Equality Now has been monitoring multiple cases of Kenyan girls running away from their homes or avoiding going home from school during holidays to escape female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage, particularly during the August and December school holidays when mass mutilations are performed. The Pokot region, especially, has had a high number of reports of girls running away from home or refusing to return home from school. Despite the existence of Kenyan laws against FGM and child marriage, it is clear that they are not being implemented in the region to protect girls.
Forced marriages result from harmful traditional practices1 justified in the name of cultural, economic, political and/or legal standards. Forced marriages are a phenomenon tantamount to slavery, as explicated in a report by a United Nations Special Rapporteur, and often affect boys and girls under 18 years of age, especially under 10. 2 Global statistics demonstrate that every minute an average of 27 girls are forced into marriage.
After years of silence, official organs of the Islamic Republic, including an organisation representing the Supreme Leader in Iranian Universities, have refuted claims of rape prior to execution. This is the first time that official state organs have declared their position with regards to this matter.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) “has been until now”, said Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), “a critical, credible institution.” That ‘until now’ is significant: Pillay was visiting Afghanistan partly to discuss the risk to the Commission of losing its ‘A status’ when it comes up for international accreditation in November. The problem is the flawed way new commissioners were appointed earlier this year. Pillay said she had received no assurances from President Karzai that he might revisit those appointments. AAN’s Sari Kouvo and Kate Clark report.
The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), the Violence is Not our Culture Campaign (VNC), and the Women Living under Muslim Laws international solidarity network (WLUML) strongly condemn the killing of Indian writer and activist Sushmita Banerjee outside her home in Paktika Province, Afghanistan.