Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Women's Human Rights

    October 01, 2015

    Connie Greyeyes is a grassroots activist from Fort St. John, a small community in northeastern British Columbia. She volunteers with the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society, started the Women Warriors support group for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and she is one of the founders of the Fort St. John Sisters in Spirit vigil. Connie is a member of Alberta’s Bigstone Cree First Nation.

    Amnesty International caught up with Connie as she was preparing for the Sisters in Spirit vigil scheduled for October 9 in Fort St. John. The vigil is held annually to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and to raise awareness of the issue of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

    September 25, 2015

    Released: 00:01 GMT Saturday 26 September

    The Chinese government must stop repressing female activists if it is serious about advancing women and girls human rights, Amnesty International said ahead of a United Nations meeting of world leaders on gender equality co-hosted by China and UN Women.
    President Xi Jinping is due to chair the meeting on women’s empowerment this Sunday at the UN in New York, despite the Chinese authorities still detaining at least 11 women human rights activists and persecuting scores more since he came to power.

    In the past two years, the Chinese authorities have also shutdown three women’s rights NGOs as part of a wider crackdown against civil society.

    “It is hypocritical of President Xi Jinping to use the world stage to proclaim the importance of women’s human rights while the Chinese authorities continue to throw in jail women fighting for these rights,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.

    September 21, 2015

    By Jackie Hansen, Women’s Rights Campaigner, Amnesty International Canada

    I had great hopes for Thursday night’s Globe and Mail’s debate on Canada’s economy. After media attention surrounding the invisibility of women’s rights and gender equality issues in the federal election debate hosted last month by Maclean’s, and the flurry of media attention shortly thereafter around the failure of all federal political party leaders to agree to participate in a nationally broadcast leader’s debate on these issues, my expectations were high. Women’s rights and gender equality issues were on the radar!

    September 16, 2015

    By Jackie Hansen, Women’s Rights Campaigner, Amnesty International Canada

    In May 2015, Meenakshi Kumari, her 15 year old sister (whom we are not naming because she is a minor), and other family members fled their village in India’s Uttar Pradesh state after an all-male village council ordered them to be raped and paraded naked through the streets as punishment for their brother eloping with a higher-caste woman. Meenakshi took the courageous step of reporting what happened to the authorities, and her case was taken all the way to India's Supreme Court.
     

    Today, the Supreme Court of India recognized the risks to Meenakshi and her family and ordered the Delhi Police to provide the family with protection. But this isn’t over yet. The family must receive justice and reparation, and if they are unable to return to their village they must receive support to rebuild their lives in another community.

    September 16, 2015

    Amnesty International India welcomes orders by the Supreme Court of India that recognize the vulnerability of a Dalit family from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, who fled their village fearing caste-based discrimination and violence.

    On 16 September, the Supreme Court, responding to a petition filed by 23-year old Meenakshi Kumari, directed the Delhi Police to provide the family with protection. The previous day, the Court had assured the family in an in-camera hearing that they would receive full protection.

    Meenakshi Kumari’s petition stated that the family had faced several human rights abuses by dominant caste members, including an order by a khap panchayat- an unelected all-male village body- that she and her 15-year old sister be raped and paraded naked as ‘punishment’ for their brother Ravi Kumar having eloped with a married woman from a dominant caste.  

    “The last few months have been a harrowing time for this family,” said Gopika Bashi, Women’s Rights Researcher, Amnesty International India. “The Supreme Court orders offer hope that they will finally get justice.”

    September 14, 2015
    Amnesty International has been in the news recently for our position on how to protect the human rights of sex workers of all genders (women, men, gender non-conforming). There’s been much confusion and misinformation in the media and on social media. So we wanted to set the record straight. Amnesty International is AGAINST: Human trafficking in all its forms Any sexual exploitation of children Violence and discrimination against sex workers Amnesty International is FOR: Protecting the fundamental human rights of every person on this planet, including sex workers, without discrimination Comprehensive measures to address social and economic inequalities that deny many people choices in how they earn a living Effective programs to support individuals who wish to leave sex work Enforcement of state obligations to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children, including providing support to victims Can you sum up what this is all about and what Amnesty is calling for?
    September 09, 2015

    By Gopika Bashi, Women’s Rights Researcher, Amnesty International India

    On 24 August, Amnesty International India launched a petition regarding two Dalit sisters who had been told they had been ordered to be raped and paraded naked by a khap panchayat - an unelected village council - in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh in northern India, as ‘punishment’ because their brother had eloped with a married woman from a dominant caste.

    Amnesty offices around the world circulated similar petitions, so that our supporters globally would have an opportunity to take action. Over 500,000 people have so far signed these petitions.

    Some media organizations have subsequently released reports which have questioned the petition. Some have said that members of the gram panchayat – the elected village council – and members of the dominant caste have denied the allegations. Others have claimed that Amnesty did not investigate the case.

    Unfortunately, these reports have taken the attention away from the situation of the sisters themselves, who along with their family still fear for their safety.

    August 12, 2015

    One week into Canada’s federal election campaign, party leaders have failed to put women’s rights and gender equality issues up for debate.

    The Up for Debate campaign, led by a broad coalition of 175 organizations, has collected over 50,000 signatures from people across Canada calling for a nationally broadcast leader’s debate on women’s rights and gender equality issues. But lack of a clear commitment from all political party leaders to participate in such a debate has put this plan on ice.

