On Trends in Gender, Development, and Human Rights

Dr. Nancy Strichman Blog on the Times of Israel newspaper site

Past Achievements and Future Directions of Women’s and Feminist Organizations in Israel

By Dr. Nancy Strichman for the National Council of Jewish Women

Today, there are more than a hundred organizations active in Israel that are devoted exclusively to advancing women’s status or promoting gender equality. These organizations touch on issues as diverse as: economic empowerment, fair and equal political representation, sexual harassment, gender wage gaps, peace efforts, religious freedom, healthy sexuality, preventing gender-based violence and women’s expression in the arts and culture.

The research aims to present a snapshot of the agendas, priorities and concerns expressed by the field. It primarily seeks to shed light and build on the vital conversations that are taking place among activists, organizational representatives, funders, journalists, and public officials regarding the current and future efforts in Israel to promote the status of women and advance gender equality.

Rights in Transition: Making Legal Recognition of Transgender People a Global Priority

By Neela Ghoshal and Kyle Knight, Human Rights Watch

An overview of the current state of human rights among transgender people across the globe including disproportionate murder rates, arrests, and other forms of violence, abuse and discrimination. The report also provides highlight of transgender communities receiving legal recognition, and how this recognition serves as a gateway for right to privacy, the right to freedom of expression, the right to be free from arbitrary arrest, and rights related to employment, education, health, security, access to justice, and the ability to move freely.

Refugee Men as Perpetrators, Allies, or Troublemakers?: Emerging Discourses on Men and Masculinities in Humanitarian Aid

By Elizabeth Olivius

Including men and boys in order to successfully promote gender equality has been increasingly emphasized in international policymaking and governance. This article examines emerging discourses on men, masculinities and gender equality in the field of humanitarian aid to refugees. Refugee men are represented as perpetrators of violence and discrimination; as powerful gatekeepers and potential allies; and as emasculated troublemakers. These ways of conceptualizing men and masculinity are problematic in ways which significantly limit their potential for the transformation of unequal gender relations: gendered power relations are obscured; refugee men's masculinity is pathologized as “primitive”; and attempts to take the needs of men into account are often turned into an argument against the empowerment of refugee women.

Child Marriage is a Violation of Human Rights, but is all too Common


Marriage before the age of 18 is considered violation of human rights, yet among women aged 20 to 24 worldwide, one in four were child brides.  Many factors interact to place a girl at risk of marriage, including poverty, the perception that marriage will provide ‘protection’, family honour, social norms, customary or religious laws that condone the practice, an inadequate legislative framework and the state of a country's civil registration system. Child marriage often compromises a girl’s development by resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupting her schooling, limiting her opportunities for career and vocational advancement and placing her at increased risk of domestic violence. This report provides an overview of trends in child marriage.

Gender Violence as Global Phenomenon: Refugees, Genital Surgeries, and Neocolonial Projects of the United States

By Sarah L. Mckinnon

Focusing on U.S. legal, political, and media discourse about female circumcision in particular, and gender violence more broadly, this essay examines what U.S. imaginaries about global gender violence enable as warrants for neocolonial consolidations of U.S. power in the 21st century through international projects and programs. It questions what the recognition of gender violence as a global phenomenon does for U.S. neocolonial projects of defense, development, and diplomacy. It is the flexibility of gender violence as a rhetoric make it potent in the service of U.S. neocolonial practices and projects around the world?

Human Trafficking Is More Than Sex Trafficking and Prostitution: Implications Implications for Social Work

Maria Beatriz Alvarez and Edward J. Alessi

This article critically examines the current discourse on human trafficking because the sole focus on women and children diverts attention from the study of trafficking within the context of globalization and the exploitation of labor. It analyzes the term "human trafficking," particularly how it became linked to antiprostitution campaigns, and suggests guidelines for a framework that is grounded in social work values.

Map: Explore the Gender Labour Gap around the World

International Labour Organization: Women at Work, Trends 2016

The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 23 and 24 specifically identify and explain the issue of the right to work and employment as human rights and include fair payment, hours, and conditions. Despite significant progress over the past century, women have not achieved gender equality in the workplace. In many parts of the world, women are still trapped in low-skilled work and work longer unpaid hours and without pensions. This interactive maps illustrates how working women are faring around the world.