely tries to escape the sweltering heat of western Kenya beneath a shady tree. Her black leather shoes…
“Evelina,” 17, with her 3-year-old daughter “Hope,” in Migori county, western Kenya. Evelina is in Form 2, the second year of lower secondary school.
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On May 14, the Kenyan justice system failed women miserably. The Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Kenya, petitioned the High Court, challenging the provisions of section 7 of the Matrimonial Property Act, 2013. The section makes ownership of…
Two widows in eastern Zimbabwe, facing harassment from in-laws who are trying to force them to vacate their homes and fields. Rural Eastern Zimbabwe, October 2016.
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Hold Violators to Account, Abolish 'Virginity Tests'

(New York) – The Indonesian military should deter abuses by its personnel and hold human rights violators accountable, Human Rights Watch said in a letter made public today to the new Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) commander, Marshal…
Indonesian President Joko Widodo attaches the rank to the new Armed Forces Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto during an inauguration ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, December 8, 2017
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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Military, Police Claim Discriminatory Practice is for ‘Morality Reasons’

(Jakarta) – Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should order Indonesia’s police chief and armed forces commander to immediately ban so-called “virginity tests” of female applicants, Human Rights Watch said today. By ending the practice, the…
201711Asia_Indonesia_VirginityTest Members of the Indonesian Air Force parade during celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the Air Force at Halim Perdanakusuma air base in Jakarta, Indonesia on April 9, 2016.
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Mother’s Nationality Still Won’t Transfer

(Beirut) – The Qatari cabinet has reportedly approved a draft law allowing children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris to acquire permanent residence but not full nationality, unlike children of Qatari men, Human Rights Watch said today. Permanent…
A sign indicating a route to Qatar embassy is seen in Manama, Bahrain, June 5, 2017.
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Emily, a widow from rural western Kenya, lived and farmed on her husband’s land for more than 30 years. While her husband was alive, they lived comfortably, and her four children were happy in school. This ended abruptly when her husband died, and her in-…
Female farmers resettled to Mwaladzi received land with poor access to water and limited productivity. The compensation package also included a new house.