Law reform

Azerbaijan’s education ministry has banned schoolgirls from wearing headscarves to class, causing outrage among the more devout in this Muslim-majority country. On December 10, a day after Education Minister Misir Mardanov announced that headscarves must not be worn with school uniform, hundreds of parents and children staged a protest near the ministry.

John Garang, the revered late leader of the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement, once said that women are the "the poorest of the poor and the marginalised of the marginalised". As the reality of an independent South Sudan approaches, the region's women have vowed they will not remain second class citizens. Margaret Michael Modi, the head of women’s affairs in Central Equatoria State, cast her vote on the first day. "The first day (of the vote) we did not sleep. I went to the polling station and women were crying as they cast their vote," she told IPS over the phone from the southern capital, Juba.

APA – Nouakchott (Mauritanie) Une femme mauritanienne, Oumoulmoumnine Mint Bakar Vall, a été condamnée dimanche par la Chambre des mineurs au Tribunal de Nouakchott à 6 mois de prison ferme pour esclavagisme, a constaté APA sur place.

Mint Bakar Vall était jugée depuis mardi dernier pour avoir exploité deux filles haratines (descendants d’esclavages), âgées de 14 et de 10 ans.

Des mesures urgentes peuvent être prises pour réparer quelques inégalités en matière d’héritage. Il ne s’agit pas de se mettre en contradiction avec la religion, mais de se conformer à des principes édictés par l’Islam et qui ont permis à nos voisins de s’adapter à la réalité socioéconomique.

Amid announcements by the religious forces in the country to resist any move to change the blasphemy laws, former information minister and Pakistan People’s Party MNA Sherry Rehman has submitted a bill to the National Assembly Secretariat seeking an end to the death penalty under the existing blasphemy laws.

Egalité Maintenant et le Comité inter-africain sur les pratiques traditionnelles affectant la santé des femmes et des enfants (IAC) va organiser une réunion régionale de parlementaires et de chefs religieux pour développer des stratégies afin de faire passer une loi interdisant les MGF au Mali. La dite réunion est prévue le 14 septembre 2010 à Bamako et sera suivie d’une conférence de presse le 15 septembre 09:30 à l’hôtel Azalai Nord Sud. Après une session de partage d’informations et d’échange des meilleures pratiques, les parlementaires visiteront le Ministère de la promotion de la femme, de l’enfant et de la famille pour plaider le passage immédiat de la loi.

When a record 101 women won seats in Indonesia's House of Representatives in the 2009 election, development groups said it was proof that the world's largest Muslim nation was ready to back female politicians and a gender quota system that the country had recently rejected wasn't in fact needed.

Since the enactment of Indonesia's pornography law No. 44 year 2008, therefore we, from Women’s activists coalition of South Sulawesi rejected the bill and urged the government to withdraw the law.  Our legal effort that we have done by doing a judicial review of this pornography act was rejected by the constitutional court. Update on Indonesia: Law’s definition of pornography open to multiple interpretations

The controversial Family Protection bill was dealt a blow at the Islamic parliament today as one of its articles outlining legal registration of "temporary marriages" was voted down. ILNA reports that Article 21 of the new bill failed to pass through the parliament with only 45 votes in favour of it. The article was one of the points women’s rights activists objected to in the so-called Family Protection bill.

The High Court has ruled that no women can be forced to wear burqa at work and educational institutions. The bench of justices A H M Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Sheikh Mohammad Zakir Hossain also ruled that they cannot be barred from taking to culture and sports. The orders came in the wake of a public interest petition filed by Supreme Court lawyers Mahbub Shafi and A K M Hafizul Alam on Sunday. 

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