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Women's Rights in the News

News items on women's rights from around the world

Women playing critical role in North African democracy movement, UN official says

Women have played a critical role in the pro-democracy protest movements that have swept across North Africa and the Middle East this year, and their rights and leadership potential must continue to be encouraged, the head of the new United Nations entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment said today.

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Women´s Rights and the Armed Conflict in Colombia

FRIDAY FILE: “The Colombian armed conflict has been going on for over 50 years and has developed alongside the situation of poverty in the country. Forced displacements, massacres of the Colombian people and other acts violating international humanitarian law are taking place, principally affecting women”.

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Centuries old Nepal banishment ritual endangers girls and women

The centuries old practice of chhaupadi in Nepal can cause prolonged depression in girls and women. In extreme cases it can also cause death. Chhaupadi pratha, or ritual practice, places Nepali women and girls in a limbo of isolation. In history it is a practice that has been largely accepted. The word chhaupadi, translates in the Achham local Raute dialect as ‘chhau’ which means menstruation and ‘padi’ – woman.

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Egyptian women protesters forced to take 'virginity tests'

Amnesty International has today (23 March) called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month.

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Obama, Brazilian President Rousseff Agree to Establish LGBT Post at Organization of American States

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama made an official state visit to Brazil, including a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Included in the joint statement issued by the leaders about the relationship between the two countries was news that the two leaders would work within the Organization of American States to establish a "Special Rapporteur" to help in "promoting respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals."

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UN Human Rights Council: A Stunning Development Against Violence

(March 22, 2011) In a stunning development for the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, today, Colombia delivered a Joint Statement during General Debate (Agenda Item 8 – Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action) that called on States to end violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and urged the Human Rights Council to address these important human rights issues. The statement was delivered on behalf of a broad grouping of 85 States from all regions of the world.

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“Kill the Gays” Bill May Pass Ugandan Parliament Within a Week

Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill has been quietly languishing in the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee after its introduction in October 2009 caused international outrage.

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Canada - Civil liberties Group Supports Polygamy in Landmark Court Case

Canada's ban on polygamy invites the state into the bedrooms of consenting adults, says a B.C. civil rights group that is siding with a controversial religious sect in a landmark court case on the federal law barring multiple marriage.

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New HRW Report on women in Chechnya: You Dress According to Their Rules

Women Attacked, Intimidated as Moscow Officials Look the Other Way.

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Moldovan Rights Defender Condemns Visit By U.S. Antigay Activist

A Moldovan human rights defender has condemned a recent visit to Chisinau by a leading American antigay activist and his statements against the homosexual community, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

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