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Recent attacks on women in the north and east of Sri Lanka - impunity and lack of rule of law. 

In the month of August 2011 many women in the north and the east of Sri Lanka have been attacked individually, and the female population terrorized more generally, by unidentified men, attackers now colloquially referred to as ‘Grease Yakas’. These incidents and the response of law enforcement and government agencies indicate a larger problem in the law and order situation in the north and...

India: Dalit women trained on advocacy 

These photos are of a training session with minority women, taken in January, 2011. The participants were Dalits in the Sundarban area of West Bengal state. Training was based around awareness creation on gender and empowerment, and the importance of children rights. The training focused on: community mobilisation, empowerment processes,  development leadership qualities, lobby and advocacy strategies The Christian Children Fund of Canada works on...

Uganda: Meet the first Mutwa graduate 

Alice Nyamihanda is the first Mutwa person from Uganda to achieve a university diploma. In this video, she talks about the barriers to education she faced growing up, and how she overcame these challenges to attend university and finish her diploma.Batwa in Uganda are originally forest dwellers and have been almost entirely dispossessed of their land by the combined pressures of government departments responsible for...

MRG Podcast: October 2011 

Welcome to Minority Rights Group International’s October 2011 podcast. This month we hear from a Bedouin woman from the unrecognised villages of the Negev in Israel, speak to the first Ugandan Mutwa to gain a university degree, and get spiritual with the early blues of the USA’s Deep South....

Kenya passes anti-FGM law, will it stop the Cut? 

MRG’s Africa Regional Information Officer, Mohamed Matovu, probes the success of the anti-FGM law that Kenya and several other African countries have passed.Kenya recently passed a law outlawing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), joining a small but growing list of African countries that have criminalized the cut.Those who practice, cause to practice or make snide remarks to those who don’t undergo the cut will from...

MRG photo story: Uncertain future for Israel's indigenous Bedouin 

In the next few months, the Israeli parliament is expected to legislate on a plan to demolish homes and displace 30,000 Arab Bedouins from the Negev desert of southern Israel. On 11 September 2011, the Israeli cabinet decided to go ahead with the controversial ‘Prawer plan’ that is aimed at providing a full resolution to continuing issues between the state and Bedouin over land...

Israel: Interview with Hanan Al Sanah, a Bedouin womens' rights activist 

Bedouin Arab women face high rates of poverty. They face disproportionately low levels of education and employment compared to other Israeli women. They are discriminated by the state and from within the community due to strict cultural traditions and customs. Hanan Al Sanah is a women’s rights activist who works with Sidreh, a Bedouin women’s organisation. Here she explains some of the major problems...

South Asia: Dalit women voice concerns at the UN Forum on Minority Issues 

Dalit representatives from India, Nepal and Bangladesh voiced their concerns about effective political participation of Dalit women at the 4th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues. The thematic focus of the session, which was held in Geneva on 29-30 November 2011, was “Guaranteeing the rights of minority women”. Several Dalit representatives actively participated in the panel discussions and side events of...

Kenya: An Ogiek woman's journey to liberation 

My story is a tale of twists and turns.When I sit down and recall my journey, I could not have anticipated, given my childhood which was full of hardships, that I today would be among those who can garner the courage to stare injustice straight in the face and say, enough. As an Ogiek girl child, accessing education was the last thing on my...

Minorities at the UN: Ensure Dalit women's political participation in India 

Lee Macqueen of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, represented Dalit women in the recent UN Forum on Minority issues, focusing on Dalit women’s political participation in local governance. She took the floor to highlight the obstacles faced by the marginalized community.Macqueen states that even though one-third of the seats in local government offices or panchayats, are reserved for women, amongst the Dalit...

Minorities at the UN: Crimean Tatar women face unemployment and discrimination in Ukraine 

Nara Narimanova of the Crimean Tatar Youth Council spoke at the recent UN Forum on Minority Issues, after having completed online advocacy training courses as part of MRG’s Global Advocacy Programme (GAP).She took the opportunity to raise issues faced by Crimean Tatar women in Ukraine who are particularly vulnerable in the face of poor living conditions, unemployment and high levels of discrimination. With the...

Minorities at the UN: Improve education for minorities in Zimbabwe 

On 29 and 30 November 2011, MRG's partners took part in the fourth session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues as part of MRG's Global Advocacy Programme (GAP) which offers online and practical training and direct advocacy opportunities to minority activists across the world.Misheck Gondo, the National Chairperson of the National Association of Youth Organisations was one of several participants who had taken...

Minorities at the UN: Guarantee the rights of minority women in Kyrgyzstan 

MRG partner, the Institute for Regional Studies (IFRS), based in Kyrgyzstan, participated in MRG’s Global Advocacy Programme (GAP), and recently spoke on the topic of guaranteeing the rights of minority women at the recent UN Forum on Minority Issues.Luiza Khier highlighted the issues of entrenched gender roles that make early marriages common, often meaning the lack of education amongst young women and therefore affecting...

Minorities at the UN: The socio-economic empowerment of women in Kenya 

Jennipher Kere represented the Women in the Fishing Industry Programme (WIFIP), an MRG patrner organisation in Kenya which works to   empower of women, at the fourth session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues. WIFIP has campaigned for psycho-social rehabilitation of war widows who have faced trauma, internal displacement and face sexual and reproductive health risks.WIFIP points out the particular plight of the women...

Minorities at the UN: Couples in inter-caste marriages face rampant discrimination in Nepal 

Anita Bishanka, project coordinator of the Nepal National Dalit Social Welfare Organisation (NNDSWO), spoke at the fourth session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues recently on the issue of discrimination faced by couples in inter-caste marriages in Nepal.Bishanka pointed out that Dalit women face multiple discrimination on the basis of caste, gender and poverty. Couples in inter-caste marriages often face discrimination, rendering the...

MRG at the UN: Minority women face increased risks in conflict 

Ann Blomberg, MRG’s Representative at the UN in Geneva, spoke at the recent session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, drawing on the issue of meaningful participation of minority women in post-conflict peace-building processes.She touched on the many risks women face in conflict situations, including being coerced into sex work to be able to support their families or when displaced. Women from minority...

Guatemala: Stove project to improve cooking methods  

The Guatemalan Stove Project is a small charity based in Perth, Ontario. By raising small sums of money (around $250.), Canadians are able to work with local people, many of whom are from the Maya indigenous community, in the Western Highlands in Guatemala, to improve their cooking methods. Instead of having to cook over an open stove, causing pollution, health problems and using...

Minorities at the UN: Effective participation of Dalit women in India's economic life 

The Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion (CSEI), an NGO based in New Delhi, India, recently spoke at the fourth session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, focusing on the challenges faced by Dalit women in participating in economic life.Arti Verma, CSEI's representative, stated that despite constitutional and legislative provisions put in place to address the issue of caste discrimination, Dalit women continue...

Minorities at the UN: Protect the rights of Kurdish women in Turkey 

Ela Esra Gunad represented the Association for Social Change, an NGO based in Turkey, at the recent UN Forum on Minority Issues. She spoke about how Kurdish women in Turkey, who, as a result of displacement and discrimination, face difficulties in securing their economic and social rights.Gunad states that on top of these difficulties, Kurdish women also face issues of poverty, discrimination in employment...

Minorities at the UN: Uyghur women face severe rights violations in China 

Rebiya Kadeer, the president of the World Uyghur Congress, spoke at a side event organised by MRG and UNPO at the UN Forum on Minorities in November 2011. The event focused on the subject of violence against women and their access to justice.In her presentation, Kadeer drew attention to severe rights abuses faced by Uyghur women in China. She stated that due to their...


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