what happened last week


Hey, this is Sham, your very own news curator. I'm in Kurdistan right now, and the deaths of the two Kurdish women Jina Amini in Kurdistan, Iran and Nagihan Akarsel Kurdistan, Iraq (and that of so many others) are on my mind constantly. However, in this issue, I suggest we focus on news that give you (and myself) a sense of hope. And next time, I'm inviting feminists from all over the world to write the next issue for you. It's going to be so good, I promise.

Issue #311 includes a super important ruling on reproductive rights in India, no more death penalty in Equatorial Guinea, Argentina is financially compensation a trans survivor of the former dictatorship. Plus, a lot of good news from all over the world, including Brazil, Singapore, China and Vietnam.
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Equatorial Guinea abolishes the death penalty

There's a new law in town in Equatorial Guinea: The state will no longer kill anyone as a punishment for a crime they committed. (The Guardian)

Why this matters: Death penalty breaches human rights. The last time someone was executed here was in 2014. Equatorial Guinea is one of the world's most authoritarian countries. President Obiang has spent more than 43 years in power.

Zoom out: Although most nations have abolished the death penalty, over 60% of the world's population live in countries where the death penalty is still in practice, such as China, parts of the United States, and Nigeria. In 2021, most known executions took place in China, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria – in that order. (Amnesty International)

Tell me more
President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo signed a new penal code. His son and Vice President, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, made the announcement via Twitter on Friday saying it was "Because of his charisma, his leadership and his political experience.” *cough someone wants to become President so bad cough*

Tell me more about politics in Equatorial Guinea
Well, the president's Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea holds 99 of the 100 seats in the outgoing lower house of parliament and all 70 of the senate seats. (
Africanews) There will be elections in November and – surprise, surprise – President Obiang is running (not literally. He's 80 years old.) Also, the country (like so many other African countries) supports China, 'the U.N. is wrong about their human rights report on the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.' (allAfrica)

Why should states abolish the death penalty?
Here are some arguments for the rare case you might get into an argument with someone who's pro-death penalty:
  1. There's the chance that you're executing an innocent person. Trials can be super unfair, people on trial sometimes have no real legal representation, etc.
  2. A lot of times the people that get executed are those that are being discriminated against in the first place.
  3. Some use it as a political tool, and not as an 'instrument for justice'. A lot of political opponents are punished by the death penalty.t
  4. There is no evidence that the death penalty is any more effective in reducing crime than, say, life in prison.


A lot more people in India now have equal rights to abortion

The Supreme Court of India finally allows more people to have an abortion until the 24th week of pregnancy. Plus, the court is also thinking out loud about whether rape within a marriage is a crime or not. (Indian Express)

Why this matters: Abortions have been technically legal in India since 1971, but over the years, the rules for who can have an abortion and until when have become so strict that even rape survivors, including children who had no idea that they were pregnant, had to go to the court it was discovered after 20 weeks. Now, women in India have more reproductive rights than in the United States.

Tell me more
The order came on a petition brought to the Supreme Court in July by a 25-year-old single woman who had been in a relationship and was 22 weeks pregnant (two weeks past the limit). Her partner had refused to marry her and having a child out of wedlock wasn't a real option for her. 'I'm not mentally prepared to raise a child,' she said. The rule now allows that she, a single woman, aborts the baby.

You said 'a lot more people' in the title. Who else is allowed to have an abortion in India now? 
The list also includes rape survivors, children, women with mental disabilities, women with fetuses that had major abnormalities and married women who were divorced or widowed during pregnancy. However, it's still not the same good news for LGBTQIA+ community, non-binary and gender-diverse people who, too, experience pregnancy and require access to safe abortions and sexual and reproductive health services. (IndiaSpend)

Fun fact: If you're queer in India and you need emergency contraceptive pills but aren't allowed to leave the house, you can get it delivered via Dunzo. (IndiaSpend)

Did you know that, according to the UN Population Fund, close to eight women die every day in India because of unsafe abortions?


Argentina has recognized another trans survivor of its former dictatorship

Karina Pintarelli is one of the first trans survivors of the former military dictatorship in Argentina to receive financial compensation. (Agencia Presentes, Spanish)

Refresher: From 1976 to 1983, Argentina was ruled by a military dictatorship that committed many human rights crimes, including torture, executions and the imprisonment of thousands without trial.
Many Western states and corporations played a huge role during this and other South American dictatorships. (ECCHR)

Why this matters: The military dictatorship is one of the bloodiest ones of the last century. Around 30,000 people were murdered or disappeared between 1976 and 1983. Righting at least one wrong is a mini step toward healing for a society that dealt with such a violent past.

