31 Mar 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights


New report finds FGM/C much more widespread across the Middle East than widely acknowledged
Equality Now, 30 Mar 2020

FGM/C is occurring in at least 92 countries, but only 51 (55%) have specific legislation against the practice, leaving millions without adequate legal protection. The End FGM European Network, US Network to End FGM/C, and Equality Now have partnered to produce 'Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Call for a Global Response', a report bringing together for the first time wide-ranging information on FGM/C in countries not currently included in official global data. 

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Low-paid women in UK at ‘high risk of coronavirus exposure’
The Guardian, 29 Mar 2020

Low-paid women are at high risk of exposure to coronavirus as they are more likely to be in jobs such as social care, nursing and pharmacy, a study has found. Out of 3.2 million workers employed in the highest-risk roles, about 2.5 million are women, according to Autonomy, an economics thinktank. As many as a million of those workers – who are considered to be at highest risk because they normally work closely with the public and people with diseases and infections – are also among the lowest paid, according to the study. 

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'Not just a health issue': How Covid-19 is quietly eroding women's rights
RFI, 26 Mar 2020

While the coronavirus is a deadlier disease for men, the health and social crisis brought on by the virus is hitting women hardest, with enforced lockdowns adding to the pile of unpaid domestic labour and too often trapping women at home with abusive partners. Women’s rights groups are sounding the alarm as measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 give rise to new challenges for women, and create dangers for those who have become isolated and cut off from support networks. 

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Five Actions for Gender Equality in the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Response: Technical Note
ReliefWeb/UNICEF, 26 Mar 2020

UNICEF is committed to ensuring gender equality is at the heart of our COVID-19 response, especially as it pertains to front-line service delivery, system-strengthening support, and advocacy and communications. We continue to work alongside our United Nations sister agencies, government partners, civil society collaborators and private-sector allies. To that end, UNICEF prioritizes five core programmatic and advocacy actions that recognize the public health, social and economic consequences of this pandemic. 

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FGM is about men. They must help end it
AlJazeera, 26 Mar 2020

The minute a girl is born into a society that accepts female genital mutilation (FGM), her life is mapped. Her right to marry, her right to education, her right to explore, is decided for her. Why? Because she is an asset, a commodity. And like any other asset or commodity, she can be profitable, or she can be disposable. FGM, also called "cutting", happens when she is treated as both.

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