Ms. Farida Shaheed (Pakistan) took up her functions as Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights in 2009 and continued as a Special Rapporteur on the same issue, following Human Rights Council Resolution 19/6.
Ms. Shaheed is a Pakistani sociologist. She works as a Director at Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratization, an international programme strengthening and promoting citizenship in Asia, the Middle East and Africa and as a Director Research at Shirkat Gah-Women’s Resource Centre in Pakistan.
We, the Violence is not our Culture Campaign, stand in solidarity with the US-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) who has been the target of an unprecedented crackdown by the Vatican.
The Campaign was originally launched in Istanbul in 2007 as the ‘Global Campaign to Stop Killing and Stoning Women’ with the then-UN Special Rapporteur on VAW, Yakin Ertürk, to end the relentless misuse of religion and culture to justify the killing, maiming and torture of women as punishment for violating the imposed gender and sexual ‘norms’. The campaign evolved & changed its name to the Violence is Not our Culture (VNC) campaign in 2011.
The two women met for the first time last week at a sleek Georgetown hotel, where they were speakers at a glittering charity dinner. They shook hands and hugged across a vast gulf of culture, geography and faith: one a devout Muslim from West Africa with her hair carefully hidden under a tight scarf, the other a gregarious South Asian in a stylish sari and costume earrings.
In many countries of the Middle East, women are wondering what the Arab Spring means for them. Some observers are concerned that the power vacuum will leave the door open for Islamist groups to take power and force changes opposing women’s rights.
Zainah Anwar, a leading Malaysian social activist and intellectual, is not one of them. She is even excited about the prospects that the Arab Spring could have for women.
In "Distant View of a Minaret," the late and much-neglected Egyptian writer Alifa Rifaat begins her short story with a woman so unmoved by sex with her husband that as he focuses solely on his pleasure, she notices a spider web she must sweep off the ceiling and has time to ruminate on her husband's repeated refusal to prolong intercourse until she too climaxes, "as though purposely to depriv
From 18 to 20 January 2012, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) held an International Expert Group Meeting at UN Headquarters entitled “Combating violence against indigenous women and girls: Article 22 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” This conference applied a human rights framework to the issue of gender‐based violence faced by indigenous women, while contextualizing its global manifestations in the context of States’ responsibilities under international human rights law, as articulated in Article 22.2 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP): “States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.”
Women’s human rights discourse and movements have become entangled within a culture-versus-rights dualism. Yakin Ertürk argues that this is a false dualism which serves both private patriarchy and public patriarchy of neo-liberal globalisation. Yakin Ertürk serves on the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture ↑ .She was the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences, from 2003 -2009, and until recently Professor of Sociology at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.
Join VNC for two events on 21 April 2012, at the AWID Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. We'll be hosting a talk show on "The Nexus between Culture, Gender and Other Identities: Resisting Discrimination and Reclaiming Space", as well as a workshop on "Visioning Cultures Free from Violence: Transnational Advocacy and Communications using Visual Arts and Digital Media". Full details below.