10 August 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


The struggle to secure access to abortion in Argentina goes on
Al Jazeera, 09 Aug 2021

In recent months, Argentinians have had access to legal abortion for the first time. In December, Argentina became the fourth in Latin America to legalise abortion after the National Congress passed the Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy Law. Securing this right for women and pregnant persons was a milestone achievement and the culmination of decades of struggle, setbacks and progress. 

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Zimbabwe: UN, Women's Rights Groups Put Pressure Zimbabwe to Prosecute Man Who Married 14-Year-Old Girl
All Africa, 08 Aug 2021

Women's rights activists, opposition groups and the United Nations are pressuring Zimbabwean authorities to arrest a man who had married a 14-year-old who died last week while giving birth at a church shrine. Zimbabwean police say they are investigating the matter. Hashtags #EndChildMarriagesNow and #justiceforMemory have been trending on social media after 14-year-old Memory Machaya died while giving birth at an apostolic sect shrine about 400 kilometers east of Harare. 

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Gambia: Women Rights Activists Call for Equal Political Representation
All Africa, 06 Aug 2021

Several women rights activists have called on government and political leaders to ensure equal political representation in the country, describing the current situation as unjust to women. The Gambia government currently has about three females in cabinet and five women in the parliament with more men in both arms of government than women. Therefore, scores of women activists have raised concerns over this disparity in the governance structure.

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Indonesian army hints at ending invasive 'virginity tests' for female recruits
CNN, 06 Aug 2021

The Indonesian army has hinted that it will end mandatory "virginity tests" for female recruits, in a move that has been welcomed by human rights groups. For decades, the army has subjected female recruits -- as well as, in some instances, the prospective wives of male soldiers -- to the "abusive, unscientific, and discriminatory" tests, Human Rights Watch said in a statement on its website.

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Afghanistan: Justice System Failing Women
Human Rights Watch, 05 Aug 2021

The Afghan government’s failure to provide accountability for violence against women and girls has undermined progress to protect women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Gains by Taliban forces as the United States completes its troop withdrawal leaves the current Afghan state, and women’s rights in particular, uncertain. 

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Illegally sterilised Czech women to be offered compensation
The Guardian, 04 Aug 2021

Women sterilised without their consent are to be offered compensation in the Czech Republic after President Miloš Zeman signed a bill into law this week. The women, most of whom were Roma, will be awarded 300,000 Czech crowns (£10,000) from the government as compensation. Gwendolyn Albert, a human rights activist who was one of those campaigning for the change, said: “This means the wrongdoing committed against all who have been sterilised without their informed consent is acknowledged and can be redressed.”

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