07 July 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


Security Council’s Overdue COVID-19 Ceasefire Resolution Must Put Women & Youth at Center
Inter Press Service, 07 Jul 2020

More than three months after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres made an urgent appeal for a global ceasefire in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Security Council has finally passed a resolution supporting his call. As Oxfam stated in its report Conflict in the Time of Coronavirus, the virus is exposing and exacerbating existing issues in conflict-affected and fragile countries, further complicating efforts to help those in need. In Yemen, airstrikes have destroyed hospitals and other infrastructure, with now barely half of health centers fully functional and only a small number equipped to treat COVID-19 cases.

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Kenya orders probe into rise in violence against women and girls during pandemic
Reuters, 06 Jul 2020

Kenya’s president on Monday ordered an investigation into rising reports of violence against women and girls - including rape, domestic violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage - as a result of coronavirus restrictions. Lockdowns to curb the spread of the new coronavirus have fuelled an upsurge in gender-based violence across the world, with women and girls more isolated and vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, say women’s rights campaigners.

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Sudan’s bid to ban genital mutilation sparks hope, caution
Herald-Tribune, 04 Jul 2020

It’s been more than 60 years. But the scene is seared still into Kawthar Ali’s mind. The women pinned her down on a bed. She was maybe 5 1/2 or 6 years old. Holding her knees, they spread her legs open, her genitals exposed. At the time, she didn’t fully understand what followed. But that day Ali joined the many Sudanese girls who had undergone female genital mutilation, a practice that involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.

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Millions Of Women & Girls At Risk Of FGM In 2020, Says UNFPA
Forbes, 03 Jul 2020

A pandemic is going on during the Covid-19 pandemic, suggests the State of World Population 2020 report released by the United Nations Population Fund. The sexual and reproductive health agency researched what life is like for women and girls globally in 2020. It found that millions are subjected to harmful physical and emotional practices, like female genital mutilation, with the consent of their families. Child marriage, breast ironing, virginity testing and extreme bias against daughters in favor of sons were also identified as damaging practices going on around the world. Experts suggest that as the Covid-19 crisis continues urgent action needs to be taken to protect the most vulnerable. 

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Coronavirus puts millions more at risk of child marriage and FGM: U.N.
Reuters, 30 Jun 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is reversing progress on ending child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), jeopardising the futures of millions of girls, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday. “The pandemic both makes our job harder and more urgent as so many more girls are now at risk,” said Natalia Kanem, head of the United Nations’ sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA.

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