Worldwide, Lack of Progress in Repealing Misogynistic Laws

A report from Equality Now reveals that, while some governments have effectively repealed laws that are biased against women, many haven’t. Moreover, some governments have, in the past 20 years, adopted more misogynistic laws. The London director of Equality Now has described this trend as “two steps forward, one back.” Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/feb/14/governments-too-slow-to-scrap-laws-biased-against-women-report-says

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Obama Must Confront the Threat of Radical Islam

Ayaan Hirsi Ali discusses that “the Obama Administration has conspicuously avoided any discussion of Islamic theology, even avoiding use of the term radical Islam altogether” in recent summit and discussions.  Read more here: http://time.com/3716061/white-house-barack-obama-isis-recruits-islam/

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Malawi Criminalizes Child Marriage

Malawi raised the minimum age of marriage from 15 to 18. Over half of all girls in Malawi are married before their 18th birthday. While this move will certainly not eradicate child marriage in Malawi, which has one of the biggest child marriage problems in the world, this change is an important step in the empowerment of girls. Read more here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/17/us-malawi-childmarriage-law-idUSKBN0LK1Z020150217

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Pakistani Domestic Violence Victims Face Indifference in the UK

Advocate Onjal Rauf writes that her aunt, a victim of domestic violence, was dismissed by medical and legal professionals before she was murdered by her husband. Rauf explains that racism and pre-conceived notions about Pakistani women contributed to their indifference. The AHA Foundation trains law enforcement in the United States to prevent cases of indifference towards girls from immigrant families who are at risk of honor violence. Read more here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11408535/Asian-women-doctors-assume-domestic-violence-is-normal-for-them.html

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At Least 933 Honor Killings in Pakistan in the Past Two Years

The Pakistani government has released its official figures on honor killings in the past few years. It found that at least 933 women had been murdered. However, rights groups suggest that this number is an underestimation, since so many cases go unreported. Read more here: http://www.clarionproject.org/news/least-933-women-murdered-honor-killings-pakistan

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Kenyan Activist Protects Girls from FGM and Child Marriage

Agnes Pareyio, who underwent Female Genital Mutilation as a child, now works to protect girls who are at risk for FGM and child marriage. She founded the Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative and V-Day Safe House for the Girls. She is working hard to change cultural attitudes towards FGM. Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/09/working-to-stop-fgm_n_6645696.html

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Violence against Women on the Rise, Impeding Girls’ Education

A recent United Nations report indicates that in over 70 countries, violence against women and girls is on the rise and is often meant to prevent girls’ access to education. While this violence is sometimes gang-related, as is the case in El Salvador, it is largely based in radical Islam. The report specifically cites abuses such as acid attacks, abduction, and rape, and explains that perpetrators of this violence abuse girls to prevent them from going to school. Furthermore, these girls are more susceptible to child marriage and trafficking than they would be otherwise. Read more here: http://af.reuters.com/article/sudanNews/idAFL5N0VJ1GR20150209

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Child Marriage Epidemic in Guatemala

Child marriage occurs globally, including in South America. A New York Times exposé offers a glimpse into the child marriage epidemic in Guatemala, with a special focus on the poor, rural region of Petén. Child marriage prevents girls in Guatemala from receiving a proper education, limits their opportunities, crushes their spirits, and frequently costs them their lives. Maternal and infant mortality rates are high and babies are often born premature. Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/02/08/opinion/sunday/exposures-child-bride-mother-stephanie-sinclair.html

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Pope Condemns FGM

Pope Francis described FGM procedures as “degradations” of women, and said that they reflected an objectification of women. He alluded to honor violence and spoke vehemently against violence towards women. Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/02/07/world/europe/07reuters-pope-mutilation.html

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US Improvements in FGM Response

Unlike other Western countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States lacks a clear way to handle FGM. Advocates have long called out for the US to create a system to protect girls at risk of enduring FGM. Recent developments in the US might help significantly. Legislation has been introduced to help put a better system in place. Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/06/fgm-campaigners-call-forstrategy-end-practice-new-report

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