Catholics denounce Vatican putting female ordination on par with sex abuse

Publication Date: 
July 16, 2010
The Guardian
Three ‘bishops’ at the ordination of a female French priest in Lyons in 2005. All four women were excommunicated.

Women's groups describe Vatican's decision on female ordination as 'appalling'.

It was meant to be the document that put a lid on the clerical sex abuse scandals that have swept the Roman Catholic world. But instead of quelling fury from within and without the church, the Vatican stoked the anger of liberal Catholics and women's groups by including a provision in its revised decree that made the "attempted ordination" of women one of the gravest crimes in ecclesiastical law.

The change put the "offence" on a par with the sex abuse of minors.

Revised Vatican norms to cover sex abuse and attempted women's ordination

Publication Date: 
July 9, 2010
Catholic News Service
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican is preparing to update the 2001 norms that deal with priestly sex abuse of minors, in effect codifying practices that have been in place for several years.

At the same time, it will include the "attempted ordination of women" among the list of most serious crimes against church law, or "delicta graviora," sources said.

UN Women Born: Civil Society Celebrates Creation of Gender Equality Entity After Four Years of Advocacy

Publication Date: 
June 30, 2010
GEAR Campaign

UN Women Born: Civil Society Celebrates Creation of Gender Equality Entity After Four Years of Campaigning

The Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) Campaign celebrates the United Nations General Assembly resolution, agreed to on 30 June and to be formally adopted by the General Assembly on Friday, 2 July, to establish “UN Women”—the new gender equality entity at the UN.   This move has been sought by women’s organizations and other civil society organizations around the world since the UN established a System-Wide Coherence Panel for UN Reform in 2006. Charlotte Bunch of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University, a founding member of the GEAR Campaign, stated, “We have high expectations for this new agency to be a solid foundation for advancing the human rights of women as central to global policy efforts to reduce poverty and move toward greater realization of peace and democracy in the world.   The coalition of women’s groups and other social justice, human rights and development organizations that played a pivotal role in this effort will now turn its efforts toward ensuring that the new body has the human and financial resources necessary to succeed.”

Freedom Leads to Empowerment: Promoting Women's Leadership and Financial Independence

Publication Date: 
January 1, 2010
International Museum of Women (IMOW)
Mahnaz Afkhami

Women's empowerment is a process. It involves raising consciousness, building skills and reforming unjust laws that limit women's education, participation in decision making and economic independence. I.M.O.W. Global Council member Mahnaz Afkhami is president of , which strives to empower women by practicing and promoting their leadership and self-sufficiency.

Islam and Feminism: Interpretations for Gender Justice

Publication Date: 
May 11, 2010
Contestations / Dialogues on Women's Empowerment
Photo Credit: Tom Hartwell

Islam and feminism have had a troubled relationship. Over the last two decades, scholars and activists have questioned the western credentials of feminism and claimed justice as a purpose and possibility that can be captured via religious routes. Religion provides women with an ethical framework and a moral foundation that recognizes their rights as individuals and as a collective, albeit redefining equality in the process. The mosque movement in Egypt has empowered women to find dignity, companionship and comfort through piety and conformity to a religious ideal and challenge the less-than-perfect world around them. Moreover by engaging with religion, Muslim women are able to redefine the tenets that have endowed Islam with an unnecessary bias for men; one which feminist scholars of Islam are certain is antithetical to the spirit and philosophy of our religion.

Women's Right to Have Rights - Resisting Fundamentalist Orders

Publication Date: 
May 14, 2010
Association for Women in Development (AWID)
Credit: AWARE

While fundamentalist movements may vary according to the global context in which they operate, for women this diversity is outweighed by the core characteristics, strategies and impacts that they share.

In a on April 16, 2010, a senior Iranian cleric, Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, declared a need for a “general repentance,” warning of the “prevalence of degeneracy” in the country. He pointed to the real consequences of immodesty and promiscuity among women, noting that “many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes.”

Sediqi’s comments follow President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s forecast that Tehran will be the site of an imminent and devastating quake. In the last ten years, earthquakes in Iran have claimed tens of thousands of lives, and the country rests upon some of the most earthquake-prone land in the world. “What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” Sediqi asked. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam's moral codes.”

ASEAN gets commission for children and women

ASEAN officials inaugurated Wednesday the Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), to augment the human rights body established last year.

Rape Must Never Be Minimized as Part of Cultural Traditions - UN Envoy on Sexual Violence in Conflict

UN Special Envoy on Sexual Violence in Conflict Margot Wallström

Rape must never be minimized as part of cultural traditions, UN envoy says

Sexual violence during conflicts is all too often downplayed and treated as part of local cultural traditions instead of being viewed as a war crime, a senior United Nations official has warned as she called for much greater international action to defeat the scourge.

A Piece of White Silk: Review of "Honour Killings"

A Piece of White Silk
Jacqueline Rose
London Review of Books

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