19 Jun 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


The big picture: Women around the world are fighting for abortion rights
by Axios, 17 Jun 2018

Argentina took a step towards legalizing abortions last week after the lower house of its legislature sent a bill to the Senate that would allow the procedure in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, the BBC reports.

The big picture: Women in countries around the world are fighting for abortion rights, but the Guttmacher Institute reported that 42% of women of reproductive age worldwide still live in countries where abortion is "highly restricted," meaning it's entirely illegal or only allowed to "save a woman's life or protect her health."



Read More

Nigeria urged to fix legal mess around female genital mutilation
by Thomson Reuters Foundation News, 15 Jun 2018

Nigeria is failing to enforce a much heralded ban on female genital mutilation, activists said on Friday, as they urged the country to sort out a "messy patchwork" of laws and beef up efforts to protect girls.
A quarter of women in the West African country have undergone the agonising ritual, which can cause serious health problems.
Most girls who have the procedure are cut before the age of five, according to a report on Nigeria's FGM laws by campaign group 28 Too Many.
Although Nigeria introduced a federal law banning the internationally condemned practice in 2015, it only automatically applies in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. Other states have to pass mirroring laws.

Read More

Bid to Legalize Abortion in Argentina Clears First Hurdle in Congress
By Daniel Politi and Ernesto Londoño, New York Times, 14 Jun 2018

Proponents of legalizing abortion in Argentina celebrated on Thursday as the lower house of Congress narrowly approved a contentious bill that would allow women to terminate pregnancies during the first 14 weeks.

Read More

Women’s rights advocates fear a return to the 90s under Doug Ford
by Vice News, 13 Jun 2018

Under a new Progressive Conservative premier who has promised to scrap and replace the updated sex education curriculum and lower taxes, women’s rights advocates in Ontario are bracing for massive cuts to their sector that they say could jeopardize women’s safety.
Doug Ford campaigned on promises to slash $6 billion from the provincial budget by doing away with “inefficiencies” in part through an immediate “outside audit” that would probe what Ford describes as “reckless” spending under the previous Liberal regime.
While Ford hasn’t said exactly what those “inefficiencies” are — and in a statement pledged general support for those working to end violence against women — those who work in the sector are fearing for the future. 

Read More

‘Back to the Dark Ages’: Sessions’s asylum ruling reverses decades of women’s rights progress, critics say
By Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, 12 Jun 2018

[A] 2014 landmark decisionby the Board of Immigration Appeals set the precedent that women fleeing domestic violence were eligible to apply for asylum. It established clarity in a long-running debate over whether asylum can be granted on the basis of violence perpetrated in the “private” sphere, according to Karen Musalo, director for the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.
But on Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned the precedent set in Cifuentes’s case, deciding that victims of domestic abuse and gang violence generally will not qualify for asylum under federal law. (Unlike the federal courts established under Article III of the Constitution, the immigration court system is part of the Justice Department.)

Read More