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UN Women: culture must not block progress on stopping gender violence

March 4, 2013

Commission on Status of Women opens in New York, but Iran, Russia and Vatican thought to be lobbying against key proposals.

Culture and religion must not be allowed to block proposals to eliminate and prevent violence against women and girls, the head of UN Women said on the eve of what is expected to be the largest global summit ever convened to discuss the issue.

Vatican, Iran resist UN effort fighting violence on women

March 4, 2013

The Vatican, Iran and other religious states are resisting efforts by a UN conference, which started Monday, to demand tougher global standards to prevent violence against women and children.

More than 6,000 non-government groups are registered at the annual UN Commission on the Status of Women, one of the biggest events held at the UN headquarters which regularly turns into a diplomatic battle.

"Traditional Values" vs Human Rights at the UN

February 18, 2013

A dangerous process is taking place in the UN system that threatens the universality of human rights by seeking to make them contingent on subjective ‘traditional values’ such as ‘responsible behaviour’.

Double Bind: tied up in knots on the left

February 5, 2013

Instead of sanitizing the Muslim right as a way of fighting racism in the North, Meredith Tax argues that the left should develop a strategy of solidarity with democrats, trade unionists, religious and sexual minorities, and feminists struggling in the Global South against both neo-liberalism and fundamentalism.

 

Women’s rights and the rule of law: education and implementation

December 5, 2012

Legislative victories are important in changing society to eradicate injustices like forced child marriage, but such change is delivered because of and not without daring, challenging, transformative processes of education and action whether led by state, religious, familiar or civic actors. Trusting women, and trusting ourselves, can often be a moment of defiance

UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Circumcision

December 20, 2012

The U.N. General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution Thursday calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation, a centuries-old practice stemming from the belief that circumcising girls controls women's sexuality and enhances fertility.

It has also been linked to religious and cultural practices, although Muslim and Christian leaders have spoken out against it.

Although not legally binding, General Assembly resolutions reflect international concerns and carry moral and political weight.

Islamic feminism: fighting discrimination, inspired by faith

November 29, 2012

Islamic feminists embrace their faith, culture and tradition while fiercely advocating for legislative reforms and interpretations that reflect a more modern understanding of women's role in society.

Activism, fundraising and security online: facets of the feminist cyborg

December 4, 2012

On December 3 and 5, a webinar on ‘Feminist Cyborgs: Activism, Fundraising and Security Online’ took place, hosted by the African Feminist Forum (AFF) and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).

Statement of the WHRD International Coalition on Women Human Rights Defenders Day

November 29, 2012

"Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels." – Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ["The Declaration on human rights defenders"] (Article 1).

"The Malala Effect" - Statement by UNHCHR on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

November 23, 2012

“Ensuring women’s and girls’ rights, eliminating discrimination and achieving gender equality lie at the heart of the international human rights system, starting with article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states unequivocally: ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…’

Feminist voices in Islam: promise and potential

November 19, 2012

By Ziba Mir Hosseini

Religion is back in public space, and the thesis that modernization means the privatization of religion has been seriously questioned. Some religious and feminist dogmas need re-examination. What do ‘secular’ or ‘religious’ or ‘feminist’ mean in today’s contexts?

Islam and feminism are often perceived and portrayed as incompatible. There is a plethora of literature and a host of arguments, both in the media and in academia, to show this is the case.

Honneur Aux Dissidents

October 16, 2012

Au cours de ces dernières semaines, et dans plusieurs pays, des groupes de citoyens ont ouvertement pris position contre les fondamentalistes musulmans, y compris leurs groupes armés.

Honour the Dissenters

October 16, 2012

In the past few weeks, in several countries, groups of citizens have openly taken a stand against Muslim fundamentalists, including armed ones.

