As elsewhere in the South Caucasus, Armenian women can expect to receive an array of toasts, flowers and little gifts on March 8, International Women’s Day. But there is one thing Armenian women won’t enjoy, or get anytime soon – a law covering domestic violence.
Officials in Armenia want to impose a ban on prenatal sex determination in a bid to discourage sex-selective abortions that favor males. The measure would aim to correct a growing disparity in the country’s male-to-female birth ratio.
Increasingly the issue of domestic violence in Armenia is a topic for public discussion. Yet, greater attention to the issue isn’t yet translating into an expansion of programs to alleviate suffering and address policy shortcomings.
Worldwide, 222 million women want to delay or avoid pregnancy but have no access to modern contraceptives. If they did, this would help prevent 21 million unwanted pregnancies; 79,000 maternal deaths and 1.1 million infant deaths.
Allegations that a member of Kyrgyzstan's KGB-successor agency organized the brutal rape of his wife have outraged women’s rights activists in Bishkek. But what rights defenders call an ordinary crime is having an extraordinary effect because of the victim’s response: she pressed charges.