07 mar 2023 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


Kazakhstan: Revise Draft Laws to Better Protect Women
Human Rights Watch, 07 Mar 2023

Kazakhstan should ensure that draft laws relating to domestic violence provide maximum protection for women from family violence, including by criminalizing domestic violence as a stand-alone offense, Human Rights Watch said today. Three years after a previous draft law on domestic violence was withdrawn, two new draft laws currently under review offer crucial opportunities to remedy insufficient measures on domestic abuse. 

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Gender equality still ‘300 years away’, says UN secretary general
The Guardian, 06 Mar 2023

Global progress on women’s rights is “vanishing before our eyes”, the secretary general of the UN, António Guterres, has warned, saying the increasingly distant goal of gender equality will take another three centuries to achieve. “Gender equality is growing more distant. On the current track, UN Women puts it 300 years away,” Guterres said in a general assembly speech ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, as he launched two weeks of discussions led by the Commission on the Status of Women. 

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Five Women Sue Texas Over the State’s Abortion Ban
The New York Times, 06 Mar 2023

Five women who say they were denied abortions despite grave risks to their lives or their fetuses sued the State of Texas on Monday, apparently the first time that pregnant women themselves have taken legal action against the bans that have shut down access to abortion across the country since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The women — two visibly pregnant — plan to tell their stories on the steps of the Texas Capitol on Tuesday. Their often harrowing experiences will put faces to what their 91-page complaint calls “catastrophic harms” to women since the court’s decision in June, which eliminated the constitutional right to abortion after five decades.

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Afghanistan universities reopen but women still barred by Taliban
Al Jazeera, 06 Mar 2023

Male students have trickled back to their classes after universities reopened in Afghanistan following a winter break, but women remain barred by the ruling Taliban. The university ban is one of several restrictions imposed on women since the Taliban stormed back to power in August 2021 and has sparked global outrage. “It’s heartbreaking to see boys going to the university while we have to stay at home,” said Rahela, 22, from the central province of Ghor. “This is gender discrimination against girls because Islam allows us to pursue higher education. Nobody should stop us from learning.” The Taliban government imposed the ban accusing female students of ignoring a strict dress code and a requirement to be accompanied by a male relative to and from campus.

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Spain plans to introduce cabinet gender equality law
Financial Times, 05 Mar 2023

Spain’s prime minister plans to bring in a gender quota at the highest levels of government through a law requiring that each sex holds at least 40 per cent of cabinet roles. The move announced by Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez will make Spain one of the first European countries with a legally binding cabinet quota and forms part of a broader package of gender equality measures. “If women represent half of society then half of the political power and half of the economic power must belong to women,” Sánchez said on Saturday, where he announced that a draft gender equality law would be approved at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

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From A Female Circumciser To An Anti-FGM Crusader
Kenyanews , 04 Mar 2023

A report by Kenya Demographic and Health Survey in 2022 showed the prevalence of the act has declined in Kenya from 38 percent in 1998 to 15 percent in 2022. Narok Children’s Officer Pilot Khaemba says the step forward is because of the increased sensitization on the ground and enforcement of law that prohibits FGM. "Many government departments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been moving from village to village sensitizing residents on the dangers of engaging in this outdated act. I believe this is why the act must come to an end,” he says. Ms. Nkotito Oyie, 58, who hails from Olenkomei village in Narok East sub-county was a renowned cutter but has since changed to advocate against the practice after undergoing several sensitization forums. 

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