Sexual/reproductive rights & health

Un collectif d’associations turques a lancé sur internet la pétition « Say no Abortion ban », « Dites non à l’interdiction de l’avortement ».

En Turquie, l’avortement est légal depuis 1983 jusqu’à 10 semaines de grossesse. Déplorant que le taux de fécondité soit passé de 3,14 enfants par femme en 1980 à 2,11 en 2009, le Premier ministre turc Erdogan incite les couples à avoir « au moins trois enfants ».

Moroccan activists have stepped up pressure to scrap laws that allow rapists to marry their victims - after a 16-year-old girl killed herself.

Amina Filali swallowed rat poison after being severely beaten during a forced marriage to her rapist.

An online petition has been started - and protests are planned for Saturday against a law branded by campaigners as an "embarrassment".

The penal code allows the "kidnapper" of a minor to marry her to escape jail.

'Dishonour'

Despite an increasing feeling of empowerment experienced by many Egyptian women during and after the revolution, they continue to be sexually harassed and abused by men in public on a daily basis, as recent coverage of events in Cairo—from “virginity tests” conducted by the military to male assaults on female protesters—illustrated.

It is a problem that long predates the Arab Spring. In 2008, a survey by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights (ECWR) found that a staggering 83% of Egyptian women and 98% of foreign women were exposed to sexual harassment in Egypt.

DAKAR - Human rights campaigners who have been struggling for years to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM) in West Africa got a boost this week as news emerged that a group of Muslim clerics and scholars in Mauritania had declared a fatwa, or religious decree, against the practice.

The human body has been front and center of this revolution since the early days of its outbreak last January.  Even though the  leading slogan of the revolution,  

Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, Tahrir Square has been an inspiration to pro-democracy activists across the globe. Now one woman is fighting to make sure the public space, which became the focal point of the demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak's government in Egypt, does not become a symbol for state-sponsored misogyny too.

Many people, especially women, have asked me if family planning is permissible in Islam. They say the imams and ulema say the Quran prohibits family planning and quote a verse which says, “And kill not your children for fear of poverty — We provide for them and for you. Surely the killing of them is a great wrong” (17:31).

In no way does this verse refer to family planning because it is talking of ‘killing’ and you kill one who exists. No law in the world will permit killing one who is already born and hence the Quran rightly condemns the killing of children. Some people suggest that the verse in question refers to the practice of burying girl children alive and when asked they would say they could not provide for them and hence Allah responds that He provides for them.

DAKAR, 26 September 2011 (IRIN) - Talibouya Ka, Muslim leader (imam) of the Omar Kane mosque in the Medina neighbourhood of the Senegalese capital Dakar, encourages his followers to procreate as much as they can. “There are imams who are for family planning, but I am not. I tell worshippers they need to increase the size of the global Muslim family.”

Such attitudes, which used to be prevalent in Senegal, are increasingly rare, particularly in Dakar, midwives and doctors at the Hospital Centre for Health and Hygiene in Medina, told IRIN. 

In a bid to retain culture and due to the greed of men who profit by marrying off their daughters, some communities in Kenya still practice Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Section 14 of The Children’s Act of 2001 in Kenya protects children against harmful cultural practices under which FGM falls. Though this law has been in place for a decade, the practice is still rampant, especially among pastoral communities where even a girl may demand FGM since she has been brought up believing it to be part of her initiation to maturity.

POYAI, Thailand — Maikaew Panomyai did a little dance coming out of the examination room, switching her hips, waving her fists in the air and crowing, in her limited English: “Everything’s O.K.! Everything’s O.K.!”

Translation: The nurse just told me I do not have cervical cancer, and even the little white spot I had treated three years ago is still gone.

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