Call for submissions: Women deprived of liberty

“The Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice will present a thematic report on women deprived of liberty to the 41st session of the Human Rights Council in June 2019. This report will be produced in the context of the Working Group focus on key areas affecting the human rights of women and girls and will aim at reasserting women’s right to equality and countering rollbacks in this … Continued

TANZANIA – Tanzania promised that everyone should have the opportunity to get a high school diploma, except if you’re a pregnant teenage girl

The Citizen, a daily newspaper, reported on 10 September 2018 that, on 9 September, Tanzanian President John Magufuli urged Tanzanian women to “give up contraceptive methods” because the country needs more people. “You have cattle. You are big farmers. You can feed your children. Why then resort to birth control? This is my opinion. I see no reason to control births in Tanzania… I have travelled to Europe and elsewhere and have seen the harmful … Continued

FINLAND – Opposition parties censor anti-abortion Foreign Minister Soini

Foreign Minister Timo Soini faces a vote of no-confidence in parliament after four opposition parties, Social Democrats, Greens, Left Alliance and Swedish People’s Party, came together to propose the motion. To date, however, it has not yet been tabled. Their move follows a string of anti-abortion statements Soini has made on his blog this year and his participation in an anti-abortion demonstration in Canada with his deputy in May 2018, while on an official visit, … Continued

SRI LANKA – “If you are not in favour of legal abortion, then you are in favour of illegal abortion.”

“If you are not in favour of legal abortion, then you are in favour of illegal abortion.” – Prof. Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, former President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists In 2017, public debate began once again over proposals to amend the law on abortion in Sri Lanka, with opposition as in the past primarily from the Catholic church. Reforms to the Penal Code of 1883, which permits abortion only if the woman’s life … Continued

MALAWI – Why are women’s wombs being removed to stop infection?

In a hospital room in Thyolo, a southern Malawian town nestled in tea plantations, Ngellina Chikopa unwraps her sarong to reveal a long wound filled with pus. The cut stretches from her lower abdomen through her belly button and up past her stomach. The 18-year-old gave birth by caesarean section in April 2018, but the baby died of asphyxia after becoming stuck and suffering brain damage from lack of oxygen. While she was grieving, the wound became infected. … Continued

KENYA – The staggering cost of treating unsafe abortions in Kenya

Policymakers in Kenya are being confronted by the harsh reality of the staggering cost of treating unsafe abortions. According to a research by the Ministry of Health, which was published in February 2018, the treatment of unsafe abortion complications cost the public health system a total of Ksh 432.7 million (approximately US$ 5.1 million) in health personnel salaries and medical supplies in 2012. Rift Valley and Western regions saw the greatest amounts of money spent … Continued

SOLIDARITY REQUEST: A call to recognize, protect and support women human rights defenders and women’s movements

Civil society statement on the occasion of the Women Foreign Ministers Meeting 21-22 September 2018, Montreal, Quebec, Canada   Please consider signing on to the statement below!!   Next week, on September 21 and 22—for the first time ever—women foreign ministers will be coming together at a meeting hosted by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and her European Union counterpart, Federica Mogherini.  A group of civil society organizations from the Women, Peace and Security Network-Canada … Continued

SOUTH KOREA – Abortion providers protest against new abortion restrictions by refusing to do abortions

The 1953 abortion law in South Korea, allows abortion in cases of rape, which must be proved by the woman, incest and when her health is at risk, in which case the partner’s consent is required. Initiated by the women’s movement, this law is under review by the country’s Constitutional Court. But the Court recently reported their ruling was delayed indefinitely. A news story reported that early in August, the Health Ministry issued revised regulations … Continued

IRAN – Women’s bodies have become a battleground in the fight for Iran’s future

A regressive law to boost the population has restricted the reproductive choices and rights of all Iranian women. In the early 1990s, Iran had one of best family planning programmes in the developing world. From 1980 to 2010, it managed to cut the average number of children each woman bore from six and a half to two. But these gains have since been reversed and all Iranian women are suffering under regressive legislation passed in … Continued

INDIA – Teenage cancer patient who was raped seeks abortion

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday constituted a medical board at JJ Hospital in response to a plea by 13-year-old girl, who was diagnosed with cancer of the blood at age 10, to terminate a pregnancy from rape, which was in the 24th week. Around three months ago, she told her mother that she had missed her menstrual cycle. Her mother ignored it, assuming it was due to her health condition. On 5 September, when … Continued

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