[31 July 2001] What started in Hassi Messaoud, Algeria on
the night of July 13-14, 2001 is NOT one more crime/violence/violation in the
wartime situation that our country has now become famous for. A qualitative
change has taken place.
The Kosovo crisis is at the heart of the
decade long war drama of the late country that used to be called Yugoslavia. The
symbolic sign of the scope of immensely shallow (mis)understanding of the dead
country’s destiny is (for those of us who still remember) today painfully
visible in CNN headlines: “War in Yugoslavia”.
What “Yugoslavia” the world
is talking about today? The trick with people’s memory and amnesia is maybe
unintentional, but it’s no less misleading.
On 21st January 2000, Rajko
Danilovic, Flora Brovina’s defence lawyer, filed an appeal against his client’ s
twelve-year sentence. The appeal hearing was scheduled for 16th May 2000. The
appeal called for the Supreme Court to either acquit Mrs. Brovina, or to release
her on bail pending a retrial. Grounds for the retrial include violations of the
due process during the trial hearings including a breach of the Serbian Code of
Civil Procedure. On 7th June 2000 the Serbian Supreme Court has overturned the
conviction of Mrs.
often scarce space available to them in very different political circumstances,
women’s strategies in defence of their human rights range from entryism to
While fundamentalists read all women’s strategies as equally
significant of betrayal of their identity, liberals outside Muslim countries and
communities - and increasingly inside too - select the entryist strategy as the
only legitimate one insofar as it matches our “nature”.
the women’s movement remains united in standing for the need to use
Although all countries are unique,
Iran may have claim to more surprising political changes in the past century
than any other country existing continuously during that period. Among these
changes have been notable alterations in women’s roles and status. The birth of
urban mass politics during the constitutional revolution of 1906-11 saw women’s
first political activism, which continued after World War 1, though that
independence was eventually much diminished under the new Pahlavi dynasty of
Reza Shah (1921-41) (Afary, 1996; Bayat, 1978; Paidar, 1995; Sanasarian, 1982).
This essay draws on several talks and
conversations: Brandeis University, 17 March 1998; Harvard University, 19
November 1998; and American Association of Religion, 23 November 1999. 1 would
like to thank the organizers of each event for giving me the opportunity to
present these ideas, and other panel participants and the audience for critical
comments. Special thanks to Camron Amin, Janet Jakobsen, Irena Klepfisz, and Ann
Pellegrini for many thoughtful conversations.
In the Arab world, a woman must convince the court that she is 'harmed' by her husband to get a
The Current Status
The current status of
personal status laws in Arab countries have three distinct flaws: the absence of
a unified law, the absence of equality between men and women, and the absence of
equality between people of different religious denominations. We shall speak
briefly of each to explain.
• Excerpts from: New York
Times, November 28, 1999
Sufia Kamal, Bangladeshi
Writer and Women's Rights Advocate, Dies By Douglas
Sufia Kamal, a Bangladeshi poet, political activist and
feminist, died at age 88 on Nov. 20 1999 and was buried [...] with full state
honors, the first woman to receive that recognition from Bangladesh. [...]
[Thousands] of people paid their respects to Ms. Kamal at her funeral [...] in
Dhaka. [...] [Begum Kamal] ...