Sunday Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, called for international pressure to force the dissolution of the Taliban government in Afghanistan. She criticized the Taliban for the extensive, systematic abuse of women.
She called the Taliban's Ministry of Vice and Virtue, "the most misogynist department in the whole world." The ministry is the agency responsible for banning Afghan women from work and school, for forcing them to wear the restrictive burqua outfit, for demanding that they travel only in the company of close male relatives, and even forbidding them to wear white socks.
According to Coomaraswamy, violators of these outrageous rules are publicly beaten with various instruments, including radio antennae ripped off nearby vehicles, but typically "with what looks like a leather cricket bat."
Such treatment has resulted in widespread clinical depression among Afghan women confined to their homes. Reports also indicate that forced marriages and prostitution, sexual assault and confinement in camps are becoming regular.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .