Women's Rights Worldwide: Daily Brief

Plus: Prison for WhatsApp messages in Indonesia; US should offer Venezuelans temporary protection; and Cameroon cracks down on opponents.

Today we are focusing on some of the important issues impacting women's rights worldwide to celebrate International Women's Day.

Child marriage deprives girls of education, exposes them to serious health risks, deepens poverty, and puts these girls at greater risk of domestic violence. This is still legally permitted in 48 US states.

Sex work as a whole should be decriminalized to better enable sex workers to avail of protection of the law from beatings, harassment, rape, and other abuse. In South Africa, where the criminalization of sex work is harsh, sex workers have stopped reporting violence to the police.

Saudi Arabia has been imprisoning women activists who successfully fought to end the country's ban on women driving. At the same time, other Saudi women are trapped under the country's oppressive male guardianship system.

The Polish government is targeting women’s rights activists and organizations, putting women’s rights and safety at risk. 

Obstacles to education in Afghanistan are keeping 3.5 million children out of school, and 85 percent of them are girls

And women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence in India can spend years waiting for justice...

Indonesia’s Judiciary Commission should review the prosecution of Saidah Saleh Syamlan for criminal defamation in the Surabaya district court. She was sentenced to 10 months in jail for allegedly sending four WhatsApp messages to two banks regarding a company’s performance. 

Cameroon’s High Court refused to release opposition leader Maurice Kamto, arrested in January on politically motivated charges. They were detained as a part of a massive government crackdown on demonstrations and political activities, including the arrest over 200 people on January 26.

And the United States Department of Homeland Security should designate Venezuelans for Temporary Protected Status because deteriorating conditions make it unsafe at this time to force people to go back there.