This Week in Women’s Rights 2017–09–24

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

“If someone offered you half a billion euros to end violence against women and girls, you’d thank them. Especially if you were acutely aware of the many worthwhile strategies and organisations presently starved for support. Especially if you had seen the diverse and insidious forms of violence — from intimate partner violence to state-sponsored violence — that women have been courageously standing up against for decades.

We join others in extending huge appreciation to the European Union for announcing this week a €500 million grant to the United Nations, to support work to end violence against women and girls. This pandemic destroys lives, communities and families in every country. It requires urgent and comprehensive action from everyone.

But the launch of this EU-UN partnership was also notable in its failure to mention one of the primary and most consistent sources of support for the work that it now wants to fund: The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.”

Source: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/aruna-rao-joanne-sandler/womens-rights-institutions-ignored-again.

“Although donors increasingly recognise women and girls as ‘key agents in development’, there has been insufficient funding dedicated to strengthening women’s movements, which are critical to creating a gender just world.

In recent years, women’s rights activists have struggled to access global resources. Countries including Egypt, Russia and India, have passed repressive new laws that prevent groups from receiving money from donors overseas.

This is why activists have welcomed news from the European Union and United Nations this week, who are setting up a new collaboration to fund work to end violence against women and girls, with an initial commitment of €500 million.”

Source: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/hakima-abbas-cindy-clark/womens-rights-activists-500-million.

In this excerpt from the new book F-Bomb: Dispatches From the War on Feminism, author Lauren McKeon visits her old high school and sits down with a group of teenage feminists to find out what women’s rights means to them. Click here to check out McKeon’s weekly column for TVO.org, where she tackles feminism, women’s rights, and gender issues.

They say you can’t go home again. But if you pester the principal enough, you can go back to high school, which is almost the same thing. Since starting this project, I’d wanted to return to my old high school gender studies class, a place that played a formative role in my own feminism. It’s likely that, in the early 2000s, my high school was one of a handful in the entire province offering gender studies classes. That’s since changed, thanks to a group of young women called the Miss G — — Project for Equity in Education”

Source: http://tvo.org/article/current-affairs/shared-values/f-bomb-what-womens-rights-means-to-high-school-students.

“Having been forced out of local politics by violent attacks in North Imenti, Meru, Ms Flora Igoki now intends to run for municipal office in Canada.

Three months to the 2007 General Election, Ms Igoki came face to face with cruelty after she was attacked in the outskirts of Meru town.

Ms Igoki, now a Kenyan-Canadian, was vying for the North Imenti parliamentary seat when a gang of three men attacked, shaved her head, mixed the hair with human waste and forced her to swallow it.”

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Activist-Flora-Igoki-turns-scars-into-stars/1056-4109546-deivfiz/index.html.

“ ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Acknowledging many concerns with respect to women’s rights and their lack of participation in public life in Kurdistan, women expect to have more influence shaping an independent Kurdistan nation than they would have remaining in Iraq.

“I know there is a lot of enthusiasm and appetite to partake in nation building amongst women,” said Soraya Fallah, a US-based researcher, via email.

“There is a long history of civil engagement and we can continue to build on that. Unfortunately, women in other parts of Iraq have not been able to break as many barriers.”

Fallah is one of over 40 Kurdish women who signed a statement supporting the Kurdistan independence referendum as a democratic process, valid under international law.”

Source: http://www.rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/240920178.

Original publication in Humanist Voices.

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