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Saudi Arabia: Shura Council Denies Social Media Reports on Resolution to Allow Women to Drive

(June 7, 2017) The official spokesman of Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council has denied social media reports that went viral at the end of March claiming that the Council was forwarding a resolution to the Council of Ministers seeking approval for the country’s women to drive. (Tariq A. Al-Maeena, Getting Behind the Wheel in Saudi Arabia, […]

Ascension Island/Bermuda/St. Helena/Tristan da Cunha/United Kingdom: Convention on Women Extended to Overseas Territories

(May 10, 2017) The Government of the United Kingdom recently extended the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women to some of its overseas territories, namely Ascension Island, Bermuda, St. Helena, and Tristan da Cunha. (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, opened for signature Mar. 1, 1980, […]

Israel: First Female Judge Selected for Muslim Religious Court

(Apr. 27, 2017) On April 25, 2017, the Qadis (Muslim law judges) Appointment Committee in Israel selected Hana Mansour-Khatib, a female jurist, for the position of a Sharia (Islamic law) court judge.  Mansour-Khatib is a lawyer specializing in Sharia family law and a licensed mediator.  (Hur Uriel Nizari, History in the Committee for the Appointment of […]

Brazil: New Law Prohibits the Use of Handcuffs on Pregnant Inmates During Labor

(Apr. 24, 2017) On April 12, 2017, three laws related to the treatment of women during childbirth and its aftermath were adopted in Brazil. Law No. 13.434 amends article 292 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to prohibit the use of handcuffs on pregnant women inmates during medical and hospital preparatory procedures for delivery and […]

New Zealand: Government and Care Workers Reach Pay Equity Settlement

(Apr. 21, 2017) On April 18, 2017, the New Zealand government announced that a settlement had been reached with workers in the government-funded service sectors of aged and disability residential care and home and community support services that will result in pay increases of between 15 and 50% for those workers. (Press Release, Jonathan Coleman, $2 Billion Pay […]

Morocco: Law Aimed at Protecting Domestic Workers Adopted

(Apr. 20, 2017) On August 10, 2016, the King of Morocco issued a decree approving the Law on Fixing the Conditions of Employing and Employment of Female and Male Domestic Workers.  The Law will come into effect, pursuant to its article 27, “one year after the necessary texts needed for its implementation have been published […]

Kenya: Parliament Ordered to Enact Legislation Related to Increasing the Number of Female Members

(Apr. 19, 2017) On March 29, 2017, the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi found that the two houses of the national legislature, the National Assembly and the Senate, failed to perform their constitutional obligation to ensure that not more than two-thirds of their members be of the […]

Mongolia: Domestic Violence Made a Criminal Offense

(Apr. 12, 2017) On February 1, 2017, Mongolia’s newly amended Law to Combat Domestic Violence entered into force. The new Law was adopted on December 22, 2016, although it had originally been approved by the Great Hural (the parliament) on May 13, 2016, and scheduled for entry into effect on September 1 of that year. […]

Australia: Northern Territory Parliament Passes Bill to Decriminalize Abortion, Improve Access

(Mar. 28, 2017) On March 21, 2017, Australia’s Northern Territory Parliament voted to pass the Termination of Pregnancy Law Reform Bill 2017 (NT) (Northern Territory Legislation website). The Bill amends part VI, division 8, of the Criminal Code Act (NT), which currently criminalizes the administration of a drug or use of an instrument with the intention of […]

Germany: Parliament Debates Burqa and Niqab Ban for Civil Servants and Soldiers

(Mar. 22, 2017) On March 9, 2017, the German Bundestag (parliament) debated a draft act that would prohibit federal civil servants performing official duties and soldiers in general from wearing full body and face veils (burqas) and face veils (niqab).  Exceptions would be allowed for medical reasons (protection against infections) or for official purposes.  The […]