Facebook tente de faire taire la voix du soulèvement des femmes dans le monde Arabe

November 7, 2012

7 Novembre, 2012 - Le matin du 7 Novembre 2012, les 5 admins de la page “The Uprising of Women in the Arab World” se connectent à Facebook pour découvrir que le compte de l’une a été bloqué pour 30 jours, de l’autre pour 3 jours, de 2 autres pour 24 heures et enfin la dernière reçoit un avertissement comme quoi son compte sera bloqué de même.

 

Facebook attempts to shut down the voice of The Uprising of Women in the Arab World

November 7, 2012

On the morning of November 7, 2012, the 5 admins of The Uprising of Women in the Arab World log into Facebook, to find out that one’s account has been blocked for 30 days, another for 3 days, 2 others for 24 hours, and 1 other received a warning notification.

 

UN: First International Day of the Girl Child - 11 October 2012

October 11, 2012
Forced Child Marriage, Slavery Like Reality in Every Region of the World
Joint Statement* by a group of UN human rights experts to mark the first International Day of the Girl Child, Thursday 11 October 2012

 

Returning to school after escaping child marriage

October 10, 2012

In recent years, the international community has begun to place increased attention on girls’ education generating a better understanding of the underlying causes and consequences of the disparities, and an international consensus on the need to address the issue. Much has been done to create awareness and demonstrate that change is not only necessary but also possible.

UN: Harmful Traditional Practices - statement by Rashida Manjoo, UNSRVAW

June 27, 2012

Throughout the world, there are practices that are violent towards women and girls and harmful to their well-being overall. Young girls are circumcised, bound by severe dress codes, denied property rights or killed for the sake of honour in the family. Although these and other practices constitute a form of violence, they have often avoided national and international scrutiny because they are seen as traditional practices that deserve tolerance and respect. This highlights how the universality of human rights is often denied when it comes to the rights of women and girls, and how cultural relativism can be wrongly used to allow for inhumane and discriminatory practices against women.

Remembering Cassandra Balchin

July 13, 2012

It is with deepest sadness we announce the loss of our dear friend and colleague Cassandra, who passed away peacefully on Thursday 12 July 2012. She will continue to live through her many writings and contributions to the realization of women’s human rights. 

Cassandra Balchin was with WLUML for decades, from working at WLUML's Asia office, Shirkat Gah, to helping WLUML set up its London office where she assumed the position of Deputy International Co-ordinator, and later International Co-ordinator.

Saudi Arabia: Broken Pledge to Send Women to London Games Should Trigger Ban

July 11, 2012

(London) – Saudi Arabia’s announcementthat it would not send any female athletes to compete in the London Olympics despite its recent pledge to do so highlights the need to overturn the fundamental barriers to women playing sports in the kingdom, Human Rights Watch said today. The International Olympic Committee should bar Saudi Arabia from participating in the 2012 Games because of its clear violation of the Olympic Charter.

Morocco: Wearing the hijab may not be an ‘Islamic duty’ says university

June 30, 2012

Casablanca, MOROCCO: Last month at Al Azhar University, Sheikh Mustapha Mohamed Rashed defended a thesis that sparked a heated debate among religious scholars.The candidate concluded that Hijab, or the veil, is not an Islamic duty.

The claim is not the first of its kind, but the mere fact that it is adopted in Al Azhar University – the Sunni Islam’s foremost seat of learning –makes it controversial.

UN: Stop Stoning Globally - Statement by Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges and Lawyers

June 26, 2012

Remarks by United Nations Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers – Gabriela Knaul -- at the June 26, 2012 panel "Stop Stoning Globally" at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

UN: Stop Stoning Globally - opening remarks by UNSRVAW Rashida Manjoo

May 26, 2012

At the outset, I would like to thank the Worldwide Organization for Women, Justice for Iran and the Women’s UN Report Network, for inviting me to address this panel on the stoning of women. This event is very timely as this year I devoted my annual thematic report to the issue of gender related killings of women, among which death by stoning is a severe and cruel manifestation.

