Although women account for more than three-quarters of the agricultural labour force and manage 40 percent of small-scale farms, historically, they neither owned nor controlled the land because land rights were passed down to male relatives. It is a historic gender injustice whereby women could only access land through close male relatives.
In 1968, the tobacco company Philip Morris
introduced a new cigarette brand called Virginia Slims
. Under the slogan “You’ve come a long way, baby” it was exclusively marketed to women. The advertising campaign exploited the civil rights movements of the 1960s, indicating that those cigarettes were enjoyed by strong, independent, and liberated women. A blatant lie – why would “independent” women choose to poison themselves with a commodity which each year causes more than 480,000 deaths in the US alone – nearly one in five deaths? Another question arising from this deceitful ad is: “How far have women come on their way to independence and liberation?”
A total of 17,456 babies were born to girls aged 10 to 14 in Brazil in 2021. The annual figures are falling, but still reflect the plight of ruined childhoods and the failures of judges and doctors when it comes to the issue of abortion rights.
I had the privilege to speak
at the UN Security Council open debate last week on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS), an important opportunity to reflect on the urgency of this work and why women’s rights must be central to addressing any conflict or crisis.
Asian and African parliamentarians have committed to accelerate the implementation of a people-centered development agenda as the African continent continues to face rapid demographic change with several challenges, such as youth unemployment and gender inequities.
The lack of water is so severe in Peru's highlands that farming families are forced to sell their livestock because they cannot feed them. "There is no grass or fodder to feed them," says Fermina Quispe, a Quechua farmer from a rural community located at 4,200 meters above sea level.
The UN agency, which advocates women’s rights and gender empowerment, has predicted that gender equality is “300 years away.”
Addressing the UN Commission on the Status of Women last March, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres not only quoted the estimates provided by UN Women but also warned that progress toward gender equality is “vanishing before our eyes.”
The defense of the right to water led Gema Pacheco to become involved in environmental struggles in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, an area threatened by drought, land degradation, megaprojects, mining and deforestation.
The tips of our fingers have densely packed nerve endings. That is why a miniscule paper cut activates our pain receptors and causes stubborn pain for a day or two. Now consider that a clitoris has over 10,000 nerve endings. It is the human female’s most sensitive erogenous zone, explaining the sexual pleasure it elicits at the slightest touch. A paper cut on your clitoris would be agonizing yet does not compare to the pain of female genital mutilation – or FGM.
They do not have a pension nor financial support from families or relatives, but they have themselves. Now they have become collectors of plastic waste, which they turn into products as they battle for survival - earning money from the growing plastic pollution in Zimbabwe.
“Professionally, I am still where I was 23 years ago when I started working as a lady health worker (LHW),” said a disgruntled Yasmin Siddiq, 47, from Karachi. “I will probably retire in the same capacity, as a Grade 5 government servant, without any hope for upward mobility.”
Women in pastoralist areas of East Africa are critical to the health of livestock in their communities, holding the key to effective animal vaccination campaigns meant to protect herds against deadly diseases.
They are, therefore, an important part of any vaccination strategies designed to guard the animals against killer outbreaks and need to be involved in such efforts for them to be successful.
Afghanistan can be likened to an open prison, where nearly 20 million women struggle daily for their freedom. What these women demand is a simple right – the right to lead dignified lives, equal to their male counterparts. Unfortunately, this aspiration seems distant and despairingly unattainable.
Amid a looming threat of forceful eviction, Afghan women who arrived in Pakistan after the Taliban’s takeover in Kabul have asked the host country to allow them to stay because they want to continue their education.
Ahead of the presidential election, Solih faced accusations of irregularities in his party’s primary vote, in which he defeated former president Mohamed Nasheed. The Electoral Commission was accused of making it harder for rival parties to stand, including the Democrats, a breakaway party Naheed formed after the primary vote. The ruling party also appeared to be instrumentalising public media and state resources in its favour. Solih’s political alliances with conservative religious parties were in the spotlight, including with the Adhaalath Party, which has taken an increasingly intolerant stance on women’s and LGBTQI+ rights.
Mexico’s Supreme Court recently declared abortion bans unconstitutional, effectively decriminalising abortion throughout the vast federal country, so far characterised by a legislative patchwork.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by a civil society organisation, Information Group on Reproductive Choice. It forces the Federal Congress to repeal the Federal Penal Code articles that criminalise abortion. Effective immediately, those seeking abortions and those providing them can no longer be punished for doing so. The ruling also enshrines the right to access abortion procedures in all institutions of the federal health system network, even in states where the crime of abortion remains on the books.
Almost one third (32%)
of women aged 20 to 24 in Eastern and Southern Africa - around 50 million – were married before 18 years old. To address this pervasive problem, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum has adopted the SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage
, a legal framework providing a comprehensive, integrated approach to ending child marriage and protecting children already married.
Four acrylic panels stood like soldiers around the perimeter of my body, bolted upright by the men who installed them, light proudly bouncing off the inherent gloss on those walls as I sat on the toilet.
This year, three of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) six regions elect new Regional Directors (RD). The South-East Asia Region (SEARO) is composed of only 11 Member States, yet is home to over a quarter of the world’s population. Two SEARO Member States, Nepal and Bangladesh, have nominated their candidates to contest for RD.
In a year that is rapidly becoming the costliest on record
for climate-related disasters, the International Day of the Girl Child appeals to the global community for greater investments for and with adolescent girls.
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan on 15 August 2021 has devastated millions of Afghans. But women and girls have been particularly affected by progressively restrictive decrees that have created a virtual system of gender apartheid.