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New Guidelines Raise Alarms for Reproductive Rights

The State Council, China’s cabinet, in its “Chinese Women’s Development Guidelines” for 2021-2030, announced today, identified “reducing non-medically necessary abortions” as a step toward women’s development. It’s unclear what specific policies…
A promotion for China's defunct one-child policy remains on the outer wall of a government office in Bobai, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, August 26, 2021.
News

However China Frames its Population Policy, Birth Limits Fundamentally Infringe on Women’s Reproductive Rights

On 1 June, I woke up to the news that the Chinese government had announced that it will allow all couples in the country to have three children, an increase from two. I joked to myself, “Finally, I’m legal!” I was born illegally as the third child…
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News

Few Toilets, No Menstrual Hygiene Supplies

When “Mi Mi” (a pseudonym) prepared for anti-coup demonstrations in Yangon in late February, she carefully chose to wear a pair of jeans and sneakers so she could run from the abusive security forces. The last thing on her mind was to carry menstrual…
An official with a megaphone during the release of prisoners from Insein prison after a presidential pardon in Yangon
Report
Summary If you haven’t had children, employers regard you as an “extra-large time bomb” that will explode twice [take maternity leave twice]. If you’ve had one child, you’re a “time bomb” likely to have a second child at any time. If you already…
News

Companies Fire Pregnant Women; Only Seek ‘Married Women with Children’

(New York) – China’s two-child policy has made commonplace pregnancy-related discrimination against women in the workplace since first imposed in 2016, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.  The 37-page report, “‘Take…
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News

Submission to the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

This submission is based on Human Rights Watch research on human rights issues impacting older women,[1] including domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in residential institutions for older people, abuses during armed conflict, and health disparities…
News

Government Warns H&M, Nike

(New York) – Companies threatened with Chinese government-promoted boycotts should stand firm in their opposition to forced labor, Human Rights Watch said today. Chinese authorities have recently encouraged consumers across China to boycott…
Workers load cotton onto a truck at a sunning ground in Alar (Alaer), northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, September 2015.
News

International Women’s Day Should Prompt Real Reforms

As 2020 drew to a close, protesters across South Asia took to the streets, calling on their governments to take widespread sexual violence against women and children seriously, and to implement real reforms. But rather than listening to experts and…
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News

Death Penalty Push Ignores Real Solutions to Regional Failings

(New York) – South Asian governments should disregard populist death penalty rhetoric and listen to their own experts to prevent and end sexual violence against women, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. Experts on sexual violence from…
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News

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

In 2015, Salma's husband and his parents held her down and poured nitric acid down her throat because they wanted more than the Tk 100,000 (USD 1,100) that her parents had already paid in dowry. For months since the wedding, her father-in-law had beat…
Bangladeshi women hold placards during a rally to mark the International Women's Day in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Report
Summary On April 7, 2016, soon after the end of evening prayers, Sadia, 27, heard her husband calling her to come down to the street. As she got to the door, however, he stood flanked by two men, blocking the exit. On her husband’s order, his…
Video
(নিউ ইয়র্ক) - বাংলাদেশের নারী ও মেয়েরা কোভিড -১৯ মহামারী চলাকালীন সময়ে বেশি মাত্রায় পারিবারিক সহিংসতার মুখোমুখি হচ্ছে, যা আইনী ব্যবস্থা গ্রহণ, সুরক্ষা এবং সামাজিক সেবার ক্ষেত্রে দীর্ঘমেয়াদী পদ্ধতিগত বাধাগুলিকে দৃষ্টিগোচর করছে, হিউম্যান রাইটস ওয়াচ আজ…
News

Enforce Policies, Provide Services, End Barriers and Corruption in Justice System

(New York) – Women and girls in Bangladesh are facing increased domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting long-term systemic barriers to legal recourse, protection, and social services, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
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(New York, October 29, 2020) – Women and girls in Bangladesh are facing increased domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting long-term systemic barriers to legal recourse, protection, and social services, Human Rights Watch said in a…
News

The Government Should Institute Real Reforms, Provide Services, Remove Barriers to Justice

The Bangladesh government has approved new measures to use the death penalty as punishment for rape, after widespread protests in response to several recent gang rape cases. It’s a bad decision, not only because capital punishment is inherently…
Students protest against an alleged gang-rape and brutal torture of a woman in the southern district of Noakhali, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 8, 2020. 
News

Government Should Respond with Overdue Reforms

(New York) – Protests in Bangladesh erupted this week after a video of a group of men attacking, stripping, and sexually assaulting a woman went viral, Human Rights Watch said today. Protesters called for the resignation of Home Minister Asaduzzaman…
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News

End Assistance to All Military-Controlled Entities

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government should immediately cancel plans to donate money to purchase vehicles and communications equipment for the Myanmar police force, Human Rights Watch said today. The police force, which operates under the auspices of the…
Myanmar border guard police officers walk along a path in Tin May village in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, July 14, 2017.
News

Adopt Real Solutions for ‘One Child Policy’ Problems

This week an economics professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University offered up a novel proposal to solve China’s very serious gender imbalance: polyandry – women having multiple husbands. It’s an interesting idea, but we don’t think polyandry would…
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News
  Two years since the #MeToo movement took off in China, Chinese feminists are battling headwinds in a political environment where the ruling Communist Party’s control over the Internet, media and independent activism is tighter than…
Screenwriter Zhou Xiaoxuan speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at her home in Beijing, China, on January 16, 2019, detailing her involvement in China's #MeToo movement.