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The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill: Can It Live Up to Its Name?

The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill: Can It Live Up to Its Name?

The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill (WEGE) is currently before Parliament in South Africa. One of its main aims is to ‘give effect to the letter and spirit of the Constitution’ by promoting gender equality. Such legislation might be considered a welcome step for a country infamously struggling to grant its women their constitutionally-guaranteed rights [...]

Men and gender based violence: part of the problem, but also the solution?

Men and gender based violence: part of the problem, but also the solution?

Universities may well create the future leaders of our governments, economies, and communities—they are places of intellectual thought and social development.  But does that square with what we know about how often university women face sexual harassment and unwanted advances? The statistics on gender-based violence amongst university students in the UK are staggering: one in [...]

The Ongoing Search for Justice for Victims of the Japanese War Crimes in Mapanique, Philippines

The Ongoing Search for Justice for Victims of the Japanese War Crimes in Mapanique, Philippines

On November 23, 1944, Japanese troops descended on the town of Mapanique in the Philippines. The troops gathered  men and boys in the town and proceeded to castrate them. Afterwards, the men were forced to put their severed sexual organs in their mouths before they were burned to death en masse. Women and girls were [...]

Justice Edwin Cameron on the United Nations Free and Equal Campaign

Justice Edwin Cameron on the United Nations Free and Equal Campaign

On Friday 26th July, in Cape Town, the United Nations launched a new international campaign to counter homophobia, dubbed the Free and Equal Campaign. I was privileged to share the platform with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Judge Navi Pillay, and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. It was a happy event, with strong presentations and [...]

The Rock-Hard Foundation: Mandela Day, 18 July 2013

The Rock-Hard Foundation: Mandela Day, 18 July 2013

“I pay tribute to the mothers and wives and sisters of our nation. You are the rock-hard foundation of our struggle.” - Nelson Mandela, February 1990 Nelson Mandela spoke these words upon his release from Robben Island on 11 February 1990, after serving twenty-seven years as a political prisoner. Fueled by an uncompromising vision for a free [...]

Evolving Strasbourg Jurisprudence on Domestic Violence: Recognising Institutional Sexism

Evolving Strasbourg Jurisprudence on Domestic Violence: Recognising Institutional Sexism

As part of a broader feminist critique of the European Convention on Human Rights, it has been argued that Article 14 of the ECHR (freedom from discrimination) has not been useful in advancing women’s equality due to its reliance on a conception of formal equality. On the other hand, it has been suggested that Article 8 [...]

Silencing Rape on U.S. College Campuses: Evaluating the Clery Act

Silencing Rape on U.S. College Campuses: Evaluating the Clery Act

The Steubenville rape verdict a few months ago has sparked a broader conversation about the United States’ endemic “rape culture”, and the responsibility of innocent bystanders and institutions to report sexual violence. One place where the silencing of sexual violence is an ongoing problem is on U.S. college campuses.  Under the Clery Act  — named [...]

Rape and Reform in India: No Legal Fix for a Systemic Problem

Rape and Reform in India: No Legal Fix for a Systemic Problem

by Shishir Bail and Sudhir Krishnaswamy -  The brutal rape and mutilation of a 5-year-old girl in Delhi last week has sparked fierce protests reminiscent of the national outrage invoked by the December 2012 gang-rape of a student, also in Delhi. Very quickly political parties have joined these protests to demand swift ‘justice’. Late last year, the [...]

57th Session of Commission on the Status of Women begins today: OxHRH CSW57 presents a special themed post series

57th Session of Commission on the Status of Women begins today: OxHRH CSW57 presents a special themed post series

The 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57) begins today.  As delegates from around the world convene at the United Nations Headquarters between 4 to 15 March, the OxHRH Blog will host a special series of posts that parallel the themes of CSW57. The priority theme for CSW57 is ‘the elimination [...]

US Congress Reauthorizes Violence Against Women Act

US Congress Reauthorizes Violence Against Women Act

By Chelsea Purvis -  The United States Congress has for many months been debating the future of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  As I explained in my previous post, VAWA is the principle federal law addressing gender-based violence in the US.  When VAWA expired in 2012, the Senate drafted a reauthorization bill (S.47) that [...]

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A Quick Overview

Blog posts have been coming in thick and fast over the last month. To help you get up to speed, the editorial team has put together a quick summary of some of the major themes. Justice Verma Committee on Indian sexual violence laws The Justice Verma Committee submitted its report on the reform of India’s [...]