100 STEPS TO EQUALITY

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100 Steps to Equality For the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2011, Equality Now has launched the 100 Steps to Equality campaign. We know that globally one in three women has faced some form of violence or abuse; 3 million girls in Africa are at risk of FGM every year, and that an estimated 500,000 women die of pregnancy-related causes annually. But what does the status of women look like on the ground every day in different parts of the world?  The following is a compilation of facts and concrete ACTION STEPs, however small, that we can each take to reach towards equality and a better world for women and girls. Whether it is putting pressure on government officials, contacting your local news agency, making a donation or simply learning more about an issue and sharing it with friends, let us make a pledge to take a step towards equality. Happy International Women’s Day!

NOTE: This campaign was launched for the 100th anniversary of international women's day on March 8, 2011 and therefore some of the issues highighted here may have changed. 

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FACT: Lebanese women married to non-Lebanese partners cannot pass on their citizenship to their children.

ACTION STEP: Lebanon must change its nationality laws and grant women equal citizenship rights.

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FACT: In Afghanistan, Shia women are required by law to seek their husbands' permission to work.

ACTION STEP: Call on the Afghan government to stop blatant discrimination against Shia women by amending the Shia Personal Status Law.

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FACT: Kenya's 2001 Children's Act outlawed FGM. Despite this law activists fear that FGM was being performed in medical facilities across Kuria county, Marakwet, Eldoret, and other location

ACTION STEP: Kenya must tighten implementation of its anti-FGM law by conducting special investigations of medical facilities in high risk area.

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FACT: In Zambia, the rape of girls by their teachers and other school officials is a frequent occurrence that is rarely punished.

ACTION STEP: Help eliminate rampant rape of schoolgirls by their teachers in Zambia.

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FACT: 16% of news stories in the US focus on women.

ACTION STEP: Support feminist news agencies, networks and magazines, who cover women's interest stories.

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FACT: Although incest is a frequent occurrence in Pakistan, the stigma surrounding it and the fact that Pakistan's Penal Code has no specific provision for the crime of incest makes it very difficult to seek justice in cases.

ACTION STEP: Pakistan must reform its rape laws so that a provision on incest with higher penalties is included.

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FACT: The laws of several countries still mandate "wife obedience."

ACTION STEP: All family laws that have discriminatory provisions like "wife obedience" must be repealed in:

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FACT: The FGM prevalence rate in Mali is over 90% and despite the significant efforts of national groups the country still has no law banning the practice.

ACTION STEP: Call on Mali to pass an anti-FGM law.