    “During last week’s Maclean’s debate, the word ‘woman’ was only mentioned four times, and there was no discussion of women’s rights or gender equality,” said Kelly Bowden of Oxfam, a spokesperson for the campaign. “Without commitment to a standalone debate, and in the absence of discussion in other debates, life and death issues impacting women and girls in Canada are invisible in the federal election campaign.”

    August 07, 2015

    By Jackie Hansen, Major Campaigns and Women’s Rights Campaigner

    Watch this short video by Up for Debate supporters!

    My number is 0. Zero is the number of times that women’s rights and gender equality were discussed in the Maclean’s debate on August 6, the first federal leader’s debate of the 11 week election campaign.

    Zero is the number of times that ‘human rights’ were mentioned in the two-hour debate.

    The word ‘woman’ was mentioned four times—three times in reference to women and men in the military, and once as a passing reference to a particular woman.

    The debate focused on four thematic areas—the economy, environment, democracy, and foreign affairs/security. What were the missed opportunities to discuss women’s rights and gender equality? Here are some of the questions that could have been explored.

    July 22, 2015
    If you’re a girl in Burkina Faso, chances are your childhood won’t last long. Forced early marriage is common, as is early pregnancy.

    If you’re a woman, you may be denied contraception, simply because you don’t have your husband’s permission. And if you do manage to get contraception, you may be forced to use it in secret for fear of being accused of adultery by your partner or in-laws.

    If you’re a rape survivor, pregnant as a result of that assault, you must pay for your own emergency medical care – something that is out of reach for most victims.

    It’s an unsustainable situation. Burkina Faso’s girls want their childhoods back. Their mothers, aunts and sisters are fed up of being side-lined from the decisions that affect their lives. Stand with them today.

    July 12, 2015

    “A hem-line is not a crime.”  – Sarah Jackson

    The Public Order Police have charged 10 female Christian students with "indecent dress” and subjected them to verbal abuse during their detention. The charge carries the punishment of flogging. Protect Christian women from flogging

    The authorities in Sudan must immediately release 10 women who were arrested in the capital, Khartoum, charged with ‘indecent dress’, and the charges against them should be dropped, said Amnesty International today.

    May 27, 2015

    To mark the International Day of Action for Women’s Health on May 28, Paul Hunt, former UN expert on the right to health, tells us about one special girl who inspired his work.

    About a decade ago, I travelled to the north of Uganda, still a conflict-zone at that time. Accompanied by soldiers, we went off the beaten track to a sprawling, dusty camp for internally displaced people (IDP).

    There I met someone who symbolized the deep injustice that arises when health-rights are denied. About 14 years old, she was sitting outside her small hut where she lived with her family. Some of her limbs were huge and sharply disproportionate to the rest of her body. She was suffering from a severely disfiguring disease called lymphatic filariasis – commonly known as elephantiasis.

    She explained that she went to school but was mocked and bullied. She could not stand the abuse so she left school. This teenage girl was the victim of multiple human rights abuses: of the rights to health, education, and equality.

    May 26, 2015

    Authorities in Papua New Guinea must urgently step up protection for two women accused of “sorcery” whose lives are at imminent risk, Amnesty International said after a mob threatened them and hacked another woman to death last week.

    On 26 May 2015 a group of men in a remote part of Enga province killed a woman identified only by the name Misila, after she had been accused of “sorcery”. The same group targeted two other women during the attack – they were assaulted and briefly held captive in a hut, but released after other villagers heard their screams.

    The three women have been threatened since at least the beginning of the year. In January, local police intervened after the three women and their children received death threats and were accused of using “sorcery”. The police convinced members of the community to withdraw the accusations, but this failed to stop last week’s attack.

    May 03, 2015

    A significant gulf in average wages between women and men. A severe shortage of affordable housing and quality childcare. An economic development model that depends on fly-in workers, labour camps and long shifts away from home that strain family life. Serious problems of drug dependency and alcohol abuse affecting all communities. And persistent gaps in basic services and supports for families, especially single parents.

    One of the fastest growing economies in Canada has drawn young workers and families from across the country to live and work in Fort St. John, BC. It has also created perfect storm conditions both to fuel violence and to deny adequate protection to those at risk.

    Add to this the unresolved legacy of past violations of Indigenous peoples' rights and continued discrimination facing First Nations and Metis persons, and it's not surprising that that we have heard so many moving and indeed shocking stories of sexual assaults and other violent attacks, murders and disappearance of Indigenous women and girls.

    April 29, 2015

    The ‘rescue’ of almost 300 women and girls by Nigeria’s military from Boko Haram is an encouraging development but only a small step in securing the safety of the thousands of women and girls abducted by the armed group since 2014, said Amnesty International today.

    The organization is also calling on the authorities to ensure that the trauma of those ‘rescued’ is not exacerbated by lengthy security screening in detention.

    “This development is just cause for celebration and undoubtedly an immense relief to the women, girls and their families. But this is just the tip of the iceberg; there are thousands more women and girls, and men and boys who have been abducted by Boko Haram,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director, Research and Advocacy.

    The military said they ‘rescued’ the women in an offensive against the armed group in the Sambisa forest area in the north-east.

    Pages

    Subscribe to Women's Human Rights