As activists and researchers who have worked for many years to support and protect girls across India, we were dismayed to read a recent DoubleX article describing a mass wedding and betrothal ceremony of underage girls and boys as a “welcome event.” The article went on to compare child marriage to the prostitution of girls, describing child marriage as “the lesser of two evils." What a shameful rationalization!
Welcome to Shirkat Gah’s 2nd E-Newsletter! This covers most of the happenings at Shirkat Gah and elsewhere that we have been a part of during July 2011 - March 2012. It also highlights our efforts at national, regional, and international levels. We hope you will enjoy this snapshot of our work towards accomplishing women’s empowerment.
ISTANBUL — Gokce, a soft-spoken 37-year-old mother of two, has lived on the run for 15 years, ever since her abusive husband tracked her down, broke down her door and shot her in the leg six times after she refused to return to him.
In many countries of the Middle East, women are wondering what the Arab Spring means for them. Some observers are concerned that the power vacuum will leave the door open for Islamist groups to take power and force changes opposing women’s rights.
Zainah Anwar, a leading Malaysian social activist and intellectual, is not one of them. She is even excited about the prospects that the Arab Spring could have for women.
Anyone who has worked in British Muslim communities will tell you the very notion of women's rights is still considered a taboo subject. Like many women who have spent years challenging gender-based discrimination, I know how much resistance there is to equality.
In "Distant View of a Minaret," the late and much-neglected Egyptian writer Alifa Rifaat begins her short story with a woman so unmoved by sex with her husband that as he focuses solely on his pleasure, she notices a spider web she must sweep off the ceiling and has time to ruminate on her husband's repeated refusal to prolong intercourse until she too climaxes, "as though purposely to depriv
This 2010 articles explores some of the hardships and violence faced by child brides in Bangladesh: Rani is a child bride. Her story is common in Bangladesh, where as many as two-thirds of young girls are compelled to enter marriage at a young age. This practice is not limited to slums and rural villages. According to the United Nations State of the World’s Children, the rate of child marriage in Bangladesh is 64%; it affects 58% of girls in urban areas and 69% in rural areas.
The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network and Violence is Not Our Culture Campaign (VNC) strongly condemn the imprisonment of women and girls in Afghanistan (approximately 400 of them) for so-called “moral crimes”, including running away from home. The new study released by Human Rights Watch (HRW), “I Had to Run Away”: The Imprisonment of Women and Girls for “Moral Crimes” in Afghanistan documents the phenomenon of these “crimes”, which often involve flight from early forced marriages or domestic violence.