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4/17/2014 - Supreme Court of India Recognizes Transgender Rights
India's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that official documents must allow transgender people to identify as a third gender and directed the federal and state governments to include transgender people, known as hijras, in welfare programs such as education, health care, and job programs. "All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender,'" said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who petitioned the court....

4/16/2014 - Female Afghan Parliamentarian Injured in Shooting Attack
Maryam Koofi, a member of Afghanistan's Parliament, was wounded in a shooting yesterday....

4/11/2014 - Philippines Supreme Court Upholds Law Promoting Reproductive Health Access
The Philippines Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the country's Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, also known as the RH Law, is constitutional....

4/7/2014 - Millions of Afghans Vote in Historic Elections
High turnout, low levels of violence, and strong participation by women, all combined Saturday to make the closely watched Afghan presidential and provincial council elections a success. Over 7 million Afghan men and women voted in these historic elections - representing a staggering 60% voter participation rate, close to the 62% participation rate in the US presidential election in 2008 and more than the 58% participation rate in the US in 2012....

4/4/2014 - Afghanistan Heads to the Polls Tomorrow
Afghanistan will hold presidential and provincial council elections tomorrow....

4/2/2014 - Report Details Dangerous Impacts of Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report last week detailing the risks people will face around the world as climate change worsens. "Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability" from Working Group II of the IPCC summarizes scientific literature from hundreds of authors to identify vulnerable populations, ecosystems, and industries....

3/21/2014 - 13,000 Women Will Work to Secure Polling Centers on Afghanistan's Election Day
The Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoIA) announced this week that it has recruited 13,000 women to work on security procedures at polling centers for the upcoming April 5 presidential election day....

3/13/2014 - House Democrats Seek International Convention on Gender-Based Violence In Workplace
House Democrats asked the Obama administration yesterday to support the International Labour Organization's (ILO) efforts to combat global gender-based violence in the workplace. Ahead of the ILO's 320th Session of the Governing Board, Representatives George Miller (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and 34 other leading Democrats sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez seeking their support for an ILO Convention on gender-based violence in the workplace, as well as a standard-setting discussion about violence against all people in the workplace. "Gender-based violence is among the most rampant human rights violations in the world--and it most acutely affects women," said Rep....

3/11/2014 - UN Commission On The Status of Women Convenes This Week
The 58th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) session began in New York City yesterday and will convene through March 21....

3/6/2014 - US Honors Afghan Doctor as an International Woman of Courage
Dr....

3/5/2014 - Saudi Women Demand End To Absolute Male Authority
Ten Saudi women are petitioning the Saudi Arabia consultative Shura Council to demand an end to absolute male authority over women. Activist Aziza Yousef told AFP news agency over the weekend that the activists are demanding "measures to protect women's rights," as well as the right for women to drive, ahead of International Women's Day on March 8....

2/28/2014 - Female Afghan Parliamentarian Speaks Out About Women's Progress in Afghanistan
Fawzia Koofi, a female member of the Afghan parliament, published an open letter this week to American women, urging them to continue standing shoulder-to-shoulder with women in Afghanistan. Koofi's letter, entitled "A Letter to My American Sisters," dispels the media myth that women's lives have not improved since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001....

2/26/2014 - Libya To Compensate Victims of Rape During 2011 Conflict
Libya's cabinet introduced a decree last week that will recognize women raped during the 2011 uprising as war victims and provide them with compensation....

2/26/2014 - Afghan Ministry of Justice Amends Criminal Procedure Code to Protect Women Victims of Violence
Afghanistan's Ministry of Justice (MOJ) amended a controversial provision of the draft Afghan Criminal Procedure Code - Article 26 - that would have barred relatives from testifying against each other in criminal proceedings, including in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault....

2/25/2014 - Ugandan President Signs Anti-Gay Bill Into Law
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a controversial anti-gay bill into law yesterday. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, passed by parliament in December, could put people in prison for life if they engage in "aggravated homosexuality," which means engaging in acts where someone is infected with HIV, having sex with minors, or being "serial offenders." People who offer services to LGBTQ people, such as human rights groups, could also face criminal charges and years in prison. In response, Norway and Denmark have already cut off aid to the Ugandan government, and Sweden and the US are considering a similar response....

2/24/2014 - Bolivian Court Relaxes Requirements for Women Seeking Abortion
Bolivia's highest court issued a decision last week to remove the requirement that women must obtain judicial authorization in order to have a legal abortion. Bolivia's constitution guarantees equal treatment to all citizens, including women and indigenous peoples....

2/21/2014 - Free Maternal and Childcare Center Commissioned in Nigeria
The government of Nigeria's Delta State commissioned a 100-bed maternal and childcare center at the Warri Central Hospital last week....

2/20/2014 - Afghan Presidential Candidates Debate Women's Rights
The second televised presidential debate in Afghanistan took place Tuesday night....

2/19/2014 - Afghan President Will Not Sign Criminal Procedure Code into Law
In a major victory for Afghan women, President Hamid Karzai yesterday refused to sign Afghanistan's controversial draft Criminal Procedure Code into law....

2/18/2014 - Uganda President To Sign Anti-Gay Legislation
The president of Uganda, Yoweni Museveni, released a statement Saturday saying he planned to sign the sweeping Anti-Homosexuality Bill that passed the nation's parliament in December. The bill was originally introduced in 2009 with a death penalty provision for some "homosexual acts," but it was delayed because of international uproar and the threat of a loss of aid from several nations....

2/14/2014 - Afghan Women Rise for Justice at Kabul Protest
Around 100 Afghan women marched in Kabul yesterday to speak out against violence against women as part of One Billion Rising, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Calling for "no more violence" and "justice, justice," Afghan women also demanded continued gains for women's equality in the country....

2/13/2014 - One Billion People Worldwide Will Rise for Justice Tomorrow
Millions of people will rise for justice tomorrow for One Billion Rising's global V-Day events, including a rally in Washington, DC. One Billion Rising "is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice - courthouses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not....

2/12/2014 - Rep George Miller Speaks Out Against Garment Factory Conditions in Bangladesh
Citing meager wages, dangerous working conditions, and exploitative work practices, Representative George Miller (D-CA) yesterday called on the apparel industry to do more to improve working conditions and support the human rights of workers at garment factories in Bangladesh....

2/11/2014 - UN Human Rights Chief Calls for Gender Integration in Post-2015 Goals
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called for gender equality to be comprehensively included in the UN's post-2015 goals yesterday at the opening of the 57th Session of Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). "We believe there should be a stand-alone goal or goals on equality and non-discrimination that addresses all kinds of discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex," said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. In 2000, the UN announced its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -- to reduce hunger and poverty, combat maternal and infant mortality, and provide access to universal education and health, among other goals -- all to be accomplished by the end of 2015....

2/7/2014 - UN and African Union Sign Agreement Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
The African Union (AU) and the United Nations signed a landmark agreement last week committing to improving the prevention of and response to sexual violence, particularly conflict-related violence, in African countries. The agreement aims to strengthen national policies, laws, and organizations already trying to combat sexual violence, and to train police forces and peacekeepers on prevention and best responses....