Maiduguri, Nigeria—When Boko Haram militants captured the northeastern Nigerian town of Gwoza in August 2014, 45-year-old Amina Mohammed was still reeling from the loss of her husband. He’d died two years earlier, when militants came to forcibly recruit men from the town of 300,000. The violence in Gwoza had been building for years before Boko Haram declared the town its headquarters.
Today marks four years since ISIS launched their genocidal campaign against the Yezidi community in Sinjar. Since the initial attack in August 2014, thousands of Yezidi women and men have been killed, the community has been forced from their homeland and dispersed around the world, and the fate of over 3,000 Yezidi women and girls enslaved by ISIS remains unknown.
Four years on, the genocide continues and Yezidis are still waiting for any measure of justice or accountability.
Maiduguri, Nigeria—When a group of women came to Maryam Muhammad and offered to pay for her trip from Maiduguri in Nigeria to Saudi Arabia to take part in the Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, she was grateful for their generosity. A single mother of twins, she had no way of supporting her family and had resorted to begging friends and neighbors for money. So she left her children with a friend and accepted their offer. But once in Saudi Arabia, Muhammad was taken to the home of a woman who made her work more than 12 hours a day as a domestic servant.
Over the years, Magistrate Judge Harrison Adika has heard more sexualized violence cases than he can count at courts in Nyeri and Kisumu in central Kenya. But Adika says many defendants facing such charges in his court have walked free for lack of evidence—until recently.
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In Afghanistan, "economic empowerment” is a buzzword of the day, most frequently used by starry-eyed donors and development workers as they implement employment schemes, skill-development programs and community participation initiatives throughout the country, all in the name of gender equality.
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If 19-year-old Rose Alek* could have one wish granted, it would be to complete her education. Following her parents’ death, Alek relocated from her home in South Sudan at the age of 6 with her younger brother, settling in Uganda’s Kyangwali refugee settlement with the help of her aunt. At first, her aunt helped pay for the kids’ primary tuition, but her charity soon ended because, Alek says, “We’re not her kids.”
Rahaf feared going home. Her clothes had been torn, making visible the painful red welts that would turn into eggplant-colored bruises. On her arms and legs, her family and fiance would be able to see the round burn marks where they put out cigarettes on her skin.
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By Lauren Wolfe/Director — May 17, 2017
By Chagmion Antoine
No one should ever have to choose between starving to death and exposure to HIV, however millions of women and children struggling to survive in the drought-stricken countries of southern Africa aren’t being given a choice.
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Bidibidi Camp, Uganda—Grace sits staring vacantly ahead, her hands tightly clasped in her lap. She is 16 years old but has a tiny frame that makes her look no older than 13. Underneath her checkered school dress, a small bump sticks out. In four months’ time, she is due to give birth to her stepfather’s child. He raped her after soldiers attacked her village in South Sudan and her mother ran away to escape the shooting.
By Annie Hylton/Guest Blogger — January 20, 2017
By Lizzie Porter/Guest Blogger — December 22, 2016
When Luna Watfa refused to reveal any information to her interrogators, they took her son, 17, and threatened to torture him. “They put my son’s hands behind his back, his T-shirt over his head, and they took him,” she says.
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By Elspeth Dehnert/Guest Blogger — December 7, 2016
By Shelly Kittleson/Guest Blogger — November 22, 2016
Fallujah, Iraq—Little girls returning to school in Fallujah “have nothing to fear,” said Nahla al-Rawi as a few security officers dusted off a chair for her in the partially rehabilitated main hospital. Al-Rawi, 48, is a member of the Anbar provincial council, which is tasked with inspecting and overseeing public facilities such as schools and hospitals.
By Amanda Sperber/Guest Blogger — November 17, 2016
By Shaista Aziz/Guest Blogger
Maiduguri, Nigeria—Yagna Ibrahim is a woman who has a presence that is difficult to ignore. She strides into the room with grace and confidence, pulls out a chair, and sits down next to her friend and fellow women’s rights activist, Rabia Musa.
In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies the tiny, remote island of Nauru, which has come under scrutiny recently by the media and human rights groups.
By Lauren Wolfe/Director — August 8, 2016
By Priyali Sur/Contributor — June 29, 2016
The woman looked uneasy and uncomfortable as she peered outside her tent into the darkness. All she could see was an empty stretch with a few bushes, where men were taking turns to urinate. There was nothing—no facilities—available for women.