16 February 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


Hajiya Gambo Sawaba: ‘The most jailed Nigerian female politician’
Aljazeera, 15 Feb 2021

Stories from the life of Hajiya Gambo Sawaba, one of northern Nigeria’s most important female political activists, who was born on this day in 1933, have become the stuff of folklore. According to one, her fighting spirit was evident when, as a young girl growing up in northern Nigeria in the 1930s and 40s, she would always intervene in other children’s fights on the side of the loser, telling them: “I have bought this fight from you”, before carrying on the scuffle.

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Annual march commemorates missing, murdered women for 30th year
CBC News, 14 Feb 2021

More than 100 supporters gathered in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside on Sunday for the 30th Women's Memorial March, which honours murdered and missing women and girls. The annual march began in 1992, when loved ones and supporters gathered on Feb. 14 in the Downtown Eastside to commemorate the life of a woman who was murdered on Powell Street. Each year since, participants have gathered at Hastings and Main, where family members of missing and murdered women speak before marching through the streets.

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Preventing Female Genital Mutilation
Forbes, 12 Feb 2021

They were seven young friends, telling stories about growing up. One of them mentioned female genital mutilation (FGM), outlawed since 2010 in Uganda, where the girls lived, but still practiced in some parts of the country. "We decided it is normal for a girl to be cut, so we also wanted it," said 11-year-old Angela* (her name has been changed to protect her anonymity). So the girls bought razor blades and made a plan to run away to Kenya.

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Saudi Women’s Rights Defenders Released, But Not Free
Human Rights Watch, 12 Feb 2021

While we are overjoyed to welcome Loujain home, our work is far from over. She remains banned from travel and has a suspended sentence of nearly three years on charges that define her women’s rights activism as crimes under Saudi Arabia’s terrorism regulations. This means authorities can return her to prison at any time if she decides to speak out or resume her activism.

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The Saudi women’s rights activists who remain behind bars
Aljazeera, 11 Feb 2021

Rights groups have welcomed the release of women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul from prison, but several other activists remain behind bars in Saudi Arabia. Over the past three years, Saudi Arabia has detained hundreds of people it sees as dissenters – including activists like al-Hathloul – but it has begun provisionally releasing some as it comes under pressure from the new administration in the United States.

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