If we forget about these girls it means we are forgetting our own sisters, our own people."- Malala Yousafzai
Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) is enraged by the abduction of more than 200 girls in Chibok, Borno State of Northeastern Nigeria, whose fate remains unclear. We grieve with the families of the girls and support their call to bring them safely back to their homes where they belong. We urge the Nigerian government to do their utmost power in bringing the girls back to their families and subsequently assuring they receive medical and psychological support, and the international community to assist them. We are in solidarity with the people and civil society groups in Nigeria who are opposing and resisting the rise of armed political Islamist forces who misuse and abuse the name of Islam to justify their brutal terrorist ploy.
Afsana, a British citizen and former civil servant, went to live in Dubai in early 2010 with her French husband. After the birth of their son in April that year, she was subjected to serious physical and mental abuse. After suffering constant threats, intimidation and abuse from the ex husband, she fled with her baby in April 2011. All previous attempts to report the assaults did not amount to any action, instead she now faces a series of cases that her ex-husband has instigated - designed to mar her reputation and prevent her from leaving.
On 22 January 2014, the United Nations (UN)-backed Geneva II peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition are scheduled to be held with the goal of ending the Syrian conflict and creating a transitional government. However, nearly 14 years after the landmark passage of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) calling on UN member states to “increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts,” no women have been included in the Syrian peace negotiations.
As we speak, a resolution is being negotiated at the General Assembly in New York on the protection of women human rights defenders (WHRDs). This is the first time women defenders have been the focus of a draft resolution at the United Nations. Such an initiative is the result of activists’ work over many years raising awareness about the challenges, risks and attacks faced by women human rights defenders and their specific protection needs. The resolution would provide much needed recognition of WHRDs and their work, and would be an important tool in urging States to create enabling environments in which WHRDs can carry out their activities, free from intimidation, threats or attacks.