Women

Must Read

Guardian: Human rights before religion

Author: Seyran Ates

Seyran Ates, a practicing Muslim, charges that  Germany has been downplaying human rights--and women's rights in particular--in an effort to remain politically correct with respect to religious practices.

See more in Europe; Religion; Women

Other Report

Economic and Political Development Trip Report: Tamara Cofman Wittes and Isobel Coleman

Authors: Isobel Coleman and Tamara Cofman Wittes

In February, Tamara Cofman Wittes and Isobel Coleman met with business leaders, academics, journalists, and civic activists in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Among Wittes and Coleman's key findings are that many Saudis welcomed the emergence of a more open atmosphere, pointing to King Abdullah's ascension to the throne, dynamism in neighboring Gulf states, and a new "post-post-9/11" environment as key catalysts for the change. Yet, there was frustration at the unpredictability and arbitrariness of the newly expanded social and political space. The next U.S. administration may have a new, but narrow, window of opportunity to reintroduce itself to Saudi Arabia. Many Saudis argued for the creation of a deeper, multi-dimensional relationship between both countries that engages civil society, not just the government and business sectors.

See more in Saudi Arabia; Women

Primary Sources

Japanese Government Policy on the Issue Known as "Comfort Women," April 2007

From 1991 to 1992, the Japanese government conducted research about the trafficking of sex slaves (known as "comfort women") in Japan during World War II. After the study, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono acknowledged the involvement of the Japanese military in establishing "comfort stations" and the Asian Women's Fund was established to redress victims in Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia. This policy from 2007 details Japan's actions to address human rights issues and learn from history. On June 20, 2014, more details were released about information exchanged between Japan and South Korea during the study and about Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono's statement.

See more in Human Trafficking; Japan; Women

Must Read

AI: ‘No one to help them’: Rape extends from Darfur into eastern Chad

In this report Amnesty International says that thousands of women have been raped in Sudan and Chad since the armed conflict began in Darfur in 2003. There have certainly been thousands. The names of 250 women who had been raped, and harrowing information about their cases, were recorded by Amnesty International on a 10-day visit to just three refugee camps in Chad in 2004. Recent months have seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of rapes as Darfur has been plunged into new fighting. In just one camp in Darfur, Kalma camp, the International Rescue Committee reported that rapes of women rose from under four to 200 a month during five weeks in July and August 2006. Overall, despite  the presence of an African Union peacekeeping force (African Union Mission in Sudan, AMIS) and international awareness of what is happening in Darfur, in 2006 rapes and other violence against women and girls have increased, not diminished.

See more in Sudan; Chad; Women; Peacekeeping

Must Read

SSI: Iraq, Women’s Empowerment, and Public Policy

Author: Sherifa D. Zuhur

Strategic Studies Institute report on the empowerment of women in post-Saddam Iraq. It identifies security and economic obstacles to change, and says that women's rights depend heavily on local interpretations of personal status, penal, and other legal codes.

See more in Iraq; Women