04 April 2023 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


Groups Slam Israeli Government for ‘Medieval’ Backslide on Women’s Rights
themedialine, 04 Apr 2023

Israel is poised to dramatically backslide on women’s rights if the government fails to pass several key pieces of legislation, rights groups have warned. With all eyes on the controversial judicial reforms that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition is hoping to advance in the coming weeks and which are currently under negotiation, a number of other important bills relating to women’s issues have fallen by the wayside. Tamar Schwartz is CEO of Ruach Nashit, or Women’s Spirit, an NGO that helps women survivors of violence and that works with Israeli lawmakers from all sides of the political spectrum.“We do believe that when it comes to violence and preventing violence there is no right or left because you can find victims of domestic violence among left-wing and right-wing voters,” Schwartz told The Media Line. “There are hardly any female Knesset members or female ministers in the coalition. All in all, ensuring women’s equality is not important for this government.”

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Reproductive-rights activists in Mexico create network to help U.S. women receive abortion care
Knau, 03 Apr 2023

A network of abortion-rights activists in Mexico is finding ways to offer assistance to women in the United States affected by recently imposed abortion bans in some states -- including shipments of abortion pills. This healthcare model, in which no travel, clinics or prescriptions are needed, has sparked a surge of requests for help from American women since the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion last year. The model was developed by Mexican activists through decades of facing abortion bans and restrictions in most of Mexico’s 32 states. Marea Verde Chihuahua is an organization that has supported reproductive rights in northern Mexico since 2018. Staff provide virtual guidance, as well as shipments of abortion pills for women who want to terminate a pregnancy on their own. Organizer Marcela Castro says to safely advise women on self-managed medical abortions, she and her colleagues were trained to become “acompañantes” -- capable of serving as a guide and partner, whether in person or from long distance.

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Gender-based violence in Pakistan calls for action: Report
ANI, 01 Apr 2023

Pakistan as a state will only prosper when its women will have a safe environment where they'll be able to enjoy their basic rights; such as the right to education and the right to work, however, the condition of women in the country is deplorable which calls for action against discrimination against them, reported The Nation. Amongst the hurdles for women in pursuance of education and contribution to society, the insecure environment remains very crucial. Pakistan has seen an exodus in trends of harassment, rape, and sexual exploitation of women when they are out for work or education. Due to various cultural constraints and prevalent stereotypes and taboos, women, particularly in the more conservative and rural societies, are confined to their homes, reported The Nation.

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Iran: The Fight For 'Women, Life, Freedom' Isn't Over
Sky News, 01 Apr 2023

The death of Mahsa Amini, 22, in the custody of the "morality police" became a spark that ignited the largest anti-regime protests in the 43-year history of the Islamic Republic. Fuelled by frustration at the overzealous policing of oppressive laws and the country’s declining economy, tens of thousands of people joined the protests, demanding social freedom, political change, and liberation from the Islamic Republic's theocracy. Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, Iran's spiritual leader, who also has the final say over all government matters, has portrayed the protests as riots backed by "foreign enemies out to overthrow the regime". In response, furious crowds chanted "death to the dictator" and "death to Khamenei". Such "blasphemy", punishable by death, would have been unimaginable before.  Inside Iran, among my friends and family, there was shock at how widespread the unrest was. Almost everyone witnessed some form of violence towards the protesters or knew someone who had been arrested. Whether or not they dared to join the demonstrations on the streets, everyone seemed emboldened, daring to believe that change could be possible.  

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EU Parliament moves to end gender pay gap — this time for good
Politico, 30 Mar 2023

The European Parliament on Thursday approved binding pay-transparency rules in a bid to tackle the gender salary gap across the EU. That will put pressure on employers, who will now have to take more responsibility in being transparent about salaries and fixing gender-based inequalities. Under the new rules, employers will have to provide employees with access to information on how they determine salaries, broken down by gender. Member countries will be able to fine employers violating the new rules and workers will have a right to compensation, the legislation says. The adopted directive, which was proposed by the European Commission in March 2021, will now have to be formally adopted by the Council of the EU this spring. Countries will then have three years to insert the rules into their national legislation.   Women earn around 13 percent less on average than men in the EU, even though theoretically equal pay has been enshrined in the EU treaties since the creation of the European Economic Community in 1957.

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