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Secularism vs Communalism: Learning from the Ban on Full Face Covering Veil in France

April, 2011

Three days after the enforcement of the French law that prohibits full face covering, and after the first women law breakers have been fined, international media focus on ’protesting Muslims’, while the voices of the vast majority of presumed Muslims in France are ignored.

One has to raise issue with the absence of proper coverage by English language international media regarding the public stands taken by French citizens of migrant Muslim descent.

Forced Marriages - Sara's Story

March, 2011
British High Commission

The British High Commission has commissioned three short animated documentaries on the issue of Forced Marriages in Pakistan in an attempt to raise awareness of this human rights violation. Watch 'Sara's Story' below.

 

The Islamic Veil across Europe

September 22, 2011

Countries across Europe have wrestled with the issue of the Muslim veil - in various forms such as the body-covering burka andthe niqab, which covers the face apart from the eyes.

The debate takes in religious freedom, female equality, secular traditions and even fears of terrorism.

France: With the burqa ban women are 'effectively under house arrest'

September 19, 2011

Since France introduced its burqa ban in April there have been violent attacks on women wearing the niqab and, this week, the first fines could be handed down. But a legal challenge to this hard line may yet expose the French state as a laughing stock.

Hind Ahmas walks into a brasserie in the north Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. Jaws drop, shoulders tighten and a look of disgust ripples across the faces of haggard men sipping coffee at the bar.

The Netherlands: Transgender Law Violates Rights

September 13, 2011

VNC supports the call below by Human Rights Watch for legal reform, and believes that State imposed rule on its citizens aimed at regulating and controlling their gender identity exemplified by Article 28 of the Netherlands' Civil Code is both influenced by, and reinforces, 'cultural' or social norms that are discriminatory towards LGBT people.

Repeal Requirement for Irreversible Surgery to Change Official Gender.

UK: Parents charged over suspected 'honour' killing

September 7, 2011

The parents of Shafilea Ahmed, a suspected victim of a so-called honour killing eight years ago, have been charged with murder and are due to appear in court.

Cheshire police said a man and a woman had been charged with murder in connection with the death of Shafilea, 17, who was last seen in her home town of Warrington, Cheshire, in 2003. Her remains were found in February 2004 on the banks of the River Kent in Cumbria.

Council of Europe Convention calls for hotlines, shelters, medical and forensic services

September 1, 2011

Hamiyet, a member of Turkey’s Kurdish minority, was a 15-year-old newlywed when her husband began beating her every evening after work. He hit her when she was pregnant with each of their nine children, and he raped her almost nightly. She sought help from the police, but they always sent her back home, more concerned with preserving “family unity” than with her safety.

Shadow NGO Report on Turkey’s Initial Periodic Report to the Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

May, 2011

This Shadow Report aims to draw attention to the discrimination and the human rights violations that women in Turkey face, within the framework of the Initial Review for Turkey under CESCR to take place in May 2011. The following evaluation and demands are based on the shadow report submitted to the U.N. CEDAW Committee in July 2010 by 20 NGOs and 6 NGO platforms.

Under the current Government’s second term (since 2007), there has been little progress in Turkey in terms of the necessary legal and institutional reforms for gender equality.

Report on the Strategic Conversation on Addressing Gaps in the Defense of Women Human Rights Defenders

August, 2011

The VNC Campaign was privileged to be part of this meeting on women human rights defenders organised by the Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) and the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition.  The Campaign was represented by AIsha Shaheed and Edna Aquino who took part in the Working Group on Families, Communities and Culture.

Norway Retail Chain Pulling Violent Video Games in Wake of Breivik Killings

August 1, 2011

Norway's still reeling from the shocking mass murders allegedly performed by Anders Breivik 10 days ago, and the latest cultural repercussions will make it harder to find certain video games in the massacre's wake.

Coop Norway, one of the country's largest retailers, announced late last week that they'd be removing 51 video games and weapon-like toys from their shelves in the aftermath of the Oslo/Utoya shootings.

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