FOGSI Recommends Administering Covid-19 Vaccines to Pregnant, Breastfeeding Women
The Indian Express, India, 4/30/2021
The Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Society of India (FOGSI) has recommended that obstetricians and gynaecologists and women’s healthcare providers should be allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccines to pregnant and breastfeeding women with preparations to manage adverse events. Dr Alpesh Gandhi, FOGSI chairperson said that there is a need to prevent another wave of COVID-19 and vaccines are the long term solution to this. He also said that this protection should extend to pregnant and lactating women and the benefits of vaccinating pregnant and lactating women may outweigh any remote risks of vaccination. In a statement on April 30, 2021, FOGSI said, “Lactating women should also be considered as Covid vaccine candidates as there are no known adverse effects on the neonate who is breastfeeding.”
SC: Protect Disabled Women Who Face Threat of Violence
The Times of India, India, 4/29/2021
The Supreme Court batted strongly for more systematic protection to women with disabilities and women facing caste-oppression, saying they live under a constant threat of violence, both physical and sexual, that curtails their constitutionally guaranteed right to lead a full and active life. Upholding the life sentence awarded to an accused of Andhra Pradesh for sexually assaulting a girl with visual impairment, who was the sister of his friend. The bench said women with disabilities are more susceptible to sexual violence as the accused perceives that the testimony of the rape survivor would not be full proof because of her physical impairment. The bench laid down a set of guidelines to make the criminal system more disability-friendly.
Vietnam Promotes Gender Mainstreaming in Climate Change Policies
Vietnam Plus, Vietnam, 4/28/2021
Gender mainstreaming in climate change policies is crucial to promoting gender equality in Vietnam, according to Deputy Director of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) Nguyen Trung Thang. At a workshop held in Hanoi on April 28, 2021, Thang said that ISPONRE carried out research on the state of gender equality in climate change policies in Vietnam, with focus sharpened on the four sectors of renewable energy, agriculture, water resources management, and garbage management. The research showed that Vietnam has made efforts to complete policies on gender equality and climate change response but pointed out that women’s participation in policy making and management is limited.
Sri Lanka Cabinet Clears Proposal for Burqa Ban
The Hindu, Sri Lanka, 4/27/2021
Sri Lanka’s Cabinet cleared a proposal to ban all forms of face veils in public places “due to national security concerns”. The announcement comes at a time when the government is urging the public to wear face masks – dozens of violators have been arrested – to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and a likely third wave in Sri Lanka. The proposal to ban the burqa was announced in March, 2021 by Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekara, weeks before the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Sri Lanka. The proposed ban on face veils, seen as targeting the burqa worn by Muslim women, had triggered concern domestically and among international actors.
Egypt Toughens Penalties for FGM; Activists Remain Sceptical
Reuters - Cairo, Egypt, 4/26/2021
Egypt has toughened penalties for female genital mutilation (FGM), imposing prison terms of up to 20 years in a push to end the ancient practice. Egypt has struggled to stamp out FGM since 2008, when its parliament first passed a law to criminalise the practice some researchers have traced back to Egypt in the fifth-century BC. Amendments approved on April 25, 2021 include increasing the maximum sentence from seven years and banning medics involved in FGM from practising for up to five years. Under the changes, prison terms of five to 20 years will be recommended, depending on who performed surgery and whether it caused permanent damage or death, a government statement said.