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News and Views: December 2011

Political Transitions Provide Opportunities to Promote Women’s Human Rights

December 26, 2011

26 December 2011 - This year, millions of women have taken to the streets in the Arab world to demand change. 

“This year has been eventful in terms of democratisation, the recognition of freedom of expression and people’s empowerment,” said UN Human Rights chief Navi Pillay. “The courage and determination of women involved in the Arab spring should be a source of inspiration for all of us.”

Indonesia: Polygamy Dispute at Center of Shia School Burning

December 29, 2011

The torching of a Shia-run Islamic boarding school in East Java on Thursday stemmed from a sibling dispute after a cleric at the school denied his brother the right to enter into polygamous marriage with one of the students, a teacher said. 

“A male resident sought revenge on his brother, a Shia cleric who refused to let him marry one of his female students as it would be polygamy,” said Ustadz Muhyi, one of the teachers at Tajuk Muluk Islamic boarding school (pesantren) in Sampang district.

Israeli Girl, 8, at Center of Tension Over Religious Extremism

December 28, 2011

The latest battleground in Israel’s struggle over religious extremism covers little more than a square mile of this Jewish city situated between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and it has the unexpected public face of a blond, bespectacled second-grade girl.

Egypt: Samira Ibrahim is the woman behind Egypt’s ban of virginity tests

December 27, 2011

An Egyptian court has banned virginity tests for female detainees, many months after women arrested in Tahrir Square in March said they had been forced to take examinations.

Pakistan: Violence Against Women, Killed for "Honour"

December 20, 2011

At least 675 Pakistani women and girls were murdered during the first nine months of the year for allegedly defaming their family’s honour, a leading human rights group said Tuesday. Rights groups say the government should do more to ensure that women subject to violence, harassment and discrimination have effective access to justice.

Israel: Jewish gender segregation campaign turns violent

December 27, 2011

Clashes erupted on Monday between police and several hundred ultra-Orthodox Jews from a town near Jerusalem who are campaigning for men and women to be segregated, an AFP journalist said.

Iran: Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani could be hanged

December 26, 2011

Judiciary officials exploring whether woman whose sentence to death by stoning was suspended can be hanged instead.

Uganda: Gay and Vilified in Uganda

December 22, 2011

WHEN Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced this month that the United States would use diplomacy to encourage respect for gay rights around the world, my heart leapt. I knew her words — “gay people are born into, and belong to, every society in the world”— to be true, but in my country they are too often ignored.

Kazakhstan: Students Win Fight Against Hijab Ban

December 13, 2011

AQTOBE, Kazakhstan -- Officials at a university in northwestern Kazakhstan have lifted a hijab ban for students after eight female students threatened to sue the school, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The students told RFE/RL on December 8 that they had been unable to attend classes at Saqtaghan Baishev University, as a duty officer at the school's entrance was preventing them from entering the university because of their head scarves, or hijabs.

Egypt: Mass March by Cairo Women in Protest Over Soldiers’ Abuse

December 20, 2011

Thousands of women massed in Tahrir Square here on Tuesday afternoon and marched to a journalists’ syndicate and back in a demonstration that grew by the minute into an extraordinary expression of anger at the treatment of women by the military police as they protested against continued military rule.

Afghanistan: TV challenges attitudes towards domestic violence

October 25, 2011

A radical television show is challenging attitudes to this abuse, inviting women to speak candidly and anonymously about their problems at home.

Canada: Imams Show Leadership in Speaking out against Violence Against Women

December 18, 2011

A group of Canadian imams is right to use a high-profile trial as a timely opportunity to condemn violence and abuse committed in the name of family honour.

While there is no honour in killing, honour-based violence does exist. It is a manifestation not of religion, but of culture, and is more prevalent in countries with patriarchal traditions where adultery is punishable by law such as Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Canada is not immune from such influences.

Somalia: UN Denounces 'Privatization' of Violence Against Somali Women

December 16, 2011

The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Rashida Manjoo spoke to reporters in Nairobi Friday about her just-concluded mission to Somalia, where she examined the occurrence of gender-based violence there.

Turkey: Victim vs. victor: What does TV say about domestic violence?

December 18, 2011

Being a woman in Turkey is no easy task. What is even more difficult, however, is the life of a woman on Turkish primetime TV.

Israel: Women Fight Back Against Jerusalem Billboard Vandals

December 2, 2011

Jewish women in the Britain and the US are being urged to send photographs of themselves holding signs saying "women should be seen and heard" in a campaign against efforts by the ultra-orthodox to remove female images from advertising billboards in Jerusalem.

UN Issues First Report on the Rights of LGBT Persons

December 15, 2011

15 December 2011 – The first ever United Nations report on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people details how around the world people are killed or endure hate-motivated violence, torture, detention, criminalization and discrimination in jobs, health care and education because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Lebanon: Draft Nationality Law Further Discriminates Against Women

December 14, 2011

A press communiqué by the Arab Women’s Right to Nationality Campaign discusses the key concerns for women in the draft nationality law issued by the Lebanese Cabinet.

