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Women Stand for Democracy in Ukraine

In recent years, there’s been an increase in sexual violence and discrimination against women, girls and LGBTQ people in Ukraine, including legislation seeking to ban the exchange of information on sexuality, sex education and homosexuality in the country.

Against this backdrop, in November 2013 the Ukrainian government chose to abandon closer relationships with the European Union in favor of stronger

Why Does Women’s Equality Matter?

 
By Kate Kroeger, Executive Director, Urgent Action Fund
San Francisco, September 17, 2013
 

In my line of work, I often get the question: “Why does equality for women and girls matter?”

To me, a world without equality for women and girls is like flying a plane with only one wing. To solve any of the issues of our day –

Sex Workers’ Rights Are Human Rights

In Kyrgyzstan, a remote mountainous country in Central Asia, there are strong social and cultural stereotypes that prevail in regards to sex workers. Many believe that sex workers are to blame for spreading HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. There is a widespread conviction that prostitution is synonymous with criminal activities, drug addiction and alcoholism. Sex workers in Kyrgyzstan experience

Security for LGBTQ Activists

LGBTQI activist organization Identoba encountered a wave of harassment from extremist and fundamentalist groups in its home country of Georgia for its participation in the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on May 17, 2012.

On the day of the event, violence erupted as religious extremists confronted protestors, leading to physical and verbal abuse, as well as the arrest

Standing Up Against Russia’s ‘Foreign Agent’ Law

In recent months, hundreds of NGOs across Russia have faced unannounced background checks as a result of the “Foreign Agents” Law. The bill, signed into law by President Vladimir Putin on July 21, 2012, requires nonprofit organizations that receive funding from outside Russia to publicly declare themselves as “foreign agents”– a term that, to Russians, evokes memories from the cold

Homophobic Violence Erupts at Pride Event in Georgia

On May 17, Georgian LGBTQI activists were assembling in the country’s capital, Tbilisi, for a peaceful rally to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) when the event was cut short by a violent crowd of counter-protesters reported to number in the thousands. Clashes resulted in 17 people being injured, 12 of whom were hospitalized, including three

Defending Midwifery from Criminal Prosecution

The Situation: Many Eastern European countries have strict regulations on midwifery and homebirths. In Hungary the government often views home birthing as criminal. In fact, when a midwife calls for emergency services during a home delivery, the government initiates criminal proceedings. In 2010, the government detained Agnes Geréb, a midwife and well-known leader of the international home birth movement, and

Awareness-Raising to Preserve Women’s Reproductive Rights

The Situation: In April 2011, an agency presented a new bill that, if passed, would severely limit women’s reproductive rights in Russia. Backed by the Russian Orthodox Church and the growing “pro-life” movement, the proposed bill introduced provisions greatly restricting women’s access to abortions. The bill’s supporters launched a media campaign misinforming the public on the health effects of abortion

Protecting Prague Pride

The Situation: In the Czech Republic, a strong right-wing neo-Nazi movement serves as a constant threat to LGBTQI activists and minorities. In spring 2011, the movement unexpectedly increased its activities by marching against the minority Roma population and the LGBTQI community in cities across the Republic. A coalition of LGBTQI organizations had already begun planning the first-ever Prague Pride events