18 Apr 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's right


Kenya: Stop the Moral Talk in Sex Lessons, Urge Teens in New Study
By AllAfrica, 18 Apr 2017

Kenyan teenagers want to be taught how to use contraceptives, including condoms, oral pills and injectables, as part of sexuality education in school and at home. Because they are already sexually active, they also want to know where to get these products so as to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases and prevent unwanted pregnancies. Researchers from the Guttmacher and African Population and Health Research Center interviewed 2,484 teenagers for the study, titled From Paper to Practice: Sexuality Education Policies and Their Implementation in Kenya, which will be released on Wednesday. Respondents said they were very interested in knowing about HIV/Aids, reproductive health, puberty and the resulting physical changes in the body, abstinence, and sexually transmitted diseases. Only two out of every 10 interviewed said they knew anything about contraceptive methods; only one out of 10 said they knew how to use contraceptives, and less than two out of 10 said they knew where to find them.

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What I have learned from five years of Everyday Sexism
By The Guardian, 17 Apr 2017

In spring 2012, a week after setting up a website to catalogue experiences of gender inequality, I asked Lady Gaga for her support via Twitter. Keen to raise awareness of my newly created Everyday Sexism Project, I hoped she might spread the word among her millions of followers. The next morning, I sleepily reached for my phone and saw more than 200 new notifications. I clicked eagerly on the first message and stopped cold. It wasn’t, as I had hoped, the first of many new entries from women who had suffered harassment or assault. It was a brutally graphic rape threat – and the moment I became aware of the sheer force of hatred that greets women who speak out about sexism. Over time, things became clearer. I met men who opposed feminism in different settings, and began to recognise their varied tactics. In some ways, the online abusers – who hurled hatred from behind a screen – were the least threatening. The repetition in their arguments (if you can call “get off your high horse and change your tampon” an argument) made it clear that their fury was regurgitated: rooted in a fear of that man-hating, society-destroying “feminazi” of online forum fantasy. Despite this, the site was a success, and over the next five years, hundreds of thousands of testimonies flooded in. Almost every woman or girl I met told me their story, too. A nine-year old who had received a “dick pic”. An elderly lady who had been assaulted by her late husband’s best friend. A young black woman refused entry to a nightclub while her white girlfriends were waved through. A woman in a wheelchair who was told she would be lucky to be raped. My assumptions about the type of person who suffers particular forms of abuse and the separation between different kinds of prejudice quickly shattered.

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Nigeria: Three Years After... In Praise of Bring Back Our Girls Campaign
By AllAfrica, 17 Apr 2017

On the night of April 14, 2014, members of the notorious Boko Haram group abducted some 276 girls from their dormitories at Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok. Last Friday 14th of April, marked three years the school girls were criminally abducted from their school of learning by Boko Haram terrorists. 57 escaped, 219 were missing until some, 21 were "released". Up to date, as many as 195 girls are still missing. As many as 17 of their parents have reportedly lost their lives as a result of the trauma and many are still agonizing. While the search for the remaining girls continues, we must salute the members and leadership of #Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) as well as entire global solidarity movement for keeping the memory of the missing school girls alive. The point cannot be overstated, missing girls or missing persons are possible future workers, doctors, nurses, mothers, future legislators, future governors, Presidents not just statistics. The received wisdom is even more emphatic on the special importance of girls; it says if you educate a girl child, you educate a whole community. Those who abduct girls out of school have definitely criminally abducted communities of future doctors, nurses and leaders. We must therefore join forces with the forces of progress and development worldwide for the liberation of our beloved girls of Chibok and all persons in captivity. An injury to one of these young female teenagers is an injury to all of us.

