News and Events

In Occasion of 16 Days of Activism

A glance at women's situation around the world

November 25, 2023


As the world observes the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, it is imperative to cast a discerning gaze on the current state of women globally. This essay serves as a reflection on the myriad challenges faced by women and girls, underscoring the pressing need for intensified efforts and genuine commitment in the pursuit of gender equality.


Despite commendable endeavors and steadfast commitments, WOMEN continue to grapple with multifaceted forms of violence, spanning political, economic, social, and familial spheres. Formed through the lens of human rights, this essay unveils a start reality as women and girls remain among the most vulnerable groups in societies worldwide. The following exploration provides a succinct yet comprehensive overview of the status of women, examining key facets such as political participation, economic empowerment, access to justice, health, education, and the progress toward Sustainable Development Goals. Through a critical examination, this essay illuminates the persistent inequalities and injustice that necessitate urgent, concerted action from governments, organizations, international communities, social groups, and individuals.


Below is a brief overview on women's situation from different aspects of life compiled by the UN and other agencies:

  • Women's political participation:
    • The UN Women Notes:
      As of 1 January 2023, 11.3 percent of countries have women Heads of State (17 out of 151 countries, monarchy-based systems excluded), and 9.8 percent have women Heads of Government (19 out of 193). This is an increase compared to a decade ago when figures stood at 5.3 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. If all the regions, Europe continues to have the highest number of countries led by women. (Women in Power in 2023. New Data Shows Progress but Wide Regional Gaps. 2023)

      Women represent 22.8 percent of Cabinet Ministers as of 1 January, 2023. Europe and North America (31.6 percent), and Latin America and the Caribbean (33.1 percent) are the regions with the highest share of women in cabinets.

      However, in most other regions, women and severely under-represented dropping as low as 10.1 percent in Central and Southern Asia and 8.1 percent in the Pacific Islands (Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand).

      Only 13 countries, mostly in Europe, have gender-equal cabinets, with 50 percent or more of women cabinet members as heads of ministries. There are 17 additional countries with women's representation among Cabinet Ministers between 40 and 49.9 percent, nine of which are in Europe.

      Nine countries--most in Oceania and Western Asia--have no women cabinet members heading ministries. (Women in Power in 2023: New Data Shows Progress but Wide Regional Gaps, 2023)

      Only 26.5 percent of parliamentarians in single or lower houses are women, up from 11 percent in 1995.

      Only six countries have 50 percent or more women in parliament in single or lower houses. A further 23 countries have reached or surpassed 40 percent.

      Globally, there are 22 States in which women account for less than 10 percent of parliamentarians in a single or lower houses, including one lower chamber with no women at all. (Facts and Figures: Women's Leadership and Political Participation, 2023)

      Data from 141 countries show that women constitute more than 3 million (35.5 percent) of elected members in local deliberative bodies. Only three countries have reached 50 percent, and an additional 22 countries have more than 40 percent women in local government. (Facts and Figures: Women's Leadership and Political Participation, 2023)

  • Women in economic
    • The following information, pertaining to the percentage representation of women's economic situation, is extracted from The World Bank's report, 'WOMEN, BUSINESS AND THE LAW' 2023.

      Governments cannot afford to sideline as much as half of their population. Denying equal rights to women across much of the world is not only unfair to women, but also is a barrier to countries' ability to promote green, resilient, and inclusive development. Women cannot afford to wait any longer to reach gender equality. Neither can the global economy. (WOMEN, BUSINESS AND THE LAW 2023 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, n.d.)

