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By Susan Papp, Managing Director of Policy and Advocacy, Women Deliver

This week, a whistleblower reported that women detained at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in the United States underwent hysterectomies without their consent. Involuntary sterilization is a shameful part of a long, dehumanizing history of white supremacy and racist agendas around the world. And while the United Nations considers forced, coerced, or otherwise involuntary sterilization a violation of fundamental human rights, many governments continue to trample on reproductive rights through coerced sterilization, barriers to modern contraception, and limiting access to safe abortion.

Racist and discriminatory policies have long prevented marginalized populations — immigrants, refugees, migrants, Black, brown, Indigenous, and people of color, unmarried mothers, people living with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and religious minorities — from exercising their human rights to control when, how, or whether to have children. Conservative forces are becoming more brazen in their attempts to infringe on reproductive rights, and disturbingly, the COVID-19 pandemic is providing cover to undermine those rights. Bodily autonomy, choice, and consent, including access to contraception and safe abortion, are consistently under attack. …


Women Deliver’s top tips for ensuring your 2020 humanitarian trend reports help drive progress for girls and women in crisis settings

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At the start of each year, humanitarian organizations and news outlets share their predictions and priorities for global humanitarian efforts. From droughts and unpredictable weather to millions of displaced communities on the move, the forecasts for 2020 will inevitably be important tools to help focus humanitarian efforts.

In the past, many of these reports omitted an important priority: the urgent needs of girls and women in humanitarian settings. We know that girls and women are profoundly affected by emergencies, particularly when it comes to gender-based violence, poor access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, and limited decision-making power — so these issues must be integrated in our analyses.

If annual trend reports exist to provide guidance on where to dedicate resources, it is crucial that the specific needs of girls and women are included. …


Foyzun and Sunee — humanitarian workers with the World Food Programme in Cox’s Bazar — share their solutions for advancing gender equality in humanitarian emergencies

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On a sunny afternoon in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, a group of women congregate in an outdoor gathering space. Children dart among them, and in the middle stands Foyzun Nahar, a program officer for the World Food Programme (WFP). Foyzun comes from a rural village in south-western Bangladesh, and she’s dedicated her career to empowering girls and women.

“Being raised in patriarchal society, where discriminatory social norms are deeply rooted…my inner dream was always pushing me to do something that contributes to upholding women’s position in the society,” says Foyzun. …

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