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News and Views: November 2010

Pakistan: Walk Against Honour Killing

November 30, 2010

LAHORE: There were slogans and chanting in front of the Lahore Press Club on Monday when more than 80 women rallied for about an hour to mark the International Women Human Rights Defenders’ Day.

The walk, arranged by Shirkat Gah, a non-governmental organisation working to protect women rights, started from the Press Club.

It concluded at a nearby park. Banners and placards carried slogans targeting various types of violence against women. From honour killing to gender driven violence to physical abuse, the participants of the rally made sure no category was ignored.

Kurdistan: A killing set honour above the law

November 20, 2010

DOKAN, Iraq — Serving small glasses of sugary tea, Qadir Abdul-Rahman Ahmed explained how things went bad with the neighbors. It was not true, he said, that his brothers had threatened to drown his niece if she tried to marry the young man down the street.

“We are not against humanity,” he explained. “I told my brother, if she wants to marry, you can’t stop her.”

But the couple should never have married without permission.

“The girl and the boy should be killed,” he said. “It’s about honor. Honor is more important for us than religion.”

Ghana: The witches of Gambaga

November 25, 2010

More than 1,000 women accused of witchcraft in northern Ghana live in refuges, where they have to pay for protection from the chief who runs them. Yaba Badoe visits a camp in Gambaga and follows two women as they return to their villages. Watch the video.

Source: The Guardian

History of International Women's Day: Assasination of the Mirabel Sisters of the Dominican Republic

November 25, 2010

On December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 (the anniversary of the day of the murder of the Mirabal sisters) as the annual date for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in commemoration of the sisters.

This day also marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. The end of the 16 Days is December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Brazil: Important steps taken to promote cultural rights but challenges remain, says UN Expert

November 19, 2010

(Veja abaixo a versão em português – Portuguese version, see below)

BRASILIA – The UN Independent Expert on Cultural Rights, Farida Shaheed, said Thursday that Brazil’s adoption, on 9 November, of a National Plan of Culture is a major breakthrough for the promotion and the protection of cultural rights in Brazil and underscored the need to strengthen efforts to make laws, plans and programmes a reality on the ground.

UN General Assembly: UN Member States Should Vote Against Proposed Resolution On “Vilification Of Religions”

November 19, 2010

London 19.11.10: ARTICLE 19 and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) urge UN Member States to vote against the draft resolution proposed at the current session of the UN General Assembly on “combating religious hatred and vilification of religions”.

Iran: Women's Rights Lawyer Shadi Sadr Legal Award + Speech

November 11, 2010

The Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize brings recognition to lawyers who have used their legal careers to help alleviate injustice and inequity. The 2010 Award winner is Shadi Sadr, Iranian Human Rights and Women's Rights lawyer, and WLUML Council Member. The Committee selected Shadi Sadr because of her ceaseless dedication to championing the cause of Iranian women and risking her freedom to defend those who are wrongfully accused and imprisoned.

Indonesia: Woman Persecuted for "Shame" of Rape & Pregnancy

November 4, 2010

Rhaya is a 19-year-old from a poor family in Sumatra. She stopped school when she was 16, deciding to look for work as a domestic worker.
 Rhaya washed clothes in different houses while living at her sister Enny’s house. Enny, is the fourth wife of Abang Setia, with whom she has a young child.

Brunei: Marital Rape - Analysis of Current Laws

August 13, 2010

Marital rape: Are women protected from it?  Although marital rape is not included in the current Penal Code, however, protection against sexual assault may be possible with the amendments made to the Islamic Family Law Order 2010 and Married Women Act Order 2010.

UK: [Honour crimes] Two more murderers of Banaz Mahmod face justice today

November 11, 2010

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation welcomes the news that the remaining two suspects in the Banaz Mahmod murder trial, Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain, have been found guilty at the Old Bailey today.  Ali was sentenced to a minimum of 22 years and Hussain to 21 years.

Iran: Don't ignore human rights abuse

November 9, 2010


The international community must not use Iran's participation in 5+1 talks to deflect attention from its human rights violations.

One Day One Struggle: International Campaign to Promote Sexual and Bodily Rights across Muslim Societies

November 9, 2010

On November 9, 2010, the 2nd international “One Day One Struggle” Campaign to promote sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies will take place in 12 countries across Middle East, North Africa, South and Southeast Asia.

Malaysia: Way of the middle path

November 7, 2010

Political leaders must work together to delegitimise extreme and intolerant voices. The public cannot be given mixed and confusing signals.

In the last few weeks, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in seeming earnestness, has been calling for the voice of moderation to prevail in Malaysia and in the world.

He has even introduced an Arabic word to the Malaysian vocabulary –wasatiyyah, which means “the middle way”.

Afghanistan: Widow Burnings, Violations

November 7, 2010

HERAT, Afghanistan — Even the poorest families in Afghanistan have matches and cooking fuel. The combination usually sustains life. But it also can be the makings of a horrifying escape: from poverty, from forced marriages, from the abuse and despondency that can be the fate of Afghan women.

Indonesian woman persecuted for the 'shame' of being raped and pregnant

November 4, 2010

Rhaya is a 19-year-old from a poor family in Sumatra. She stopped school when she was 16, deciding to look for work as a domestic worker.

India: Rajasthan - women accused of witchcraft - draft law

October 29, 2010

Nimera, Jaipur (Women's Feature Service) - Vimla Devi, 39, was preparing to go to bed when she heard loud bangs on her door. Her heart sank. At 9 p.m., everyone in Nimera village, 25 kilometres from the state capital of Jaipur, had already settled down for the night. Piercing the calm came the shouts of men wielding 'lathis' (sticks) and trying to break down Vimla's door: "We will kill this woman today," they shouted. Inside the house, Vimla and her two children shuddered with fear.

Somali Islamists Kill Two Girls Branded Spies

October 28, 2010


MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia’s most powerful Islamist insurgents, the Shabab, executed two teenage girls on Wednesday after deciding they were spies, setting off fears among residents, officials and witnesses said.