from Women Around the World and Women and Foreign Policy Program

Women This Week: Colombian Candidate Killed

A pro-choice demonstrator rises her fist during a session of the local congress as lawmakers are due to vote on legislation that decriminalized abortion in Oaxaca, Mexico September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Plata

Welcome to “Women Around the World: This Week,” a series that highlights noteworthy news related to women and U.S. foreign policy. This week’s post, covering September 24 to October 1, was compiled by Yuxin Lei and Rebecca Turkington.

October 4, 2019

A pro-choice demonstrator rises her fist during a session of the local congress as lawmakers are due to vote on legislation that decriminalized abortion in Oaxaca, Mexico September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Plata
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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

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Elections and Voting

Women and Women's Rights

Women's Political Leadership

Health

Sexual Violence

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.

More on:

Elections and Voting

Women and Women's Rights

Women's Political Leadership

Health

Sexual Violence

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