I was 14-years-old the first time I came face to face with a human trafficker. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) raided my home. Ruthless, they demanded virgins and young girls. In a horrifying escape, I endured a treacherous, long journey that ended in an internally displaced people’s camp. I was lucky. Many Ugandan children were not. By the end of the nineteen years’ civil war, UNICEF estimated that the LRA had abducted some 20,000 children
A staggering 258 million people migrated internationally in 2017.While many of these migrants chose to leave their home countries in search of jobs, education, or to reunite with family, many others had no choice but to leave--to escape poverty, violence or a dearth of opportunities for a better life.
At the beginning of the Nuremberg Trials, Justice Robert Jackson, the Chief Prosecutor, charged the world that submitting the enemy to the judgment of the law is “one of the most significant tributes that Power has ever paid to Reason.”
The lead-up to the Australia-ASEAN Summit in Sydney on 16-18 March 2018 was characterised by widespread and well-publicised protests in Sydney
against human rights abuses occurring in several ASEAN member countries – namely Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
A devastating fire in a shanty at Kalindi Kunj, a New Delhi suburb, that gutted the homes of 226 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, including 100 women and 50 children, has trained a spotlight on India's ad hoc policy on international migrants.
Kidnappings and abductions have soared since 2001. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that their share in total crimes against women nearly doubled from 10% in 2001 to 19% in 2016. More striking is the fact that 11 women were kidnapped or abducted every day in Delhi in 2016. What these statistics do not reveal are brutal gang-rapes of kidnapped minors and women, multiple sales to husbands who treat them as animals, unwanted pregnancies, police inaction, and frequent abandonment with nowhere to go—not even to their maternal homes—because of the stigma of a being a “prostitute”.
Grotesque and barbaric, is the only way to describe the rape and murder of an 8 year old child, in a country where women and girls are traditionally revered as Goddesses.
Under-Secretary-General Jan Beagle recently spoke at an event at the International Peace Institute on the subject of ‘Combating Sexual Harassment in the United Nations.’ She spoke eloquently and coherently, but what she said, unfortunately, was largely an exercise in distraction and futility.
The Indian Union Cabinet has cleared the long-awaited Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, which proposes an imprisonment of 10 years to life term for those trafficking humans for the purpose of begging, marriage, prostitution or labour, among others. The bill will become a law once cleared by both houses of Parliament.
Mayra Veronica Figueroa Marroquin
(34) was released from prison earlier this month after serving time for what she argued was a miscarriage. Her sentence was reduced from 30 years to the 15 years she had already spent behind bars.
With March marking Women’s History Month, the debate over gender-based discrimination couldn’t have reached its new peak at a more critical time.
Dowry deaths rose from about 19 per day in 2001 to 21 per day in 2016.It is indeed alarming that the rise in dowry deaths is unabated despite greater stringency of anti-dowry laws. In 1961, the Dowry Prohibition Act made giving and taking of dowry, its abetment or the demand for it an offence punishable with imprisonment and fine or without the latter. This was an abysmal failure as dowries became a nationwide phenomenon, replacing bride price. More stringent laws followed. The Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1983 inserted a new section (498-A) to deal with persistent and grave instances of dowry demand and such offences were punishable with imprisonment extendable to three years. As cases of brutal harassment and dowry deaths continued to rise, another Act was passed in 1986, relating specifically to the offence of dowry death.
March 8th, 2018, International Women’s Day, saw an extraordinary global mobilization for gender equality. In the last year, global movements for gender equality-- from marches to powerful grassroots organizing and viral social media campaigns, such as #MeToo and #TimesUp in the United States and other countries-- have galvanized the world’s attention like never before.
Information and communication technologies have the potential to open up new worlds of ideas and the media - television, newspapers, advertising, blogs, social networks, film – is increasingly omnipresent in the lives of many of us. In line with one of the major themes of this year’s Commission on the Status of Women, UNESCO is assessing how the media and ICTs shape the lives of women.
March 8, 2018 International Women’s Day offers another opportunity to reflect on the progress made towards gender equality and women’s political rights.
Since its explosion onto the social media landscape at the end of 2017, the #metoo movement has continued to gain global traction. Initially centred on powerful Hollywood women breaking decades of silence about sexual abuse and harassment in the industry, the conversation soon spread across global regions and sectors, from #YoTambien
in the Spanish-speaking world to #balancetonporc
in French. From China
in Arabic. From national governments
to international development
, the stories are grim, and their pervasiveness has been jarring.
In the semi-lit makeshift tent covered with strips of cardboard, five women sit in a huddle. As their young children, covered in specks of mud and soot, move around noisily, the women try to hush them down. Hollow-eyed and visibly malnourished, all the women also appear afraid.
From the Argentine slogan "Ni una menos" (Not one [woman] less)" to Colombia’s “Now is not the time to remain silent”, activism against gender violence has grown in Latin America since 2015, with campaigns that have social and cultural differences from the "MeToo" movement that emerged later, in 2017, in the United States.
The numbers are hard to fathom. Nearly two million people driven from their homes in 2017 alone. The worst cholera epidemic of the past 15 years, with over 55,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths. Countless others killed, maimed or sexually assaulted.
As a student in Rome, the closest event that left a mark in my life was the Women’s March in the Italian capital. The march allowed me to contribute to the empowerment of women and to demonstrate that no woman is free-- even if one’s rights are being violated. #MeToo.
Nobel Laureates Mairead Maguire, Shirin Ebadi and Tawakkol Karman met with more than 100 women refugees in camps in the coastal Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh this week, as well as travelling to the “no man’s land” where thousands of Rohingya have been stranded between Myanmar and Bangladesh.