27 July 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


Zambia: Sexual, Reproductive Health Rights for Women With Disabilities
AllAfrica, 26 Jul 2021

According to statistics, approximately 15 percent of the world's population (one billion people) lives with some form of disability. The vast majority (80 percent) of people with disabilities live in developing countries. The women and girls with disabilities account for almost one fifth of the world's population of women and they are just as likely to be sexually active as their peers without disabilities. Further research shows that women with disabilities face problems of infantilisation and disempowerment, abortion and contraception. They disproportionately suffer from all forms of violence, substantial barriers in accessing justice, discriminatory attitudes, norms and behaviour rendering them invisible, and a lack of accessible and appropriate SRHR information and services.

Read More

Afghanistan: Record number of women and children killed or wounded
UN News, 23 Jul 2021

More women and children were killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in the first six months of any year since records began in 2009, a United Nations report revealed on Monday. A particularly sharp rise in casualties occurred in May when international military forces began withdrawing from the country and fighting intensified following the Taliban offensive to take territory from Government forces. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported in its Afghanistan Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict midyear update, that there were 1,659 civilians killed and 3,254 wounded; a 47 per cent increase compared with the same period last year.

Read More

France Edges Closer to Ratifying Workplace Violence Treaty
Human Rights Watch, 23 Jul 2021

“The world of work must not be a source of anxiety or insecurity for women.” ”France now intends to be a model in the implementation of [the] Convention, by ratifying it as soon as possible.” France’s Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, made this promise at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris on July 2. Today, the National Assembly adopted the bill to ratify the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention (C190), which sets out global standards for preventing and responding to violence and harassment at work.

Read More

Argentina Recognizes Non-Binary Identities
Human Rights Watch, 22 Jul 2021

Starting July 21, 2021, Argentina’s National Identity Document and passports now include a third gender category, “X,” allowing people to choose to be designated other than female or male. The move makes Argentina the first country in Latin America to establish such a category. The change comes per a decree by President Alberto Fernández, which states that “X” will be used to denote the following meanings: “non-binary, undetermined, unspecified, undefined, not informed, self-perceived, not recorded; or another meaning with which the person who does not feel included in the masculine/feminine binary could identify.”

Read More

Death of 13-year-old girl sparks calls for action on FGM in Somalia
The Guardian, 21 Jul 2021

A 13-year-old girl has died after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia, as activists report a rise in the practice during the pandemic. Fartun Hassan Ahmed, the daughter of nomadic pastoralists, bled to death after being cut earlier this month in the village of Jeerinle in the state of Galmudug, her mother said. Activists believe it is the first reported case of an FGM fatality in Somalia since the death of 10-year-old Deeqa Dahir Nuur in 2018. With one of the highest rates of cutting in the world, the east African country has no national law against the practice.

Read More

Ecuador at critical crossroads in push for abortion rights
Al Jazeera, 20 Jul 2021

In the largely conservative nation, women can be sentenced to up to two years in prison for having an abortion. In Ecuador, the procedure is only permitted in cases where the life or health of the mother is at risk or if the pregnancy is the result of rape. The latter exemption came after the Constitutional Court in April decriminalised abortion in all instances of rape, a decision that was heralded as historic in a country where seven girls under the age of 14 become mothers every day, according to HRW.

Read More