At the age of six, in the summer of 1937, Nawal El Saadawi was pinned down by four women in her home in Egypt. A midwife, holding a sharpened razor blade, pulled out her clitoris and cut it off. "Since I was a child that deep wound left in my body has never healed," she wrote in her first autobiography, A Daughter of Isis.
"I lay in a pool of blood. After a few days, the bleeding stopped, and the daya [midwife] peered between my thighs and said, 'All is well. The wound has healed, thanks be to God.' But the pain was there, like an abscess in my flesh."
Wajeha al-Huwaider is perhaps the best-known Saudi campaigner for women’s rights, human rights and democracy. She has protested energetically against the kingdom’s lack of formal laws (the Koran is it) and basic freedoms and in particular against the guardianship system, under which every female, from birth to death, needs the permission of a male relative to make decisions in all important areas of life—education, travel, marriage, employment, finances, even surgery. In 2008 a video of her driving a car, which is forbidden for women in Saudi Arabia, created a sensation when it was posted on YouTube. Al-Huwaider is a strong supporter of the June 17 Movement, which calls on Saudi women to start driving on that date, and made the celebrated YouTube video of its co-founder, Manal al-Sherif, jailed for nine days in May for driving. While this interview was in preparation, she was briefly detained by the police when she tried to visit Nathalie Morin, a French-Canadian woman held captive with her children by her Saudi husband.
In a bid to encourage more women to vote in the fourthcoming Constituent Assembly elections, Tunisia has launched a nationwide campaign.
The media campaign to run from Oct. 1 to 20 is an initiative of the ministry of women's affairs and is airing on radio and television spots, plus on posters.
The campaign was officially launched by the minister of women's affairs, Lilia Laabidi, who encouraged women to take part in political life and assert their presence in the Constituent Assembly to be held October 23.
Equipped with writing, filming and editing skills, “Geekettes” are ready to take back the tech and introduce audiences to an entirely new way of looking at the world: through the eyes of Lebanese girls ages 15-19.
During the weeklong Girl Geek Camp in July, girls from across Lebanon arrived in the city of Kfardebian to learn how to create blogs, use social networks, and film videos on cameras and mobile phones. Building on the camp’s success, the second class of Geekettes arrive this month.
This book breaks the myth of Muslim women being passive, oppressed and apolitical. It retrieves the mostly forgotten lives and voices of women from the eighth to the early twentieth centuries in Muslim countries and communities who asserted rights for themselves and for other women, promoting justice in the home and in the public sphere.
GUATEMALA CITY, Sept 9, 2011 (IPS) - "Women have more opportunities nowadays to participate in the economic, social and political development of the country, but this has still not improved the quality of their lives," said Laura Reyes, one of the three women candidates for vice president of Guatemala.
"Many women have done a good job, but others have taken advantage of power to serve their own personal interests," Reyes, a lawyer belonging to the Cakchiquel Maya indigenous group, told IPS ahead of Sunday's general elections.
The NGOs signing below express their worry and extreme anger from the Personal Status Law decree project that counselor Abdallah El Baga, president of the Family Appeal Court, presented under title "number 25 January" for year 2011 to Prime Minister, Essam Sharaf. The project includes 7 articles, where El Baga demands in the first one, the cancellation of (El Khol'), and in the third article he demands that a mother's custody would end when the male child reaches 7 years old and female child reaches 10 years old. In article four he demands, that the father has sole educational guardianship and in case that the foster mother is inflicted she should go to court. In article five, he talks about enforcing wife obedience by coercive force in case that the wife doesn't object to the warning in time, or that a finale verdict has been issued in addition to the cessation of her alimony till she is back to obedience.
On April 11, 2011 the Tunisian transitional authorities ruled on a gender parity law, requiring equal numbers of women and men as candidates in the upcoming Constituent Assembly election. AWID interviewed Radhia Bel Hak Zekri, President of the Association of Tunisian Women for Research and Development (AFTURD), on the significance of this law for women and women’s rights in Tunisia.
In high heels and head scarves, a small band of Afghan women took to the streets of the country's capital, Kabul, on Thursday to protest harassment by men in public places. Carrying signs, that read "This street also belongs to me" and "We won't stand insults anymore" the 20 or so women -- and some men marching in solidarity -- protested being abused, groped and followed on the city's streets. Afghanistan remains a deeply conservative country, with heavy cultural and social restrictions on women's freedoms, even though the ouster of the hardline Taliban nearly a decade ago brought huge improvements in their legal rights.
The enormous role of women in the uprisings in the MENA region is undisputed. They faced verbal and physical abuse, violence, arrest and death just as their male counterparts. The transformation of these countries has been groundbreaking, and their participation is as important as ever. After the dust of the battle settles, will Arab societies remember to include women in the rebuilding of their countries?