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Women's Human Rights

    June 23, 2014
    Meriam Ibrahim was released from Omdurman Woman’s Prison today after an appeal court found her not guilty of the charges of 'apostasy' and 'adultery'.© AFP/Getty Images

    Today’s release of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Christian Sudanese woman sentenced to death by hanging for ‘apostasy’ and to flogging for ‘adultery’, is a step towards undoing the horrific injustice visited on her, said Amnesty International today.
     

    June 13, 2014
    By Adotei Akwei. Johanna Lee contributed to this post. Originally published by AIUSA.  

    In mid-April, Islamist armed group Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls aged 15-18 from the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria. The abductions triggered outrage, protests and a social media campaign criticizing the response of the Nigerian authorities and demanding a major effort to secure the freedom of the girls.

    Yet, almost two months later, little, if any, progress has been made in freeing the kidnapped girls and the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and his security forces have failed to communicate a plan or even convince the families of the girls that they are doing all that they can to get the girls released.

    June 09, 2014

    World leaders must take concrete action to end sexual and gender-based violence in conflict during a landmark summit this week hosted by UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and UK Foreign Minister William Hague, Amnesty International said.

     The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict will be attended by government ministers from around the world, civil society experts and survivors. It is the largest gathering ever on the issue.

    “William Hague and Angelina Jolie have shown great leadership in bringing the world’s governments together to discuss one of the most pressing human rights issues of our time - this historic moment must not be squandered,” said Stephanie Barbour, head of Amnesty International’s Centre for International Justice.

    “States must seize this opportunity to commit to action to prevent sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, to investigate and punish it effectively and to give survivors reparation, protection and support.”

    Participating states are asked to sign up to and implement a comprehensive action plan for ending the human rights violation.

    June 02, 2014

    By Jackie Hansen, Women’s rights campaigner

    Meriam Yehya Ibrahim is a Sudanese citizen sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging. She was convicted by a Sudanese court for marrying someone supposedly of another faith and for refusing to renounce her faith. In Sudan, a Christian cannot marry a Muslim. Meriam’s mother is Christian and her father is Muslim. She was raised in the Christian faith. Because her father is Muslim, the Sudanese government considers Meriam to be Muslim and therefore will not recognize her marriage to a Christian.

    So is Meriam’s case all about freedom of religion?

    In part. But Meriam’s case is really about being a woman.

    May 30, 2014

    The gang-rape and murder of two teenage Dalit girls in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh is a gruesome reminder of the violence that Dalit women and girls face in India, Amnesty International India said today.

    The girls - aged 14 and 16 – went missing on the night of 27 May. They had gone to a field to relieve themselves because they did not have access to a toilet at home. The father of one of the girls says he sought the help of the local police to find them, but the policemen on duty refused to register or investigate the complaint and slapped him instead. The next morning, the bodies of the girls were found hanging from a tree near their houses. Autopsies indicate that both girls had been gang-raped and strangled.

    The police have arrested two men from a dominant caste on suspicion of being involved in the gang-rape and murder, and are searching for more suspects. A police constable has been suspended for dereliction of duty, and another arrested.

    May 28, 2014

    By Jackie Hansen, Women’s rights campaigner

    Canada pledged $2.85 billion from 2010-2015 to reduce maternal and infant mortality in the global South as part of the G8’s Muskoka Initiative. This week, Canada has invited world leaders, the UN, and civil society to Toronto for the “Saving Every Woman Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach” summit on maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) to explore the impact of the Muskoka Initiative and chart the path forward.

    Back in 2010 when the Muskoka Initiative funding was first announced, Amnesty International, along with other organizations, was critical of the initiative for excluding support and funding for safe abortion services. Amnesty International’s research shows that to reduce maternal mortality rates, women must have access to a full range of sexual and reproductive services.

    May 12, 2014
    Members of civil society groups sit to protest the abduction of Chibok school girls during a rally pressing for the girls’ release in Abuja on May 6, 2014

    by Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary General

    On Friday night, Nigerian information minister Labaran Maku went on the radio to denounce evidence obtained by Amnesty International which, we had said, showed the Nigerian security forces received advance warning of the impending Boko Haram attack on Chibok but failed to act on it. Other officials said they doubted “the veracity” of the revelations. The defence ministry described them as “unfortunate and untrue”.

