World Humanitarian Day Honors Women: Daily Brief

Plus: Women largely sidelined by new Sudanese government; former Sudanese president in court; Iranian women arrested for thwarting stadium ban; FIFA needs to act more quickly in case of abuse against Afghan women; little justice for rape survivors in England and Wales; new Australian rule for nursing homes puts older people at risk of harm; UN launches inquiry into hospital bombings in Syria; Hong Kong gearing up for more protests; and Polish Grandmas fight hatred.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of World Humanitarian Day. This year the world salutes the efforts of women who engage in humanitarian work across the world.

Women were an integral part of protests that led to the ouster of long-time Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. However, of the five candidates proposed by the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) for the Sovereign Council only one is a woman.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s ousted president Omar al-Bashir has arrived in court to face corruption charges.

Women and girls who want to attend major football matches in Iran have long had to disguise themselves as men and boys to thwart a ban that prohibits them from attending public sporting events. Last week, authorities in Iran arrested six women for doing just that, among them Zahra Khoshnavaz, a prominent advocate for ending the ban, and Forough Alaei, a leading photojournalist.

Speaking of football & women's rights... the international football association FIFA needs to act more swiftly on complaints and evidence brought by women players of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse by leaders of the Afghanistan Football Federation. 

Recently-released UK Home Office data reveals that legal action is less likely to be taken for allegations of sexual violence than for any other category of crime in England and Wales. Despite a dramatic increase in the number of rape allegations a mere 1.5 percent of reported rapes led to a charge or summons between April 2018 and March 2019.


A new Australian government rule that allows nursing homes to overmedicate and restrain older people will be coming under scrutiny in a parliamentary inquiry this week. Older people in nursing homes are at serious risk of harm if this new care regulation is allowed to stand as is.

For yearshospitals in Syria have been getting bombed. Many now suspect the coordinates of the sites provided by the UN to shield them were actually being used unscrupulously by Russian-Syrian forces as a target list. If true, this would be a huge abuse of the UN system.

Hong Kong is gearing up for more protests this week after hundreds of thousands of anti-government demonstrators braved heavy rain to rally peacefully on Sunday.

And lastly, a group of women in their sixties, seventies and eighties have taken to silently fighting hatred in Poland.  Every Thursday the Polish Grandmas, as they call themselves, picket in the streets of Warsaw with placards condemning neo-Nazi rhetoric, to save their grandchildren’s future.