Global Justice Center Blog

GJC Weekly News Roundup

Thursday, the Pakistani police arrested 25 people in relation to an honor raping of a teenage girl. The unofficial council of a rural village ordered a man to publicly rape a 16-year-old girl as revenge for the girl’s brother supposedly raping the man’s 12-year-old sister. The village council, who ruled that the vengeance rape was an appropriate punishment, was arrested. Such councils are a now illegal but still widely used part of the panchayat system, an informal village governance system that often prescribes stonings, forced marriages and other punishments in disputes related to women. Authorities acted on this crime after it was reported to the new Violence Against Women Center.

Thursday, The Guardian published a timeline of landmark moments in the fight for women’s reproductive rights and health.

Sunday, in recent weeks, a social media campaign has been calling for a change to the silencing of Afghan women’s names. It is taboo for men to mention the names of their wives or female relatives in public—in fact, women’s names are rarely used in the public sphere at all (even in a doctor’s prescription). The #WhereIsMyName campaign is sparking discussion about women’s lack of public identities in Afghanistan.

Monday, Tunisia passed a law outlawing violence against women. The law will make it easier to prosecute sexual harassment and domestic abuse. The law is broad, also outlawing economic discrimination and psychological abuse, which proponents say will help prevent, in addition to punish, violence against women. While Tunisia’s marry-your-rapist laws have largely fallen out of use, this legislation also officially abolished them. Jordan also repealed its marry-your-rapist law on Wednesday.

Tuesday, to learn about the broad impact of the Global Gag Rule, read the stories of several women who were traumatized by war and will be further harmed by the Global Gag Rule. While intended to cut U.S. funding for aid organizations that perform or talk about abortion, organizations—many of which primarily offer services unrelated to abortion—are forced to reduce services or shut down. This is impacting the safety, health, psychological wellbeing and more of women across the world. Last week’s International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science expressed concerns that the Global Gag Rule, along with President Donald Trump’s proposed 20% cuts to HIV programs, could result in 90,000 additional AIDS-related deaths next year.

On the Third Anniversary of the Massacre at Sinjar the Global Justice Center Calls for Justice for the Yazidi Genocide

Today, on the three year Anniversary of Sinjar, GJC is raising awareness on the need for action and justice:

  • In the New York Times, read Akila Radhakrishnan's letter to the editor calling for the international community to stop ignoring the plight of the Yazidi.
  • In Pass Blue, read Barbara Crossette's interview with Janet Benshoof on building a case for prosecuting ISIS fighters. 
  • In the Fair Observer, read Liz Olson's piece on the genocide against the Yazidi that is still ongoing, and could still be successful.
  • GJC and the Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales sent a brief to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court urging them to open a preliminary examination into genocide and other crimes committed by foreign fighters from ISIS.
  • GJC recently convened a Brain Trust of international law and genocide experts to discuss reconciling international laws on genocide and counter-terrorism. You can read the outcome document for the Brain Trust here.
  • Listen to GJC's podcasts with Sareta Ashraph and Stephen Rapp on the genocide of the Yazidi and the avenues for justice.