Turkey Withdraws from the 2011 Istanbul Convention on Women’s Rights

Turkey announced in late March that it has withdrawn from the 2011 Istanbul Convention on women’s rights. The convention was held to promote the protection of women against domestic violence and promote gender equality by signatory states, reports Reuters. Notably, Turkey was the first country to sign on to the convention, which was forged in and is named after the country’s largest city.

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“Burqa Ban” in the Age of COVID-19

Switzerland joined several other European countries in banning burqas, niqabs, and other face coverings in public. This so-called “burqa ban” and those that came before it are highly controversial and inspired debate over religious freedoms and secularism, all of course, complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Kidnapped Children Returned in Nigeria

Hundreds of Nigerian girls have been released after they were kidnapped from a boarding school in the northwestern region of the country, according to The Washington Post. The girls, dressed in light blue hijabs and barefoot, appear unharmed, but doctors will administer a a medical checkup before the children are returned to their parents. CNN reports that the girls were in “good condition,” but some of them had to be treated for open sores on their feet.

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U.S. Formally Rejoins Paris Climate Agreement

In a shift away from former President Trump’s isolationist policies, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the United States was recommitted to international multilateral engagement, including the Paris Climate Accords, during the virtual Munich Security Conference with the G7. According to CNN, just hours after he was sworn in on January 20, Biden signed an executive order that would begin the month-long process to re-enter the Paris agreement.

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Glacier Collapse in Uttarakhand Leaves at Least 30 Dead and Nearly 200 Missing

On February 7, 2021, a massive glacier in the Himalayan mountain range collapsed, leaving at least 32 dead and almost 200 missing in the state of Uttarakhand. Part of a glacier near the Nanda Devi mountain broke off into a river, breaking dams, sweeping away bridges, and destroying hydroelectric projects in the Alaknanda and Dhauliganga rivers. Numerous towns had to be evacuated, and 13 villages are still being resupplied by air after being cut off by the flood waters, according to Reuters.

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The Burden of COVID-19 on Women

Before the coronavirus pandemic took the world by storm, society had begun treating women as equals and regarding women’s rights as human rights. Leading up to 2020, male-dominated fields were becoming more equal, illiteracy rates among women and girls were dropping, and marriage rates for girls under 18 were decreasing dramatically. Slowly, young women were climbing out of the age-old well in which they were drowning. However, COVID-19 erupted, halting progress and, in some cases, threatening its complete reversal.

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SHUNA Holds Inaugural “HallMUN 2020” College Conference

Seton Hall University’s Model United Nations team hosted its first-ever college-level Model UN conference, known as HallMUN, on the weekend of November 13, 2020. SHUNA, the Seton Hall United Nations Association, organized the three-day virtual conference, making it the first nationwide to be held online.

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Leader of Ethiopian Tigray Region Fires Missiles at Eritrean City

The leader of Ethiopia’s Tigray region confirmed the firing of missiles at Eritrea’s capital city of Asmara, reports the Associated Press. This event marks an escalation in the violent conflict between Ethiopia’s federal government and the government of the Tigray region, which has seemingly become an international armed conflict.

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