Violence against women

Afghanistan's parliament failed to pass a law on Saturday banning violence against women, a severe blow to progress made in women's rights in the conservative Muslim country since the Islamist Taliban was toppled over a decade ago.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network is deeply concerned about the growing trend of Syrian refugee women being sold into marriage as a ‘strategy’ of survival for desperate families; or as a way of escaping the destitution of life in refugee camps. Forced marriage is a form of sexual slavery which includes limitations to a woman’s autonomy, freedom of movement and power to decide matters relating to her sexual activity.

قال باباتوندي اوسوتيمين، المدير التنفيذي لصندوق الأمم المتحدة للسكان- أثناء زيارة قام بها مؤخراً إلى مخيم نيزيب للاجئين في تركيا، الذي يبعد حوالي 40 كيلومتراً شرق مدينة غازي عنتاب الجنوبية - أنه ينبغي بذل المزيد من الجهد لضمان صحة ورفاه النساء والأطفال المتضررين من النزاع السوري. ويأوي مخيم نيزيب، أحد أحدث المخيمات في تركيا، 10,000 لاجئ، أو "ضيف"، كما تفضل الحكومة أن تسميهم، في خيام من القماش الأبيض وحاويات متراصة في صفوف منظمة ومرقمة على الضفاف الصخرية لنهر الفرات التي تلفحها الشمس حتى تكتسي باللون الأبيض.

يشكو نشطاء حقوقيون من ارتفاع مفاجئ في وتيرة الاغتصاب الذي تمارسه عصابات إجرامية منظمة في أرض الصومال، المنفصلة عن الصومال والتي لا يعترف بها المجتمع الدولي. ويشير النشطاء إلى وجود عصابات تجوب العاصمة هرغيسيا تحمل سكاكين تتعقب النساء في شوارع المدينة المغبرة، وتلجأ إلى جرهن إلى منازل أو أماكن ضيقة لاغتصابهن وسرقتهن.

Countless Moroccan women, continue to face abuse and sexual violence at the hands of their husbands. About 6 million women in Morocco are victims of violence, or around one in three. Morocco’s Social Development Minister Bassima Hakkaoui, the only female minister in the country, said last week that she would try to push forward a law protecting women that has been stuck in Parliament for 8 years.

Members of Hifazat-e Islam, a radical Islamist party in Bangladesh, attacked female journalists on assignment as the group marched in the country's capital to demand strict Islamic law, including a ban on free mixing of the sexes and punishment of “atheists and blasphemous bloggers”. 

The woman, who has two children, was shot dead on Monday 22 April by her father in front of a crowd of about 300 people in the village of Kookchaheel, in the Aabkamari district of Badghis province in north-western Afghanistan.

ABAAD-Resource Center for Gender Equality and the Swedish Institute hosted the Regional conference “Masculinity and ending Violence Against Women in the Middle East and Abroad” in Beirut, Lebanon on the 10th and 11th of April, 2013.

Rights activists in Kyrgyzstan are campaigning against a parliamentary proposal to bar women under the age of 23 from travelling abroad without their parents’ consent. 

Countries across Africa are experiencing unprecedented urban growth, presenting women with greater economic and social opportunities as well as greater risks to their safety and welfare. According to UN-HABITAT, “notable gender gaps in labour and employment, decent work, pay, tenure rights, access to and accumulation of assets, personal security and safety, and representation in formal structures of urban governance show that women are often the last to benefit from the prosperity of cities.”