UN: Sierra Leone’s health minister to serve as UN envoy on sexual violence in conflict

June 22, 2012

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Zainab Hawa Bangura, currently the Minister of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, as his new Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

She will replace Margot Wallström, a Swedish politician with a long history of defending women’s rights, who had served in the position since it was created two years ago.

International: Fatou Bensouda takes Reigns as New Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

June 14, 2012

(Brussels) - The swearing in of the new International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, comes at a time when expectations for international justice are growing, Human Rights Watch said today. Bensouda will be sworn into office on June 15, 2012, as the current prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, reaches the end of his nine-year term.

Arab states: Plan to Increase Judges' Education on Women's Rights

June 24, 2012

Plans are underway to educate more Bahraini and Arab judges on women's social and humanitarian rights.

Arab Women Organisation (AWO) director-general Dr Wadooda Badran said efforts were being made to bridge the gap between realising women's rights and enforcing them in the Arab world.

They include amending legislation, conducting awareness campaigns, sponsoring studies, speaking to young students and possibly setting up a women's studies research centre in the region.

Is Pleasure a Sin?

June 5, 2012

It’s hard to say what is weirder:

A Sister of Mercy writing about the Kama Sutra, sexual desire and “our yearnings for pleasure.”

Or the Vatican getting so hot and bothered about the academic treatise on sexuality that the pope censures it, causing it to shoot from obscurity to the top tier of Amazon.com’s best-seller list six years after it was published.

Just the latest chapter in the Vatican’s thuggish crusade to push American nuns — and all Catholic women — back into moldy subservience.

Turkey: Prime Minister Seeks Limits on Abortion

May 30, 2012

ISTANBUL - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sparked a strong response from women's rights activists after calling for legislation to restrict women's access to the procedure. The future of abortion is now in question in Turkey.

Hundreds of women protesters demonstrated outside the Istanbul office of Prime Minister Erdogan. The protest followed his strong attack on abortion at a congress of his party in a football stadium in Istanbul Sunday.  

Turkey: WGNRR Expresses Concern on the Turkish Government Statements Threatening Women's Human Rights

June 1, 2012

On May 25th, Turkish journal "Today’s Zaman" published Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, statement considering abortion a crime and called on society to be against abortion. This declaration was held during the Fifth International Parliamentarians’ Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Istanbul where 300 members of parliament from 110 countries reiterating their commitment to achieve the goals laid out in the ICPD Programme of Action adopted in Cairo, Egypt in 1994. 

United Kingdom: Pressures and Resistance to Polygamy

May 31, 2012

When Dr Zabina Shahian married Pervez Choudhry she thought he would be the man with whom she would settle down for the rest of her life and start a family.

But she did not know the former Conservative party leader on Slough Borough Council was still married.

Choudhry, 54, who claimed he did not realise the marriage in Pakistan was legally valid in the UK, was given a community order after admitting bigamy.

Why the obsession with Muslims and sex?

May 22, 2012

Muslims today are young, sexually and politically frustrated. This isn't the strapline of a new reality show, but the conclusions of stereotype-laden analysis from the Daily Beast. Data from Google Trends showed that six of the ten countries most frequently searching for the word "sex" on the search engine have a Muslim majority.

UN: Mme Farida Shaheed, Rapporteure spéciale dans le domaine des droits culturels

May 4, 2012

Mme Farida Shaheed (Pakistan) a commencé ses fonctions comme Experte indépendante dans le domaine des droits culturels en 2009, et les a continuées, à la suite de la résolution 19/6 du Conseil des droits de l’homme de 2012, en tant que Rapporteuse spéciale sur la même question.

UN: Farida Shaheed's mandate expanded to Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights

May 4, 2012

Ms. Farida Shaheed (Pakistan) took up her functions as Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights in 2009 and continued as a Special Rapporteur on the same issue, following Human Rights Council Resolution 19/6.

Ms. Shaheed is a Pakistani sociologist. She works as a Director at Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratization, an international programme strengthening and promoting citizenship in Asia, the Middle East and Africa and as a Director Research at Shirkat Gah-Women’s Resource Centre in Pakistan.

