Womens Justice Center

The Liberation of Women's Energy
Will Change the World. *

La liberación de la energía de la mujer cambiará el mundo

o provide advocacy, free of charge, for victims of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse, particularly in the Latina and other under served communities of Sonoma County. To provide advocacy training and community education. To promote more women and minorities in our law enforcement agencies. To commit to equal justice for all women and girls.

rindar una defensa gratuita a víctimas de violación, violencia doméstica y abuso infantil, particularmente en las comunidades hispanas y otras que no son atendidas adecuadamente en el condado de Sonoma. Proveer capacitación en defensa pública y educación comunitaria. Incrementar el número de mujeres y personas pertenecientes a minorías en nuestras agencias de aplicación de justicia. Comprometernos con la justicia igualitaria para todas las mujeres y las niñas.

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias



Portrait of a young Mexican girl. 23% of girls in Mexico are married before the age of 18. Photo credit: Curt Carnemark | World Bank.

23 June 2017 - When we think about child marriage we might think of South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa. New research by the Ford Foundation and Investigación en Salud y Demografía (INSAD) brings Mexico – a country with the 8th highest number of child brides in the world – into the spotlight.

“Studies like these are enormously useful because they provide concrete evidence that this really is a problem in the Americas as well” Hillary Anderson, The Inter-American Commission of Women

The study is based on data from the 2015 intercensal survey, as well as interviews with 17 girls and 15 community actors and experts. We recap some of the key findings.

Child marriage is not decreasing in Mexico

Child marriage is common in many areas of Mexico. Nearly 1 in 4 girls (or 23%) are married or in a union before the age of 18, a rate that has been stagnant for almost 30 years. Living in rural area is a risk factor. In 14 of the 32 states, the report found that 30% of girls in rural settings were married before 18.



Quinceanera Expo: (english)

Quineanera Expo: (espanol)

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It is a sign of the gender blindness of IHL and ICL that until now, it was not clear whether the sexual abuse of children by members of their “own” armed group can, in fact, be a war crime.

By answering that question in the affirmative, the ICC Appeals Chamber has made an enormously important contribution to international criminal law.



ICC extends War Crimes of Rape and Sexual Slavery to Victims from Same Armed Forces as PerpetratorIn "International Criminal Law"

The Ntaganda Case, Prosecutorial Discretion at the ICC, and the Recognition of Sexual Violence against MalesIn "IntLawGrrls"

Ntaganda surrenders in RwandaIn "Democratic Republic of the Congo"


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Cada ocho horas, al menos una niña se convierte en madre en Guatemala, antes de cumplir 15 años. Es una cifra estremecedora, pero la realidad podría ser mucho peor debido a que desde 2012 las cifras se vieron distorsionadas por fallas técnicas en la medición, reducción de la cobertura e interés político de mostrar mejoras.

Yasmin es mamá de dos niños a sus 16 años. Viven en la aldea Mojarrillas, Monjas, Jalapa, su condición de vida es pobre y no utiliza ningún método de planificación familiar. (Foto Prensa Libre: Érick Ávila).

Entre el 2006 y el 2016, 122 mil niñas y adolescentes, entre 10 y 17 años se han convertido en madres, pero ese número podría alcanzar casi el cuarto de millón debido a la anómala disminución de los registros que provocada a partir de 2012 por la política de salud del Partido Patriota.

El ministro de Salud entre 2012 y 2014, Jorge Villavicencio, negó que los datos hayan sido alterados, pero reconoció que  el sistema informático de la cartera “tiene dificultades”, lo que podría explicar “algún mal registro” durante ese período.

La reducción de casi el 30 por ciento, según Villavicencio, fue resultado de una política de prevención impulsada en ese período.

Implementar un protocolo de alerta al identificar casos de alto riesgo y el haber reconocido el trabajo de las comadronas en las áreas de Salud  influyó directamente en la reducción de mortalidad materna y embarazos en niñas y adolescentes, según Villavicencio.

