There is a rural area in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa where the maternal mortality rate more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. Why are women so at risk for dying during childbirth in this province? The reasons are complex and inter-related but many factors can be addressed by the provincial Minister of Health. And we are demanding that he does. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST
Imagine waking up in a hospital and learning that you are under arrest, accused of killing your own infant.
Despite your efforts to explain that you had a miscarriage and passed out from medical complications, the authorities sentence you to up to four decades in an overcrowded prison where you “suffer harassment, exclusion, and violence both from other inmates as well as prison personnel” because of the accusations against you.
By Margaret Huang, Amnesty International USA Deputy Executive Director of Campaigns and Programs
Great news! After constant campaigning and unwavering support on the part of more than a million Amnesty activists like you, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death because of her religious beliefs, is free and arrived in Italy with her family yesterday.
By Teresa Vargas Valdes, Chile Country Specialist and Tarah Demant, Women’s Human Rights Thematic Specialist
In Chile, it’s criminal to get an abortion, even when the life of the mother is at risk. Since 1991, several congressional bills have been presented in Chile in order to allow exceptions to this restrictive law, the most recent of which was in April 2012, when the Senate rejected three motions that would have decriminalized the legal interruption of pregnancy in three different contexts: when the life of the mother is at risk, rape and when the fetus is not viable.
The current total abortion ban allows for not such exceptions, and this extreme restriction on women’s reproductive health rights not only conflicts with international law, it also puts the lives of countless women and girls at risk.
Human rights activists have long known what much of the world is starting to recognize and acknowledge: violence against women and girls is a human rights violation of epidemic proportions that touches every corner of the globe, impacting the ability of women and girls to access the full spectrum of their human rights.
Amnesty activists and our many coalition partners have worked for years to build momentum behind the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), a critical piece of legislation aimed at ensuring the United States does its part to end gender-based violence globally through its diplomatic and foreign assistance work. And thanks to our efforts, Members of Congress are taking notice.
Pat yourselves on the back, stamp your feet, give a (potentially) inappropriate shout of glee wherever you happen to be at this moment, or at the very least, indulge in a slow clap.
35,544 Amnesty USA activists stood with the women and girls in Mozambique who marched in the streets of Maputo to demand the revocation of a proposed revision to the criminal code allowing a rapist to avoid punishment if he married the survivor.
The Mozambique government listened and it has been removed from consideration!
What would you say if I told you that living without a source of drinking water near home is a major risk for sexual and reproductive health?
Collecting water is nearly always a woman’s task. Estimates are that women spend around 40 billion hours a year walking for water. For nearly 800 million people, this is a reality.
Imagine if you reported a rape, only to discover the law is on the side of your rapist.
A couple months ago, we shared the story of Amina Filali, a 16-year-old girl in Morocco who was forced to marry the man who raped her. Months after being married, Amina committed suicide by swallowing rat poison. Amina’s death caused an outcry in Morocco and throughout the region.
In January, nearly two years after Amina’s death, the widely-criticized clause in Morocco’s Penal Code sanctioning the marriage was finally abolished.
But elsewhere in Africa, the struggle is far from over.
I’ve just come from opening week at the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), when thousands of women’s rights activists and member state delegations descend on New York to review the current state of affairs for women and girls globally and recommend actions states can take to advance gender equality and promote female empowerment.
Many of the events this week are calling attention to sexual and reproductive rights as a primary barrier to development progress and the enjoyment of rights and dignity for all. The priority theme for the CSW this year is a review of progress for women and girls under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
This article originally appeared in the Lawndale News under the title “Standing Up For Women’s Rights at Home and Abroad.”
A human rights abuse epidemic is happening right now in every corner of the globe. It has manifested in Mexico where twenty-six women were sexually assaulted by police in San Salvador, Atenco.
It has manifested in Guatemala when 15-year-old María Isabel Franco was raped and brutally killed, and in Afghanistan, where a women’s rights advocate was murdered in the street.
And it has manifested in Chicago, where nearly 1 in 5 Chicago youth experience violence in a dating relationship.