Women's rights | KBIA

Women's rights

European Pressphoto

At this year’s Academy Awards a film called “Period. End of Sentence” won the Oscar for best short documentary. The movie focused on menstruation taboos in India and highlighted the story of a group of poor women who banded together to manufacture inexpensive menstrual pads. 

The success of the film gave new visibility to what’s often referred to as “period poverty.”

On this edition of Global Journalist: a discussion about period poverty and some of the ways that stigma about the issue affects women from India to Kenya to the United States.


European Pressphoto Agency

At this year’s Academy Awards a film called “Period. End of Sentence” won the Oscar for best short documentary. The movie focused on the subject of menstruation taboos in India and the story of a group of poor women who banded together to manufacture inexpensive menstrual pads.

The success of the film gave new visibility to what’s often referred to as “period poverty.”

On this edition of Global Journalist: a discussion about period poverty and some of the ways that stigma about the issue affects women from India to Kenya to the United States.


AP Photo

In late June, the first Saudi women to legally drive a car in the kingdom started their engines and took off down the road.

The lifting of Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers was a step forward for women. But it’s just one of a number of recent steps forward for women’s rights in the Arab world. Countries like Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon have passed laws ending legal loopholes that let rapists off the hook for marrying their victim.

Some countries have rolled back exemptions for those who commit so-called “honor killings” of female family members.

Still, many women’s rights advocates are only cautiously optimistic. In some countries, laws aimed at helping women aren’t enforced. Nor are public attitudes toward women’s rights necessarily becoming more progressive. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at women's rights in the Arab world.


AP Photo

In late October, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad issued a directive to state officials: raise the minimum age for marriage to eighteen years old.

The move came after a huge public outcry earlier this year after a 41-year-old Malay man married an 11-year-old Thai girl named Ayu. The man, Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid, was a successful rubber trader. Ayu, who became his third wife, was the daughter of an employee who worked for a family business.

The case has highlighted the issue of child marriage in Southeast Asia, a part of the world where modernization and rapid economic development has sometimes co-existed uneasily with traditional religious and cultural practices.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at child marriage in the region, where Islamic law, local traditions and human trafficking all contribute to the phenomenon.


Christine Blasey Ford was 100 percent certain Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school. Kavanaugh was 100 percent certain he didn’t.

But one figure that jumped out during Kavanaugh's recent U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings was this: 23 percent. That’s the percentage of women in the U.S. Senate, the body that voted to narrowly confirm him. Indeed the U.S. ranks 103rd in the world in the share of women in national legislatures – behind countries like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Iraq.

One major reason why is that more than 60 countries have passed quota laws for female candidates in the past 30 years. In many others nations, political parties have adopted voluntary quotas for women.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at gender quotas in international politics and whether they've worked as intended.


AP Photo

For many, witch trials may seem like a relic of early colonial America.  But in fact witch-hunting is still a feature of rural life today in many parts of the world.

One place where it's prevalent is India. On average, an Indian woman is killed every other day after being accused of witchcraft, according to government statistics. Many are tortured or publicly-humiliated before being burned, stabbed or beaten to death.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the practice of witch-hunts in India, and why the phenomenon isn't merely an outgrowth of superstition. 


AP Photo

In late June, the first Saudi women to legally drive a car in the kingdom started their engines and took off down the road.

The lifting of Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers was a step forward for women. But it’s just one of a number of recent steps forward for women’s rights in the Arab world.

Still, many women’s rights advocates are only cautiously optimistic. In some countries, laws aimed at helping women aren’t enforced. Nor are public attitudes toward women’s rights necessarily becoming more progressive.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at women’s rights in the Arab world.


Yann Forget/Wikimedia Commons

In the next decade, India may pass China to become the world’s most populous country.

But there’s something odd about India’s population. 

At its last census in 2011, India had 36 million more men than women. As the population grows, the World Bank predicts there will be 51 million more men by 2031.

This is due in part to the widespread practice of sex-selective abortion and the gender-based neglect of young girls leading to higher mortality rates. In some cases, 'infanticide' of newborn girls is still practiced. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss what some activists call a 'gendercide' against women.


AP Photo

Back in 2014 there was an enormous international outcry after Islamic militants from the group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 female high school students the town of Chibok in northeastern Nigeria.

Four years later, more than 100 of the Chibok girls may still be in Boko Haram’s custody. In the meantime, the group has continued to launch suicide bombings on civilians, kidnap schoolchildren and ambush Nigerian soldiers – despite repeated assurances from the Nigerian government that the militants had been defeated.

On this edition of Global Journalist a look at how Boko Haram’s two factions - one now calling itself the Islamic State in West Africa - have managed to persist in northern Nigeria. We’ll also hear about some big challenges for the education system in this part of Nigeria - where both the insurgency and a number of other factors are keeping tens of thousands of girls from going to school.


AP Photo

For many, witch trials may seem like a relic of early colonial America.  But in fact witch-hunting is still a feature of rural life today in many some of the world.

One place where it's prevalent is India. On average, an Indian woman is killed every other day after being accused of witchcraft, according to government statistics. Many are tortured or publicly-humiliated before being burned, stabbed or beaten to death.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the practice of witch-hunts in India, and why the phenomenon isn't merely an outgrowth of superstition. 

AP Photo

The #MeToo movement has spread from the United States to other parts of the world as women have increasingly spoken out about sexual assault and sexual harassment.

One country where it has struggled is Japan, where discussions about sexual harassment and sexual assault remain highly taboo.

Japanese women are much less likely than their U.S. counterparts to describe non-consensual sex as rape. Further, women who publicly accuse their attackers often face significant public backlash. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the conversation around the #MeToo movement in Japan, a country known for its technological and economic prowess but that lags behind many other industrialized countries in measures of gender equity.


via Wikimedia Commons

 Around the world, rates of teen pregnancy have been dropping for decades.

But in Latin America, rates of teenage motherhood remain stubbornly high. Today they’re about 36 percent higher than the global average.

One country where the problem is particularly acute is Venezuela - where teenagers account for nearly one in four births.
Venezuela's economic crisis has had a big effect on its public health system – including efforts to curtail teen pregnancy.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at teen pregnancy in Latin America and the particular challenges faced by young Venezuelans.


Yann Forget/Wikimedia Commons

In the next decade, India may pass China to become the world’s most populous country.

But there’s something odd about India’s population. 

At its last census in 2011, India had 36 million more men than women. As the population grows, the World Bank predicts there will be 51 million more men by 2031.

This is due in part to the widespread practice of sex-selective abortion and the gender-based neglect of young girls leading to higher mortality rates. In some cases, 'infanticide' of newborn girls is still practiced. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss what some activists call a 'gendercide' against women.


AP Photo

North Korea has one of the worst human rights record in the world, but for women the situation is particularly acute. 

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are rarely punished, and many women who escape to neighboring China end up being trafficked into prostitution or sold as brides to Chinese men. 

Yet despite these challenges, North Korean women often have more economic freedoms than men. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at women's rights in North Korea. 


AP Photo

About 5,000 women are killed each year in so-called "honor" killings around the world.

These are crimes in which the victims, who are almost always female, are killed by family members - usually men - for bringing what they see as dishonor on the family.

Pakistan and India have the highest rates of "honor" killings in the world. But a new law in Pakistan has made such killings illegal - and raised hopes that the government will address gender violence more effectively.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the history of these killings and some recent high-profile cases that have renewed efforts to end the practice.