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Freedom of Religion

The Vatican's Crackdown Against the Nuns Is Unacceptable and Deplorable

April 30, 2012

We, the Violence is not our Culture Campaign, stand in solidarity with the US-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) who has been the target of an unprecedented crackdown by the Vatican.

Australia: Minorities fear their cultures smeared by reports of domestic violence

April 17, 2012

Joumanah El Matrah, from the Australian Muslim Women's Centre for Human Rights, said when groups tried to draw the government's attention to violence against minority women the discussion was hijacked by those in the wider public who focused on "Muslim" violence.

United States: United Against the War on Women

May 1, 2012

We are not going back to the days of wide-scale domestic violence, even if 31 Republican men in the Senate recently voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act because it expanded coverage to the gay community and Native Americans.

Striking at the Source of the War on Women

May 3, 2012

The generals of the opposing armies in the current political "War on Women" have had their radar and their reconnaissance patrols focused on battlefields on Capitol Hill, in state capitals from Richmond to Phoenix, from Concord to Austin, in Rome, and on the positions taken by presidential candidates. These battles over contraception, women's healthcare, violence against women, Vatican suppression of nuns, pay equity and a host of other matters, are of great importance.

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.

Israeli Conservative Movement approves ordination of gay rabbis

April 30, 2012

Israel's Masorti (Conservative) Movement decided to approve the ordination of homosexual rabbis, in a dramatic vote on Thursday. The Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, affiliated with the movement, will admit gay and lesbian students for training as spiritual leaders as of the upcoming school year. 'A very important development in Jewish law,' says President of the Israeli Conservative Movement Rabbinical Assembly.

USA: White House is 'puzzling' on racial profiling

May 1, 2012

Seating was scarce at the April 17 Senate hearing on Ending Racial Profiling in America. Those left outside were directed to an overflow room. But there was one empty seat. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, who was presiding over the hearing, said that he had invited the Justice Department to testify, but “they declined.”

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.

UK: Female British Muslims are finding their voice

April 28, 2012

Anyone who has worked in British Muslim communities will tell you the very notion of women's rights is still considered a taboo subject. Like many women who have spent years challenging gender-based discrimination, I know how much resistance there is to equality.

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.

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