20 October 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


Algeria’s Berber women push for gender equality
Middle East Online, 20 Oct 2020

Algerian women in bright Berber dress ululating, singing and beating drums at a soccer tournament in Sahel last week were pushing their fight for gender equality - a cause that has come under greater scrutiny in Algeria after a brutal attack this month.
The cause of women's rights in Algeria has gained traction in recent weeks after the rape and murder of a young woman whose alleged assailant had already been accused of attacking her years earlier. The case has prompted outrage and protests in Algiers, despite a public ban on demonstrations because of the coronavirus pandemic. Police have arrested a suspect.

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Saudi to Host Women’s Summit While Women Activists Sit Behind Bars
Human Rights Watch, 20 Oct 2020

Saudi Arabia will virtually host the Women20 Summit (W20) this month. During the event, over 80 women’s rights experts representing non-profits, private companies, and academic institutions will discuss “realizing opportunities of the 21st century for all,” a catchphrase that belies the reality of many Saudi women’s rights activists today.
The Saudi government’s use of women’s rights to divert attention from other serious abuses is well-documented. Recent changes, including the right to drive and to travel without male guardian permission, might be significant, but do not hide the fact that some of the women who campaigned for these changes still languish behind bars.

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‘We want justice for these girls’: the Kenyan helpline for victims of gender violence
UN News, 17 Oct 2020

Around four million girls worldwide suffer female genital mutilation every year. Although it is forbidden in Kenya, COVID-19 has led some families to revive itthe traditional practice, and a UN-supported phone helpline for victims of gender-based violence in the country has seen a big rise in calls since the pandemic hit.

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Thousands protest Trump’s Supreme Court pick at Women’s Marches
Aljazeera, 17 Oct 2020

Women’s rights groups have raised concerns that Amy Coney Barrett will restrict abortion access in the United States. Thousands of protesters have rallied in the US capital – Washington, DC – and other cities across the country to protest against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee and to call for his defeat in the November 3 election.
Saturday’s rallies, which organisers said were taking place in all 50 states, were inspired by the first Women’s March in Washington, DC, a huge anti-Trump rally held a day after his 2017 inauguration.

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Politicians pressure EU to make violence against women a crime
The Brussels Times, 16 Oct 2020

Over 110 Members of the European Parliament pressured the European Union to recognise the Istanbul Convention on Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence on Friday, and to make violence against women a crime.
The Istanbul Convention is the world’s first joint binding effort to fight and prevent violence against women, ranging from marital rape to domestic violence and female genital mutilation.

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