      Globally, on average, women enjoy only 77 percent of the legal rights that men do; and nearly 2.4 billion women of working age around the world live in economies that do not grant them the same rights as men. Although great achievements have been made in recent decades, much remains to be done. (WOMEN, BUSINESS AND THE LAW 2023 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, n.d. page 15, paragraph 3)

      Today, just 14 economies--all high income--have laws giving women the same rights as men, and progress has been uneven cross regions and over time. Worldwide, every economy has implemented at least one reform since 1970; however, 176 economies still have room to improve. (WOMEN, BUSINESS AND THE LAW 2023 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY, n.d. page 17, paragraph 3)

  • Women access to justice
    • We possess numerous evidence-based reports highlighting the historical lack of access to justice for women across different eras and regions of the world. These reports reveal that women have endured various forms of violations, exacerbated by inadequate legal support in some countries, systemic corruption in others, and pervasive societal norms that hinder women from fully accessing justice in most nations. Regrettably, women continue to experience injustice across the globe. The following notes provide a clear picture of the issue by TAVARES & WODON, March 2018:

      When considering specific specific types of domestic violence, the number of adult women not protected under the law increases. For sexual violence by an intimate partner or family member, more than one billion women lacked protection, with virtually no change over time. For economic violence, the tally reached almost 1.4 billion women (50.6 percent of adult women) lacking protection, again with little change over time. Finally, estimates for unmarries intimate partners reach two billion. All these statistics are based on the number of adult women in the 141 countries, whether they are engaged in such relationships or not.

      One in five countries do not have appropriate laws against sexual harassment in employment. The proportion is six in ten countries for sexual harassment in education and four in five for sexual harassment in public spaces. Criminal penalties are in place in only two thirds of countries and less than half for sexual harassment in employment. Estimates of the number of women lacking legal protection against sexual harassment in employment, education, and public places are at 259 million, 1.5 billion, and 2.2 billion, respectively.

      The vast majority of people affected by intimate partner violence are women. The law does not protect them. Leaving an abusive relationship produces legal needs that have to be met. More than a billion women do not have legal protection from intimate partner sexual violence.

      Labor legislation is often discriminatory and legal barriers to women's entrepreneurship are pervasive, especially for married women. Women working in the informal sector are unable to protect themselves from arbitrary warrants, evictions, and confiscation of goods. Over 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men. (Source: World Bank)

      Women's access and control over land is restricted by discriminatory laws and practices, which worsens the risk of poverty. Women account for about one-eighth of total land ownership in developing countries, while representing about 43 percent of all those working in agriculture. (Source: FAO)

      Women need legal identity documents--relating to property, business, housing, marriage, employment, children or immigration status--to protect their rights and access services, including access to finance and even a mobile phone.

      Over one billion people in the world face challenges in proving who they are. Over 45 percent of women lack an ID, compared to 30 percent of men, in low-income countries. (Source: UNHCR-CEDAW)

      Women judges contribute to improved justice for women. Yet women continue to be excluded from public life and senior roles, including the legal system. In 2017, only 24 percent of the constitutional court justices globally were women (Source: UN Women)(Intimate Partner Violence, n.d.)

  • Women and health

    More than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is practiced.

    FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.

    FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

    Treatment of the health complications of FGM is estimated to cost health systems US$1.4 billion per year, a number expected to rise unless urgent action is taken towards its abandonment. (Female Genital Mutilation, n.d.)

    As of 2019, adolescents aged 15-19 years in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) had an estimated 21 million pregnancies each year, of which approximately 50% were unintended and which resulted in an estimated 12 million births.

    Based on 2019 data, 55% of unintended pregnancies among adolescent girls ages 15-19 years end in abortions, which are often unsafe in LMICs.

    Adolescent mothers (aged 10-19 years) face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis and systemic infections than women 20-24 years, and babies of adolescent mothers face higher risks of low birth weight, preterm birth and severe neonatal condition.

    Data on childbirths among girls aged 10-14 are getting more widely available. Globally the adolescent birth rate for girls 10-14 in 2022 was estimated at 1.5 per 1000 women with higher rated in sub-Saharan Africa (4.6) and Latin America and the Caribbean (2.4). (Adolescent Pregnancy, n.d

    Every day in 2020, almost 800 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

    A maternal death occurred almost every two minutes in 2020. Between 2000 and 2023, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR, number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) dropped by about 34 percent worldwide.

    Almost 95 percent of all maternal deaths occurred in low and lower middle-income countries in 2020 (Maternal Mortality, n.d.).

