Empowerment

The enormous role of women in the uprisings in the MENA region is undisputed. They faced verbal and physical abuse, violence, arrest and death just as their male counterparts. The transformation of these countries has been groundbreaking, and their participation is as important as ever. After the dust of the battle settles, will Arab societies remember to include women in the rebuilding of their countries?

Roj Women’s Association has just published its last Annual Activities Report that maps out the organization’s campaigning and community work from April 2010 until March 2011. Field research in Kurdish regions of the world, community research among the Kurdish Diaspora, lobbying meetings at British, European and United Nations forums, grassroots groups capacity-building, seminars for university students and communities, to mention a few, are the activities that materialize a wider strategy that seeks to improve the lives of women in Kurdish regions and communities of the world.

إلى والدنا خادم الحرمين الشريفين الملك عبد الله بن عبد العزيز حفظه الله ورعاه السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته وبعد: نحن بنات وأبناء هذا الوطن نشكر لكم كل ما قدمتموه وبذلتموه للنهوض ببلدنا الغالي من خلال اهتمامكم بقضايا المرأة وهي من تمثل نصف المجتمع و وإننا نرفع خطابنا هذا لكم من أجل مستقبل أكثر إشراقا لهذا الوطن. سيدي لا يخفى عليكم ما تعانيه المرأة السعودية من مشكلات لا تنعكس أثارها عليها فقط، بل على الأسرة بأكملها وعلى الاقتصاد الوطني ككل ، فالنساء يشكلن مانسبته 50% من تعداد السكان في المملكة وفقا لمصلحة الإحصاءات العامة و المعلومات، و قد أثبتت المرأة السعودية نجاحها و تميزها علمياً و عملياً ، و أيضا أنشأت رجال ناجحين ساهموا في بناء هذا الوطن.

شبكة النساء في ظل قوانين المسلمين"في حاجة ماسة للموارد المالية لتغطية تكاليف خدمات الاتصالات والمنشورات التي هي محور عملنا، وخصوصا في ظل التطورات السياسية الأخيرة والفرص المتاحة من أجل حقوق المرأة والديمقراطية عبر السياقات الإسلامية.

WLUML a besoin, de toute urgence, des fonds pour couvrir ses frais de communication et de publication qui constituent les secteurs les plus importants de son travail, surtout avec les évènements politiques récents et les chances de promouvoir les droits des femmes et la démocratie dans les contextes musulmans.

The Casa Asia Award 2011, in its eighth edition, has been awarded to the Malaysian NGO Sisters in Islam for its solid committment in promoting women's rights in the Muslim world from Malaysia. Sisters in Islam is a Non-Government Organization of Muslim women that searches to articulate women's rights in Islam, highlighting the need to interpret Koran in its own historical and cultural context. This group, made up of several Malaysian women, who are lawyers, activists, academics and journalists, advocates for the right of women to hold public positions, and directs its efforts towards the promotion of rights, in global, of Muslim women, on the basis of principles such as equality, justice and freedom imposed by the Koran.

AWID and the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition reviewed a broad range of urgent responses available to women human rights defenders Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) at risk around the world. This report describes the types of resources and strategies available to respond to urgent situations of violence against WHRDs as well as some of the organizations that offer them.

Karima Bennoune, member of WLUML’s Council and a law professor at Rutgers School of Law - Newark, served as a human rights observer at a series of pro-democracy demonstrations in Algeria in February. These demonstrations included significant numbers of women, and women human rights defenders (WHRDs) from a new coalition, the Observatoire Nationale sur la violence faites aux femmes (National Observatory on Violence against Women). Bennoune documented the treatment of the protestors, in particular of the women activists involved, as they faced police beatings, arrest and harassment. Prominent women’s rights advocateCherifa Kheddar, was arrested and briefly detained. Many of the Algerian women Bennoune met expressed tremendous enthusiasm about the presence of an international observer.

Au Sénégal, les femmes et les fillettes en situation de handicap sont, tous les jours, confrontées à des violences physiques et sexuelles (sévices physiques, viols, mariages précoces et forcés, rejet ou viol par le conjoint,…) et des abus psychologiques (préjugés, mépris, insultes, rejet,…). Leur handicap les expose quotidiennement à des préjugés culturels qui prennent diverses formes, tout au long de leur vie. 

Since the start of the wave of uprisings that have swept the Arab world, "establishment" figures, especially women, have been celebrated as the "icons" of the revolution – symbols of its homegrown, indigenous nature. Tawakkol Karman in Yemen, and Saida Saadouni in Tunisia are examples of this fierce matriarchy. They are of the tradition, and respected more so because of it. Hijab-clad, religiously conservative and socially conventional, they reserve their rebellion for the political arena, rendering them relatively immune to accusations of immorality or harsh personal attacks.

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