In this discussion paper, I show how zina laws and the criminalization of consensual sexual activity can also be challenged from within Islamic legal tradition. Far from mutually opposed, approaches from Islamic studies, feminism and human rights perspectives can be mutually reinforcing, particularly in mounting an effective campaign against revived zina laws. By exploring the intersections between religion, culture and law that legitimate violence in the regulation of sexuality, the paper aims to contribute to the development of a contextual and integrated approach to the abolition of zina laws. In so doing, I hope to broaden the scope of the debate over concepts and strategies of the SKSW Campaign.
In addition to the Bill of Rights, there are nine core international human rights treaties. Each of these treaties has established a committee of experts to monitor implementation of the treaty provisions by its States parties. Some of the treaties are supplemented by optional protocols dealing with specific concerns.
Control and Sexuality examines zina laws in some Muslim contexts and communities in order to explore connections between the criminalisation of sexuality, gender-based violence and women’s rights activism. The Violence is Not Our Culture Campaign and the Women Living Under Muslim Laws network present this comparative study and feminist analysis of zina laws as a contribution to the broader objective of ending violence in the name of ‘culture’.
Abstract: Islamic legal tradition treats any sexual contact outside a legal marriage as a crime. The main category of such crimes is zina, defined as any act of illicit sexual intercourse between a man and woman. In the late twentieth century, the resurgence of Islam as a political and spiritual force led to the revival of zina laws and the creation of new offences that criminalize consensual sexual activity and authorize violence against women. Activists have campaigned against these new laws on human rights grounds.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Convention) in 2000, yet maintained certain reservations, especially in regards to Article 2, stating that “In case of contradiction between any term of the Convention and the norms of Islamic law, the Kingdom is not under obligation to observe the contradictory terms of the Convention.”
Countless Moroccan women, continue to face abuse and sexual violence at the hands of their husbands. About 6 million women in Morocco are victims of violence, or around one in three. Morocco’s Social Development Minister Bassima Hakkaoui, the only female minister in the country, said last week that she would try to push forward a law protecting women that has been stuck in Parliament for 8 years.
This briefing presents a survey of culturally justified violence against women, including how violence against women is justified by 'culture', the different forms this violence can take, and recommendations for change. The SKSW Campaign is undertaking projects on 'culture', women and violence, with partners in Senegal, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, and Sudan.
There has never been a clear and uncontroversial definition of religious fundamentalism and there is no consensus as to whether religious fundamentalism is a phenomenon, a movement, or a process. Nevertheless, having been exposed to religious fundamentalism in its fullest meaning after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian women and an analysis of their experience might offer a proper definition. This resource provides an overview of the discourses around the issue of stoning in Iran, and the strategies of the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws, the Violence is not our Culture Campaign, and Justice for Iran are pleased to announce the release of a new publication: Mapping Stoning in Muslim Contexts. This report locates where the punishment of stoning is still in practice, either through judicial (codified as law) or extrajudicial (outside the law) methods.
Stoning is a cruel form of torture that is used to punish men and women for adultery and other 'improper' sexual relations. It is currently sanctioned by law and carried out by state actors in at least two countries, and at least seven individuals have been stoned to death in the last five years.
This book is an integral part of the Women Reclaiming and Redefining Cultures (WRRC) Programme, of which the VNC campaign is part. The publication presents the strategies used by project partners to advance women’s rights in the face of culturally justified disempowerment and discusses their implementation in different contexts and in different thematic areas. This compilation is intended as a living resource, which will be amended and added to as women and organisations apply the strategies listed here to their own contexts, or try out new ones.
Strategising Online Activism: A Toolkit was inspired by the workshops held in Asia and Africafor the partners and members of the Violence is not our Culture (VNC) campaign.
While this toolkit has been designed primarily for the local partners and activists of the VNC campaign, this can be a resource, too, for human rights activists who are keen to develop their online activism and want to know where and how to to start.
Through this toolkit we hope that campaigners will acquire the following skills: