News Bulletin [Aug 1, 2014]
On World Day against Trafficking in Persons, UN calls for action to eradicate scourge
UN News Center (July 30, 2014)
July 30 marks the first World Day Against Trafficking Persons, a day meant to emphasize this practice of slavery still rampant in modern society. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stressed the need to address deep issues underlying the cause of human trafficking, and urged countries to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and Its Protocol on Trafficking Persons. He also focused on the need to emphasize hope for victims, and the responsibility of all governments to work together to abolish trafficking.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s New Mandate Has a Gender Agenda
Gabby De Cicco, AWID (August 1, 2014)
Last December, Chile re-elected President Michelle Bachelet in the first ever-presidential race between two women candidates. In this article, AWID interviews feministic sociologist Teresa Valdés, the coordinator for Chile’s Gender and Equity Watch. Valdés discusses many expectations that women hold for President Bachelet’s second term, particularly a need for her to focus on drafting a new Constitution that gives women equality, as well as developing laws to address sexual and reproductive rights, decriminalize abortion, and criminalize violence against women. The article also discusses general laws and bills concerning women’s rights in Chile, and many conservative barriers that Bachelet faces.
Emma Watson Laughs in the Face of Turkish Politician’s Sexism
Megan Gibson, Time (August 1, 2014)
In a recent speech, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, said "A woman should be chaste. She should know the difference between public and private. She should not laugh in public." The public backlash was swift, and included a response from Emma Watson, the newly appointed Goodwill Ambassador for UN WOMEN. Watson posted a photo of herself laughing with the newly trending hashtag #direnkahkaha translating to "resist laughter."
Cultural Practices: Child Marriage & FGM / C
With New Laws Including Parental Prosecution, Britain Seeks to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation
Lucy Westcott, Newsweek (July 22, 2014)
A new series of British reforms have been released to prosecute parents who allow their daughters to undergo female genital mutilation. Recent reports show that there are more than 137,000 women in the United Kingdom have suffered from FGM, over twice than what had previously been thought. The British government is prioritizing the ending of this human rights abuse.
What kind of men support FGM? An illustrated guide
Khalid Roy (August 1, 2014)
This article looks at the different types of men within a culture that support female genital mutilation (FGM). The "kinds" of men include "Mr. apathetic," "Mr. aggressive," "Mr. anxious," "Mr. misinformed," and "Mr. apologist." The guide elaborates on each of these types of men and their reasons for supporting this contested practice.
As long as it exists, child marriage will stand in the way of gender equality
Heather Hamilton, The Guardian (July 22, 2014)
Heather Hamilton, global coordinator of the organization Girls Not Brides, writes about The Girl Summit, a summit being held in London focusing on ending child marriage and female genital mutilation. Governments have a chance to partner with civil society to tackle the issue of child marriage, which can severely impact a woman’s life. Hamilton asserts that without an end to child marriage, it is impossible to achieve gender equality. Therefore the international community must prioritize this issue.
Health, Safety & Well-Being
Sex education can help curb crime against women, children: Experts
Times of India (July 23, 2014)
The Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) is advocating for comprehensive sex education (CSE) among youth. FPAI feels that this education would reduce crimes against women and children by helping young Indians resist social pressure and say "no" to exploitative behavior. Rather than learning about sex from pornography, FPAI’s comprehensive sex education teaches adolescents about many different topics related to sex, including gender, sexual health, HIV, and violence.
Bill aims to crack down on campus sexual assault
Mary Beth Marklein, USA Today (July 30, 2014)
A new bill, titled The Campus Accountability and Safety Act, is working its way through the United States Senate. This bill aims to penalize college campuses that do not work to take concrete steps to curb sexual assault, a tremendous issue on many campuses. (At least 19% of undergraduate women are estimated to have been victims of such assault). This bill would include many different provisions such as requiring colleges to designate confidential advisers for survivors, coordinate efforts with local law enforcement agencies, and train campus staff involved in sexual assault services. It would also require colleges to conduct surveys requiring students to discuss their experiences with assault.
Meriam Ibrahim finally arrives in United States
David Millward (August 1, 2014)
Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for apostasy, recently arrived in the United States. Ms. Ibrahim was released due to international outrage at her sentence and accusations of adultery for marrying a Christian Sudanese man. She was greeted by hundreds of South Sudanese upon arrival in New Hampshire, which has a strong Sudanese diaspora community. Along the way to the United States, Ms. Ibrahim visited Pope Francis in Rome.
Dieting at young age affects women’s health later in life, study says
Agata Blaszczak-Boxe, CBS NEWS (July 30, 2014)
A recent study reports that dieting among women at a young age is linked to negative health behaviors later in life. Such behaviors include abusing alcohol and going on fad diets. This study reports that women have begun dieting at an increasingly young age, and this behavior is often due to a cultural pressure to stay thin.
Women & Development
Feminist Economics: Looking to the New Global Development Agenda
Ana Abelenda, AWID (July 18, 2014)
AWID reports on the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) meeting, which looked at economic justice issues and how economies affect women. Abelenda writes about the key highlights from the IAFFE event earlier in June, which included economic empowerment of women, unpaid care and women’s labor, as well as land, gender, and food security. The article also analyzes the post-2015 Development Agenda.
Youth Strategize for the Post 2015 Development Agenda
Susan Tolmay, AWID (July 25th, 2014)
This June, the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) organized a three-day meeting where young people from across the world convened to strategize for the post 2015 development agenda. AWID interviewed two different members of youth organizations about priorities for the agenda as well as the role of youth in this development process.
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A roundup of stories related to women's health, development, law, culture and human rights from around the world.