Afghanistan: Authorities must look to the International Criminal Court to prosecute Taliban attacks
The Afghan government must work with the International Criminal Court to investigate those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, Amnesty International said today, after an attack on a Kabul hotel claimed by the Taleban left at least 10 people dead.
The attack is the latest in a series of serious attacks by insurgents deliberately targeting civilians, including a car bomb attack on a hospital in Afghanistan's eastern Logar province on 25 June, which killed at least 27 people, including many women and children.
India: Doctors turn baby girls into boys through genitoplasty
Girls are being 'converted' into boys in Indore - by the hundreds every year - at ages where they cannot give their consent for this life-changing operation.
This shocking, unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son, is unfolding at conservative Indore's well-known clinics and hospitals on children who are 1-5 years old. The process being used to 'produce' a male child from a female is known as genitoplasty. Each surgery costs Rs 1.5 lakh.
Moreover, these children are pumped with hormonal treatment as part of the sex change procedure that may be irreversible.
Saudi Arabia: 5 women detained for driving, activist says
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabian police detained 5 women for defying the conservative kingdom's driving ban, an activist said on Wednesday, although police said they had detained only one.
"All the cases were in Jeddah and we were really surprised to hear this because this was not the case before," said Saudi activist Eman al-Nafjan.
Authorities have appeared to allow driving this month by dozens of women who answered a call from groups, including "Women2Drive" and "Women's Right to Drive in KSA", to challenge the ban. Many posted accounts of their driving on the Internet.
Lebanon: Clerics attack domestic violence law
New legislation intended to combat domestic violence in Lebanon has run into opposition by the country's religious establishment.
Dar Al-Fatwa, the country's highest Sunni religious authority, claimed that the new law contradicted Islamic law (Shariah) and would deprive Muslim women of the ability to turn to religious courts for protection. It warned the legislators against "religious innovations" such as the concept of rape within the marital framework.
Saudi Arabia: Women challenging male guardianship laws
When she was a little girl, Samia* would practice medical procedures on watermelons. Back then, her dream was to become a successful surgeon and to marry a good man.
"I started to dream of the [wedding] gown when I was 10 or 11 years old. I dreamed of forming a small family - having a kid like my mum and to be a surgeon at the same time".
More than 30 years on, Samia is a fully-qualified doctor.
Egypt: Military pledges to stop forced 'virginity tests'
The head of Egypt’s military intelligence has promised Amnesty International that the army will no longer carry out forced ‘virginity tests’ after defending their use, during a meeting with the organisation in Cairo on Sunday.
Major General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), discussed the issue with Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty months after the organisation publicized allegations of the forced ‘tests’.
Major General al-Sisi said that ‘virginity tests’ had been carried out on female detainees in March to "protect" the army against possible allegations of rape, but that such forced tests would not be carried out again. He also added that army would avoid detaining women in the future.
India: Child marriages reduced through regional government UNICEF Program
HYDERABAD: Kiran Kumar Reddy may have made for a pretty picture helping a girl child write at a government school in Ameerpet, but it is in the distant revenue division of Adoni in Kurnool district that a real revolution is actually unfolding. Revenue officials here have stopped a whopping 400 child marriages in less than two months.
In a crackdown unseen earlier, officials spearheaded an anti-child marriage campaign along with other government departments and across the 17 mandals of Adoni. The result: this wedding season at Adoni saw fewer child marriages than the previous years.
Pakistan: Sexual Harassment Act in place, but fears of reporting remain
ISLAMABAD: Despite the introduction of Harassment Act 2010 in the country, most women are more afraid of repercussions which may cause them to loose their job or face retaliation, so they save themselves by remaining quite.
Women are hesitant of lodging complaints as they feel they would face abusive language, forced late sitting, unnecessary work load and rumors about their characters.
Talking to APP Chairperson National Implementation Watch Committee on Harassment, Dr Fauzia Saeed said, “Whatever lip service we do and how much we show ourselves committed to the cause of women, the fact is that women issues receive lowest priority in our system.
Italy: LGBT Christians want Pope Benedict XVI to defend their human rights
Today the European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups has sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI asking for true respect of the human rights and the personal integrity of LGBT people. They appeal to the Pope for a clear statement against homophobic violence and any pressure by religious authorities to undergo „reparative therapy“, often causing harmful psychological damage. In this letter the Catholic Church is called on to grant LGBT people the same fundamental right to get involved in a relationship with a beloved other without being afraid of negative consequences from church hierarchies.
Palestine: Honour Killing Draws Government & Social Response
A 20-year-old Palestinian woman who was thrown into a well and left to die in the name of “family honour” has not become just another statistic in one of the Middle East’s most shameful practices.
The killing of Aya Baradiya — by an uncle who didn’t like a potential suitor — sparked such outrage that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas scrapped laws this week that guaranteed sentences of six months or less for such killings.
And in another sign of changing attitudes, the young college student is being mourned as a “martyr” and her grieving parents are being embraced, not shunned, by neighbours.