Women around the world continue to struggle not only with draconian laws that deny them ownership of their own bodies, but also the threat of hard-won rights being rolled back. Here, we take a look at some of the places around the world that are playing the long game for abortion reform.
In a primary school classroom, Deepa Das holds back tears as she explains to her 6-year-old daughter why she doesn’t have enough clothes for her. Eight days ago, as heavy monsoon rains lashed the state, Das’ home, which lies in a village behind the school where she is taking shelter, was completely flooded in the space of an hour.
The week after she handed in her AK47 rifle, Patricia found out she was pregnant. Patricia had been a rebel fighter in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, for 14 years. Last month, she was one of 7,000 rebels to hand in their weapons in a low-key ceremony that marked the end of the armed struggle.
In the violence that rocked Kenya following the disputed elections of 2007, the media reported hundreds of cases of sexualized violence. Jane’s was one of them. Today, Jane grapples with HIV, trauma, and empty promises of reparation. Her husband was killed in the violence, but his body has never been found.
Guatemala City—It’s not a stretch to say that the reproductive rights of women and girls are not fully recognized in Guatemala. On top of that—or perhaps because of it—Guatemala has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in Latin America, where one in three girls becomes a mother before reaching the age of 18, according to a 2014 UNICEF report.
“He said, ‘If you cry, I’ll kill you,’” Agnes says. “He clasped my throat so I wouldn’t scream, threw me to the ground and raped me.” The shy, anxious 18-year-old lowers her eyes and touches her throat. She’s barely said a word in two months.
Milia Eidmouni’s family didn’t want her to be a journalist. They wanted her to choose a more typical career for an educated Syrian woman, such as teaching. But as a feminist, women’s rights defender and human rights campaigner, she pursued her desire to become a working journalist in 2007
Anneke Lucas survived being trafficked for sex not once, but twice. “I was 9 years old when an elderly English-speaking man took me to the United States in his jet and sex-trafficked me in a luxurious hotel,” says Lucas, an anti-trafficking advocate and the founder of the nonprofit organization Liberation Prison Yoga.
Every Wednesday at half-past one, in the narrow lanes of the southern Delhi slum of Dakshinpuri, a group of local women congregate in a windowless room. They are members of the “Mahila Panchayat,” or “female village council.” They are bound by a common cause—justice for women who suffer violence and harassment in their homes.
With this morning’s news that the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing at the UK’s Manchester Arena Monday night, the obviousness of the target begins to make a sick kind of sense.
Emerging from a crowd of around a dozen women, Farida, a 32-year-old Syrian refugee living in Istanbul, stood in front of a cabinet full of bright and colorful threads and beads. Looking at the materials with friends, she mused what color she should use for her next earring project. “Let’s not use orange and pink this time,” she murmured to one of her friends, another Syrian refugee.
In the languages of the former Yugoslavia “suza” means “tear.” And in the more than 20 years that have passed since the end of the wars that dismantled the country in the 1990s, it seems that there is one, very last tear that many mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters cannot shed until the mortal remains of their closest kin are found, identified, and properly buried.
I remember I was 5 years old as I watched my mother repeatedly climb to the highest part of the bed only to jump right back off again. I was confused. I could see that she was in emotional and physical pain. I was sad for her.
With Tuesday’s gruesome chemical attack in Syria all over the news, attention has suddenly turned toward the crimes of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime—and away, for a moment, from those of the Islamic State. It is about time.
In the Trump administration’s proposed mass slaying of any and all programs the United States financially supports in terms of human rights, one in particular is troubling for women around the world—and it’s an angle media have missed in their reporting.
Grace sits staring vacantly ahead, her hands tightly clasped in her lap. She is 16 years old but has a tiny frame that makes her look no older than 13. Underneath her checkered school dress, a small bump sticks out. In four months’ time, she is due to give birth to her stepfather’s child.
Nargez* was 14 when her father arranged her marriage to a 55-year-old stranger who offered a large amount of money. After years of sexual and physical abuse, she fled with her brother’s help and sought safety in his home. But when she tried to file for divorce, her husband pressed charges against her for running away and against her brother for helping her. They were sentenced to seven years.
Thirteen-year-old Jane* lived in Melito Porto Salvo, a village in Calabria, a region that is commonly referred to as Italy’s toe. She was young, confused, and lonely after her parents decided to separate. Like many children in this situation, she struggled to make sense of her new world. All of that changed when she met 19-year-old Davide Schimizzi in the summer of 2013. Their romance filled an emotional void in her life.
Earlier this month, Amnesty released a report detailing allegations of government-sanctioned abuses in the two buildings of Saydnaya military prison outside of Damascus, between 2011 and 2015. The findings show a systematic policy of mass executions, torture and deprivation of food, water, medicine and medical care, which could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
On December 14, 2016, 23-year-old feminist activist Débora Soriano de Melo was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat in a bar in São Paulo, Brazil. There was evidence that the young activist suffered sexual abuse that same night. Detectives suspected Willy Gorayeb Liger, a manager of the bar, in the assault and called for his arrest on rape charges.
After her husband died, Margaret, 55, saw no alternative but to sell her body in order to feed her four children. She would walk down to Lake Victoria every day to buy fish to sell in the market. But first she had to have sex with a fisherman. For at least the past two decades, fishermen at Lake Victoria have demanded sex before selling their catch to female fish traders.
“No hate! No fear! Refugees are welcome here!” Shouts are rising into the night sky in Brooklyn as I write this. I just left the Brooklyn federal courthouse, where hundreds of people are chanting that and more, some slogans more angry and profane than others.
Once known as a refugee-friendly nation, Kenya is becoming more resistant to taking in people who have been forced to flee their homes. That means added challenges for the nonprofit Heshima and the refugee girls it supports, says executive director Alisa Roadcup.
Throughout the conflict in DRC, children have been abducted and made to serve as soldiers. While most are male, it is estimated over a third are female, used mainly as domestic and sexual servants, but sometimes as fighters. Now an NGO has released a report showing that many of the girls weren’t enlisted by force.