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Saudi Arabia: Arrest of Woman for Driving

(June 2, 2011) Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi woman, was arrested in Dammam on May 21, 2011, for posting a clip on YouTube showing her driving a car. Dammam is the largest city of the oil-rich Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi authorities held a press conference the same day to address the issue of […]

Taiwan: Law Implementing CEDAW Adopted

(May 31, 2011) On May 20, 2011, Taiwan's highest-level legislative body, the Legislative Yuan, adopted a law to implement the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Taiwan is not a U.N. member and therefore was unable to be a signatory to the document, but the adoption of […]

Israel: Law to Expand the Representation of Women

(May 11, 2011) On March 30, 2011, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed the Expansion of Adequate Representation of Women (Amendments) Law, 5771-2011. The Law requires adequate representation of women in commissions of inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Law, 5729-1968 and under the Government Law, 5761-2001. In an effort to expand women's participation in commissions […]

Israel: Gender-Separate Sidewalks in Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Jerusalem Neighborhood Illegal

(Sept. 29, 2010) On September 28, 2010, the High Court of Justice, based on an agreement reached between the state and the petitioners, quashed a petition to enforce a state law that enables equal freedom of movement for both men and women in the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem. The petition, which […]

France: Gender Identity Disorder Dropped from List of Mental Illnesses

(Feb. 17, 2010) The French Ministry of Health has issued a decree that removes gender identity disorder, also referred to as transsexualism, from the list of officially recognized mental illnesses. The Decree 2010-125, of February 8, 2010, was published in the official gazette of February 10, 2010. (Décret 2010-125 du 8 février 2010 portant modification […]

France: Highlights of Parliamentary Report on Wearing of Burqa in France

(Feb. 17, 2010) On January 26, 2010, the President of the National Assembly published on the Assembly website the report prepared by the Parliamentary Commission to Study the Wearing of the Full Veil in France. (Assemblée Nationale, Rapport d’information au nom de la mission d’information sur la pratique du port du voile intégral sur le […]

Nauru: Lawmakers Agree to CEDAW Ratification

(Dec. 8, 2009) On November 30 and December 1, 2009, Nauru’s parliamentarians met to discuss the advantages and challenges of ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). (Press Release, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Nauru MPs Commit to Ratifying CEDAW (Dec. 7, 2009), available at; treaty text […]

United Arab Emirates: Federal Judgeship for Women

(Feb. 2, 2008) On January 6, 2008, the Minister of Justice of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mohammed Bin Nakhira al-Daheri, said that the Ministry of Justice is amending the law to allow women to serve in the federal judiciary. He added that women are being trained at the Judicial Institute and will be prepared […]

India: Women May be Employed as Bartenders

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 6, the Supreme Court of India annulled as unconstitutional a colonial-era statute that prohibited women, as well as men under the age of 25, from working as bartenders. The ruling gives women the equal opportunity to work as bartenders in India, and lowers the permissible age for bartenders from 25 […]