La estrategia citada por  el exfuncionario contrasta con casos registrados en Salud desde el 2012, cuando bajó la cobertura que se ofrecía a través de organizaciones cercanas a comunidades de difícil acceso, y para 2013 los contratos con las oenegés que prestaban este servicio fueron cancelados.


Trump signs global gag rule


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  This study examined the effect on a number of outcomes related to the arrest, prosecution, and conviction in cases of intimate partner violence (IPV) both before and after officer use of body-worn cameras (BWCs).

The perceived benefits that generally accompany officers’ use of BWCs include the ability to increase transparency and police legitimacy, improve behavior among both police officers and citizens, and reduce citizen complaints and police use of force. Less established in the literature, however, is the value of BWCs to aid in the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of IPV offenders.

The current study found that compared with posttest non-camera cases, posttest camera cases were more likely to result in an arrest, have charges filed, have cases furthered, result in a guilty plea, and result in a guilty verdict at trial. These results have several implications for policing, prosecuting, and convicting in IPV cases. 56 references (Publisher abstract modified)

SEE ALSO:  Use of Police Body Cameras in Cases of Violence Against Women and Children

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More Central American women are fleeing their homes, crossing borders to escape domestic violence in the region with the most female murders in the world

In the end it was a cup of coffee laced with poison that compelled Josefina Nieto to run for her life.

Nieto, 41, fled Guatemala with her youngest son last summer after surviving years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse from her husband, who she married at the age of 12.

A few months earlier, Nieto, a midwife, had obtained a restraining order against her husband and asked for a divorce after he falsely accused her of having an affair.

Her husband, a 52-year-old teacher and former police officer, was briefly detained after flouting the restraining order but returned home after paying a small fine. He warned her against going back to the authorities – “Till death do us part,” he said.

With no safe house or family to turn to, Nieto squatted in an abandoned house for several weeks with the two youngest of her five children until they were evicted by police. Out of options, they were forced to return home.

Just a few days later, Nieto was taken to the hospital after drinking a poison-laced cup of coffee prepared by her husband.

Even then the authorities didn’t arrest him, and instead advised Nieto to get a divorce.



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In case after case, men practice violence against their families before lashing out at the public.

In the wake of Wednesday’s attack on members of Congressat baseball practice in Northern Virginia, we’ve resurfaced this story. HuffPost has previously written about how men who attack the public often have a history of abusing those closest to them first. And in the U.S., most mass shootings are related to domestic violence. The suspect in Wednesday’s shooting― James Hodgkinson ― appears to fit this tragic pattern. He was previously arrested for domestic battery after allegedly assaulting his teenage foster daughter, though the charge was later dropped.

SHERIFF'S 2006 REPORT - HODGKINSON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (2 Counts Domestic Battery, Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, 2 Counts of Battery, Criminal Damage to Motor Vehicle)

Questions: With multiple witnesses and the abundance of corroborating physical evidence, who dismissed this case and why? With all the media attention to this case how is it that the journalists are failing to dig into and answer these questions?


Domestic abuse can portend terror violence



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Uber announced the recommendations Tuesday, prepared from a report by former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., hired by Uber to address mounting criticism of the company amid a wave of workplace scandals. The full report is being withheld from the public and the bulk of the company's 14,000 employees worldwide.



Uber board member cracks ‘inappropriate’ joke about women at company event on sexual harassment

Uber fires more than 20 employees after sexual harassment investigation

Uber diversity report paints overwhelmingly white, male picture

Everything we know so far about Uber's sexual harassment scandal . (SLIDES)


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“Unlike other habits that the military efficiently drills out of its members, there’s no effort to do the same when it comes to sexist behavior.”

—Marine veteran Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas and Army reservist Paula Broadwell

The first women were assigned to a Marine infantry unit on Jan. 5, fulfilling the 2015 Department of Defense mandate that all military service jobs, including combat, be open to women.

By late January, a Google Drive link with photos of nude and barely dressed Marine servicewomen was postedto the Marines United Facebook page without the knowledge of the women involved. Postings also divulged their names, ranks and military duties.

