04 August 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


Iran women's podcast gives voice to victims of abuse
BBC News, 04 Aug 2020

Maryam's voice trembles as she tells what happened when her husband attacked her in public. "People's reaction was like it was normal to see a man beating his wife. There's no law, there are no safe houses, and even the police can't do much". Her story is a rarely heard one in her home country of Iran, but since the creation of a new podcast, many more women like her are coming forward to share unflinching accounts of their experience of domestic violence.

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"Challenging the Istanbul Convention is a serious setback for women's rights": Jelena Drenjanin
Council of Europe , 31 Jul 2020

"The Istanbul Convention is the first legally binding instrument at European level, providing a comprehensive legal framework for the prevention of violence, the protection of victims and an end to impunity for perpetrators," said Jelena Drenjanin, Congress Spokesperson on Gender Equality, in a statement on 30 July 2020.

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OSCE/ODIHR and UN Women launch policy recommendations to tackle emerging human trafficking during COVID-19 pandemic
OSCE, 30 Jul 2020

To mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) released a joint report on 30 July 2020 offering expertise and policy recommendations on how to combat trafficking in human beings during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.The report promotes a human rights, gender and age-sensitive, trauma-informed and victim-centred approach now and after the pandemic. 

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The Guardian view on falling rape prosecutions: women’s rights are regressing
The Guardian, 30 Jul 2020

 We are going backwards. The number of reported rapes that result in convictions has long been alarmingly low. But the state of rape prosecutions in England and Wales is now an outrage and a national shame. The number of people prosecuted and convicted is at its lowest on record, while reported cases have risen sharply. Prosecutions more than halved from 5,190 in 2016-17 to only 2,102 in 2019-20. Meanwhile, the police recorded 55,130 rapes, up from 41,616 three years earlier.

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GBV/FGM Rapid Assessment Report in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic in Somalia
ReliefWeb, 28 Jul 2020

A newly released "GBV/FGM Rapid Assessment Report - in the context of COVID-19 Pandemic in Somalia" indicates that that COVID-19 is leading to circumstances which increase the risk of exposure for women and girls to higher levels of both Gender-based violence and Female Genital Mutilation. Measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, including lockdowns, school disruptions, present opportunities for girls to be subjected to FGM with ample healing time. These measures restrict women’s ability to engage in livelihood activities thereby reducing family incomes, which has contributed to increasing tensions and intimate partner violence in households and families.

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