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News and Views: September 2012

Swaziland: New Legislation Outlaws Child Marriage

September 10, 2012

MBABANE- Swazi men who continue to marry underage girls through the age-old Swazi custom kwendzisa will now be breaking the law.

Kwendzisa is a process where the parent or guardian marries off a girl child to an adult male without her consent.

Afghanistan: End trend of Women Jailed for ‘Running Away’

September 18, 2012

(Kabul) – High-level Afghan government officials have for the first time publicly confirmed that it is not a criminal offense for women and girls to “run away” from home, Human Rights Watch said today. The officials also confirmed fleeing violence or running away was not a basis for women’s detention or prosecution.

Israel: Fashion Statement of Jewish Burqas

February 8, 2008

A small contingent of ultra-Orthodox women in the Israeli city of Ramat Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem, has taken the laws of modesty to new heights. The Haredi women have ditched their wigs and long black skirts in favor of burqas, apparently following the lead of a Ramat Beit Shemesh rebbetzin. The trend was reported by Ha’aretz several months ago, and it has recently received some attention on the blogosphere.

Yemen: Women Athletes Strive to Make it

August 27, 2012

Although obstacles and restrictions are many, Yemeni woman can now barely enter the sports world after sports for Yemenis were exclusive to men.

There are multiple recent female sports achievements both locally and internationally. However, these achievements remain limited due to social attitudes—particularly in rural areas—toward women’s participation in athletics.

In this year’s Olympics, held in London, Yemen’s Fatima Al-Dahman, 19, participated in the 100 meter sprint race.

TOGO: Women Push Sex Strike to Unseat President

August 26, 2012

The female wing of a civil rights group is urging women in Togo to stage a week-long sex strike to demand the resignation of the country's president.

Women are being asked to start withholding sex from their husbands or partners as of Monday, said Isabelle Ameganvi, leader of the women's wing of the group Let's Save Togo. She said the strike will put pressure on Togo's men to take action against President Faure Gnassingbe.

Iran: Attempts to weaken feminist movement

August 23, 2012

Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi issued a letter to the United Nations Women Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet, last Friday calling for an investigation into women’s rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Prompted by recent bans on women’s education, the letter outlines an increasingly deteriorating situation for women’s rights and women’s rights defenders in Iran.