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7/8/2015 - President Assures There Will Be Justice for Farkhunda in Afghanistan Following Outcry by Women's Rights Leaders
Leaders were outraged last week when the Appeals Court of Afghanistan reversed the death penalties issued in the murder case of Farkhunda, who was killed by an angry mob in March. The Kabul Primary Court sentenced four men to death and eight to 16 years in prison who were charged with the murder of Farkhunda in May....

7/1/2015 - Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights
A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally. Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates....

6/19/2015 - TPP "Fast Track" Headed Back to the Senate Again
In what has become a procedural roller-coaster, the House voted 218 to 208 yesterday to pass Trade Promotion Authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)....

6/16/2015 - China's Maternal Mortality Rate Has Decreased Dramatically
The National Health and Family Planning Commission released a report this month showing that China's maternal death rate has dropped by over seventy-five percent in the past twenty-five years. China's maternal mortality rate dropped from 23.2 per 100,000 births in 2014 to 21.7 per 100,000 births....

6/12/2015 - New Nigerian Law Forbids Bans Genital Mutilation
Last month outgoing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a law formally banning female genital mutilation (FGM)....

6/9/2015 - Rana Plaza Victims Will Receive Compensation
After a two-year campaign for compensation for the victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, the International Labour Organization has succeeded in securing $30 million in compensation. In April 2013 a multi-story building in Bangladesh that housed five garment factories and a shopping center collapsed, killing at least 1,127 workers and injuring another 2,500....

6/8/2015 - Organizations Urge the President to Reinterpret Helms Amendment and Aid Nigerian Refugees
Catholics for Choice in partnership with the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) launched a campaign last week in response to more than 200 girls raped and impregnated by Boko Haram members, urging President Obama to reinterpret the Helms Amendment to include abortion care. Over 400 women and children who were kidnapped by Boko Haram were returned earlier this year, many of whom are pregnant as the result of rape....

5/26/2015 - Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage. Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday....

5/22/2015 - Senate Votes to Advance "Fast Tracking" of Dangerous Trade Agreement
The US Senate voted 62 to 38 yesterday to advance "fast track" trade legislation, just one week after Senate Democrats filibustered the controversial bill that would allow President Obama to force Congress to vote up-or-down on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is a far-reaching trade agreement that has faced staunch opposition from a broad coalition of labor, environmental, women's rights, and human rights groups....

5/12/2015 - Pregnant Women Left Vulnerable After Devastating Nepal Earthquake
A large earthquake hit eastern Nepal today, two weeks after a quake killed 8,000 people in the country....

4/30/2015 - 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria
In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram. On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children. While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year....

4/20/2015 - Four Women Were Just Approved to Join the Cabinet of Afghanistan's Unity Government
President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan held their promise to appoint four women in the new cabinet, and the nation's lower house of Parliament approved them along with the rest of the 16 cabinet nominees introduced by the Afghan government on Saturday. Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, speaker for the lower house of parliament, confirmed on Saturday that there are four women among that the 25 member Cabinet of President Ashraf Ghani....

4/14/2015 - Afghan Woman Awarded International Women of Courage Award
Niloofar Rahmani, the first woman to serve in the Afghan military since the fall of the Taliban, was honored by the US State Department with the International Women of Courage Award last month. Rahmani was one of ten women recognized by the State Department for this prestigious award....

4/10/2015 - US Ranks 16th Worldwide on 2015 Social Progress Index
The United States ranks 16th in the recently released 2015 Social Progress Index, which assesses and scores countries worldwide across three categories: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity....

4/7/2015 - Iranian Women Can Now Attend Major Sporting Events
Iranian women will now be allowed to attend major sporting events, Iran officials announced on Saturday. Although the new policy still holds barriers for women attending specific sports - those considered to be more "masculine" such as wrestling or swimming - this announcement reverses an antiquated rule that forbid women to watch matches attended by men. Abdolhamid Ahmadi, the deputy minister for sports, told the state news agency on Saturday that the country's national Security Council had approved a government proposal to allow women to watch games this year....

2/3/2015 - Northern Ireland's Human Right Commission To Review Abortion Ban
The Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Northern Ireland won its call for a judicial review on the region's restrictive abortion law. The High Court in Belfast ruled that the HRC could seek a review of current law....

2/2/2015 - Women Who Protested Saudi Arabia's Driving Ban Remain in Prison
Women's rights activists who protested Saudia Arabia's driving ban in November remain imprisoned. Loujain al-Hathloul, 25, and Maysa al-Alamoudi, 33, were arrested while they were crossing into Saudi Arabia on November 30....

2/2/2015 - Two Imprisoned Women's Rights Activists in the Middle East Have Been Freed
Women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia and Iran were freed last week....

1/26/2015 - Egyptian Court Sentences Doctor In Female Genital Mutilation Case
An Egyptian appeals court convicted and sentenced a doctor today for performing female genital mutilation (FGM) that lead to a 13-year-old girl's death....

1/9/2015 - Trans People Can No Longer Obtain Driver's Licenses in Russia
Russia has banned transgender people as well as "those who suffer from disorders of sexual preference" from obtaining driver's licenses. The new regulations put trans folks and anyone suffering from "fetishism, exhibitionism, and voyeurism" among those with primarily physical impairments such as blindness who are barred from driving....

1/5/2015 - Transgender Woman Elected Mayor in India
Raigarh, a city of 300,000 in the state of Chhattisgarh, India has become the first city in India to elect a transgender mayor. On Sunday, independent candidate Madhu Kinnar was elected mayor over Mahaveer Guruji of the popular Bharatiya Janata Party by more than 4,500 votes. Nine months before, the Indian Supreme Court declared transgender people, known as hijras, as a legal third gender in a landmark ruling that legally recognized the identities of an estimated two million people in the nation....

11/21/2014 - UN Expert Calls for Action To End Violence Against Women in Afghanistan
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo returned last week from a nine-day official visit in Afghanistan with a call to the Afghan Government and the international community to continue its focus on creating sustainable solutions to reduce violence against women. This was Manjoo's third visit to Afghanistan, and the Special Rapporteur noted many positive developments since her travel to the country in 1999, during the Taliban regime, and in 2005. In particular, Manjoo cited the creation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW) by presidential decree in 2009 as "a key step towards the elimination of violence against women and girls."EVAW criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women - including rape, child and forced marriage, domestic violence, trafficking, and forced self-immolation - and specifies punishment for perpetrators....

9/9/2014 - Court Sentences Seven Men for Gang Rape in Afghanistan
An Afghan court convicted seven men for the gang rape and robbery of four women in Paghman district near the city of Kabul. According to reports, a group of men - some dressed in police uniforms and carrying assault rifles - stopped a group of cars traveling in Paghman last month, pulled the women from their cars, and raped them in a nearby field....

9/8/2014 - Ecuador Will Now Recognize Same-Sex Civil Unions
As of September 15, same-sex couples in Ecuador will finally be able to register their civil unions....

9/5/2014 - Afghan Girls Compete in Bike Race to Raise Awareness About Violence Against Women
Over a hundred people celebrated the August 25th "Orange Day to End Violence" with a bicycle race in Bamyan, Afghanistan hosted by the nonprofit organization Shuhada. Fifteen girls participated in the race to raise awareness about violence against women....