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Central African Republic: Survivors of Sex Abuse Say UN Neglected Them
By AllAfrica, 14 Apr 2017

 United Nations — Several survivors who were sexually abused by peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic (CAR) continue to be neglected by the UN, an investigative team has found. Three years after cases of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeeping forces in CAR became public, a Swedish film team located a number of survivors who have said that the UN's children agency (UNICEF) promised support never arrived. "The exposure isn't that these atrocities were committed against the kids, but that they were then promised support and just vanished," Co-Director of AIDS-Free World and its Code Blue Campaign Paula Donovan told IPS. The organization first documented the cases of sexual abuse by French peacekeeping troops in 2015, causing public outrage. Children between the ages of 8 and 15, who were living in a refugee camp at the time, reported that they were forced to perform sexual acts in exchange for food and other goods. Fourteen French soldiers reportedly were suspected of being involved. After speaking to UNICEF representative in CAR who said that the children are cared for and followed up with, investigative reporter Karin Mattisson and her team spoke to children who said otherwise. One such survivor is Martha who became pregnant and contracted HIV by a peacekeeping soldier when she was 14-years-old.

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White House Adviser Who Opposes Paid Leave, Equal Pay Now Working On Women’s Issues
By The Huffington Post, 14 Apr 2017

Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is now working on women’s issues in the White House despite having once forcefully argued against paid maternity leave and equal pay legislation, according to unnamed White House officials cited in a Politico report Thursday night. Miller, 31, will work with Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, on women’s issues including family leave and child care, according to Politico’s report. In a White House where men named Steve (Bannon, Mnuchin, Miller) essentially outnumber women in the uppermost ranks, it’s not surprising that a man is working on women’s issues. But Miller’s thinking on women’s issues is troubling, as evidenced by an op-ed he wrote in 2005 as a junior at Duke University. In “Sorry feminists,” he claims that the gender pay gap is a myth. Women make less than men, Miller argues, because men work longer hours, choose higher-paying jobs and take on more dangerous work. “The pay gap has virtually nothing to do with gender discrimination. Sorry, feminists. Hate to break this good news to you,” he writes.  “The truth is, even in modern-day America, there is a place for gender roles,” he adds. “I simply wouldn’t feel comfortable hiring a full-time male babysitter or driving down the street and seeing a group of women carrying heavy steel pillars to a construction site.” 

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Excision : la médicalisation entrave la lutte contre les mutilations génitales
By Pourquoi Docteur, 12 Apr 2017

Plus propre, peut-être. Moins barbare, moins traumatisant, sûrement pas. Depuis quelques temps, les mutilations génitales se médicalisent. Les exciseuses « traditionnelles » restent majoritaires, mais de plus en plus de professionnels de santé mutilent le sexe des filles, sous couvert d’une réduction des risques sanitaires liés à l’intervention. Cette médicalisation des mutilations génitales féminines « dévoie » les campagnes de sensibilisation et compromet l'éradication de l'excision, dénonce l'Institut français d'études démographiques (Ined) dans un rapport rendu public ce mercredi. Longtemps décrite comme un rite de passage à l'âge adulte, l'excision tend à être pratiquée de plus en plus tôt, explique l’Institut. Dans la plupart des pays concernés, la majorité des filles subissent une mutilation génitale avant leurs dix ans - et avant leurs cinq ans pour les plus jeunes générations. A ce rajeunissement de la pratique s'ajoute le développement « inquiétant » de sa médicalisation dans plusieurs pays (Egypte, Guinée, Indonésie, Kenya, Nigeria, Soudan du Sud, Yémen), souligne l'Ined. A l'initiative du Fonds des Nations unies pour la population (FNUAP), les organisations internationales ont condamné ce « dévoiement des premières campagnes de sensibilisation, qui compromet l'éradication de l'excision », souligne l'Ined.  L’Ined met le doigt sur d’autres formes d’interventions chirurgicales problématiques des parties génitales. Des pays pratiquent ainsi des chirurgies de « réassignation » sur des nouveau-nés qui possèdent des caractéristiques des deux sexes. Par ailleurs, on observe aux Etats-Unis, en Amérique Latine, en Asie et en Europe, un développement très récent de pratiques de chirurgie esthétique génitale, telles que la nymphoplastie (ablation totale ou partielle des petites lèvres).

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