News

2/9/2013

Ibrahim Kanuma winces as he recalls the moment a 63-year-old man asked him for his teenage daughter's hand in marriage. The proposal was not unusual in north-western Nigeria's remote, dust-blown state of Zamfara, but he considered the suitor too old for his only daughter, Zainab, 13.

30/8/2013

June 25, 2013| In anticipation of 26 June, the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, JFI is announcing the on-line release of its documentary Final Moments. In this groundbreaking production victims and witnesses recall experiences involving rape of virgin girls prior to execution and sexual torture at the hands of Islamic Rep

27/8/2013

A 15-year-old girl who was sentenced to 100 lashes for engaging in premarital sex has had her punishment overturned by a Maldives court.

27/8/2013

"The baobab connotes spiritual strength . . . and fortitude . . . in distressing times." Ayesha Imam and the women she worked with for years in the Nigerian organization BAOBAB for Women's Human Rightspossess those very traits. The group, founded in 1996, fights to protect women's rights in the maze of the Nigerian legal system, with its overlapping religious, secular and customary laws and courts.

23/8/2013

A plan to make female high school students undergo mandatory virginity tests has been met with outrage from activists, who argue that it discriminates against women and violates their human rights.

20/8/2013

Despite the continuing efforts of individuals and organisations, the fact remains that to be born a woman in the Middle East presents a set of challenges, problems, and often dangers. We got in touch with Sally Zohney, a founding member of The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, and asked her to tell us a little about the organisation and what it works to acheive.

The Uprising was founded in October 2011 as a spontaneous reaction to the fear that the aims of the Arab Spring - in regards to women's rights - would be aborted. Yalda Younes created the web-page in Lebanon, and quickly contacted Diala Haidar (also Lebanese), Sally Zohney in Egypt, and Farah Barqawi in Palestine to truly make it a cross-border movement. Now it has expanded to include admins from all over the Arab world, and has over 115,000 supporters on Facebook.

20/8/2013

As in Egypt, Muslim fundamentalists in Tunisia have tried to use 2011’s opening to impose their own repressive agenda. The challenge today is to effectively counter that fundamentalist agenda in non-violent and rights-respecting ways. Democratic forces need international support to achieve that.

20/8/2013

Swedish women have been posting photos of themselves in traditional Muslim headscarves in solidarity with a woman attacked apparently for wearing a veil.

15/8/2013

One lesson from the 1979 Iranian revolution and the 2011 Arab revolutions is that activists seeking to promote women’s rights, human rights and the transition to democracy must challenge patriarchy from within the Muslim legal tradition. 

Islam’s textual sources (the Qur’an and Sunna, the practice of the Prophet) are the source of Muslim ethical values and norms. They have been articulated, since the beginning, mainly by Muslim scholars. Central to these values, and to the philosophy of law in Islam, is justice, which the classical jurists endeavoured to translate into legal rulings. But the rulings that have come down to us rest on pre-modern conceptions of justice, gender and rights, which entitled individuals to different rights on the basis of faith, status and gender.