February 2011

Tunisia: Women Play Important Role in Revolution

Publication Date: 
January 27, 2011
A woman participates in a demonstration in Tunis on January 22, 2011. (Photo:Martin Bureau /AFP/Getty Images)

Female voices rang out loud and clear during massive protests that brought down the authoritarian rule of Tunisian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

Women in Tunisia are unique in the Arab world for enjoying near equality with men. And they are anxious to maintain their status.

In Tunis, old ladies, young girls and women in black judges robes marched down the streets demanding that the dictator leave.

Pakistan: Hundreds of women die for “honour” each year

Publication Date: 
January 27, 2011
Pakistan: Many “honour” killings go unreported (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

LAHORE, 27 January 2011 (IRIN) - Did 22-year-old Saima Bibi scream out as she was electrocuted at her parents’ home in their village near the southern Punjab city of Bahawalpur in Pakistan? Did she plead with her family for her life? Did she seek mercy? 

The answers to these questions will never be known. In one of the most harrowing “honour” killings reported in recent months in the country, Saima was, according to media reports, murdered by her relatives.

February 6th: International Day of Zero Tolerance on FGM

Publication Date: 
February 4, 2011
Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices

February 6 was unanimously adopted at the International Conference on Zero Tolerance to FGM organized by IAC from February 4 to 6, 2003 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Representatives at the Conference came from 49 countries including 4 First Ladies (from Nigeria , Burkina Faso , Guinea Conakry and Mali ), Ministers, and Parliamentarians. Others included Religious, Community and Youth leaders.

Syria: Stiffer punishment for honour killing

Publication Date: 
January 11, 2011
Gulf News

Damascus: Syria has ordered the sentence for those convicted of honour killings tripled to between five and seven years.

The local press reported on Monday that President Bashar Assad amended the current law which stipulated a jail sentence of just two years for those convicted of killing a relative for having illicit sex.

Bangladesh: Four arrested for the death of 14 year old Hena Begum

Publication Date: 
February 2, 2011
A crowd gathered outside the Hena Begum's house after news of her death emerged.

Four people including a Muslim cleric have been arrested in Bangladesh in connection with the death of 14-year-old girl who was publicly lashed.

The teenager was accused of having an affair with a married man, police say, and the punishment was given under Islamic Sharia law.

The status of women in Egypt: What would the post-Mubarak era offer them?

Publication Date: 
March 3, 2010
Freedom House

Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa 2010 - Egypt
By Mariz Tadros


Over the past decade, women in Egypt have made great strides in addressing discriminatory laws. The country's personal status legislation, which had been a source of gender discrimination since its inception in the 1920s, has undergone reform, especially with respect to its procedural elements. Legal prohibitions preventing women's equal access to and representation in the judiciary have been lifted, and social taboos that have restricted their access to certain professions have been broken.

Turkey: Headscarf Continues as Political Issue

Publication Date: 
January 31, 2011
ISP News

ANKARA, Jan 31, 2011 (IPS) - A ruling by an administrative court banning female candidates for academic posts from being veiled during an admission examination has brought the headscarf back to the front of Turkish politics, and reignited tensions between secularist and religious forces.