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”.
29 October 2013 – Harmful practices inflicted on women and girls can never be justified in the name of freedom of religion or belief, an independent United Nations human rights expert told a General Assembly committee dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural issues today.
“Countless women are exposed to complex forms of human rights violations based on both religion or belief and their sex,” said Heiner Bielefeldt, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.
We did it! Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) are delighted to announce that our petition, part of the Global Campaign to Stop Stoning Women, has received 10,000 signatures! Reaching this target more than a month ahead of schedule is testament to how strongly people feel worldwide about bringing an end to stoning. WLUML would like to thank everyone who signed the petition and said NO to this abhorrent practice.
This report is a comprehensive statistical overview of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in the 29 countries where the practice is concentrated. Analysisof the data reflects current perspectives on FGM/C, informed by the latest policy, programmatic and theoretical evidence. The purpose of the report is to generate an in-depth understanding of FGM/C that can be applied to the development of policies and programmes, with the ultimate aim of eliminating the practice.
UNITED NATIONS: “Those who deny women and girls their right to education, violate Islam,” Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Masood Khan told an audience at the world body on Monday. He said the religion was for all men and women without discrimination.
He observed that the terrorist attack on Malala Yousufzai showed that “the forces of darkness” were afraid of the education that gave courage to girls to stand up for their rights.
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’.
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.