Not victims of tradition: Women speak out and advocate for girls facing abusive fates

May 2, 2012

The two women met for the first time last week at a sleek Georgetown hotel, where they were speakers at a glittering charity dinner. They shook hands and hugged across a vast gulf of culture, geography and faith: one a devout Muslim from West Africa with her hair carefully hidden under a tight scarf, the other a gregarious South Asian in a stylish sari and costume earrings.

Zainah Anwar: Arab Spring opens window of opportunity for women in Mideast

April 29, 2012
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.

Why do they hate us? - Mona Eltahawy

April 23, 2012

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

Culture versus Rights Dualism: a myth or a reality?

April 25, 2012

Women’s human rights discourse and movements have become entangled within a culture-versus-rights dualism. Yakin Ertürk argues that this is a false dualism which serves both private patriarchy and public patriarchy of neo-liberal globalisation. Yakin Ertürk serves on the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture ↑ .She was the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences, from 2003 -2009, and until recently Professor of Sociology at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

Join VNC for 2 events April 21st at the AWID Forum in Istanbul, Turkey

April 8, 2012

Join VNC for two events on 21 April 2012, at the AWID Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. We'll be hosting a talk show on "The Nexus between Culture, Gender and Other Identities: Resisting Discrimination and Reclaiming Space", as well as a workshop on "Visioning Cultures Free from Violence: Transnational Advocacy and Communications using Visual Arts and Digital Media". Full details below.

USA: Bishop urges change in 'church teaching concerning all sexual relationships'

March 16, 2012

BALTIMORE -- At the Seventh National Symposium on Catholicism and Homosexuality, retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson called Friday for "a new study of everything to do with sexuality" -- a kind of study that he predicted "would have a profound influence on church teaching concerning all sexual relationships, both heterosexual and homosexual."

"If [church] teaching on homosexual acts is ever to change, the basic teaching governing all sexual acts must change," he said.

2012 International Women's Day: Connecting Girls, Inspiring futures

March 8, 2012

The 8th of March of every year is a day set aside by the United Nations as International Women’s Day (IWD). It is a day to recognise, celebrate and honour women’s struggles and achievements in the past years and to call attention to other areas of concerns that are critical to women’s life in particular and the society in general.

Ugandan LGBT Activists File Case Against Anti-Gay U.S. Evangelical in Federal Court

March 14, 2012

Lawsuit Charges Abiding Truth Ministries President Scott Lively with Persecution. Lively Also Connected to New Anti-Gay Bill Passed in Russia
 

Dreaming on a Mountain: from Women's Day to Women's Power

March 8, 2012

What is the point of International Women's Day on March 8? It was first established for working women's rights in 1911 and for decades was barely observed outside the Soviet bloc, where its origins in women's struggles were suffocated in rituals of men giving flowers and chocolates to female family members and employees. Such belated Valentine's gestures may be enjoyed by some, but they hardly make up for the high levels of alcohol-fuelled violence and the post-Cold War erosion of women's rights in Putin's Russia, including access to jobs, training and equal pay.

Iranian responses to the “Arab spring”: appropriation and contestation

February 29, 2012

While the Iranian government authorities attempted to appropriate the Arab spring, claiming it was a continuation of the Iranian revolution of 1979, the events revived popular longing for democratic change in Iran. Ziba Mir-Hosseini tells Deniz Kandiyoti that no movement for change in Iran can afford to ignore women’s aspiration for equality – a lesson that some of the successful elements in the Arab spring may yet have to learn.

Olympics Ban Urged on Saudi Arabia Over Discrimination

February 16, 2012

In an extensive report released Wednesday, Human Rights Watch, a New-York based advocacy group, called on the International Olympic Committee to take a harder line with Saudi Arabia’s national Olympic committee unless it enacted significant sports reforms.

