Women's Human Rights
Fernanda Doz Costa, researcher on the Americas, reports from a protest outside a court in Argentina where “Belen” returns after being sentenced to eight years following a miscarriage.
It was cold and grey the morning I arrived outside the courthouse in Tucumán city, northwest Argentina. Inside the court, a judge was delivering his reasons for why a woman known as “Belén” (not her real name) had been jailed after having a miscarriage.
Gradually the pavement where I was began to fill with colour. We were there to protest against Belén's conviction. Around me, flags bore slogans condemning gender discrimination. "This justice system is medieval", read signs amid the unmistakable green scarves of those campaigning for the decriminalization of abortion. There was even a replica "women's prison cell".
When there was no more space on the pavement, demonstrators demanding Belén’s release blocked the road. Meanwhile the street band helped turn the feelings of anger and helplessness that had made us join this protest into an atmosphere of energy and unity.
What do dance, apps, films, standing on a bridge, and a feminist New Year's celebration have in common?
On International Women's Day, they were some of the many ways that Amnesty International activists across Canada celebrated achievements in the global struggle for gender equality and took actions to help create a more just and equal world.
From policy breakthroughs to freedom for courageous women human rights defenders, here are just a few of the ways you’ve defended women’s human rights and helped break down barriers for women and girls:
The statistics tell a sobering tale. Burkina Faso has the 7th highest rate of child marriage in the world. More than half of all women were married before the age of 18 and 10% before age 15. Some girls as young as 11 are forced into marriage. Burkina Faso also has one of the world’s lowest rates ofcontraceptive use – only 17% of women. Many are denied contraception or use it in secret, out of fearof their husbands or in-laws.The end result is that by the time they are 19 years old, most girls are married, and nearly half of them are already mothers. They are raising children when they are still children themselves, in a country withone of the highest rates of maternal death in the world.
TAKE ACTION to end early and forced marriage in Burkina Faso.
International Women’s Day, March 8, is a rallying point for feminists worldwide. Established by the United Nations in 1975, it is a day to celebrate women’s achievements while highlighting remaining gender inequalities. But 41 years later, is it still necessary?
YES! Women and girls may have scaled unimaginable heights in politics, science, arts, sports and business, but gender equality is not yet a reality anywhere in the world. Here are eight reasons why International Women’s Day is still so needed.
By Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexNeveAmnesty
There has been considerable debate recently about the revelations that Ottawa’s Algonquin College (as well as Niagara College in Welland) has reached a lucrative deal to operate a campus in Saudi Arabia that will offer courses to men only.
It puts a third story about Canadian connections to human rights concerns in Saudi Arabia on the public record. That unenviable statistic is, sadly, not at all surprising. Amnesty International released a briefing paper this month in which we documented a sharp deterioration in respect for human rights in Saudi Arabia over the past year, including a serious clampdown on free expression and deeply troubling findings that Saudi forces that have intervened in the conflict in neighbouring Yemen have been responsible for extensive violations, including war crimes.
A new report released today by Statistics Canada shows that Indigenous people are six times more likely than other people in Canada to be murdered.
Amnesty International has long called for systematic, publicly available data on the Aboriginal identity of both the victims and perpetrators of violence. Such data can be crucial to better understand and eliminate violence.
When the first national statistics on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls were released in 2014 by the RCMP ("Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: An National Operational Overview") the data was widely misrepresented and oversimplified in public debate. The numbers show a complex and pervasive pattern of violence against Indigenous women and girls. Amnesty International is still reviewing the data in the latest report, but we feel it is important to emphasize the following:
What is it like to be a refugee in Lebanon? The answer you'll get will be different depending on whether you speak to a women, girl, man, or boy.
Early marriage and street harassment are just a few of the serious issues uniquely faced by refugee women and girls in Lebanon. And because of legal restrictions imposed on Syrian refugees by the Lebanese government, many refugee women and girls feel unable to report threats, harassment, or violence to the police. Refugee women and girls living in Lebanon, especially those in women-led households, are at risk of experiencing human rights abuses.
As part of the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, Amnesty International is sharing the stories of two refugee women living in Lebanon.
Learn more and take action today!
This month’s Amnesty International Book Club pick, Secret Daughter, is a touching story of three women, worlds apart but entwined through circumstance, loss and love. In telling these stories, author Shilpi Somaya Gowda sheds light upon gender discrimination and its shocking impact upon the women whose rights are ignored.
Secret Daughter offers powerful insights into how Indian society values women and girls. In a culture that favors sons, minutes after the birth, Kavita’s husband takes her first born daughter away. Kavita dares not ask what happened to her baby; whether she was drowned, buried or simply left to starve. She only hoped the death came quickly. In the home she shared with her husband’s family she was given scornful glances and uninvited counsel on how to conceive a boy the next time.
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.