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News and Views: August 2008

Let's Unite Against Trokosi

25 July 2008
Posted to the web 25 July 2008

It is quite disturbing that after more than 10 years of stakeholders bringing the obnoxious Trokosi system to national attention, it is still live and kicking.

A recent research on the practice of Trokosi in Ghana sponsored by Australian Aid Agency (AusAID) revealed that the concept of Trokosi has not changed within the practicing communities, 10 years after the enactment of laws by Parliament to abolish the practice. (See full report on page four).

Taliban executes women in Pakistan

From correspondents in Peshawar

August 20, 2008 08:39pm
Article from: Agence France-Presse

TALIBAN militants shot dead two women in the troubled north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar after accusing them of being prostitutes, police said today.

The hardliners crushed the face of one of the women, apparently using rifle butts and stones, and left a note warning that others who engaged in "immoral'' activities would meet the same fate, they said.

Amnesty International Statement on Suspension of stoning executions a welcome step if carried out

Amnesty International Press release
15 August 2008

Amnesty International has welcomed last week's announcement by the spokesperson for Iran's Judiciary that execution by stoning has been suspended and that several unnamed women who were facing the punishment have had their sentences commuted.

"Stoning is a horrific practice, designed to increase the suffering of those facing execution, and it has no place in the modern world," Amnesty International said. "We look to the Iranian authorities to ensure that this dreadful punishment is never again used."

Bitter Truth: Bangladesh Society must protect the victims

Published On: 2008-07-26

Bitter Truth
Domestic violence: Society must protect the victims

Md. Asadullah Khan

Intimate Violence Remains a Big Killer of Women

Run Date: 07/25/08
By Marie Tessier
WeNews correspondent

Over a thousand U.S. women are killed each year by a current or former intimate partner. Two million a year are injured. A sexual assault occurs every two minutes. Fifth in "The Memo" series on the status of U.S. women.

Religious Leaders Partly to blame for growing problem of domestic violence in Tanzania.

Clerics blamed for rise in domestic violence

By Patty Magubira, Mwanza

Religious leaders are partly to blame for the growing problem of domestic violence in the country.

An official of the Norwegian Church Aid, Mr Evance Luballa, pointed out that some religious leaders fail to expose perpetrated of domestic violence who go to them for confession.

He cited a case of a man in Magu district where church leaders there were aware on an illicit affair the person allegedly had with his daughter, but decided to remain mum.

Domestic violence growing in Saudi Arabia

Abeer Mishkhas |

A father brutally beats his 17-year-old daughter with a piece of wood. She is taken to a hospital where she subsequently dies. The reason? She got in touch with her mother who was divorced from the girl’s father. Thus ended the story carried in Al-Watan newspaper. The tragedy, however, opens the door onto something bigger and much worse — the trend to violence in Saudi society. And not just violence but violence against close family members.

Mozambique: Civil Society Steps Up Fight Against Domestic Violence

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

1 July 2008
Posted to the web 1 July 2008


Mozambican civil society organizations are planning to intensify their actions to prevent violence against women and children by increasing the period of advocacy for such cases from a mere 16 day campaign to 365 days a year.

Gap in the law fails to protect victims of domestic violence

By Stefanos Evripidou

THE STATE services have failed to protect a victim of domestic violence, citing gaps in the law preventing them from helping non-Cypriot spouses who suffer abuse.

A 30-year-old woman from Eastern Europe has been seeking refuge from her abusive husband for the last two weeks but has been left to fend for herself after being repeatedly told by state services that they cannot help a non-Cypriot.

Her appeals for money and refuge failed, giving the woman no choice but to stay in the family home where she was allegedly beaten on two occasions this week.

Barbados Approves Protocol on Domestic Violence

May 12, 2008 -- The Cabinet of Barbados has given the green light to the recently developed data collection protocol on domestic violence and stakeholders are expected to begin using it by August, 2008.

