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7/18/2014 - Nigeria Secures $15 Million Grant from Norway to Reduce Maternal Mortality
Norway has provided a $15 million grant to the Nigerian government to help the country reduce maternal and child mortality....

7/16/2014 - Church of England Votes to Allow Women Bishops
The General Synod, the decision-making body of the Church of England, voted Monday to allow women to become bishops....

7/14/2014 - Study Shows High Rates of Child Marriage and Maternal Death Across Nigeria
The Nigerian Demographic Health Survey of 2013 (NDHS) revealed persistently high child marriage rates and a need for increased family planning resources in Nigeria. Nigeria accounts for 13 percent of global maternal death rates, with 36,000 women dying in pregnancy or child birth each year....

7/8/2014 - Pope Begs Forgiveness of Sexual Abuse Survivors, But Survivors Want Action
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called on Pope Francis yesterday to take "tangible steps" to prevent widespread sexual abuse by clergy members instead of asking for forgiveness from victims. Yesterday Pope Francis met with six people who were sexually abused by clergy members as children to ask for their forgiveness....

6/25/2014 - House Committee Approves Extending Abortion Coverage to Peace Corps Volunteers
The House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2015 State Department and Foreign Operations appropriations bill yesterday with an amendment to remove a provision banning the Peace Corps from funding abortions for its volunteers, even in cases of rape or incest. Unlike other employees with federal health care plans - including Peace Corps employees - Peace Corps volunteers currently do not have access to abortion coverage even in cases of rape, incest, or endangered health or life....

6/23/2014 - Senate Subcommittee to Tackle Violence Against Women Globally
Engaging the US in the global fight to end gender-based violence will take center stage tomorrow as part of a Senate subcommittee hearing aimed at fully combating violence and discrimination against women worldwide. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Senate Foreign RelationsSubcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women's Issues hearingwill preside over the hearing at which several women Senators will testify, including Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Patty Murray (D-WA). The Senate Subcommittee hearing will focus on how the US and the international community can work to prevent violence against women, promote women's rights, and empower women and girls globally....

6/20/2014 - UK Religious Groups Unite to Condemn Female Genital Mutilation
Community and religious leaders in the United Kingdom came together this week to condemn the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). The Church of England and the Muslim Women's Network UK were two of 160 groups who supported the announcement denouncing FGM as a form of violence against women and a denial of women's human rights not supported by religious doctrine....

6/19/2014 - Activist Groups Allege Child Abuse by Border Agents
Immigration activist groups have filed a complaint against the US Customs and Border Protection agents, citing 116 allegations of child abuse at the US-Mexico border in Texas and Arizona. The complaint includes the allegation that more than 80 percent of those child immigrants did not receive enough food and water, around half were not given medical care, and nearly one in four minors were abused physically....

6/17/2014 - Pakistan Metropolis Gets First Female Police Chief
Syeda Ghazala made history this week as the first woman to become chief of police in Pakistan's largest city. In 2011, Pakistan was rated the third-most dangerous country for women....

6/16/2014 - High Turnout in Afghanistan's Presidential Runoff Election
Over seven million Afghans, or 58 percent of the population, successfully voted in the runoff presidential election on Saturday, despite several attacks from the Taliban at polling centers. "The participation of men and women across the country demonstrates, once again, the commitment of the Afghan people to shape the future of their country and to reject violence and intimidation," Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon said in a statement. Because none of the presidential candidates won at least 50 percent of the vote in the April election, a runoff was held between the top two contenders - Abdullah Abdullah, who won 44.9 percent of the vote in the first election, and Ashraf Ghani Amadzai, who came in second with 31.5 percent. The Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) will announce preliminary results for the runoff election on July 2 and expect the final results to be announced on July 22....

6/13/2014 - Women of Afghanistan Push Equality on the Eve of Runoff Presidential Election
Afghan women's groups Thursday held a press conference announcing that both of the presidential front-runners had signed a six-point petition for women's rights....

6/11/2014 - Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict Convenes This Week
Representatives from over 140 nations are attending the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London this week....

6/9/2014 - Women's Rights Groups Demand that US Stop Negotiating TPP with Brunei Until the Sultan Revokes New Taliban-Like Laws
WASHINGTON - A coalition of women's rights groups have joined the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) in calling for the Obama Administration to initiate the process of removing Brunei from negotiations on a prospective Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement with the United States - or to suspend TPP talks - until Brunei revokes its new Taliban-like penal code. "Women's rights and human rights cannot take a backseat to profit and trade," said FMF President Eleanor Smeal....

