Tuesday 7 February 2017

Women's Rights - February 2017 edition

While MPs in the UK have begun petitioning for legal proceedings against employers to fight against sexist dress codes for female employees, President Trump has insisted that his female staff "dress like women."

Trump has also instructed his education team to begin rolling back the Title IX legislation that has slowly been making US universities responsible for the sexual safety of their students. Betsy DeVos has pledged to review whether Title IX is actually necessary, in spite of what has been decribed as "an epidemic of sexual assault on American campuses." In a related move, the religious freedom movement has allowed a number of Christian schools to apply for the right to waiver Title IX. This would allow them to refuse students who are LGBT or pregnant out of wedlock, and would also have the effect of removing any protection they have against sexual violence. 

Arkansas has passed a law that would make abortion legal under any circumstances, which would have the side effect of allowing rapists to sue their victims if they became pregnant, even in cases of incest. While there is still time to block Act 45, the fact that the legislature of the state passed it in the first place is truly horrific.

Due to the continual reduction of funding to NPOs in England, a clinic and support group for the victims of female genital mutilation will soon be forced to close. A petition exists to help try to prevent this.

The Russian courts have effectively decriminalised domestic abuse, a move that has set women's rights back significantly in a country where spousal abuse is commonplace and thousands of women are killed by their partners every year. The move has even been backed by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Amal Clooney and Nadia Murad are fighting to prosecute the crimes of Islamic State militants, who have systematically abused Yazidi women and children during the ongoing conflict in Iraq, Syria and the surrounding territories. While this piece makes for some very upsetting reading, it is also important to highlight the horrific extent of the abuses by IS, and the complete failure of the West to provide a lifeline for the Yazidi.

And this is just the last week or so.

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