'The Elders' Take a Stand Against Child Marriage

February 13, 2012

The idea first took shape in conversations between two old friends, musician Peter Gabriel and inventive entrepreneur Richard Branson. What the world needs now, they decided, is a nucleus of wise elder statesmen and women to grapple with seemingly intractable global issues that governments and international institutions overlook or have failed to correct. Gabriel and Branson sold the concept to Nelson Mandela, and in July 2007 The Elders were launched by Mandela at a ceremony in Johannesburg.

From Malabo to New York: Support the UNGA Resolution Banning FGM Worldwide

February 6, 2012

WELCOME REMARKS BY

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GAMCOTRAP

ON THE OCCASION OF THE CELEBRATION OF

ZERO TOLERANCE TO FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION:

FROM MALABO TO NEW YORK: SUPPORT THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY BANNING FGM WORLDWIDE.

 

February 6th 2012

Honorable Minister of Health and Social Welfare

The National Assembly Members

Her Excellency the U S Ambassador to the Republic of the Gambia

U.N. Condemns Religious Intolerance, Drops 'defamation'

December 20, 2011

For the first time in more than a decade, the U.N. General Assembly on Monday condemned religious intolerance without urging states to outlaw "defamation of religions," an appeal critics said opened the door to abusive "blasphemy" laws.

The call on countries to prohibit "defamation" had been included in a non-binding resolution on combating religious intolerance passed annually by the 193-nation assembly.

Egypt: Concerns as Brotherhood Ignores Abuse of Women

January 19, 2012

A group of men gathered around Amira El Bakry in Tahrir Square as she brandished a newspaper photo that shocked many Egyptians. It showed troops dragging a female protester along the street, her robe ripped open to reveal a blue bra and bare midriff.

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. 

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.

Second Blog Series

October 30, 2011

In collaboration with Gender Across Borders, we welcome you to a blogging series exploring the relationship between culture and violence against women.

Arab Women Urged to Advocate for Rights in Post-Revolution Governments

November 3, 2011

Women should voice demands about their rights during the popular uprisings sweeping the Arab world to avoid being short-changed by post-revolutionary governments, Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi said.

UN: Special Rapporteur Calls on States to Embrace Inter-religious Dialogue as Means to Fight Intolerance

November 2, 2011

On 20 October 2011, Mr Heiner Bielefeldt, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, took part in an interactive dialogue with the General Assembly Third Committee. His report and oral presentation focused on the promotion of inter- and intra-religious communication as a means to combat religious intolerance and hate speech. Mr Bielefeldt also called attention to the possible adverse side effects that may occur in the context of interreligious dialogue projects; including if religious communities are portrayed stereotypically or if full inclusiveness in projects is falsely claimed.

UN: General Assembly Holds Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women

October 10, 2011

On October 10, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Rashida Manjoo, presented her first written report to the Third Committee at the 66th session of the General Assembly. Ms. Manjoo opened by giving a summary of her report on the continuum of violence against women from the home to the transnational sphere: the challenges of effective redress.

Documenting Violence Against Women in 10 Countries

September 19, 2011

Karin Alfredsson is spearheading a nongovernmental project to document violence against women around the world, and to highlight the shortcomings and successes of legislation and other initiatives aimed at helping to curb it.

Stockholm: Violence against women worldwide causes more deaths and injuries than traffic accidents, cancer, and malaria combined.

Gay Rights: A World of Inequality

September 15, 2011

Gay people still live in fear in many countries around the world – prejudice, torture and execution are common. Can two new legal and diplomatic campaigns change attitudes?

Dr. Farouk Musa: Feminism, gender equality and the Qur'an

August 8, 2011

There have been numerous tafsirs throughout the ages, but few stressed on the gender equity issues aspropounded by the Qur’an. Many exegetes failed to distance themselves from the misogynist views prevalent in their society while endeavoring to interpret God’s words. Their exegeses are so deeply embedded in the minds of the Muslims nowadays and considered to be the ultimate truth that any other forms of interpretation are considered non-conformist or worse, heretical.

