Saturday, August 1, 2009

IN THE NEWS: Gender Equality

By Piper Hendricks, International Justice Project Director

When things happen in sets of 3, I tend to take notice. So when, in the past few days, I came across three matters addressing the human rights of women, I thought I'd pass word along to our readers:

1) Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter wrote a thought-provoking piece for The Age, an Australian site, in which he discusses how often religions are twisted to justify disparate treatment of women. (And I use the word "disparate" to keep this a G-rated post.) You can find his article here.

2) Exhibit A to support Carter's article: Sudanese female journalist Lubna Hussein has taken a brave stand for women's rights in one of Africa's most conservative nations. Her crime? Wearing pants instead of a dress. What makes her even more amazing is that she was willing to step down from her UN post (and thus waive immunity) in order to challenge the public dress code law at issue. Amazing. To give you a sense of how "noble" the police are who enforce this law, I've excerpted a bit of a report from the UK:

Like many other women in the capital, Mrs Hussein fell foul of Sudan's Public Order Police, hated groups of young puritans employed by the government to crack down on illegal drinkers of alcohol and women who, in their view, are insufficiently demure. Despite their claims of moral superiority, [the Police] have a reputation for dishonesty and for demanding sexual favours from women they arrest.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

3) The Center for Reproductive Rights issued "Defending Human Rights," its first fact-finding report on the United States. The report discusses the many challenges doctors and clinics providing abortions face and recognizes that these providers are human rights defenders who persevere despite threats to their personal safety, their reputations, and their economic well-being. The report is available on CRR's website.


  1. Really cool stuff here--President Carter's essay is powerful and empowering. Thanks for mentioning it!

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