04 Dec 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


Yes, I do want your taxes to pay for abortion
The Guardian, 03 Dec 2018

Abortion rights did not fare well in the midterm elections. Alabama voters approved a measure that will grant full legal personhood to fertilized eggs, a move that will massively restrict the rights of pregnant and fertile women and ban all abortions in the state after the fall of Roe v Wade. West Virginians removed state Medicaid funding for abortion procedures via a constitutional amendment.Meanwhile, Republicans expanded their control of the Senate, allowing them to continue to stuff the federal courts with their rabidly anti-choice judicial nominees. Encouraged by the appointment of the multiply accused sexual assault perpetrator Brett Kavanaugh to the supreme court in October, Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country have resumed their favorite habit of forwarding baroquely sexist abortion restriction bills at the state level.

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Torture, reform and women's rights in Saudi Arabia
Aljazeera , 30 Nov 2018

On November 20, Amnesty International published a report detailing how Saudi women's rights activists, arbitrarily arrested in a government crackdown earlier this year, have faced sexual harassment and torture during their interrogation. Citing three separate testimonies, the rights group said the detainees were held in solitary confinement and faced repeated electrocution and flogging, leaving some of them unable to stand or walk. One of the activists reportedly tried to take her own life repeatedly inside the prison.

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Female genital mutilation cases more than double in a year in UK
The Guardian, 30 Nov 2018

The number of girls in England who have experienced or are believed to be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) has more than doubled in a year, according to assessments by council social workers.
Analysis of government figures shows that FGM featured in 1,960 social work assessments in 2017-18 – more than twice the 970 cases reported in the previous year.

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It’s too early to cheer the so-called end of Iran’s notorious ban on women in sports stadiums
Human Rights Watch , 30 Nov 2018

In early November, FIFA president Gianni Infantino was in Iran for the finals of the Asian Football Confederation tournament. This was his second visit this year to Tehran’s Azadi “Freedom” Stadium, where women have been banned since 1981.
“Today is a historic and festive day for football, a real breakthrough,” Infantino declared, hailing images of several hundred women in Azadi stadium, which holds 100,000 fans and is one of the world’s largest. [...]
Unfortunately, Iran’s ban on half the population enjoying soccer in stadiums still stands.

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Women's rights take centre stage as murdered activists are remembered
The Guardian, 29 Nov 2018

Rising misogyny and an increase in the restrictions placed on women’s freedom worldwide mean the work of campaigners who defend their rights is more important than ever, the head of UN Women has said.
In a statement to mark International Women Human Rights Defenders’ Day, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: “Those who defend our rights in turn need our defence. Their brave and important work has provoked reprisals and attacks against civil society actors in all parts of the globe. Humanitarian, development and peace-building organisations are also increasingly facing access and funding restrictions, making the task of human rights defenders all the more precarious.

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