The Women of Modern Day Authoritarian Regimes

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Women across the world are having their basic right of gender-equality denied because of the autocracies they live within.

  • Women's rights have advanced significantly in recent decades: more girls are going to school, fewer girls are forced into early marriage and laws are being reformed to advance gender equality.
  • Despite such gains there are many challenges: discriminatory laws and social norms remain pervasive, women are underrepresented in politics and 1 in 5 women report violence from a close partner.
  • These challenges are particularly prevalent within a number of authoritarian regimes, where the rights of women appear frozen in time. In many autocracies women are second class citizens.
  • In such countries women are deprived of basic rights. Women in International Security reported that gender based violence, forced marriage and trafficking are all experiencing a sharp increase.
  • The question of how and why authoritarian regimes use gender politics to preserve their rule has been widely debated in academic literature. Some argue it is to uphold traditional hierarchies.
  • Most recently in Afghanistan, for example, the Taliban have stripped women of many rights within just 6 months. Women are banned from education and work and they face an array of restrictions.
  • Authoritarians often flourish when women threaten male public dominance in nations where men still reign in private. As a result globally women face numerous challenges to their existence.
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