women's rights

Yemeni women burn veils in act of defiance

Yemeni women are playing an increasingly important role in protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. In one of their most striking acts of defiance yet, a group of women burned their traditional black veils to denounce the regime’s brutal clampdown on recent anti-government demonstrations, in which at least three women were killed. Our Observer in Sanaa explains why she decided to burn her veil.

Activists march from Paris to Brussels to highlight mass rape in DR Congo

Over 300 km in a little under 14 days, covered entirely on foot. That’s the gruelling challenge a group of Congolese activists set for themselves when they decided to march from Paris to Brussels to draw attention to the plight of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Read more...

For better, for worse: Malaysian wives taught to be ‘obedient prostitutes’

According to a newly created club in Malaysia, the secret to a successful marriage is simple: an obedient wife who makes sure her husband is sexually satisfied. Launched on June 4 in Kuala Lumpur, the 1000-member strong ‘Obedient Wives Club’ (OWC) has sparked controversy in one of the most modern and progressive Muslim-majority countries. Read more….

Feminist voices join the 'macho' Spanish revolution

When feminist activists joined the massive anti-government protest camp in central Madrid last week, they were met with a mixed response from other participants. Is Spain’s progressive ‘revolution’ actually a macho movement? Read more…

The Saudi woman who took to the driver's seat

In a tough setback for aspiring Saudi female drivers, Saudi police have arrested female activist Manal al-Sharif, who boldly posted a video of herself behind the wheel on YouTube on Friday. Our Observer was with her during the symbolic drive. Read more...

Saudi Arabia’s women go all out for the right to vote

In Saudi Arabia, a country in which women are legal minors who can do nothing without the permission of their male guardians, the last thing electoral officials expected was for a group of women to march in to a voter’s registration centre with the firm intention of signing up on electoral registers. Yet that’s exactly what happened in Riyadh on April 24, and the scene was caught on camera. Read more...


Was 'man-beating' incident in Delhi subway's women-only compartment actually staged?

A video of male passengers being slapped around by angry women after they enter a women-only compartment in the New Delhi underground has been viewed over 100,000 times on YouTube. But some viewers think the incident was especially staged for cameras. Read more and watch the video…

Slain mother is a stark reminder of women’s brutal fate in Mexico

Marisela Escobedo was holding a vigil for her murdered daughter in front of the state governor’s office in Chihuahua City last Thursday when a man drove up and shot her in the head, in full view of security cameras and numerous onlookers. On the day of Escobedo's wake, armed men burned her family business down. Even by Mexico’s standards of violence, Escobedo's tragic story came as a shock. Read more…

"Then I see his penis out!": New York woman shames subway flasher

She’s the woman every  woman dreams of being when confronted by a man exposing himself. When Nicola Briggs noticed the exposed penis of a man standing much too close to her in a New York subway on September 4, she didn’t recoil in disgust, but gave her offender the verbal lashing he deserved. Read more and watch the video…

Saudi women set pink ribbon record

Staging a massive all-women pink rally to raise awareness of breast cancer is a strong symbol in any country. In Saudia Arabia, it’s a historic feat. Read more…