31 January 2023 – FGM & Women’s Rights

31 Jan, 2023 | News Digests

Afghan female students not allowed to sit university entrance exam

Reuters, 28 Jan 2023

The Taliban-run Ministry of Higher Education ordered private universities in Afghanistan not to allow female students to sit university entrance exams next month, underscoring its policy to restrict women from tertiary education. A letter from the ministry was addressed to institutions in Afghanistan’s northern provinces, including Kabul, where exams are due to take place from the end of February. The letter said those institutions that did not observe the rules would face legal action.

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Myanmar women target of online abuse by pro-military social media

AlJazeera, 26 Jan 2023

Women who have expressed views on social media opposing military rule in Myanmar are being subjected to abuse, including calls for their arrest and threats of violence, rape and death by pro-military online users, a study has found. Myanmar Witness, an organisation that led the study, said social media platforms such as Telegram and Facebook were not doing enough to tackle online abuse or were not responding quickly enough to requests to remove abusive users and content.

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Haiti’s sexual violence survivors demand justice

AlJazeera, 25 Jan 2023

Sexual violence has surged in Haiti amid widespread gang killings and kidnappings, a political stalemate that has crippled most state institutions, and socioeconomic uncertainty across the Caribbean nation. Over the past several months, criminal gangs vying for control of territory have enacted a campaign of terror in the capital of Port-au-Prince. They have used sexual violence “to instill fear and to punish and to terrorise” residents, a United Nations official recently warned.

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Yemen: End the male guardianship restriction for releasing women from prisons

Amnesty International, 25 Jan 2023

The internationally recognized government (IRG) and the Huthi de facto authorities must free women who have completed their jail sentences but remain arbitrarily detained because there is no male guardian to release them to, Amnesty International said today. Prison authorities across Yemen keep women who have completed their sentences in jail if there is no male guardian to accompany them on release or they release them only to women’s shelters if their families refuse to receive them.

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Marriage of minors a growing phenomenon in Morocco

Middle East Monitor, 24 Jan 2023

The phenomenon of child marriage in Morocco raises a human rights and legal debate, amid human rights demands to find solutions to stop this growing phenomenon. On 4 January, Moroccan Minister of Justice, Abdellatif Wehbe, said, “In 2017, 26,000 cases of underage marriage were registered, and the number decreased in 2020 to 12,000 and, in 2021, it rose to 19,000.”

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A pilot project in Zimbabwe shows how grants, cash, and menstrual pads can keep adolescent girls in school

The World Bank, 23 Jan 2023

The pilot project reduced the school dropout rate for adolescent girls after the COVID-19 pandemic, through complementary social protection and WASH interventions. Menstrual hygiene management kits were critical, improving attendance by over 30%. Income generating activity grants gave adult beneficiaries the chance to start businesses in livestock, poultry, or vegetable farming.

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