Immigrant women and mothers have suffered physical abuse and been shackled during childbirth while in the custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Undocumented immigrant women who enter the jail must await trial behind bars. They are denied bond under state laws and they are also held on a retainer to be turned over to immigration authorities after their cases are resolved.
This has resulted in situations where pregnant women had to give birth in detention, unlike other detainees who can be bailed out. The sheriff's office practice is to shackle pregnant inmates during childbirth.
Although most of the governments in Latin America today are described as progressive, abortion is only legal in one country, while in five countries it is banned under all circumstances, even when the mother's life is at risk. Such laws have simply forced the practice underground, making unsafe abortions the second leading cause of maternal mortality in the region.
There are more than four million illegal abortions a year in the region, linked to over 4,000 avoidable deaths. And in some countries, like Argentina, there are nearly as many abortions as births.
In the view of some analysts, setbacks to or the lack of progress with respect to women's right to choice are the result of a fundamentalist offensive by the Catholic Church to keep Latin America a land free of abortions - legal ones, at least.
Rita Segato sees the negotiation over women's bodies in the criminalisation of abortion as linked to the problem of gender violence in the region, which is "huge" despite the fact that the Americas has the only continent-wide treaty on violence against women.
Submitted by kpeterson on Sun, 03/14/2010 - 12:00pm
The Iraqi refugee crisis is far from over and recent violence is creating further displacement. Iraqi women will resist returning home, even if conditions improve in Iraq, if there is no focus on securing their rights as women and assuring their personal security and their families’ well being.
"The status of women here is linked to the general situation," Maha Sabria, professor of political science at Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad tells IPS. But, she said, "women bear a double burden under occupation because we have lost a lot of freedom because of it.
Sabria tells IPS that the abduction of women "did not exist prior to the occupation. We find that women lost their right to learn and their right to a free and normal life, so Iraqi women are struggling with oppression and denial of all their rights, more than ever before."
Yanar Mohammed believes the constitution neither protects women nor ensures their basic rights. She blames the United States for abdicating its responsibility to help develop a pluralistic democracy in Iraq.
During the 2008 presidential election campaign, then-Senator Hillary Clinton almost shattered the nation's ultimate glass ceiling. After her defeat, she thanked her supporters for putting 18 million cracks into that ceiling.
Now, as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton is bringing new power and prestige to her fight for women's rights. CNN's Jill Dougherty reports on Sec. Clinton's push for women's rights at the State Department.
~ Shukria Asil of Afghanistan for "promoting government responsiveness to the needs of women" ~ Colonel Shafiqa Quraishi of Afghanistan for "integrating women into the government and police force" ~ Androula Henriques of Cyprus for "Fighting human trafficking" ~ Sonia Pierre of the Dominican Republic for "Ending discrimination based on country of origin and the human rights abuses of statelessness" ~ Shadi Sadr of Iran for "Advocating for women's legal rights and an end to execution by stoning" ~ Ann Njogu of Kenya for "Seeking social transformation and at the forefront of reforms in Kenya" ~ Dr. Lee Ae-ran of South Korea for "Promoting human rights in North Korea and aiding the refugee community in the Republic of Korea" ~ Jansila Majeed of Sri Lanka for "Strengthening rights for internally displaced persons" ~ Sister Marie Claude Naddaf of Syria for "working for social services for women" ~ Jestina Mukoko of Zimbabwe for "documenting human rights abuses"
Women are missing in their millions—aborted, killed, neglected to death. In 1990 an Indian economist, Amartya Sen, put the number at 100m; the toll is higher now.
The destruction of baby girls is a product of three forces: the ancient preference for sons; a modern desire for smaller families; and ultrasound scanning and other technologies that identify the sex of a fetus. In societies where four or six children were common, a boy would almost certainly come along eventually; son preference did not need to exist at the expense of daughters. But now couples want two children—or, as in China, are allowed only one—they will sacrifice unborn daughters to their pursuit of a son
In a speech Friday at the UN in New York, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton identified equality for the world’s women and girls as the central challenge that will determine the peace and progress of the 21st century.
The past 15 years, Clinton said in her speech, have included some remarkable advances for women globally – including heightened attention to women’s health and economic issues, particularly in developing countries. Women’s participation in their country’s political life and their election to national parliaments have also increased, she said.
But women also encounter harrowing new challenges in some regions, including a spike in politically motivated sexual violence. Meanwhile, other crimes against women – including what she called “gendercide” and forced childhood marriages – remain dark blots on the world.