01 September 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


A Case for Legal Abortion: The Human Cost of Barriers to Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Argentina
Human Rights Watch, 31 Aug 2020

(Washington, DC) – The life and health of anyone who is pregnant in Argentina will be at risk as long as access to abortion and post-abortion care remains heavily restricted, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 77-page report named “A Case for Legal Abortion: The Human Cost of Barriers to Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Argentina,” describes the consequences of the Senate’s rejection of a 2018 bill that would have fully decriminalized abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

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Generations of progress for women and girls could be lost to COVID pandemic, UN chief warns
UN News, 31 Aug 2020

Highlighting the disproportionate and devastating socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on women and girls globally, The UN chief António Guterres called on Monday for a major push to prevent “years, even generations” worth of progress on women’s empowerment, from being lost to the pandemic. “The pandemic has exposed the extent of its impact on physical and mental health, education and labour force participation”, said Mr. Guterres, amid disturbing reports from around the world of skyrocketing gender-based violence, “as many women are effectively confined with their abusers, while resources and support services are redirected”.

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COVID-19: UNESCO and partners in education launch global campaign to keep girls in the picture
ReliefWeb, 29 Aug 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest school closures and education disruption in history, with more than 1.5 billion students affected at the height of the crisis. Over 767 million of these students were girls. Now, another major challenge is looming. Over 11 million girls -- from pre-primary to tertiary education - may not return to school in 2020. This alarming number not only threatens decades of progress made towards gender equality, but also puts girls around the world at risk of adolescent pregnancy, early and forced marriage, and violence. For many girls, school is more than just a key to a better future. It's a lifeline.

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Case Study: Bangladesh - Funding for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Programming
ReliefWeb, 26 Aug 2020

 Since August 2017, an estimated 745,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar into Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, fleeing the systematic discrimination and violence of Myanmar security forces. Including the Rohingya from previous diasporas, 52 per cent of the over 900,000 Rohingya refugees in the camps are women and girls. Some 646,000 women and girls, from both the refugee and the host communities, are in need of assistance.

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Futures destroyed: COVID-19 unleashes 'shadow pandemics' on Africa's girls
World Economic Forum , 26 Aug 2020

From rape and sexual exploitation to female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and early pregnancy, COVID-19 has unleashed a myriad of "shadow pandemics" on girls across Africa, say child rights groups. School closures have left girls open to sexual violence from family, neighbours and community members; lockdown poverty has forced minors into transactional sex to buy basics, they add. Uncertain when schools will resume, desperate families have resorted to marrying off under-age daughters to ease expenses - with some girls undergoing FGM as part of traditional customs.

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