Experts Concerned for Plight of Women and Children Civilians in Gaza

In a 15-2 ruling, the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—which is the U.N.’s high court—ordered Israel to do more to help civilians and to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. The ICJ also ordered the immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas militants during the invasion of Israeli territory on Oct. 7.

U.N. Women recently released a report documenting the gendered impact of the crisis in Gaza. During the 100-plus days since the Oct. 7 attack, “women and girls make up the majority of those killed, wounded and displaced,” said U.N. Women executive director Sima Bahous. “Some 1 million women and girls are displaced in Gaza, two mothers killed every hour, while around 10,000 children have lost their fathers. … These are people, not numbers, and we are failing them. That failure, and the generational trauma inflicted on the Palestinian people over these 100 days and counting, will haunt us all for generations to come.”

Not One Woman on the List

Earlier this month, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev announced the organizing committee for COP29, which will be held there in November. The list included 28 appointees, including Azeri government ministers of energy, health, finance and economy, among others. What the list did not include: women. Not one woman on the list.

The backlash was swift and thunderous. Global women leaders are speaking out: “Many of the key successes of the COP process, including the Paris Agreement, were delivered by women leaders, working closely with their male colleagues.”

Rape Threats, Misogynist Slurs, Sexual Harassment and Doxing: How Online Abuse Is Used to Intimidate, Discredit and Silence

Eighty-five percent of women globally have witnessed online harassment and nearly 40 percent have experienced it directly.

Online abuse is made to feel targeted, personal, individual and organic—when in fact it’s often systemic, strategic and coordinated. Online abuse is one part of a broader spectrum of attacks—digital, physical, legal and psychological—intended to push women and nonbinary individuals offline, out of public discourse and out of their fields of expertise. Regardless of where they live and what they do, the goal is universal: to stop them from doing their jobs and shut them up.

(This article originally appears in the Winter 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Ms. Global: Feminists Protest in Spain, Taliban Arrest Women for ‘Bad Hijab’, and More

The U.S. ranks as the 19th most dangerous country for women, 11th in maternal mortality, 30th in closing the gender pay gap, 75th in women’s political representation, and painfully lacks paid family leave and equal access to health care. But Ms. has always understood: Feminist movements around the world hold answers to some of the U.S.’s most intractable problems. Ms. Global is taking note of feminists worldwide.

This week: news from Spain, Afghanistan, Türkiye and more.

It’s Time to Recognize Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Providers as Human Rights Defenders

“You need to stop this work. We know where your children go to school.”

Around the world, frontline reproductive healthcare workers are facing physical and verbal abuse, public shaming and humiliation, both in-person and online, harassment, legal threats, death threats, sexual assault and rapes—simply for doing their jobs. Yet, many of those who commit acts of violence against SRHR workers, or those who publicly incite antagonism, largely escape accountability for the consequences of their actions. Enough is enough.

The Ms. Q&A: Award-Winning Playwright Catherine Filloux Takes on Femicide, Trauma, War, Immigration and More

Catherine Filloux’s writing delves into the many ways that human rights are abrogated by gender-based, racial and economic violence. Filloux spoke to Ms. reporter Eleanor J. Bader about her work.

“As a writer, whether of a play or of an opera, I want to focus on the largely male dictators who allow trauma and genocide to exist and flourish. I can’t let this go.”

U.N. Commitment to Ending Gender Apartheid Should Not Overlook Taliban Violations

Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, Afghan people—especially women and girls—have lived under harsh edicts and orders. Yet a U.N. assessment released last month does not mention the Taliban by name once. Although it describes the issue of women’s rights critically, it does not make any recommendations concerning women’s rights—except to say the current system violates the U.N. Convention to Eliminate Sex Discrimination. Incredibly vague phrasing sums up the overall message of the report. 

The United Nations’ commitment to ending gender apartheid must not waver.