22 March 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights

Articles

Liberia: Sande Members Protest in Weala Against Bush School Closure
AllAfrica, 22 Mar 2022

Officials and members of the Sande society (female bush school) in Weala, District# 5, Margibi County are vehemently opposed to the three years suspension of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) a core value of the Sande by the National Traditional Council of Liberia, thus erecting roadblock and preventing normal traffic flow. Although the government here, through the Ministries of Gender and Internal Affairs had formally announced the suspension of activities of the bush schools, particularly FGM in the Sande, the protesters claim they are not aware, so they do not support the decision of the Council.

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Amid COVID in Somaliland, genital mutilation for girls on the rise
Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar 2022

Government officials, health workers and advocates say instances of female genital mutilation, or FGM, rose alarmingly during the pandemic in Somaliland and other parts of Africa as lockdowns kept girls out of school, making them vulnerable to “cutters” such as Ibrahim, and economic pressures led impoverished parents to give their daughters in marriage, for which FGM often remains a cultural expectation, if not a demand. In the early months of the pandemic, the U.N. Population Fund warned that disruptions to prevention programs could lead to 2 million cases over the next decade that otherwise might have been averted, and that progress toward the global goal of ending FGM by 2030 would be badly affected.

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Alleged gang rape in Argentina fuels calls for men to fight gender violence
The Guardian, 21 Mar 2022

Daylight attack heightens concerns over how sexual assault is seen as an isolated incident rather than systemic problem. An alleged gang rape in broad daylight has shone a harsh spotlight on the pervasiveness of rape culture in Argentina and prompted fresh calls for men to play a bigger role in the country's battle against gender violence. 

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South Sudan: ‘hellish existence’ for women and girls, new UN report reveals
UN News, 21 Mar 2022

Widespread sexual violence against women and girls in conflict is being fueled by systemic impunity, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said on Monday. The Commission’s new report, based on interviews conducted with victims and witnesses over several years, describes a “hellish existence for women and girls”, with widespread rape being perpetrated by all armed groups across the country. According to the UN Commission, sexual violence has been instrumentalized as a reward and entitlement for youth and men participating in conflict.

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Ukraine’s women fighters reflect a cultural tradition of feminist independence
The Conversation, 21 Mar 2022

Tens of thousands of Ukrainian women have taken up arms during the war sparked by Russia’s invasion. According to media reports, women constitute as much as 15% to 17% of the Ukrainian fighting force. In the first two weeks of the conflict, social media was replete with images of Ukrainian women training for combat. On March 15, CNN reported hat after dropping off their parents and children in the border town of Przemysl, Poland, some Ukrainian women are turning around to go back to the fight. “They view returning home to a war zone as an act of symbolic resistance to Russian aggressors,” CNN reporters Ed Lavandera and Cristiana Moisescu wrote.

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Deadly attacks on women rise sharply in Iraqi Kurdistan
France 24, 20 Mar 2022

A woman burned alive by her husband, others shot dead by a father or a teenage brother -- bloody violence against women has spiked in northern Iraq's Kurdish region. The autonomous area, keen on projecting an image of a relative haven of stability and tolerance in war-battered Iraq, has seen a sharp rise in femicide, killings motivated by gender. In the first two months of 2022, 11 women were killed in autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, most of them shot, said the official based in Sulaimaniyah.

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Benin’s first female vice-president on women’s bodies, Amazon warriors and being called a feminist
The Guardian, 15 Mar 2022

For Mariam Chabi Talata, legalising abortion and educating girls are essential first steps in giving women control of their future.

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