Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: The news you need to know on 29/01/2018

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Susan Devaney
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As part of our Visible Women initiative, brings you the Women’s Daily Dispatch: your new daily digest of international news relating to women. It’s the good, bad, inspiring and urgent stories you need to know from around the world, all wrapped up in one bitesize piece. 

In today’s WDD, Liberia imposes a one-year ban on female genital mutilation; Ireland’s government meets to discuss the impending referendum on abortion laws; Iran frees Vida Movahed, a woman arrested for removing her headscarf; and a young woman goes viral after lying down in protest on the streets of Tegucigalpa in Honduras.

Liberia bans female genital mutilation 

Around half of women among the country’s population of 4.6 million have undergone FGM

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former Liberian president, spent her last day in office (Thursday 25 January) imposing a one-year ban on female genital mutilation (FGM).

With around half of women among the country’s population of 4.6 million having undergone the procedure, it’s a contentious issue in the West African country.

Campaigners, who have received death threats for speaking out against the practice, said the executive order may not be enforceable and urged the new president, George Weah, to implement a new law.

“We call on President Weah… to keep up the pressure for a permanent law which bans FGM completely for all women and children,” said Mackins Pajibo of Liberian group, Women Solidarity Incorporated.

According to the U.N., FGM is practised in nearly 30 African countries, despite being outlawed by most countries.

You can read more here

Ireland’s government is to give the go-ahead on referendum on anti-abortion laws 

Dublin, Ireland - September 29, 2012: Dublin March for Choice 2012, Group of women holding informational posters during supporting of the legalization of abortion in Ireland.

In Ireland, abortion is still heavily restricted.

The country’s eighth amendment – which was added to the republic’s constitution in 1983 – recognises the equal right to life of both the foetus and the mother during pregnancy, thus banning abortion in nearly every circumstance.

Women have spent years protesting the amendment, and now a referendum is due to take place this summer to decide whether to repeal it.

The Fine Gael-led administration is due to meet today (Monday 29 January) to discuss the terms of the referendum. 

The proposed national plebiscite will also call for the Irish parliament to devise legislation that would permit abortions up to 12 weeks in Ireland’s hospitals.

Ireland’s prime minister, Leo Varadkar, confirmed over the weekend that he will campaign for a yes vote.

Read more at the Guardian

Iran has freed Vida Movahed, who was arrested for removing her headscarf 

Vida Movahed, who was detained after removing her headscarf and waving it from a stick, has been freed from jail in Tehran.

Movahed became the face of feminism after images of her protesting for women’s rights went viral on social media.

Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh confirmed her release on Monday 29 January, writing on Facebook, “The girl of the Enghelab Avenue [the avenue where Movahead removed her headscarf] has been released.” 

Iranian officials have yet to release a comment on Movahed.

You can read more here

Young woman goes viral after lying down in protest on the streets of Tegucigalpa in Honduras 

Hundreds of women took to the streets of Tegucigalpa in Honduras to protest the country’s president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, entering a second term.

One woman, who supported the defeated leftist candidate, Salvador Nasralla, lay down in front of a line of police officers.

Her bravery - and nonchalant pose - has led to her photo being shared widely across social media channels.

The recent election has caused many locals to take to the streets in protest – with some demonstrations turning violent.

You can read more on the story here

Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.  

Images: iStock / Getty / Twitter