News from the Global South

UNSC Sanctions Regimes Must Be Strengthened to List Those Involved in Sexual Violence Against Women in Armed Conflicts: India

Outlook, India, 4/15/2021

India has called for strengthening the sanctions regimes of the UN Security Council to ensure blacklisting of individuals and entities involved in sexual violence against women in armed conflicts which it said is used as a weapon to subjugate the people. Speaking at the Security Council open debate on sexual violence in conflict on April 7, 2021, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurtii said it is vital for the member states to develop a comprehensive legal framework in line with international standards to ensure the effective prosecution of sexual violence as a self-standing crime and called for nations to work together to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on sexual violence in armed conflicts.

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Nearly Half of Women, Girls ‘Do Not Own Their Bodies’, UN Says

Al Jazeera, Africa, 4/14/2021

Nearly half the women and adolescent girls in developing countries are denied the right to decide whether or not to have sex with their partners, use contraception, or seek healthcare, according to a new report by the United Nations. The UN’s Population Fund (UNFPA) called the finding “alarming” and said the lack of bodily autonomy threatened women’s safety, potentially reduced economic productivity and resulted in extra costs to a country’s healthcare and judicial systems. The report, titled ‘My body is my own’, looked at both women’s power to make their own decisions about their bodies and the extent to which countries’ laws support or interfere with that right.

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Muslim Woman Can Do ‘Reverse Talaq’ and Divorce Husband

The Times of India - Kochi, Kerala, 4/13/2021

The right of a Muslim woman to divorce her husband outside of court is legally valid, the Kerala high court has held. A bench comprising justices A Muhamed Mustaque and CS Dias equated ‘khula’, a procedure through which a woman can divorce her husband in Islam, to the right of talaq available to Muslim men. They declared a 1972 judgment (KC Moyin versus Nafeeza and others) that denied such right to Muslim women and held that Muslim women had to necessarily move for divorce through a court as not good law. Obtaining consent of the husband is not a precondition for ‘khula’ to be valid, the court said.

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SC Seeks Response from Centre, States Regarding Plea to Establish Transgender Welfare Board

ANI News, India, 4/12/2021

The Supreme Court sought responses from the Centre and the State governments on petition seeking direction to establish Transgender Welfare Board to address social welfare issues of transgender people. Transgender people should be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else and be able to live and be respected, according to their gender identity, but these people often face serious discrimination and mistreatment at work, school and, in their families and communities, according to the plea. The petition stated that the transgender people are deprived of social and cultural participation and hence they have restricted access to education, healthcare and public places which further deprive them of constitutional guarantee of equality before the law.

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Assam: Manipur Transwomen Get a Grievance Cell

The Times of India - Manipur, India, 4/11/2021

The Manipur State Commission for Women opened a grievance redressal cell for transgender women within its office premises in Imphal. Also known as Nupi Maanbi in the state, the transgender women will have access to their inclusion in government bodies, said the commission’s chairperson, Meinam Binota, adding that the cell seeks to give space to transgender women to get their grievances addressed. Eminent transgender rights activist Thangjam Santa, popularly known as Santa Khurai, has been appointed as the coordinator of the cell. Santa said that she was one of the key voices seeking inclusion of their community in the redressal cell for women.

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