07 Aug 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


Can songs help to halt female genital mutilation, early marriage in Egypt?
Al-Monitor, 03 Aug 2018

“Since the day she was born, she was a burden. They wished for a boy instead of her,” begins a song sung by Sahar El-Zoghbi. It goes on to narrate the story of an Egyptian girl who underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) when she was 9 years old, and then — when she got a bit older — “her groom was waiting at the door.” Zoghbi and her band are one of the four selected by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to be part of their ongoing project, “Music for Development,” which kicked off with a concert at the 16th International Summer Festival on July 18 at Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

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In Iran Protests, Women Stand Up, Lift Their Hijab, For Their Rights
NPR, 03 Aug 2018

Tension is rising between Iran and the United States these days. But Iran's leaders are facing pressure from various sides at home, too. Ordinary Iranians are mounting protests that refuse to go away, despite a sharp response from the authorities. The demonstrations began to make news late last year, focusing largely on economic hardship. As those protests continued in cities around the country, another movement re-emerged: young women standing up against the enforcement of conservative Muslim strictures on their dress and behavior.

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US Immigration Agency Takes on Female Genital Cutting
VOA, 03 Aug 2018

On a few days over the last year, federal agents approached travelers at several U.S. airports — flights bound for or connecting to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Frankfurt, Germany, and Dakar, Senegal. The officials — part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — weren't searching for contraband, or guiding bag-sniffing dogs. They were part of a smaller office within the agency that doesn't focus on detaining and deporting people. Instead, they were handing out printed materials. They wanted to talk about female genital cutting.

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Denmark: Face veil ban a discriminatory violation of women’s rights
Amnesty International , 01 Aug 2018

As a new law banning the wearing of face coverings in public comes into force in Denmark, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director Fotis Filippou said:

“All women should be free to dress as they please and to wear clothing that expresses their identity or beliefs. This ban will have a particularly negative impact on Muslim women who choose to wear the niqab or burqa."

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Saudi Arabia 'arrests two women's rights activists'
ALJAZEERA, 01 Aug 2018

Saudi Arabia has arrested two prominent women's rights activists, the latest to be swept up in a government crackdown on activists, scholars and journalists, an international rights group said on Wednesday. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said authorities arrested Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah, who campaigned for women's right to drive and the lifting of the male guardianship system, in the past two days.

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