The Global Gender Gap Index,1 introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, is a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress.

Women’s organisations in Egypt continue the struggle to put women’s rights on the agenda. Recently, 800 women’s organisations met in Cairo to discuss the way forward during this crucial transitional period.

In the end of September, The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation’s partner organisation Alliance for Arab Women, together with the Solidarity Ministry in Egypt, organised a national conference on women’s role during the transitional period in the country.

”Women are now organised in such a way that they can put pressure on the government. But the conference also showed that NGOs are willing to cooperate with the government, as long as the government is willing to recognize women,” says Hoda Badran, chairperson of Alliance of Arab Women, one of the organisations that Kvinna till Kvinna supports in Egypt.

WLUML would like to add its voice to the myriad voices from around the world mourning the passing away of Sunila Abeysekera, human rights and feminist activists from Sri Lanka earlier this month, while remembering her contribution to the global women’s movement and the WLUML network in particular. Sunila worked closely with WLUML at our first feminist leadership institute held in Turkey in 1998 being one of a number of resource persons representing experiences from outside the Muslim world. She facilitated several sessions on using the human rights system and international mechanisms, monitoring and documenting human rights violations, and sexuality and sexual rights.

This June 2013, Women Living Under Muslim Laws traveled to Nottingham for the 2013 Feminist and Women’s Studies Association conference. In the course of a lively discussion about religion, secularism, law and gender discrimination ignited by our name and history we found itself at the centre of what one member of the audience called the most exciting debate of the day.

“It may be said that the provision of Mahr may be considered to be beneficiary to women as long as women’s social and economic subordination remains the norm. It is a way of reinforcing, institutionalising and perpetuating women’s dependency on men... It can only be appreciated as an effort to minimise the economic risk of women within marriage in a society where her rights to equality are either systematically denied or violated.”

In 1998, in Dossier 19, Sultana Kamal tackled the topic of Mahr, the Islamic obligation of the groom to provide the bride with money or possessions as a prerequisite to marriage. I will revisit this topic and review the ideas put forward by Kamal in different contexts. Kamal analyzes Mahr within a South Asian framework, but what can be said of it from a Gulf context? Furthermore, how can we as Muslim women assert our rights by understanding the place of Mahr in the Qur’an and Hadith?

File 1915 The Revolution Continues....

The year 2012 was full of rapid changes and posed numersous exciting opportunities and challenges for WLUML. It is our great pleasure to share the experiences, lessons, and outcomes of this year with our friends, supporters, and interested parties. Please download a copy of the WLUML 2012 Annual Report for an update of what we have been up to this past year! 

“Still Palestinian feminists are struggling to prioritize their goals: Should they fight exclusively for Palestinian statehood, in the hope that this will further their goals? Or should they be social critics, promoting long-term issues of democracy and women's rights as national institutions and a constitution are being formed? In 1988, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat proclaimed that "Palestine is a state...based on social justice, equality with no discrimination...on the basis of ethnicity, religion, color or between men and women." The mechanics of achieving such a vision were left undefined.”

-  Dahlia Scheindlin, "Palestinian Women's Model Parliament"

In WLUML Dossier 22, published 14 years ago, Dahlia Scheindlin argued that the relationship between the women’s movement in Palestine and the Palestinian national struggle is an uncertain one, as the national women’s movement is constantly faced with the question of where it situates itself in relation to the Palestinian liberation struggle. Is the women’s struggle situated within the wider national struggle or is gender equality a separate goal to be pursued independently of Palestinian nationhood?

Professor Charlotte Bunch will be honored today at the Global Fund for Women’s 25th Anniversary Gala with a human rights award named in her honor. The inaugural Charlotte Bunch Human Rights Defender Award will be launched and presented to three women’s rights advocates. The awardees are Mónica Roa from Women’s Link Worldwide in Colombia, Mozn Hassan from Nazra Institute for Feminist Studies in Egypt, and Stasa Zajovic from Women in Black in Serbia.

At least 100 people have been killed and many more are feared dead after an eight-storey building collapsed in the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Five garment factories - employing mostly women - were housed in the building, including Ether Tex Ltd., whose chairman said he was unaware of any warnings not to open the workshops.

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