5 June 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & Women's Rights


Women’s rights in Russia's North Caucasus: between “national traditions” and “ordinary” murders
by Svetlana Anokhina, Open Democracy, 05 Jun 2018

Every time the issue of women’s rights rears its head in Russia’s North Caucasus, defenders of tradition – religious and lay figures alike – solemnly declare that nowhere do women enjoy the kind of protections and respect they receive as they do here. But their slogans in no way coincide with reality, in which monstrous crimes are committed with the tacit consent of society. Moreover, young people are becoming ever more conservative in their attitudes to women’s rights. And these attitudes are being endorsed by the state authorities – not only at the level of the North Caucasus republics, but at the state level as well.

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New law will break doctor-patient confidentiality in cases of female genital mutilation
by The Brussels Times, 01 Jun 2018

A new rule to make it possible for doctors and other care-givers to speak out in cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been unanimously agreed by MPs. The rule, part of a bill introduced by Els Van Hoof, lifts the requirement for professional confidentiality in such cases, allowing doctors and nurses and others to alert the authorities in cases where FGM is suspected or impending. The rule applies to minors and adults alike, and also includes the insertion in a patient’s medical records of a note that such a procedure has taken place.

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Female Genital Mutilation is declared religiously forbidden in Islam
by Menna Saad, Egypt Today, 31 May 2018

Egyptian Dar Al-Iftaa declared that female genital mutilation (FGM) is religiously forbidden on May 30, 2018, adding that banning FGM should be a religious duty due to its harmful effects on the body. Dar Al-Iftaa also explained that FGM is not mentioned in Islamic laws and that it only still occurs because it’s considered to be a social norm in the rural areas and some poor parts of Egypt. 

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Afghan Government Ignoring Violence Against Women
by Heather Barr, Human Rights Watch, 30 May 2018

It seemed like a breakthrough. In 2009, when then-President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW Law), women’s rights activists celebrated a hard-won victory. They looked to a future where Afghan women and girls – about 87 percent of whom experience abuse in their lifetimes – would finally see justice. But a United Nations report this week confirms what activists have known for years – that violence against women is still largely ignored by the Afghan criminal justice system. A young woman, “Soraya,” recently told Human Rights Watch that after her husband attacked her with a knife, and her father-in-law raped her, she went to the police. When she tried to file charges, an officer told her, “We are not going to register your case – it is not important enough. You should resolve this with your family.”

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