Empowerment

Samar Badawi a déclaré à l'AFP qu'elle avait déposé une plainte auprès du tribunal administratif de La Mecque (ouest) contre le ministère pour avoir dénié aux femmes le droit de se faire enregistrer sur la liste des électeurs en prévision du scrutin municipal, prévu le 22 septembre. Les Saoudiennes n'ont pas non plus le droit de conduire dans le royaume dont les lois s'inspirent d'une version rigoriste de l'islam. Celles-ci interdisent aussi aux femmes de voyager sans l'autorisation d'un tuteur, et les placent en position d'infériorité en cas de divorce ou d'héritage.

Tehmina Kazi wears modest western dress and believes in plurality and diversity within her faith, Islam. For her pains, she has been labelled a whore, admonished for not wearing the hijab and accused, inaccurately, of wearing short skirts by people she has never met, writing online. When she defended Usama Hasan, the London imam who faced death threats and was suspended from Leyton mosque last month after he said evolution was compatible with Islam, she had to go to police after receiving threats of her own.

The EWIC Scholars’ Database is an invaluable listing of scholars from all over the world and from all disciplines whose work focuses on women, gender, and Islamic cultures. Based on the authors’ database for the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, this free online publication is a fully searchable directory of connecting scholars, students, policymakers, and activists with each other and with NGOs, governmental agencies, research foundations, publishers, members of the media, and potential employers seeking researchers whose work specifically covers issues on women and gender related to Islamic cultures. The online database, funded by a grant from the International Development Research Center (Ottawa), is published at http://sjoseph.ucdavis.edu/ewic.

Hundreds of Syrian women have marched along the country's main coastal highway to demand the release men seized from their hometown, human rights activists said. Security forces, including secret police, stormed the town of Baida, going into houses and arresting hundreds of men after locals joined anti-government protests, according to the activists. Video showed a large crowd, most of them women, marching along the road leading to Turkey as they chanted: "We want the men of Baida."

In a bare, shabby side room in Benghazi's central courthouse, the hub of pro-democracy Libyan operations, Salwa Bugaighis talks animatedly, hardly flinching as gunshots ring out from the raucous crowds outside. They, like her, are in a mood that veers between celebration and defiance to anxiety. They flood the area of the seafront, which is littered with boards displaying caricatures of the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qaddafi and stalls selling souvenirs since the eastern part of the country was liberated on February 20.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders recently produced this report on the the situation of women human rights defenders. In response, the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, of which MADRE is a member, produced this statement that was read at the Human Rights Council.  

This report is based on a Musawah research project on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (‘CEDAW’ or ‘the Convention’) that examined States parties’ justifications for their failure to implement CEDAW with regard to family laws and practices that discriminate against Muslim women. 

بدأ سباق رئاسة الجمهورية واعلن عدد من الرموز السياسية في مصر نيتهم الترشح لمنصب رئاسة الجمهورية ومنهم عمرو موسي والبرادعي وايمن نور والصباحي وخلت القائمة من الجنس الناعم‏. ‏ثم أعلنت الاديبة انس الوجود عليوة عضو اتحاد الكتاب عن نيتها الترشح لرئاسة الجمهورية كأول سيدة تعلن ترشحها لهذا المنصب وذلك عبر صفحتها علي الفيس بوك‏.‏

The preconceived notions about the working conditions of NGOs in general and feminist organisations in particular would seem to apply in this case. Behind a website crammed with a wealth of high-quality information in seven languages, successful campaigns, projects, and calls for solidarity, a lot of hard work is being done in backstreet offices. The international co-ordination office (ICO) of Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML, www.wluml.org) is situated in North London. Here, in a roughly thirty square metre corner of an old factory, five women and a handful of unpaid volunteers work, network, raise funds, publish, debate, and co-ordinate the work of a global network. The diversity of the team – which comprises women from Pakistan, Italy, Sweden, Nigeria, and England as well as people of Christian, Muslim and atheist orientations – is in itself a reflection of what WLUML is all about, namely bringing a diverse range of women with their different life experiences together, across national borders, questioning and overcoming existing gender orders together, and demanding gender justice. Women Living Under Muslim Laws is a name that invokes a variety of associations. However, behind these five carefully chosen words is a clear message.

On March 12, 2011, women human rights defenders from Palestine and Israel marked the centenary of International Women's Day with a historic conference at which the following contributions were made:  Ilana Hammerman: The "Entry to Israel" law is illegal and should not be obeyed; and Rivka Sum: The attack in Itamar proves that we should continue to work daily together to end the impossible occupation. 

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