Human Dignity and Honour of Women

July 15, 2011

Human beings have explored more civilisations with the passage of time and we are now in the 21st century. But, in some countries and societies that is merely a technicality and nothing more. The archaic and often criminal notions of justice and honour, particularly the treatment meted out to women, speak of a society that remains mired in a mediaeval mindset. This is evident judging by news from different countries and societies and because the world has emerged as a global village such news and stories are easily accessible.

Italy: LGBT Christians want Pope Benedict XVI to defend their human rights

June 10, 2011

Today the European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups has sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI asking for true respect of the human rights and the personal integrity of LGBT people. They appeal to the Pope for a clear statement against homophobic violence and any pressure by religious authorities to undergo „reparative therapy“, often causing harmful psychological damage.

Indigenous women shape women’s rights

June 3, 2011

The voices of indigenous women have repeatedly reminded national governments, human rights bodies and other national and international fora that their human rights as women need to be addressed as the rights of indigenous women.

UN: Special Rapporteur Juan E. Méndez reiterates FGM as a form of torture

June 1, 2011


Female Genital Mutilation: Progress-Realities-Challenges

Statement by Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 

Interview: Amina Wadud - "The Koran Cannot Be Usurped"

September 14, 2009


Islam, gender equality and human rights are compatible – this is a basic conviction of Amina Wadud, author of several books about Islam and women. Martina Sabra interviewed the Islamic feminist at a recent conference about "Women power in Islam" in Germany.

Jessica Horn: Every act of violence is a choice

May 26, 2011

“Sometimes we need to name the abnormal as abnormal, and take action to defend what is normal!” - Shereen Essof. Jessica Horn reports at the close of the Nobel Women's Initiative conference, 'Women Forging a New Security: ending sexual violence in conflict'.

Q&A: "Clergy sexual abuse of women is a violent abuse of power"

May 15, 2011


Cléo Fatoorehchi interviews DR. VALLI BATCHELOR of the World Student Christian Federation Book Project.

Child Marriage: Barrier to girls' empowerment

May 23, 2011


An adolescent girl living in poverty could be the most powerful person in the world. If she is reached early enough, she can accelerate economies, arrest major global health issues and break cycles of poverty.

Housemaids: The gap between our conduct and Islamic principles

May 17, 2011


Islam has advocated sublime human conduct.  
It came to polish the behavior of people, whether individuals or groups, and to ensure their human rights in the best possible manner and form of human conduct. It did not stop there. It also called for a better treatment of animals.

In short, Islam is the religion of integrity and conclusiveness. In Surah Maedah, Allah says: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.”

Europe: New Council of Europe convention to prevent and combat violence against women

May 11, 2011


Istanbul, 11.05.2011 - The Council of Europe’s new Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CETS n° 210) has been passed and also open to accession by non-European countries and by the European Union. 

Combating Early Marriage from the Ground Up

February 11, 2011

At age 12, Loko, whose last name is withheld for privacy reasons, was forced to marry a man 50 years her senior. As with many child marriages in her home country of Ethiopia, it was a family member who made the decision that derailed her childhood. The 10th of 11 children, she was sold off by her older brother after their father died. Marriage brought a destitute life—her husband was too old to work, and they often went hungry.

Middle East: Women and the Revolution

March 25, 2011


Among the most prevalent Western stereotypes about Muslim countries are those concerning Muslim women: doe-eyed, veiled, and submissive, exotically silent, gauzy inhabitants of imagined harems, closeted behind rigid gender roles. So where were these women in Tunisia and Egypt?

Shirin Ebadi: who defines Islam?

March 21, 2011


"Egyptian women are lucky in one way. They have witnessed the predicament of Iranian women and seen how the Islamic state has hijacked the Iranian revolution, changed the laws and reversed women’s gains. My advice to Egyptian women is “do not give way to a government that would force you to choose between your rights and Islam”. I believe that Iran was a lesson for the women in the entire region". Shirin Ebadi in conversation with Deniz Kandiyoti

Zainah Anwar - In search of what Islam really says

March 8, 2011


The nation’s leading Muslim feminist activist explains what drove her to open the Quran and search for answers to what it means to be Muslim and feminist.

