LONDON (TrustLaw) – Here is our selection of this week’s stories on women’s rights from TrustLaw and other media.
TrustLaw has published a Thomson Reuters Foundation multimedia package on female genital mutilation . Here is some information on the contents:
France reduces genital cutting with prevention, prosecutions – lawyer
PERPIGNAN, France - When a three-month-old girl bled to death in France after her genitals had been cut in 1982, a media outcry and the prosecution of the baby’s parents helped get female genital mutilation (FGM) recognised as a crime. France has since led the way in punishing FGM with by far the largest number of convictions in Europe.
UK to examine failure to try genital mutilation crimes
LONDON - Britain is failing to protect thousands of young girls from horrific genital mutilations because it is too afraid of being branded racist, campaigners say. Although female genital mutilation (FGM) was made illegal in Britain nearly 30 years ago, there has not been a single trial, and up to 24,000 girls are thought to be at risk. Britain’s chief prosecutor is to meet police, politicians and campaigners on Friday Sept. 28 to examine the failure to try FGM crimes.
“I was robbed of my life”- survivor of genital cutting
LONDON – Rehana Omer, an Eritrean woman who lives in London, describes how female genital mutilation left her in agonising pain for 20 years and turned her marriage into a living hell.
The Maasai woman saving vaginas, one girl at a time
Watching Agnes Pareyio demonstrate the three different types of female genital mutilation (FGM) on the vagina of a life-size plastic pelvis was an eye opener to the sheer brutality of the practice. It laid bare its function – to control women’s sexuality – and their powerlessness in the communities where it is practised.
Mali singer campaigns against female cutting
LONDON – Bamako-born singer Bafing Kul sees female genital mutilation as “an injustice against all women”, though the threats and intimidation he suffered after starting to campaign against the practice forced him to flee to France a decade ago.
Stronger actions needed to prevent conflict-related sexual violence – UN and partners
The United Nations and its partners stressed on Sept. 25 that stronger actions and commitment are needed from world leaders to prevent conflict-related sexual violence and to secure justice for survivors of gender-based crimes.“In conflict zones, women are disproportionately affected by sexual and gender-based violence, forced displacement, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and rights violations,” said the Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Michelle Bachelet.
Campaign to end violence against women
A campaign led by activist Eve Ensler calls for mass demonstrations around the world on Feb. 14, 2013 to demand an end to violence against women
Is the California breast density law a good idea? Three opinions
Los Angeles Times
You would think there could be no downside to California’s new law that requires doctors to inform women if a mammogram reveals they have dense breasts. But some doctors do have concerns about the legislation, which also requires physicians to tell patients that dense breasts are linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, that they make mammograms harder to read and that there are alternative breast cancer screening options.
Uruguay poised to legalise abortion
Uruguay's congress appeared ready on Tuesday Sept. 25 to legalize abortion, a groundbreaking move in Latin America, where no country save Cuba has made abortions accessible to all women during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Africa: Report Finds Funding for Maternal and Child Health Has Stalled
Guardian Global Development Network via allAfrica
Spending on maternal and child health has stalled, according to an expert analysis, raising concerns that efforts to cut deaths in poor countries to meet the millennium development goals (MDGs) may falter. Figures from the Countdown to 2015 Group, a World Health Organisation and Unicef collaboration that is tracking progress on the maternal and child health MDGs, show a downturn in the total amount of overseas development aid earmarked for these goals between 2009 and 2010 - the latest year for which there is data.
Cote d'Ivoire: New Cassava Varieties Bring Women Autonomy
Inter Press Service via allAfrica
Women farmers in Côte d'Ivoire are achieving greater autonomy and economic independence thanks to new varieties of cassava. Cassava is an important staple food in this West African country, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, second only to yams, a similar starchy tuber.
Zuma punts women's rights at UN sitting
Mail & Guardian
South African President Jacob Zuma said on Monday that access to justice was an on-going campaign within South Africa, and – regarding women specifically – included assistance with land cases, inheritance, and cases of abuse."The fundamental principle in all this is that women's rights are human rights."
Viewpoint: Are Africa's women on the rise?
The past 12 months have seen a series of notable successes for African women, with two Nobel Peace prizes, a second president and the first female head of the African Union Commission. For the BBC's Africa Debate programme, Malawian women's rights campaigner Jessie Kabwila asks if Africa's women are on the rise.
MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA
Egypt: Lack of Redress for Women Who Underwent Forced 'Virginity Tests' Challenged By NGOs
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information via allAfrica
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and INTERIGHTS have initiated a case against Egypt after it failed to address violations by army personnel against female detainees, in what has come to be known as the "virginity tests" incident. The case, brought to the African Commission, alleges violations of the African Charter, to which Egypt is a signatory. In March 2011, Samira Ibrahim and Rasha Abdel-Rahman suffered abuses by military personnel while detained at a military prison. They and 15 other female detainees were subjected to a forced genital examination to determine their virginity. Members of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) had countered that "virginity tests" were aimed at protecting soldiers from allegations of rape.
Women’s right to inheritance violated in Gaza
In a male-dominated society such as Gaza’s, women’s rights may be violated in various ways, but one of the most common violations is that women do not receive their share of family inheritance. Gaza is known to be a conservative society where men usually deal with all the financial matters without involving the women despite their equal rights in Sharia and Palestinian law.