11 June 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights


Almost 1 in 5 women in Saudi subject to FGM
Middle East Monitor, 11 Jun 2019

New research published by the British Medical Journal reveals that almost one in five women and girls in Saudi Arabia has undergone female genital mutilation (FGM). “That’s a high rate,” says MENA consultant for the London based women’s rights organisation Equality Now, Suad Abu-Dayyeh. “We knew FGM is being practiced in Saudi Arabia but not to this extent.”


Women’s Rights: Between East and West, the Case of Azerbaijan
Modern Diplomacy, 08 Jun 2019

This year marks the centenary of the granting of the right to vote to women in Azerbaijan, the first country of the Muslim East to grant this right. To celebrate this occasion, the France-Azerbaijan Friendship Group organized an event entitled “Women’s Rights: Between East and West, the Case of Azerbaijan”, which took place at the French National Assembly on 7 June.


Sierra Leone's first lady confronted over FGM controversy
Reuters, 06 Jun 2019

The first lady of Sierra Leone, who caused a furor this year when she said she did not think female genital mutilation was harmful, has said she will meet campaigners after being ambushed while addressing a major women’s rights conference. Delegates were stunned when Sarian Kamara, a British anti-FGM activist, approached First Lady Fatima Bio with two models of vaginas – one with no external genitalia.


Life or Death Choices for Women Living Under Honduras’ Abortion Ban
Human Rights Watch, 06 Jun 2019

Abortion in all instances, including rape, is illegal in Honduras. Any woman who has an abortion, and anyone found to have helped her, can be charged with a crime and imprisoned. For that reason, La Línea (“The Line”) was a rare resource in Honduras. Mentioned in whispers among friends or seen on flyers passed out at universities or high schools in the capital of Tegucigalpa, La Línea was one of the only places where Honduran women could find accurate information about abortion. But at the end of August 2018, La Línea’s phone line simply stopped working, leaving many women who needed information and support without anywhere to turn.


World leaders urged to make female circumcision a priority like HIV
Reuters, 05 Jun 2019

Tackling female genital mutilation (FGM) should be made a global priority like HIV/AIDs, according to campaigners concerned about growing evidence that the abusive practice was more widespread than thought. The ancient ritual, involving the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, can cause severe health problems. No one knows how many girls bleed to death or die later in life from related childbirth complications.