Weekly Global News Roundup: South Africa, Iran & More

Maya Hendler
Sep 6 · 5 min read
Image Source: #AmINext Protest, The Guardian

SOUTH AFRICA

Thousands of people took to the streets on Thursday to protest the government’s failure to address the rising violence against women in South Africa. South Africa’s femicide rates are “five times” the global average; In the last month, more than 30 women were killed by their spouses. Protesters are planning a national shutdown on Friday and are calling for a state of emergency to be declared.

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HAWAII

Reports have emerged that the State of Hawaii intends to use National Guard troops and out of state law enforcement to clear protesters off the Mauna Kea Access Road, with the potential to employ excessive force and chemical dispersants. The government of Hawaii approved construction of a 1.4 billion dollar telescope at the summit of Hawaii’s tallest mountain, Mauna Kea, after years of resistance from the Hawaiian people. The Native Hawaiian-led movement is fighting to protect Mauna Kea as the TMT will cause harm to the mountain and destroy a sacred place for Kanaka Maoli’s spiritual and cultural practices.

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IRAN

Tehran’s Revolutionary Court has sentenced women’s rights activist Saba Kord Afshari to 24 years in prison, for “spreading corruption and prostitution by taking off her hijab and walking without a veil”, “spreading propaganda against the state,” and “assembly and collusion”. Saba Kord Afshari has been actively involved in the #WhiteWednesdays campaign, started by Iranian journalist and prominent activist Masih Alinejad, which encourages women to share photographs of themselves without the compulsory hijab as an act of protest. Activists Shima Babaii, Mojgan Lali, and Shaghayegh Mahaki have also been jailed.

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HONG KONG

Women protesters are increasingly being seen at the forefront of the pro-democracy protest movement in Hong Kong, which is now entering its 13th week. Some say the movement has helped empower women and combat certain stereotypes about females in Hong Kong. However, there have been reports of sexual violence and other forms of harassment by the police. This prompted thousands to rally on August 28, adopting the hashtag #ProtestToo as a form of solidarity and resistance.

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GLOBAL CLIMATE EMERGENCY

BAHAMAS: Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian made landfall at the beginning of this week as a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest storm to ever hit the Bahamas. Search crews were unable to reach hard-hit areas for days and the death toll has now risen to 30. An island in the Bahamas that is home to 50,000 people is 70% underwater and entire neighbourhoods have been turned to rubble.

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Environmental Responsibility: A Reality Check

Nick Walsh’s article blatantly articulates the stark realities of how society responds to environmental responsibility — “A lot of the choices we have to make to reverse course away from slow extinction are uncomfortable…We really don’t want to change, and instead prefer to dream science will clean the seas, soak up the carbon, make endless smart energy, or let us fly off and pollute Kepler-452b”. Read more here.

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How does gender impact land degradation?

At the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in New Dehli, Nishtha Satyam, Deputy Representative for UN Women India emphasised that women’s rights are at the centre of the issue of land degradation — “In a country like India, women account for most of the agricultural work”, however, in most parts of the world women do not have land rights. The conference called for changes to legislation that block women’s access to land and to implement incentives that promote gender equality.

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Maya Hendler is the Programmes and Communications Associate at Women’s March Global.

Women's March Global

Women's March Global is dedicated to sharing the stories and voices from our global network of chapters and members around the world.

Maya Hendler

Written by

Women's March Global

Women's March Global is dedicated to sharing the stories and voices from our global network of chapters and members around the world.

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