24 August 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights

Articles

Almost zero convictions in child marriage cases in Mysuru
The Times of India, 23 Aug 2021

Through Mysuru has been witnessing cases of child marriages, the conviction rate for the crime is almost zero. Child welfare officers claim that minor girls are "influenced" relatives during court trials, witnesses turn hostile, and cases are lost on technical grounds. In some cases, where there is photo and video evidence available, the cases are yet to come for trial. The major challenge child welfare officers face in child marriage cases, is lack of seriousness in treating the cases, and delay in responding to complaints on the part of the authorities.

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‘I am very afraid’: Women on the front lines of a new Afghanistan
Al Jazeera, 23 Aug 2021

We had been investigating the killings of women in Afghanistan since the United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February 2020. Such killings have been rising, with record numbers documented by the United Nations: 219 women killed in the first six months of this year, compared with 138 during the same period in 2020. But it seemed very few people had been held accountable for these murders. In July, we spent two weeks in the Afghan capital, Kabul, learning about the lives of those who had been killed, talking to women living in fear and trying to get answers from the authorities.

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The anti-trafficking movement has left sex workers behind
Open Democracy, 20 Aug 2021

You can divide the anti-trafficking movement into three broad groups. Two of them, the sex work abolitionists and the harm reductionists, are both open about their politics. They may stand on opposite sides of a fence but they are, at least, transparent about their positions. The third group is much more cagey. These are the people who refuse to touch the issue or keep their position ambiguous in order to ‘not confuse their messaging’.

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Ecuador Marks First Day Against Sexual Violence in Schools
Human Rights Watch, 19 Aug 2021

On August 14, Ecuador commemorated the country’s first national day against sexual violence in schools. A year ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Ecuador responsible for the violations of Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s rights. Paola, who was 14 when her vice principal raped and abused her, took her own life in 2002. The court ordered Ecuador to declare and commemorate this national day, among other measures.

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Should Anyone Believe Taliban Pledges to Respect Women’s Rights?
Human Rights Watch, 19 Aug 2021

In a news conference on Tuesday, the first since the Taliban gained control of the Afghan capital, Kabul, the official Taliban spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid sought to reassure women. “Our sisters, our men have the same rights,” he said. “They are going to be working with us, shoulder to shoulder with us. But rather than trust the Taliban, many women activists and journalists in Kabul are voting with their feet, seeking desperately to flee the country, though doing so has been made extremely difficult by the chaos and dysfunction at the airport, and the risks of being questioned at Taliban checkpoints on the way.

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