RE: DRAFT RESOLUTION ON PROTECTING WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
We write to you as a group of African human rights defenders and civil society organizations located across the continent working at national, regional and international levels. We are following negotiations on the draft resolution on the protection of women human rights defenders currently being advanced in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, with great interest. This is the first time a draft resolution has been put forward focusing exclusively on the protection of women human rights defenders. It is a hugely significant and important initiative for African societies.
Women who engage in the defence of all human rights and all those who defend the rights of women and work on issues related to gender equality make a vital contribution to democratic processes, securing and maintaining peace, and ensuring security, development and respect for human rights in our communities. However, in doing this work, women human rights defenders can face a range of violations and abuses – including gender-based violence – at the hands of State and non-State actors. States need to pay attention to the risks faced by women human rights defenders, acknowledge the value of their role, and commit to ensuring their protection. This is the time for all States to show leadership by supporting a resolution that seeks to do this globally.
When I first got the invitation from Marija to attend PitchWise 2013 in Sarajevo I sat for 10 minutes starring at my screen. I had millions of thoughts in my head, which included of course issuing the visa, taking days off from work, but what topped my thoughts was how come I still feel this pain when I hear or read the name of the city.
On July 11, Arifa Bibi, a young mother of two, was stoned to death in Pakistan. Her only "crime" was possessing a cellphone. In response to Bibi's killing, and others like it, a movement is building. More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling on the UN to eradicate this inhumane punishment. As Arifa’s story shows, stoning is as prevalent today as it has ever been. Understanding why and how this practice occurs is crucial to tackling it. Here are the answers to common questions about stoning.
We did it! Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) are delighted to announce that our petition, part of the Global Campaign to Stop Stoning Women, has received 10,000 signatures! Reaching this target more than a month ahead of schedule is testament to how strongly people feel worldwide about bringing an end to stoning. WLUML would like to thank everyone who signed the petition and said NO to this abhorrent practice.
Stoning, a form of execution where a group throws stones at a person until they are dead, still happens in parts of the Muslim world, mostly as a punishment for adultery. Most victims are women. Stoning, which is not mentioned in the Koran, violates international law. Below is a list of countries where stoning is legal and/or practised.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), Arry and the Nuba Women’s Group condemn the killing of hundreds of Sudanese protesters and the many more injured, as a result of arbitrary and unlawful force being used by Sudanese security forces in a wave of protests in Khartoum and several other towns in the country.
Khartoum. 27th September 2013. Sudanese Human Rights Monitor (SHRM) follows with great concern the gross human rights violations that accompany the ongoing peaceful protests since 22nd September 2013, especially in Medani and Khartoum. People were protesting in different locations in Medani, Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman against the government decision to cut subsidy of oil products, and consequently increase prices of fuel and food items. Police and security have dealt with these protests violently leading to killings in several cases.
WLUML would like to add its voice to the myriad voices from around the world mourning the passing away of Sunila Abeysekera, human rights and feminist activists from Sri Lanka earlier this month, while remembering her contribution to the global womens movement and the WLUML network in particular. Sunila worked closely with WLUML at our first feminist leadership institute held in Turkey in 1998 being one of a number of resource persons representing experiences from outside the Muslim world. She facilitated several sessions on using the human rights system and international mechanisms, monitoring and documenting human rights violations, and sexuality and sexual rights.
During Ramadan, a great uproar took place in Nigeria over actions by the government that were interpreted as trying to legalise child marriage. During a constitutional review, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima argued that a subsection of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution should not be removed as it affects the rights of Muslim women. Section 29 of the Nigerian constitution allows Nigerian citizens aged 18 and above to give up their citizenship.