International

 As the influence of Islamic fundamentalism spreads, more and more women are fleeing its repressive laws - compelling Western nations to deal with such cruel traditions as forced marriages, honor killings, and female circumcision.In April 1991, a 22-year-old Saudi student arrived at Montreal's Mirabel Airport and requested asylum on the unprecedented grounds of gender persecution. The woman, who has asked that she be identified only as Nada, told authorities that if Canada forced her to return to Saudi Arabia her life would be in danger. Her crime, she said, was walking outside her home without being fully veiled - that is, enveloped from head to toe in a black chador.

 The following text is a statement by Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, made in a Side Event sponsored by Women’s UN Report Network, Worldwide Organization for Women and NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva and delivered at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, on 15 September 2010:

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today (14 September) named former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to head United Nations Women (UN Women), a newly created entity to oversee all of the world body’s programmes aimed at promoting women’s rights and full participation in global affairs.

The new body – which will receive a large boost in funding and become operational in January – merges four UN agencies and offices: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).

A one-day event will be held on “Challenges of Change: Religion, Secularism & Rights” in Washington, DC on 21 September 2010. The event is organized by the Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) in cooperation with Cultural Conversations of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.

Là où, dans la plupart des pays arabes, on imagine un affrontement, c’est plutôt un jeu permanent d’alliances, un pacte tacite entre trois puissances inégales : autorisés à élargir leur emprise dans la société, les fondamentalistes cessent de privilégier la conquête du pouvoir politique ; protégés par l’Etat de la férule des intégristes, les intellectuels laïques taisent les travers autoritaires du pouvoir et réservent leur militantisme à des causes consensuelles ; ménagé par les intellectuels et toléré par les religieux, l’Etat autoritaire perdure.

On November 2, 2010, The Protection Project will host the Fifth Annual Symposium on “The US Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the UN Trafficking Protocol: Ten years Later” at The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, in Washington, D.C., USA. The Protection Project is now calling for scholarly papers describing and analyzing the lessons learned in the legal, political, cultural, social, or economic fields since the enactment of the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children in the year 2000. Scholars and professionals are encouraged to apply. The authors of the selected papers will be invited to present the findings of their study at The Protection Project Fifth Annual Symposium. Following the Symposium, selected papers will be published in The Protection Project Journal of Human Rights and Civil Society, 4th ed.  

Le développement des féminismes s’est historiquement accompagné de celui des antiféminismes. Tout comme le féminisme prend plusieurs formes, l’antiféminisme se présente en effet sous divers aspects, d’où le titre provisoire « Les antiféminismes ».

The challenge to platforms for gender equality comes not just from actors with fundamentalist agendas, but from a conjuncture where women’s rights have been opportunistically instrumentalized to serve geopolitical goals, and neo-liberal policies have severed social justice from gender equality concerns

The Protection Project at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, in cooperation with the Alexandria University Faculty of Law in Alexandria, Egypt, will be hosting a conference on “Women’s Rights in Egypt and Arab States,” which will take place December 1 – 2, 2010 at the Helnan Palestine Hotel in Alexandria, Egypt. The conference will bring together professors of law, religion and social sciences and representatives from NGOs and other elements of civil society to discuss a broad array of topics related to the rights of women in the Arab world, including Islamic law, personal status and family laws, and labor and political rights, among others.

The French parliament's vote this week to ban full-length veils in public was the right move by the wrong group. Some have tried to present the ban as a matter of Islam vs. the West. It is not. First, Islam is not monolithic. It, like other major religions, has strains and sects. Many Muslim women -- despite their distaste for the European political right wing -- support the ban precisely because it is a strike against the Muslim right wing.

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