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Mali: Violence Against Women on the Rise

BAMAKO, 2 October 2008 (IRIN) - At least 300 women are victims of sexual violence every year in Bamako, according to local police records, but the actual figure is much higher said the president of the Bamako-based non-profit, Women in Law and Development in Africa.

While there are laws in place to protect women, many forms of violence in Mali are sanctioned by tradition, practice

YEMEN: Call to improve women's status

Photo: Muhammad al-Jabri/IRIN
Three married girls (aged eight, 12 and 10) during a public discussion by civil society organisations on child marriage

SANAA, 22 September 2008 (IRIN) - Much more needs to be done to improve the status of women in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula, in line with the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), officials said.

LIBERIA: FGM continues in rural secrecy

MONROVIA, 24 September 2008 (IRIN) - Thousands of young girls annually prepare for their initiation into a women’s secret association, Sande Society, which operates mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. As part of their initiation, young women take a vow of secrecy after weeks of training in the forest, promising not to not tell uninitiated girls or men what happens to them, to assume new names, and to have their clitorises cut off - known as female
genital mutilation (FGM) - according to women in the secret society.

Call on Mali Government to Pass Law Against FGM

Equality Now has just issued an Update in its campaign against FGM in Mali, renewing its call on the Malian government to support the passage of a law criminalizing FGM as a matter of urgent priority. The Action also provides an update on the remarkable health and educational progress of Fanta Camara, whose case was highlighted in Women's Action 25.1. For the Update, please click on the following link:

Campaign Statement on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

On the occasion of the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Solidarity Network and the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! would like to draw your attention to the press release below. This is a response to a recent Report issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Statement on the 2008 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

Fact Sheet No.23, Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Traditional cultural practices reflect values and beliefs held by members of a community for periods often spanning generations. Every social grouping in the world has specific traditional cultural practices and beliefs, some of which are beneficial to all members, while others are harmful to a specific group, such as women.

Sierra Leone government to ban female circumcision

February 4, 2008

The new government in Sierra Leone has vowed to outlaw female circumcision, a common practice in the West African country, the social welfare minister said Monday.

A Cutting Tradition

February 28, 2008

When a girl is taken — usually by her mother — to a free circumcision event held each spring in Bandung, Indonesia, she is handed over to a small group of women who, swiftly and yet with apparent affection, cut off a small piece of her genitals.

UK: Thousands Risk Genital Mutilation

February 2, 2008

More than 20,000 girls under 15 in England and Wales could be at risk of genital mutilation, a charity warns.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Pledges System-Wide UN Campaign to Fight Violence Against Women

November 25, 2007

Denouncing violence against women as “one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has vowed to lead a campaign against the scourge.