Marines United, a male-only site for current and former Marines, U.S. Navy corpsmen and British Royal Marines, has a following of some 30,000 members whose bases span the globe. Members describe it as a site that helps vets find jobs and assists those feeling suicidal. It also carries degrading commentary about women. The news of nonconsensual nude photos with woman-hating commentary erupted into national media in March.

By then, 2,500 comments, some threatening rape and other sadistic sexual torture—couched in weaponized humor—had been posted to the site.

The Marines United rules of conduct—no racist or illegal posts, no threats, harm or harassment—and the Marines’ hallowed motto semper fi (“always faithful”) apparently do not apply to its treatment of women. Why? Because from basic training onward, women are stereotyped as “bitches,” “sluts” or “lesbians,” as one 23-year-old Marine veteran testified at a recent congressional hearing.

The Marines United story exploded like a roadside bomb run over by a convoy truck. Journalist and Marine veteran Thomas Brennan, who broke the story, and other veterans have since tracked the electronic dodges, feints and shifting Facebook sites of Marines United more nimbly than military officials have. Top Marine brass, under heavy fire from female legislators for other pornographic Facebook sites, confessed four years ago that they lacked “manpower” and “technological resources” to counter electronic sexual assault on their female members.

Baffling, isn’t it, that a military with the best cyberwar capabilities in the world and a defense budget larger than the next eight countries combined can’t control a cyberattack on women within its own ranks?



Uber fires 20 employees as part of harassment investigation

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On May 7, a group of armed men barged into Miriam Elizabeth Rodriguez Martinez’s home in Mexico and killed her. Miles away in Nicaragua, police arrested and beat Aydil del Carmen Urbina Noguer. In Marange area in Zimbabwe, police and military are using violence to silence women who speak out against mining companies that have occupied the area. This is just a glimpse into the reality that women activists are facing everywhere. Unfortunately, despite considerable effort, institutional and conventional responses to this violence are coming up short—as evident in the escalating risk for women activists. Given the urgency of the situation, JASS and allies are questioning the underlying assumptions guiding activist safety, and bringing a feminist and movement building perspective to rethinking the approach. We are drawing on knowledge from our long-standing collaborative work in the Mesoamerican Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative and with other protective networks and strategies of women activists in that region and beyond. To deepen our learning and analysis and better inform practices, we are convening a series of dialogues and joint strategic spaces with human rights organizations, donors, frontline activists, and UN human rights officials that contribute towards building a shared understanding and joint solutions that can effectively address this escalating violence against women activists. 

What are women confronting? 

Around the world, women activists are increasingly at risk, threatened, harassed, and even killed for daring to stand up to powerful interests including the state and private institutions such as transnational companies or drug cartels. Because women are working to protect human rights, economic justice, their land, water, territories, and democracy itself, many, but not all, call themselves women human rights defenders (WHRDs), or simply defenders. For their courage and leadership, these women activists face attacks in the streets to silence their political activism, criminalization and stigmatization in the courts and media, and even rejection and abuse in their own communities and homes for stepping outside traditional gender norms. The public and private forms of this violence are compounded by on-going gender-based violence and other forms of inequality (class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.), which heighten women’s vulnerability.

A variety of trends


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Lawyer for AJ Vandermeyden says termination was retaliatory after she took lawsuit public, accusing the company of discrimination

AJ Vandermeyden sued Tesla, alleging discrimination and harassment, among other concerns.

 AJ Vandermeyden sued Tesla, alleging discrimination and harassment, among other concerns. Photograph: Rami Talaie for the Guardian

A female engineer at Tesla who accused the car manufacturer of ignoring her complaints of sexual harassment and paying her less than her male counterparts has been fired in what her lawyer alleges was an act of retaliation.

AJ Vandermeyden, who went public with her discrimination lawsuit against Elon Musk’s car company in an interview with the Guardian in February, was dismissed from the company this week.

Vandermeyden had claimed she was taunted and catcalled by male employees and that Tesla failed to address her complaints about the harassment, unequal pay and discrimination. “It’s shocking in this day and age that this is still a fight we have to have,” she said at the time.


