Blow the budget, it's women that matter

OK so who cares about the budget? For us in the media team, it means but one thing: the issues that matter in the world of human rights get pushed aside with a few notable exceptions.So congrats to The Independent for leading on Darfur. It is right to point out that villages are still being razed to the ground and ordinary men, women and children live in daily fear and insecurity as the threat of an air or ground attack by the militia remains ever-constant fear.The report goes on to say that the situation is the worst for five years with girls and women being particularly targeted. Apparently, girls as young as ten are being mass-raped by government soldiers and militia fighters.  Darfur may no longer be at the top of the agenda for world leaders but the crisis is very much alive.Staying on to the theme of women, there was also an interesting story surfacing from Saudi Arabia. In a defiant stand against the authorities, Wajiha Huwaidar filmed herself at the wheel and then posted the video on youtube. It is forbidden for women to drive in urban areas in the Kingdom and she now faces jail. The video has since been pulled, but the news agency AFP managed to speak to her and the story was featured in the English language Middle East newspaper Gulf Daily News. It was all in an attempt to mark International Women’s Day.Elsewhere, there’s the horrific tale coming out of Arkansas. It has emerged that a 38-year-old woman, Adriana Torres-Flores, was left forgotten in an isolated cell in a local court-house for four days without food or water. She was taken into custody last Thursday, but no one checked on her until Monday. And finally it’s all go on our report ‘No Recourse No Safety’. The report puts into sharp focus a piece of Government legislation that leaves hundreds of women in the UK trapped in a cycle of violence. Read all about it on these pages tomorrow.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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