This No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) news digest rounds up some of the week’s top FGM & Women’s Rights stories for the week ending 15 January:
Yemen Came in Last of 146 Countries on Women’s Rights. So the UN Gave It a Prize
Haaretz, 14 Jan 2019
Yemen, a country riven by civil war for the last four years and lacking a functional government or legal system, where poverty is legion and tens of thousands of people have died of starvation and disease – received an award last week. Namely, the United Nations decided to give this country the vice presidency of the executive board of the UN gender equality and women’s empowerment agency, UN Women, for 2019. Part of the agency’s mission is to narrow gender gaps.
Saudis to Probe Allegations That Women Activists Tortured
Bloomberg, 13 Jan 2019
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor is investigating allegations that several prominent women’s rights activists have been tortured in jail, according to three people familiar with the matter. The torture, including electric shocks and floggings, allegedly occurred over the summer at a secret detention facility in an unknown location, according to four people. The prosecutor’s office entered the picture after the government’s Human Rights Commission conducted its own investigation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
On Women’s Rights, Uneven Progress in the Middle East
Bloomberg, 11 Jan 2019
When Saudi Arabia finally allowed women to drive in June 2018, pioneers hit the roads and celebrated the end of a notorious restriction on the freedom of half the country’s population. At the same time, rights campaigners were drawing attention to another, arguably more limiting measure still in place in the kingdom: the guardianship system that makes women legal dependents of male relatives.
Kenya says no schoolgirls being screened for FGM after backlash
Reuters, 08 Jan 2019
No schoolgirls in western Kenya are being forced to undergo examinations for female genital mutilation, Kenyan authorities said on Tuesday, after a government official sparked outrage by proposing compulsory tests to curb the crime. George Natembeya, commissioner for Narok County, said on Friday that girls returning to school after the Christmas break were being screened for female genital mutilation (FGM) in order to prosecute their parents and traditional cutters.