6/5/2014 - Mass Grave in Ireland Contains Remains of Almost 800 Children from Catholic Mother-and-Baby Home
The remains of almost 800 children found in a mass grave in western Ireland have been determined to be from a home for unwed mothers that operated in Tuam, County Galway for 35 years between 1926 to 1961. The deaths of the children likely occurred because of neglect, disease and malnutrition, which was rampant according to a 1944 government investigation of the home....

6/5/2014 - US Support of Afghanistan Will Continue Even As Troops Drawdown
President Obama announced last week that 9,800 United States military troops will remain in Afghanistan through the end of 2015 to help train and advise Afghan security forces, as well as assist in counter-terrorism operations....

6/3/2014 - Canada Pledges $3.5 Billion for Maternal Health Programs Worldwide
At a three-day international maternal health summit in Toronto last week, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, announced that Canada has pledged $3.5 billion for programs aimed at improving maternal and newborn health in developing countries. "There is no better investment in the world's future prosperity than women's and children's health," said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the summit. The funds will add on to previously committed funds for the Millenium Development Goals - goals and strategies agreed to by all the world's countries and leading development institutions to eradicate poverty and hunger, improve maternal health, and reduce child mortality, among other issues, by a target date of 2015....

6/2/2014 - African Union Launches First Campaign to End Child Marriage
The African Union launched its first campaign to curb child marriage in Africa last week, in cooperation with African governments, UNICEF, the UK Department for International Development, and several civil society organizations. "What we are seeing today is an Africa-wide movement of leaders and organizations collectively saying 'No to Child Marriage,'" said Martin Mogwanja, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF....

5/29/2014 - Pakistani Woman Stoned to Death for Marrying A Man of Her Own Choosing
A 25-year-old Pakistani woman was brutally and publicly murdered by her family this week for marrying the man she loved. Farzana Parveen married a man several months ago following a years-long engagement....

5/27/2014 - Nigerian Army Has Located Girls Abducted by Boko Haram
The Nigerian army announced yesterday that it has determined the location of the 200 girls abducted by extremist group Boko Haram more than one month ago, noting that they are still in the country....

5/23/2014 - Obama Sends US Military Personnel to Help Find Abducted Nigerian Girls
The White House announced this week that it has deployed 80 US military personnel to Chad to help find the over 200 Nigerian girls abducted in April by militant group Boko Haram. "These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area," he wrote in a letter to the House and Senate leaders....

5/13/2014 - Boko Haram Proposes Swap of Kidnapped Girls for Prisoners
Boko Haram, the terrorist group that kidnapped over 200 teenage girls from their school in Northeast Nigeria one month ago, released a video yesterday on YouTube offering to free the girls in return for the release of imprisoned group members. Around 100 girls are shown in the video praying and wearing full grey veils....

5/9/2014 - Reports Reveal Decrease in Maternal Mortality, Need for Faster Progress
Two reports by United Nations agencies reveal that there has been significant progress in reducing maternal mortality worldwide over the last decade, but much more can be done to protect women's lives. Maternal deaths have dropped 45 percent since 1990, according to the new UN data....

5/9/2014 - Los Angeles City Council Condemns Brunei's Taliban-Like Penal Code
The City Council of Los Angeles, California approved a resolution this week condemning Brunei's brutal new "kill-a-gay, flog-a-woman" penal code and urging the nation and its Sultan to divest its ownership of the Beverly Hills Hotel, not long after a similar resolution was unanimously approved by the Beverly Hills City Council. "Now, therefore, be it resolved, with the concurrence of the Mayor, that by the adoption of this Resolution, the City of Los Angeles hereby includes in its 2013-2014 Federal Legislative Program support for legislation and/or administrative action which condemns the government of Brunei for adopting laws that impose extreme and inhumane penalties including execution by stoning, flogging and severing of limbs and urges the government of Brunei to divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Bel Air Hotel," the resolution says [PDF]. The Brunei Investment Agency owns the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Bel-Air Hotel, and other Dorchester Collection Properties....

5/8/2014 - Fast Food Workers Will Hold The Largest-Ever Worldwide Day of Action Next Week
Fast food workers are planning the largest one-day action so far on May 15....

5/7/2014 - Beverly Hills City Council Condemns Brunei Penal Code
The Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously yesterday to approve a resolution urging Brunei to divest its ownership of the Beverly Hills Hotel and condemning the Southeast Asian nation's brutal new "kill-a-gay" and "flog-a-woman" penal code. "The City of Beverly Hills strongly condemns the government of Brunei as well as other governments which engage in similar policies for adopting laws that impose extreme and inhumane penalties including execution by stoning, flogging and severing of limbs," the resolution says....