South Asia

In the week Malala Yousafzai collects her prize in Oslo, Karima Bennoune writes, "Dear Malala, As you accept the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, please know how many human rights activists around the world -- especially women -- are grateful to you ..."

In August 2005, the Sri Lankan Parliament unanimously passed the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act No 34 (PDVA), marking the culmination of a legal advocacy process initiated by a coalition of women’s NGOs in 1999.

 

Four years since the end of the armed conflict, the situation of minority women in the north and east of Sri Lanka has changed dramatically – and for many it is getting worse. In the latter stages of the conflict and its aftermath, military forces were responsible for a variety of human rights abuses against the civilian population, including extrajudicial killings, disappearance, rape, sexual harassment and other violations. In the current climate of impunity, sustained by insecurity and the lack of military accountability, these abuses continue.

Qui est Farida Afridi?

Farida Afridi a co-fondé SAWERA avec sa soeur Noorzia en 2008, alors qu’elle avait tout juste 21 ans.

SAWERA a pour objectif de promouvoir les droits des femmes et des enfants, ainsi que l'éducation, dans la zone dite tribale de la région FATA, au Nord Ouest du Pakistan (jouxtant l’Afghanistan).

Women's Action Forum (WAF) Lahore is deeply disturbed by the shocking news of the killing of  Ms. Farida Afridi in the Khyber Agency. It is evident from news reports that she was killed because she was a woman human rights defender associated with a non-government organization working for the welfare of tribal women.

This project was implemented by Sangtani Women Rural Development Organisation Rajanpur (Sangtani) as part of their ongoing programme. Sangtani is an organisation that has been working in Rajanpur, one of Pakistan’s least developed areas, to provide counselling, mediation and free legal aid to needy women in family disputes to ensure their access to justice.

In response to Cecile Jackson's article, Agarwal argues here that Jackson has seriously misrepresented her work, often attributing the opposite of what she has said, and turned nuanced and balanced formulations into one-sided extremes. She seeks to correct the important misrepresentations, as well as outline substantive differences with Jackson. In particular, her argument that women should not claim family land for risk of destabilizing family relations could, by extension, have deeply conservative implications for all forms of women's struggles to enhance their freedoms and capabilities.
This paper focuses on a much neglected issue: the links between gender inequities and command over property. It outlines why in rural South Asia, where arable land is the most important form of property, any significant improvement in women's economic and social situation is crucially tied to their having independent land rights. Better employment opportunities can complement but not substitute for land. But despite progressive legislation few South Asian women own land; even fewer effectively control any. Why?

Awarding the Edgar Graham Book Prize in 1996, “the judges were unanimous that this book will become a classic landmark work of reference.” They said: “Professor Agarwal’s book gives a masterly review and analysis of women’s property rights in South Asia. It goes into the detailed legal, historical, cultural and other roots of women’s access to land. It analyses the implications of women’s property rights in both formal and customary law, for farming systems, household economies and livelihoods of the most vulnerable. It looks at their response to past development and change.

This project was implemented by Women Workers Help Line (WWHL), an organisation that has been working in Pakistan to promote women’s social, political and economic rights, including campaigns for the repeal of all discriminatory laws against women. In this project, WWHL provided capacity building, leadership training and knowledge dissemination for women peasants, for whom land rights are closely linked to issues of food sovereignty. A charter of demand for women’s rights to land and property was drawn up after consultations with different stakeholders, social movements and NGOs.

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