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Resources: May 2012

Critically absent: Women in internet governance. A policy advocacy toolkit.

April, 2012

Personal and social communication have changed substantially with the use of ICTs, social networks and text messages. ICTs create new scenarios, new ways for people to live and these reflect real-life problems. Issues of security, privacy, and surveillance are now part of the debate around ICT development. Women should assert their rights here too, with determination and without delay.

Activism Under the Radar: Volunteer Health Workers in Iran

May, 2009

Few would disagree that the 1979 Iranian revolution, despite the massive participation of women, rapidly became a catastrophe for women’s legal status and social position. Under the Shah, Iran had a mildly forward-looking family law limiting men’s rights to polygamy and unilateral divorce, and, at least theoretically, basing child custody on the best interests of the child. Within two weeks of the revolution, this legislation was annulled, on the grounds that it was against the shari‘a. The new Islamic Republic introduced retrograde laws that, among other things, valued a woman’s life at half of a man’s, and considered two women witnesses to be the equal of one man. The age of marriage as well as maturity for women was reduced to nine. At the same time, the regime promoted motherhood as the only viable life option for women and dismantled the family planning unit the Shah’s regime had founded. In 1989, concerned about the burgeoning population, the Islamic Republic made a volte face and introduced one of the most successful family planning programs in the developing world. In the process of transmitting health messages, however, these volunteers continuously found ways to redefine their mandate and expand their position in other areas of the public sphere.

A Woman's Struggle: Using Gender Lenses To Understand the Plight Of Women Human Rights Defenders in Kurdish Regions of Turkey

April, 2012

This report explores the hitherto untold experiences of women human rights defenders in East and South East Turkey, a burning issue. As in other situations of violent conflict and gendered and ethnic oppression, women in the Kurdish region of Turkey have been disproportionately affected from curtailed access to education, decent employment, loss of livelihoods. For decades they have experienced military conflict, internal displacement and the attendant social, economic and political strains, which often work to circumscribe women’s lives and render them more vulnerable to gendered control, both by the state and its security forces and their families and communities.

Life on the Margins: A Study on the Minority Women in Pakistan

February, 2012

This study is an attempt to comprehensively understand the situation of minority women in Pakistan, examining their context, their experiences and perspectives. Using both primary and secondary data as well as qualitative and quantitative input, it sketches the national context with regard to minorities and reviews issues of health; water, hygiene and sanitation; socio-economic conditions; education; autonomy; political participation; discriminations such as forced and mediated conversions; law related loopholes and law enforcement concerns and redress option.

Violence Against Indigenous Women - UN Expert Meeting Review

March, 2012

From 18 to 20 January 2012, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held an International Expert Group Meeting at UN Headquarters entitled “Combating violence against indigenous women and girls: Article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” This conference applied a human rights framework to the issue of gender‐based violence faced by indigenous women, while contextualizing its global manifestations in the context of States’ responsibilities under international human rights law, as articulated in Article 22.2 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP): “States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.”