12 May 2020 – NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights


Broken Home: Women’s housing, land and property rights in post-conflict Iraq
Norwegian Refugee Council, 11 May 2020

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women displaced by war remain unable to return to their homes because of systemic injustices that prevent them from proving or claiming ownership of their property. New research by the Norwegian Refugee Council reveals that displaced women are much worse off than men: they are 11 per cent more likely to face barriers impeding them from going back home after years of suffering in displacement camps since the end of the war against Islamic State group in their areas of origin. 

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Daring to Ask, Listen, and Act: A Snapshot of the Impacts of COVID-19 on Women and Girls' rights and sexual and reproductive health - April/May 2020
UNFPA, 11 May 2020

The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic is drastically changing the way that millions of women, men, girls and boys around the world lead their lives. Jordan, a country hosting more than 700 000 refugees in a troubled region, has like most other countries in the world been deeply affected by the shock of COVID- 19 to its economy and social system. Previous infectious disease outbreaks have shown us that pandemics can bring about or worsen humanitarian emergencies and amplify the risks that women and girls will face gender-based violence (GBV) and circumscribe sexual and reproductive health (SRH) rights and services. 

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Hungary Rejects Opportunity to Protect Women from Violence
Human Rights Watch, 08 May 2020

Amidst a disturbing global uptick in reports of domestic violence during Covid-19 lockdowns, Hungary has taken a leap backwards in protecting women. On May 5, parliament, where ruling party Fidesz has a two-thirds majority, blocked ratification of a regional treaty on violence against women. The Council of Europe Convention on Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, establishes a gold standard of inclusion, recognizing everyone’s right to live free from violence, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, or other characteristics. It obliges state parties to uphold minimum standards for protection from and prevention and prosecution of violence against women. 

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The fight to ban FGM in Sudan isn’t over
UNFPA, 07 May 2020

Sudan has taken major steps to defeat Female Genital Mutilation and the United Nations Population Fund will continue to lead efforts to fully ban the practice, the agency said.Last week Sudan took legislative efforts to outlaw the practice and a final law that criminalizes FGM is yet to be formally approved, according to Sudan's government."The Law criminalizing FGM still needs to be approved by the joint meeting between the Sovereign Council and the Council of Ministers," said Osman Abufatima, Secretary General of the Government of Sudan's National Council on Child Welfare. "We are hopeful this will happen soon. Once the law is approved, it will be a very significant achievement." 

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COVID-19: Ensure women’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights
Council of Europe, 07 May 2020

The lockdown imposed in several European countries has also increased the exposure of women to gender-based violence, in particular domestic violence and sexual violence. While many member states are taking laudable measures in an attempt to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis on women’s rights and gender equality, they should not neglect women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Full respect of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights is an essential component of Council of Europe member states’ obligations to guarantee women’s human rights and advance gender equality. 

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