Protests Erupt in Iran Following the Death of Mahsa Amini

Protests have erupted in at least 46 cities, villages, and towns in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16, writes NPR. Iran’s “morality police,” The New York Times states, have been in charge of enforcing the country’s conservative dress and behavior laws since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

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Anti-Abortion, Anti-Homosexual Legislation Blocked in Guatemala

On March 15, Guatemala’s Congress reversed the decision to pass the controversial “Protection of Life and Family” law (Law 5272), which aimed to strengthen penalties for abortion, prohibit same-sex marriage, and ban discussions of sexual diversity in schools, according to The Washington Post. The decision to indefinitely table the bill came just a week after it first passed with an overwhelming majority of 101-8, with 51 legislators absent.

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Killer of Noor Muqaddam Sentenced in Pakistan

On February 24,  Zahir Jaffer was sentenced to death by hanging for the 2021 high-profile rape and murder of Noor Muqaddam in Pakistan, reports The Guardian. The killing of Muqaddam has been front page news in Pakistan since its occurrence, due to the upper-class status of both individuals. Muqaddam, the daughter of former Pakistan diplomat Shakaut Ali Muqaddam, and Jaffer, the son of one of the wealthiest industrial families in Pakistan, had known each other for most of their lives, as they had grown up in high society with the same circle of friends, reports BBC News. 

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Colombia Decriminalizes Abortion, Highlighting a Departure from Stigma

On February 21, 2022, Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled 5-4 to decriminalize abortions, making the procedure legal up to 24 weeks of gestation, reports The Guardian. The historic ruling will change the lives of women and young girls who often resorted to clandestine abortions and were penalized under the healthcare system, says Al Jazeera. Many pro-choice individuals and feminists in Colombia welcomed the decision as a reaffirmation of women’s bodily autonomy, hoping the ruling will inspire other countries to push for legislation protecting women’s rights. 

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Chatham House Marks International Women’s Day with Climate Change Panel

Chatham House, an international affairs think tank, hosted a panel discussion on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2022, called “Feminist Solutions to the Climate Crisis.” The panel brought together Dr. Sherilyn MacGregor of the University of Manchester, founder of EmpoderaClima Renata Koch Alvarenga, Executive Director of the Center for 21st Century Issues Titilope Ngozi Akosa, and Director of the WoMin African Alliance Samantha Hargreaves to discuss how climate solutions can be more intersectional. The panel was moderated by Nina Jeffs of Chatham House and included opportunities for questions from the audience.

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New Abortion Laws in Texas Place the United States at a Moral Crossroad

Texas’ new abortion laws, which ban abortions six weeks post-conception with no exceptions for rape or incest, were signed into effect by Governor Greg Abbott on September 1, 2021. The laws are setting a dangerous precedent in the U.S., causing other states like Florida to propose increasingly restrictive laws. Meanwhile, Mexico’s laws are prohibiting judges from charging women who receive abortions, even in regions where abortion has not yet been decriminalized. The contrasting approach toward abortion between Mexico and Texas shows a dangerous trend that could lead the U.S. down a rabbit hole of restricting reproductive rights.

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Mexican Supreme Court Decriminalizes Abortion

Mexico’s Supreme Court has passed a historic adjudication allowing pregnant women to decide their own reproductive destiny without having to face criminal prosecution. According to Jacobin, the court deemed it was unconstitutional for the state of Coahuila to penalize women for performing a voluntary abortion, an action that previously could have led to up to 3 years in prison.

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