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Religious and Cultural Interpretations

Afghanistan: End the Unlawful Criminalisation of Women and Girls Based on ‘Moral Grounds’

April 6, 2012

The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network and Violence is Not Our Culture Campaign (VNC) strongly condemn the imprisonment of women and girls in Afghanistan (approximately 400 of them) for so-called “moral crimes”, including running away from home. The new study released by Human Rights Watch (HRW), “I Had to Run Away”: The Imprisonment of Women and Girls for “Moral Crimes” in Afghanistan[1] documents the phenomenon of these “crimes”, which often involve flight from early forced marriages or domestic violence.

The King, the Mufti & the Facebook Girl: A Power Play. Who Decides What is Licit in Islam?

April, 2012

Abstract: Saudi Arabia enforces a ban on woman driving on the grounds that it is prohibited by sharia law. Women’s associations have actively denounced this ban for years, arguing that it was the only Muslim country which had such a peculiar interpretation of Islamic law. A power play is taking place online on this subject between the ulema (who support the ban), the Saudi authorities and feminine associations. This situation raises the question: “Who decides what is licit or illicit in Islam?” Muslim women’s associations merely ask for the implementation in Muslim countries of the “best practices” in Islamic law which exist anywhere, as a substitute for those laws which are unfavorable to women’s rights or do not protect their interests adequately.

Nepal: Increase in Witchcraft Accussations and Abuse

April 4, 2012

In Nepali society, currently, the Violence Against Women, particularly at the name of custom is increasing dramatically. About a month ago, a woman killed was accused of witchcraft in Chitwan. That case hasn't received justice yet.

In this shocking alleged witchcraft scenario, another woman was beaten seriously and her both eyes were broken.

Sudan: Rainbow Sudan shines a light on gay and lesbian life in a country where homosexuality is still punishable by death

March 30, 2012

A new online lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender magazine in Sudan, north Africa, is a first for the country where homosexuality is still punished by death and an opportunity for gay people to start discussing their lives and hopes for the future.

Rainbow Sudan published articles discussing topics including being gay in Sudan, the history of homosexuality in the country, Islam and sexuality, being lesbian and Muslim, poetry and more.

Papua New Guinea: Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women calls for accountability for gender violence

March 26, 2012

PORT MORESBY (26 March 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo called* on the Government of Papua New Guinea to reinforce legal and support mechanisms in its fight to eradicate violence against women. At the end of her first fact-finding mission to the country, Ms. Manjoo also urged the authorities to address some of the traditional practices that are harmful to women.

بيان منظمات نسوية وحقوق المرأة حول النتائج المحدودة جدا والمقلقة للدورة 56 الدورة للجنة الأمم المتحدة المعنية بوضع المرأة

April 3, 2012

نحن الموقعون أدناه، مؤسسات وأفراد من جميع أنحاء العالم، نشعر بالقلق وخيبة الأمل أن لجنة الأمم المتحدة المعنية بوضع المرأة فشلت في اعتماد قرارات متفق عليها في دورتها 56. إن هذا الفشل يمحو العمل، والطاقة، والوقت، والتكاليف التي استثمرتها النساء من جميع أنحاء العالم استثمرت في الدورة 56 للجنة وضع المرأة. فلا ينبغي أن يتم تأجيل النهوض بحقوق الإنسان للمرأة بسبب المعارك السياسية بين الدول. ونحن نرفض إعادة فتح المفاوضات بشأن الاتفاقات الدولية القائمة بالفعل في مجال حقوق الإنسان للمرأة، وندعو جميع الحكومات لإثبات التزاماتها لتعزيز، وحماية، وإعمال حقوق الإنسان، والحريات الأساسية للنساء

Déclaration des Organisations Féministes et des Droits des Femmes sur les Résultats Trés Limités et Inquiétants de la 56ème Session de la Commission de la Condition de la Femme des Nations Unies

April 3, 2012

Nous, les organisations et individus du monde entier soussignés, nous sentons vivement préoccupés et déçus devant le fait que la Commission de la condition de la femme des Nations Unies (CSW) ait échoué à adopter les conclusions concertées à l’occasion de sa 56ème session. Cet échec est un coup dur porté au travail, à l’énergie, au temps et aux coûts considérables que les femmes partout dans le monde ont investi dans la 56ème session de la Commission de la condition de la femme. La promotion des droits humains des femmes ne doit pas être mise en suspens en raison de batailles politiques entre États. Nous disons NON à toute réouverture des négociations sur les accords internationaux déjà établis relatifs aux droits humains des femmes, et nous appelons l’ensemble des gouvernements à faire preuve de leur engagement pour la promotion, la protection et le respect des droits humains et des libertés fondamentales des femmes.

Feminist and women's rights organisations say NO to safeguarding "traditional values" at the expense of the human rights of women!

March 20, 2012

We, the undersigned organisations and individuals across the globe, are alarmed and disappointed that the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) failed to adopt agreed conclusions at its 56th session. This failure has diminished the considerable work, energy, time and costs that women all over the world invested on the 56th session of the CSW. The advancement of women’s human rights should not be put on hold because of political battles between states.

International Women's Day and Women's Rights in Pakistan: Interview with Farida Shaheed

March 6, 2012

Farida Shaheed is a sociologist with over 25 years’ research experience on women’s issues (including rural development, women and labour and legal rights), especially in Pakistan and South Asia. She is a long-time UNRISD collaborator, and joins us with an interview on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Her article on politics, religion and gender in Pakistan has been published in a special issue of Cahier du Genre entitled “Religion et politique: Les femmes prises au piège”.

Kuwait: Egyptian teen attempts suicide to avoid forced marriage

March 20, 2012

Kuwaiti police has launched an investigation into the attempted suicide of an 18-year old Egyptian girl who threw herself off the balcony of an apartment building to avoid a forced marriage.

She survived the fall but suffered multiple fractures.

While recovering at a hospital, the girl told the police that her mother and brother had unexpectedly introduced her to a man and told her that she was his wife and should start “spousal relations” according to a report in Kuwait’s al Rai newspaper.