  • Girl's Education
    Around the world, 129 million girls are out of school, including 32 million of primary school age, 30 million of lower-secondary school age, and 67 million of upper-secondary school age. In countries affected by conflict, girls are more than twice as likely to be out of school than girls living in non-affected countries. Worldwide, 129 million girls are out of school. (Girls' Education | UNICEF, n.d.)

    Afghanistan is the only country since September 2021, the return to school for all Afghan girls over the age of 12 have been indefinitely postponed leaving 1.1 million girls and young women without access to formal education. Currently, 8 percent of school-aged Afghan girls and young women--2.5 million people--are out of school. Nearly 30 percent of girls in Afghanistan have never entered primary education.

    In December 2022, university education for women was suspended until further notice, affecting over 100,000 female students attending government and private higher education institutions. (UNESCO, 2023)

    The report also notes that long-held biased gender norms and stereotypes remain embedded in curricula, textbooks and teaching, derailing girls' choices of what to study and what careers to pursue. Globally, young women outnumber men in tertiary education, but in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), women make up only 35 percent of students, and in ICT, women make up just 3 percent. Across countries, girls are steered away from STEM. (Leaving No Girl Behind in Education, 2022)

  • Gender Apartheid

    The ongoing gender disparities in Afghanistan and Iran pose significant challenges for the future of women and girls, as well as for society as a whole.
    • In Afghanistan, gender apartheid is seen in the Taliban banning women and girls from education and almost all employment, and from traveling long distances without a male guardian, all while having to abide by a severe dress code. Women in Afghanistan are banned from almost all public spaces including public parks, gyms, and most recently beauty salons.

      In Iran, gender apartheid is seen in the Islamic Republic not allowing a women the right to divorce her husband or gain custody of her children, and in banning women from obtaining a passport and traveling outside the country without the permission of a male guardian. Women in Iran are banned from many fields of study and are not permitted into sports stadiums. Their lives and their testimony are worth half a man's under the law, and they are forced to wear compulsory hijab.

      Gender apartheid in these countries is seen in a series of policies and daily abuses that bar women and girls from engaging in public life and having any hopes of any financial autonomy. It is in all these measures designed and enacted by the Taliban and the Islamic Republic as a system of governance that aims to compress and relegate Afghan and Iranian women and girls into narrow roles: as child-bearers, child-rearers, and sources of unremunerated domestic labor. (jcookson, 20223)

  • Sustainable Development Goals
    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries--developed and developing--in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, educe inequality, and spur economic growth--all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. (THE 17 Goals | Sustainable Development, n.d.)

      Globally, over 280 million WOMEN AND GIRLS are in extreme poverty, living on less than $1.90 a day. If current trends continue, in sub-Saharan Africa, more women and girls will live in extreme poverty by 2030 than do today.
      Globally, nearly 1 in 3 WOMEN experienced moderate or severe food insecurity in 2021. Rising food prices are likely to exacerbate hunger around the world.
      Unsafe abortion is a leading but preventable cause of maternal mortality and morbidity. Today over 1.2 billion WOMEN AND GIRLS of reproductive age live in countries and areas with some restrictions on access to safe abortion. 102 million live in places where abortion is prohibited altogether.
      Protracted conflicts, wars and renewed efforts to keep girls out of school perpetuate gender gaps in access to school and learning. 54 percent of GIRLS who are not in formal education worldwide live in crisis affected countries.
      At the current rate of progress, it may take another 286 years to remove discriminatory laws and close prevailing gaps in legal protections for women and girls.
      Globally more than 1 in every 10 WOMEN AND GIRLS ages 15-29 were subjected to sexual and/or physical violence by an intimate partner in the previous year.
      In 2021, 4,465 COMMUNITIES made public declarations committing to eliminate female genital mutilation.
      Women hold over one third of seats in local decision-making bodies.
      School and day-care closures in 2020 led to an estimated 512 billion additional hours of unpaid childcare globally for women.
      The glass ceiling remains intact. Close to 1 in 3 MANAGERS/SUPERVISORS is a woman.
      At the current pace of change, only 26 PERCENT OF COUNTRIES have a comprehensive system to track gender budget allocations.
      The lack of clean water claims the lives of more than 800,000 WOMEN AND GIRLS every year.
      Affordable and clean energy, key to lifesaving care and productivity, remains out of reach for millions OF WOMENS AND GIRLS in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Rising energy prices are making matters worse.
      Women's labor force participation in 2022 is projected to remain below pre-pandemic levels in 169 countries and areas.
      Women hold only 2 in every 10 science, engineering and information and communication technology jobs globally. They comprise only 16.5 percent of investors associated with a a patent.
      By the end of 2021, some 44 million WOMEN AND GIRLS had been forced to flee their homes due to climate change, war, conflict and human rights violations.
      The majority of the world's women live in cities. 49% OF WOMEN in urban areas report feeling less safe walking alone at night since COVID-19 began.
      On average, one disaster resulting in 115 DEATHS AND LOSSES OF $202 MILLION was recorded daily during 1970-2019. WOMEN, especially from poor and marginalized communities, are disproportionately affected.
      Strong institutions that support just and peaceful societies are not possible without women. But women globally hold just 42% of judicial positions and make up a tiny share of police forces--a mere 16 percent.
      Funding for gender equality is not keeping pace with the increasing severity of global challenges and backlash against women's rights. Just 4.6 percent of bilateral allocable ODA goes to programs where gender equality is the main objective (PROGRESS on the SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS the GENDER SNAPSHOT 2022, n.d.)

