Tying the knot: an expression that for most of us evokes happy memories of one of the best days of our lives. However, the fun of planning the wedding and the heady excitement of the first weeks of marriage will not be the experience of 13.5 million girls this year. Instead, fearing threats, and encouraged or coerced into marriage as a means of protection, nearly one-in-three girls in developing countries will marry before the age of 18.

CAIRO — I LOOKED on, astonished, as a man a few yards away told protesters that he would slaughter me.

He spoke resolutely and enthusiastically, and seemed utterly willing to carry out his promise.

The man, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, stood among thousands of stick-waving supporters, their beards long and their faces angry, as they chanted “God is great” and “Down with infidels.” They watched him make the familiar and menacing gesture of tracing his finger across his throat as he said, “We will slaughter Ibrahim Essa.”

 

INTRODUCTION

In some countries, power comes with age, but not in Afghanistan where wholesale denial of rights and opportunities are imposed against women throughout their life spectrum. With a society that supports gender-based oppression and an economy that is held hostage by armed conflict, corruption, weak human resources, and wayward politics, Afghanistan may be the worst place in the world for women to grow old.    

(New York) – Human Rights Watch mourns the death of Sunila Abeysekera, a prominent and highly respected Sri Lankan activist who spent more than two decades documenting human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Abeysekera passed away in Colombo on September 9, 2013, following a long illness.

They continue to live with the realities of ongoing wars and revolutions, discrimination and abuse, but Arab women are finding ways to organise for a better future through sisterhood and trade union solidarity across borders.

Les tunisiennes ont impressionné le monde entier en se levant pour défendre leurs droits en tant que femmes et en tant qu'êtres humains. Epaules contre épaules elle se sont soulevées aux côtés des hommes afin de défendre leur nation pendant la révolution.

When I met them in early June, Abu Nizar, his wife and their three daughters — aged 22, 18 and 14 — were perched on threadbare mattresses in a rundown house in Ramtha, Jordan, where they survive on charity from the local community. Blankets covered the windows to keep out the mid-afternoon heat. Inside, a musty darkness hovered.

As a young Egyptian woman who participated in the revolution and who has been involved with several women’s groups and initiatives that have proliferated during the past two years, I do not wish to talk about how great the participation of Egyptian women was during the revolution, how they were marginalized afterward, or how they faced violence and a setback in political rights and freedoms despite their numerous contributions. These are all issues that I am sure can be addressed by experts in a more holistic and professional way.

Crowd sourced solutions for girls’ access to education.

 

Asha Hagi Elmi is a humanitarian activist, internationally recognised for her work helping to build peace and defend the rights of women in Somalia. Witness journeys with Asha to the refugee camps of Mogadishu, swelled to bursting point in 2011 by tens of thousands of Somalis fleeing drought and the threat of famine.

Asha, her sister Amina and other women from the NGO she founded, Saving Somali Women and Children (SSWC), distribute food, clothing, medical and practical aid, lend an ear to the refugees' stories and, most of all, attempt to restore dignity to the lives of the often traumatised and extremely vulnerable women and children they meet in the camps.

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