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Publication Date:  April 2017
Annotation:  This study provides benchmark data on the proportion of people in Illinois who have been impacted by crime and the needs that resulted from their victimization, and it also determined how victims’ needs are being met by Illinois victim service providers and where gaps in such services currently exist.
Abstract:  The study determined that 55 percent of adults in Illinois have been crime victims in their lifetimes, and among these victims, 21 percent reported criminal victimization within the past 2 years, with many of the crimes occurring in Chicago and its suburbs. Ten percent or less of the crimes were gang-related or involved guns. More frequently, Illinois residents reported being victims of identity theft and scams (25 percent), physical assault (21 percent), child abuse (20 percent), domestic violence (20 percent), robbery (15 percent), or rape/sexual assault (14 percent). Forty-six percent indicated they reported their victimization to law enforcement; reasons given for failure to report were police inability to help or police would blame or not believe them. Counseling and mental health services were most often mentioned as victimization-related needs. Victims of violent crimes were more likely to mention the need for mental health services, along with the need for civil legal assistance in cases of domestic violence or child abuse. About one-third to one-half of victims who indicated their need for help did not receive it, often because they did not know that such services were available for crime victims or did not know how to obtain such services. Recommendations pertain to education and outreach initiatives, initial response to victims, strategies for delivering victim support, and support for under-served victims. 11 tables and appended methodological materials

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 Female genital mutilation follows immigrant women and girls to America

Women and girls who immigrate from countries where female genital mutilation is common are not immune to the practice even after they arrive in the U.S., according to the United Nations. (Reuters)

By Abigail Hauslohner May 25 

Minnesota state Rep. Mary Franson received a note from a friend last year urging her to draft stricter legislation against female genital mutilation. The state already had banned the practice in 1994, so the Republican worried that a new law would seem “Islamophobic,” given its target audience.

One case changed her mind.

Federal prosecutors last month charged three Michigan doctors with putting two Minnesota girls under the knife. The parents of one girl — ostensibly complicit in the procedure — lost custody “for a whopping 72 hours,” Franson told lawmakers on the floor of the Minnesota statehouse last week.

Now she wants Minnesota to pass a bill that would send perpetrators to prison for up to 20 years, targeting parents as well as doctors.

“We’re saying that if you harm your child in this way, you’re going to be held responsible,” she said.

Female genital mutilation has been a federal crime in the United States for more than two decades, carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison. But the three doctors are the first to be charged under the law. The case has set off a flurry of new bills across the country, with a growing number of states moving to extend penalties to the parents and hit them with lengthy prison terms.


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Three days after declaring martial law in the rebellious southern Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his troops to crush the militants, and gave a speech to inspire them:

“You can arrest any person, search any house,” Duterte told the soldiers Friday.

“I alone would be responsible” for anything they did under martial law, he said. “I will go to jail for you. If you happen to have raped three women, I will own up to it.”

This last comment — absolving his soldiers for any future rapes — was widely reported as a joke, and if it was, it wouldn't be the ruler's first attempt at the genre.

Before he won the presidency last year, Duterte joked that he “should have been first” in the gang rape of a woman who was held hostage, raped and killed in the 1980s.


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A labour ward for teenage expectant mothers in Caracas, Venezuela. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

By Nicola Davis - 16 May 2017

Pregnancy complications are the leading cause of death globally among females aged 15-19, with self-harm in second place, a global study has found.

More than 1.2 million female and male adolescents die annually, the World Health Organization (WHO) report said – the majority from preventable causes including mental health issues, poor nutrition, reproductive health problems and violence.

The authors said that failing to tackle the health of 10- to 19-year-olds could undermine the improvements achieved in maternal and child health worldwide, pointing out that too often adolescent health was overlooked.

“By investing in adolescent health, you actually get a triple benefit because you get a healthier adolescent now, that healthier adolescent becomes a healthier, more productive adult in the near future, and also for those who have children, they become a more healthy parent,” said David Ross, lead author of the study. “If you have a healthy parent, that spills over into a healthy child.”

The WHO surveyed the causes of death for 10- to 19-year-olds in 2015. It found that the leading cause, globally, was road injuries, which caused 115,300 such deaths.

