28 Aug 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's rights


CalArts, United Nations to Make Animated Films Addressing Gender Inequality
Variety, 27 Aug 2018

CalArts and the United Nations are animated about the fight for gender parity. As part of the UN Women’s HeForShe initiative, the CalArts animation school and the global human rights organization are partnering to produce animated films addressing the issue of gender inequality. HeForShe and CalArts will team in the spring to further their message of matched gender participation when promoting equal rights for men and women by enlisting the talents of the animation school’s students, who will produce 13 films on the subject. The final products will debut at the UN Women’s HeForShe Impact Summit on Sept. 26 as part of the UN General Assembly in New York City.

Read More

Women's Equality Day: This Is What Equality Looks Like
Forbes, 26 Aug 2018

Women’s Equality Day celebrates the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote on August 26, 1920. It’s been nearly 100 years since that amendment was ratified. We’ve made a lot of progress, but we still have a long way to go. Today more women than men graduate college, women enter the workforce at 50/50 and nearly half of working women are the primary breadwinner of the family. On the flip side, we still have a gender wage gap (one that widens for minorities), no mandatory paid maternity leave and a Congress made up of only about 20% women. Equality is not a female issue; it’s a social and economic imperative.

Read More

Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer announces hunger strike in prison
Reuters, 25 Aug 2018

Jailed Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh began a hunger strike in prison on Saturday, she announced in a note posted on her husband’s Facebook page. Sotoudeh said she was launching her protest over the recent arrest of a prominent civil rights activist and the harassment of his, and her own, family by security forces. Sotoudeh served about half of a six-year jail sentence imposed in 2010 for spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security - charges she denied - before being freed in 2013. She was arrested again in June and her husband, Reza Khandan, told Iranian media she is facing security charges.

Read More

Saudi Arabia seeks death penalty for woman activist: rights groups
Reuters, 22 Aug 2018

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty against five human rights activists from the kingdom’s Eastern Province currently on trial in a secretive terrorism court, groups including Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. Among the detainees is Israa al-Ghomgham, whom Saudi activists said was the first woman to possibly face the death penalty for rights-related work. Charges against her include incitement to protest and providing moral support to rioters.“Any execution is appalling, but seeking the death penalty for activists like Israa al-Ghomgham, who are not even accused of violent behavior, is monstrous,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Read More

Goldman Sachs pays for working mothers to ship breast milk home
Reuters, 21 Aug 2018

A scheme by investment bank Goldman Sachs to pay for new mothers to courier their breast milk home from work trips drew praise and criticism on Tuesday, with some campaigners concerned the move could pressure women to cut short their maternity leave. Goldman Sachs said it hopes the initiative - which will see the global firm pick up the bill for breastfeeding employees to chill and ship their milk when travelling for work - will make “the balancing act a little easier” for mothers in its ranks. Yet the scheme - the latest from blue-chip companies seeking to retain female talent amid growing pressure over the lack of women in leadership roles - must not penalise women who choose to take longer maternity leave, said healthcare charity BPAS.

Read More