Naina Lal, 28, is one of a handful of candidates from Pakistan's "transgender" community standing in national and provincial elections on Saturday. Known as "hijra", a catch-all term for transexuals, hermaphrodites and transvestites but usually indicating someone born male identifying as a woman, they have faced discrimination and ridicule for centuries. Living apart, they have traditionally earned a living as dancers, circus performers, sex workers and beggars.

A conference of female Arab scientists has called on policymakers and science organisations to help them network within and between countries and safeguard hard-won women's rights, which they see as under threat in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Stoning is not simply a relic of the past. In fourteen countries around the world, this brutal punishment and form of torture continues to exist in the here and now. Please join the campaign against stoning – give us your support and urge the UN to take action on stoning by signing.

Women who stood shoulder to shoulder with men during the 2011 Tahrir Square protests that brought down Hosni Mubarak found their position in society undermined almost immediately. The parliamentary quota for women was removed without debate and a promised female vice-president failed to materialise, amid what political commentator Moushira Khattab called a "radical anti-feminist sentiment". Morsi threatened but stopped short of decriminalising Egypt's practice of female genital mutilation, carried out on almost three-quarters of Egyptian girls, making it clear he would not tackle an issue he called "a family matter".

FREETOWN, 27 November 2012 (IRIN) - The new government is responding positively to health workers and youth groups who have long called for a change in the 1861 law banning abortion except in exceptional circumstances.

Les autorités afghanes viennent d'annoncer officiellement, pour la première fois, que le fait pour une femme de fuir le foyer n'est pas un crime. Le 16 septembre, le ministre de la Justice et celle des Droits des femmes ont assuré que les Afghanes ayant fui un mariage forcé ou des violences domestiques ne feraient plus l'objet de poursuites. Les forces de police ont reçu des instructions en ce sens.

Over the past four decades, violence against women (VAW) has come to be seen as a violation of human rights and an important concern for social policy. Yet government action remains uneven. Some countries have adopted comprehensive policies to combat VAW, whereas others have been slow to address the problem.

The practice of men marrying underage girls - which has been an accepted social norm for centuries but has been linked in recent years to the spread of HIV - was recently declared illegal in Swaziland.

“I want to make one thing clear: we women in Lebanon are NOT victims. Our tenacity and resilience, which we have gained through our own process of self-empowerment, allow us to continue waging a battle against patriarchy, which exists across the world and in many different religious contexts.”

Un collectif d’associations turques a lancé sur internet la pétition « Say no Abortion ban », « Dites non à l’interdiction de l’avortement ».

En Turquie, l’avortement est légal depuis 1983 jusqu’à 10 semaines de grossesse. Déplorant que le taux de fécondité soit passé de 3,14 enfants par femme en 1980 à 2,11 en 2009, le Premier ministre turc Erdogan incite les couples à avoir « au moins trois enfants ».

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