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News and Views: August 2012

Global: My Story: Standing Up

August 29, 2012

We've all faced situations that beg us to take a stand, to take a risk for a long range reward. World Pulse asked grassroots women leaders to write about their "Standing Up" moments. What emerged is a testament to the rising leadership of women across the world.

Rabia

Pakistan: Women should know about their rights

August 20, 2012

Every human being has certain indisputable rights that must be delivered in a way so that they have a positive effect on human lives enabling them to live better and more fulfilling lives.

The world is globalizing very rapidly and scientific innovations have emerged as a phenomenon for development.

Although the flow of information is increasing very rapidly, this change has affected a very small segment of the society.

Morocco’s top business leader, a woman, defies stereotypes and an Islamist government’s prejudices

August 19, 2012

Her laugh is infectious, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a high school drama class or a Hollywood hair salon. But this is the Arab world, not Tinseltown. And Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun is no lightweight.

She leads Morocco’s General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), a giant trade association roughly analogous to the U.S. chamber of Commerce.

Bensalah is also a licensed pilot, a Harley-Davidson rider, a race car driver, a competitive golfer — and a 49-year-old mother of three.

Somalia: Female genital mutilation banned under new constitution

August 17, 2012

Activists welcome measure but urge need for health warnings, community empowerment schemes, and dissociation from Islam.

Somalia: Woman Beheaded

August 21, 2012

SIHA Public Statement:

 – Peace in Somalia will Remain a Superficial until the Human Rights of Women are Protected.

Tunisia: Preserve the Rights of Women!

August 22, 2012

Tunisia has always led gender equality in the Middle East for the past fifty years, with women playing an active role in civil society and enjoying the same legal rights as men. Now, with the old regime overthrown this past spring, many Tunisians are concerned that Al-Nahda, a more conservative Islamic party, will come to power and pull the nation back into the past. 

Sudan: Free Layla Ibrahim Issa! Stop Stoning!

August 18, 2012

Dear friends, 

Layla’s life is still in danger. We need you to take action to save her.

Layla Ibrahim Issa is a 23-year old mother who was sentenced to death by stoning by the Mayo court in Khartoum, Sudan. We put out an action alert to support Layla earlier this month, and we extend our thanks to those of you who raised their voices; but Layla is still in prison with her 6-month old child. 

The authorities have not yet responded to our demands to immediately repeal the verdict, and stop the planned execution. 

JORDAN: Early marriage - a coping mechanism for Syrian refugees?

July 19, 2012

Some Syrian refugees arriving in Jordan are opting to marry off their daughters at a young age believing that marital status offers a form of protection and insurance. 

"In Maraq, we have come across around 50 cases of early marriages since the day we started helping out Syrians. Most of them are married to Syrians, especially cousins," said Khaled Ghanem, from the Islamic Society Centre (ISC). 

Turkey: Vendetta Song

July 13, 2012

A young Turkish woman, now resident in Canada, travels to Turkey in an attempt to unravel the story behind her aunt Guzide's murder, some 30 years earlier in a remote Kurdish village.

As she searches for clues and closure, she encounters antiquated customs in a Kurdish culture she has never known. She knows that her aunt was a victim of a senseless vendetta killing and as she ventures from village to village she pieces together the woman's final days and closes in on the identity of her killer.

India: Women emerge as strong leaders during village council elections

August 5, 2012

Dhenkanal/ Odisha, 15 February, 2012: Bharati Behra has great apirations for her people. As a recently elected Sarpanch  or village head, she hopes to become the voice of tribals from the area. “I want to make the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act  easier for women to access,” she says. The Act guarantees paid employment for a minimum of 100 days in rural India.

Elected from Kankadpal during panchayat or village council elections in Odisha state of India, Bharati’s victory is a trimuph for the tribal women of her region.

Egypt: Challenging a Women's place through Street Art

August 9, 2012

Merna Thomas, a twenty-four-year-old activist, heads out for another day of revolution. Armed with brushes and small buckets of paint, her goal today is not the overthrow of a regime, but something perhaps even more daring: to change Egyptian attitudes toward women. On the side of a downtown building, she puts her graffiti skills to work with an illustration of Samira Ibrahim—hailed for bravely speaking out after becoming one of the victims of the infamous virginity tests that Egyptian security forces performed on detained female protesters in 2011. Passersby mumble streams of complaints.

