17 November 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


Bangladesh launches all-female police team to fight online abuse
Aljazeera, 17 Nov 2020

Bangladeshi police have launched an all-female unit to tackle a rise in online abuse and harassment targeting women, the country’s police chief said, as authorities seek to address growing public concern about gender-based violence. Police hope the unit will encourage more women to come forward to report digital abuse, including so-called revenge porn, hacking of their social media accounts and online threats from blackmailers.

Read More

WHO rolls out plan to rid world of cervical cancer, saving millions of lives
UN News, 17 Nov 2020

“Eliminating any cancer would have once seemed an impossible dream, but we now have the cost-effective, evidence-based tools to make that dream a reality”, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. The strategy, backed by WHO Member States at the World Health Assembly last week, involves vaccinating 90 per cent of girls by the age of 15, screening 70 per cent of women by the age of 35 and again by the age of 45, and treating 90 per cent of women identified with cervical disease.

Read More

Egyptian women speak up about sex crimes
The Economist, 14 Nov 2020

For much of this year Egypt has wrestled with the problem of sexual violence and the issue of women’s rights. Men there have long policed women’s behaviour, using antiquated notions of morality, while tolerating crimes by men against women. But lately young women like Ms Ashraf (pictured) have been challenging the country’s conservative, male-dominated culture, using social media to amplify their voices. It has not always gone well

Read More

Lee Hyo-jae, Champion of Women’s Rights in South Korea, Dies at 95
The New York Times, 14 Nov 2020

When Lee Hyo-jae learned of a university colleague’s research into the Korean “comfort women” taken by the Japanese military for use as sex slaves during World War II, she came to view the government-sanctioned enslavement as one of history’s most brutal war crimes. She spent the next two decades fighting to bring attention to the issue and to secure redress from Japan. But that was only one of many causes taken up by Ms. Lee, one of South Korea’s foremost activists on behalf of women’s rights and democracy. She helped abolish South Korea’s patriarchal naming system, allowing people to use two surnames to reflect their heritage from both parents. She helped establish a quota requiring that half of a party’s candidates running for the National Assembly be women. She pushed for equal pay for equal work.

Read More

UK report calls out Saudi Arabia over women’s rights abuses
Aljazeera, 12 Nov 2020

A report released by a member of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords has called on the world’s leading economies to shun the G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia this year unless jailed women’s rights activists are released. “I want all of us to call upon those who will be participating in the G20 meeting to say we will only participate in this meeting being hosted by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia if you release these women,” Baroness Helena Kennedy, a prominent Scottish barrister, said in a video statement released on Wednesday.

Read More