Action

20/12/2013

On 22 January 2014, the United Nations (UN)-backed Geneva II peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition are scheduled to be held with the goal of ending the Syrian conflict and creating a transitional government. However, nearly 14 years after the landmark passage of  UN Security Council resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) calling on UN member states to “increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts,” no women have been included in the Syrian peace negotiations.

21/11/2013

On 13 November two activists in Sudan are due to stand trial for ‘indecent behaviour’. They are at risk of imprisonment or flogging.

 

On 21 October Najlaa Mohammed Ali and Amin Senada were arrested by members of Sudan’s police and security forces who raided their car in Port Sudan. Najlaa Mohammed Ali, a lawyer and human rights activist, she met with Amin Senada, also an activist, to discuss the planning of a workshop. After their meeting, both of them got into the car that Najlaa Mohammed Ali had used to get to their meeting point. During the journey, their driver received a phone call and stopped the car to answer it. Minutes later two armed men came to the vehicle claiming to be from Sudan’s Public Order Police. After that another six men from the police and security forces joined them. They accused Amin Senada of placing his hand on Najlaa’s shoulder and ordered them to come with them to the Police Public Order Department. They threatened to take them by force if they refused to comply.

20/11/2013

There is less than a week before the draft resolution will come up for adoption. 

The following States have co-sponsored the resolution so far:
Armenia, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, EU, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Jordan, Lebanon, Vanuatu, Bosnia Herzegovina, Albania, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, USA,  New Zealand.

But push back continues on several aspects of the text, including:  

  • the inclusion of references to gender
  • explicit reference to WHRDs working to promote sexual and reproductive health, reproductive rights and matters related to sexuality
  • several States  are pushing for the inclusion of more references to the 'responsibilities' of human rights defenders.

Over 70 African civil society organisations have signed an open letter to the Africa Group urging them to support all aspects of the resolution

We need to keep urging States to support the resolution! 

12/11/2013

As we speak, a resolution is being negotiated at the General Assembly in New York on the protection of women human rights defenders (WHRDs).  This is the first time women defenders have been the focus of a draft resolution at the United Nations. Such an initiative is the result of activists’ work over many years raising awareness about the challenges, risks and attacks faced by women human rights defenders and their specific protection needs.  The resolution would provide much needed recognition of WHRDs and their work, and would be an important tool in urging States to create enabling environments in which WHRDs can carry out their activities, free from intimidation, threats or attacks.

29/10/2013

The groups here listed are deeply concerned by the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam’s announcement of a new penal code based on a strict interpretation of Shari’a law.  We add our voices to the growing concerns of the international community that this move towards stricter Shari’a law demonstrates a disturbing disregard of basic civil and political rights of the people of Brunei.   

Stoning as a cruel form of punishment and discrimination against women

Women’s rights organisations are particularly concerned that the new penal code includes stoning as a punishment for the crime of adultery.  There are 15 countries in which stoning is either practised, legalised, or both, and if this law comes into effect, Brunei will be the sixteenth.

29/10/2013

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) and the Violence is Not Our Culture Campaign (VNC) strongly condemn the conviction of two Saudi Arabian women's rights activists, Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni, for the crime of takhbib, or incitement of a wife to defy her husband.  Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni have been long time campaigners for women's rights in Saudi Arabia; they pioneered the Women2Drive campaign -  a campaign for Saudi women to be allowed to drive - in addition to offering support to women victims of domestic abuse.  

In June 2011 Ms Al-Huwaider and Ms Al-Oyouni responded to a call for help from a woman attempting to flee her husband, after the woman reported that he had been abusing her.  The wife is a Canadian citizen married to a Saudi national and had asked the women to meet her at her home to help her get to the Canadian Embassy.  When they arrived, it became clear that the husband had used his wife's cell phone to trick Ms Al-Huwaider and Ms Al-Oyouni into coming at that time and had arranged for the police to be there.  After the original charges of kidnap were dropped in 2011, the women were charged again on the 15th of June 2013, this time with takhbib and sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and two-year travel bans.   They appealed their conviction, but the sentence was upheld.

22/10/2013

Our Sudanese allies have come together to denounce the violence perpetrated by the Sudanese government.  Below you will find their message and petition. Please sign and circulate widely amongst your respective networks.

September 2013 saw hoards of people taking to the streets of Sudan in protest, sparked by the government’s lift on fuel subsidies in the already impoverished country.  Sudanese police and intelligence forces shot more than two hundred people dead.  The fact that the authorities’ guns were aimed at people’s chests and heads indicates that the aim was to "shoot to kill."  

On Monday October 21st Elsafie DafAllah and Hyatham Karar will hold a hunger strike in front of the White House (October 21st-25th).

14/10/2013
Equality Now has been monitoring multiple cases of Kenyan girls running away from their homes or avoiding going home from school during holidays to escape female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage, particularly during the August and December school holidays when mass mutilations are performed. The Pokot region, especially, has had a high number of reports of girls running away from home or refusing to return home from school. Despite the existence of Kenyan laws against FGM and child marriage, it is clear that they are not being implemented in the region to protect girls.
18/9/2013

A dedicated human rights activist in Sudan, Abdo Alshakour Isa is being detained incommunicado with no charges, and denied access to lawyers, medical care, and visits from his family.

23/8/2013

WLUML has been shocked to learn that there are two individuals at imminent risk of execution by stoning in Iran. In 2012, Zahra Pour Sai and Ali Sai Bashsiz were tried in Tabriz (Iranian Azerbaijan) court, convicted of Zina (adultery), and sentenced to death by stoning. They appealed their convictions, but the appeal was refused and the verdict was confirmed by Branch 7 of the Supreme Court. It is now feared that they are at imminent risk of death by stoning.