Violence against women and girls is both a global and local societal ill—global because its perpetrators and victims are in every corner of the world, and local because its forms differ from one place to the next depending on specific cultural, political and socio-economic circumstances.
According to a 2005 World Health Organization study, at least one in three women worldwide will be beaten, raped, or abused in her lifetime. The eradication of all forms of gender-based violence is integral to the struggle to achieve social justice and gender-equality. Violence against women permeates through every boundary, from the private to the public.
It is with deepest sadness we announce the loss of our dear friend and colleague Cassandra, who passed away peacefully on Thursday 12 July 2012. She will continue to live through her many writings and contributions to the realization of women’s human rights.
Cassandra Balchin was with WLUML for decades, from working at WLUML's Asia office, Shirkat Gah, to helping WLUML set up its London office where she assumed the position of Deputy International Co-ordinator, and later International Co-ordinator.
WLUML has joined numerous rights groups, including Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, DAWN, the International Women's Health Coalition and RESURJ in supporting the following statement "Rights must be at the centre of the Family Planning Summit", to be presented to the organizers of the DFID/Gates Family Planning Summit which will be held in London on 11 July 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. We say NO to any re-opening of negotiations on the already established international agreements on women’s human rights and call on all governments to demonstrate their commitments to promote, protect and fulfill human rights and fundamental freedoms of women.
The goal of reducing gender inequalities in political representation has been elusive in many different kinds of political systems, even though women have made substantial progress in other areas, such as education, employment and healthcare. This wonderfully accessible book argues that gender quotas are an important strategy to improve women’s political representation in legislatures and political parties and it lays out the history of this approach across the globe.
This book breaks the myth of Muslim women being passive, oppressed and apolitical. It retrieves the mostly forgotten lives and voices of women from the eighth to the early twentieth centuries in Muslim countries and communities who asserted rights for themselves and for other women, promoting justice in the home and in the public sphere.
One of the most fundamental stumbling blocks encountered and reported by the project partners of the WRRC-SWG was the difficulty of adequately addressing the many and diverse issues around the denial and oppression of women’s rights in sexuality, especially in the context of fundamentalist and anti-women ‘religious’ interpretations and practices, which are spreading in many parts of the globe, in particular, in Asian and African countries, with disastrous consequences for women’s rights and well-being.