    Later, though, the government softened its position. Musiliu Olatunde Obanikoro, the country’s minister of state for defence, told CNN that “we must investigate and ensure we get to the root of it”.

    As well he might, because we stand by our evidence.

    May 05, 2014
    Nigerians attend a demonstration to demand government to rescue schoolgirls abducted by suspected Boko Haram militants two weeks ago
    By Adotei Akwei, Guest Writer - originally published on Amnesty USA Blog.

     

    On April 14, 234 school girls between the ages of 16 and 18 were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok in Northern Nigeria by the Islamist armed group Boko Haram.

    Boko Haram, which is opposed to any form of western education, has waged a brutal insurgency destabilizing different states in the northern part of the country at various points since 2009 with bombs, attacks on schools and the killings of thousands of individuals. Amnesty estimates that 2,300 people have died as a result of the armed conflict since 2010, with 1,500 being killed between January and March of 2014 alone.

    April 09, 2014

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

    "Our health, our bodies, our rights, our future—in your hands now” is the message that Amnesty International sent to United Nations Secretary-General Ban-Ki-Moon during a handover of 281,102 petition signatures in New York today.

    I like to think that my body and my health are in my own hands, thank you very much. My grandmother and my mother fought hard to make sure that I could grow up in a world where I can receive information about family planning, where getting married is a choice, and where I am in control about making decisions about my sexuality and reproduction.

    But much as I like to think that I am the sole master of my destiny, I have spent enough time in the halls of the United Nations to know better. This week, governments from around the world have come together at the United Nations in New York at the 47th Session of the Commission on Population and Development. Throughout this week they will talk about big global issues like young people’s access to comprehensive sexuality education, and the many ways and forms in which people create families. They will leave New York with agreement on a document that will re-affirm the rights that we have to make decisions about our sexuality and reproduction. And that is no small thing.

    March 05, 2014

    The health and lives of millions of people across the globe are being threatened by government failures to guarantee their sexual and reproductive rights, Amnesty International said today  in advance of International Women’s Day, which will be celebrated throughout the world on 8 March.

    March 03, 2014

    On March 8, Amnesty International supporters around the world will be taking “selfies” (photos of yourself that you take yourself, generally on a cellular phone) with messages about the My Body My Rights campaign and posting them to a social media website. The collage created with everyone’s photos will show the groundswell of support for the protection of sexual and reproductive rights and women’s rights more broadly.

     

    March 03, 2014

    Everyday millions of women and girls around the world are denied access to sexual and reproductive health services and education that they need to live a safe and healthy life.

    Amnesty International wants all women and girls around the world to have what we have here in Canada—the freedom to make informed choices about our bodies and our lives and access a full range of sexual and reproductive health services. Women who benefit from Canada’s overseas development assistance should be able to access the same services as women in Canada. Send the message to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird that human rights belong to everyBODY!

    1. Find a piece of fabric, canvas, vinyl, or plastic that is larger than life (literally!). In this example we used a dollar store table cloth. You could use an old shawl, sheet, tablecloth, or fabric representing your cultural heritage.

    March 03, 2014
    We want human rights for everyBODY!

    Did you know that…

    1. You have the right to choose your partner.
    2. You have the right to choose if, or when, you have children.
    3. You have the right to know and learn about your body, sexual health and relationships.
    4. You have the right to sexual and reproductive health services – including contraception.
    5. You have the right to live free from rape and sexual violence.

     

    February 24, 2014

    Four members of the armed forces, accused of torture and sexual violence against two women in Mexico, have been detained to stand trial.

    Since 2002, Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú have been fighting for justice against the Mexican soldiers who raped them in separate attacks.

    Following the failure of an original trial conducted through the military courts, Ines and Valentina appealed to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR).

    In August 2010, the IACtHR issued two judgements against Mexico and ordered a full civilian investigation, as well as reparations and reforms to the military justice system.

    Over three years later the Government has finally brought the accused to trial. This represents a huge step towards achieving justice for the two women.

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