BAMAKO, 22 June 2012 (IRIN) - Strict Sharia, or Islamic religious laws, imposed by the Islamist rebels controlling vast swathes of northern Mali are driving thousands of students out of schools. Dress codes have been imposed, boys and girls are forced to learn separately, and subjects deemed to promote “infidelity” have been struck off the curriculum.
Outraged parents are transferring their children and some students are opting to miss examinations rather than learn under these conditions.
We, members of the Senegalese Feminist Forum, would like to express our full support for the Malian people and especially to the women who are woefully underrepresented in these critical moments of the country's political life.
Nous, membres du Forum féministe sénégalais, souhaitons exprimer tout son soutien au peuple malien et en particulier aux femmes qui sont malheureusement très peu représentées en ces moments critiques de la vie politique du pays.
In conversation with Jessica Horn, a leading Malian women’s rights activist identifies the roots of the crisis in Mali, and the opportunistic use of the crisis by Malian and international Islamic fundamentalists to gain a popular foothold in the north of the country
Jessica Horn: Were there any early warnings that this crisis would emerge?
Depuis plus de dix ans, les femmes maliennes attendent l’adoption d’un Code de la famille pour que leurs droits fondamentaux soient respectés. Or, le 2 décembre 2011, l’Assemblée nationale malienne a adopté un texte qui, au contraire, perpétue les discriminations.
For more than 10 years, women in Mali have been waiting for the adoption of a Family law to protect their fundamental rights. Last week (2 December 2011), the Malian Parliament adopted a text which – far from increasing protection – eliminates rights and perpetuates discrimination.
The Personal Status and Family Code of Mali was adopted in 2009 by the National Assembly, but promulgation by the President of Mali has been delayed until now due to the mobilization of Muslim religious organizations opposed to it. AWID interviewed Djingarey Ibrahim Maiga, the President of Femmes et Droits Humains, and Yaba Tamboura, member of the Steering Committee of Collectif des Femmes du Mali (COFEM) on the status of the new Personal Status and Family Code of Mali (hereafter referred to as the Family Code).