In August 2005, the Sri Lankan Parliament unanimously passed the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act No 34 (PDVA), marking the culmination of a legal advocacy process initiated by a coalition of women’s NGOs in 1999.
Iran is the first country where all women are forced by law to observe hijab laws. Without espousing a clear definition of hijab, Islamic Republic laws consider women who lack “Islamic veil” in “public” as committing a crime punishable by imprisonment and fines. Based on Sharia laws, Islamic hijab implies covering hair and the entire body except for wrists and hands.
The WLUML E-Gazette is a monthly publication sent out to subscribers which aims to shed light upon the activities of the network as well as important news about women in the Muslim world. The contents of the newsletter include the achievements of networkers and ICO members, events and conferences of relevance to the WLUML network, and valuable news pieces. We hope you enjoy this edition of the Gazette!
The year 2014 was meant to be the year that ended the Program of Action adopted by the Cairo Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994. The document was a paradigm shift in understanding and framing reproductive health and rights and prioritizing individuals’ rights to choose and make decisions with regards to their own bodies. Now that the General Assembly extended the PoA indefinitely, and will review country progress at its 2014 session, it is the right moment to evaluate the extent to which different countries in the region implemented the PoA and how this has changed the realities lived by women and youth regarding their sexual and reproductive health and rights. In the MENA region, acknowledging reproductive rights in a UN consensus document has greatly contributed in enhancing the countries’ policies especially in maternity care, family planning services and HIV/AIDS. Yet, cultural and religious discourses still play a major role in holding back sexual rights especially for young people. Women’s autonomy over their bodies is still a highly debated issue because of the deeply embedded patriarchal culture, which is also reflected in an unprecedented increase in the level of sexual violence against women.
The attached report was submitted by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights to the CEDAW (Convention for the Eliminatin of Discrimination Against Women) Committee.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization, registered with the Bahraini Ministry of Labor and Social Services since July 2002. Despite an order by the authorities in November 2004 to close it, the BCHR is still functioning after gaining wide internal and external support for its struggle to promote human rights in Bahrain. The co-founder and former President of the BCHR is Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison for charges related to freedom of speech. The current President is Nabeel Rajab, who is serving a two year prison sentence for his work as a human rights defender. The Acting President is Maryam Al-Khawaja.
The Research Institute for Women Peace and Security (RIWPS) was formed by Afghan women activists after the first Consultative Peace Jirga in Afghanistan in 2010, based on a need for a specific organisation working on issues of women, peace, and security. RIWPS are committed to women's meaning participation in conflict resolution, conflict management, and their presence in peace processes.
This interesting brochure documents the work of RIWPS over the yaer 2013, you can read it by downloading the pdf.
[Trigger warning: details of sexual assault and torture]
This report documents abuses to which the criminal justice system subjects women during arrest, interrogation, trial, and imprisonment. Between December 2012 and April 2013, Human Rights Watch interviewed 27 women and 7 girls, Sunni and Shia; their families and lawyers; medical service providers in women’s prisons; civil society representatives; foreign embassy and United Nations staff in Baghdad; Justice, Interior, Defense, and Human Rights ministry officials, and two deputyprime ministers. We also reviewed court documents, lawyers’ case files, and government decisions and reports.
This briefing paper is intended to provide guidance on how to incorporate the principles of substantive equality into the Post-2015 Agenda. Specifically, when considering reproductive rights and gender equality in these programs, states should take the following steps:
•Ensure that human rights guide and are present in all goals, targets, and indicators.
•Ensure that the core principles of human rights—including the need for states to respect, protect, and fulfill rights, ensure equality for all, and promote accountability for rights violations—are mainstreamed throughout the new framework.
•Use the principle of substantive equality to address underlying causes of gender inequality and other bases for discrimination such as race, disability, migration status, age and others that manifest as reproductive rights violations.
•Use the framework provided by international human rights law concerning the right to health (Accessibility, Availability, Acceptability, Quality (AAAQs)) to guide implementation of all goals, targets, and indicators on health.
•Ensure that women are able to meaningfully access effective administrative or judicial remedies for violations of reproductive rights, including access to information and comprehensive services, and that states promptly implement these decisions.