Afghanistan: Series on Women Changing the World recognizes Leila Hakim-Ali

August 9, 2012

Afghanistan has one of the lowest consumption rates of electricity per person worldwide. To the outsider, this statistic may represent nothing more than the inevitable result of stalled reconstruction efforts or the mismanagement of funds. Yet to the people of rural Afghanistan, the lack of such a necessity manifests in a number of daily struggles.

Afghanistan: One woman's determination to educate young girls despite acid attacks and poison

August 2, 2012

Terrorists will stop at nothing to keep Afghan girls from receiving an education.

"People are crazy," said Razia Jan, founder of a girls' school outside Kabul. "The day we opened the school, (on) the other side of town, they threw hand grenades in a girls' school, and 100 girls were killed.

Syria: 5 ways the Syrians resist creatively

July 7, 2012

On July 3, Human Rights Watch released a report exposing at least 27 Syrian torture centers.

Iran: Struggle over what is morally appropriated to wear

July 21, 2012

An annual test of wills between Iran’s morality police and women who dress in ways that are deemed unacceptable has begun in cities across the Islamic republic.

But this year, the stakes are unusually high. As Iranian leaders attempt to deflect the public’s attention from economic woes spurred by crushing foreign sanctions, they risk alienating large segments of a society that is already deeply divided.

Poland: Polish bishops fight pro-women text

July 13, 2012

Poland's Bishops' Conference has denounced a Council of Europe convention aimed at prohibiting violence against women and urged the country's liberal government not to sign it.

"This convention is built on untruthful ideological assumptions," the bishops said in a declaration on Monday. "It mixes the proper principle of anti-violence with an attempt to interfere dangerously and suggests violence towards women is systemic and has roots in religion and culture. Polish law has enough tools for resisting instances of violence, including aggression towards women."

Colombia Tightening Laws Against Acid Attacks

July 11, 2012

Nobody will ever know if Jhon Jairo Echenique decided to take his own life out of remorse, fear or mental illness. But the suicide followed his arrest for the stabbing and burning with acid of his 19-year-old former girlfriend Angélica Gutiérrez.

A law student, Gutiérrez was attacked at home. Neighbours took her to hospital where she died. Echenique, the prime suspect, was arrested in the Caribbean city of Cartagena de Indias in northern Colombia. Hours later, he used his shirt to hang himself in his cell.

Senegal: Percée des femmes à l’Assemblée nationale

July 12, 2012

DAKAR, 12 juil (IPS) - Au Sénégal, les femmes représentent 43,33 pour cent des 150 députés élus aux dernières élections législatives du 1er juillet, un record historique dû à la Loi sur la parité votée en 2010. Mais, la percée des femmes relance le débat sur la qualité du travail parlementaire. 

Turkey: Women Blow Whistle on Rights Crackdown

July 17, 2012

Beating drums and blowing whistles, hundreds of women marched last month on Istanbul's central Taksim Square, in one of dozens of rallies that have been held around the country to protest a new threat to reproductive rights.

Pakistan & India: Honour killing cases on the rise

July 23, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Despite hard work on the part of numerous legislators and human rights activists, a steady number of ‘honour killing’ cases continue to be reported.
Earlier the killings were mostly isolated to northern Sindh, southern Punjab and some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, but now the capital police are registering cases regularly especially in its rural areas.

لیلا موری کارشناس مسائل زنان و روزنامه نگار است

July 24, 2012

اگرچه این روزها بحث مخالفت با حجاب اجباری در فضای مجازی داغ است و کمپینهای مختلف سایبری با انتشار عکسها، مصاحبه ها و شرح احوالات زنان و مردان ایرانی در خصوص حجاب اجباری سعی در نقد و اعتراض به سیاستهای ۳۳ساله جمهوری اسلامی در خصوص تحمیل یک نوع پوشش خاص و متحد الشکل به زنان ایرانی دارند. ولی بحث حجاب اگر از منظر بین المللی آن نیز مورد توجه قرار گیرد شاید برخورد با مسئله حجاب و اعتراض به اجباری بودن آن را قابل تاملتر کند.

