Questions for Hibaaq Osman, founder and director of Karama: 1. How have efforts to implement the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) in the Arab region evolved since Beijing? Has this been satisfactory? Since the adoption of the BPFA, there has been considerable progress throughout the region in meeting international standards that reinforce gender equality. In particular, the civil society sector has expanded, proliferating local organizations whose mission it is to address key issues that have prevented governments and other authorities from enacting, implementing and enforcing laws that protect women from discrimination and violence. This NGO component had been largely missing and now acts to directly respond to the needs of the local community and communicate these to national and international authorities. In particular, a renewed focus on empowering women and increasing their role in decision-making has been demonstrated.

A l'occasion de la Journée internationale contre les mutilations génitales, célébrée le 6 février, l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a souligné la nécessité de développer une stratégie mondiale contre la médicalisation de ces pratiques. « 18% des femmes et des filles qui ont souffert de mutilation génitale ont été opérées par des professionnels de la santé », a indiqué Elise Johansen, de l'OMS, ajoutant que cette tendance semblait en augmentation.

We are the organizations and activist the founders of the “Alliance of 149”, which targeting to reform article 149 embedded in the criminal law of 1991. This article is defined as rape; one of the ugliest crimes that violates the privacy of human being and has consequences that correlates the victim in all his life.

Thousands of activists gathered at events in 15 countries on Saturday 9 January in a global coordinated effort, calling on world leaders to take urgent steps to prevent a return to severe and widespread conflict in Sudan. Sudan365 (www.sudan365.org), a year of campaigning for Sudan, has been organised by a coalition of groups including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Save Darfur Coalition, FIDH, Refugees International, Darfur Consortium and Arab Coalition for Darfur. 

حت عنوان "واحة الإفلات من المحاسبة والعقاب"، يصدر مركز القاهرة لدراسات لحقوق الإنسان اليوم تقريره السنوي الثاني حول حقوق الإنسان في العالم العربي خلال عام 2009. ويأسف مركز القاهرة لدراسات لحقوق الإنسان لأن يعلن للرأي العام، أن حالة حقوق الإنسان في هذه المنطقة، تتجه إلى المزيد من التدهور، حتى بالمقارنة مع الوضع المتدهور عام 2008. يستعرض التقرير أبرز التطورات ذات الصلة في 12 بلد عربي، هي مصر وتونس والجزائر والمغرب والسودان ولبنان وسوريا وفلسطين والعراق والسعودية والبحرين واليمن.

Today the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies released its second annual report on the state of human rights in the Arab world for the year 2009.  The report, entitled Bastion of Impunity, Mirage of Reform, concludes that the human rights situation in the Arab region has deteriorated throughout the region over the last year. The report reviews the most significant developments in human rights during 2009 in 12 Arab countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen. It also devotes separate chapters to the Arab League and an analysis of the performance of Arab governments in UN human rights institutions.

In the Middle East and North Africa, where political change occurs slowly, blogging has becomes a serious medium for social and political commentary as well as a target of government suppression, writes Mohamed Abdel Dayem. Before the June presidential election, the Iranian government blocked access to more than a dozen social networking sites and online news sources perceived as favoring opposition candidates. Hours before polls opened, SMS, or short message service for mobile phones, was disrupted and remained offline for weeks. The day after the election, the government shut down mobile phone service for an entire day.

تلقت فتاة سودانية في السادسة عشرة خمسين جلدة لارتدائها ثوبا "غير محتشم"، بحسب ما افاد  محامي عائلتها الذي يعارض هذا التطبيق المتشدد للشريعة الاسلامية. وقال محامي فتاة من جنوب السودان وعائلتها ان الفتاة جلدت 50 مرة لانها ارتدت تنورة رأى قاض أنها خليعة وذلك في احدث قضية تسلط الضوء على تطبيق الشريعة الاسلامية في السودان. وقالت جنتي دورو والدة الفتاة سليفا كاشف والتي تبلغ من العمر 16 عاما لرويترز يوم الجمعة انها تنوي مقاضاة الشرطة التي اعتقلت ابنتها والقاضي الذي أصدر الحكم. وأضافت أن ابنتها قاصر ومسيحية. وستؤجج القضية نقاشا حاميا حول قوانين الاحتشام في السودان بعد حكم نال اهتماما كبيرا بادانة لبنى حسين المسؤولة السودانية في الامم المتحدة لارتدائها سروالا وسجنها لفترة قصيرة.

A 16-year-old south Sudanese girl was lashed 50 times after a judge ruled her knee-length skirt was indecent, her lawyer and family said in the latest case to push Sudan's Islamic law into the spotlight. The mother of teenager Silva Kashif told Reuters on Friday [Nov 27] she was planning to sue the police who made the arrest and the judge who imposed the sentence, as her daughter was underage and a Christian. The case will add fuel to a debate already raging over Sudan's decency laws after this year's high-profile conviction of Sudanese U.N. official Lubna Hussein, who was briefly jailed for wearing trousers in public.

In February the Sudanese government legalized the Sunna form of FGM. The Council of Ministers dropped the 13th article of the 2009 Children’s Act which banned FGM to take into account the fatwa that distinguishes “harmful” circumcision from Sunna.
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