In conclusion, the sluggish trajectory towards achieving gender equality across diverse Sustainable Development Goals signals a disheartening reality, with projections indicating the persistence of discriminatory laws and legal gaps for potentially hundreds of years. Delving into the complex web of issues surrounding violence against women, we uncover its roots in factors such as poverty, illiteracy, power dynamics, extremism, and social anomalies. The perpetuation of social inequalities is fueled by a lack of awareness, genuine commitment, and sway of political and economic interests.

While women play crucial and often overlooked roles across various societal domains, their contributions remain sidelined. It is incumbent upon us to reevaluate existing challenges and approach the struggle for gender equality with innovative perspectives, paving the way for a flourishing society and enduring peace.

Amidst the shadows of injustice and discrimination, envisioning a world where every individual can revel in life without fear is paramount. Let us collectively strive to paint the world orange, symbolizing a harmonious coexistence, free from prejudice. The responsibility to champion women's rights as human rights is not exclusive to governments; it extends from individuals to communities, resonating locally, regionally, and internationally. Only though concerted efforts can we foster a world where every inhabitant can thrive in peace and equality.


  • Speak out and don't stay silent--start a conversation
  • Listen and believe survivors, women and girls
  • Empower women and girls
  • Make access to education paramount for women and girls
  • Provide economic opportunities for women and girls
  • Give women a voice in political spaces
  • Vote for women
  • Include women in decision-making at leadership levels in all arenas
  • Engage male allies
  • Provide social services and safe spaces
  • Support local women-led and women's rights groups
  • Provide women cash support
  • Educate and learn about the myths and realities of gender-based violence
  • Improve laws to protect people, women and girls against gender-based violence
  • Develop policies to stop gender-based violence
  • Raise the cost to men and people perpetrating gender-based violence
  • Raise boys to oppose violence and respect gender equality
  • Teach and understand consent
  • Speak up about and stand against rape culture
  • Hold people accountable--see something, say something
  • Do not ignore gender-based violence

Ending violence against women is building of peaceful society.

"UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls."



Women in power in 2023: New data shows progress but wide regional gaps. (2023, March 7). UN Women - Headquarters. Retrieved November 20, 2023 from 


Facts and figures: Women's leadership and political participation. (2023, October 26). UN Women - Headquarters. Retrieved November 20, 2023 from 

WOMEN, BUSINESS AND THE LAW 2023 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. (n.d). Retrieved November 20, 2023 from


Female genital mutilation (n.d.) Retrieved November 20, 2023 from 

Adolescent pregnacy. (n.d.) Retrieved November 20, 2023 from 

Maternal mortality. (n.d.) Retrieved November 20, 2023 from

Girls' education | UNICEF. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2023 from

Leaving no girl behind in education. (2022, October 11). UN Women - Headquarters. Retrieved November 20, 2023 from

