News

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.

14/8/2013

When 16-year-old Tahira was murdered in a horrific acid attack last year, her poverty-stricken parents got no justice. Pakistan officials slammed the door in their faces and the police refused to listen.

13/8/2013

TUNIS — MOHAMED BRAHMI, the left-wing politician who was assassinated outside his home here last Thursday, was born in Sidi Bouzid, the same town where a desperate fruit vendor set himself on fire in December 2010, triggering the Tunisian revolution — and the Arab Spring.

13/8/2013

When I met them in early June, Abu Nizar, his wife and their three daughters — aged 22, 18 and 14 — were perched on threadbare mattresses in a rundown house in Ramtha, Jordan, where they survive on charity from the local community. Blankets covered the windows to keep out the mid-afternoon heat. Inside, a musty darkness hovered.

12/8/2013

Ahmadinejad is leaving, but the memories of his era linger, bitter mostly, for some more than others, none, perhaps, more bitter than those of the Iranian sportswomen, athletes whose challenge begins way before the starting gun and ends... well it never really ends. Here, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, whatever the name, discrimination is the game.