14 March 2023 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights


Women suffer ‘layers of violence’ 12 years after start of Syrian war
INews.com, 14 Mar 2023

Over a month since the devastating twin earthquakes struck the region, exacerbating an already dire situation in a country where conflict has been raging for 12 years and 90 per cent of the population live under the poverty line, women and children are more exposed to several dangers, in particular to exploitation and sexual violence when related to gender. Syrians wanted freedom of speech and dignity when they first took to the streets in 2011, ‘but now activism is reduced to asking for food, asking for tents,’ one activist said.


Iranian Students Say They've Been Banned From Campuses After Protesting Suspected Poisonings
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 13 Mar 2023

Dozens of Iranian students across the country say they have been banned from entering their universities after they protested the suspected poisoning of pupils that has hospitalized scores, mainly schoolgirls. According to the United Students Telegram channel, at least 40 students at the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences and 30 students at Tehran’s Allameh University have been denied entrance to their campuses, while some students at Soore University in Tehran said they have been summoned to attend “mandatory workshops." 


Fearmongering diverts attention from real threats of gender oppression
The Seattle Times, 13 Mar 2023

Over the past few months, the level of manufactured outrage over kids at drag shows and teaching about gender in schools seems to have reached a fever pitch. Across the country, bills are being pushed to restrict drag performances in the presence of children and limit in-school discussions about gender and sexual orientation, all under the guise of protecting our next generation. In order to shorten that horrifying 300-year prediction, we have to keep our eyes on the ball and – even though it’s complex and challenging – keep fighting for a world that doesn’t raise arbitrary barriers based on gender or identity.   


Honduras Ends Ban on Emergency Contraception
Human Rights Watch, 13 Mar 2023

President of Honduras, Xiomara Castro has signed an executive order ending the country’s ban on the use and sale of emergency contraception, a step forward in a country with a total ban on abortion. Until now, Honduras was the only country in Latin America that banned emergency contraception, which can prevent pregnancy after rape, unprotected sex, or contraceptive failure and is on the World Health Organization's (WHO) list of essential medicines. 


Digital technology new source of discrimination against women: Guterres
UN News, 13 Mar 2023

During a dialogue with women civil society leaders in the UN General Assembly Hall on Monday, Secretary-General António Guterres heard about the critical need to make the internet safer for women and girls – and to ensure that they are equal participants in global conservations, both online and in-person. The town hall with representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was held as part of the annual session of the UN Committee on the Status of Women (CSW), which meets in New York every March.  



Amnesty Intl: Marielle Franco case is portrait of impunity in Brazil
La Prensa Latina, 13 Mar 2023

The unsolved murder of a Brazilian councilwoman, leftist activist and human rights defender Marielle Franco, which occurred five years ago on Tuesday, is a portrait of impunity in Brazil, Amnesty International (AI) said. The activist said that Franco’s case is emblematic for the organization, which since the very start has been closely following it and is involved with the relatives in all the campaigns demanding answers from the authorities.