From 1991 through 2001, a series of conflicts, including the Bosnian War, were fought on the territory of the Former Yugoslavia. During that time, ethnic, sexual and economic violence against women was rampant and rape was used as a tool for “ethnic cleansing”. Neither international nor domestic trials adequately addressed these multiple forms of violence against women, and neither was focused on the interests of victims. It was evident that a court designed by and for women was needed in order to develop a feminist approach to justice in this context.
Huda Jawad is a WLUML networker based in London, United Kingdom. She recently spoke at the Inspiring Migrant Women Conference in London. Below is the text of her speech, which drew partly upon the reflections she wrote for our 16 Days of Activism in 2013. The text of the speech was originally published on Huda’s website www.hudajawad.org
I was born in Baghdad and left Iraq at the age of two. I grew up in the United Arab Emirates and Syria before coming to settle as a teenager in London in the late eighties. My parents were political activists during the time of Saddam Hussein and fled Iraq after the death sentence was imposed on them in absentia. We travelled throughout the Middle East and seemed that we were constantly on the move.
Pramada Menon is a queer feminist activist who ponders about all matters she thinks are complex. When not pondering and procrastinating, she works as a consultant on issues of gender and sexuality and women’s rights, and occasionally performs Fat, Feminist and Free, a freewheeling look at body image, sexuality and life.
By Marieme Helie Lucas, Algerian sociologist, founder and former International Coordinator of Women Living Under Muslim Laws
Sarajevo, Bosnia – May 8, 2015 - Yesterday May 7, the Women’s Court on war crimes against women during the war in the 1990’s formally started in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
Women have come together from all the corners of the former-Yugoslavia to participate in the Women’s Court in Sarajevo, to demand justice for the crimes committed against them during the wars and the enduring inequalities and suffering that followed.
A week ago, All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) and DAP Damansara Utama assemblywoman Yeo Bee Yin launched a rape awareness campaign with the tagline “No Excuse For Rape”. It didn’t take long before the topic of marital rape came up, and to my dismay, there were people defending it in the name of Islam.
Sabeen Mahmud alleviated intellectual poverty until the day she was murdered, 24 April 2015. In an interview with Karima Bennoune in 2010 Mahmud explained why she founded a politico-cultural space in Karachi.
Sally Armstrong, Canadian author and journalist involved in the WLUML network, spoke at the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2015. Her talk, given to the panel session on political will and public will, focused on individual personal will as an important component in struggles for gender equality.
The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, of which WLUML is a member, is alarmed that the Prosecutor General at the Qasr El Nile Prosecution Office in Cairo has rejected appeals for lawyer and woman human rights defender Azza Soliman to be listed as a witness rather than a defendant in the case of Shaimaa ElSabbagh, who was killed while peacefully protesting on January 24 2015.
Two decades after the Fourth World Conference on Women, women and girls around the world deserve better than this year’s CSW outcomes. At this time of celebration and affirmation of Beijing and commitment to accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, what women don’t need is an outcome weakened by its lack of engagement with women on the ground and lacking in vision and commitment.