violence against women

When rape is used as a weapon of war in places like Congo or Bosnia, thousands of women and girls can become pregnant, but a piece of 39-year-old U.S. legislation means that few if any aid groups are allowed to provide or even discuss abortion services with them.

There's a 38 year-old Congolese woman named Josephine who has probably never heard of U.S. Representative and Senatorial candidate Todd Akin. But, if she had, Josephine would know all too well how wrong Akin was when he said that a woman's body can "shut the whole thing down" and prevent a pregnancy if she experiences a "legitimate rape." When Josephine was 29, she, like many of the estimated 1.8 million other women and girls who were raped during the Congo's series of conflicts, became pregnant. Akin's comments will never affect Josephine, so she has little reason to care. But she cares very much about the U.S. legislative efforts to restrict abortion access, because that decades-long campaign, of which Akin is only an example, has changed her life permanently.

We, members of the Senegalese Feminist Forum, would like to express our full support for the Malian people and especially to the women who are woefully underrepresented in these critical moments of the country's political life.

Dakar, le 04 mai 2012

Nous, membres du Forum féministe sénégalais, souhaitons exprimer tout son soutien au peuple malien et en particulier aux femmes qui sont  malheureusement très peu représentées en ces moments critiques de la vie politique du pays.

There has been much controversy over a piece written by journalist Mona Eltahawy in the most recent issue of Foreign Policy Magazine entitled "Why Do They Hate Us: The Real War on Women is in the Middle East". Here Eltahawy and renouned scholar Leila Ahmed discuss the controversy. 

 

Moroccan activists have stepped up pressure to scrap laws that allow rapists to marry their victims - after a 16-year-old girl killed herself.

Amina Filali swallowed rat poison after being severely beaten during a forced marriage to her rapist.

An online petition has been started - and protests are planned for Saturday against a law branded by campaigners as an "embarrassment".

The penal code allows the "kidnapper" of a minor to marry her to escape jail.

'Dishonour'

Despite an increasing feeling of empowerment experienced by many Egyptian women during and after the revolution, they continue to be sexually harassed and abused by men in public on a daily basis, as recent coverage of events in Cairo—from “virginity tests” conducted by the military to male assaults on female protesters—illustrated.

It is a problem that long predates the Arab Spring. In 2008, a survey by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) found that a staggering 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women were exposed to sexual harassment in Egypt.

An administrative court ruled Tuesday that the Egyptian military had wrongly violated the human rights of female demonstrators by subjecting them to “virginity tests” intended to humiliate them.

The decision was the first to address a scandal arising from one of the military’s first crackdowns on protesters, on March 9, less than a month after it seized power with the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. And the ruling was also the first time since the military takeover that a civilian court has attempted to exert judicial authority over the ruling generals, who have suspended the Constitution and set themselves up as the only source of law.

A Saudi woman sentenced to be lashed 10 times for defying the country's ban on female drivers has had her punishment overturned by the king.

The woman, named as Shaima Jastaina and believed to be in her 30s, was found guilty of driving without permission in Jeddah in July. Her case was the first in which a legal punishment was handed down for a violation of the ban in the ultraconservative Muslim nation.

A Saudi woman has been sentenced to be lashed 10 times with a whip for defying the kingdom's prohibition on female drivers. It is the first time a legal punishment has been handed down for a violation of the longtime ban in the ultraconservative Muslim nation. Police usually stop female drivers, question them and let them go after they sign a pledge not to drive again. But dozens of women have continued to take to the roads since June in a campaign to break the taboo.

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