14 Jan 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM and Women's Rights


Gambia: Beakanyang Sensitises Over 30 Youth in WCR On FGM/C, Human Rights
By AllAfrica, 13 Jan 2020

Rights group, Beakanyang Kafo, Sunday sensitized more than thirty youth on Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) and human rights in Mandinaba, Kombo East District. Addressing the participants, Executive Director of Beakanyang, Nfamara Jawneh said FGM/C was not initially part of their mainstream programmes but they decided to bring it because they deemed it as an important aspect. "If young people understand the effects of FGM/C, it will give them the courage to participate in addressing it," Mr Jawneh said, adding that although it is a deeply rooted cultural practice in The Gambia, together they can all address it through sensitisation on the negative effects and dialogue.



UK Somalis 'racially profiled' over FGM
By BBCNews, 13 Jan 2020

Parents are wrongly being arrested and having their children taken into care due to the stigma around female genital mutilation (FGM), members of the UK Somali community have told the Victoria Derbyshire programme. They say figures suggesting tens of thousands of girls are at risk in the UK are inaccurate. "Social services with the police came to the house, removed our children and arrested my wife. We didn't know what the allegations were - nobody said anything, nobody asked us anything, it was just really a shock," said Yusef - not his real name. The father-of-five said he and his wife had a "good" meeting with their children's school to tell them the family was relocating to Somaliland for a while. But four days later the couple were arrested and their children taken separately into foster care, following a safeguarding referral by the school. They say they were wrongly accused of planning to take their children abroad for FGM.



Italy: more measures needed to protect women from violence
By the Council of Europe, 13 Jan 2020

A new report from GREVIO, the Council of Europe’s expert group on violence against women, has urged the Italian authorities to enact more measures to protect women from violence. While welcoming some innovative new laws, notably regarding stalking, providing paid leave for victims of violence and support for orphans of victims, the report says more work still needs to be done. The report assesses Italy’s implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, widely known as the “Istanbul Convention”. While acknowledging that some progress to promote women’s rights has been achieved, the report regrets that efforts to improve gender equality are facing resistance in Italy, with increasing signs of a tendency to reinterpret and refocus gender-equality in terms of family and motherhood policies.



One woman reports a rape every 15 minutes in India
By AlJazeera, 10 Jan 2020

Women reported almost 34,000 rapes in 2018, according to the annual crime report released by the Home Ministry. One woman reported a rape every 15 minutes on average in India in 2018, according to government data released on Thursday, underlining its dismal reputation as one of the worst places in the world to be female. The highly publicised gang rape and murder of a woman in a bus in New Delhi in 2012 brought tens of thousands onto the streets across India and spurred demands for action from film stars and politicians, leading to harsher punishments and new fast-track courts. But the violence has continued unabated. Women reported almost 34,000 rapes in 2018, barely changed from the year before. Just over 85 percent led to charges, and 27 percent to convictions, according to the annual crime report released by the Ministry of Home Affairs.



Trump administration casts doubt on women's rights amendment push
By Reuters, 08 Jan 2020

 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Wednesday said it was too late to renew the effort to push through a decades-old proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ensure American women have equal rights to men. The U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a legal opinion saying the deadline had long passed for additional states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which was backed by 35 states in the 1970s, three short of the required number. The amendment, which was first proposed in the 1920s and gained traction during the rise of the feminist movement, states in part: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.” Under the Constitution, 38 states and both the House of Representatives and the Senate have to approve a proposed amendment for it for it to be formally adopted. The House and Senate both supported the measure in 1972 but set a seven-year deadline, later extended until 1982, for it to be ratified.