13 October 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


South Korea Partially Recognizes Reproductive Rights
Human Rights Watch, 12 Oct 2020

 South Korea’s government last week announced new draft legislation that would permit abortion up until 14 weeks and, in some circumstances, up to 24 weeks, but falls short of full decriminalization.
The proposed law represents an important reform of South Korea’s restrictive abortion legislation, but an incomplete one. The bill as drafted would continue to deny many pregnant people the right to make their own choices about whether to continue a pregnancy.

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Fresh Calls to End Afghanistan’s ‘Virginity Exams’
Human Rights Watch, 12 Oct 2020

Sex outside marriage – zina – is punishable by between 5 and 15 years in prison. Women and girls suspected of zina – and sometimes completely unrelated crimes like theft or murder – are routinely sent for virginity exams. These “tests” are scientifically invalid and the “findings” are medically meaningless – but still may be critical in sending a woman to prison.

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In Belarus, Women Led the Protests and Shattered Stereotypes
The New York Times, 11 Oct 2020

In a country whose strongman president, Aleksandr. G Lukashenko, has openly scoffed at women as too weak for politics and told them their place was in the kitchen, Belarusian women have become the face and driving force of a movement aimed at toppling a leader known as “Europe’s last dictator.”

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Monica Roberts, a Black trans journalist who covered the killings of trans women before national media did, dies at 58
CNN, 10 Oct 2020

Monica Roberts had no predecessor. Before her groundbreaking blog, there were few news sites for Black transgender women like her.
And before Monica Roberts, no journalist had painstakingly recorded and reported on the murders of transgender women of color. She took on both projects alone.

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Trump Signs 2 Laws Addressing Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women
Huffpost, 10 Oct 2020

President Donald Trump signed two bills into law Saturday night that will finally do something about a terrifying and largely invisible crisis in America: Hundreds of Indigenous women are simply disappearing or being murdered. Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act will finally help bring them some justice.

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