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Swanee Hunt

It would be obscene to say that the genocide in Rwanda had even the thinnest silver lining. But it did create a natural -- or unnatural -- experiment, as the country’s social, economic, and political institutions were wiped out. In important respects, the reconstructed Rwanda is a dramatically different country, especially for women.

Isobel Coleman

In the run up to this spring's parliamentary elections, Iraqis are debating a new personal status law. Supporters claim that the law will give Shia more freedom to practice their religion. Opponents argue that it would promote sectarianism and seriously undermine the rights of women and children by permitting unfettered polygamy, a Taliban-like restriction on women’s movement, child marriage for girls as young as nine, unequal divorce and custody, and an end to interreligious marriage.

Comment, 2014
Ira Trivedi

Last December, India's Supreme Court re-established a colonial era law prohibiting homosexual relations. That will mix poorly with an Indian society that has a long tradition of tolerance for sexual minorities.

Nina Easton

Saudi Arabia remains the only country on earth to prevent women from driving, but driving is not the only way to measure women's progress. In fact, they have made great strides in government, the work force, and education.

Emily Dyer

The 2011 revolution may have toppled President Hosni Mubarak, but it did not liberate Egyptian women. Sexual harassment and assault have worsened since his departure, reflecting both long-term trends in government policy and more recent shifts during Egypt’s seesawing transition.

Ira Trivedi

In India, notions of dating and romance are transforming. More young people than ever expect to choose their own partners, but joblessness and other economic woes prevent them from taking control of their own lives. And that makes India’s sexual revolution a rather tense affair.

Letter From,
Lina M. Cespedes-Baez

In the United States, LGBT rights activists are debating whether same-sex marriage can most easily be won in the court of law or in the court of public opinion. That debate looks strikingly similar to the one in Colombia, which may soon become the fifth Latin American country to adopt marriage equality.

Anne Phillips

Although shooting female FARC members first during battle is not official policy, a retired Colombian colonel told the author in 2009, any sensible soldier would do so. With their "Kamikaze-like" mentality, he said, they are the deadliest combatants. This profile of one former member illustrates how the abuses women face once inside the group create such a mindset.

Comment, May/June 2012
Steven Philip Kramer

Populations throughout the developed world are aging and shrinking, with dire consequences. Yet decline is not inevitable. Even in the industrialized world, governments can encourage childbearing through policies that let women reconcile work and family.

Fariba Nawa

Bartering girls into marriage to pay off opium debts has become more prevalent in recent years in Afghanistan. Farmers, middlemen in the drug trade, drug couriers, and even some drug lords themselves sell their daughters to more powerful traffickers and smugglers -- and very little is being done to combat the injustice.

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