Pakistan Needs Gender Policy Framework

December 15, 2011

Islamabad—An essential step to help improve lives of Pakistani women is to provide platform for inter-provincial and regional dialogue which may well pave the way for a national framework on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Egypt: How will Election Results Impact Women?

December 13, 2011

With the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections drawing to a close, the Global Fund for Women asked Mozn Hassan, who’s based in Cairo, for her feminist perspective and analysis on results to date.

Pakistan Crime Bills Must be Springboard for Better Women's Rights

December 13, 2011

Pakistan authorities must take concrete steps to end violence against women, Amnesty International said today after the country's Senate unanimously passed two landmark women's rights bills. 

The Acid Control and Acid Crime Prevention Bill 2010 and The Prevention of Anti-Women Practices (Criminal Law Amendment) Bill 2008 aim to empower and protect women and increase penalties for perpetrators of gender-based violence. 

Pakistan: Senate Unanimously Passes Two Bills Protecting Against Forced Marriage and Acid Attacks

December 12, 2011

ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of the Parliament on Monday unanimously passed two landmark pro-women bills aimed at protecting women from the negative customs and traditions and seeking severe punishments for the violators.

Afghanistan: The Battle for Schools - the Taleban and State Education

December 13, 2011

The report traces the different contestations around state education with a special focus on the past decade. In 2002, opening and building schools and getting Afghan boys and girls educated was a priority for the new government and its international backers. For the Taleban, one of the main tactics of their campaign against the government was to attack schools. The violence peaked in 2006, with dozens of students and teachers killed and hundreds of schools burned or forcibly shut down. However, there was a backlash.

Habiba Sarabi: ‘Violence against women still a problem in Afghanistan’

December 14, 2011

Habiba Sarabi is Afghanistan’s only female governor. She has headed Bamiyan province since 2005, engaged in rebuilding from scratch her part of one of the world’s most murderous countries.

A qualified doctor, she left Afghanistan under the Taliban, but returned in secret to teach girls.

Today, still the target of death threats, she continues her struggle to put her country back on its feet.

euronews: “Habiba Sarabi, you are a prominent figure in Afghanistan. How does it feel to be a major female politician in a male-dominated society?”

Can Turkey Make Its Mosques Feminist?

December 11, 2011

"This is about mosques being a space for women," declared Kadriye Avci Erdemli, Istanbul's deputy mufti, the city's second most powerful administrator of the Islamic faith. "When a woman enters a mosque, she is entering the house of God and she should experience the same sacred treatment. In front of God, men and women are equal; they have the same rights to practice their religion."

Accusations of Sorcery Still Drive Women from their Homes in Africa.

September 12, 2011

It was Pakpema Bleg’s own family who first accused her of practicing witchcraft.

Her nephew had accidentally pricked his finger on a needle, and the finger swelled up with infection. Bleg hadn’t been there. But the next morning, she says, her brother-in-law arrived outside her house. “Witch!” he allegedly bellowed for all her neighbors to hear. “Witch!” Then, her nephew’s older brother began beating her, she says, and soon others in the village joined in.

Papua New Guinea: Violence Against Women Accused of Sorcery

December 6, 2011
The belief in black magic, sorcery, evil spirits and witches is widespread in the Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea: this superstition is called Saguma.

India: Women Pregnant With Girls Pressured Into Abortions

December 9, 2011

 It is a country with a female president and where men revere female goddesses. And yet, India is far from a haven for women.

According to current estimates, Indian men outnumber women by nearly 40 million. That startling gender gap, activists say, is the result of gendercide. Nearly 50,000 female fetuses are aborted every month and untold numbers of baby girls are abandoned or murdered.

Yemen: Child Marriage Spurs Abuse of Girls and Women

December 8, 2011

(Beirut) – Widespread child marriage jeopardizes Yemeni girls’ access to education, harms their health, and keeps them second-class citizens, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government of Yemen should set 18 as the minimum age for marriage to improve girls’ opportunities and protect their human rights.

Saudi Arabia: Law May Fine & Shame for Sexual Harassment

December 7, 2011

Men who are found guilty of harassing women in Saudi Arabia will be publicly shamed and fined, according to a new legislation that is still being drafted.

Frat suspended after surveying its members on who they would like to rape

December 15, 2011

Really, Sigma Phi Epsilon? There’s no way the University of Vermont frat really thought it was ok to send a survey to its members asking, “If you could rape anyone, who would it be?” Is there? (Wait, don’t answer that.)

Indonesia: 'Dirty' Punks Forced into 'Moral Rehab' by Sharia Police

December 14, 2011

Indonesian sharia police are "morally rehabilitating" more than 60 young punk rock fans who were holding a charity concert in Aceh province in northern Sumatra.

Police arrested 59 male and five female punk rock fans at a concert organised to raise money for orphans in the provincial capital Banda Aceh on Saturday night, saying the youths were damaging the province's image.

Violence against aboriginal women could lead to UN inquiry

December 13, 2011

The United Nations is set to conduct an inquiry into Canada's cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women, two Canadian groups lobbying for the action announced on Tuesday. Pictured, protesters chant outside the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry in Vancouver, British Columbia October 11, 2011.

