Around The World In 5

By Hillary Essien | May 22, 2022

Women continue to fight on today’s battlefields; for our bodies, for our faith, for our rights.  Document Women has gathered five stories from around the globe.

1. Nigeria

Protests broke out in the state of Sokoto, with Muslim mobs clamouring for the release of Deborah Samuels’ murder suspects. Deborah Samuels was a Christian student who was beaten and burnt to death, accused of blasphemy. 

Read more here.

2. Kenya

In April, 25-year-old non-binary lesbian Sheila Lumumba was murdered. The hashtag #JusticeForSheila has mustered public engagement on the murder of queer people in Kenya generally and calls for public accountability for Sheila’s murder.  The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya reports that 53 per cent of LGBTQ+ people are physically assaulted in Kenya.

Read more here.

3. Ukraine

Ukrainian women in Poland face now difficulties accessing abortions in the country as abortion is almost wholly outlawed in Poland.  Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, over 2 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland with the vast majority being women with children.  Myroslava Marchenko, a gynaecologist, collaborated with Federa, a Polish women’s rights organisation, to launch a Ukrainian-language hotline for women seeking help on where to access reproductive healthcare services.  She says the hotline receives about 10 calls a day and queries on how to access abortion services in the country. As evidence and reports of rape and sexual assault of Ukrainian citizens continue to emerge, activists and politicians in Poland are also becoming increasingly concerned about how rape victims seeking safety in Poland may be able to secure a legal abortion if needed.

Read more here.

4. Mexico

On Mothers Day, Thousands of women marched in the streets, chanting and carrying pictures of their missing relatives. In Mexico, an average of 10 women a day are killed, and tens of thousands more go missing. Though the government says there are 37,000 unidentified corpses unclaimed in forensic services, activists believe the number is higher than 50,000. The violence and disappearances disproportionately affect women and girls.  In April, the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances urged the Mexican government to tackle “the alarming trend of rising enforced disappearances.”

Read more here.

5. Sri Lanka

As the country grinds to a halt due to power outages, and lack of petrol and medicines, factories have had to be shut down. “I have never seen anything like this in my 20-year career,” said one factory owner, who employs 20 women to make vests and slips. He now has to lay off all his staff.  Garment making is Sri Lanka’s No. 2 foreign exchange earner, with about 300 factories making clothes for dozens of well-known global brands such as Victoria’s Secret.  The industry contributes 6 per cent to the country’s overall gross domestic product (GDP), providing direct employment to 350,000 people and to another 700,000 indirectly. Women make up about eight in every 10 workers. 

Read more here.

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