Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) is a term referring to women who individually or with others, act to promote and protect everyone’s human rights and any individual working specifically to promote women’s rights.
Human Rights Watch reports that a significant number of women and girls are victims of violence perpetrated by family members & intimate partners. While there is increasing recognition of the problem, little action has been taken to address these abuses.
Asra Q Nomani writes about Verse 4:34 which retains a strong following, even among many who say that women must be treated as equals under Islam. They reject outright violence against women but accept aggression that fits definitions of domestic violence.
Women are given in marriage to hostile families as compensation for a relative's crime in a practise called "swara" in Pashtun, parts of Afghanistan and the NWFP, and "vanni" in the Punjab. Although officially outlawed in Pakistan, the custom prevails.
The abduction of women and children has become a lucrative business for gangs in many parts of Iraq and particularly in Baghdad. Women are so fearful of being kidnapped that they rarely go out alone, and hire taxis to go to work.
Twenty-five years ago, Fehmida and Allahbakhsh were awarded 80 lashes and death by stoning respectively by a Karachi court under the Hudood ordinances. In response to these sentences, the Women's Action Forum was born to fight the oppression of women.