News Archives

Study: Climate Challenges Linked to Gender Based Violence

Africa Times, Africa, 1/31/2020

According to a study titled ‘Gender-based violence and environmental linkages: The violence of inequality’ from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), climate change and related environmental changes are implicated in gender-based violence and discrimination. The impact of climate change is most notable in sub-Saharan Africa’s fishing and timber industries, with rise in practices such as ‘sex-for-fish’ in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa – where fishermen ask for sexual favours from women in exchange for fish. Africa’s charcoal production was also a common source of abuses, with rise in illegal logging due to weak law enforcement. According to the report, the deterioration of agricultural markets has forced women, a majority of whom were farmers, to seek employment in the illegal and corrupt logging industry.

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108 Women ‘Killed for Honor’ in 2019 Alone: Police Report

Dawn, Pakistan, 1/31/2020

According to a report released by the police on January 31, 2020, 108 cases of honour killings were recorded in Sindh in the year 2019. According to the report, 126 people, who were suspected of being involved in the honour killings, had been arrested. Other human rights violations in 2019 outlined by the report include 1158 cases of kidnappings of adolescent girls, 312 cases of murders of adult women, 95 cases of rape and 66 cases of children’s kidnappings. The police claimed that this was the first time that courts wrapped up so many criminal cases in the province. Former chief justice of Pakistan, Asif Saeed Khosa, has also taken the initiative of establishing model courts across the country to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

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Islam Does Not Bar Women from Mosques: All India Muslim Personal Board

The Hindu, India, 1/30/2020

The All India Muslim Personal Board (AIMPLB) clarified to the Supreme Court on January 29, 2020, that Islamic doctrine, tenets and beliefs do not prohibit Muslim women from entering mosques to offer prayer. The counter affidavit filed by the Board, a 47-year-old expert body which works to protect the Muslim personal law, is in response to a PIL plea filed by Yasmeen Zuber Ahamed Peerzade in 2018, challenging the prohibition on Muslim women from entering mosques to offer namaz (prayer) as unconstitutional and an affront to their right to life, equality and dignity. ‘The Muslim woman is differently placed...she is entitled to the same religious reward (sawab) for praying as per her option either in masjid or at home,’ AIMPLB said.

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Law Tweak May Make it Easier for Single Women to Abort Too

The Times of India, India, 1/29/2020

The Union Cabinet is likely to approve changes in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP) recognising ‘failure of contraceptive’ as a lawful reason for abortion, including for unmarried women. This will make it easier for single women to safely and legally access abortions. Currently, the law recognises ‘failure of contraceptive’ and ‘unplanned pregnancy’ as legal reasons for abortion only in the case of married women. Unmarried women cannot cite contraceptive failure as a reason for abortion. As per the law, in the case of minors, a written consent from the parents is required. The proposed amendment also includes extending of the gestation period from ‘20 weeks’ to ‘24 weeks’ for ‘special categories’ which may also include single women and women with disabilities.

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Plea in Kerala High Court Seeks Recognition for Same-Sex Marriages

Hindustan Times, India, 1/28/2020

The Kerala High Court asked the Centre and state government on January 27, 2020, to respond to a petition demanding recognition of same-sex marriages on the grounds that it amounted to discrimination and a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. If the writ petition is successful, it would the first time in India that a same-sex marriage is officially recognised. The petitioners - 35-year-old Nikesh Pushkaran and 31-year-old Sonu MS - argued that some provisions of the 1954 Special Marriage Act barred their marriage, which took place in July 2018, from being officially recognised, and asked the court to strike them down. They also argued that lack of recognition of the marriage violated their fundamental rights to equality and non-discrimination.

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