The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170
declaring October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
After a prolonged lobbying campaign, the Government of Nepal recently took some important actions against perpetrators of acid attacks while offering better provisions to support the process of rehabilitation of their victims.
The countries of Central Sahel—Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger—face an unprecedented crisis, marked by violent extremism, forced displacement, and rising insecurity. The sharp increase in armed attacks on communities, health centres, schools and other public institutions and infrastructure has disrupted livelihoods and access to social services. The impact on affected people is devastating.
The impacts of crises are never gender-neutral and COVID-19 is no exception. The pandemic has resulted in increased rates
of violence against women and has exacerbated challenges in accessing justice. Women are losing their livelihoods
faster than men.
The recent attack on 22 year old Pavitra Karki has yet again stoked the discourse on acid attacks and gender based violence in Nepal. Pavitra is one of the many young women in Nepal who were targeted by young males, a tragic but more and more common occurrence in the country and elsewhere in South Asia.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the escalation of violence against women and children in Sri Lanka.
Just four months ago, Sudan took the monumental step to ban female genital mutilation
, a painful, unnecessary and dangerous procedure that leaves lasting scars. Generally carried out on girls before they reach puberty, genital mutilation is now punishable in Sudan by up to three years in prison and subject to a fine.
A legislation that aims to protect women against violence in Myanmar, while long overdue, is raising concern among human rights advocates about its inadequate definition of rape, vague definition for “consent”, and anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rhetoric.
“What do you think happens to kerosene when it is poured on your head?”
Surya stumbles as she speaks to IPS. “It goes down, it goes trickling down.”
When someone speaks to a burn victim, one naturally feels shocked, sad, and sympathetic. But in talking to Surya, who has the major part of her body burned, the feelings were of hope and inspiration. How is it possible to survive this trauma and still have so much love and joy to share?
Sixteen-year-old Suhana Khan had just completed her grade 10 exams in March, when India imposed a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Since then, she has been spending her mornings and evenings doing household chores, from cooking and cleaning to fetching drinking water from the tube well.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and given rise to a new, deeply concerning wave of rape culture in Lesotho. Although the true extent is not known yet, we have noticed concerning reports that the onset of the pandemic has worsened sexual violence with more women and girls being confined to small living places whilst social tensions are exacerbated.
“We may all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now,” Martin Luther King Jr once said. His timeless wisdom rings truer than ever today for the many challenges the world is facing. COVID-19, continued armed conflicts and forced displacement, climate-change induced disasters, deep divides and widespread discrimination mark the human family in the 21st century.
While men are more likely to die from COVID-19, women are facing the full blow of the socio-economic fallout from the ongoing pandemic as well as seeing a reversal in equality gains made over the last two decades, says an all-women panel of international thought leaders, who met virtually during a discussion convened by IPS.
A young and dynamic digital platform, named Fuzia, has attracted millions of women social media followers and 100,000 active global users with its eclectic mix of content. The platform showcases women’s talent and provides a support network.
The issue of women’s rights, feminism and gender is complex and ongoing in most countries including Bangladesh. When I was asked to write about impact of COVID-19 on women and girls, I found myself drawn towards writing about women’s situation in general as that automatically impacts COVID-19 response as well. Since I am a woman who has been a part of many different cultures, yet a Bangali at heart, I am not only a survivor within its ranks but also responsible for being a part of the solution to the problems we face.
Reports of escalating violence against women and children made the news almost everyday in March and April following the announcement of lockdowns to control the spread of Covid-19. The main concern has been that victims cannot escape their abusers or seek help when they share a confined space and are under constant scrutiny and the threat of violence.
Global upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has left society’s most vulnerable exposed. Instances of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) found online have increased at an alarming rate over past months.
In late 2019, we learned of the harrowing plight of Suma Akter, a Bangladeshi woman in Saudi Arabia who secretly recorded and shared on social media her story of abuse and exploitation abroad. In Saudi Arabia, Akter said, her employer beat her and at one point poured hot oil on her hand. Later on, when she fell ill, Akter said her employer sold her to another person for 22,000 riyals (almost Tk 5 lakh).
In Malawi, Mary* was only 14 years old when she was recruited and trafficked to the city of Blantyre and sold for sex in a bar. A man had arrived in her village looking for girls to work as domestic helpers for families.
The life of sex workers on the streets, hard as it is during normal times, has taken a worse turn after the coronavirus pandemic hit the country.
While the coronavirus does not discriminate, its impact does. And the needs of survivors of sexual violence in conflict "cannot be put on pause, and neither can the response” during the current COVID-19 pandemic.