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As 2021 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at some of the major moments for gender equality and women’s rights from the past 12 months. From women at the forefront of the ongoing fight against COVID-19, to new laws to support survivors of gender-based violence, from women in the highest political offices to eliminating gender stereotypes in advertising, join us in celebrating some of the small and big strides for gender equality in 2021.
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Lawmakers around the world have a new resource to help them address gender inequality with the publication of the new IPU and UN Women Handbook on gender-responsive law making.
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Meserat Hailu, was 29 years old when she travelled to Beirut, Lebanon as an Ethiopian migrant domestic worker. For more than eight years, she suffered abuse by her employer until Legal Action Worldwide received word of her situation and took up her case and demanded her release.
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Years of collective mobilization, strategizing and innovation by women’s rights groups culminated in the repeal or reform of archaic laws across the Northern Africa and Western Asia region
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UN Women, UNFPA and the UN Office of the Special Adviser on Africa join the people of Sudan who are appealing for clemency in the case of 19-year-old Noura Hussein of Sudan, who has been sentenced to death for killing her husband. Reports indicate that she was forced against her will into marriage at the age of 16. She was raped by her husband while his three male relatives held her down. Speaking as the voices of women and girls of the world, we plead with the government of Sudan to save the...
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With generous funding from the Swedish Government, UN Women has been working with police officers across Moldova for the past two years, to build their knowledge and improve their capacity to respond to domestic violence cases effectively. The programme, titled “Promoting and multiplying good innovative practices in preventing and combating violence against women”, also encourages police officers like Zglavoci to share good practices with their peers and other service providers through trainings and interactive platforms.
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Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador and Guatemala abolish discriminatory legislation which allowed this harmful practice against girls and adolescent women
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The Supreme Court of India gave a landmark judgment on 22 August, declaring the practice of unilateral and instantaneous triple talaq under the Muslim personal law unconstitutional by a 3:2 majority. The triple talaq is a practice under which a Muslim man can instantly divorce his wife by uttering the word “talaq” three times.
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On the heels of Jordan and Tunisia scrapping discriminatory rape laws, the Lebanese Parliament agreed on 16 August, to abolish the Penal Code Article 522, the infamous “rape law” or “rape-marriage” law, which exempted a rapist from punishment if he married his victim.
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Tunisia made historic strides by passing its first national law to combat violence against women on 26 July, 2017.
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The country with one of the highest rates of child marriages in the world has taken a major step to end the practice by adopting a constitutional amendment on 14 February that raises the minimum age of marriage to 18 years.
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A workshop organized by UN Women to prevent violence against women and build non-violent masculinities led to the development and adoption of a Municipal Decree by the Mayor, to sensitize the public and prevent all forms of violence and discrimination against women, including street harassment.
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The first survey conducted by youth activists on dating violence in Viet Nam shows almost 59 per cent of young women have experienced violence. Presented with the findings, the CEDAW Committee recommends revision of the national law to penalize all forms of violence against women, including dating violence.
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With these bills, Pakistan joins a vital growing momentum around the world in the adoption of legislation explicitly protecting women’s and girls’ rights.
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UN Women-supported project leads to Municipal Coordination Mechanisms and a more effective response by Kosovo’s police, judiciary, NGOs, shelters and other institutions working with domestic violence survivors.
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Uruguay’s Council of Ministers has just approved a Government bill that aims "to guarantee women a life free of gender-based violence." The bill, which will now go to the Senate, not only defines gender violence and how it manifests itself but would also bring about a change to current criminal law and create an institutional response system as well as specialized courts.
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Speech by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Ending Violence against Women: Building on Progress to Accelerate Change meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on 9 December.
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On 9-10 December, over 150 high-level representatives from over 40 UN Member States and the Council of Europe (CoE), UN agencies, academia and NGOs plan to attend Ending Violence against Women: Building on Progress to Accelerate Change, a high-level global UN meeting in Istanbul to assess progress, identify challenges and renew global political commitments to end the pandemic of violence against women and girls.
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Speech by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka at the Colloquium on Violence, Intervention, and Agency at Yale University on 6 November.
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Experts believe adopting the new anti-trafficking law will make it easier for authorities to investigate and prosecute this widespread crime.