24 April 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights


How practices and meaning of FGM are changing in Tanzania
by The Star, 24 Apr 2018

Three decades into a global campaign to end the cultural practice of female genital mutilation and cutting worldwide, the desired change is yet to be achieved. Various studies suggest that the practice is on the decline in many countries. But prevalence has increased Chad, Mali and Sierra Leone. The results are also mixed within countries. While the overall prevalence in Ethiopia has gone down, the prevalence among certain ethnic groups stays more or less unchanged.

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Trump’s State Department Erases Reproductive Rights From Human Rights Report
by Rewire.News, 24 Apr 2018

The U.S. State Department’s annual human rights report this year omitted reproductive rights, sparking outcry from advocates. The report, titled “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017,” is meant to “document the status of human rights and worker rights in nearly 200 countries and territories” and is “used by a variety of actors, including the U.S. Congress, the executive branch, and the judicial branch as a factual resource for decision making in matters ranging from assistance to asylum.”

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Dialogue plan targets elders to end FGM, find alternate rites
by The Star , 23 Apr 2018

A dialogue program has been launched to end FGM in Samburu and Marsabit counties. The project dubbed "Koota Injena'' is aimed at reducing FGM prevalence among Borana and Samburu communities through dialogue. Anti-FGM board CEO Benadet Loloju said the project is aimed at influencing elders from the two communities against FGM. “After three years, we would have persuaded elders on the best alternatives. We hope to see changes because the elders are the gate keepers,” Loloju said. Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the ministry of Public Service, Gender and Youth Affairs Rachel Shebesh advised communities against negative aspects of culture that infringes on human’s rights such as FGM. “We are not apologizing for following up on FGM making sure that parents who subject their girl to FGM are prosecuted, but because we know you cannot fight culture in one day we have programs that can help communities to move away from that culture,” she said. 

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Female genital mutilation a crime: Centre to Supreme Court
by The Times of India, 20 Apr 2018

NEW DELHI: The Central government on Friday told the Supreme Court that the practice of female genital mutilation(FGM) is a "crime under existing laws". The government's response came on a plea seeking direction to ban female genital mutilation or "Khatna", as it is commonly called, and declare it illegal and inhuman. The plea filed by advocate Sunita Tihar challenged the practice prevalent among the Dawoodi Bohra religious community and sought direction to declare it illegal and unconstitutional, non-compoundable and a non-bailable offence.

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