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One of the most contentious issues within Islam today is the role of women in society. Conservatives endorse a narrow reading of Islamic texts to justify restrictions on women's mobility, legal rights and access to the public sphere, including health care, education and the workplace. Extremists among them use violence to impose their views. Moderate Muslims, on the other hand, find plenty within the Qur'an to support a full role and equal rights for women.

This is the first thematic report submitted to the Human Rights Council by Rashida Manjoo, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, since her appointment in June 2009. In addition to providing an overview of the main activities carried out by the Special Rapporteur, the report focuses on the topic of reparations to women who have been subjected to violence in contexts of both peace and post-conflict.

In the first of a two-part conversation, Deniz Kandiyoti and Gita Sahgal explore the challenges posed by the international conjuncture following the “war on terror” for gender justice and women’s rights.

In her recent article 'To Specify or Single Out' in the Muslim World Journal of Human Rights, WLUML networker Rochelle L. Terman asks 'Should We Use the Term “Honor Killing”? The use of the term ‘honor killing’ has elicited strong reactions from a variety of groups for years; but the recent Aqsa Parvez and Aasiya Hassan cases have brought a renewed interest from women’s rights activists, community leaders, and law enforcement to study the term and come to a consensus on its validity and usefulness, particularly in the North American and European Diaspora. While some aver that the term ‘honor killing’ is an appropriate description of a unique and particular crime, others deem it as rather a racist and misleading phrase used to promote violent stereotypes of particular communities, particularly Muslim minorities in North America and Europe.

Women In Action covers a broad range of issues affecting women globally, but focusing on the particular needs and concerns of women in the Global South, and forwarding a progressive perspective tempered by the experiences of the third world women's movements. Subscribe to Women In Action

The unequal sharing of responsibilities between men and women reflects stereotypical assumptions about the role of women and men in society – and the stubborn persistence of those assumptions,” Ms. Migiro told the Spain-Africa conference in Valencia on Saturday.Women continue to bear disproportionate responsibility for often unappreciated care-giving work in households and communities, despite significant progress in gender equality and women empowerment during the past 15 years, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro has said.

In this first report to the Human Rights Council, the independent expert in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed, develops preliminary views on the conceptual and legal framework of her mandate.

Des gens du monde entier, parmi lesquels des militants bien connus des droits humains, des intellectuels et des groupes citoyens, ont soutenu une pétition mondiale exigeant d’Amnistie Internationale que l’organisation donne des éclaircissements publics et rende des comptes. Communiqué de presse: Protestation mondiale pour faire entendre raison à Amnistie Internationale

People from across the world, including key human rights activists, public intellectuals and citizens groups have supported a global petition demanding public clarification and accountability from Amnesty International. Press Release: World Wide Outcry To Make Amnesty International See Reason and Make Amends.

The bliss of an egalitarian and just relationship between spouses cannot be achieved through a sheet of paper. But Cassandra Balchin writes that in Muslim contexts efforts to take a fresh look at marriage contracts is certainly a step towards this goal: Many have heard about Afghanistan’s Shia Personal Status Law which last year looked like granting husbands total obedience from their wives, in effect even permitting marital rape. Yet few have heard about the bold new Muslim marriage contract endorsed by the country’s Supreme Court. A contract that means Afghanistan’s women can demand far more than the right not to have to give their husbands sex.
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