President Hamid Karzai refused to sign a much criticized criminal legislation that was deemed by activists as a ‘setback’ for women rights in Afghanistan. Critics have also claimed that the new law includes provisions that would have prohibited relatives of the accused from testifying in criminal cases. With most cases of gender-based violence taking place in the family, this would have made successful prosecutions nearly impossible.
In France, buying sex usually means a hasty transaction on the street and the risk of a fine or public identification, causing young men to pack in their cars and drive 50 kilometers east to Belgium for nights out that turn rowdy. In Belgium, however, the purchase of sex is legal, while making a profit from prostitution is forbidden, allowing for Belgian cities interpret the laws differently. Due to this huge variance on prostitution laws in Europe, the European Union is debating in criminalizing the purchase of sex following the lead of France, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
The United Nations Secretary – General Ban Ki-moon – has backed Fahma Mohamed’s campaign in the United Kingdom to put education at the heart of tackling female genital mutilation. Ban called the 17-year-old’s campaign, which has attracted more than 212,000 signatures on change.org as of February 18, 2014, ‘deeply inspiring,’ and applauded her call to enlist headteachers to help reach every girl who is at risk of FGM.
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Violence Against Women – General News
Rape and Sexual Assault
- EUROPE-EU Don’t Have to Put on the Red Light: Why the European Parliament Has Got the Sex Trade All Wrong
- UNITED STATES-North Carolina journalist claims she was recruited by human trafficker for Sochi Olympics
Female Genital Mutilation
- ASIA-Meera Syal marks International Women’s Day with 20th anniversary screening of ‘Bhaji on the Beach’