Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) and its network partners are deeply concerned with the negotiations taking place at the 57th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which this year focuses on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls. The CSW is building on already established international agreements on women’s human rights. However, governments attacking the CSW are using arguments based on religion, culture, and tradition to justify violence and discrimination towards women and allow violations of their fundamental human rights.
We, the undersigned organisations and individuals, as represented in the Arab Caucus at the 57th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), are deeply concerned with the role of the leadership of our countries in the negotiations on the crucial issue of violence against women and girls.
We, the undersigned organisations and individuals across the globe, are again alarmed and disappointed that the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is wavering in its commitment to advance women’s human rights as demonstrated in the constant negotiation of the language in the outcome document continues.
On May 13th, 2012, a Sudanese court announced the penalty of stoning to death against a woman on a charge of zina (adultery). Intisar Sharif Abdalla was sentenced after an ‘admission of guilt’ instigated by repeated brutal beatings and other acts of torture by her brother, who brought forward the case. Her co-accused remains un-convicted.
In July 2012, Najiba, 21 was stoned and shot dead in Ghorband Valley of Parwan Province in front of a hundred and fifteen men in the community, cheering the stoning. This horrific incident was filmed by a community member who was present. Najiba had been accused of moral crimes by the local warlords and commanders, while the government blamed the Taleban insurgency.
At the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, we call on States where stoning still exists in law and in practice to abide by their international human rights obligations, banning stoning through legislative measures and holding perpetrators accountable to law. This includes Iran and Mauritania, two Member States currently sitting on the UN Commission of the Status of Women.
In 2012, two women in Sudan were sentenced to death by stoning. Layla Ibrahim Issa, who had a six-month old infant, was sentenced to stoning under Article 146 of the Sudanese Criminal Code. Our legal centre worked on Layla’s case. Layla’s husband placed a complaint against her, saying that she bore a child from another man in his absence. Initially she had no lawyer, and was not assigned one by the judge. Luckily, lawyers from the centre met with Layla, represented her, and drafted an appeal which was accepted and resulted in her release.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws is partnering with the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign (Iran), the Research Institute for Women Peace & Security (Afghanistan), the Women's Intercultural Network, and the Women's UN Report Network to host a panel on stoning as an act of violence against women at the 57th Commission at the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York.This not-to-be-missed event will be held on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 2:30pm at the Church Center for the UN - 10th Floor, 777 United Nations Plaza and is open to the public.
The 14th of February marked the day to end violence against women and girls worldwide! Across the globe women and men joined the One Billion Rise Campaign, taking to the streets, striking, rising and dancing to say enough is enough!