The next biggest killers were:

  • Lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
  • Self-harm.
  • Diarrhoeal diseases.
  • Drowning.

There were considerable differences when the results were compartmentalised by sex and age.

For girls aged 10-14, the leading cause of death was lower respiratory infections, but the biggest problems for those aged 15-19 were maternal conditions including haemorrhage, complications from unsafe abortion and obstructed labour. These occurrences led to 10.1 deaths for every 100,000 individuals.

For boys in both age groups, the leading cause of death was injury from road accidents, with drowning the second leading cause for the younger age group and violence in second place for boys aged 15-19.

World Health Organization – WHO – Fact Sheet 2017 - ADOLESCENTS: HEALTH RISKS & SOLUTIONS



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The researchers interviewed 603 women working in the sex industry in the Mexican cities of Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez

By Sebastien Malo

NEW YORK, May 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Girls being trafficked for sex in northern Mexico often have been forced into exploitation as under-age child brides by their husbands, a study showed on Thursday.

Three out of four girls trafficked in the region were married at a young age, mostly before age 16, according to Mexican and U.S. researchers in a yet-unpublished study.

Human trafficking is believed to be the fastest-growing criminal industry in Mexico, and three-quarters of its victims are sexually exploited women and girls, according to Women United Against Trafficking, an activist group.

Under a 2012 anti-trafficking law, those convicted of the crime can spend up to 30 years in prison.

Nevertheless, nearly 380,000 people are believed to be enslaved in Mexico, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index published by rights group Walk Free Foundation.

The researchers interviewed 603 women working in the sex industry in the Mexican cities of Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, both along the border with the United States.

Most said they had been trafficked as under-age brides, often by their husbands, said Jay Silverman, the study's lead author and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

In about half the cases, the brides were pregnant, so healthcare workers could play a critical role in thwarting sex trafficking, the researchers said.

"Within being provided pregnancy-related care, there's the opportunity of interviewing that girl to understand her situation," Silverman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.


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Survivors of violence face real barriers when trying to access safe housing – barriers caused by the power and control dynamics of abuse, a need for safety and confidentiality, economic instability, the effects of trauma, and the lack of affordable housing in communities. Nobody should have to choose between staying in an unsafe home and having no home at all.

This collection offers a doorway to the resources available through Safe Housing Partnerships, a project of the federal Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium. The Consortium is an innovative, collaborative approach to providing training, technical assistance, and resource development at the critical intersection of domestic and sexual violence, homelessness, and housing.

The resources and tools included here are provided to advance your work at the critical intersection of domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness, and housing.


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Escasa aplicación de leyes e impunidad de agresores

CIMACFoto: César Martínez López, Por: Montserrat Antúnez Estrada

La violencia sexual y el embarazo infantil sigue siendo ignorados por los Estados Latinoamericanos que son parte de la Convención Interamericana para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Violencia y prueba de ello son los 2 millones de partos de niñas menores de 15 años que hay anualmente en el mundo, América Latina y el Caribe, la única región donde los casos aumentaron y donde se prevé que sigan creciendo hasta el 2030.

Así lo afirmó la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), basada en datos de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), en su más reciente estudio titulado “Informe hemisférico sobre violencia sexual y embarazo infantil en los Estados Parte de la Convención de Belém do Pará”, publicado el pasado 24 de marzo en el sitio web del Observatorio de Igualdad de Género de América Latina y el Caribe de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas. 

En el estudio, el Mecanismo de Seguimiento de la Convención de Belém do Pará (MESECVI) destaca que las niñas y adolescentes en América Latina y El Caribe representan más del 20 por ciento de la población, por lo que urgió a trabajar en políticas públicas en pro de los derechos de esta población, en un contexto donde, de acuerdo a cifras de la OMS citadas en el informe, en América Latina una de cada cinco mujeres asegura haber sufrido abuso sexual en la infancia.

Además, resaltó el MESECVI en el informe realizado con el objetivo de dar seguimiento a lo planteado en la Convención de Belém do Pará (1994), la violencia sexual contra las niñas y adolescentes es también del tipo estructural, porque los Estados siguen sin garantizar una vida libre de violencia para este sector.

