29 August 2017 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


As heat rises, women risk death in South Asia
Thomas Reuters Foundation News, 29 Aug 2017

 Over the past few years, we have seen particularly deadly heat waves  - increasingly a problem with climate change - in southern Asia, including India and Pakistan. While one might think heat is an indiscriminate killer, women in India, for example, are at much higher risk for heat-related illness and have higher death rates than men during heat waves. This raises alarms for women in developing countries across the tropics, which face many of the same conditions. Before the problem becomes worse, officials in developing countries must implement policies to address the unique dangers that women face in our rapidly warming world.Why are more women than men dying if Indian men, generally speaking, go out and work and women stay at home doing housework, watching children, doing farm labor, and making small crafts? The study in Ahmedabad unraveled this paradox. We found that the answer is deeply rooted in poverty, social norms, and gender discrimination.

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In Palestine’s first One Stop Centre, women survivors of violence feel safe, protected and empowered
By UN Women , 28 Aug 2017

“I was seven months pregnant when I ran away from my husband’s extreme violence and arrived at the Family Protection Unit in Ramallah,” said Sana Ali*, a 23-year-old woman who recently visited Palestine’s first One Stop Centre for survivors of violence, with her two-and-a-half-year-old son. Ali had given birth to her son at a women’s shelter in Bethlehem at the time, established with the support of UN Women (then UNIFEM). She had stayed at the shelter for a year before going to live with her family. Located in Ramallah, the central town of West Bank, the One Stop Centre sits in the same building as the Family and Juvenile Protection Unit (FJPU) of the Palestinian Civil Police. Open to public 24 hours and all year round, it provides comprehensive in-house services to women and juvenile survivors of gender-based violence, such as medical examination, legal consultation, psychosocial support, referral service to long-term shelters, and police protection for at risk women.

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Kung Fu nuns strike back at rising sex attacks on women in India
by Nita Bhalla | @nitabhalla | Thomson Reuters Foundation, 25 Aug 2017

At dawn breaks, the sun edges over the expansive jagged mountains of Ladakh - a remote Buddhist ex-kingdom in the Indian Himalayas bordering Tibet - to reveal a world where time appears to have stood still.The chant of monks in a centuries-old monastery can be heard in the distance. Villagers slowly emerge from whitewashed stone cottages to tend to their wheat and barley fields, and ready their goats to search for pasture.Complete with its picture-perfect temples precariously perched atop rocky mountain outcrops, giant shrines and mantra-engraved walls, Ladakh's age-old Tibetan Buddhist way of life appears almost untouched by modernity.

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The Hadiya case and the myth of 'Love Jihad' in India
By Al Jazeera, 24 Aug 2017

Shafin Jahan approached India's Supreme Court after his marriage to a 24-year-old woman, who had converted to Islam, was annulled in May by the high court in the southern state of Kerala. On August 16, the Supreme Court, which is the country's top court, reserved its judgment and instead announced a probe by the country's "anti-terror" agency into whether the marriage was part of a "Love Jihad" conspiracy or whether the woman, Akhila Ashokan, converted to Islam of her own free will.

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Middle East on a roll to repeal 'marry the rapist' laws
By Aljazeera, 24 Aug 2017

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books in many other countries in the region and beyond. Some permit exoneration for a range of offences, including kidnapping, rape, and sex with a child (statutory rape) if the perpetrator marries the victim.

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