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This Week in Women’s Rights 2017–10–29


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2017/10/29

“In India it’s hard to be a woman. Up to 12 million girls have been aborted in the last three decades in India.

But being a second daughter can be even harder. Families with daughters are expected to pay dowries when their children get married to the groom’s family, which is often seen as a financial burden.

Restaurateur Asma Khan wanted to give back — so she opened a restaurant five years ago which is home to a team of women who have never cooked professionally — but all have something in common: they are second daughters.”


“Women’s rights in Indonesia are in the spotlight with the recent popularisation of a smartphone app, AyoPoligami, which allows male users interested in polygamy to go through profiles of female users and interact with them online. The dating app has garnered over 50,000 downloads since its launch in May.

Lindu Cipta Pranayama created the app to fill the gap in dating applications catering to those interested in polygamous unions. Mr Pranayama claimed that it was rising divorce cases in Indonesia that inspired him to create the app. He said that although polygamy is permitted in Islam, “what happens in Indonesia, if the wife isn’t willing to share her husband with another woman is eventually they’ll get divorced.”

Activists criticise that the free app is a threat to women’s rights. It is seen to encourage polygamy which often leaves women vulnerable to domestic abuse.”


“The rise of religious fundamentalism and the far right poses a serious risk to global gender equality, according to a new United Nations report.

Based on 54 submissions from governments, academics and non-government organisations, the report asserts that religious and non-religious extremist agendas are undermining women’s liberties around the world, including in Australia.

In a submission to the report, the NGO Australian Lawyers for Human Rights said the mainstreaming of extremist ideas in the nation’s public discourse was a threat to women.”


“A robot has just been given a big privilege in Saudi Arabia, and people are questioning if it’s unfair to the country’s own women.

Sophia the robot, made by American firm Hanson Robotics, has been officially named a citizen of Saudi Arabia — the first country in the world to grant a robot the right to citizenship.

“I’m very honoured and proud for this unique distinction,” Sophia said, speaking at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Wednesday, where she was awarded citizenship.”


“Raquel Willis, a national organizer with the Transgender Law Center, is exhausted. Physically exhausted from traveling from her home in Oakland, California, to the Women’s Convention in Detroit, Michigan, and generally exhausted by the idea that anyone would expect something other than discriminatory policies from the Trump administration — like the recent memo from the Department of Justice that rolled back an Obama-era protection against discrimination based on gender identity.

Ahead of a panel at the convention, Willis spoke with about creating a more inclusive women’s movement, the conversation around #MeToo, and how we can change the system in a way the Trump administration never will.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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