The WLUML E-Gazette is a monthly publication sent out to subscribers which aims to shed light upon the activities of the network as well as important news about women in the Muslim world. The contents of the newsletter include the achievements of several networkers and ICO members, several events and conferences of relevance to the WLUML network, and valuable news pieces. We hope you enjoy this edition of the Gazette!
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 womens 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.
We kindly ask Arab feminist and women's organizations, in particular ,and human rights organizations, in general, to sign on this declaration in solidarity with women protesters and activists in Egypt who are breaking the walls of silence and violence that engulf all our bodies and lives. No to exclusion and intimidation of women protesters in Egypt! To begin, we salute Egyptian women who did not remain silent about the flagrant violations they are suffering.
The following is the official statement of the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network and its partners in Afghanistan, which is addressed to all parties, particularly Afghanistan’s donor countries, who are supporting the direct talks between the Taliban and United States government.
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!
There was a quiet moment in the conference room in the Culloden Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland as six women: Mairead Macguire (Northern Ireland) Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), Tawakkol Karman (Yemen), Shirin Ebadi (Iran), Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemala) and Jody Williams (USA), all recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, joined together to welcome us – women activists from all over the world – to the fourth biennial conference of the Nobel Women’s Initiative.
Some women were there to discuss women’s rights, some women were there to discuss peace, but regardless of each woman’s motivation, there was one thing that we all agreed on - it is women that have to “invade (or reinvade) the spaces we need to invade” in order to highlight the devastating impact of war and conflict on women.
“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?
In the Middle East and North Africa region, there is a large and growing number of stateless individuals, i.e. those who do not possess nationality due to various reasons such as stateless parents, failure to register for citizenship, and gender discriminatory laws. Because these individuals lack documentation linking them to the state in which they live, they are deprived of the rights that a national would enjoy, such as the issuing of birth and marriage certificates as well as schooling and work. The situation worsens when gender discriminatory laws and custom reproduce statelessness in new generations, who are unable to practice their agency and pursue their ambitions. A new report examines the relationship between gender discrimination and statelessness in the Middle East.