International Women’s Issues: The Fight for Abortion Rights in Turkey

I’m hesitant to announce a region for this week’s post. That’s because we’re looking at one of the more confusing countries in the world, geography-wise. Is it part of Europe? Asia? The Middle East? Well, yes, yes, and yes. That’s right, friends, this week I’m focusing on Turkey. And if you follow the news at all, you can guess why – women in Turkey took to the streets over the weekend to protest stricter abortion laws. International Women’s Issue alert, right? So let’s see what’s going on, and why, and what’s being done. Read More International Women’s Issues: The Fight for Abortion Rights in Turkey

International Women’s Issues: The Fertility Rate of Timor-Leste

Let’s go someplace warm and beachy this week. Somewhere in the South Pacific, with palm trees, gorgeous caves, and sparkling blue waters. Somewhere with a 400-year history of colonial oppression, a brutal quarter century of war in recent history, and, until recently, one of the highest fertility rates in the world, perhaps? Read More International Women’s Issues: The Fertility Rate of Timor-Leste

International Women’s Issues: Maternal Mortality in Brazil

Finding a topic for these columns is always a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes there’s an obvious issue to write about, sometimes a friend forwards me a news article or similar, with “you should write about this!” in the headline. (Note: dear friends, thank you, and please do not stop.) And sometimes I begin by googling “women’s rights in [wherever]” and seeing what floats to the surface, knowing approximately which sub-region I’d like to cover. This week was the latter, but as soon as I read an RH Reality Check piece that pointed out that the maternal mortality rate in Brazil was five to ten times higher than countries with a similar economic status, I knew I had my topic for the week. Read More International Women’s Issues: Maternal Mortality in Brazil

International Women’s Issues: Sex Trafficking in Russia

It’s Europe/Eurasia week here again at International Women’s Issues, so before I get into this week’s post, I’d like to direct you all to go and read Susan’s posts about Oksana Makar, a Ukranian rape victim fighting for her life. The posts are here, here, and here, and while they’re very heavy stuff, this is a tragic story that needs more attention, and Susan’s done a phenomenal job explaining the complexities of the situation. Read More International Women’s Issues: Sex Trafficking in Russia

International Women’s Issues: Northern Uganda

It’s going to be a bit of an unusual column this week, folks. As you might have guessed by the title, we’re going to be looking at Uganda, but since, somehow, International Development has become a hot topic, I’m going to have to talk about Invisible Children. Or, at least, point you in the direction of other people who have already made my points for me. Read More International Women’s Issues: Northern Uganda

International Women’s Issues: The Potential Challenge to Women’s Rights in Tunisia

Before we get in to this week’s column, I’d like to congratulate Saving Face, a documentary about acid attacks in Pakistan, for winning an Oscar last night. I strongly hope the success of this film brings attention (and, you know, funding) to the prevention of acid attacks and support to people who are survivors of this horrific phenomenon.

This week, I’m going to look at women’s rights over the past year in Tunisia. It’s been over a year since Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest of government corruption and oppression, sparking revolutions throughout North Africa and the Middle East, and causing the ousting of, at current count, four dictators. As the Arab Spring started in Tunisia, that’s where we’ll be examining today, especially because of both the role women played in the revolution, and the promises that were made in terms of women’s rights in that country a year ago. How many have been kept? Are women better off in Tunisia now than they were eighteen months ago? Read More International Women’s Issues: The Potential Challenge to Women’s Rights in Tunisia

International Women’s Issues: Acid Attacks in Bangladesh

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, my thoughts go not to chocolate and flowers, but instead to V-Day, Eve Ensler’s foundation to support stopping violence against women and girls. Since this column is never going to be about chocolate and flowers, let’s talk about how to stop violence against women and girls. And let’s go straight to one of the worst manifestations of violence against women–acid attacks. Read More International Women’s Issues: Acid Attacks in Bangladesh

International Women’s Issues: Indigenous Women’s Rights in Guatemala

This week, we’re going to look at the struggle for gender equality and women’s rights for the indigenous population of Guatemala. Discrimination against indigenous women is intersectional – indigenous people as a whole face discrimination, and then again there are elements of society that specifically target women. There is a great deal being done to improve the status and standard of living for indigenous women, so hopefully this post will be more positive than some of my previous ones. I should also point out, here at the start, that while there are many people who are specialists on Central America, I am not one of them. So please, correct me or add information in the comments! Read More International Women’s Issues: Indigenous Women’s Rights in Guatemala