18 January 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights

Articles

Experts decry measures to ‘steadily erase’ Afghan women and girls from public life
UN News, 17 Jan 2022

Taliban leaders in Afghanistan are institutionalizing large scale and systematic gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls, independent UN human rights experts warned on Monday. The group of around three dozen Human Rights Council-appointed experts highlighted a “wave of measures” such as barring women from returning to their jobs, requiring a male relative to accompany them in public spaces, prohibiting women from using public transport on their own, as well as imposing a strict dress code on women and girls.

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India: Bishop rape ruling raises questions about role of church
Deutsche Welle, 17 Jan 2022

A Catholic bishop in India who had been accused of raping a nun multiple times over a period of two years was acquitted by a court in Kottayam, Kerala, last week. Nuns were particularly vocal in the fight for justice in this case. James Nidhin Panvelil, an assistant vicar of St. George Church, told DW that "it was the first time that the reticent nuns sat in protest in public and spoke to the media."

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Taliban says all Afghan girls will be back in school by March
Al Jazeera, 17 Jan 2022

Girls’ schools across Afghanistan will hopefully reopen by late March, a senior Taliban leader has told the Associated Press, offering the first timeline for the resumption of high schools for girls since the group retook power in mid-August. Girls in most of Afghanistan have not been allowed back to school beyond grade 7 since the Taliban takeover, and reversing that has been one of the main demands of women’s rights activists and the international community for months.

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Calls for action on gender-based violence after Ashling Murphy killing
The Guardian, 17 Jan 2022

Campaigners have called for the end of the “scattered” approach to gender-based violence in Ireland after the murder of 23-year-old Ashling Murphy. Irish police are still hunting for the killer of the primary school teacher, who was strangled on a canal path near the town of Tullamore while out jogging on Wednesday afternoon. The minister for justice, Helen McEntee, said a new strategy to tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence will be published by March, promising a “zero-tolerance” approach to violence against women.

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Nigeria: Child Marriage Violates Girls’ Rights
Human Rights Watch, 17 Jan 2022

Child marriage remains prevalent in Nigeria because the federal and state governments have not adequately enforced laws to prevent it, Human Rights Watch said today. Nigeria’s rates of child marriage are some of the highest on the African continent. Although the federal Child Rights Act (CRA, 2003) prohibits marriage below age 18, the Nigerian constitution contains provisions which appear to conflict with this position.

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A year on from Argentine abortion law, change is slow
France 24, 12 Jan 2022

A year ago Argentina joined the limited ranks of Latin American countries to have legalized abortion, but while that gave hope to millions of women, changing mentalities, practices and infrastructure has proved more difficult. The government estimates that 3,000 women died between 1983 and 2020 in clandestine abortions, of which there were up to 500,000 a year. Legalization has not led to a sudden spate of abortions, particularly in places like Salta as the anti-abortion groups in the town are influential.

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Italian raids after New Year sexual assaults in Milan
BBC News, 12 Jan 2022

Italian police have launched raids in the cities of Milan and Turin, after identifying 15 young men and three boys suspected of involvement in a series of sexual assaults on New Year's Eve. Nine women have come forward to say they were attacked while celebrating in Milan's Piazza del Duomo. The allegations are reminiscent of the New Year's Eve attacks in the German city of Cologne six years ago.

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Egypt: Hopes for justice crushed as court confirms prison term for women’s rights defender
Amnesty International, 12 Jan 2022

Amal Fathy is one of countless victims of the Egyptian authorities’ chilling and relentless assault on human rights defenders who have criticized the country’s human rights record. She was arrested in May 2018 after posting a video on her Facebook page in which she spoke about sexual harassment and criticized the Egyptian government for their inaction on the issue and for their wider crackdown on human rights. She was later sentenced to two years in prison, upheld on appeal. She was released on probation in December 2018 but has now been sentenced to one year in prison.

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