Latest News from Equality Now - February 2013

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Action Updates – Your Voices are Being Heard!
Progress continues to be made on our campaign to end bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan. In January, the President of Kyrgyzstan signed a bill into law that increases the maximum prison sentence for bride kidnapping. We will continue to strategize with our partners to ensure that the law is implemented and that cases are properly investigated and prosecuted.

Since our January Alert calling on Pakistan to prevent and punish attacks on human rights defenders, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provincial government has pledged monetary compensation and a job to each of the victims’ families in Swabi. This will be a welcome benefit to the families, but falls short of our demands. Please continue to mount pressure on the Pakistani government.

On 31 January the lower court in Peshawar, Pakistan acquitted the defendants, including several police officers, in the gang rape case of then 16-year-old Uzma Ayub. We are very concerned for the safety of Uzma and her family and are looking with our partners into ways to protect them.

On 13 February, the “Ruth Moore Act of 2013” was introduced into the United States Senate, named in recognition of the survivor and activist profiled in our Action. Passage of this bill would make it easier for survivors of military sexual assault to get Veteran’s Affairs benefits, which would fulfill one of the three objectives of our campaign. We will be following this process closely as it progresses.

An update on our Morocco campaign to end the legal exemption for rapists who marry their victims is coming soon--check our website for information on agreed changes to the Penal Code.

Preparations for CSW 2013
In January, Nairobi Office Director Faiza Jama Mohamed presented at the Africa Regional Preparatory meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in advance of the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The high level meeting brought “Africans together to speak with one voice…” on how to accelerate national, regional and global action to eliminate and prevent violence against women and girls. For additional details, click here.

Partner Profile: Iluta Lace - Latvia
Equality Now works with grassroots partners across the globe to end sex trafficking. Such partners include Iluta Lace and the Resource Center for Women (Marta) in Latvia, where we are currently supporting Marta's efforts to change the law and provide services for victims.

Read about their innovative approaches to ending sex trafficking and gender inequality in Latvia here.

International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM

On 6 February, Equality Now recognized the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM with events in Narok, Kenya attended by journalists, police, judiciary and those whose work deals with children. Conducted by our partner the Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative (TNI), the event featured workshops and roundtable discussions emphasizing the prevention of FGM at the community level, and the creation of a community policing system was recommended. FGM Program officer Grace Uwizeye provided her expertise on the issue of FGM and Equality Now’s role in the fight to end it to the media and attendees.

Mandy's Corner: Woman's Rights in the News

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