Saudi Arabia’s Specialised Criminal Court has sentenced Saudi women’s rights defender Loujain Al-Hathloul to five years and eight months in prison.

Having already spent 958 days in detention by the time her trial ended, Loujain’s sentence includes a suspension of two years and ten months in addition to the time already served since May 2018, meaning her release should be scheduled for March 2021. Loujain is also required to serve three years of probation — during which she could be arrested for any perceived illegal activity — and will be placed on a five-year travel ban.

A leading figure of…


“She was a Valmiki like us, from a landless and poor family like ours. They raped her, brutalised her and when she died, they burnt her body without the consent of her family. And even after all of that, they would not allow her family to talk about it and threaten them to keep quiet.

“This is exactly what I and my family have experienced and what we continue to go through. The only exception is that I am still alive,” Shabnam says in Hindi. The 19-year-old young woman eventually died of her injuries.

But just like her, Shabnam also…


The theme for Human Rights Day 2020 focuses on the impact of COVID-19 and the need to address failures exposed and exploited by the global pandemic. Women are being disproportionately impacted in a myriad of ways, and in countries ruled by repressive regimes, governments are using the crisis as an opportunity to clamp down on women’s rights and silence opposition.

One such country is Zimbabwe, where there are serious concerns about the mistreatment by the government of human rights defenders Cecilia Chimbiri, Netsai Marova, and Joana Mamombe.

The women were arrested in May after attending a peaceful protest to express…


Mala Mala Puerto Rican documentary film, directed by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles

In honor of Pride Month, international women’s rights organization Equality Now has rounded up of recommendations from our staff and supporters of books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts, that act as a megaphone for LGBTQ+ rights.

Books

The Paths of Marriage by Mala Kumar Lakshmi, a bright student who grew up in poverty, marries and immigrates to the United States from India to provide a better life for herself and her family. Clinging to her cultural realities, she forces her American daughter, Pooja, into an arranged marriage, creating a rift of resentment. Pooja’s daughter, Deepa, is an out lesbian to…


By Tsitsi Matekaire, Global Lead for Equality Now’s End Sex Trafficking program

In Malawi, Mary* was only 14 years old when she was recruited and trafficked to the city of Blantyre and sold for sex in a bar. A man had arrived in her village looking for girls to work as domestic helpers for families. He appeared genuine and for Mary — and many girls who are out of school and living in poverty — this seemed a way out and a chance to earn money to support her family. …


Jenny, who underwent Female Genital Mutilation as a five-year-old in the United States

Born and raised in a conservative, white household in the United States, Jenny was five years old when her parents arranged for her and her sister to undergo Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a harmful practice involving the partial or complete removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 513,000 women and girls in the United States who have experienced or are at risk of FGM. It is commonly viewed as something that happens amongst specific diaspora populations. Much less is known about FGM occurring in local, Christian communities.

Here Jenny shares her story in her own words:


Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) is happening in far more countries around the world than widely acknowledged, and the number of women and girls who are affected is woefully underestimated, finds a new global report.

FGM/C is occurring in at least 92 countries, but only 51 (55%) have specific legislation against the practice, leaving millions without adequate legal protection.

The End FGM European Network, US Network to End FGM/C, and Equality Now have partnered to produce the report ‘Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Call for a Global Response’, bringing together for the first time wide-ranging information on FGM/C in countries…


A new report by Equality Now highlights laws in countries around the world that discriminate on the basis of sex and treat women and girls as second class citizens.

Almost every country in the world is failing to live up to the pledges they have made to eradicate explicitly sex discriminatory laws, finds research by legal experts. Only eight countries have achieved legal equality, meaning billions of women and girls still do not enjoy the same rights as their male counterparts.

As the international community gears up to observe International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8, women’s rights organization Equality…


International Women’s Day is just around the corner on March 8, 2020. This is a day to celebrate strides made towards gender equality, to raise awareness against gender bias and to take action and further the human rights of women and girls.

Equality is not just a women’s issue, it is also a business issue and Equality Now is proud to partner with businesses and companies that put women at the core of their mission. These companies not only support the work of Equality Now, but they also promote values of inclusivity, transparency and equality.

As we all come together…


West Africa’s top court orders Sierra Leone to revoke a ban on pregnant girls in school, ruling it’s a discriminatory violation of the right to equal education.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice has found that the government of Sierra Leone breached the right of pregnant girls to education by prohibiting them from accessing school.

In a succinct and powerful judgement, the Court found that the Government had not only put in place a discriminatory policy barring pregnant girls from school but had also failed to put in place measures to reduce teenage pregnancies in line with the National Strategy for the Reduction of Teen Pregnancies, which was adopted after the civil war.

The Court found that the Government had discriminated against…

Equality Now

Stand With Us to Create a Just World for Women and Girls! Twitter: @equalitynow

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