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South Sudan: Contraceptives give women the right to choose

November 14, 2012

JUBA - Cut off from development by five decades of civil war, South Sudan has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world and high levels of infant mortality and morbidity. Large families struggle to get by in the war-ravaged new nation.

With the help of aid agencies providing family planning services to bolster a fledgling healthcare system, women and families are starting to choose life for the first time.

Gambia: Justice prevails in a two year-long judicial harassment case against two women human rights defenders

November 15, 2012

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), welcomes the vindication of two women humanrights defenders in The Gambia following two years of judicial harassment.

Libya: Gaddafi 'raped and kidnapeed schoolgirls to serve him as sex slaves between checking emails

September 23, 2012

Colonel Gaddafi beat and raped kidnapped schoolgirls he used as sex slaves in between checking his emails, according to a new book.

French reporter Annick Cojean gathered horrific accounts from the girls forced into the former Libyan dictator's harem for the account published last week.

One victim, named as Soraya, was 15 when she was abducted in 2004 by the late tyrant's 'talent scouts' after she was chosen to give him a bouquet when he visited her school.

Rwanda: Preventing Violence Against Women

October 22, 2012

A multi-country study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that up to 71 percent of women aged 15 to 49 reported physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Violence against women commonly becomes a vicious cycle in families thus creating generational dysfunction and disease. The complete social framework of society is at risk when we let violence happen in our homes.

Northern Africa: Democracy in Development

October 26, 2012

Women have played an important role in spurring reform throughout the Middle East and North Africa. But as elections take place and constitutions are drafted, their rights are at risk of being sidelined.

Egypt: Battle Harassment on the Streets

September 20, 2012

Women's groups call on President Morsy to help combat increasing incidents of sexual harassment against women.

Egyptian woman protests in Cairo

Somalia: Marginalising women in politics

August 24, 2012

Having 30 plus women in the Somali parliament is actually an enormous achievement which "shows that there are many women competent and willing to fill public office" [EPA]

Egypt: Woman bids for leadership of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Islamist party

October 6, 2012

For the first time, a woman is running for the leadership of the political party of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful Islamist group. Sabah el-Saqari says she wants to increase female participation in politics and even defends a woman's right to run for president, a stance her organization rejects.

But liberals who fear Islamist rule will set back women's rights say her candidacy is just an attempt by the Brotherhood to improve its image.

Egypt: Constitution draft article raises fears for women's rights

September 23, 2012

Following publication of Article 36 of the 'Rights and Duties' section of Egypt's draft constitution, a number of political parties, coalitions and public figures have issued a joint statement expressing their "deep concern" for the draft article's wording, which, they say, could compromise women's historical rights.

Libya: Libyans 'exploiting Syrian women' with marriage offers

September 20, 2012

Hard living conditions for Syrian refugees in Libya are forcing some families to marry off their daughters to wealthy local men. Syrians say Libyans often knock at their doors asking for especially underage girls, as BBC Arabic's Ahmed Maher reports from Benghazi.

Ahmed Atrash is among hundreds of Syrian refugees in the country's second largest city, Benghazi. He and his family have fled the raging war back home.

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