News

24/1/2014

24th January 2014

The Moroccan government has said it plans to change a law that allows rapists to avoid charges if they marry their victims.

The move comes nearly a year after 16-year-old girl committed suicide after being forced to marry her alleged rapist.

Women's rights activists on Tuesday welcomed Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid's announcement, but said it was only a first step in reforming a penal code that does not do enough to stop violence against women in this North African kingdom.

A paragraph in Article 475 of the penal code allows those convicted of "corruption" or "kidnapping" of a minor to go free if they marry their victim and the practice has been encouraged by judges to spare family shame.

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The suicicde of a teenager forced to marry her alleged rapist triggered protests and calls for legal reform [AP]

23/1/2014

From September 9th-11th 2013, Urgent Action Fund-Africa (UAF-Africa), along with their partners, organized the Women Steering Innovative Leadership in Africa Conference (WSILA) in Lilongwe, Malawi. The groundbreaking International Conference convened 300 women and men from over 30 African countries working in diverse fields and thematic areas to discuss the role of women in shaping the discourse of ‘African leadership’ on the continent.  The conference set to invigorate the approach to leadership by drawing examples from “traditional” and “non–traditional” leadership sources.

23/1/2014

January 22nd 2014

64% of all female participants said FGM was still practiced in the family.

According to a new study from Oman, female genital mutilation constitutes a widespread phenomenon in Oman in all age groups, and among women from all regional and educational backgrounds. Out of 100 women questioned 78 stated to be circumcised. The human rights activist and statistician Habiba Al Hinai conducted the study “Female Genital Mutilation in the Sultanate of Oman” in cooperation with Stop FGM Middle East for which she interviewed 100 female and 100 male participants in hospital waiting areas, shoppings malls and fast food restaurants in the capital Muscat.

16/1/2014

A new ILO study examines the constraints on working women in Algeria and the opportunities available to them.

16th January 2014

ALGIERS (ILO News) – “I am proud of my work, but the men say that we have taken their jobs. Our society is unyielding.” 


This statement by a 42 year old Algerian woman from Tissemsilt shows that the employment of women is still a matter for debate in Algeria – as in numerous other countries. 

13/1/2014
January 9th, 2014
 
Following significant advocacy by WLP Morocco/ADFM and other Moroccan women’s rights organizations, on January 8, 2014, the Moroccan Parliament finally adopted the draft law to amend article 475 of the Criminal /penal Code, which allowed rapists to escape prosecution if they married their victim. This article has mainly been used to justify the traditional practice of pressuring the victim to marry her rapist in the name of “preserving the honor of the girl’s family.”  This new amendment removes the second paragraph of the article, lifting the immunity of the rapist and preventing him from marrying his victim.

9/1/2014

In collaboration with a group of independent Syrian women representing all spectrums of Syrian society and Syrian Women Forum for Peace, on January 6, 2014, more than 60 Syrian women from a number of Syrian districts and governorates met in Damascus to discuss the role of women in peacemaking and develop priorities of Syrian women under the Geneva Conference 2.

6/1/2014

Religious leaders from four different faiths – Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim – denounce child marriage in a new video by UNFPA and UNICEF Nepal.

In the video, the leaders take an unequivocal stand against child marriage in Nepal, explaining that children do not have the physical, psychological or social maturity needed to enter marriage.

The announcement will be played on national television, radio and on the Internet in Nepal, a Hindu-majority country where 40% of girls are married before their eighteenth birthday.

2/1/2014

By Charles Recknagel

Honor beatings are not a term usually associated with Internet videos. But the genre continues to creep onto the web with clips purportedly showing Kyrgyz migrant women in Russia being beaten by their male compatriots for allegedly shaming their nation.

By Charles Recknagel

The latest video, which first appeared on December 16 on the Russian-language Bilayv website and has since been posted on YouTube, makes for disturbing viewing.

Filmed by the attackers themselves, it apparently shows a young Kyrgyz woman cowering on the platform of an empty suburban train station in an unidentified Russian city and being kicked repeatedly in the back, stomach, and chest by two unseen men.

The sound accompanying the video is a string of curses and profanity in which the men accuse her of having sexual relations with non-Kyrgyz men, specifically Uzbeks and Tajiks.

31/12/2013
Summary
 
The number of refugees in Lebanon has now reached 25 per cent of the total population. 78 per cent of the ever-increasing number are Syrian refugees, who currently number around 824,000, are women and children. 79,000 refugees coming from Syria are still awaiting registration at the borders. According to a recent report from Human Rights Watch (HRW), the most vulnerable are “disproportionately affected by Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV)”. A growing attitude amongst female refugees to return to the war-torn country they only just fled has been detected, as rape and sexual harassment has made life in Lebanon unbearable. (Beirut, 4rd Dec, 2013)