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Understanding how crises affect women and men, girls and boys of different ages and disparities is critical to effective humanitarian preparedness and response. Women, girls, boys and men have distinct needs, priorities, responsibilities, limitations and protection needs. They are exposed to differential risks and vulnerabilities but also play unique and important roles in preparedness and in responding to emergencies, conflicts and building peace within their respective communities. Gender equality in humanitarian action is about better targeting and programming and therefore about effectiveness of humanitarian action reaching all segments of the affected population.

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07 Jun 2017 description
report Human Rights Watch

Participation by women even more urgent in light of recent attacks in Kabul

By Heather Barr

Senior Researcher, Women's Rights Division

06 Jul 2016 description
report Human Rights Watch

Sarah Taylor

Last week in Burma’s commercial capital, Rangoon, the Ta-ang Women’s Organization had to cancel the launch of a report because the authorities deemed its subject matter too sensitive. The report, “Trained to Torture,” documents Burmese military abuses perpetrated since 2011, including sexual violence. Venues refused to host the group, and copies of the report were seized by authorities.

19 Dec 2015 description
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17 December 2015: The UN General Assembly today adopted by consensus a resolution which for the first time recognises the distinction between the human right to water and the human right to sanitation.
Amnesty International, WASH United and Human Rights Watch welcome this step and the additional clarification of States’ obligations contained in General Assembly resolution 70/169.

Highlighting the right to sanitation

10 Aug 2015 description
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(Nueva York) – Las Naciones Unidas y los países miembros deberían abordar los problemas que enfrentan las mujeres en situaciones de conflicto armado en todo el mundo, señaló Human Rights Watch en un informe difundido hoy. Este año se cumple el 15.º aniversario de la histórica Resolución 1325 del Consejo de Seguridad sobre las mujeres, la paz y la seguridad, que será debatida por dicho consejo en octubre de 2015.

10 Aug 2015 description
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Il faut faciliter la participation politique et améliorer les services destinés aux victimes de viol

(New York) – Les Nations Unies et les pays membres devraient s’attaquer aux problèmes auxquels les femmes du monde entier sont exposées dans les situations de conflit armé, a déclaré Human Rights Watch dans un rapport publié aujourd’hui. Cette année marque le 15ème anniversaire de la Résolution 1325 du Conseil de sécurité, une résolution historique consacrée aux femmes, à la paix et à la sécurité, qui sera débattue au Conseil de sécurité en octobre 2015.

02 Aug 2015 description
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UN: Act to Empower Women in Conflicts

Enable Political Participation, Improve Services for Rape Victims

(New York) – The United Nations and member countries should tackle problems that women in armed conflict endure around the world, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. This year marks the 15th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325, a landmark resolution on women, peace, and security, which the Security Council will debate in October 2015.

03 Dec 2014 description

Government Accountability and Donor Support for Rights Essential

08 Sep 2014 description
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Somalia: Sexual Abuse by African Union Soldiers
Troop-Contributing Countries, Donors Should Promote Justice for Victims

(Nairobi, September 8, 2014) – Soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have sexually abused and exploited vulnerable Somali women and girls on their bases in Mogadishu, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Troop-contributing countries, the African Union (AU), and donors to AMISOM should urgently address these abuses and strengthen procedures inside Somalia to seek justice.

03 Jul 2014 description
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Syria: War’s Toll on Women

Activists, Others Detained and Abused by All Sides in the Conflict

14 Nov 2012 description
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Colombia: Obstacles to Care for Abused, Displaced Women

Ensure Perpetrators Prosecuted, Health Services for Victims of Rape, Domestic Violence

(Washington, DC) – Colombia’s laws on violence against women are not adequately protecting victims displaced by the armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Approximately two million internally displaced women and girls face high rates of rape and domestic violence. Daunting obstacles impede displaced victims’ access to healthcare, justice, and protection services.

10 Oct 2012 description
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Child Brides Denied Education, Face Violence, Health Catastrophes

(Geneva, October 10, 2012) – As the world celebrates the first International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, 2012, eliminating child marriages should be a key political priority for governments to protect the rights of girls and women, Human Rights Watch said today.

18 Sep 2012 description
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Protect, Don’t Punish Women and Girls Who Flee Forced Marriages, Violence

Kabul, September 19, 2012 – High-level Afghan government officials have for the first time publicly confirmed that it is not a criminal offense for women and girls to “run away” from home, Human Rights Watch said today. The officials also confirmed fleeing violence or running away was not a basis for women’s detention or prosecution.

29 Aug 2012 description
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One Year After Landmark Bill, Harmful Practice Persists

(Erbil, August 29, 2012) – The practice of female genital mutilation continues in the Kurdistan region of Iraq a year after a landmark law banning it went into effect because the Kurdistan Regional Government has not taken steps to implement the law, Human Rights Watch said today. The Family Violence Law, which went into effect on August 11, 2011, includes several provisions to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM), recognized internationally as a form of violence against women.

22 Jun 2012 description

Realizing human rights and achieving sustainable development are inter-dependent and mutually-reinforcing goals. States must ensure that the Outcome Document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development recognizes the centrality of human rights to sustainable development and reaffirms the international human rights framework.

13 Jun 2012 description

Rio + 20: Anchor sustainable development in human rights

World leaders at conference to address need for ‘green economy’

World leaders have a once in a generation chance to create a meaningful link between sustainable development and human rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today in a joint statement targeting Environment and Foreign Affairs ministers gathering in Rio.

20 May 2012 description
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Angola: stop rape, abuse of Congolese migrants

Government Should Rein in Security Forces

(Johannesburg, May 21, 2012) – Angolan security forces frequently abuse irregular migrants during expulsions from Angola, including sexual violence and other degrading and inhuman treatment, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

18 May 2012 description


As heads of state prepare to gather for the NATO summit in Chicago, the undersigned NGOs call on NATO member states and the Afghan Government to prioritize improving the accountability of the Afghan National Security Forces as well as measures to enhance their capability to protect civilians more broadly.

28 Mar 2012 description
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Hundreds of Women, Girls Jailed for ‘Moral Crimes’

Government Should Target Abusers, Not Victims

(Kabul, March 28, 2012) – The Afghan government should release the approximately 400 women and girls imprisoned in Afghanistan for “moral crimes,” Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The United States and other donor countries should press the Afghan government under President Hamid Karzai to end the wrongful imprisonment of women and girls who are crime victims rather than criminals.

20 Mar 2012 description
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Degrading Practice Follows Transfer of Prisons to Interior Ministry

(New York, March 20, 2012) - The Afghan government should immediately end the practice of invasive vaginal searches of women visiting prisoners at Afghanistan’s largest prison, Pul-i-Charkhi in Kabul, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should issue a decree prohibiting invasive searches in any Afghan prison unless absolutely necessary in specific instances.

21 Feb 2012 description
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Somalia: Warring Parties Put Children at Grave Risk
Al-Shabaab Rebels Impose Forced Marriages, use Students as ‘Human Shields’

(London, February 21, 2012) – Somalia’s warring parties have all failed to protect Somali children from the fighting or serving in their forces, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Islamist insurgent group al-Shabaab has increasingly targeted children for recruitment, forced marriage, and rape, and attacked teachers and schools, Human Rights Watch said.