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


Convictions for honour crimes including FGM, rape and forced marriage plummet amid national police crackdown
The Independent , 22 Jul 2019

Convictions for so-called honour crimes perpetrated against women have plummeted in the past five years, The Independent can reveal, amid a nationwide crackdown aimed at bringing those responsible to justice. The offences include coercive control, forced marriage and subsequent repeated rape, female genital mutilation (FGM), assault, threats to kill, attempted murder and even murder itself. Figures from the Crown Prosecution Service show that successful prosecutions for crimes of honour-based abuse fell from 123 in 2013-14 to just 71 in 2017-18.

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Campaign exposes "victim-blaming" attitudes to rape
Qantara.de, 22 Jul 2019

Since its establishment in 2011, ABAAD – the Resource Center for Gender Equality – has been courageously and creatively testing new approaches to address the issue of GBV and promote gender equality as an essential condition of sustainable social and economic development in the Middle East and North Africa. As a leading actor promoting gender equality in the region, ABAAD advocates the development and implementation of policies and laws that enhance women's effective participation. As part of a holistic and rights-based approach to advancing gender equality, ABAAD is determined to tackle the root causes of inequality and violence, including gendered social norms.

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Saudi Guardianship Laws Could Be Set to Change. Here’s How Women Are Reacting.
The New York Times, 21 Jul 2019

The renewed prospect that Saudi Arabia might lift its restrictive guardianship laws has been met with a mix of hope and cynicism by women in the conservative kingdom. Saudi news media reported recently that the government is considering what would be the most significant reform yet of women’s rights in the kingdom, which has some of the world’s most patriarchal laws. The guardianship rules require women to get the permission of a male guardian to marry, enroll in a school or a university, apply for a passport or travel out of the country.

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Teach primary school children about FGM, say campaigners
The Guardian, 20 Jul 2019

Primary schools should start teaching pupils about female genital mutilation when a new relationships and health education curriculum is introduced next year, campaigners say. Secondary school pupils will be taught about the dangers of FGM from 2020 but experts fear that for some vulnerable girls these lessons will come too late. Most girls who are subjected to mutilation undergo the practice before they are 10 years old, according to the National FGM Centre’s research.

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Breast-ironing is abuse and could lead to prison term, says CPS
The Guardian, 19 Jul 2019

Relatives who “iron” a young girl’s chest with a hot stone or other objects to delay breast formation could face up to 10 years in prison, under new guidance published by the Crown Prosecution Service. The guidance makes clear to police and prosecutors that breast-ironing, a ritual common in parts of Africa that now sometimes happens in the UK, is a crime that can be charged under existing law even if the victim is said to have consented.

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