Empowerment

Walking a Tightrope: Women and Veiling in the United Kingdom by Ayesha Salma Kariapper examines the ways in which public debates over the headscarf and the full-face veil have shaped the strategies of women from Muslim communities, strategies developed to deal with the limitations imposed on them in the name of religion, culture, tradition and identity within the community, and with racism and exclusion from mainstream society. You can now download the book for free!

The exhibition looks at women's dress in some Muslim countries and communities and is a snapshot of diversities and commonalities through space and time. These highlight the influence of many forces – class, status, region, work, religious interpretation, ethnicity, urban/rural, politics, fashion, climate.

Afghanistan:  Up to 90 percent of women in parts of Kabul cannot rent a house, open a bank account, inherit money or vote because they don’t have ID cards. The Norwegian Refugee Council's unique female only intervention team is helping households headed by women, while other NGOs struggle to recruit female staff.

By Doaa Abdelaal

I still feel the teargas' effects on me... my eyes and my nose are on fire, the voices of people are coming from different sides “wash your eyes with Pepsi”, and the voice in my head “but my face will be sticky”. I still check my Twitter timeline and search for my friends and colleagues tweets or the face book updates; recalling the unspoken code: as long as you are tweeting or facebooking then you are safe and hopefully secure.

Birth registration can play a crucial role in reducing child marriage, but this depends on enforcing existing laws and having comprehensive systems in place to register major life events, including deaths, marriages, adoptions and births. A ministerial conference of Asia-Pacific countries confronted this issue last November.

Women’s rights have been held up as one of the most tangible gains of the international intervention in Afghanistan. Yet after 13 years of promises that women’s rights are a high priority, these gains remain fragile and are at increasing risk of erosion, especially as expected peace talks with the Taliban gain momentum.

In this TEDx talk, Afghan women's rights activist and WLUML networker Noorjahan Akbar shares her personal journey for getting an education and the impact that education has on empowering women around the world and in Afghanistan.

Shirkat Gah - Women’s Resource Centre, the Institute for Women’s Empowerment (IWE), and Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) have today announced the launch of a new feminist leadership web portal as part of their Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation (WELDD) programme. The portal will act as a virtual pathway to feminist activists, organisations, and dreamers of a gender -just and egalitarian world. The portal is a space to share useful resources, a forum for sharing experiences and holding discussions and debates about how to nurture feminist leadership that is transformative and sustainable. WELDD is committed to Global South knowledge production, and will hold a space for theoretical/conceptual explorations emerging from Muslim majority contexts in Arabic, Bahasa, English, French and Urdu.

While on one hand a PIL has been filed for UCC, there is another significant development in this direction. This relates to the personal laws of Muslim community. That ‘Muslim women are subject to more domination and gender injustice’ has been a widespread perception. While as such the Personal laws of different religious communities are not giving adequate justice to women, the popular focus is mainly on the Muslim community. This despite the fact that there are number of Muslim women’s groups who are striving for gender just civil codes within Muslim community. The recently released Nikahnama (Marriage Norms) by Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) is one such leap by Muslim women to overcome the shackles of patriarchal grip on the Muslim women.  Model Nikahnama released by BMMA (June 23, 2014) is an important step in this direction, in the direction of empowering Muslim women This tries to give the solution to various problems faced by Muslim women. It outlines the various steps for which the large section of Muslim women is longing for. 

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