Las niñas y adolescentes siguen siendo obligadas a continuar con su embarazo por prohibiciones legales de la interrupción del embarazo y por la falta de información otorgada a las víctimas; además, existen legislaciones que perpetúan los estereotipos de género y no hay protocolos de actuación en países donde el aborto es legal. 




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Los casos de denuncias contra integrantes de la Iglesia católica que se conocieron a partir del escándalo del padre Julio César Grassi en 2002

12 de mayo de 2017

Abusos, silencio, protección. Este entramado se repite en muchos de los 62 casos denunciados en la Argentina desde 2002, luego de que estallara el escándalo del padre Julio César Grassi.

Una investigación de la Agencia Télam –de las periodistas Lucía Toninello y Mariana García–, deja al descubierto que la denuncia contra Grassi no es un hecho aislado: desde entonces cuatro nuevas denuncias se sumaron por año y sólo tres casos fueron sancionados con la máxima pena prevista por el derecho canónico: la expulsión del sacerdocio.

Julio César Grassi (Télam)


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Expanding Mexico City Policy will 'cause unspeakable damage to integrated care efforts across all health sectors,' says one NGO boss

Women and children will die after the Trump administration instituted a new "global gag rule" that blocks aid groups from providing information about abortions if they receive US funding, it has been claimed.

The rule now applies to groups receiving US funds to fight HIV/Aids or even malaria and covers nearly $9 billion (£7 billion) in aid, rather than the $600m (£465 million) restricted by the original Mexico City Policy.

Suzanne Ehlers, president of the PAI reproductive health NGO, said the move would "cause unspeakable damage to integrated care efforts across all health sectors". She added: "It will cost many around the world their lives, especially women."

PAI said the rules - dubbed the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance programme - would cause unsafe abortions, unintended pregnancies and child mortality to rise.

Shannon Kowalski, policy director at the International Women's Health Coalition, called the programme "cruel and unusual punishment". She told The Independent: "Instead of protecting life, it will increase maternal deaths by putting essential sexual and reproductive health care out of reach for far too many women."



Trump expansion of abortion 'gag rule' will restrict $8.8 billion in US aid

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    • Trump to widen ‘Mexico City policy’, which had been suspended under Obama
    • Rule will prevent foreign aid going to groups that even discuss abortion rights


    A health clinic in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Trump’s rule blocks US aid to any organization that discusses abortion as part of a family planning service.

     A health clinic in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Trump’s rule blocks US aid to any organization that discusses abortion as part of a family planning service. Photograph: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

    The Trump administration will significantly expand a Reagan-era policy banning foreign aid to international healthcare providers who discuss abortion, a White House official has told the Christian Broadcasting Network.

    The new terms of the ban will reportedly apply to $8.8bn in existing foreign aid provided by the state department, USAid, and the Department of Defense – dwarfing the $60m in programming that previously fell under the ban.

    The change in policy will not cut the amount of foreign aid distributed through existing channels. But it will prevent those funds from going to any organization that promotes abortion rights.

    “Votes in America have international consequences,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B Anthony List, an anti-abortion political action committee. “The [policy] implemented today is one of the reasons pro-life voters worked to elect Donald Trump to the White House. We have officially ceased exporting abortion to foreign nations.”

    State department officials are expected to formally announce the new rules as early as Monday.

    Critics say the rule will put thousands of international healthcare workers in the difficult position of deciding whether to continue to offer family planning care that includes abortion at the expense of a crucial funding stream.

    Worldwide, unsafe abortions are a major cause of maternal mortality and kill tens of thousands of women every year.


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    This day we honor and celebrate 
    the women who have given life to us, 
    the women who give life to ideas, 
    the women who died giving life, 
    the women who wanted to have a child, but didn’t get to, 
    the women who right now 
    are tilling their fertile soil for new seed, 
    this is for the women who choose not to have a child 
    but have many children in their lives, 
    the women who are in captivity, 
    the women who are free, 
    those who were mothered well, 
    and those who had crazy mamas, 
    because any mama that did not love you well, 
    was not well enough, 
    this is for the women who are struggling 
    this moment to care for their babies, 
    and the women who right now 
    snuggle with little ones under feather comforters, 
    for those whose mamas have gone on, 
    and for those who are mamas to be, 
    for women who miscarried precious life, 
    and those who carried many, 
    for single mamas who want their mate, 
    and for married mamas who want to be seen and heard, 
    for those who never got to have a mama hold them, 
    and most of all… 
    for all women and men 
    who are in need re-mothering.

