In a televised sermon on April 16, 2010, a senior Iranian cleric, Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, declared a need for a “general repentance,” warning of the “prevalence of degeneracy” in the country. He pointed to the real consequences of immodesty and promiscuity among women, noting that “many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes.”
Feminist concern about the violation of women’s rights by male clerics in Muslim countries is slowly producing a response from some states. At the same time, rights activists are increasingly reporting examples of clerics who are standing up for women’s rights. This isn’t about the progressive male and female scholars that are increasingly visible in the Muslim world, nor about the occasional female imam; it’s about male preachers on the streets and in the villages.
Director of the New Delhi-based Centre for Peace and Spirituality, editor of the monthly Al-Risala journal and author of almost two hundred books, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is one of India’s best known Islamic scholars. In this interview with Yoginder Sikand, he talks about issues related to Islam and women.
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.
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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.