At the current session of the UN Human Rights Council, Russia has tabled a resolution seeking to promote “traditional values” as a basis for human rights. Numerous UN experts have emphasised that traditional values are frequently invoked by States to justify human rights violations, such as family violence, marital rape, and forced marriage. A preliminary report of the Advisory Committee is highly critical of a traditional values approach to human rights, calling traditional values “vague, subjective and unclear” and noting that “those most marginalized and disenfranchised have the most to lose from a traditional values approach to human rights”.
During the 16th session of the Human Rights Council, we organized a panel on Cultures, Traditions and VAW: Human Rights Challenges in collaboration with the International Women’s Rights Action Watch- Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP), the Partners for Law in Development –India and the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID). We also launched our publication "Control and Sexuality" on zina laws to draw attention to how zina has become part of the legal system in some Muslim contexts to 'justify' human rights violations against women and sexual minorities.
The public killing of a woman in Afghanistan is further proof that the authorities are still failing to tackle the shocking levels of gender-based violence in the country, Amnesty International said today. The woman, who has two children, was shot dead by her father in front of a crowd of about 300 people in the village of Kookchaheel, in the Aabkamari district of Badghis province in north-western Afghanistan.
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.
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’.
The Brooklyn shopkeeper was already home for the night when her phone rang: a man who said he was from a neighborhood “modesty committee” was concerned that the mannequins in her store’s window, used to display women’s clothing, might inadvertently arouse passing men and boys.
“The man said, ‘Do the neighborhood a favor and take it out of the window,’ ” the store’s manager recalled. “ ‘We’re trying to safeguard our community.’ ”
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.
King Abdullah kept a promise to Saudi Arabia's women last week, when he appointed 30 of them to four-year terms in the new Consultative Assembly, the pseudo-legislature that advises the monarch on laws and regulations.
As usual with such developments in Saudi Arabia, there is a catch: The women will have to meet in a room separate from the men.