Two years after an earthquake devastated Haiti, a report detailing the impact of sexual exploitation on displaced Haitian women and girls has been released. The report is authored by MADRE, the Commission of Women Victims for Victims (KOFAVIV), the International Women’s Human Rights (IWHR) Clinic at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law (GJC) and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College of the Law (CGRS).
The drastic increase in sexual violence in displacement camps has been well documented since the disaster. But another face of the epidemic has emerged as a pressing issue: the sexual exploitation of displaced women and girls.
Too many vulnerable foreign national women are locked up for non-violent crimes and have often been trafficked or coerced into offending, according to a briefing by the Prison Reform Trust and the charity FPWP Hibiscus.
Women from foreign countries are one of the fastest growing groups in the female prison population and represent one in seven of all the women held in custody in England and Wales. Drawing on the experience and work of Hibiscus with foreign national women in prison and kindly supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, the briefingreveals that coercion, intimidation, misinformation and threats are frequent factors behind the offending of this group.
This report presents initial results based on interviews with 24 000 women by carefully trained interviewers. The study was implemented by WHO, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), PATH, USA, research institutions and women's organizations in the participating countries. This report covers 15 sites and 10 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Peru, Namibia, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Report findings document the prevalence of intimate partner violence and its association with women's physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health. Data is included on non-partner violence, sexual abuse during childhood and forced first sexual experience. Information is also provided on women’s responses: Whom do women turn to and whom do they tell about the violence in their lives? Do they leave or fight back? Which services do they use and what response do they get?
The joint OBJECT / Turn Your Back on Page 3 submission provides a snapshot of „A Week In The Life Of' The Sun, The Daily Star and The Sport. It highlights the „Page 3‟ phenomenon, the adverts for the porn and sex industries, and other innumerable ways in which women – and even crimes against women, such as rape and murder – are routinely trivialised and sexualised within the UK press. It calls on the Leveson Inquiry to address this relentless portrayal of women as sex objects as part of its remit to examine the culture and ethics of the press, and it provides recommendations to tackle the hyper-sexualisation and objectification of women in UK tabloids.
In August 2010, The Chicago Council announced an initiative to bring attention to the role of girls in rural economies of developing countries and identify opportunities to increase investment in women and girls as a tool for economic growth and social stability. Catherine Bertini, currently a Chicago Council senior fellow and Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, served as chair of the project.
That Delhi is India's rape capital is a fact repeatedly stressed by crime statistics, but recent studies show safer streets could help to make the city safer for women. Research by Jagori, with the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, shows that wider pavements offer women more manoeuvring room when challenged.
Another survey showed 42% women were harassed while waiting for public transport. "We have suggested sites for hawkers near bus stops to ensure these areas are not isolated," says Kalpana Viswanath of Gender Inclusive Cities Programme.
The latest official crime statistics confirms what everybody know s about Delhi: that it is India's rape capital. But recent studies show that by tweaking urban design and infrastructure - something as simple as ensuring wider pavements and closing cigarette shops near busstops - could make Delhi safer for women. Other measures, like ensuring safer public transport and busy streets, could come later.
Recall recurring incidents of women being pulled into moving cars and stalked on streets, where wider pavements could offer women an escape route. When women are confronted by a group of men walking towards them on a narrow pavement, they often step onto the road to escape being brushed past, leaving them vulnerable to passing cars and men on two-wheelers. Wider pavements would offer more room to manoeuvre.
Research by Jagori, an organization studying gender and space in Delhi, along with the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, shows that women feel unsafe and have repeatedly reported incidents of sexual harassment on the dug-up, poorly-lit pavements around Delhi University (North Campus). The result: women do not stay late in the library or laboratories, even though these facilities are open in the evening. Improving the infrastructure around the campus would automatically ensure women access these resources.
The Tahirih Justice Center released the results of our groundbreaking national survey on the state of forced marriage in the United States. The survey is the first of its kind conducted in the United States and designed to understand the scope and nature of forced marriage among immigrant communities. Newsweek magazine has reported on the survey results in this week’s edition (click here to read the full article) and the full survey report can be read on Tahirih’s website (click here to read full report).
Women in Sri Lanka’s predominantly Tamil-speaking north and east are facing a desperate lack of security in the aftermath of the long civil war. Today many still live in fear of violence from various sources. Those who fall victim to it have little means of redress. Women’s economic security is precarious, and their physical mobility is limited. The heavily militarised and centralised control of the north and east – with almost exclusively male, Sinhalese security forces – raises particular problems for women there in terms of their safety, sense of security and ability to access assistance. They have little control over their lives and no reliable institutions to turn to. The government has mostly dismissed women’s security issues and exacerbated fears, especially in the north and east. The international community has failed to appreciate and respond effectively to the challenges faced by women and girls in the former war zone.
Welcome to the front lines of the fight to stop child marriage in a country where nearly half of all girls wed before age 18. The weapon of choice: cash.
Lado is part of an innovative program called Apni Beti Apni Dhan, or Our Daughters, Our Wealth. Launched in 1994 by the northern state of Haryana, the program gives poor families 500 rupees ($11, the equivalent of less than half a week’s pay) when a daughter is born, and also deposits money into a savings account. If the girl turns 18 unwed, she is eligible to redeem the bond, worth 25,000 rupees (roughly $500, or one third of an average yearly income). The earliest of the program’s approximately 150,000 enrollees turn 18 next year, offering a rare chance to study whether the program offers a solution other states—and countries—can use.
Whether it can be tied directly to Apni Beti or not, child marriage is on the decline in Haryana, which saw an 18 percent drop in the practice between 1992 and 2006. Haryana community workers say that thus far none of the program’s beneficiaries have been married off by their parents, who know of the program’s promised payout. The girls must sign for the bond, but it is likely their parents will have control of it because of social norms, and most of the girls say they want their parents to use it for their education anyway.
This 93-page report is based on more than 120 interviews conducted in six provinces. Human Rights Watch found that lesbians and transgender men face extensive discrimination and violence in their daily lives, both from private individuals and government officials. The abusers of people known or assumed to be lesbian, bisexual, or transgender act with near-total impunity, Human Rights Watch found.