Tell me more about Pintarelli
Under the military dictatorship, Pintarelli suffered a lot of violence by the state. After a long legal fight, this year in July, she became the first trans victim to be granted monetary reparations by the Argentine Justice Ministry for persecution inflicted because of her gender identity. Today, Pintarelli is 64, and an activist and a poet.
  • Quote: "I can tell my story while I’m still alive. This is a recognition of what we had to live through, what we experienced and what we still experience. To my companions in activism, I want to tell them to keep fighting, through persevering you can achieve things." – Karina Pintarelli
Zoom out: In New Zealand, victims of 'conversion therapy' (banned only six months ago) can now also get financial compensation. (RNZ)

How does Argentinian society deal with this very violent past in general?
It's an everyday-kind-of-issue. But here are some statistics: Since 2005, hundreds of former military, police and secret service officials have been brought before the courts and convicted. There's a lot of literature, visual arts, cinema and theatre about this Argentinian chapter, and academics, artists and activists use testimonies from torture survivors, relatives of the “disappeared” and other witnesses to inform their work. (
ECCHR) But, of course, more could be done. 

More you might have missed 

The bad
China: The dugong is declared extinct in China after scientists were like, 'we haven't seen any since 2000.' However, dugongs still exist in the wild in parts of Southeast Asia and Australasia. They look like this. (BBC News) Btw, China is surprisingly super hot right now. Read this Twitter thread by Ben See about it.
Central Asia: The wild apple is going extinct by 2090. Fruit exports are an important source of foreign exchange in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. (eurasianet)
The 'We'll See'
Nauru: Russ Kun is inaugurated as President of Nauru following the general election on September 24. (Radio New Zealand)
Brazil: Now-president Jair Bolsonaro and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will face off in a runoff election on October 30. Lula obtained 48.3% of the vote, Bolsonaro 43.3%. Personally, I'm crossing fingers for Lula. (The Washington Post)
Mali: (I didn't know whether to put this in Good or Bad but) The country has banned shisha or hookah smoking. All shisha bars must close down in the next six months. (Africanews)
The good
United States: Black American history finally gets taught at school. Historians say it's more important than ever. Next year, students will officially be able to take the class to earn college credit at about 35 colleges. (TIME)
Sports: Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia becomes the youngest woman to win the London Marathon while Amos Kipruto of Kenya wins the men's race. (The Guardian)
Law and crime: The Catholic Church reveals that it disciplined Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, an East Timorese minister and former bishop over allegations of sexual abuse of teenage boys committed in the early 1990s. Btw, Belo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996. (Reuters) 

Plus, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has begun the trial of Félicien Kabuga, one of the richest businessmen in the 1990s in Rwanda who is implicated in the Rwandan genocide. Kabuga pleads not guilty and did not appear on the first day of the proceedings. (BBC News)
India: Apple is the first tech company to explicitly ban caste discrimination and trains managers on the Indian caste system. (India Today)
Brazil: The country's court opened the first criminal case for gender-based political violence. About three months earlier, a regional deputy had called a transgender councilwoman a "sexual anomaly." (The Rio Times)
China: Hainan island in the South China Sea says it will become China’s first region to ban sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars because, well, global warming. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Rwanda: The country is finally added to Google Street View, yay. (Virtual Streets)
Singapore: It is no longer a crime for men to have sex with men in Singapore. The country scratched a law that was introduced under British colonial rule in the 1930s. This (and the next news) is a very bare-minimum-like tiny step towards the equality of all people. (Channel News Asia)
China: Hainan island in the South China Sea says it will become China’s first region to ban sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars because, well, global warming. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Vietnam: The government was like, "hey, we believe that being gay, bisexual or transgender is not an illness. Don't treat it as such.' The Ministry of Health said medical professionals should treat LGBTQ+ people with respect and ensure they are not discriminated against. Sigh at the speed of progress. But also, yay. (The Guardian)


Interview with journalist Marcela Turati on Mexico's crisis of missing people (Global Investigative Journalism Network / Revista 5W)
Journalist Marcela Turati has spent years investigating who is responsible for the thousands of people who have gone missing in Mexico. She spoke to Revista 5W magazine about her work, the dangers of investigating corruption in the country, and why it is so difficult to try and track down who is behind violent crimes against journalists and migrants.
Podcast: The Missing Cryptoqueen
Dr Ruja Ignatova persuaded millions to join her financial revolution. Then she disappeared. Why? BBC's Jamie Bartlett presents a story of greed, deceit and herd madness. The first season aired two years ago. Now, last week, the Missing Cryptoqueen is back with new episodes.
Wanuri Kahiu's first directorial debut on Netflix: Look Both Ways
The groundbreaking Kenyan female director, Wanuri Kahiu, has broken into Netflix’s top 10 ranked movies with her film 'Look Both Ways.' The film centers around a young woman, played by Hollywood actress Lili Reinhart, who takes a pregnancy test just before her college graduation. The audience then sees two different scenarios: one where the test is positive and she becomes a young mother, and an alternative story where the test is negative and she instead moves to Los Angeles to pursue her career ambitions. In one scene, Hollywood actress Nia Long is dancing to a Swahili song by Kenyan musician, producer, and DJ ‘Blinky’ Bill Sellanga, called ‘Bado Mapema (Simama)’. You can listen to it in this newsletter's own Spotify playlist. (Quartz

On a funny note

Japan is telling its young people to drink more "to boost economy". (BBC)

(Hey, drinking alcohol excessively is still not good for your health. Just thought I'd mention this here as well.)
That's it from me. 

Have you checked out this newsletter's very own Spotify playlist Go Global Weekly yet?

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