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News and Views: September 2010

SKSW welcomes appointment of Michelle Bachelet at UN Women

September 26, 2010

The Global campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women (SKSW Campaign) welcomes the appointment of Michelle Bachelet as the first Under-Secretary-General for the new UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Facing social pressures, families disguise girls as boys in Afghanistan

September 20, 2010


KABUL, Afghanistan — Six-year-old Mehran Rafaat is like many girls her age. She likes to be the center of attention. She is often frustrated when things do not go her way. Like her three older sisters, she is eager to discover the world outside the family’s apartment in their middle-class neighborhood of Kabul.

Nigeria: Children accused of witchcraft

August 28, 2010

Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria (CNN) -- Just after midnight, the pastor seized a woman's forehead with his large hand and she fell screaming and writhing on the ground. "Fire! Fire! Fire!" shouted the worshippers, raising their hands in the air.

Pastor Celestine Effiong's congregants are being delivered from what they firmly believe to be witchcraft. And in the darkness of the city and the villages beyond, similar shouts and screams echo from makeshift church to makeshift church.

"I have been delivered from witches and wizards today!" exclaimed one exhausted-looking woman.

Shiva Nazar Ahari Iranian human rights defender released

September 12, 2010


Shiva Nazar Ahari, a 26 year old notable Iranian human rights defender, was released today after an ongoing international campaign on Islamic regime

Honour Crimes Shame the World - Robert Fisk

September 7, 2010


It's one of the last great taboos: the murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of 'honour'. Nor is the problem confined to the Middle East: the contagion is spreading rapidly.

By Robert Fisk*

Afghan Women's Movements Deserve More From the West

August 3, 2010


Time magazine's moving portrayal of the plight of Afghanistan's women is a tribute to their heroism and silent suffering. However, the poignant images and story fail to reflect the determined achievements of a women's movement that has battled cultural and Islamist misogyny. They deserve more from the West.

Campaigning must continue to end stoning

August 13, 2010

SAKINEH Mohammadi Ashtiani could be stoned to death or hanged in Iran within days.


Facing arrest, her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, fled to Norway via Turkey, where he was briefly detained. His wife and two relatives were held hostage in Tehran's Evin prison. They have since been released on bail. Non-government organisations campaigned forcefully on their behalf. However, few Muslim or non-Muslim leaders have spoken out against the criminalisation of adultery and its punishment by stoning.

South Sulawesi, Indonesia: General Statement on Socialization of Indonesia's Porn Law

September 1, 2010




Since the enactment of Indonesia's pornography law No. 44 year 2008, therefore we, from Women’s activists coalition of South Sulawesi rejected the bill and urged the government to withdraw the law.  Our legal effort that we have done by doing a judicial review of this pornography act was rejected by the constitutional court.

There are some basic consideration why we reject this pornography law, they are:

Amnesty: Bosnia and Herzegovina must reject Burqa ban

September 1, 2010

Amnesty International has urged the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina to reject a draft law, set to be debated on Wednesday, prohibiting the wearing in public of clothes which prevent identification. 

UK: Parents re-arrested over suspected 'honour' killing

September 2, 2010


The parents of a Muslim teenager thought to have been the victim of an "honour" killing were arrested today on suspicion of her murder, almost seven years after she went missing.

The remains of Shafilea Ahmed, 17, from Warrington, Cheshire, were discovered by the river Kent near Sedgwick, Cumbria, in February 2004, five months after she disappeared from her home in Great Sankey.

Supporting syariah, advancing women

September 1, 2010


The life and work of an Islamic teacher in Aceh shows that the struggle for gender equality is about much more than syariah.

In Aceh, a special formulation of Islamic law, the qanun, was implemented in 2003, and ever since, national and international media covering Aceh have been obsessed with it. Although this interest is perhaps understandable, it also results in distorted, incomplete, and sometimes false portrayals of local dynamics.

Vatican condems sentencing of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

September 5, 2010


VATICAN CITY – The Vatican raised the possibility Sunday of using behind-the-scenes diplomacy to try to save the life of an Iranian widow sentenced to be stoned for adultery.

In its first public statement on the case, which has attracted worldwide attention, the Vatican decried stoning as a particularly brutal form of capital punishment.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the Catholic church opposes the death penalty in general.

LGBT Activists in Turkey Launch Ground-Breaking Publication

September 3, 2010


Speaking in his apartment in a suburb of Diyarbakir, in southeastern Turkey, Solin and his colleague Koya are so scared of being identified that they will not allow even an obscured photograph of themselves to be published. Nor do they want their real names to be known. “People here see homosexuality as a poison - a disease,” says Solin, the ash of his cigarette making a quick, quiet hiss as he taps it into a jar of water.

Egypt renews crackdown on female mutilation

September 3, 2010

There are giggles and shouts as little children play boisterously in the dusty street by the Hadad family home in the village of Abu Nashaba.


Just inside the front door, however, a mother dressed in black is sitting on the floor weeping silently. It is less than a month since the death of her 13-year-old daughter, Nermeen.

The girl died in a nearby health clinic and was buried without a permit from the local authorities.<--break->

Jordan marriage law challenged

August 29, 2010


Rights activists call for scrapping a law allowing early marriage for girls


Women rights activists in Jordan are trying to overturn a legal clause which allows girls as young as 15 to be married off.

They say the teenage brides are missing out on education, and many suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives.

Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from Amman, the Jordanian capital.



'Carla Bruni is a prostitute', says Iranian newspaper

August 30, 2010

An Iranian newspaper has called Carla Bruni, France's first lady, a "prostitute" after she attacked Iran's plan to stone a woman to death.

 The president's wife is part of a campaign to save the life of 43-year-old mother of two, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Ashtiani is accused of cheating on her husband and then helping to kill him.

She is now facing capital punishment for her crimes.

France has urged the European Union to threaten new sanctions over the case.

There were marches in several French cities this weekend in support of Ashtiani.

ليبيا: خطوة إيجابية للمرأة على طريق حقوق المواطنة

September 2, 2010


(بيروت) - قالت هيومن رايتس ووتش اليوم إن قانون المواطنة الليبي الجديد الذي يمنح النساء المتزوجات إلى أزواج أجانب الحق في حصول أطفالهن على الجنسية، هو خطوة هامة للأمام على مسار حقوق المرأة. وقالت هيومن رايتس ووتش إن القانون ما زال يضم بعض الأحكام المتعارضة التي يمكن تفسيرها بشكل يُبقي على التمييز.