This disclosure has come from Acting Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, John Hollingsworth, who said the instrument was approved on March 18 this year, and over the next few weeks, key personnel in some agencies would be trained to use the form.

PAKISTAN: Five women buried alive, allegedly by the brother of a minister


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-182-2008

PAKISTAN: Five women buried alive, allegedly by the brother of a minister

ISSUES: Honour killing; violence against women; impunity; no investigation; abduction; murder

Dear friends,

Pakistani Taliban: wear hijab, or be disfigured

By: Raquel Evita Saraswati

Good news: Congratulations to The Hijab Blog and Hijab Style on their feature story in the Toronto Star. I’m excited about the additional coverage being given to women who are pushing the envelope. In challening expectations about Muslim women, they’re not only educating the West - but also empowering Muslim women worldwide.

Iran: Death by stoning suspended…but still legal!

Press Release from the Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women!

Subject: Iran: Death by stoning suspended…but still legal!

The Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women! (SKSW Campaign) welcome the news that the sentence of four Iranians to die by stoning has recently been commuted by the Iranian judiciary. The news was announced by the spokesman of the judiciary, Alireza Jamshidi, who also announced that the sentence of all other cases are also under review.

Iranians suspend death by stoning

Iran's has suspended the punishment of death by stoning, state media say.

A judiciary spokesman said four people sentenced to die by stoning had had their sentences commuted and that all other cases had been put under review.

Lawyers and human rights campaigners have said at least eight women and a man are awaiting the punishment.

Stoning is the penalty for crimes such as adultery under Iranian law, but it is rarely carried out. The last such execution was reportedly last year.

Recognising 'gendercide'

Recognising 'gendercide'
The intentional mass killing of any one gender demands recognition, regardless of the motivation behind it

Heather McRobie,
Wednesday July 30 2008

Call on Mali Government to Pass Law Against FGM

Equality Now has just issued an Update in its campaign against FGM in Mali, renewing its call on the Malian government to support the passage of a law criminalizing FGM as a matter of urgent priority. The Action also provides an update on the remarkable health and educational progress of Fanta Camara, whose case was highlighted in Women's Action 25.1. For the Update, please click on the following link:

Violence against women in Africa: from discrimination to impunity

Press Release
African Women’s Day

Violence against women in Africa: from discrimination to impunity

A call for ratification and implementation of the Maputo Protocol

Husbands who kill wives can no longer claim they were provoked

Husbands who kill nagging wives will no longer be able to claim they were provoked, under a radical shake-up of the murder laws.

By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:31AM BST 22 Jul 2008

Suspects will also be prevented from pleading not guilty to murder by claiming it was a "crime of passion" because their partner was having an affair.

The reforms are designed to ensure domestic violence is treated as other forms of homicide.

Iran: Kobra Najjar Faces Imminent Execution by Stoning for Prostitution

IMPORTANT: This Women’s Action is current and you are encouraged to send appeals to the authorities listed in the action. For background on particular cases, please see the Women’s Action Archive, which contains information on completed campaigns and earlier versions of updates.

Update: Women's Action 29.2
July 2008

Iran: Kobra Najjar Faces Imminent Execution by Stoning for Prostitution

Saudi Arabia: Academic gets 600 lashes for 'phone relationship' with female pupil

Riad, 30 July (AKI) - A Saudi court has sentenced a chemistry professor to 600 lashes and 8 months in jail for a 'telephone relationship' with a female student.

The student, whose marriage allegedly broke down as result of the relationship got 350 lashes and 4 months in prison.

The academic, who worked in a teaching hospital in the south of the country was convicted on the basis of the student's husband's testimony, according to Arabic satellite TV station Al-Arabiya.

Violence against women has no country

Can Stifled Women Talk?
Dr. Basma Al-Mutlaq, Arab News

Violence against women has no country; it is a plague that is known to breed in the stench of poverty as well as behind the closed doors of the most affluent homes.

Domestic violence or violence against women is a global issue that is not limited to a particular ethnic or religious group.