The terrorist attacks of 7 and 9 January against Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris have caused deep emotions and hurt feelings. Those events were experienced almost live by many Africans via the media. Across Africa fundamentalism allows and justifies unbearable violence. We must have the audacity to denounce it.
Secularism is being challenged in several Sub-Saharan African states which have long guarded it as a principle of governance. Its preservation is important for the protection of women's rights from religious interventions.
The election of the New Democratic Front is an opportunity to restore democracy and reshape the constitution, and women should play a key role in the socio-political democratic transformation. We suggest how Sri Lanka might reshape its society and institutions after the brutal Rajapaksa regime was ousted in the January elections.
As a member of the Women Human Rights Defender International Coalition (WHRDIC), WLUML condemns the killing of Shaimaa El Sabbagh and calls on the Egyptian government to investigate her murder, and to drop charges against all witnesses.
We are facing a political threat, a totalitarian Islamist threat that manifests in terrorism. Journalists are defending something which is elementary to our democracy: our freedom to breathe and to laugh.
On December 31st, 2014 the African Assembly for the Defence of Human Rights (RADDHO) organized a press conference to review the situation of human rights in Mauritania, further to the arrest and detention of Biram Dah Abeid, President of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) and eight other human rights defenders. The conference took place in the presence of two members of the WLUML network Fatou Sow (International Director) and Codou Bop (Board member). They participated at the conference to denounce the fatwa against Aminettou Mint El-Moctar, president of the Association of the Women heads of the family. The following statment was delivered to the conference.
A death sentence was issued in June 2014, against Ms. Aminettou Mint El Moctar, president of the Association of Women-Headed Households (AFCF) in Nouakchott. This was not an act of the Mauritanian justice system, but a fatwa from Yadhih Ould Dahi, the leader of a radical Islamist movement, Ahbab Errassoul. This fatwa was relayed in many mosques in the country and in the media, which resulted in violent threats against Ms. Mint El Moctar. The judicial authorities refused to accept the complaint she tried to file against the religious leader. The pressure on Ms. Mint El Moctar remains very strong.