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USA: The Burning of an Abortion Clinic on New Years Day and a Call to Action on Abortion Rights

January 5, 2012

On January 1st, at 1:00 in the morning, an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida was engulfed in flames. By all accounts thus far, this was a case of arson.

But chances are you have heard nothing about this.

The fact that there has not been a single politician commenting on this violent assault on an institution that is essential to women's freedom and that this act of terror has not been picked up on in the national or mainstream media should only serve as a further wake-up call to those who care about women's rights.

USA: Justice Dept. expands definition of rape to include other forms of sexual assault

January 6, 2012

The Obama administration on Friday announced a significant expansion of the FBI’s definition of rape, which will now cover several forms of sexual assault and include male rape.

Justice Department officials said the revision would make reporting of the crime more accurate and provide a better understanding of its effects on victims.

Canada: Imams Show Leadership in Speaking out against Violence Against Women

December 18, 2011

A group of Canadian imams is right to use a high-profile trial as a timely opportunity to condemn violence and abuse committed in the name of family honour.

While there is no honour in killing, honour-based violence does exist. It is a manifestation not of religion, but of culture, and is more prevalent in countries with patriarchal traditions where adultery is punishable by law such as Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Canada is not immune from such influences.

Israel: Women Fight Back Against Jerusalem Billboard Vandals

December 2, 2011

Jewish women in the Britain and the US are being urged to send photographs of themselves holding signs saying "women should be seen and heard" in a campaign against efforts by the ultra-orthodox to remove female images from advertising billboards in Jerusalem.

Frat suspended after surveying its members on who they would like to rape

December 15, 2011

Really, Sigma Phi Epsilon? There’s no way the University of Vermont frat really thought it was ok to send a survey to its members asking, “If you could rape anyone, who would it be?” Is there? (Wait, don’t answer that.)

Violence against aboriginal women could lead to UN inquiry

December 13, 2011

The United Nations is set to conduct an inquiry into Canada's cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women, two Canadian groups lobbying for the action announced on Tuesday. Pictured, protesters chant outside the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in Vancouver, British Columbia October 11, 2011.

Nearly 1 in 5 Women in U.S. Survey Say They Have Been Sexually Assaulted

December 14, 2011

An exhaustive government survey of rape and domestic violence released on Wednesday affirmed that sexual violence against women remains endemic in the United States and in some instances may be far more common than previously thought.

Survey on Forced Marriage in Immigrant Communities in the United States

September, 2011

The Tahirih Justice Center (Tahirih) is one of the nation’s foremost legal defense organizations protecting women and girls fleeing human rights abuses. Through direct legal services, public policy advocacy, and public education and outreach, since 1997, Tahirih has assisted over 12,000 immigrant women and children from all over the world fleeing such abuses as domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, torture, female genital mutilation, “honor” crimes, and forced marriage. Tahirih also leads national advocacy campaigns on a range of issues, building on our direct services experiences, to press for systemic changes in laws, policies, and practices to better protect women and girls from violence.

Canada: BC Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Polygamy

November 23, 2011

A BC judge has upheld Canada's ban on polygamy, calling it constitutional and infringing on religious freedom only a little.

Guide to Establishing the Asylum Eligibility of Victims of Human Trafficking and Forced Marriage

January, 2011

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people become victims of human trafficking or forced marriage. Some are taken away from their home countries and moved abroad, where they are forced to engage in prostitution, other forms of labor, or marriage. Others are trafficked internally within their countries of origin. Those who escape or are rescued may want nothing more than to return home. Others may legitimately fear being punished or re-trafficked if they return. Trafficked persons who do not wish to return home must seek protection in another country.

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