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Resources: October 2010

Faith-Based Organizations and Service Delivery Some Gender Conundrums

September, 2010

This paper deals specifically with faith-based organizations (FBOs) delivering services with the aim of contributing to the debates on religious organizations’ engagement with questions of gender. The paper presents no conclusions or generic findings about this heterogeneous group of actors; instead, by flagging a series of conundrums, it questions the ways in which FBOs have been framed as positive agents for the advancement of gender equality.

Keeping the Faith: Overcoming Religious Fundamentalisms

October, 2008

The impulse to strictly conform to sacred texts and moral codes dates back a long time. To comprehend why and how such impulses arise, discussions on religious fundamentalisms and their historical contexts are necessary. More pragmatically, a fuller understanding of the dynamics of religious fundamentalisms—especially as they affect women’s rights—helps identify and create potential spaces where strategic advocacies could be pursued.

Man Made Codifications of Hudud Law

October, 2010
Nik Noriani Nik Badli Shah

Sisters in Islam acknowledges that the Qur’an has prescribed punishment for the crimes of theft (sariqah), robbery (hirabah), adultery (zina) and slanderous accusation of zina (qazaf). However, Hudud Allah in the Qur’an is a much broader concept, which is neither confined to punishments nor to a legal framework, but provides a comprehensive set of guidelines on moral, legal and religious themes. “The bounds or limits set by God” (2:229)which should not be transgressed, embody all that God orders or forbids, and are not limited to certain punishments as in the Hudud law.

Hudud Laws and Its Implication on Women

Hjh Nik Noriani bte Dato Nik Badli Shah

On the 24th November 1993, the Kelantan State Assembly passed the State’s Syariah Criminal Code (II) Bill 1993 which sought to introduce the imposition of “hudud” laws into the State of Kelantan. This article does not seek to discuss the validity or otherwise of the provisions of that enactment in relation of the provisions of the Federal Constitution or to discuss the overall provisions of the enactment.

Islamic Legal Tradition and Feminism: Opening a New Dialogue

October, 2010
Ziba Mir-Hosseini

This paper was presented at the IV International Congress on Islamic Feminism in Madrid, 21-24 October 2010)

I am delighted to be here, and I would like to thank the organizers, in particular Abdennur Prado, for inviting me to the Fourth Congress on Islamic Feminism. I am sorry that my co-panelist compatriot, Ms Fariba Alasvand, whose scholarship and writings I have been following from afar for some time, was not able to be here. I am grateful to Mr Joaquin Rodriguez for presenting her paper.

Prostitutes of God

October, 2010

In Prostitutes of God, VBS travels deep into the remote villages and towns of Southern India to uncover an ancient system of religious sex slavery dating back to the 6th century. Although the practice was made illegal more than 20 years ago, we discover there are still more than 23,000 women in the state of Karnataka selling their bodies in the name of the mysterious Hindu Goddess Yellamma. They are known as Devadasis, or ‘servants of God’. From city red light districts to rural mud huts, we meet proud brothel madams, HIV positive teenage prostitutes, and gay men in saris. Our intimate exploration into the life of the Devadasi reveals a pseudo-religious system that exploits poverty-stricken families to fuel modern India’s booming sex trade.

Challenges of Change Symposium Considers Religion, Secularism and Rights

October, 2010
Women's Learning Partnership

 A glance at any day's headlines makes it clear that cultures and religions worldwide are and have always been in constant flux. A day-long WLP symposium September 21 in Washington DC sparked debate, laughter, and cheers as participants vowed new commitment to steering that change toward broader human rights for women.

As If We Weren't Human: Discrimination and Violence against Women with Disabilities in Northern Uganda

August, 2010

(Kampala) - Women with disabilities in northern Uganda experience ongoing discrimination and sexual and gender-based violence, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Many are unable to gain access to basic services, including health care and justice, and they have been largely ignored in post-conflict reconstruction efforts.

Looser Rein, Uncertain Gain: A Human Rights Assessment of Five Years of King Abdullah’s Reforms in Saudi Arabia

September, 2010

This 52-page report assesses five years of Saudi reforms under King Abdullah from a human rights perspective. It finds that reform has manifested itself chiefly in greater tolerance for diverse opinions and an expanded public role for women, but that royal initiatives have been largely symbolic, with only modest concrete gains or institutional protection for rights.

Human Rights Crisis in Iran Press Conference

September, 2010
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

On Friday, September 17, 2010, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, in partnership with Human Rights Watch and the Nobel Women's Initiative, held a panel discussion in New York on the human rights crisis in Iran. Panelists included Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire, Iran researcher at Human Rights Watch Faraz Sanei, and Campaign Director Hadi Ghaemi.