All posts tagged: Rights

HIV/AIDS Prevention Starts with Combating Gender Inequality

Written by: Hayley Trinh, Communications and Development Intern, Education for Equality International Since the first known case of HIV in India was diagnosed in 1986, the number of people infected with the virus has continued to grow. According the most recent UNAIDS Gap Report, India has the third-highest number of people living with HIV in the world, with 2.1 million Indians accounting for four of every 10 people infected in Asia. Rajasthan, where EEI’s girls’ education and empowerment efforts are currently focused, is considered a low prevalence state by National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), but the population is considered highly vulnerable because of its high percentage of migrant labor. People from Rajasthan migrate to high prevalence states like Maharashtra and Gujarat and return with the disease. Rajasthan also accounts for 19% of all mines in India, employing over 500,000 workers, many of them are from other states. The situation in the state has become critical due to increase of traffic on national highways, tourists, and laborers coming in search for jobs. Due to its large …

What We Need to Know About HIV & Adolescent Girls

The term ‘adolescent girls’ encompasses, in theory, all those aged 10-24. In reality, the lower section of that age bracket – the 10-19 year olds specifically – receive the least attention and are therefore the least comprehensively catered for when it comes to HIV/AIDS information and services. So what do we know? There is no country in the world where we don’t have adolescents living with HIV, and adolescent girls remain disproportionately affected. There are 990,000 girls between 10-19 years old living with HIV globally. For boys of the same age, that figure drops to 770, 000. Every hour, 26 adolescents are infected with HIV – two thirds of these are girls. Adolescent AIDS-related deaths are increasing. Very young adolescents are generally overlooked, since at this age they face a relatively low burden of disease. However, 10-14 is a critical life phase for shaping future health and development. And what don’t we know? There are HUGE differences between 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 year old girls, but we don’t have data that represents those differences by being divided up into …

Liberty and Justice for All

Post written by: Alicia Weigel I believe all people should feel empowered to make their own decisions. I believe all people should have access to health and safety as basic human rights. I believe all women have a right to life. I believe all women must be treated as full members of society. Most feminists would agree with the above statements. Replace “women” with a more specific subgroup, however, and the statements become problematic. I believe all sex workers should feel empowered to make their own decisions. I believe all sex workers should have access to health and safety as basic human rights. I believe all sex workers have a right to life. I believe all sex workers must be treated as full members of society. Although not all sex workers are women, this community includes some of the most marginalized women on our planet. Many face legal repercussions for their line of work in places where it is defined as criminal behavior. They all face stigma in their daily lives, preventing them from accessing sufficient healthcare. Regardless …

Finding Perspective on World Water Day

Post Written by Jennifer Iacovelli Three weeks after I realized my marriage was ending, I traveled to Nicaragua with WaterAid on an insight trip representing Mom Bloggers for Social Good. We visited the most remote areas of the country to see the work that WaterAid was doing with communities lacking clean water access and basic sanitation. It was a life-changing experience that allowed me to gain a tremendous amount of perspective. I met women and teens who were trained by WaterAid to build wells and toilets for their communities. These were women whose husbands were typically away during the week working in the city, and teen girls who missed a tremendous amount of school, if they went at all, because of their household responsibilities. Fetching water from the river took up valuable time that they could have used to work or go to school. The training allowed them to not only gain valuable skills and earn money, but it also empowered them to become leaders in their community. A few of the women even got …

Boys in the GIRL4ce Movement

Written By: Sarah Otto, Help Lesotho Intern 2016 The International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign theme for 2016, #PledgeForParity, means that, “Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step in achieving gender parity more quickly.” It is important to note that the IWD campaign highlights both men and women when they speak of taking the pledge, because gender equity will take the investment of both genders for it to become a reality. As an intern with the Canadian organization , Help Lesotho, in Lesotho, one of the first projects I experienced was the ‘GIRL4ce Movement (ie. Girl-force). The GIRL4ce Movement is doing its part in the fight for gender equity by engaging girls, boys, women and men on the issues of child, early and forced marriages (CEFM), girls’ rights, and sexual and gender-based violence. The GIRL4ce Movement empowers communities to address these issues by bringing awareness to the laws that affect CEFM so that community members can become advocates for themselves, and for girls and women. In Lesotho, CEFM is still a common practice and …

