Forced marriages result from harmful traditional practices1 justified in the name of cultural, economic, political and/or legal standards. Forced marriages are a phenomenon tantamount to slavery, as explicated in a report by a United Nations Special Rapporteur, and often affect boys and girls under 18 years of age, especially under 10. 2 Global statistics demonstrate that every minute an average of 27 girls are forced into marriage.
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 several networkers and ICO members, several events and conferences of relevance to the WLUML network, and valuable news pieces. We hope you enjoy this edition of the Gazette!
Food security and hunger eradication are among the top priorities on the international agenda today in view of the impact on agricultural productivity of global economic crises, food price spikes, and climate change. The extent to which gender inequalities in general, and the gender gaps in agriculture in particular, thwart attainment of these twin priority goals is a key concern given the vital role of women smallholders in household and community food and nutrition security.
Tying the knot: an expression that for most of us evokes happy memories of one of the best days of our lives. However, the fun of planning the wedding and the heady excitement of the first weeks of marriage will not be the experience of 13.5 million girls this year. Instead, fearing threats, and encouraged or coerced into marriage as a means of protection, nearly one-in-three girls in developing countries will marry before the age of 18.
The rights of women and girls, including freedom from child marriage and domestic violence, have generated emotionally charged debates in Afghanistan over the past decade. Such debates often focus on personal opinions and experiences, or on the varied interpretations of religious teachings on marriage. This brochure provides basic facts about the impact of child marriage and domestic violence on the lives of Afghan girls and women, and on the broader economic development of the country. At the end, we provide recommendations for needed reform.
Crimes & Impunity: A pioneering report on sexual torture in Iranian Prisons
On 10 December 2012 Justice for Iran launched the first-ever comprehensive report on sexual violence and torture in Iranian prisons.
This weighty report based on testimonials of victims, survivors, witnesses and experts, examines the extent to which women prisoners are systematically subjected to sexual violence as a gender-specific means of silencing young Iranian girls and women dissidents.
The report will mark International Human Rights Day on 10 December. The first of three reports, Crimes & Impunity is based on historical, empirical and anecdotal facts regarding crimes committed by Iranian prison authorities during the first decade after the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran. “With the launch of this report, we hope to not only end the cycle of violence and silence in Iran, but also highlight the fact that if in accordance with statements of Iranian authorities torture does not exist in Iranian prisons, then they are responsible to stand by their word and bring to justice those official elements who have committed and continue to commit such illegal and criminal acts,” said Shadi Sadr, the Director of Justice for Iran project.
The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) is a leading human rights organisation in Bahrain that monitors the human rights situation in the country and focuses on tackling discrimination and promoting universal human rights and democracy. In cooperation with Caram Asia and with the support of FIDH, BCHR submitted an alternative report to the Committee in 2008. This report focused on the situation of women migrant domestic workers in Bahrain. It was then decided to tackle specifically this issue as there were specific concerns on an issue which was at this time not specifically addressed. Since February 2011, the violent repression against the protest movement in Bahrain led to human rights violations that affected, and even specifically targeted, women's rights. This report will examine the implementation of key observations made by the CEDAW Committee in 2008 and highlight the consequences of the current crisis in Bahrain on the fundamental rights and freedoms of women.
The year 2012 was full of rapid changes and posed numersous exciting opportunities and challenges for WLUML. It is our great pleasure to share the experiences, lessons, and outcomes of this year with our friends, supporters, and interested parties. Please download a copy of the WLUML 2012 Annual Report for an update of what we have been up to this past year!
In the Middle East and North Africa region, there is a large and growing number of stateless individuals, i.e. those who do not possess nationality due to various reasons such as stateless parents, failure to register for citizenship, and gender discriminatory laws. Because these individuals lack documentation linking them to the state in which they live, they are deprived of the rights that a national would enjoy, such as the issuing of birth and marriage certificates as well as schooling and work. The situation worsens when gender discriminatory laws and custom reproduce statelessness in new generations, who are unable to practice their agency and pursue their ambitions. A new report examines the relationship between gender discrimination and statelessness in the Middle East.