Miscellaneous

The study of women in the Middle East, now well into its second decade, has produced an impressive corpus of papers and periodical articles. For purely practical reasons, this review focuses on writings in English, in a selective rather than all-inclusive manner. The analysis of women in the Middle East has not always been undertaken with reference to Islam, but a significant body of works, influenced partly by the Islamic resurgence, coincident with the rise of the study of women as a separate field, does have reference to Islam.
There are 15-20,000 political prisoners in Turkey. Student, worker and ecologist demonstrations are regularly broken up and demonstrators arrested and tortured. There is a state of emergency in five eastern provinces as the large Kurdish community continues to fight for its survival. Meanwhile, the regime makes the superficial move towards liberalism, which are necessary for its application to join the EEC to be accepted.

In the following interview Jill Bend from Off Our Backs (OOB) talks to three Turkish radical feminists.
Why are women circumcised? These operations are medically unnecessary, agonisingly painful and extremely dangerous. Some girls die from shock and loss of blood. Others develop psychiatric problems from the trauma. Many have chronic infections lasting a lifetime and there are numerous troubles with childbirth, intercourse and menstruation.

Most of the estimated 70 million circumcised women and girls live in certain parts of Africa and the Middle East. There the practice thrives for a variety of social reasons.
The report of the Board of Trustees to the General Assembly of the Arab Organisation for Human Rights -which was adopted by the General Assembly of the AOHR in Khartoum, Sudan, on 31 January 1987 - is in two parts.

The first part, "The Arab Organisation for Human Rights over the past three years", details the stages of the establishment of the Organisation, describes its activities and includes an evaluation of its efforts as well as an examination of future prospects.
Female circumcision in Sudan

Introduction


Female circumcision (the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia) is widely practised in the Sudan. It has persisted for centuries because of lack of awareness and knowledge about its adverse physical and psychosocial consequences and because of a firm belief in its supposed benefits of ensuring female chastity and securing marriage and subsequent harmonious family life.
The titles listed below can be ordered directly from the Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum. Write to them at mwraf@sltnet.lk for more details.

Can We Women Head a Muslim State?
Fatima Mernissi
Translated into Tamil by M. Nuhman
In her own words, in this slim volume Mernissi attempts to provide the young and uninformed reader with the basic facts about the ‘yes and No' debate on a woman's right to lead a Muslim state.
A three-day Southeast Asia Regional Meeting on ‘Islam, Politics and Women: What Identities? Whose Interests’ was held from 26 – 28 October 2002 in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Asma Khader is Coordinator of Sisterhood Is Global Institute/Jordan (SIGI/J) and Counsel on violence against women to the Permanent Arab Court. She is a lawyer, teacher, author, and leading advocate to outlaw honour killings.
A collective of Arab lesbians or lesbians of Arabic language and culture, living in native lands or lands of exile.
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