Leila Mouri -- Compulsory Hijab in Iran: There Is No Room for Appeasement

July 24, 2012

Depriving women of their basic rights is not a new subject. But when these rights are ignored by social activists in the name of culture or religion we must be alarmed. Now is the time to stop justifying mandatory hijab in the name of religion, nation, country, or culture. It is time to remind ourselves, as women and human rights activists, that when it comes to women's rights, there is no room for appeasement.

Afghanistan: Keeping Faith in Afghan Women's Advancement

July 10, 2012

Just over a decade ago, in January 2002, the world came together in Tokyo in the wake of the fall of the Taliban regime to pledge our common support for political, economic and social transition in Afghanistan.

We were well aware of the long-term nature of the commitment we were making, in line with the ancient Afghan proverb, "One flower will not make a spring."

Global: For first time, women from every nation ready to rock Olympics

July 24, 2012

When Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin spearheaded the first modern Olympics in 1896, he excluded female competitors, saying it would be “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect.’’

It may have taken 116 years, but every nation participating in this year’s Olympics has offered a direct rebuttal to that antiquated opinion. “The Year of the Women’’ may be upon us in London.

Global: Investing in women’s leadership is vital to turn the tide on AIDS

July 27, 2012

As more than 22,000 people gathered at the XIX International AIDS Conference (IAC) this week in Washington D.C., UN Women convened a dialogue “Women Leading, Organizing and Inspiring Change in the AIDS Response,” among eight transformative leaders. Representing government, national AIDS coordinating authorities, women living with HIV, and caregiver alliances, panelists shared experiences from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean on how to ensure meaningful participation of women at all levels of the AIDS response.

Sudan: The new Kandakas and Sudanese women at the frontline of the revolution

July 27, 2012

Some 2,000 years ago, during the Nubian period, North Sudan was ruled by women, including Queen Kandaka, famous for her strength. Today, a new generation of Kandakas is taking back the streets and fighting at the frontline of the revolution. 


Jordan & Lebanon: Citizenship rights for children

July 27, 2012

In Jordan and Lebanon, women married to foreigners are taking to the streets to fight for their children's citizenship rights.

In both countries, women who marry non-nationals are unable to confer nationality on their child or spouse, rendering their families foreigners in the eyes of the law, and denying them rights and access to key public services. In contrast, men from those countries who marry foreigners face no such obstacles.

Russia: Young women in Chechnya

April 30, 2012
Photojournalist Diana Markosian spent the last year and half covering Russia's volatile North Caucasus region.

Global: How Empowering Women Could Reduce World Hunger

July 25, 2012

There is an interesting new finding out from the Economist Intelligence Unit. In a report on global food security, the EIU found that there is a strong correlation (.93) between women’s economic empowerment and the security of a country’s food supply.

India: The hardships women face today

July 23, 2012

In an ashram perched high on a hill above the noisy city of Guwahati in north-east India is a small exhibit commemorating the life of India's most famous son. Alongside an uncomfortable-looking divan where Mahatma Gandhi once slept is a display reminding visitors of something the man himself said in 1921: "Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex (not the weaker sex)."

السودان: ينبغي وضع حد لعقوبة الرجم، وإصلاح القانون الجنائي

July 30, 2012

 

تدين منظمة العفو الدولية الحكم بالرجم حتى الموت الذي صدر بحق ليلى إبراهيم عيسى جمول، وتدعو الحكومة السودانية إلى وقف تنفيذ الحكم وإصلاح قانونها الجنائي بلا تأخير، بهدف إلغاء عقوبة الإعدام إلغاءً تاماً.

Sudan: End stoning, reform the criminal law

July 30, 2012

Amnesty International condemns the sentencing of Layla Ibrahim Issa Jumul to death by stoning and calls on the Sudanese government to halt the execution and to reform its criminal law without delay, with the aim to abolish corporal punishment.

Layla Ibrahim Issa Jumul, a 23-year old Sudanese woman, was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery on 10 July 2012 by the Criminal Court of Mayo, in Khartoum, under Article 146 of Sudan’s 1991 Criminal Code.