Assisted Reproduction for Single Women in Sweden

As of April 1, it will be legal for single women in Sweden to receive assisted reproduction. On January 13, 2016, the Swedish parliament accepted a government bill to give single women the right to assisted reproduction. This is, in many ways, a historical day since the Swedish state will give single women the same opportunity to become parents as married couples and registered partners. Out of the 349 members in the Swedish parliament, 218 voted yes, 40 opposed the bill, and 13 abstained their votes.  Of the eight parliament parties, the Swedish Democrats and the Christian Democrats opposed the law. Since 2005, the Swedish state has allowed lesbian couples to receive assisted reproduction and gay couples to adopt. Many have been arguing that Sweden -as one of the world’s leading countries concerning gender equality and minority rights- should allow single women to undergo artificial insemination as well. The Centre party, the Liberals, and the Moderates advocate for single women to have access to artificial insemination. The three parties state: “We are convinced that people’s fitness to be parents is not …

An Equal World is a Better World – Don’t Leave Anyone Behind

Tomorrow, Girls’ Globe is celebrating International Women’s Day under the slogan “An equal world is a better world – don’t leave anyone behind.” Through this theme we want to highlight the fact that a world where all gender are treated equally and afforded the same rights and opportunities is not only in the best interest of women and girls, but in fact benefits everyone. While women and girls continue to face the bulk of the negative consequences of gender based discrimination, such discrimination and gender stereotypes are also harmful to boys and men, and women’s inability to reach their full potential and participate in the development, and growth of their societies slows down and negatively impacts progress and well-being for everyone. We also want to bring attention to the inhumane and unbearable situation facing thousands of refugee women and their families, who find themselves stranded in between borders while fleeing horrible situations in their home countries, but are unable to find refuge in Europe as more and more nations are closing their doors at the face …

Ending Child Marriage and FGM Saves Lives and Money

This post is co-written by: Rachel, Policy Associate and Salma, Egypt Fellow Around the world, women’s and girls’ value as human beings is all too often based largely upon their sexuality, rather than their personal and societal contributions. Disproportionately, girls around the world are pulled out of school, restricted in terms of where and how they can get around and with who whom they are allowed to speak. Many are forced into unwanted marriages. One of the most profound ways girls are affected is they’re often forced to undergo what is known as Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). FGM/C is a type of surgery performed on young girls – in a misguided effort – to “preserve their purity.” This surgery can cause irreparable harm to girls’ health and, in some cases, can be deadly. Take, for example, Sohier Al-Batea, a 13-year old Egyptian girl, who died in 2013 after a trained and licensed medical doctor cut away parts of her external genitalia as part of a FGM/C surgery. Though universally considered a human rights violation, FGM/C …

A Global Problem: Visualization of FGM Around the World

FGM has a reputation of being a rare and remote practice, inflicted on only girls in the poorest communities in the most underdeveloped countries. L ittle surprise. Given the brutality and futility of the practice, it is difficult to imagine that it would persist long if girls, women and their communities were given alternatives. Yet, FGM does persist in great numbers. And most people are surprised to learn that although it is concentrated in Africa, it is also seen in the Middle East, Europe, North America and South America, with unconfirmed reports in other countries. A brief overview of FGM globally shows the scope of the problem. This month’s stand against FGM needs to be truly international to ensure all girls and women, regardless of country, regardless of community, are protected from cutting, burning and scarring, both physically and psychologically. Check out this interactive map which gives a broad scope of the issue around the world.   Cover Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond, Flickr Creative Commons

The One-Child Policy: How Ending It Affects Sex Imbalance in China

By Beverly Hill, Founder & President of the Gendercide Awareness Project By terminating the one-child-only policy, China enacted one of two measures needed to correct its most acute women’s problem — the strong preference for male offspring that has led to highly abnormal sex ratios. The second measure — committing resources to boost the status of women and enforce anti-discrimination laws — has yet to be implemented. Without this second plank, China’s sex ratio will improve but almost certainly fail to normalize. Earlier this month, China hosted a United Nations summit to improve the status of women worldwide, indicating its desire to lead in women’s rights. Hopefully, China will honor its rhetoric with strong support for women at home. The new initiatives invite an assessment of China’s efforts to reduce its sex imbalance. In 2011, the United Nations Population Fund reported that ten percent of the female population in China is demographically “missing,” and that fourteen percent of girls aged zero to twenty are missing. This news came in the context of a determination that, …