10 July 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


High court to decide if Kenya to blame for girl's death after botched abortion
by Rebecca Ratcliffe, The Guardian, 10 Jul 2018

A teenager who was raped and left with chronic kidney disease after a botched backstreet abortion has died before a court could rule on whether the Kenyan government was to blame for her death.
The girl, known as JMM, was left vomiting and with heavy bleeding after an abortion in 2014. She was 14 at the time, and was raped by an older man. 
JMM’s mother, as well as the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya and two human rights advocates, filed a case against the government in the Kenyan high court in 2015. They are seeking compensation for the government’s failure to offer JMM adequate post-abortion care and are calling for the government to reinstate guidelines on abortion care.

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Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials
by Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, 08 Jul 2018

A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.
Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.
Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.

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Thousands of FGM cases recorded in Britain
by Reuters, 05 Jul 2018

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Thousands of cases of female genital mutilation have been identified over the past year in Britain, according to data published on Thursday that experts said showed the need for stronger action to tackle the illegal practice.
More than 6,000 women and girls who visited a doctor, midwife, obstetrician or another public health service in England between April 2017 and March 2018 had undergone FGM at some point in their lives, official figures showed.

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Human Rights Council adopts 10 texts, requests a meeting on female genital mutilation and decides to hold a panel discussion on women and climate change
by OHCHR, 05 Jul 2018

The Human Rights Council this afternoon adopted 10 resolutions, including texts requesting a two-day meeting to discuss progress, gaps and challenges in the elimination of female genital mutilation, and deciding to hold a panel discussion on women and climate change.
Concerning female genital mutilation, the Council requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to organize a two-day meeting in 2019 to discuss progress, gaps and challenges in the elimination of female genital mutilation and to submit a report on the outcome at its forty-fourth session.

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Breakthrough made in fight to end virginity testing in Afghanistan
by Annie Kelly, The Guardian, 05 Jul 2018

In a prison in the Balkh province of Afghanistan, more than 200 girls and young women are crammed into dirty prison cells. Many have been here for months – and some for more than a year. When they are eventually released, they face a future defined by shame, exclusion and destitution.
Their crime is that they all failed a virginity test performed by a health professional at a clinic or hospital.
Last year, under increasing pressure from human rights campaigners, Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan president, promised that forensic virginity tests – invasive examinations to check whether the hymen is intact – would be banned as an official procedure. The tests nonetheless remain widespread, and the implications for girls and women who are deemed to have failed them are both immediate and catastrophic.

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