Today marks the UN International Women Human Rights Defenders Day. I honor all human rights activists in the world - those still struggling and those who are no longer with us. A landmark resolution was passed by the UN General Assembly yesterday aimed at strengthening the protection and promotion of the rights of women human right defenders but not without the expected backlash by the 'usual suspects'. 'Culture' was once again at the centre of debates and political negotiations between States that led to the scrapping of any reference to 'culture' being used as a justification for violence against women (VAW) in the final text. Reference to women's reproductive rights was also blocked by the Vatican mission and allies. Universality of human rights remains elusive for women.
On July 11, Arifa Bibi, a young mother of two, was stoned to death in Pakistan. Her only "crime" was possessing a cellphone. In response to Bibi's killing, and others like it, a movement is building. More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling on the UN to eradicate this inhumane punishment. As Arifa’s story shows, stoning is as prevalent today as it has ever been. Understanding why and how this practice occurs is crucial to tackling it. Here are the answers to common questions about stoning.
The WLUML E-Gazette is a monthly publication sent out to subscribers which aims to shed light upon the activities of the network as well as important news about women in the Muslim world. The contents of the newsletter include the achievements of several networkers and ICO members, several events and conferences of relevance to the WLUML network, and valuable news pieces. We hope you enjoy this edition of the Gazette!
WLUML would like to add its voice to the myriad voices from around the world mourning the passing away of Sunila Abeysekera, human rights and feminist activists from Sri Lanka earlier this month, while remembering her contribution to the global womens movement and the WLUML network in particular. Sunila worked closely with WLUML at our first feminist leadership institute held in Turkey in 1998 being one of a number of resource persons representing experiences from outside the Muslim world. She facilitated several sessions on using the human rights system and international mechanisms, monitoring and documenting human rights violations, and sexuality and sexual rights.
We kindly ask Arab feminist and women's organizations, in particular ,and human rights organizations, in general, to sign on this declaration in solidarity with women protesters and activists in Egypt who are breaking the walls of silence and violence that engulf all our bodies and lives. No to exclusion and intimidation of women protesters in Egypt! To begin, we salute Egyptian women who did not remain silent about the flagrant violations they are suffering.
The following is the official statement of the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network and its partners in Afghanistan, which is addressed to all parties, particularly Afghanistan’s donor countries, who are supporting the direct talks between the Taliban and United States government.