News

22/7/2013

Recently, the Nigerian Senate proposed and passed an amendment to delete an existing clause in the Constitution that allows girls under 18, if married, to renounce their Nigerian citizenship. 

19/7/2013

As a young Egyptian woman who participated in the revolution and who has been involved with several women’s groups and initiatives that have proliferated during the past two years, I do not wish to talk about how great the participation of Egyptian women was during the revolution, how they were marginalized afterward, or how they faced violence and a setback in political rights and freedoms despite their numerous contributions. These are all issues that I am sure can be addressed by experts in a more holistic and professional way.

17/7/2013

MRB: Tell us briefly about your recent work on the interface between religion and international human rights.

Karima Bennoune: For my forthcoming book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply HereI have interviewed about 300 people from almost 30 Muslim majority countries – from Afghanistan to Mali – about their opposition to fundamentalism. I use the definition of fundamentalism given by  Algerian sociologist Marieme Hélie-Lucas: “political movements of the extreme right, which in a context of globalization … manipulate religion … in order to achieve their political aims.” There are many other Islams, as the stories in my book indicate. My work is about foregrounding those diversities, and thinking about what international human rights norms mean in light of them.

17/7/2013

For all its problems, Algeria never became an Islamic state. Like Algerian progressives in the 1990s, Egyptian progressives now have to carve out the space to construct a credible alternative under the shield of the new transitional process, and simultaneously challenge the military’s human rights abuses. 

17/7/2013

It all started with chicken curry, a delicacy her daughter loved. One fateful day 11 years ago, when Farhana Parveen carefully picked out small pieces from the chicken curry for her daughter, her husband was offended. Pregnant with her third child, Farhana had cooked a lavish meal for her in-laws and family. “I made five kilos of chicken curry along with biryani and some ten other items. But when my husband saw me feeding my daughter, he asked me why I had not given it to his mother instead. I was accused of being partial to my children,” says Farhana. The next morning, Salim left the house with his mother after uttering that dreaded word three times: “Talaq Talaq Talaq”.

 

17/7/2013

 

UNITED NATIONS, Jul 16 2013 (IPS) - Despite the United Nations’ “zero tolerance” policy against sexual violence, there has been a rash of gender-based crimes in several of the world’s conflict zones, including South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Northern Uganda, Somalia, the Central African Republic – and, more recently, in politically-troubled Egypt and Syria.

Describing rape as “a weapon of war”, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council last month that sexual violence occurred wherever conflicts raged, “devastating survivors and destroying the social fabric of whole communities”.

“It was a crime under international human rights law and a threat to international peace and security,” he said.

17/7/2013

Crowd sourced solutions for girls’ access to education.

 

12/7/2013

The belief that so-called "honour killings" are justified continues to be common among Jordanian teenagers, a new Cambridge University study says.

The study by researchers from the university's Institute of Criminology found that almost half of boys and one in five girls interviewed in the capital, Amman, believe that killing a daughter, sister or wife who has "dishonoured" or shamed the family, is justified.

12/7/2013

Asha Hagi Elmi is a humanitarian activist, internationally recognised for her work helping to build peace and defend the rights of women in Somalia. Witness journeys with Asha to the refugee camps of Mogadishu, swelled to bursting point in 2011 by tens of thousands of Somalis fleeing drought and the threat of famine.

Asha, her sister Amina and other women from the NGO she founded, Saving Somali Women and Children (SSWC), distribute food, clothing, medical and practical aid, lend an ear to the refugees' stories and, most of all, attempt to restore dignity to the lives of the often traumatised and extremely vulnerable women and children they meet in the camps.

12/7/2013

In November 2011, after I joined a protest on Mohamed Mahmoud Street in Cairo with a friend, Egyptian riot police beat me – breaking my left arm and right hand – and sexually assaulted me. I was also detained by the interior minister and military intelligence for 12 hours.

After I was released, it took all I had not to cry when I saw the look on the face of a very kind woman I'd never met before, except on Twitter, who came to pick me up and take me to the emergency room for medical attention. (She is now a cherished friend.)