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Rising Violence Against Candidates in Colombia
Last month, Colombian mayoral candidate Karina Garcia was found murdered ahead of local elections in October—the country’s first local polls since a peace agreement was signed between the government and the FARC in 2016. At least eleven candidates have been killed, and women running face gendered violence. While both men and women are facing assaults and intimidation, researchers say when it comes to women leaders “the threats are openly sexist and question [women’s] political processes more generally.” The Colombian experience parallels new data showing a global rise in political violence targeting women this year.
Abortion Decriminalized in Australian and Mexican States
Last Thursday, after lawmakers passed a bill to decriminalize abortion in the state of New South Wales, abortion is now legal across Australia. Also last week, Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca decriminalized abortion on Wednesday, becoming the second jurisdiction in Mexico to do so, following Mexico City. These countries follow a global trend toward liberalization of abortion law. Since 2000, twenty-nine countries have changed their abortion laws, and all but one—Nicaragua—expanded the legal grounds on which women can access abortion services.
#MeToo Continues Across South Asia
The global #MeToo movement continues to spark attention and action in South Asia. Nepal’s parliament speaker resigned last week and is under investigation after a female parliamentary employee had accused him of sexual assault. Several Nepali men who were fired after initial #MeToo allegations last year have returned to work, drawing questions about the movement’s success, so activists welcomed the swift action after accusations were made public Monday. In neighboring Bangladesh, textile workers have started a grassroots # Me Too movement against sexual harassment and exploitation in factories, despite retaliation from their employers.