UNESCO. (2023, January 18). Let girls and women in Afghanistan learn! | UNESCO. www.unesco.or; UNESCO. Retrieved November 20, 2023 from

Request Rejected. (2023). Retrieved November 20, 2023 from

jcookson. (2023, October 5). Gender apartheid is a horror. Now the United Nations can make it a crime against humanity. Atlantic Council. Retrieved November 20, 2023 from

The 17 GOALS | Sustainable Development. (n.d). Retrieved November 20, 2023 from


In Occasion of International Day of Education

The World is Moving in One Direction and Afghanistan in the Opposite

While on January 24th, the International Education Day, the world competes in providing quality and inclusive educational services for life, what achievement does Afghanistan bring to the world? Ignorance, exclusion, and blocking education for women and girls – half of the country's population.

What is the world's practical response based on commitments to support and promote human rights values and implement sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the world to end this gender tragedy in Afghanistan?

What will be the world's response be to the 2030 commitment that No one will be left behind when Afghan women and girls are pushed back and marginalized?

Maybe like the Taliban, the world has also suspended its commitments to women's human rights in Afghanistan?

Depriving women and girls of the right to education is the worst human crime in contemporary human history, something no other government has done in recent history except the Taliban.
Afghanistan is the only country where women and girls are denied access to education and basic rights for the second time.

In 1996, when the Taliban first took power in Afghanistan, they wasted six years of girls' lives by keeping them away from school and work, a loss that was never compensated. No one was ever held responsible for committing this human crime either. Now, for the second time, girls and women are experiencing the same black politics and oppression, as the Taliban applies its misogynistic and extreme ideology to the women and girls of this land.

Unfortunately, the world not only did not prosecute the Taliban leaders for these crimes against humanity, but was unable to learn a lesson to prevent this violent, anti-human and anti-Islamic act.

Now in Afghanistan, women and girls have been imprisoned in their homes for exactly 17 months and 9 days, and some of them are screaming on the roads for their most basic human and Islamic rights, but it has no effect. Further, these protesting girls and women who did not commit any crime but rather are calling for justice and rights, have been insulted, threatened, imprisoned, tortured and punished by the Taliban.

Not only have women and girls of Afghanistan stood up and resisted, most of the institutions, various United Nations agencies, governments and organizations defending human rights and women's rights, authoritative Islamic authorities, including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, have also condemned this inhuman act and condemned the non-Islamic Taliban’s decisions in the strongest terms. These entities have repeatedly asked the Taliban to restore secondary schools for girls. In response, the Taliban has only increased the pressures and restrictions on women day by day, recently closing the gates of higher education and women's work in national and international non-governmental organizations.

Afghan women and girls inside and outside their country have turned to various international institutions, the United Nations and special representatives, various Islamic authorities and human rights organizations and individuals for solidarity and support.

But what has been the response? What has been the performance and the result?

The world community must admit that all of these sympathies, concurrences and solidarity are only condolence, condemnation, approval and demand left on words and paper.

Unfortunately, a significant performance with a changing situation or satisfactory solution has not been seen.

The brutality and horror of the Taliban against women and girls in Afghanistan has been a hot topic for the media. Speeches by politicians, policy makers and decision makers show that they are with Afghan women and girls and against the violation of their fundamental rights. They have sympathy. But the pain that Afghan women and girls endure with their flesh, skin and bones is difficult for other people in the world to understand because they have never been in that position.

It must be emphasized and clear to everyone that the Taliban, in order to gain recognition and legitimacy at the national and international level, have taken women and girls hostage – half of the population of Afghanistan, and have used religion as a tool for extremist goals. They twist religious ideas and use them against women. This understanding of Islamic religion has been repeatedly explained by well-known scholars and reliable Islamic authorities who explain that these actions of the Taliban are not based on the instructions of the holy religion of Islam and divine decrees, but are in contradiction to it. In other words, the Taliban completely follow the wrong interpretation of Islam.

The atrocities and deprivation of freedoms for women and girls in Afghanistan have reached a peak that they cannot bear it anymore.

