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UN report: girls facing violence for seeking education

[JURIST] Girls have been attacked in at least 70 countries for seeking education, according to a new UN report [text, PDF; press release] released Monday. The report states, "[t]he educational rights of girls and women are often targeted due to the fact that they represent a challenge to existing gender and age-based systems of oppression." According to the UN, in the time period from 2009 and 2014, many girls, parents and teachers have been targeted for their efforts in seeking gender equality in education. The report includes specific cases of girls targeted, including the abduction of 300 school girls in a school in northeast Nigeria by islamist extreme group Boko Haram [BBC backgrounder]. The report urges countries take measures to ensure that girls and other young women have access to education free from any fear of being subjected to violence.

Violence against women has been a persistent issue throughout the world. In February 2013 the UN's top women's rights advocate denounced [JURIST report] violence against women in Egypt after 25 girls were sexually assaulted during a protest in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. In December 2012 police in New Delhi charged [JURIST report] six men with the murder of a woman who died from injuries sustained in a gang-rape. Also in December 2012 the UN released [JURIST report] a report detailing that women in Afghanistan were suffering from violence as well.

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