March 31, 2009
Hamid Karzai has been accused of trying to win votes in Afghanistan's presidential election by backing a law the UN says legalises rape within marriage and bans wives from stepping outside their homes without their husbands' permission.
The Afghan president signed the law earlier this month, despite condemnation by human rights activists and some MPs that it flouts the constitution's equal rights provisions.

March 31, 2009
(Los Angeles) - Los Angeles County officials should move urgently to test a backlog of more than 12,000 rape kits - the physical evidence collected after a sexual assault - to ensure justice for rape victims, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

By Rob Capriccioso

Story Published: Mar 27, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office announced March 24 it has a $23.6 million available as part of the recently passed stimulus law to offer tribes and their victims’ advocates.

As early as the mid-1950s, decades before the clergy sexual-abuse crisis broke publicly across the U.S. Catholic landscape, the founder of a religious order that dealt regularly with priest sex abusers was so convinced of their inability to change that he searched for an island to purchase with the intent of using it as a place to isolate such offenders, according to documents recently obtained by NCR.

GAZA CITY, 24 March 2009 (IRIN) - The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in Gaza, local Palestinian NGOs and mental health professionals are reporting increased incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault against women in Gaza since the beginning of 2009.

An unpublished UNIFEM survey of male and female heads of 1,100 Gaza households conducted between 28 February and 3 March indicates there was an increase in violence against women during and after the 23-day war which ended on 18 January.

(Washington) --The U.S. House Interior and Environment Appropriations subcommittee will hear testimony Wednesday from a leading Native American expert on sexual violence against Native American and Alaska Native women. The testimony comes following passage of the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which made significant progress addressing sexual violence in Indian Country, and in preparation for drafting the Fiscal Year 2010 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.

by Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service

3/9/2009 - WASHINGTON (AFNS)  -- Just as the armed forces paved the way for integration more than 60 years ago, Defense Department officials are working to prevent sexual assault not only in the military, but also throughout the nation, the department's top prevention expert said here March 6. 

A senior Vatican cleric defended the Catholic Church of Brazil's plans to excommunicate those who aided a child pregnant as a result of rape. According to the BBC, the church plans to excommunicate the girl's mother and several doctors who helped to secure a medically necessary abortion for the girl, who is 9 years old and became pregnant with twins after being raped by her stepfather.

On 8 March 1857, women garment workers in New York City, USA, marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a 10-hour day and equal rights to men. Their ranks were broken by the police.

Fifty-one years later, on 8 March 1908, 15,000 New York women garment workers marched again, this time demanding the vote and an end to sweatshops and child labour.

International Women's Day is marked on this date by women's groups around the world. It is commemorated at the UN and is designated in many countries as a national holiday.

Deborah Cole

February 26, 2009

"They told us we were in the camp brothel, that we were the lucky ones. We would eat well and have enough to drink. If we behaved and fulfilled our duties nothing would happen to us."

So begins the wrenching account of Frau W., a prisoner of the Nazi concentration camp Ravensbrueck north of Berlin who between mid-1943 and December 1944 was forced to work as a sex slave for her fellow detainees.


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