The cold of winter is raging, and not only are girls and women deprived of education, but there is also a severe health crisis, women are completely deprived of political and social participation and they are not present in the leadership at all. The systematic elimination of women is suffocatingly and staggeringly fast. Women and girls are in a bad mental state, and there is fear and panic all over the country. Women are suffering gender-based violence. Women and children are starving to death.

Activists and defenders of human rights, former employees of the government and government institutions, former judges and parliamentarians, lawyers of the parliament and former
employees of security institutions, and journalists are mysteriously disappearing and being murdered.

For all these, what has the Taliban's response been?

Rejection, denial, and coercion.

Where does the Taliban get its strength and courage? Who is playing a double game with the people of Afghanistan in their support? Who supports them?

The United Nations is the only international authority that brings together the majority of countries in the world and issues numerous declarations, resolutions and conventions every day to ensure peace and human rights and a better future for the world. Yet Afghan girls have suffered greatly in the past 17 months? The United Nations should provide answers to these questions and a real plan?

What is the practical approach of the United Nations to save Afghan women and girls from the daily injustices and human rights injustices that they suffer? To what extent are the member countries of the United Nations coordinated and united regarding the current situation in Afghanistan?

Has the Taliban ever been asked about Afghanistan's international obligations? They must be committed to, for example, Resolution 1325 women, peace and security and other political and economic conventions to which Afghanistan has joined.

The world should not forget that the security of the world is inextricably linked with the current situation in Afghanistan, so it should not be ignored. Now is the time to take practical, quick and serious steps to control the situation and bring about change in Afghanistan, and, to end this gender tragedy in Afghanistan.

The only way to save the people of Afghanistan will be the formation of an inclusive and comprehensive government with the meaningful participation of women and civil activists in the decision-making and leadership structure of the future government of Afghanistan.

I as a women demand from all organizations and educational associations to don’t put Afghan women and girls alone, support them by providing remote education opportunity and facilities.

In short, as an Afghan woman, I want answers to these questions. And I ask other women of the world to support the women of Afghanistan so that such a fate does not pass to them, and the world does not remain irresponsible like this.

Roshan Mashal a women’s human rights defender
January 24th, 2023

16 Days of Activism

Opportunity for Unity, Solidarity, Advocacy, Support, and Partnership

We all, as human beings, have a responsibility not only to ourselves but to the world – to support each other and do something for the well-being of all of humanity.

We must remember that we are living together in families, societies, and the in the world, and we must respect each other’s rights and dignity. We must also feel others’ pain and not turn away from it.

Beyond our nation, gender, occupation, relations, and responsibility, we all have a commonality – humanity – that brings us together.

We must respect each other’s rights and freedoms, but we must also make ourselves and others accountable for respecting others’ freedoms and rights.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” UDHR ARTICLE 1i

Of course, this includes women’s and girls’ equal rights globally.

The United Nations defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life."

And the UN has focused attention on women’s and human rights repeatedly, including through the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)iii, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rightsiv, The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishmentv, The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rightsvi, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rightsvii, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against women, and The Sustainable development goals by 2030 “No one left behind.ix

Women and girls make up half the world's population and have a significant role in developing a healthy society. Every person and society need women's support and contributions. However, their function and participation, power and contribution, voice and experiences are still overlooked, undervalued, and denied.

Despite all the global commitments to end and prevent violence against women, women face social, economic, cultural, and political inequality and injustices. Throughout the world they suffer the most through physical, psychological, material, and spiritual violence.

Women worldwide are suffering domestic violence (economic, psychological, emotional, and physical violence); intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide); sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber-harassment); human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation); female genital mutilation; and child marriage.

Everywhere in the world, women face social, cultural, and economic barriers to equality. The latest evidence-based reports show that 1 in 3 women globally experiences violence (at least one form of physical, sexual, or psychological violence),70 percent of all people living in poverty are women and girls, and Only 22 percent of the world’s political leaders are women.x

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted women disproportionately – from loss of jobs to a rise in violence against women and unpaid care work. Although women are at the front line of the COVID-19 response as healthcare workers, innovators and leaders, their contributions remain less visible and less valued. Only 3.5 percent of COVID-19 task forces across 87 countries had gender parity.xi

Gender-based violence is a horrible reality in societies that, knowingly and unknowingly, has been followed by generations.