    By Shiloh Sophia

    About the artist/poet

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    Protesters gather to denounce President Trump’s immigration policies on May 1 in D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    Police departments from California to New Jersey have reported a decrease in crime reporting in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods, which some local law enforcement officials believe could be related to the nation’s impassioned immigration debate.

    Law enforcement officials say the debate might be affecting their relationship with minority communities, and they are especially concerned that undocumented immigrants are becoming more hesitant to engage with police and report crimes because they fear deportation.

    “It looks like they’re going further into the shadows, and there appears to be a chilling effect in the reporting of violent crime by members of the Hispanic community,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

    Acevedo recently announced that new data shows a 13 percent decrease in violent crime reporting by Hispanics in Houston during the first three months of 2017 compared to the first three months of 2016; it also shows a 12 percent increase in violent crime reporting by non-Hispanics. Houston saw a 43 percent drop in the number of Hispanics reporting rape and sexual assault, while there was an 8 percent rise in the number of non-Hispanics reporting such crimes. There was also a 12 percent decline in reports of aggravated assault and a 12 percent decline in reports of robbery among the Hispanic population, the chief said.


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    Da’esh has stunned the world with gross human rights abuses, gendered violence, and practices of sexual slavery, and yet, the organization has attracted a large amount of female recruits. Women who have joined Da’esh have been met with a storm of disbelief and gendered commentary, and have even been designated their own term – ‘jihadi brides’. This policy brief by Ester Strommen from PluriCourts, the University of Oslo, explores agency and women in Da’esh: why women join, their roles, and how women are treated if they return to the West. The brief illuminates how gendered understandings of Western female foreign fighters are affecting judicial processes and potentially creating gaps in our security structure. It examines how gendered narratives in sentencing may be in conflict with UNSCRes 2178 and CEDAW.

    Read the full policy brief here.

    Ester Strømmen is research assistant at PluriCourts at the Department of Public and International Law, University of Oslo, Norway.  

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    Study reveals rising number of Mexican girls in relationships and marriages with older men and casts fresh light on causes of child marriage in Latin America

    Luz Betsaida Orozco Pineda

    Luz Betsaida Orozco Pineda, who fell pregnant at 13 after she was ‘stolen’ in accordance with Zapotec tradition, is seen with her baby at their home in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Mexico. Photograph: Bénédicte Desrus/Alamy

    Hundreds of thousands of young girls across Mexico are being driven into relationships and marriages with older men, denying them a childhood and an education, new research reveals.

    Of the 320,000-plus Mexican girls between the ages of 12 and 17 who are cohabiting, nearly 70% are with a partner who is at least 11 years their senior, according to a report commissioned by the Ford Foundation.

    The data represents part of a wider trend across Latin America, the only region in the world where child marriage is increasing rather than in decline.

    Researchers found that 83% of married girls had left school, with the number rising to 92% among those living informally with a man. In contrast, just 15% of Mexican girls not in such relationships dropped out of school.

    The findings, due to be published next month by a Mexico City-based research group, also show that 25,000 girls aged between 12 and 14 are living in “early unions”.

    The report comes weeks after the secretary general of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, issued a statement pledging to tackle child marriage in Latin America. “With one in five girls married or living in informal unions before the age of 18 we are losing entire generations to poverty, discrimination and violence,” he said.

    In Mexico, more than 10% of girls are married under the age of 15. Worldwide, the country has the eighth highest number of child marriages (pdf).

    While many girls are driven into relationships as a means of acquiring status and security – or to attempt to escape poverty and violence at home – early unions often perpetuate a cycle of abuse and deprivation rooted in gender inequality



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