1 December 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


European envoys urge Saudi Arabia to release women's rights activists
CNN, 30 Nov 2020

Seven European human rights ambassadors criticized Saudi Arabia on Sunday over the continued detention of at least five women's rights activists, including Loujain al-Hathloul, whose case has been referred to a special court for terrorism offenses. "We remain deeply concerned by the continued detention of at least five women's right activists in Saudi Arabia. We regret that the cases of Loujain Al-Hathloul and Samar Badawi have now been referred to the Special Criminal Court for terrorism and national security cases," human rights ambassadors for the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Luxembourg and Finland said in a statement.

Read More

COVID-19 worsening gender-based violence, trafficking risk, for women and girls
UN News, 30 Nov 2020

Lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and other measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to what the UN has called a “shadow pandemic” of rising gender-based violence. Women’s economic inequality also increases their vulnerability to trafficking and sexual violence, according to UN Women, which supports countries in their efforts to achieve gender equality.

Read More

Gaza women break down work barriers amid Israeli siege
Aljazeera, 30 Nov 2020

“In general, the community in Gaza has started to accept the change of women’s roles because of economic reasons, as many women are heading their families and their husbands or children feel frustrated for not finding job opportunities,” Azza Qassem, a human rights activist, said. “The community in Gaza faces harsh political, social and economic situations so the bullying has increased in recent years on many topics, especially these issues related to women.

Read More

Sudan says it will stamp out child marriage and enforce ban on FGM
The Guardian, 27 Nov 2020

Sudanese authorities have announced they will end child marriage and enforce the country’s ban on female genital mutilation (FGM), in a major step forward for the rights of women and girls. Police officers were told on Wednesday they must inform local communities that FGM is illegal following new laws passed in July that make it punishable by up to three years in jail.

Read More

Polish de facto ban on abortion puts women’s lives at risk, says Parliament
EU News, 26 Nov 2020

EU Parliament underscores that, in line with the European Court of Human Rights’ case law, restrictive abortion laws violate women’s human rights. MEPs agree that unhindered and timely access to reproductive health services and respect for women’s reproductive autonomy and decision-making is critical to protecting women’s human rights and gender equality.

Read More