9 June 2020 – NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights


WHERE ARE THE WOMEN? The Conspicuous Absence of Women in COVID-19 Response Teams and Plans, and Why We Need Them
ReliefWeb, 09 Jun 2020

The COVID-19 global crisis is disproportionately affecting women and girls. As the majority of frontline workers, women are highly exposed to the disease. Lockdowns implemented to curb the spread of the virus have also increased instances of gender-based violence (GBV), particularly domestic and intimate partner violence, curbed access to essential sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, and seriously affected women’s livelihoods and economic opportunities. This makes it all the more important that women’s voices are equally included in the decision-making spaces and processes where responses are formed. Women’s participation is necessary at every level and in every arena, from national crisis committees to the local communities on the frontlines of humanitarian responses.

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UK Failing Domestic Abuse Victims in Pandemic
Human Rights Watch, 08 Jun 2020

The government of the United Kingdom is stalling on establishing a robust legal framework to address violence against women and girls even as reported domestic abuse spikes during the pandemic, Human Rights Watch said today. Insufficient measures to ensure critical support and services for survivors of violence – especially those least likely to get help – before and during the Covid-19 pandemic have left organizations that help some of the most vulnerable women scrambling to meet needs.

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Egyptian father to stand trial on charges of forced FGM of three daughters
The Guardian, 05 Jun 2020

Egypt’s public prosecutor has ordered the immediate trial of a father on charges of forcing his three young daughters to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), after he told them they were going to be vaccinated against coronavirus. The doctor involved will also go on trial. A statement from the public prosecutor said the girls were told they would be seeing a doctor to be vaccinated. Instead, they were injected with a sedative and awoke later to find they had forcibly undergone FGM. Despite FGM being criminalised in Egypt for four years, few cases have made it to trial and just one doctor has served time in prison for performing the procedure.

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#NiUnaMenos five years on: Latin America as deadly as ever for women, say activists
The Guardian, 04 Jun 2020

It has been five years since pent-up fury over staggering levels of violence against women enrupted in a wave of public protest across Argentina under the slogan Ni Una Menos (Not One Less). What started as a hashtag quickly grew into a movement, pushing women’s rights to the top of the agenda in Argentina, before quickly spreading across South America as millions of women took a stand against gender violence. But five years later, Latin America remains one of the most dangerous places in the world for women. One in three women in the region have been subjected to violence and between 17% and 53% of women have reportedly experienced domestic violence. 

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Indigenous women's organization gives Ottawa failing grade on its MMIWG response
CBC News, 03 Jun 2020

The most prominent Indigenous women's organization in Canada is handing the federal government a failing grade for its response to the recommendations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, as critics condemn the delay in releasing a national action plan. The Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) issued a scathing report card Wednesday to mark the one year anniversary of the release of the inquiry's final report and unveiled its own strategy on what Ottawa should do. The organization wants to be at all decision-making tables with the federal government on issues related to Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people. It is also looking for financial resources to create its own awareness campaign and an internal unit to work on the recommendations.

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