Official statistics point to rape as the fastest growing crime in India, even when compared to murder, robbery and kidnapping. Despite assurances from law enforcement, the federal Home Ministry's National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) states that every 30 minutes an Indian woman is raped. Since 1971 when rape cases were first recorded officially, the NCRB has registered a 678% increase in the crime.
Given the patriarchal mindset sweeping largely across all castes and classes of India, the power imbalance between genders is manifesting in these incidents of rape as acts of sexual, physical and emotional aggression. The fault also can be seen in the inadequacies of law enforcement and legal machinery.
The National Council for Research on Women in partnership with the US National Committee for UNIFEM present Strategic Imperatives for Ending Violence against Women: Linkages to Education, Economic Security and Health June 11-12, 2010 Hunter College, CUNY, West Building, New York City
Hosted By The Women and Gender Studies Program and Roosevelt House, Hunter College, CUNY (City University of New York)
Despite tighter laws and policies, domestic violence is on the rise at all levels of society, according to the Council of Europe, a grouping of 47 nations that promotes human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Its last report in 2006 indicates that 12 to 15 percent of European women above 16 suffer domestic abuse in a relationship.
Across differences in the social and legal environment, women suffer verbal, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, and then live with the consequences - chronic pain, sexually transmitted diseases, eating and sleeping disorders, alcohol abuse, job loss.
Immigrant women and mothers have suffered physical abuse and been shackled during childbirth while in the custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Undocumented immigrant women who enter the jail must await trial behind bars. They are denied bond under state laws and they are also held on a retainer to be turned over to immigration authorities after their cases are resolved.
This has resulted in situations where pregnant women had to give birth in detention, unlike other detainees who can be bailed out. The sheriff's office practice is to shackle pregnant inmates during childbirth.
Although most of the governments in Latin America today are described as progressive, abortion is only legal in one country, while in five countries it is banned under all circumstances, even when the mother's life is at risk. Such laws have simply forced the practice underground, making unsafe abortions the second leading cause of maternal mortality in the region.
There are more than four million illegal abortions a year in the region, linked to over 4,000 avoidable deaths. And in some countries, like Argentina, there are nearly as many abortions as births.
In the view of some analysts, setbacks to or the lack of progress with respect to women's right to choice are the result of a fundamentalist offensive by the Catholic Church to keep Latin America a land free of abortions - legal ones, at least.
Rita Segato sees the negotiation over women's bodies in the criminalisation of abortion as linked to the problem of gender violence in the region, which is "huge" despite the fact that the Americas has the only continent-wide treaty on violence against women.
Submitted by kpeterson on Sun, 03/14/2010 - 12:00pm
The Iraqi refugee crisis is far from over and recent violence is creating further displacement. Iraqi women will resist returning home, even if conditions improve in Iraq, if there is no focus on securing their rights as women and assuring their personal security and their families’ well being.
"The status of women here is linked to the general situation," Maha Sabria, professor of political science at Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad tells IPS. But, she said, "women bear a double burden under occupation because we have lost a lot of freedom because of it.
Sabria tells IPS that the abduction of women "did not exist prior to the occupation. We find that women lost their right to learn and their right to a free and normal life, so Iraqi women are struggling with oppression and denial of all their rights, more than ever before."
Yanar Mohammed believes the constitution neither protects women nor ensures their basic rights. She blames the United States for abdicating its responsibility to help develop a pluralistic democracy in Iraq.
During the 2008 presidential election campaign, then-Senator Hillary Clinton almost shattered the nation's ultimate glass ceiling. After her defeat, she thanked her supporters for putting 18 million cracks into that ceiling.
Now, as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton is bringing new power and prestige to her fight for women's rights. CNN's Jill Dougherty reports on Sec. Clinton's push for women's rights at the State Department.