A normally quiet second-grade student, Yuan Yuan* suffers from a mild mental disorder that impacts her ability to learn and communicate. Her father, also mentally disabled, left her several years ago to find work in the city and his family hasn’t heard from him since. Unable to support the family, her mother also left and never returned.
New legislation recently passed in the southwest Pacific Island state of Papua New Guinea (PNG) outlawing polygamy has been welcomed by experts in the country as an initial step forward in the battle against high rates of domestic violence, gender inequality and the spread of AIDS.
Before a sexual violence survivor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has her day in court, she must surmount many obstacles. Poor or nonexistent roads and costly transportation may prevent her from going to a police station to report the crime, or to a hospital to receive treatment for the injuries sustained during the violence.
Heightening their campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls, United Nations agencies and civil groups have called for increased action to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.
As Tuesday’s major summits here and in London focused global attention on adolescent girls, the United Nations offered new data warning that more than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation, while more than 700 million women alive today were forced into marriage as children.
"My cousin was a very successful and distinguished student. She said that she finished high school with excellent grades and enrolled in college, but a month later, her parents forced her to leave school and burned all her books and studying material. So, the girl set fire to herself."
Women’s rights activists in the Gambia are insisting that more than 30 years of campaigning to raise awareness should be sufficient to move the government to outlaw female genital mutilation (FMG).
In recent months, an unprecedented surge of refugee women and children has been traveling alone to the United States to seek protection at our southern border.
Proposals to review the Democratic Republic of Congo’s constitution to permit President Joseph Kabila to seek a third term of office, if accepted, will only plunge the Congolese further into poverty and insecurity, experts warn.
Shortly after their conquest of Mosul, young men armed with assault rifles went door to door in Iraq’s second-largest city, taking “women who are not owned” for jihad al-nikah, or sex jihad.
“I just want all this to be over,” Yakiri Rubí Rubio, a young Mexican woman facing trial for killing the man who raped her in December 2013, laments to IPS.
At 32, Nalluri Poshani looks like an old woman. Squatting on the floor amidst piles of tobacco and tree leaves that she expertly transforms into ‘beedis’, a local cigarette, she tells IPS, “I feel dizzy. The tobacco gives me headaches and nausea.”
“States must make concrete commitments to enable and protect women human rights defenders, so that they can safely and securely carry out their work in support of victims of sexual and gender-based violence,” Amnesty International told the Global Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict that wound up Friday in London.
The search for the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram, could be hampered by a series of policy and information flip-flops by the government, the latest one of them being a public disagreement on policy between the president and the military chief.
When sexual violence - whether against men, women or children - takes place in United Nations peacekeeping missions worldwide, the world body has been quick to single out the perpetrators and expel them back to their home countries.