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Issues and Analysis

The Right to Have Rights: Resisting Fundamentalist Orders

FRIDAY FILE: While fundamentalist movements may vary according to the global context in which they operate, for women this diversity is outweighed by the core characteristics, strategies and impacts that they share.


Gender Equality Indices: Numbers Don’t Lie, and They Also Don’t Tell the Whole Story

FRIDAY FILE: Each year various statistical indicators assess whether gender equality is indeed progressing. These numbers remind us of some powerful circumstances women face, but they also raise questions at the heart of why rights differ on paper and in reality.


Catholics Call on Pope Benedict to Reconsider Vatican's Ban on Contraceptive Pill

Fifty years ago this week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the contraceptive pill. The man most prominently associated with the development and introduction of the pill, John Rock, was an Irish Catholic doctor from Boston. Dr. Rock didn't set out to make waves with the Vatican; in fact, he was sure that his invention would gain approval from the Vatican and finally allow Catholics to practice safe and effective family planning. He was successful on both counts.


Some profit from wives despite French polygamy ban

PARIS — The burqa, or face-covering veil, is getting all the attention in the debate over Muslim immigrants in France. But another controversial tradition among some immigrants is less noticed and far more widespread: Polygamy.


Tories accused of culture of intimidation

OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been accused of systematically undermining women in this country by stripping their advocacy groups of tens of millions of dollars and targeting those critical of his government’s anti-abortion stance on the world stage.


Yemeni Child Brides Start Revolution Against Forced Marriage

Right now, Yemen is dealing with a really scary problem: hoards of pissed off teen and pre-teen girls. And no, it isn't because Justin Bieber canceled his Middle East tour. These young women are serious about demanding divorces from their forced marriages. What began with one 10-year-old bride's brave trek to the courthouse to get a judge to release her from a marriage has turned into a cultural revolution. And it's proving the power of girls to demand justice for themselves.


Girls saved from forced marriage

It has emerged that two girls living in Northern Ireland have been made the subject of a court order to stop them being forced into marriage in Pakistan.


The Christian Right: Wrong on AIDS

The last decade has seen huge funding increases for the international fight against HIV. Increased funding has effectively reduced deaths from AIDS. But despite this progress, approaches to preventing HIV based in belief, not fact, remain and continue to hamper HIV prevention. Policies promoted by Christian right groups from the U.S. have been detrimental on two fronts: They limit the use of proven and effective prevention methods, and they oppose the human rights of women and gay people worldwide. Anti-gay bias and stigma help drive the epidemic both in the U.S. and internationally. Christian right groups fuel existing stigma to achieve their ideological goals. The U.S. Christian right emboldens anti-gay local leaders with their backing. They give them the credibility to oppress gay people and other groups at high risk for HIV.


In Uganda, Push to Curb Gays Draws U.S. Guest

KAMPALA, Uganda — As storm clouds brewed in the near distance, about 1,300 people gathered at the grassy Makerere University sports grounds here for a special Sunday afternoon rally and prayer service that, its organizers said, was to discuss homosexuality, witchcraft, corruption and the fear of violence leading up to the country’s presidential election next year.


Kenya: Women's Rights and Constitution - Challenging 'Men of Faith'

What gives a church in which celibacy is equated with holiness, in which males have all the undemocratic power, the right to a place at the table where laws are made about women's bodies?



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