12 Feb 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights


‘Religious freedom’ claims used to defend FGM in courts in four countries
OpenDemocracy, 12 Feb 2019

Doctors and lawyers in at least four countries have recently argued in court that bans on female genital mutilation (FGM) violate ‘religious freedom’. Three of these cases – in India, the US and Australia – involved members of the Dawoodi Bohra community, a sect within Shia Islam with about a million followers, primarily in Gujarat, India and the diaspora.
Around 75% of girls in this community have experienced khafz – removing the ‘hood’ of the clitoris of seven-year-old girls – according to the survivor-led organisation WeSpeakOut.

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Call for mass walkouts in Ireland to protest against gender-based violence and pay gap
The Journal.ie , 11 Feb 2019

ACTIVISTS AND UNIONS have called for people in Ireland to take part in mass walkouts on International Women’s Day this year. A large protest is planned for 8 March on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin and people are being asked to leave their workplaces or colleges at 3pm to join, or if they are in other parts of the country to join local demonstrations

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Pressure grows to oust Christopher Chope after FGM law blocked
The Guardian, 10 Feb 2019

Demands for Conservative MP Christopher Chope to be kicked out of the party were mounting last night as colleagues and campaigners voiced their anger over his move to block a law protecting girls from female genital mutilation (FGM). Chope, who gained infamy after previously halting a bill to make upskirting a criminal offence, blocked a planned law protecting children from FGM by shouting “object!” when the bill was presented on Friday to the Commons for its second reading.

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Poland: Women’s Rights Activists Targeted
Human Rights Watch, 06 Feb 2019

The Polish government is targeting women’s rights activists and organizations, putting women’s rights and safety at risk, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. More than two years after the first mass protests against efforts to further restrict abortion access, the ruling Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS) party is attacking women’s rights activism through raids on groups’ offices, denial of funding, public smear campaigns, and disciplinary action.

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