News

13/2/2014

Last week defenders of Islamic law received a publicity blow when a Malaysian court evoked Sharia law to allow a man to divorce his wife by text message.Yes, text message. As in: "Am dvrcng u".

The decision was, quite rightly, condemned by women's rights groups in Malaysia, who say to condone such frivolity with Islamic law highlights the way it is inherently bias towards men and leaves women with the short end of the stick.
13/2/2014

“I thought the tests were history,” said one of four women who spoke to BuzzFeed about the revival of the practice.

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Image: Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

CAIRO — Jehad Safwat pulls her headscarf tight and presses her hands deep into her belly when she talks about the virginity tests she underwent last month in Egyptian detention.

7/2/2014

Now that Gao, a remote but critical outpost in northern Mali, has become a hub of military personnel — Mali Army, French troops and UN peacekeepers — to fend off terrorist incursions, it is also a simmering spot for sexual assaults and intimidation of women who live there.

6/2/2014

31st January 2014

CNSNews.com – Pakistan’s government faces a looming deadline to either comply with a court ruling to amend the country’s penal code to make the death penalty the only lawful punishment for “blasphemy,” or to appeal the order. And with just four days to go, its failure to respond is worrying religious freedom campaigners.

The early December ruling by the federal shari’a court threatens to worsen an already grim situation faced by religious minorities. Currently those convicted of “defiling the name of Mohammed” face either life imprisonment or the death penalty, but the court wants the latter option to now be compulsory.

5/2/2014

A new Afghan law will allow men to attack their wives, children and sisters without fear of judicial punishment, undoing years of slow progress in tackling violence in a country blighted by so-called "honour" killings, forced marriage and vicious domestic abuse.

The small but significant change to Afghanistan's criminal prosecution code bans relatives of an accused person from testifying against them. Most violence against women in Afghanistan is within the family, so the law – passed by parliament but awaiting the signature of the president, Hamid Karzai – will effectively silence victims as well as most potential witnesses to their suffering.

4/2/2014

This week, Tunisia passed a truly historic constitution widely heralded as a progressive and monumental document.

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Here's just some of what these brave elected representatives agreed upon in the face of strong pressure from the more extreme factions of their parties:

  • Guaranteed equality between men and women
  • A constitutional mandate for environmental protection, only the third country in the world to do so
  • A declaration that health care is a human right, with preventative care and treatment for every citizen
  • democracy with civil laws that respects freedom of religion 
  • An established right to due process and protection from torture
3/2/2014

 In a clinic providing psychological support for victims of torture, tucked away in a side street downtown, medical doctor and human rights defender Magda Adly spoke to ANSAmed about an Egypt back under military rule and the situation of women therein.

3/2/2014

Betrothal of girls is pervasive in Afghanistan.  According to the Ministry of Public Healths Mortality Survey that was conducted in all provinces of the country in 2010, 53 percent of all women in the 25 to 49 age group were married by age 18, and 21 percent were married by age 15[2][2].  A report on Child Marriage in Southern Asia conducted by the International Center for Research on Women, Australian Aid and UNFPA states that 57 percent of Afghan girls are married before they turn 16 and 60 to 80 percent of them were forced into such unions by their families[3][3].  

3/2/2014
FRIDAY, 27 DECEMBER, 2013

A landmark consensus agreed by Islamic scholars (Ulema) regarding the waiting period for ‘half-widows’ to remarry in four years will have an unprecedented impact on the lives of Kashmir’s forgotten survivors. Decades of conflict have produced many half-widows, women whose husbands have disappeared but are not yet declared deceased. 

31/1/2014

30th January 2014

Kyrgyzstan's acting grand mufti, Maksat Hajji Toktomushev, has issued a fatwa against same-sex relations and challenged the findings of a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).