News

21/10/2013

18 October 2013 – The United Nations Security Council and senior UN officials today issued a strong call on the international community to strengthen its commitment to ensuring that women play a more prominent role in conflict prevention, resolution and in post-war peacebuilding.

Unanimously adopting a new resolution this morning, the Security Council reaffirmed that sustainable peace hinges on an approach that integrates “political, security, development, and human rights, including gender equality,” concerns and urged Member States and UN entities to ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in peace and security issues, and committed to increase focus on their adequate access to justice in conflict and post-conflict settings.

16/10/2013

Saudi women’s rights activists Thursday posted photographs and videos of themselves behind the wheel on social media websites, defying a de-facto ban on women driving in the kingdom.

The social media flurry came two days after three female members of Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council requested that the issue be discussed in the forum.

According to Al Arabiya, the women who took part in Thursday’s campaign were welcomed by some onlookers.

One video posted on YouTube showed a Saudi mother capturing footage of her daughter “Azza” driving a car.

16/10/2013

Women’s organisations in Egypt continue the struggle to put women’s rights on the agenda. Recently, 800 women’s organisations met in Cairo to discuss the way forward during this crucial transitional period.

In the end of September, The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation’s partner organisation Alliance for Arab Women, together with the Solidarity Ministry in Egypt, organised a national conference on women’s role during the transitional period in the country.

”Women are now organised in such a way that they can put pressure on the government. But the conference also showed that NGOs are willing to cooperate with the government, as long as the government is willing to recognize women,” says Hoda Badran, chairperson of Alliance of Arab Women, one of the organisations that Kvinna till Kvinna supports in Egypt.

15/10/2013

[The following text is an extract from Cihan Aksan and Jon Bailes’ recent book Weapon of the Strong: Conversations on US State Terrorism (Pluto, 2012), also featuring Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, Edward S. Herman, Norman Finkelstein, and others.  Click here for more details.]

To what extent, in your view, do the ways in which mainstream media select and contextualise events determine the boundaries of public thinking?  You have said on one hand, regarding the “framing” of war and terrorism, that, “Efforts to control the visual and narrative dimensions of war delimit public discourse by establishing and disposing the sensuous parameters of reality itself”,[i] but also that “specters are produced that haunt the ratified version of reality”.[ii]

Judith Butler: There are surely many ways that this happens, but we can note at the most obvious level the way in which forms of resistance or violence get cast as “conflicts” that assume two sides that are fighting only against one another.  We are more often than not asked, for instance, to regard Israel and Palestine as in a conflict of this kind, a framing that sets each of them on equal footing, and implicitly analogises the political situation to a fist fight, a soccer match, or a domestic quarrel.  So if, then, the only two intelligible political positions are “pro-Palestinian” or “pro-Israeli,” the presumption is that one’s position is determined by a sentiment that wants one side to win over the other.  In the meantime, what is lost is any sense that the Palestinian resistance to Israeli colonial rule is waged from a situation of occupation or expulsion, that there is a military order that controls the boundaries of what would be a sovereign Palestinian state, that the land on which that state is now thinkable has been radically diminished by an ongoing practice of land confiscation and appropriation.  So we set the actors on the scene through the banal discourse of “conflict” in ways that fully deflect from the history and struggle of colonial resistance, refusing as well by that means to link the resistance to other forms of colonial resistance, their rationale, and their tactics.

Obviously, visual renditions of war not only establish what can be seen, and the audio-track established what can be heard, but the photographs also “train” us in ways of focusing on targets, ways of regarding suffering and loss.  So photographs can be forms of recruitment, ways of bringing the viewer into the military, as it were. In this way, they prepare us for war, even enlist us in war, at the level of the senses, establishing a sensate regime of war.

15/10/2013

In conversations with Karima Bennoune over the past two months, Tunisian intellectual Amel Grami shares her analysis of the political crisis in Tunisia during the rule of the Ennahda party, and the strategies needed to defeat fundamentalism

15/10/2013

Social Good Summit, New York – A thought-provoking discussion on violence against women and children took place this afternoon at the Social Good Summit. Bringing together Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF, former child soldier and activist Ishmael Beah , journalist and co-founder of Man Up Jimmie Briggs, and Rebecca Chiao, the co-founder and Director, HarassMap, the dialogue focused on how to make the invisible visible.

14/10/2013

An appeal court in Dammam has confirmed the sentences of two women’s rights activists convicted in an unfair trial for attempting to help an abused woman. Wajeha al-Huwaider and Fawzia al-Oyouni were sentenced to 10 months in prison followed by a two-year travel ban.

14/10/2013

To mark the United Nations 'International Day of the Girl Child', Justice for Iran (JFI), an NGO based in London, UK, has released a report titled "Stolen Lives, Empty Classrooms: Child Brides in Iran". The full report may be read here (http://justiceforiran.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/JFI-Girl-Marriage-in-Iran-EN.pdf).

4/10/2013

Two months ago, a young mother of two was stoned to death by her relatives on the order of a tribal court in Pakistan. Her crime: possession of a mobile phone.

1/10/2013

The month of September marks one of the darkest periods in recent history when this time 25 years ago mass political executions were carried out by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). On the 25th anniversary of this historical tragedy, WLUML has co-nominated the Mothers of Khavaran for the 2013 United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights. This grassroots group with its base in Iran is largely made up of women whose children, mostly political and ideological activists, were tortured and secretly executed on mass by IRI officials.