Law reform

RESISTENCIA, Argentina, Oct 13, 2011 (IPS) - Rural and indigenous women in northern Argentina, hit hard by the expanding agricultural frontier, deforestation and the spraying of toxic pesticides, spoke out about their problems and set forth proposals for discussion at the next global summit on climate change. They did so at the Women's Hearing on Gender and Climate Justice 2011-Argentina, held Tuesday Oct. 11 in Resistencia, the capital of Chaco province, 950 km north of Buenos Aires, attended by representatives of organisations from the northern 10 of the country's 23 provinces.

NEW DELHI: A Hindu woman or girl will have equal property rights along with other male relatives for any partition made in intestate succession after September 2005, the Indian Supreme Court has ruled, the Press Trust of India reported.

A bench of justices R M Lodhaand Jagdish Singh Khehar in a judgment said that under the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, the daughters are entitled to equal inheritance rights along with other male siblings, which was not available to them prior to the amendment.

The Violence is Not our Culture (VNC) Campaign welcomes long awaited and recent reforms announced by King Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud, that promise to gives Saudi Arabian women the rights to vote and run for office in municipal council elections, and to become full voting members of the next Shura council. The promise to increase women’s participation in civic life is a tribute to women’s efforts on the ground who have been campaigning inside the country, despite strict and rigid opposition.

Last December, Tunisians rose up against their dictator, triggering a political earthquake that has sent shockwaves through most of the Middle East and north Africa. Now, Tunisia is leading the way once again – this time on the vexed issue of gender equality. It has become the first country in the region to withdraw all its specific reservations regarding CEDAW – the international convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

AL-KHOBAR — In view of the popular campaign for allowing women to drive in the Kingdom, the Shoura Council is thoroughly reconsidering the issue, said Dr. Misha’l Mamdooh Al-Ali, Chairman of the Council’s Human Rights Committee. Allowing women to drive does not conflict with Islamic law, he said, adding that the majority of people oppose women driving based on tradition and customs. “It has nothing to do with religion,” Al-Ali was quoted by Al-Hayat Arabic daily as saying.

Women in Saudi Arabia will be given the right to vote and to stand for election within four years, King Abdullah announced on Sunday, in a cultural shift that appears to mark a new era in the rigidly conservative Islamic kingdom.

The right to vote in council elections will not take effect until 2015, and women will still be banned from casting ballots in elections this Thursday.

However, the 87-year-old monarch has invited women to take part in the next shura council, a governing body that supervises legislation.

An appeals court in Iran has reduced the prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh's jail sentence to six years, her husband said.

The 45-year-old lawyer, who has represented several political activists and protesters arrested in recent years, has been kept in Tehran's notorious Evin prison since last September. In Evin, she is spending time with some of the prisoners she defended in court.

Fez, Morocco - The new reforms outlined in the June 2011 Moroccan constitution can be grouped in three major categories: separation of powers, independence of justice, and good governance. However there are other key reforms that have gotten less attention but will have a major impact on Moroccan society, including a recognition of Morocco’s multicultural roots, a greater recognition of gender equality and more freedom of speech.

Le 11 avril 2011, le gouvernement tunisien de transition a voté une loi révolutionnaire qui institue la parité totale et l’alternance obligatoire des candidats masculins et féminins sur toutes les listes lors de la prochaine élection de l’Assemblée constituante. L’AWID s’est entretenu avec Radhia Bel Haj Zekri, Présidente de l’AFTURD (Association des Femmes Tunisiennes pour la Recherche et le Développement) sur la signification de cette loi pour les femmes et leurs droits en Tunisie.

President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday signed an amendment to Palestinian law to end leniency for civilians found guilty of assault or murder "in defense of family honor." The move, welcomed by women's rights activists, came in the wake of the discovery of a Hebron woman drowned by her uncle because he disagreed with her choice of fiancee. 

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