On 21 June 2014, nine women human rights defenders were arrested for protesting peacefully against the Protest and Public Assembly Law in Heliopolis, Cairo, after being dispersed by the police using tear gas and bird shots.
Some would call me ‘unsexy’,’ uncool’ and brutally hardcore but Yes, I am a feminist and I am not sorry about it. I was born one, I have always been one but maybe I just needed a push to tilt my head above the “surface” and realize that I will be sinking if I don’t defend my identity, my being a woman and the essence of my living.
The wall of missing girls aroundthe Falomo Roundabout under theFalomo BridgeinLagoshadbecomesignificantinthecrusadeforthesearchforourmissinggirls.OnMay8thattheroundabout,WomenFor Peace and Justice Bring Back our Girls Lagosafterobtaining therequired permission,hadcarefully placedplacards with the profiles andnames of 176 Chibok girlsthatthat had been verified by CAN. The placards wereevidence that200+girlsweremissingandwereasymbolofourcommitment tobringbackourgirls,thesharedpainoftheChibokparentsandtheloveofournation.
After three years of war in Nuba Mountains, the indiscriminate bombardment and the massive human rights violation continue to escalate. During the last five weeks, the Jnajweed (Rapid Respond Forces as the government call them), were deployed in large numbers to several areas in Nuba mountains. The government media reported on April 26, 2014*, that the Janjweed militias were legal troops, affiliated with the National Security forces; and their mission in Nuba Mountains was to end the insurgency in the region during this summer.
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.