International

State Responsibility to Protect Human Rights Defenders

Sunila Abeysekera Commemoration, September 9th 2014

We as individual human rights activists, as well as  the human rights community as a whole greatly miss Sunila today.   As we struggle to grapple with myriads of contemporary challenges we miss her indomitable character, and  energy.  As we gather today to celebrate her life and work since she left us so suddenly – exactly an year ago,  her memories still remain fresh in my mind. As I stated in my speech made in the first South Asian Sunila memorial lecture held in Dhaka organised last year by Sangat the South Asian Feminist, we will continue to remain in conversation with you Sunila.

Le programme « Autonomisation des Femmes et Développement du Leadership pour la Démocratisation », WELDD en anglais, conjointement piloté par le Centre des femmes Shikat Gah du Pakistan, Femmes sous Lois musulmanes (WLUML) et l’Institut pour l’Autonomisation des Femmes à Hong Kong, a procédé au lancement de sa nouvelle plateforme du leadership féminin.

Shirkat Gah - Women’s Resource Centre, the Institute for Women’s Empowerment (IWE), and Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) have today announced the launch of a new feminist leadership web portal as part of their Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation (WELDD) programme. The portal will act as a virtual pathway to feminist activists, organisations, and dreamers of a gender -just and egalitarian world. The portal is a space to share useful resources, a forum for sharing experiences and holding discussions and debates about how to nurture feminist leadership that is transformative and sustainable. WELDD is committed to Global South knowledge production, and will hold a space for theoretical/conceptual explorations emerging from Muslim majority contexts in Arabic, Bahasa, English, French and Urdu.

Violence against women, as well as women’s vulnerability to violence, has increased dramatically in the Euro-Mediterranean region from 2011 to early 2014.
 
Violence against women is recognized as a human rights violation and States have committed themselves to preventing and combating all forms of violence against women, and to end impunity for perpetrators.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) today announced the publishing of its latest Dossier, Dossier 32-33: Sexualities, Culture and Society in Muslim Contexts, available in paperback hard copy and in a free online version.  Extended in size due to a wealth of contributions, the Dossier is the result of collaboration by 17 authors, all leaders in women’s activism and research in Muslim contexts.  It presents case studies from 11 settings: Senegal, Sudan, the East African Coast, Zanzibar, Georgia, Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, Jordan, Turkey and the USA.  Comprised of in-depth studies and shorter factual reports, the Dossier explores how women and certain men navigate expectations and restrictions relating to sexuality and reproductive rights in their specific contexts.

Sexual violence is one of the most horrific crimes committed during conflict. No one should have to endure the pain and humiliation of rape and sexual exploitation and violence, and it is particularly deplorable when a child is subjected to this brutality. The prevalence in conflict of sexual violence against children is shocking.

The findings show that social media includes tools for action and seems more effective when combined with other media:

"Working in collaboration, students from the London School of Economics (LSE) Master of Public Administration (MPA) programme and BBC Media Action examined the value that social media brings to governance programming aimed at influencing engagement and civic participation."

May 27 2014

On May 28, women’s rights defenders and activists from all over the world are mobilizing to observe May 28th International Day of Action for Women’s Health. Various activities will be organized by sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) organizations and women’s advocacy groups to call on governments and the international community to ensure a holistic, inclusive, and human rights-based approach to women’s SRHR in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born U.S. citizen who is known -- among other things -- for her radical views on Islam. Her supporters consider her a leading critic, while many others believe she is guilty of Islamophobia and bigotry. I think she is a perfect case to educate people on the difference between the two.

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