from Women Around the World

Women This Week: Challenges to Abortion at Home and Abroad

Welcome to “Women Around the World: This Week,” a series that highlights noteworthy news related to women and U.S. foreign policy. This week’s post covers August 27 to September 2. 
The U.S. Supreme Court, photographed the day the Texas six-week abortion ban came into effect.
The U.S. Supreme Court, photographed the day the Texas six-week abortion ban came into effect. Tom Brenner/REUTERS

Access to Abortion Faces Challenges in the United States and Romania 

In the United States, a new state law regulating abortion in Texas came into effect on September 1. The law bans most abortions in Texas after about six weeks and empowers private citizens to sue anyone who assists in providing an abortion. Abortion providers and women’s rights activists say that the new law violates Roe v. Wade. However, the U.S. Supreme Court declined a request to block the law’s initial implementation. In Romania, women’s rights activists claim that anti-abortion advocacy coupled with the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly difficult for women to obtain an abortion; abortions fell by 35 percent in Romania from 2019 to 2020. 

Haitian Petitions for Child Support from UN Peacekeepers Stall in Courts

Eight months after a Haitian court ruled in favor of a mother requesting child support payments from the UN peacekeeper who fathered her child, the father has yet to make a payment. The unprecedented judicial ruling originally sparked hope among Haitian women who gave birth to children fathered by UN peacekeepers, but their cases have stalled in the court system. Some judges may be hesitant to issue rulings against the UN or member states, according to a lawyer working with Haitian mothers. During the 2004 to 2017 United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, UN peacekeepers reportedly fathered hundreds of children, often promising food or money to Haitian women and girls in exchange for sex. Some of the girls were as young as eleven years old.

COVID-19 Global Economic Recovery Is Leaving Women Behind

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Women and Women's Rights

As countries around the world experience varying degrees of economic recovery following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gender gap in employment continues to present a challenge. In Peru, where 25 percent of women exited the workforce during the first phase of the pandemic, women are disproportionately getting jobs in the informal economy. In Thailand, where almost a third of women work in industries particularly affected by the pandemic, the collapse of the tourism industry disproportionately lowered women’s employment. In France, on the other hand, a robust social safety net helped narrow the gender gap in employment; in fact, the gap is the lowest in ten years.

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Women and Women's Rights