Child Marriage: Laws Against Must Be Enforced
Millions of girls across the world end up as child brides, despite the practice being outlawed in many countries. But some girls are defying their families' attempts to marry them off.
Some 10 million girls a year are married off before the age of 18 across the world, according to a Unicef report released this year.
Just last month South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu, at the launch of the Girls Not Brides global initiative described child marriage as a "practice that robs millions of girls of their childhood, their rights and their dignity".
Malaysia: Sisters in Islam Remains Firmly Opposed to the Implementation of Hudud Law
Sisters in Islam (SIS) is unequivocally opposed to the adoption and implementation of Hudud law in Malaysia. This has been our considered position since 1993. Our stand on Hudud law is based on the following reasons:
- That it is against the Federal constitution
The Hudud law is unconstitutional on several grounds. First, crime falls under federal jurisdiction, thus a state has no authority to legislate on criminal matters. This is why we have in place a Penal Code that all Malaysians – irrespective of religion – are subject to. Second, it violates constitutional guarantees of equality and non-discrimination on the basis of gender;
Pakistan: Guns Aimed Increasingly at Women
PESHAWAR, Sep 30, 2011 (IPS) - Guns available in new abundance in the troubled north of Pakistan are increasingly being used on women in ‘honour’ killings and domestic disputes, according to local reports.
"About 65 percent of the women killed fall prey to gunfire in honour-related cases and issues relating to domestic violence," local security analyst Brigadier (retired) Muhammad Saad told IPS.
Citing a study by the local Awaz Foundation, he said the problem has been caused by easy availability of small arms.
Egypt: Election Monitoring from Gender Perspective
(Cairo, 14 September 2011) In its continuing effort to enhance women's role in the Egyptian political sphere and follow the mechanisms and means that guarantee equality in women's representation, ECWR is going to monitor the 2011 Parliamentary and Shoura Elections from a gender perspective. For this purpose, ECWR is preparing its Operation Room that will be in charge of the monitoring and will undertake the following missions:
Saudi Arabia: We Say "Yes" to Women's Full Enjoyment of their Rights
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.
However the measure remains, in King Abdullah’s own words, a “cautious reform”.
Australia: Court Action Against Forced Marriage of Girl
An Australian court has placed a 16-year-old girl on the airport watch list to prevent an arranged marriage taking place in Lebanon.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, applied to the Federal Magistrates Court for an order to restrain her parents from taking her out of Australia to marry a man she had met only once.
The girl, given the pseudonym Ms Madley by the court, approached the Legal Aid Commission after her parents organised the wedding despite her telling them that she did not want to go to Lebanon and did not want to marry the man.
Nepal: Badam Mahatara, "In this community there is never ending discrimination against women"
URTHU, 22 September 2011 (IRIN) - In Urthu, Jumla District, in Nepal’s Mid-Western Region, women marry young, have children young and die young. Life expectancy for women is 50, (eight years younger than men) and as one local young man described it, the women are treated like mules. Jumla’s population of 105,000 serves as a microcosm of the gender rights situation across rural Nepal, aid workers say.
Indonesia: FGM/C Regulations Mistaken As Endorsement, Experts Fear
WEST JAVA, 1 September 2011 (IRIN) - Guidelines on how to perform female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Health could cause an increase in the practice, medical experts and rights groups fear.
"This will give doctors a new motivation to circumcise [girls] because now they can say the Ministry of Health approves of this, and the Indonesian Ulamas' Council approves of it," Jurnalis Uddin, doctor and lecturer at Yarsi University [ ] in Jakarta, told IRIN.
Though FGM/C was banned in 2006, two of Indonesia's Muslim organizations, including the largest and mostly moderate Nahdlatul Ulama, ultimately condone the practice advising "not to cut too much", and, as a result, many continue to perform the procedure. [http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=90366]
Malaysia: Women Seizing the Political Agenda
Women are claiming a leading role the political reform movement in Malaysia. In July this year, around 50,000 Malaysians braved a massive state-sponsored onslaught against freedom of expression and freedom of assembly to gather in the nation's capital to demand electoral reform. It was the second time that Malaysians gathered in a mass rally to demand these reforms, but the first time that the call was led by a woman, Ambiga Sreenevasan, and where the lead organisation was a women's rights NGO, Empower.