News and Views by Region

Malawi: Witchcraft Legal Aid in Africa

Publication Date: 
February 17, 2011
New York Times

NEW YORK — Accusations of witchcraft in Africa have gained increasing attention because of the severe impact they can have on the lives of those accused, including imprisonment, deprivation of property, banishment from villages and in some cases physical violence.

The human-rights law program I direct recently partnered with an N.G.O. in Malawi to run a mobile legal-aid clinic focusing on witchcraft cases in two rural communities.

Tunisia: Women Play Important Role in Revolution

Publication Date: 
January 27, 2011
A woman participates in a demonstration in Tunis on January 22, 2011. (Photo:Martin Bureau /AFP/Getty Images)

Female voices rang out loud and clear during massive protests that brought down the authoritarian rule of Tunisian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

Women in Tunisia are unique in the Arab world for enjoying near equality with men. And they are anxious to maintain their status.

In Tunis, old ladies, young girls and women in black judges robes marched down the streets demanding that the dictator leave.

February 6th: International Day of Zero Tolerance on FGM

Publication Date: 
February 4, 2011
Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices

February 6 was unanimously adopted at the International Conference on Zero Tolerance to FGM organized by IAC from February 4 to 6, 2003 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Representatives at the Conference came from 49 countries including 4 First Ladies (from Nigeria , Burkina Faso , Guinea Conakry and Mali ), Ministers, and Parliamentarians. Others included Religious, Community and Youth leaders.

The status of women in Egypt: What would the post-Mubarak era offer them?

Publication Date: 
March 3, 2010
Freedom House

Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa 2010 - Egypt
By Mariz Tadros


Over the past decade, women in Egypt have made great strides in addressing discriminatory laws. The country's personal status legislation, which had been a source of gender discrimination since its inception in the 1920s, has undergone reform, especially with respect to its procedural elements. Legal prohibitions preventing women's equal access to and representation in the judiciary have been lifted, and social taboos that have restricted their access to certain professions have been broken.

VNC condemns the murder of David Kato

Publication Date: 
January 31, 2011
Violence is Not our Culture campaign
Violence is not our culture

The Violence is Not out Culture campaign condemns the brutal murder on 26 January 2011 of LGBT human rights defender, David Kato, of Uganda and extends its condolences to his colleagues at Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). David was a long term activist for rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Uganda, and was a highly respected and admired human rights defender within his community and worldwide.

Spirit, hope, money and a dose of patriarchy

Publication Date: 
July 9, 2010

A growing movement of African Christians are making waves at home and abroad with their ultra conservative interpretations of scripture. Far from a naïve embrace of conventional norms or a faithful embrace of scripture, these interpretations are emerging as clear political choices and are undermining women's rights struggles across the African continent.

Somalia: Mother of 4 Killed for Her Christian Faith

Publication Date: 
January 17, 2011
Compass Direct News

Al Shabaab militants carry out ritual slaying of Christian found to be ‘apostate.’

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 17 (CDN) — A mother of four was killed for her Christian faith on Jan. 7 on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia by Islamic extremists from al Shabaab militia, a relative said.

Cameroon: Attacks and Arrests on basis of Orientation

Publication Date: 
November 4, 2010

Government Should Decriminalize Consensual Activity, Protect LGBT Rights

 (Yaoundé, November 4, 2010) – Cameroonians are attacked by police, politicians, the media, and even their own communities if they are suspected of having sexual relations with a person of the same sex, four human rights organizations said in a joint report released today.

Zambia: Marriage of Young Girls a Tradition - Risks, Rights

Publication Date: 
December 20, 2010
A young mother bathes her baby in Luapula Province, northern Zambia. Photo: Nebert Mulenga/IRIN

MANSA, 20 December 2010 (IRIN) - The minimum legal age for marriage in Zambia is 18, and parental consent is required if a girl or boy is 16-17. Anyone under 16 is a minor, and defilement of a minor is a serious offence, punishable by imprisonment of up to 25 years.

Rape with impunity - plight of Somalia's women refugees

Publication Date: 
December 15, 2010
BBC News
BBC News

The three Somali women sat huddled together in a corner of an empty, dusty room in a camp for displaced people in northern Somalia, their faces etched with grief and resignation.