In response to the kidnapping by Boko Haram of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria, the world has mobilised around the BringBackOurGirls hashtag, creating an online frenzy and taking to streets and embassies. Among those protesting for the safe return of the schoolgirls have been various friends and partners from around the Women Living Under Muslim Laws network.
Doaa Abdelaal is a women’s rights activist who works in Egypt, the Middle East, and North Africa with women and youth groups. She is a board member of the International Solidarity Network Women Living Under Muslim Laws and a member of Ikhtyar Collective for Gender Research and Studies in Egypt.
I still remember how I felt celebrating with thousands on Tahrir Square the night Hosni Mubarak was toppled. I was happy and proud. I believed that change would come. Whenever I feel confused or frustrated now, I recall those feelings to encourage me to continue moving toward change.
If we forget about these girls it means we are forgetting our own sisters, our own people."- Malala Yousafzai
Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) is enraged by the abduction of more than 200 girls in Chibok, Borno State of Northeastern Nigeria, whose fate remains unclear. We grieve with the families of the girls and support their call to bring them safely back to their homes where they belong. We urge the Nigerian government to do their utmost power in bringing the girls back to their families and subsequently assuring they receive medical and psychological support, and the international community to assist them. We are in solidarity with the people and civil society groups in Nigeria who are opposing and resisting the rise of armed political Islamist forces who misuse and abuse the name of Islam to justify their brutal terrorist ploy.
Nihal Saad Zaghloul is an Egyptian WLUML networker. Here, she talks to Christopher Reeve of Community Times.
Nihal Saad Zaghloul is not afraid to get her hands dirty. Literally. After meeting with Community Times in a Zamalek coffee shop, Zaghloul was making a U-turn, when a young rookie driver, unfamiliar with Cairo’s traffic conventions, drove into her path. Zaghloul slammed her car’s brakes, but contact was inevitable. Luckily, there was no major damage, except for a flat tire. A policeman arrived at the scene, and all parties agreed that the tire simply needed to be changed. The rookie driver, a young man, did not know how to change a tire.
“I’ll do it,” Zaghloul offered. The police officer objected: what would people think if they saw a woman changing a tire as men looked on?
TEHRAN, Iran—When Shadi Amin was growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran, she began experiencing sexual feelings toward other girls. “I thought there was something wrong with me,” she says. “I thought, maybe I should change something.” By “something,” Amin was referring not to her identity or lifestyle, but to her gender. “If I was that young girl living in Iran today, I would have considered having a sex change operation,” even though she has never identified with being male.
The Sudanese civil society organizations conventionally celebrate the International Women Day on the 8th of March every year through many events to commemorate and promote the role of the Sudanese women in the society by organizing activities that demonstrate the various issues which reflect women`s contributions to improving their conditions and achieving social and gender justice from their different positions.
This year, after the extensive arrangements carried out by more than 30 organizations, including the formation of committees and designing the programmes and activities which had been planned to be held at the Nubian Club on that day, and which included following-up the procedures of getting police and security permissions a long with the early preparations for the entre details of the celebration which reflected the solidarity among women and the power of collective action, and depicted the organizational skills of each organizing group.
In honour of the determination of people like Algerian TV producer, Aziz Smati, who was shot exactly twenty years ago today, we must support all those who wield song against suicide belt, and wage art against fundamentalism, writes Karima Bennoune
>Using case studies from Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, Israel and India, Sexuality in Muslim Contexts argues that Muslim religious traditions do not necessarily lead to conservative agendas but can promote emancipatory standpoints. This book is one that should be read by all those interested in sexuality, religion, Islam, or gender, writes Olivia Mason. The wide range of case studies make it suitable for both an academic and general audience while the examples make it a stimulating and accessible read.
Public Statement by the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA)
22nd January 2014
In August 2013, soon after Eid Al Fatah, a young Ethiopian woman was lured to an empty property where she was pinned down and brutally gang raped by a group of seven men. The rape was filmed by one of the participants and then circulated through online social media months later. Since the film became publically available, six of the perpetrators have been arrested by police (on the 15th Jan) as well as the young woman in question (on the 17th Jan). One of the perpetrators, notably the individual that lured the victim, is still unaccounted for despite attempts by police to find him.
Helping women worldwide share their stories and work for change
On the 19th of November 2012 Konda Delphine (Cameroon), Rose Wachuka (Kenya), and WLUML networker Aya Chebbi (Tunisia) started the Voice of Women Initiative (VOW). The main and core essence of VOW was to collect stories from women and about women all around the globe in a bid to inspire and change lives. They then expanded and invested in a website that carried more stories and hosted more contributors.