14 September 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on FGM & women's rights

Articles

Mexico: Landmark Reproductive Rights Rulings
Human Rights Watch, 14 Sep 2021

Mexico's Supreme Court has issued two rulings that set important precedents for reproductive justice not only for Mexico but for the Americas, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 7, 2021, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the total criminalization of abortion in the state of Coahuila. Two days later, the Supreme Court invalidated a portion of the Sinaloa Constitution that protected life from the moment of conception. In both rulings, the court focused on the reproductive rights of those who are pregnant.

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Les Hijabeuses: Muslim women footballers tackle French hijab ban
Al Jazeera, 13 Sep 2021

The French Football Federation (FFF) maintains a ban on the wearing of “conspicuous religious symbols” despite FIFA lifting its own hijab ban in 2014. Debates around what Muslim women can or cannot wear have resurfaced lately in France with the controversial “anti-separatism” bill, enacted into French law on August 24. French MPs tried to use the bill to formally ban the wearing of headscarves in all sport competitions, though this was deemed unconstitutional by lawmakers on June 9.

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Afghanistan: Taliban announce new rules for female students
BBC, 13 Sep 2021

Afghan universities will be segregated by gender, and a new dress code will be introduced, the Taliban has said. Higher Education Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani indicated women would be allowed to study, but not alongside men. He also announced a review of the subjects students would be taught. The Taliban have said they will not prevent women from being educated or having jobs. But since they seized control on 15 August, they have asked all women, except those in the public health sector, to stay away from work, until the security situation improves.

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Migrant women ‘at risk’ in changes to Australian welfare access
The Guardian, 13 Sep 2021

Barring permanent residents from accessing family and carer payments for four years will plunge some low-income migrant families into poverty and leave migrant women more vulnerable to controlling and violent relationships, a Senate inquiry has heard. A week after the government held its long-awaited women’s safety summit, a Senate committee on Monday heard warnings from multicultural groups, migration and welfare organisations that the government’s changes would have a “disproportionately gendered impact”.

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India appointed three top women judges. Is it too early to celebrate?
BBC, 13 Sep 2021

The recent appointments of three female judges to the top court, and reports that one of them - Justice BV Nagarathna - could one day become India's first female chief justice, is being hailed as a "historic moment". The three women - Justice Hima Kohli, Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice BV Nagarathna - were sworn in on 1 September. The appointments are no doubt welcome, as they narrow the gender gap in India's top court. But critics say celebrations are premature until the skewed gender balance across India's judiciary - which a retired female judge recently described as "an old boy's club" - is fixed.

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Africa - Covid Lockdowns Blamed for Increase in Teenage Pregnancies
AllAfrica, 13 Sep 2021

There are signs that teenage pregnancies are on the rise in several African countries - due to lockdowns imposed during the pandemic. International aid organizations say there is cause for concern and are warning of the long-term consequences early pregnancies have on young girls. According to UNICEF, difficulties during pregnancy and childbirth are among the leading causes of death among young women between 15 and 19.

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In Somalia, Deputy UN chief encourages progress on women’s political participation, and peaceful elections
UN News, 12 Sep 2021

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, visited Somalia on Sunday, to express her solidarity with Somali women’s calls for full and equal participation in political life, and the support of the international community for timely, inclusive, peaceful and credible elections. In her various meetings in the capital, Mogadishu, Ms. Mohammed highlighted the country’s parliamentary elections as an opportunity to build on the progress made in women’s political participation. She also emphasized that women’s full inclusion in all sectors of society would contribute to greater resilience, peace, and stability in the Horn of Africa country.

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Security Council must not fail women, girls of Afghanistan, Elders warn
UN News, 07 Sep 2021

The Security Council cannot fail the women and girls of Afghanistan, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson warned on Tuesday, as she reminded its 15 members of the relentless work carried out over nearly 20 years to secure their rights through constitutional, legislative and policy changes. “Women’s rights are not Western rights”, she said, addressing the Council in her role as Chairperson of The Elders, a group of global leaders working for peace and justice across the world, founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007. “They are fundamental human rights, which women had reclaimed in accordance with their cultural values.” 

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