20 Nov 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


‘We Are Willing to Die Here’: The Fight for Women’s Rights in Yemen
The New York Times, 20 Nov 2018

“Prepare yourself,” my colleague warned me as I was about to travel to Aden, a port city in southern Yemen, to cover the devastating impact of the country’s war on women and girls. “It’s the worst I’ve ever seen.” In 2015, a coalition of nine countries, led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States and Britain, began a bombing campaign against the Houthi rebels, a militia of Iranian-backed Zaydi Shiites from the northern part of Yemen that had seized control of much of the country. The coalition has since reclaimed some of the lost territory, but the Houthis continue to hold the capital, Sana, and the key port city of Hudaydah, which most humanitarian aid flows through, and the fighting has reached a stalemate.

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Baghlan leaders agree to forge stronger community ties to support women’s rights
ReliefWeb, 19 Nov 2018

Close collaboration at the community level is crucial to protect and promote the fundamental rights and freedoms of women, said participants at a UN-backed symposium in the northeastern province of Baghlan. During the event, led by Governor Abdul Hai Nemati, participants discussed improving community coordination to protect the rights of women and using national and international legal instruments to guide all efforts in fighting gender-based violence. Those attending the event, including rights advocates, members of women’s organizations and officials from the provincial commission on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW), agreed that all Afghans should play their part as advocates for women’s rights.

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Virginia Could Be The State To Give Women Equal Rights Nationwide
NPR, 18 Nov 2018

Landmark court rulings, laws and constitutional amendments have given women the right to vote, to make decisions about their reproductive health and, to some degree, to receive equal pay for equal work. But women are not guaranteed equal rights under the U.S. Constitution. That's why, for decades, women's rights advocates across the country have supported an Equal Rights Amendment. Nearly 50 years ago, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment, barring sex discrimination. But 38 states had to ratify it before it could take effect. Earlier this year, Illinois became state No. 37, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers is campaigning to make Virginia the final, historic vote.

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Indian airport protesters block woman activist's plan to enter hill temple
Reuters, 16 Nov 2018

Thousands of protesters blocked all the exits at a southern Indian airport for more than 14 hours on Friday, stopping a rights activist from heading to a Hindu temple to defy a centuries-old ban on most women entering. Campaigner Trupti Desai said she had decided to retreat for now to avoid a confrontation, but promised to return to Kerala unannounced in her next attempt. Widespread protests broke out in the state after India’s top court ordered authorities in September to lift a ban on women or girls aged between 10 and 50 from entering the temple, which draws millions of worshippers a year.

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DPM maintains that female circumcision is part of Malaysian culture
The Star, 15 Nov 2018

Putrajaya has reaffirmed its stand that female circumcision is part of Malaysian culture. The statement came following a flare-up when on Nov 9, Malaysian delegates to the Universal Periodic Review on human rights in Geneva, Switzerland, defended the practice of infant female circumcision as a “cultural obligation” in Malaysia. The National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) lambasted Putrajaya for making what it said were “misleading statements” that female circumcision was part of Malaysian culture.

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Egyptian Women and the Fight for the Right to Work
The New Yorker, 15 Nov 2018

Almost no one works in an Egyptian clothing factory because she wants to. The teen-age girls are saving for their dowries, and they will quit when they have enough money. Some of the older women are divorced and have children to support. The married ones usually need money badly enough that their husbands have reluctantly allowed them to work.

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