News and Views by Region

Egypt: Revolution Women March Against Religious Strife

Publication Date: 
May 10, 2011
Egyptian Center for Women's Rights

Arabic - Below

(Cairo, May 10, 2011) A large number of Egyptian women participated in a march entitled "No to sectarian strife" which appeared with its ugly face in the district of Imbaba. They participated in this march to stress the values of citizenship and tolerance and to prevent the strife that has been witnessed in the district and in many different places in Egypt after the revolution.

Uganda: Gay activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera granted Martin Ennals award

Publication Date: 
May 4, 2011
Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera.jpg

Ugandan gay activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera has been given the prestigious Martin Ennals rights award.

The 10 organisations which make up the award jury said she was courageous and faced harassment because of her work. Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda, and can be punished by long jail terms.

Zambia: Young Women, Harmful Cultural Practices

Publication Date: 
December 2, 2010
World YWCA

Some cultural practices are progressive. Others are harmful to women and girls and they perpetuate abuse. These practices relegate women to inferior positions with respect to property, inheritance, marriage and decision making. In most cases, culture is used as an excuse to continue various forms of abuse that promote sexual, physical and psychological harm.

Middle East/North Africa: Journalists & Cyber Activists In the Line of Fire

Publication Date: 
April 28, 2011
Article XIX

Article XIX Statement: From Morocco to Bahrain, everyday people have taken on the cast iron hold of dictatorships and absolute monarchies resulting in an extraordinary collective awakening that has paved the way for epochal change in the region. The youth movement, which lies at the core of the uprisings, continues to play a prominent role in the pro-democracy and pro-reform demonstrations, which have swept through the region, unabated by government clampdowns or concessions.

Uganda: HIV/AIDS Challenges with Child Marriages, Polygamy, Civil War

Publication Date: 
April 24, 2011
Women's E-News

In northern Uganda, daughters with limited understanding of HIV/AIDS are married off at young ages into polygamous households still struggling with the legacy of a brutal 16-year civil war. The practice is a recipe for rapid disease transmission.

Congo: Mobile Gender Justice Court

Publication Date: 
April 25, 2011
Open Society Foundations

In many parts of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a rape victim has to walk for days or travel more than eight hours by car to get to the nearest court. For example, outside the city of Bukavu in South Kivu—a region that has the highest incidence of sexual violence in the world—there are no courts or magistrates who can hear cases. For those who persevere in filing a police report, justice is still often out of reach: local authorities have no capacity to investigate or prosecute such crimes. Because of this, tens of thousands of gender violence survivors have no meaningful access to justice.

Algeria: Artwork on rape of women by fundamentalist armed groups censored at Sharjah Biennial

Publication Date: 
April 6, 2011
Mustapha Benfodil
Mustapha Benfodil's "Maportaliche/It Has No Importance," 2011, before it was removed from the Sharjah Biennial.

Because art is free to be impolite…

Even as the Arab spring unfolds across the region, I learned with profound astonishment that Mr. Jack Persekian, director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, has been dismissed as “punishment” for allowing an artist invited to the Sharjah Biennial total freedom of expression. I am the artist in question. My installation “Maportaliche/Ecritures sauvages” [It has no importance/Wild Writings] has been censored and removed from the Biennial.

Child Brides Often Stop Education & Continue Poverty

Publication Date: 
February 28, 2011
The Economist

In South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa 38% of women marry before they are 18 years old. Child marriages, as defined by UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s agency, are those undertaken by women under the age of 18 and include unions where a woman and a man live together as if they were married.

Egypt: Remember the Women as Agents of Revolution Change

Publication Date: 
February 23, 2011
USA Today

Women fueled the revolution, should shape future.

"I, a girl, am going down to Tahrir Square and I will stand alone." With these words, Asmaa Mahfouz put out a call on YouTube that went viral, helping to ignite Egypt's revolution. A 26-year-old business management graduate, Mahfouz helped rally Egyptians for the initial Jan. 25 protest, to "say no to corruption, no to this regime." But Mahfouz's activism had its roots in another protest led by another woman.

Zambia: 'Early Marriage' Tradition Violates Girls' Rights

Publication Date: 
January 10, 2011
Advocates for Human Rights

Underage marriage is widespread in northern Zambia’s Luapula Province, where the estimates that 70 percent of teenage girls are forced into marriage. Poverty, particularly in rural areas, and a tradition of marrying daughters off young, account for the high rates of child marriage. The practice of bride price - where the groom pays an amount of money to the bride’s family - also plays a role as some parents seek financial gains from marrying their daughters. Many parents also choose to marry their daughters young to prevent them from getting pregnant outside marriage and besmirching family honor.