Iran: Separation of Men & Women in Government Offices

December 6, 2011

A new law calling for separation of men and women employees in governmental offices will be enforced soon in Iran’s city of Bushehr, reported a Persian language news publication Asr-Iran yesterday.

The law is enforced because, “no one acts on his/her duty,” said Bushehr governor Mohammad Hussein Jahanbakhsh to news reporters.

Many Iranian women resent the fact that they are forced to wear Hijab (Islamic headscarf) or Chador (A large cloth covering the women’s body from head to toe) when they leave home.

Saudi Arabia: Woman Convicted Of 'Sorcery' Executed

December 12, 2011

Saudi authorities have executed a woman convicted of practicing magic and sorcery. The Saudi Interior Ministry says in a statement the execution took place Monday, but gave no details on the woman's crime.

Papua New Guinea: Police Cite Bride Price Major Factor in Marital Violence

November 21, 2011

Bride price is the major contributing factor today that’s why married men feel they can do anything to their wives, a senior Papua New Guinea police officer says. Minj police station commander Horim Piamia said many men regarded their wives as materials they bought from a shop and not as their partners.

Nearly 1 in 5 Women in U.S. Survey Say They Have Been Sexually Assaulted

December 14, 2011

An exhaustive government survey of rape and domestic violence released on Wednesday affirmed that sexual violence against women remains endemic in the United States and in some instances may be far more common than previously thought.

UK: Forced Marriage Hidden from View

November 29, 2011

Plans by the government to criminalise forced marriage in the UK will put women and girls at even greater risk of violence. Forced marriages can only be tackled from within and by the community, with sufficient resources to support this work, says Sajda Mughal

UK: 'Honour' Attack Numbers Revealed by Police Forces

December 3, 2011

UK police recorded at least 2,823 so-called honour attacks last year, figures from 39 out of 52 forces show. A freedom of information request by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO) revealed that nearly 500 of these were in London.

Saudi Arabia: Conservative Cleric Argues Driving Right Will Result in 'End of Virginity'

December 8, 2011

Conservative academic Kamal Subhi has presented a report to Saudi Arabia's legislative assembly, the Shura Council, claiming that the removal of the driving ban for women will lead to increased prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce.

Rangkaian KAMPANYE 16 HARI ANTI KEKERASAN TERHADAP PEREMPUAN

December 7, 2011

Betapa indahnya hidup kita sebagai perempuan jika berjalan tengah malam mengenakan fasilitas publik tanpa ancaman diperkosa. Betapa nyamannya keseharian kita mengenakan apapun juga tanpa takut diadili dengan siapapun. Betapa surganya setiap waktu kita jika kita dapat melakukan secara merdeka tentu tanpa mengganggu orang lain. Namun barisan kalimat di atas hanya terus menjadi khayalan selama was-was terus ada.

Shirkat Gah Commemorates 16 Days of Activism

December 7, 2011

Shirkat Gah has collaborated with 31 partner Community Based Organizations across four provinces of Pakistan in 26 districts to celebrate 16 Days of Activism campaign this year.

بيان حملة ال16 يوم لمناهضة العنف ضد المرأة

December 7, 2011

 

ونحن نحتفي بحملة ال16 يوماً لمناهضة العنف ضد المرأة التي تجسد الارتباط الوثيق بين مناهضة العنف ضد المرأة وتعزيز وحماية حقوق الانسان باسم منظمات المجتمع المدني نحي النساء في العالم، التحية لكل النشطاء في الدفاع عن حقوق المرأة، التحية للمنظمات الدولية التي ظلت تقدم الدعم والمناصرة لبرامج حماية حقوق المرأة، ونخص بالتحية  المرأة  السودانية والرائدات  اللائي مهدن لنا الدروب، والنساء اللائي يملأن الساحات والبيوت بالعطاء الصبور ويشاركن في الدفع بالمجتمع للأمام

 

Baidarie Sialkot Commemorates 16 Days of Activism

December 7, 2011

Baidarie Salkot has a number of activities planned to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women.

Solidaritas Perempuan Commemorates the 16 Days of Activism

December 7, 2011

Solidaritas Perempuan is a woman's rights organization that is currently organizing a campaign series 'Women Without Worries' to commemorate the 16 days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women. The campaign involves harnessing students’ enthusiasm to stop violence against women, whether on campus or in the surroundings areas. Solidaritas Perempuan supports students as agents of change in their work to campaign against violence on campus.

Afghanistan: Woman left to Marry her Attacker to Obtain Release from Jail

December 1, 2011

An Afghan woman jailed for adultery after she was raped by a relative is set to be freed – but only after agreeing to marry the man who attacked her.

The case, which has highlighted the plight of Afghan women jailed for so-called moral crimes, was to be the subject of a documentary film funded by the European Union – until diplomats censored it out of fear for the woman's welfare, and for their relations with the Afghan government.

Zanan TV Launches

December 3, 2011

Have you heard the news? Zanan TV was launched on 25 November 2011, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

VNC Launches New Website

December 4, 2011

The international campaign 'Violence Is Not Our Culture' is excited to launch its new website.