News & Current Affairs

Around the World in 5; Women This week

By Editor | Oct 16, 2022

Around the World in 5 examines the advancement of women's rights, including prosperity and stability. This week’s post covers October 8 to October 15. 

 

Global

On Tuesday, the world celebrated its tenth “International Day of the Girl Child,” which was established by the United Nations in 2011 to “recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.” 

According to Michelle Milford Morse, vice president for girls and women strategy at the United Nations Foundation, girls have fallen “deeper in the cracks.” Teen pregnancy rates have risen, girls have been pushed out of school, and instances of sex work, child marriage, and female genital mutilation have increased. 

“We almost never ask girls what they want or need,” Morse added, “And when we do, we don't listen. We need to listen to what girls want. They have reasonable and powerful ideas.”

Read more here.

 

United States

This week, a report from March of Dimes, a nonprofit focused on maternal and child health, detailed gaps in maternity care access across the United States. 

The report found that 36 per cent of U.S. counties qualify as “maternity care deserts,” or areas that do not have any hospitals providing obstetric care, obstetricians, gynaecologists, certified nurse midwives, or birthing centres. These “deserts,” predominantly in the Midwest and South, are home to approximately 2.2 million women of childbearing age. 

One in four American Indian babies and one in six Black babies are born in counties with limited or no access to maternal healthcare; two in three maternity care deserts are rural.

Read more here

 

Sudan

Eleven women and girls have been killed by relatives in Sudan this year, more than double the number reported to the authorities in 2021.

In September, an 18-year-old woman, Aisha Abakar, died after an attack led by family members who believed the unmarried Darfur teenager was pregnant. Her younger sister is in critical condition in the hospital after being injured in the same attack. Three men have been arrested.

Women’s groups fear rights are under threat in Sudan after, in July, a Sudanese woman was given the first sentence of death by stoning for adultery in a decade and in August, the government announced a new police unit which suggested a return of the “morality police,” who punished “immoral” behaviour under former president Omar al-Bashir.

Read more here.

 

Slovenia

Slovenia has become the first country in Eastern Europe to legalise same-sex marriage and adoptions. The Slovenian Parliament implemented this decision after a vote on October 4th. 

In July, the Constitutional Court of Slovenia found that prohibiting same-sex marriage and adoptions violated a constitutional prohibition against discrimination. The Court ordered parliament to amend the laws surrounding same-sex relationships within six months of the July decision to ensure same-sex partners would receive the same legal status and protections as other couples. 

The new legislation makes Slovenia the 18th European country to legalise same-sex marriage, although this has not been the only protection afforded to queer Slovenians; gay and bisexual men can donate blood without any deferral period, and discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal in housing and employment. 

Read more here.



Sierra Leone 

Sierra Leone's first professional women's football league launched on Saturday with a match in the northern city of Makeni, kicking off a six-month season in which 12 clubs from across the country compete.

"We are so proud to make this history as the first ever national women's premier league," Asmaa James, chairperson of the Sierra Leone Women's Premier League Board, told AFP.

"This is the first time women are participating in our local Premier League, it's an honour that our best footballers are from Bombali District", Sierra Leone president Julius Maada Bio said on Saturday during the kick-off.

"Football is about peace and cohesion. We want to see beautiful football, all the teams are winners."

Read more here.