It is clear, violence against women doesn’t just effect individuals but has a negative impact on society. Transgenerational trauma, which can be handed down from survivors of gender violence to their children, affects their psyche, health, behavior, and futures. It can be and is handed down between generations for centuries.

If the past is any indication, there is little hope for change without more efforts, support, and commitment to end violence against women worldwide.

16 Days of Activism alerts individuals, institutions, and governments to renew and intensify their commitments to end violence against women.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, International Human Rights Day. Activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 developed the campaign and it continues to be coordinated annually by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations worldwide to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

Join this global action, say NO to violence against women and girls, and be part of this international activist campaign.

Orange the world! A world free of violence and discrimination for all!

Join and challenge the social norms, post an encouraging message to women who survive violence and show them that they are not alone, listen to women who experienced discrimination, share your story, thank women who support you, wear orange to support survivors of violence against women, speak up for marginalized women, break the silence, write, draw, sing a song, read a poem, publish some inspiring messages, donate to and fund women’s rights organizations, support other initiatives and show your solidarity.

It is the time for change, reform, and freedom.

Ending violence against women will start a peaceful, healthy, and beautiful society and world.

An article by Roshan Mashal on the eve of the 16 Days of Elimination of Violence Against women, 2022












red flags

The Red Flag Campaign

Research indicates that in 1 in 5 college students experience dating violence.* The Red Flag Campaign uses a bystander intervention strategy to address and prevent sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking on college campuses. The campaign encourages friends and other campus community members to say something when they see warning signs for sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking in a friend’s relationship. The campaign is a project of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, and was created by college students, college personnel, and community victim advocates.

new faculty members


Recently four UTA faculty members were elected to the Women’s & Gender Studies Program Advisory Board, which assists in decision-making regarding the structure and governance of the program. They will each serve three-year terms. We are so glad to welcome each of these faculty members to the UTA WGS Advisory Board!

Statement From WGS

In recent weeks, the long and uninterrupted history of racism and white supremacy in this country has been challenged by the courageous stand of the Black Lives Matter movement and its allies. The Women’s and Gender Studies Program at UTA stands with the protestors in demanding the dismantling of the interlocking, systemic racism that infects our institutions, places of work and learning, and indeed, all of American society. Police brutality and the massive prison system echo the foundation of this country on the stolen lands and genocide of Indigenous peoples and the brutal enslavement of Africans and their descendants. We wholeheartedly embrace our black and brown brothers and sisters and pledge our unwavering support of justice and equality for every American. We further pledge to interrogate our curriculum to confirm that it is free of any vestige of the legacy of white supremacy. We will endeavor to include the historical experiences of black and brown peoples in all of our courses and to make sure that our students can see and hear our unwavering dedication to the dignity and value of every human being in our teaching, advising, and all other actions.

In this time of tragedy and loss, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to those who are suffering, and, especially, to the family and friends of George Floyd. We remember, too, that Atatiana Jefferson and Botham Jean were both murdered by police right here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area last year. Just in the past few years, there are many others we can’t forget, including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, and Michael Brown. Say their names.

We join hands with all our colleagues and students in kindness and empathy, and pledge to support each other in these trying times. Black Lives Matter has focused America on its great and egregious failings, and the path forward is fraught with danger, resistance, and formidable foes. However, we commit ourselves to joining forces with all people of goodwill in the struggle to remake America into a more equitable and just union.

Together, we are stronger. And together, we will work to expunge white supremacy, in all its forms, from America.

Listen, Learn, and Act

As an academic unit, UTA’s Women’s & Gender Studies Program pledges our resources to educating ourselves and others; to listening; to interrogating, naming, and dismantling privilege; to amplifying the voices of all Black people and all people of color in teaching, scholarship, and administrative work; and to supporting Black people and all people of color in their fight for equality and justice.

Click here for a list of some resources for educating yourself and others.