Iran's Women: A Movement in Transition
The women’s movement for gender equality in Iran has for thirty years been at the heart of wider political struggles in the Islamic Republic. Sanam Vakil tracks three major phases in its development and identifies the ingredients of a fourth.
Brothers arrested over string of recent 'honor killings' in Lod
Two brothers from Ramle, Ramadan and Khaled Musrati, were arrested yesterday on suspicion of involvement in four recent murders in the city of Lod.
Violence against women and attacks on religious minorities on the rise in Pakistan
The families of the victims are often afraid to use the courts for fear of reprisals. The proposals of the Justice and Peace Commission to combat the phenomenon.
Ugandan paper calls for gay people to be hanged
Human rights activists have warned that the lives of gay people in are in danger, after a newspaper published a story featuring the names and in some cases photographs of 100 homosexuals under the headline "Hang Them".
Seminar on traditional values and human rights
On Monday 4 October 2010 OHCHR organised a seminar on 'Traditional Values and Human Rights'. The seminar was the outcome of a controversial resolution presented by the Russian Federation and adopted last year at the Human Rights Council's September session ( on promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind in conformity with international human rights law). The stated purpose of the seminar was to discuss how traditional values can contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights. It was organised as a series of with experts, primarily from an academic background. Regrettably, no civil society speakers were included as panellists. However, a number of NGO representatives were able to speak from the floor. While the seminar was well-attended by States, very few took part in the debate (only Belgium, the Netherlands, the USA, Ireland, Cuba, China, and Egypt spoke).
Germany seeks release of 'journalists' held in Iran
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her government wants to secure the release of two foreigners arrested in Iran - believed to be German reporters.
UAE court rules men can beat wives if no marks left—report
DUBAI—The Federal Supreme Court in the United Arab Emirates has ruled that a man can beat his wife and young children as long as no marks are left, The National newspaper reported on Monday.
INDONESIA: Female genital mutilation persists despite ban
Jakarta, 2 September 2010 (IRIN) - Though the Indonesian government banned four years ago, experts say religious support for the practice is more fervent than ever, particularly in rural communities.
Widow "Cleansing" Tradition - Rights Violation
Widow cleansing dates back centuries and is practiced for example in countries like Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Angola, Ivory Coast, Congo and Nigeria. It gives a nod to a man from the widow’s village or her husband’s family, usually a brother or close male relative of her late husband, to force her to have sex with him – ostensibly to allow her husband’s spirit to roam free in afterlife.
Robert Fisk: The truth about 'honour' killings
The old Pakistani maulawi laid two currency bills on the table between us, one for 50 rupees, the other for 100 rupees. "Now tell me," Rahat Gul asked, "which is the more valuable?" I thought it was a trap – which it was, in a way – but he lost patience with me and seized the 100 rupee note. "Now come with me." And he stood up and led me down a narrow corridor into a small bedroom. There was a camp bed, a military radio and, at the far end, a giant British-made safe. He fiddled with the combination and hauled on the iron door. Then he placed the 100 rupee bill inside and locked the vault. "You see?" he said. "This is like a woman. She must be protected and looked after, because she is more precious than us."
Reader, this is no joke. This whole piece of entirely spontaneous theatre occurred several years ago in what was then called the North West Frontier Province. But I actually possess a videotape of the entire proceedings, in which you see me following the divine to his safe and hear him comparing the worth of the currency bill to the worth of a woman. I was supposed to be impressed by the high status which he accorded women. What struck me, of course, was that this high status appeared to accord women an exclusively economic value – she was a bank account – and that this might lie behind the whole misogynistic system which led us to the curse of "honour" crime.