What’s Current: Saudi prosecutors seek maximum prison sentence for women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul

  • Saudi Arabia’s state prosecutor is seeking a maximum prison sentence of 20 years for women’s rights campaigner Loujain al-Hathloul, who is being tried in a special court for terrorism. Hathloul defied the country’s ban on women driving and advocated for an end to the male guardianship system.
  • A $90,000 fine was imposed on the city of Paris for violating a gender parity law by hiring too many women to senior positions. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, mocked the fine on Twitter; France’s Public Service Minister pointed out the stipulation that allowed the fine was abolished in 2019.
  • A Japanese serial killer who targeted women expressing suicidal thoughts on social media has been sentenced to death. Dubbed the “Twitter killer,” Takahiro Shiraishi killed nine people, eight of whom were women.
  • Suicide rates among Japanese women are rising, currently at a rate of between 400-500 per month. Factors involved include domestic abuse, the sex industry, and the economic burdens of single motherhood.
  • Pakistan’s president Arif Alvi approved an anti-rape law that will establish special courts to speed up the trial process, allow for chemical castration in sentencing, and establish a national sex offender registry.
  • A convicted child rapist in Worcestershire will not receive a prison sentence, despite public outcry. Callum Haycock was found guilty of raping a five-year-old girl, but received only a year-long curfew, a community order, and a fine.
Genevieve Gluck

Genevieve Gluck is a writer and advocate for women's sex-based rights and creator of Women's Voices, an audio library dedicated to bringing awareness to feminist texts and speeches.