Every day, thousands of women and girls are abused and murdered by their families, raped in armed conflicts and attacked for defending women’s rights.
But while the facts and figures show us that the battle for gender equality is far from over, here are five wins from 2014 that show us how things can change if we don’t stop fighting for women’s rights.
1. Changing the law on rape in Morocco.
In January, the Moroccan parliament voted unanimously to change its rape law so that rapists can no longer escape punishment by forcing their victims to marry them. It followed tireless campaigning for the family of Amina Filali (pictured), who killed herself in March 2012 after being forced by law to marry a man she said had raped her. Similar laws still exist in Tunisia and Algeria with Amina’s tragic death highlighting the urgent need for these discriminatory and traumatic laws to change.
Copyright Reuters: Lahecen El-Filali (L) holds a photo of his daughter, Amina El-Filali, as he attends a news conference with his wife Zahera Lmealme and his other daughter, Hamida, in Rabat March 21, 2012. Sixteen-year-old Amina killed herself near the northern city of Larache by swallowing rat poison after a six-month forced marriage to the man who raped her.
Amnesty International activists in Morocco protest against Article 475 of the Penal Code and other provisions that discriminate against women, May 2013. Until its amendment in January 2014, Article 475 allowed rapists to walk free if they married their teenage victims.