2 July 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights


Council of Europe bashes Poland over judicial reform and women’s rights
Politico, 28 Jun 2019

Poland’s wide-ranging judicial reforms have “fundamentally affected” all parts of the country’s justice system, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe said in a report issued Friday. It's yet another blow from a European body against the legal and social changes brought in by Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party in recent years, and comes as the government prepares for this fall's parliamentary elections. Dunja Mijatović, the commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, a pan-European human rights watchdog with 47 member states that is not an EU institution, visited Poland in March to investigate the independence of the judiciary and women’s sexual and reproductive rights.

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Joint Evaluation of the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation: Accelerating Change Phase I and II (2008–2017) - Evaluation Report
ReliefWeb, 28 Jun 2019

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is internationally recognized as a harmful practice, and a violation of the rights of women and girls to physical integrity and freedom from injury and coercion. Recent estimates suggest that at least 200 million girls and women have undergone FGM in more than 30 countries where the practice is concentrated. While there has been an overall decline in the prevalence of FGM over the last three decades, not all countries have made progress and the pace of decline has been uneven. An estimated 3.9 million girls are considered to be at risk of experiencing female genital mutilation each year, which is predicted to rise to 4.6 million girls per year by 2030, given high population growth rates in countries where there is high prevalence. In response to various United Nations resolutions and regional and national commitments, in 2008 UNFPA and UNICEF established a Joint Programme that aimed at accelerating change towards FGM abandonment.

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Liberia: FGM Erased From Domestic Violence Law
AllAfrica, 27 Jun 2019

The practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or women circumcision has been erased from the proposed Domestic Violence Law of 2014, and is therefore, not considered an act of domestic violence or abuse, rather traditionally and culturally to compromise with the country's heritage. The omitted FGM practice, which is considered harmful and painful, is not included in the Domestic Law to be described as a serious crime against an individual and society that take on many forms, including physical and sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation.

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Saudi women's rights activist Samar Badawi appears in court
Al Jazeera, 27 Jun 2019

Prominent women's rights activists including Samar Badawi appeared in a Saudi court on Thursday over charges linked to their human rights activism. Badawi is the sister of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012 for criticism of officials in the kingdom. It was the first time Samar Badawi had appeared in court since her arrest on July 30, 2018. She was apprehended along with Nassima al-Sadah, a women's rights activist from Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, and Amal al-Harbi.

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New UN report on families in a changing world puts ‘women’s rights at their core’
UN News, 25 Jun 2019

UN Women’s new report, “Progress of the World’s Women 2019-2020: Families in a Changing World”, shows that families, in all their diversity, “can be critical drivers of gender equality, provided decision-makers deliver policies rooted in the reality of how people live today, with women’s rights at their core”, said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. But it also adds that families can also be breeding grounds of conflict, inequality and, far too often, violence. Anchored in global data, innovative analysis and specific case studies, the report paints a picture of the diversity of families globally and provides recommendations to support laws and policies that meet the needs of all family members, especially women and girls, and concrete proposals for implementation.

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