Law reform

In the Middle East and North Africa region, there is a large and growing number of stateless individuals, i.e. those who do not possess nationality due to various reasons such as stateless parents, failure to register for citizenship, and gender discriminatory laws. Because these individuals lack documentation linking them to the state in which they live, they are deprived of the rights that a national would enjoy, such as the issuing of birth and marriage certificates as well as schooling and work. The situation worsens when gender discriminatory laws and custom reproduce statelessness in new generations, who are unable to practice their agency and pursue their ambitions. A new report examines the relationship between gender discrimination and statelessness in the Middle East.

The number of Afghan women jailed for fleeing forced and abusive marriages, and other "moral crimes", has soared since 2011, according to Human Rights Watch.

Bangladesh has followed India and Pakistan as the third South Asian country to elect a woman as parliament speaker, defying a threat by the Hefajat-e-Islam organisation, which warned the government not to promote women.

Hardline students protested in Afghanistan's capital, demanding the repeal of a presidential decree for women's rights that they say is un-Islamic. The protest came days after conservative politicians' vehement opposition blocked an attempt to cement the decree's provisions in law.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday urged the Egyptian Government to take steps to ensure that the current version of a draft law on civil society organizations is laid open to careful examination by Egyptian and international human rights experts, and, based on their advice, is brought into line with international standards, before it is adopted by the Shura Council.

King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia issued Friday a historic decree allowing women to be members of the kingdom’s previously all-male Shura Council for the first time. The decree amended two article in the council’s statute introducing a 20 percent quota for women in the country’s 150-member Shura Council, and the king appointed 30 women to join the consultative assembly.

قبلت ميساء بأول عريس تقدم لخطبتها، بعدما رأت في الزواج خلاصا من “حياة الذل” التي عاشتها في كنف عمها وزوجته بعد وفاة والديها، لكنها لم تلبث ان اكتشفت انها كانت كمن يستجير من الرمضاء بالنار. فقد تبين لميساء التي لم تتم بعد عقدها الثاني، ان الزوج الذي يكبرها بعشرين عاما كان سكيرا ومدمن قمار وعقيما، وانه ايضا كانت له تجربة زواج سابقة فاشلة. وعلى ما يبدو، فقد كانت توليفته النفسية المجبولة على الغيرة والشك المرضيين، هي السبب في فشل تجربة الزواج تلك، والتي انتهت بعد رميه زوجته السابقة بالخيانة.

Single women in Iran will need the permission of their guardians to be able to leave the country if a new bill secures enough votes in parliament.

"I don't see myself as an Egyptian citizen in this constitution. I don't see my future in this constitution," she said.

Abdallah voted against the proposed constitution and now says it must not be left in its current version. It won't be easy to change, she says, but she hopes to see the text challenged through "legal ways and on the streets."

According to the news received from Saudi Arabia Rizana Nafeek, who has been the Dawadami Prison since 2005 may be executed at any moment. This was revealed to the BBC Sinhala Service by Dr. Kifaya Iftekhar, who is based in Saudi Arabia and who has been looking after the interests of Rizana for several years now. Dr. Iftekhar also said that the Sri Lankan government has been informed by the Saudi authorities of the possibility of her impending execution.

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