Middle East: Growth of Social Networking Media

March 15, 2011


"The freedom conferred by anonymity encouraged Saudi Arabia women to embrace the Internet. Since more than half of Saudi blogs are reportedly written by women, gender issues are regularly addressed."

For more than 30 years, the subject of political reform in most of the Middle East was largely a part of covert debates. In little more than 30 days, however, it has forcibly entered the realm of the overt.

UN Human Rights Council: A Stunning Development Against Violence

March 22, 2011


Unprecedented Support for Statement
on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity<--break-> 

Child Brides Often Stop Education & Continue Poverty

February 28, 2011


In South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa 38% of women marry before they are 18 years old. Child marriages, as defined by UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s agency, are those undertaken by women under the age of 18 and include unions where a woman and a man live together as if they were married.

The rightful place of gender equality within Islam

February 24, 2011


An animated discussion is taking place about the relationship between Islam and equality and justice in the context of women’s human rights. How will the democratic uprisings sweeping across the Arab world affect this conversation?

Egypt: Beware of wave of rights

February 6, 2011


It behoves on governments and their religious apparatus to watch current developments in the Arab world closely.

I went to Egypt for the first time in 1981 and promptly fell in love with the country and its people. Until then, I thought I had never encountered the same warmth, generosity and hospitality as Malaysians had to offer.

And there, everyone, including strangers you just met, wanted you to visit their home, their farm, their village. They were proud of their history and their country – and wanted to feed you endlessly.

Islam’s religious pluralism in context

February 8, 2011


The question of whether Islam accepts religious pluralism depends on an understanding of the term and hinges on the Quranic verses, writes Mohamad Hashim Kamali. 

THE current debate as to whether Islam accepts religious pluralism as opposed to mere religious plurality calls for further reflection. Much would depend, it seems, on how one understands religious pluralism and then the three Quranic verses that characterise Islam.

International: UN Intensifies Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation

February 7, 2011


UNITED NATIONS, Feb 7, 2011 (IPS) - The United Nations is intensifying its global campaign to eliminate one of the most widely-condemned religious and cultural rituals in the world today, mostly in Africa and Asia: female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C).

The joint efforts by two U.N. agencies - the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and the U.N. children's agency UNICEF - have resulted in over 6,000 communities abandoning the physically-harmful practice in countries such as Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Guinea and Somalia. 

February 6th: International Day of Zero Tolerance on FGM

February 4, 2011


February 6 was unanimously adopted at the International Conference on Zero Tolerance to FGM organized by IAC from February 4 to 6, 2003 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Representatives at the Conference came from 49 countries including 4 First Ladies (from Nigeria , Burkina Faso , Guinea Conakry and Mali ), Ministers, and Parliamentarians. Others included Religious, Community and Youth leaders.

Falling for Empty Talk on Human Rights

January 21, 2011


NEW YORK — No repressive government enjoys facing public pressure to respect human rights. These days, their favorite avoidance strategy is to state a preference for private “dialogue” and “cooperation” — an attractive option because it takes place behind closed doors. Sadly, the major Western powers have fallen for this ploy. Reluctant to ruffle feathers while eager to be seen as “doing something,” they increasingly embrace the same subterfuge.

Spirit, hope, money and a dose of patriarchy

July 9, 2010


A growing movement of African Christians are making waves at home and abroad with their ultra conservative interpretations of scripture. Far from a naïve embrace of conventional norms or a faithful embrace of scripture, these interpretations are emerging as clear political choices and are undermining women's rights struggles across the African continent.

Muslim Women Unite Against Sexual Violence

November 19, 2010


A major grassroots campaign recently called international attention to the underreported issues of sexual harassment and assault against women in Muslim states.

