24 November 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


Making headlines: COVID-19 and gender inequality
Aljazeera, 24 Nov 2020

We have repeatedly heard about how COVID-19 disproportionately affects women. While men are more likely to die from the virus, in many other respects, women are bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s impact.
The effects on women have been multiple: violence against women has increased, with incidents of domestic violence soaring. School closures, overburdened healthcare systems and social distancing measures have significantly increased many women’s unpaid care and domestic loads at home, which, in turn, has made them less able to balance these responsibilities with paid work.

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Haiti: Lifetime Ban for Football Chief
Human Rights Watch, 24 Nov 2020

Football’s lifetime ban for Haitian soccer federation president Yves Jean-Bart is an important step forward to protect children and young women athletes in sport from sexual abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. The International Federation of Association Football (Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA) decision should be followed by swift action to sanction other abusers and their accomplices, criminal prosecutions in Haiti and other jurisdictions, and ongoing therapeutic support for survivors.

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'Feminist' mayors vow all-out drive against gender inequality in pandemic
Reuters, 23 Nov 2020

Cities must move to the frontline of efforts to fight gender inequality that has grown worse in the coronavirus pandemic, said six mayors from three continents on Monday as they joined forces in a new network to advance women’s rights. Around the world, women’s jobs, unpaid labor, health and safety have been upended by the impacts of COVID-19 and need critical attention, said the organizers of City Hub and Network for Gender Equity (CHANGE). The network aims to promote and share among city mayors around the world innovative projects focused on combating gender inequality.

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UN expert calls for urgent action to end ‘pandemic of femicide and violence against women’
UN News, 23 Nov 2020

COVID-19 is overshadowing what has become a “pandemic of femicide” and related gender-based violence against women and girls, said independent UN human rights expert Dubravka Šimonović on Monday. The UN Human Rights expert called on “all States and relevant stakeholders worldwide to take urgent steps to prevent the pandemic of femicide or gender related killings of women, and gender-based violence against women, through the establishment of national multidisciplinary prevention bodies or Femicide watches/observatories on violence against women”.  

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India: Outrage after Muslim woman ‘burnt alive by molester’
Aljazeera, 19 Nov 2020

Many political leaders and women’s rights activists in India have come together to demand justice for a Muslim woman, who was allegedly burned to death by a Hindu man and his friends in Vaishali district in the eastern province of Bihar. Gulnaz Khatoon, 20, was burned after the accused poured kerosene over her in Rasoolpur village on October 30. She succumbed to her burns on Sunday.

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As Hardships Grow, so Does a Harmful Practice
ReliefWeb, 19 Nov 2020

Climate change and now the pandemic have exacerbated existing challenges. Both have caused increased financial hardships and destroyed livelihoods. This, in turn, leads to severe financial struggles within communities who did not have a solid financial foundation to start with. For the first time in many years, experts predict an increase, rather than decrease, in FGM. Cash strapped and increasingly desperate families are now returning to traditional practices such as child marriage and FGM in order to survive.

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