11 May 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights

Articles

Opinion: European treaty against women's violence 'saves lives'
DW, 11 May 2021

On May 11, the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence turns 10. This anniversary comes at a troubled time for women in Europe. In recent years, ultra-conservative movements have consistently attempted to undermine women's rights across Europe. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the situation:  Progress in gender equality in employment is being reversed, violence against women has skyrocketed, and obstacles in accessing sexual and reproductive health and rights have multiplied.

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How serious is Europe about ending violence against women?
DW, 11 May 2021

As it stands, most European countries do not define sex without consent as rape. Instead, many of these countries require violence, threats or intimidation — which means prosecutors often have to reduce the perpetrator's charge to the lesser crime of sexual abuse in the hope of getting a conviction. Such loopholes can mean that a person who is unresponsive or silent during a rape can be interpreted as consensual in the eyes of the law — as seen in the so-called "Wolf Pack" gang rape case in Spain. (After global outrage, an appeal later saw the group guilty of rape).

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Europe: Redouble Efforts to End Violence Against Women
Human Rights Watch, 10 May 2021

Council of Europe member states should reinforce efforts to combat violence against women by swiftly ratifying and carrying out a landmark regional convention on women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released two videos today that explain the convention and highlight its importance. Governments should take urgent steps to counter misinformation about the convention and to fight dangerous myths and discriminatory stereotypes that undermine work to curb violence against women.

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Afghanistan School Attack: Death Toll Rises, As Do Fears Over Sending Girls To School
NPR, 10 May 2021

Sayed Ul-Shuhada school in Kabul was once a place of tentative hope. Impoverished Afghan children studied there: girls and boys who worked as carpet weavers to pay for their books. An Afghan aid group donated a library and teachers helped students paint colorful murals. On Saturday, it became the site of one of Afghanistan's worst attacks in at least a year, when a series of blasts appeared to deliberately target its female students.

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Ecuador abortion rights victory hailed as latest in ‘tidal wave’
Al Jazeera, 07 May 2021

Women’s rights advocates have hailed a recent court ruling that will ease restrictions on abortion in cases of rape in Ecuador, the latest country in Latin America to be swept up in the “green wave” abortion rights movement. In a 7-2 vote on April 28, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador deemed unconstitutional a previous ban that outlawed abortions except in cases where a woman’s life was in danger, or if a woman with a mental disability was raped.

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Afghan women’s rights ‘would be rolled back’ under Taliban: US
Al Jazeera, 04 May 2021

The Taliban “would roll back much” of the progress made in Afghan women’s rights if the fighting group regain national power, according to an assessment released on Tuesday by top US intelligence analysts. The US National Intelligence Council report will likely reinforce fears that the Taliban will resume the harsh treatment that women and girls suffered under their 1996-2001 rule should the group prevail in a full-blown civil war.

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Child marriage ‘thriving in UK’ due to legal loophole, warn rights groups
The Guardian, 04 May 2021

A legal loophole that allows 16- and 17-year-olds in England and Wales to marry with parental consent is being exploited and used to coerce young people into child marriage, campaigners have warned. More than 20 organisations have signed a letter to the prime minister insisting current forced marriage law does not go far enough in protecting young people.

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