News

18/2/2014

UPDATE: AFGHANISTAN’S NEW CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE REJECTED BY PRESIDENT KARZAI

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) welcomes the news that the Afghan President Hamid Karzai has postponed the signing of the new criminal procedure code, passed by both houses of the Afghan parliament.  Article 26 of the code would have effectively denied women protection from domestic violence and forced or child marriage, and would have given immunity to many perpetrators given its ban on relatives testifying against one another.  Through his Cabinet, the President ordered changes to this article.

18/2/2014

February 14th 2014

Rumors circulated that a man in his 90s who had married a girl 70 years his junior had died recently in Salahuddin province, north of Baghdad. This shocking news is only one part of the “uneven marriages” that have become endemic among Iraqis where social traditions and habits are reinforced by tribal authorities and applicable laws. Meanwhile, civil society and human rights organizations stand idly by, failing to intervene to stem the prevalence of such marriages, especially the forced marriage of underage girls.

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].