The Netherlands: Transgender Law Violates Rights
VNC supports the call below by Human Rights Watch for legal reform, and believes that State imposed rule on its citizens aimed at regulating and controlling their gender identity exemplified by Article 28 of the Netherlands' Civil Code is both influenced by, and reinforces, 'cultural' or social norms that are discriminatory towards LGBT people.
Repeal Requirement for Irreversible Surgery to Change Official Gender.
(Amsterdam) September 13, 2011 – The Dutch Civil Code violates the human rights of transgender people, and the government should amend it without delay, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should revise article 28 of the civil code, which requires transgender people to take hormones and undergo surgery to alter their bodies and be permanently and irreversibly sterilized before they can have their gender legally recognized on official documents Human Rights Watch said.
Afghanistan: Government Campaign Against Self-Immolation
The Afghan government has launched a national media campaign to address the growing problem of self-immolation. Most people who set fire to themselves, on purpose or by accident, are women. Many try to commit suicide because they are victims of domestic violence and other forms of abuse.
Listen to the BBC interview with women's rights activist Horia Mosadiq on why women are setting themselves alight here:
Tunisia: Leading the way on women's rights in the Middle East
Last December, , 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 – the international convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
India: UNICEF report uncovers high prevalence of child marriage in West Bengal
Every second girl in the high prevalence child marriage districts of West Bengal were married off before they reach 18, the legal age for girls to get wedded, a UNICEF report said.
Murshidabad (61.04%), Birbhum (58.03%), Malda (56.07%) and Purulia (54.03%) are the districts having such dubious distinction, the report said quoting latest figures.
Though only these four districts have reported over 50 per cent child marriage cases, they are enough to pull the state figure of child marriage to a staggering 53.9 per cent.
Kenya: Law passed against FGM
Kenya has become the latest African country to ban female genital mutilation, with the passing of a law making it illegal to practice or procure it or take somebody abroad for cutting. The law even prohibits derogatory remarks about women who have not undergone FGM. Offenders may be jailed or fined or both.
Tunisia: Government Lifts Restrictions on Women’s Rights Treaty
(Beirut) September 6, 2011 ─ Tunisia’s lifting of key reservations to the (CEDAW) is an important step toward gender equality, Human Rights Watch said today. The Tunisian government should next ensure that all domestic laws conform to international standards and eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, Human Rights Watch said.
Tunisia is the first country in the region to withdraw all of its specific reservations to the treaty. These reservations had enabled it to opt out of certain provisions even though it had ratified the treaty.
Saudi Arabia: Efforts to include human rights in syllabuses
JEDDAH: Chairman of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) Mufleh Al-Qahtani has said the organization is making efforts to introduce the subject of human rights in higher and general education syllabuses in Saudi Arabia.
“The organization has put a special emphasis on this issue, held seminars and carried out activities in this regard,” he said on Tuesday.
Al-Qahtani said a joint workshop between the organization and the Ministry of Education made specific recommendations on the issue that were currently being studied.
UK: Parents charged over suspected 'honour' killing
The parents of Shafilea Ahmed, a suspected victim of a so-called honour killing eight years ago, have been charged with murder and are due to appear in court.
Iraq: Attacks continue on women human rights defenders
FRIDAY FILE: Women have been at the forefront of demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the recent popular uprisings, which have received much media and international attention. In contrast, coverage of attacks on women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in Iraq’s Tahrir Square demonstrations has been limited, AWID asks why.
Pakistan: Women Advocates Aid Religious Minorities
(WNN) ISLAMABAD: In spite of real dangers for those working as advocates with Pakistan’s religious minorities, a number of people have been speaking out against religious discrimination and the misuse of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws inside the country.
As internal divisions, casualties and conflict on the northern border and a growing hatred and distrust of ‘the West’ expands, a dedicated group of Pakistani women and men are leading the way on issues of human rights and religious freedom inside the country.
Acts of heroism for women have been happening in Pakistan despite the fact that the country is one of the worst places in the world to be a woman. A recent 2011 “Education Emergency Report” by the PETF – Pakistan Education Task Force has revealed that only “one in three” women have attended school in rural regions.