23 June 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


The coronavirus backlash: how the pandemic is destroying women's rights
The Guardian, 23 Jun 2020

When lockdown began, Naomi initially hoped she could muddle through. She was used to working from home as a management consultant, and her boss was flexible about when the work got done. But, as a single parent to two children, seven and six, a few weeks of home schooling by day and working late into the night left her exhausted.
“I’m the school cook, cleaner and caretaker, I’m the teacher, and as well I’m trying to be the consultant after they’ve gone to bed. I realised I was going almost 24/7,” she says. So, in April, she asked to be added to her company’s furlough list; when her boss agreed, she felt nothing but relief. “I tried; I really did try. But I’m only human, and I can only be stretched so far before everything falls apart.”

Read More

Where FGM follows girls, women to delivery room
Daily Nation, 22 Jun 2020

The war against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) may have sent the traditional circumcisers into hiding, but not the cut out of the tradition. In Tana River County, the blade has not taken a break, and the 'surgeons' retired. If you miss the blade as a child, the women who double up as midwives may still catch up with you in your adulthood. The law of compensation will enjoy its day. At the age of 16, Rabia Mohammed from the Ilwana community in Bura sub-county, a community that practices FGM, got married and knew she had escaped the traumatising experience.

Read More

Kenya has made huge strides in anti-FGM fight
Daily Nation, 22 Jun 2020

Kenya has made huge progress in abandoning female genital mutilation. According to the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS), the national prevalence of FGM is 21 per cent, down from 27 in 2008/9 and 32 in 2003. Despite the decline, prevalence remains high among some communities such as the Somali (94 per cent), Kisii (86), Samburu (83) and Maasai (78).

Read More

Top women's rights group probes claims of racism by staff
Reuters, 18 Jun 2020

The head of leading rights group Women Deliver has apologized and pledged an independent investigation after current and former staff said she ruled over a “toxic” culture of racism. Experts said the problems at New York-based Women Deliver were endemic in the NGO world, with widespread complaints of racial inequality in a sector already under fire for sexual abuse of vulnerable women.

Read More

Why coronavirus has placed millions more girls at risk of FGM
The Guardian, 16 Jun 2020

Covid-19 has exposed just how much work remains to be done to wipe out female genital mutilation (FGM) around the world. Two million girls who would otherwise be safe from the practice are believed to be at risk over the next decade as a direct result of the virus. As lockdowns linger and economies tumble, many families have been spurred into action over the fate of their daughters, using school closures to cut them and marry them off, campaigners say.

Read More

Murders of South African women as lockdown eases sparks online campaigns
Reuters, 16 Jun 2020

A spate of murders of South African women in recent weeks, including a heavily pregnant woman stabbed and hanged from a tree, highlighted the need for tougher police action on violence against women, women’s rights groups said on Tuesday. Two weeks after South Africa ended a nine-week ban on alcohol sales, President Cyril Ramaphosa linked a surge in rapes and killings of women to the end of the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown, calling it a “dark and shameful week”.

Read More