Contraceptive Information and Access Saves Afghan Women’s Lives

Despite some improvement, Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world. One of the biggest contributors is a lack of access to and knowledge of contraception in the region.

In the Maldives, Gender Equality is On the Way

While so much work remains—and the toxic grip of religious fundamentalism continues to hijack efforts at reform—we must continue to reassert our desire as legislators to continue along this path of transformation.

LISTEN: One Young Saudi Woman Speaks Out

For two years—from age 19 to 21—Majd Abdulghani recorded her days with a microphone. Now, we get to tune in.

Women and the Refugee Crisis: An Update from Lebanon

Reprinted with permission from Global Fund for Women “The situation in the [Shatila refugee] camp is just absolutely terrible. We have a lot of problems—health problems, environmental problems, security problems…The woman is the one suffering the most, and the children.” — Nada Al Ajouz With the past month’s deadly attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad, […]

Iranian Women are Banned from Watching Volleyball: Take a Stand!

Since 2012, Iranian women and girls have been barred from attending men’s volleyball tournaments. Though women have been protesting the ban for years, and some, like activist Ghoncheh Ghavami, have attempted to infiltrate the male-only spaces—facing year-long prison sentences for even trying to enter the stadium—little progress has been made. Frustrations over the ban are about more […]

Arab Women Defy STEM Stereotypes

This summer, I spent a week in the Persian Gulf state of Abu Dhabi, which is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). People in the West might know that the Gulf states have a high percentage of non-citizen migrant workers, and they might have heard of the oppressive conditions under which many of these […]

Wheels of Change: Afghan Women Ride Bikes Despite Threats and Opposition

Even before the Taliban ruled in Afghanistan, women were banned from riding bicycles. Though they’re no longer officially banned, women’s cycling is still frowned upon in the conservative country. But there are groups of women winding their way through cultural taboo and beating a new path to women’s equality, and they’re being profiled in a new documentary […]

Women in Saudi Arabia Register to Vote for the First Time

In 2011, Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah officially granted women the right to vote and run in elections starting in 2015. Now, that decree is taking effect and voter registration is beginning across the kingdom. On August 30, candidates will also begin to register; it’s estimated that around 70 women will do so. There is already […]

Do Women in Muslim Countries Have More Reproductive Freedom than American Women?

When the U.S. House of Representatives voted recently to pass a law that would tighten restrictions on abortions performed after 20 weeks, it followed the lead of state legislators across the country. But U.S. legislators are bucking global trends to increase women’s rights and access to reproductive care. Every day in the U.S., restrictions are […]

Afghanistan’s Women: Safe Enough to Thrive

By Catherine Powell, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Hannah Chartoff At a White House press conference in March, U.S. President Barack Obama, standing beside Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, announced that he would delay the schedule for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Rather than bringing 4,300 troops back home by the end of this year—nearly half the force […]