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The Voice & the Veil: Egypt's Revolutionary Women

CAIRO — Many women still dream of being equitably represented in their government and will not stop until they have a decisive say in the future of the country.

Women's affairs official in Afghanistan murdered by car bomb

Afghan women's fight for equal rights was dealt another major blow Friday by the bloody car bomb death of a regional head of women's affairs, Reuters reported.

Reporting in Myanmar, a test of new limits

A reporter and her sources cautiously determine what the new government will tolerate after years of relentless suppression.
YANGON, Myanmar — We are sitting on the floor, our legs crossed, talking intensely about the young Kachin woman’s work as a human rights activist. Ah Hkawn, 30, has hiked for days into the mountains to talk to villagers who faced physical or sexual abuse by the Myanmar army. She has visited relief camps to bring aid and supplies to those displaced by fighting. I ask Ah Hkawn if I can take a photo of her to accompany my articles. She looks at me and with an expression of deep reflection says: “I don’t know.” She pauses and asks, “You think it’s OK?”

Myanmar's women desperate for health care after decades of government neglect

MAE SOT — Thanks to restrictive policies and a lack of investment, Myanmar’s current health care system is a disaster. Patients are so desperate for affordable, quality medical attention that they travel long distances to cross an international border to get it.

Myanmar army accused of widespread rape in Kachin State

YANGON — After decades of isolation and the lifting of Western sanctions, the alleged abuse committed by Myanmar's military against women of Kachin State stands to undermine the country’s progress and can be seen as a test for Myanmar’s nascent reforms.  

Profiles in Courage: Myanmar's other female leaders

YANGON — While "The Lady," as Aung San Suu Kyi is fondly known in Myanmar, dominates the headlines there are many other women who have taken similarly bold steps — often at great risk to themselves and their families — to work for a better, more just country. Here are their stories.

Women with disabilities at risk of rape

Commentary: Governments should take extra measures to protect the vulnerable girls and women.
Disabled women rape risk 2012 5 17Enlarge
Women's rights activists hold a banner as they march during a rally in Kolkata, India on March 19, 2012. The rally was organized to protest against the recent physical assaults and rape on women, and also as a demand for a proper rule of law for women's rights. (Dibyangshu Sarkar /AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — “You are forcing me,” cried a 17-year-old South African girl with a mental disability who was filmed while being raped, as several men and teenagers taunted her anguish and laughed at her pleas. The video spread across the internet like wildfire, inciting outrage and, sadly, ridicule.

After the rape, the group tossed her the equivalent of 25 cents in exchange for her silence. They abandoned her, taking her dignity with them in the form of a cell phone video. The video of her rape then swiftly passed through the hands of schoolchildren in Johannesburg’s Soweto township.

Four weeks later, after the video had become an internet sensation, the police found her with a 37-year-old man. Police suspected that he had kidnapped her after the rape and held her captive as his personal sex slave.

Apparently this was not the first time the girl’s plight was ignored. She had been raped twice before, in 2009 and 2010. The first case went to court, but was dismissed after the girl was deemed too “confused” to explain her side of the story to the judge. Following this incident, her mother pleaded with social welfare services to place her daughter in a home where she would be safe. They ignored the request, and her daughter was raped again.

“They failed me,” the mother told CNN. After all the publicity over the video, the government finally found a placement for the girl in a safe home.


Female genital mutilation widespread in Britain: UK report

An investigation by Britain's Sunday Times, in which doctors were secretly filmed allegedly agreeing to perform female circumsion for as much as £750 per operation, provokes outrage in the UK.

Uganda: Women strip to protest Ingrid Turinawe arrest

Ugandan TV footage shows a police offer squeezing Ingrid Turinawe's breast during her arrest at a rally Friday near Kampala.

German paper Bild takes topless women off front page

"It might be a small step from women's point of view. But it's a big step for Bild and for all the men in Germany," the paper said in its front-page announcement today – which appeared under a shot of a model cupping her naked breasts, with the caption: "I am the last."
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