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Saudi Arabia: Shura Council Denies Social Media Reports on Resolution to Allow Women to Drive

(June 7, 2017) The official spokesman of Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council has denied social media reports that went viral at the end of March claiming that the Council was forwarding a resolution to the Council of Ministers seeking approval for the country’s women to drive. (Tariq A. Al-Maeena, Getting Behind the Wheel in Saudi Arabia, […]

India: Law Bans Discrimination Against AIDS Patients

(Apr. 27, 2017) On April 24, 2017, Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, approved new legislation that bans discrimination against people who are HIV-positive or who have AIDS. (Jonathan Niznansky, India President Approves Law Banning Discrimination Against AIDS Patients, PAPER CHASE (Apr. 25, 2017).) The law was formally introduced in 2014 as the Human Immunodeficiency […]

France: Law to Help Youth Transition to Adulthood and to Further Equality

(Mar. 20, 2017) At the end of January 2017, the French President promulgated a new law aimed at helping young people successfully transition into adulthood. (Loi n° 2017-86 du 27 janvier 2017 relative à l’égalité et à la citoyenneté [Law No. 2017-86 of 27 January 2017 Regarding Equality and Citizenship], LEGIFRANCE.) The law is organized […]

Iran: Charter on Citizens’ Rights Signed

(Feb. 28, 2017) With the aim of “recovering and promoting citizens’ rights,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, under his constitutional authority to “determine the program and policies of the government,” signed the Charter on Citizens’ Rights in a ceremony on December 19, 2016.  (Rouhani Unveils Charter on Civil Rights; Vagueness Regarding “Enforcement Guarantee,” VOA (Dec. 19, […]

Sweden: Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Right to State Funding

(Feb. 24, 2017) On February 20, 2017, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court decided that Jehovah’s Witnesses have the right to state funding and that not providing such support would violate articles 14 and 19 of the European Convention on Human Rights. (Case No. 2310-16, Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen [Swedish Supreme Administrative Court], Feb. 20, 2017, HÖGSTA FÖRVALTNINGSDOMSTOLEN […]

Egypt: Constitutional Court Grants Coptic Christians the Right to Paid Leave for Pilgrimage to Jerusalem

(Feb. 17, 2017) On February 5, 2017, the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt rendered a decision granting Coptic Christians who are civil servants the right to paid work leave for one month to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  (Egypt Court Rules Coptic Christians, Like Muslims, Have Right to Paid Holidays for Pilgrimage, EGYPTIAN STREETS (Feb. […]

Italy: Right to Use Maternal Last Name

(Jan. 25, 2017) On December 28, 2016, a decision by the Constitutional Court of Italy declared unconstitutional several provisions of the Civil Code and other legislation, concerning the attribution of the maternal last name to children. (Decision No. 286 of November 8, 2016, Related to Provisions of the Civil Code and Other Legislation (Decision No. […]

ECtHR/Switzerland: Compulsory Co-Ed Swim Classes Do Not Infringe Freedom of Religion

(Jan. 24, 2017) On January 10, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held unanimously that a decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which upheld an administrative fine for the refusal of Muslim parents to send their 9- and 11-year-old daughters to compulsory co-ed swim lessons as part of their schooling, did not […]

Germany: Government Proposes Law to Reduce Gender Pay Gap

(Jan. 18, 2017) On January 11, 2017, the German government agreed on a draft act that aims to ensure equal pay for work of equal value for women and men in the same workplace. (Gesetzentwurf der Bundesregierung, Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Förderung der Transparenz von Entgeltstrukturen [Draft Act of the Federal Government, Draft Act to Promote Transparency in […]

Sweden: Separate Swimming Hours by Gender Justifiable

(Jan. 12, 2017) The Swedish Diskrimineringsombudsmannen (DO, Equality Ombudsman) has issued two decisions on the legality of separate hours for men and women at public indoor pools. (Press Release, Könsseparerade simhallstider kan vara diskriminering [Gender-Segregated Pool Hours May Be Discriminatory], DO website (Dec. 14, 2016).) The role of the Equality Ombudsman is regulated by the […]