23 March 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


‘Not a noisy gun’: The women peacebuilders of Liberia
Al Jazeera, 22 Mar 2021

Dressed in white, the women became a visible presence in wartime Monrovia as they fasted, sang and prayed for peace. In torrential rain and under the scorching sun they continually turned out, even threatening a sex strike for as long as fighting continued. The number of women joining the peaceful sit-ins swelled to thousands from diverse religious and social backgrounds. In June 2003, Gbowee and her female peace warriors accompanied then-President Charles Taylor and rebel leaders to talks in Ghana; when progress stalled, they blocked the exits of the negotiating hall until a consensus was reached.

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Afghanistan: Women’s Full Participation Needed in Talks
Human Rights Watch, 22 Mar 2021

Afghanistan’s government and its international partners are failing in their obligation to ensure that Afghan women are full participants in all peace processes. In keeping with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, talks between the Afghan parties scheduled for April 2021 need to include the “full participation” of women.

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Thirty years on, women-only village inspires land equality in rural Kenya
Thomson Reuters Foundation, 22 Mar 2021

Nolmongen was among the first residents of Umoja, which was founded in 1990 as a refuge for Samburu women who have suffered sexual assault and been cast out and stripped of any claims to their property or children, as well as those fleeing child marriage or female genital mutilation (FGM). Today, the women are on the brink of being granted the title deed to a tract of grazing land by the county government - a right they never would have had outside the village - and are motivating nearby communities to also start giving land rights to women.

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Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian author and women’s rights icon, dies
Al Jazeera, 21 Mar 2021

World-renowned Egyptian author Nawal El Saadawi, an outspoken champion of women’s rights in the Arab world, has died at the age of 89, her family said. El Saadawi passed away in a Cairo hospital after suffering a long illness, her daughter, Mona Helmy, said on Sunday. The prolific writer was a leading feminist who revolutionised discussions on gender in deeply conservative societies.

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Tunisian women’s rights and LGBT activist released from jail
Jurist, 20 Mar 2021

A Tunisian appeals court released activist Rania Amdouni from jail on Wednesday. Amdouni had been charged with “insulting police and abuse of morals,” which sparked concerns from human rights groups over suppression of free speech. Amdouni is the president of Chouf Minorities and a member of DAMJ, the Tunisian Association for Justice and Equality. She has faced abuse from law enforcement because of her involvement in recent protests against unjust austerity policies and police brutality.

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Opinion: In Senegal, women’s bodies have become a political battleground
The Washington Post, 19 Mar 2021

In Senegal, the politicization of the alleged rape of Adji Sarr, a 21-year-old masseuse, by Ousmane Sonko, a popular opposition leader, has led to widespread protests that have left an estimated 11 people dead, hundreds wounded, dozens arrested and businesses — mostly French-owned — destroyed. Sonko, a 46-year-old member of parliament and a major challenger to President Macky Sall, is accused of raping Sarr on a visit to a massage parlor at night and in the middle of a pandemic curfew, to ease what he claims to be a medically diagnosed acute back pain. The demonstrators — mostly young men — who support Sonko, and Sonko himself, claim that the allegations are politically motivated and deny them.

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