Scores of women's organisations from Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia joined forces last week for a sensational campaign led by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR).

Iran: Don't ignore human rights abuse

November 9, 2010

 


The international community must not use Iran's participation in 5+1 talks to deflect attention from its human rights violations.

Honour Crimes Shame the World - Robert Fisk

September 7, 2010

 

It's one of the last great taboos: the murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of 'honour'. Nor is the problem confined to the Middle East: the contagion is spreading rapidly.

By Robert Fisk*

Petition against Vatican`s miscategorization of Women’s Rights Advocates with Child Abusers

July 16, 2010


On July 15, 2010, the Vatican issued a clarification of its canonical procedures for how dioceses should handle priests who sexually abuse children. As part of the statement, they have added that the “attempted ordination of a woman” has now been added to the list of “delicta graviora,” or most serious crimes in church law, alongside the sexual abuse of minors.

Catholics denounce Vatican putting female ordination on par with sex abuse

July 16, 2010

Women's groups describe Vatican's decision on female ordination as 'appalling'.

It was meant to be the document that put a lid on the clerical sex abuse scandals that have swept the Roman Catholic world. But instead of quelling fury from within and without the church, the Vatican stoked the anger of liberal Catholics and women's groups by including a provision in its revised decree that made the "attempted ordination" of women one of the gravest crimes in ecclesiastical law.

The change put the "offence" on a par with the sex abuse of minors.

Revised Vatican norms to cover sex abuse and attempted women's ordination

July 9, 2010


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican is preparing to update the 2001 norms that deal with priestly sex abuse of minors, in effect codifying practices that have been in place for several years.

At the same time, it will include the "attempted ordination of women" among the list of most serious crimes against church law, or "delicta graviora," sources said.

Sexual abuse of a minor by a priest was added to the classification of "delicta graviora" in 2001. At that time the Vatican established norms to govern the handling of such cases.

Freedom Leads to Empowerment: Promoting Women's Leadership and Financial Independence

January 1, 2010

Women's empowerment is a process. It involves raising consciousness, building skills and reforming unjust laws that limit women's education, participation in decision making and economic independence. I.M.O.W. Global Council member Mahnaz Afkhami is president of Women's Learning Partnership, which strives to empower women by practicing and promoting their leadership and self-sufficiency.

Women's Right to Have Rights - Resisting Fundamentalist Orders

May 14, 2010


While fundamentalist movements may vary according to the global context in which they operate, for women this diversity is outweighed by the core characteristics, strategies and impacts that they share.

ASEAN gets commission for children and women

ASEAN officials inaugurated Wednesday the Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), to augment the human rights body established last year.

Sri Wahyuni , The Jakarta Post , Hanoi

The ACWC has a mandate to, among others, develop policies, programs and innovative strategies vis-à-vis the rights of women and children in the region.

Rape Must Never Be Minimized as Part of Cultural Traditions - UN Envoy on Sexual Violence in Conflict

Rape must never be minimized as part of cultural traditions, UN envoy says

Sexual violence during conflicts is all too often downplayed and treated as part of local cultural traditions instead of being viewed as a war crime, a senior United Nations official has warned as she called for much greater international action to defeat the scourge.

CHILD BRIDES, STOLEN LIVES

CHILD BRIDES, STOLEN LIVES - A closer look at early child marriage around the world, tales of heartbreak and of hope.

VIDEO LINK: http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/341/video.html

The Price of Abuse

December 2, 2007

Shame, violence, abuse, shame - the circle is complete for women of the East as they face a recurring nightmare of the denial of rights and justice.In most cases of violence against women, the role of society and how it perceives these unfortunate women is a crucial factor in the kind of justice they ultimately receive.

Middle east: the terrorized half of our society

February 22, 2008

The undeclared war on women continues to victimize women worldwide on a daily basis; the Middle East is no exception. Women in our region are amongst the most oppressed and terrorized in the world. The Islamic law upheld in many Middle Eastern countries has turned women into slaves with invisible chains.