An independent United Nations human rights expert told the General Assembly today that violence against women across the world continues to be pervasive and widespread and reminded States of their obligation under international law to protect women.

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The Kenya Council of Imams and Ulamaa has castigated Female Genital Mutilation saying it is against the Quran teachings and will fully support implementation of all FGM related laws.

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President Kibaki signed into law the FGM Bill on 30th September 2011. The bill now creates an act of parliament that prohibits the practice of female genital mutilation, safeguards against violation of a person’s mental or physical integrity through the practice of female genital mutilation and for connected purposes. Meaning, FGM is now a crime in Kenya and those found conducting it will serve up to 7 years in prison and fines of up to Sh500,000. Moreover, anyone who causes death in the process of carrying out FGM will be liable to life imprisonment.  Kenya now follows a number of African governments that have outlawed the practice.

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Wednesday, 05 October 2011 07:26

Non-Traditional Teaching Promoted for Girls

 

Making some simple, basic changes in education policy can result in many more girls attending school, experts said at a meeting here this week on Gender Equality in Education.

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Men have "aided and abetted" the continuation of child marriage, a practice that affects the lives of millions of girls a year, Desmond Tutu said on Tuesday.

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"Please God, make my breasts disappear." Joyce Forghab used to pray the same line every night during the month she was suffering from breast ironing. The shocking practice, carried out by a quarter of mothers in Cameroon, is meant to reverse female sexual development.

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With evidence showing that disparities in education widen as girls grow, the United Nations today kicked off a two-day meeting in Paris devoted to gender inequality in classroom achievement and on women’s leadership role in education.

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The United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) today announced USD 17.1 million in grants to 22 initiatives in 34 countries, including, for the first time, Iraq and South Sudan.

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For a brief media-saturated minute, child marriage took center stage earlier this summer when then 16-year-old Courtney Stodden and 51-year-old "Lost" actor Doug Hutchison announced they had wed. Though many expressed shock, Stodden is not alone; according to a 2002 report from the Centers for Disease Control, some 6 percent of American women have entered into their first marriage by age 18. Now, researchers are taking a hard look at such arrangements, conducting one of the first studies to consider their possible mental health effects.

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Tuesday, 20 September 2011 06:33

Opening “Doorways” to Safer Schools

 

Akosua* is 16 years old. Her mother passed away, and she lives with her grandmother in Ajumako District in Ghana. Her school uniform is patched. She wears slippers to school. Akosua’s classmates began taunting her about her appearance, pressuring her to have sex with a man in her community in exchange for money and clothes. The harsh words hurt her feelings, but didn’t break her spirit.

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