Protections for women needed across globe

August 20, 2013

Two prominent headlines in Monday’s New York Times address the growing need for women across the globe to be protected from violence and sexual abuse.

New York Times – ROME — Responding to the persistent problem of violence against women, Prime Minister Enrico Letta this month announced “very harsh, very tough” measures to counter domestic abuse and what he called “femicide,” the killing of women because they are women, often at the hands of current or former husbands or boyfriends.

The children’s room at the SOS headquarters. There is a paucity of emergency housing for Italy’s abuse victims.

The 12-point decree, effective immediately, sets stricter penalties for the perpetrators of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking, and it expands protections for some of the most vulnerable women, including immigrants who lack residency permits.

“We think that in our country it is necessary to send a strong signal” to combat domestic violence, Mr. Letta said when he announced the measures on Aug. 8. After a spate of widely reported attacks on women, the decree is “a sign of radical change on the issue,” he said.

Read more:

New York Times – MOSCOW — Leaders of Femen, the Ukrainian women’s rights group known for staging bare-breasted political protests, demanded government protection on Sunday after two of them and a male associate were assaulted while on vacation in the Black Sea port city of Odessa.The two leaders, Anna Hutsol and Alexandra Shevchenko, and Viktor Svatsky, a colleague, were beaten by unknown assailants on Saturday night outside an apartment building in Odessa where they were staying.

It was the fifth time in recent weeks that members of Femen were assaulted. The group says the attacks are part of a campaign to drive it out of the country.

In a statement, the group called on Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, Vitaly Zakharchenko, to provide round-the-clock security. “Otherwise Femen activists are in mortal danger,” the group wrote, “the responsibility for which will inevitably fall on the security forces of Ukraine.” There was no immediate response from the government.

Read more: