Human Rights

June 01, 2016
Panelists prepare for discussion at the PEPFAR GBVI event

This post was originally published on The Pump.

One in three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused at least once in her lifetime. And women who have experienced gender-based violence (GBV) can face up to three times greater risk for HIV compared to those who have not, according to UNAIDS. GBV is common, affecting both women and men. Children and key populations are also at high risk, and often don’t have access to the resources they need.

To address GBV as an underlying factor in the global HIV epidemic, the U.S....

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March 30, 2016

In September 2015, the 193 Member States of the United Nations signed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This global framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated targets will guide national and international public policy. Over the next 15 years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind....

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February 11, 2016

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month, by Presidential proclamation. As we leave January behind, it’s imperative that we continue the fight against modern day slavery. Being focused for one month is certainly a great step in the right direction to raise awareness, but that’s not enough. Human trafficking occurs every hour, every day: 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months a year.

According to UNODC, the most common form of human trafficking (79%) is sexual exploitation, predominantly of women and girls. The second most common form (18%) is forced labor, though these cases are less frequently detected, and include women, girls, boys, and men. Almost one third of traffickers have been reported to be women, thus only about 70% of the perpetrators are men. It...

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June 30, 2015
Then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton watches as President Barack Obama signs a Presidential memorandum, "Coordination of Policies and Programs to Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls Globally," in the Oval Office, Jan. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The 4th of July holiday presents an opportunity for all Americans to pause and think about what we are truly celebrating: whose freedom, whose independence, whose rights?  Recent discussions among EnCompass staff about the events in Charleston reveal the many different feelings and experiences among our staff about what it means to be an American. And those in EnCompass whose identity is in other nationalities and live in the United States, or in other countries, have yet a different set of experiences of this country. There are many things to celebrate on the 4th of July; to name a few: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990, President Obama signing of the Violence Against Women Act...

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March 18, 2015
South African President Jacob Zuma

Mothers in ancient Sparta washed the newborn with wine to ensure it was strong.  Later the baby was brought by its father to the elders, who inspected the newborn carefully. If they found that the child was deformed or weakly they threw it into Kaiada, the so called Apothetae, a chasm at a cliff, of the mount Taygetos. (See http://www.sikyon.com/sparta/agogi_eg.html)

Based on recent media reports, South African President Jacob Zuma has reinterpreted these ancient Sparta practices. According to a media statement released by South African civil society organizations, in...

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July 15, 2014
Kostas Hatzis 2010*

The European Evaluation Society (EES) has selected an inspiring topic for the upcoming EES 2014 Conference, “Evaluation for an Equitable Society,” because as evaluators we need to think about and discuss the role evaluation can play in equity, gender equality and social justice. So, I have been thinking about how I build equity in my own practice, the challenges I face, and the questions this raises for my own practice.

My reflection of issues of equity and social justice brought to mind an old favorite Greek song called “We, the humble people”. It is sung by Kostas Hatzis, and written by lyricist Sotia Tsotou, who has written several really powerful songs around issues of social justice. Hatzis was born in...

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June 23, 2014
Lyn with Priscilla Usiobaifo, founder of Braveheart Initiative, an NGO in rural Nigeria empowering young people with information and skills on sexual and reproductve health and rights.

When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, about 90 percent of the male workforce  worked in South Africa, primarily in the gold mines, with few opportunities to return home to their families. One of these men was married to a neighbor of mine. She was raising their children in a one-room mud hut, never knowing when her husband might be back or when she would hear from him. They had nothing— no furniture, hardly enough food, few clothes for the children.

One day my neighbor came to me to ask what to do: a letter from her husband had arrived with cash inside. The money, he had written, was to buy a table and four chairs. She was beside herself. She was struggling to feed their children and keep clothes on their backs, and he wanted her to buy furniture. And...

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January 29, 2014

It is easy to abhor gender-based violence. Who would not be against rape, torture, mutilation, sexual slavery, forced impregnation and murder [1] of women and men on the basis of their gender? Apparently, many people. That is, many people are not against gender violence. According to the World Health Organization [2], in 2013, 35% of women have experienced violence in their lifetime. Thirty percent (30%) of women have experienced violence in an intimate relationship; and 38% of all murders of women are by an intimate partner. Support for violence against women is reflected in the following proverbs [3]:

"...

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