News and Views by Region
Outrage as 'Obedient Wives Club' spreads across south-east Asia
A women's group that aims to teach Muslim wives how to "keep their spouses happy in the bedroom" is taking root in south-east Asia, prompting outrage from Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
The Obedient Wives Club (OWC), which has chapters in Malaysia, Indonesia and and intends to open in London and Paris later this year, says it intends to curb various social problems, including prostitution and gambling, by showing Muslim wives how to "be submissive and keep their spouses happy in the bedroom". This, in turn, would lead to more harmonious marriages and societies, it says.
UK: Girls at risk of mutilation abroad
Thousands of British schoolgirls as young as eight face being taken abroad this summer to have their genitals mutilated and stitched up to preserve "purity".
A campaign by the Metropolitan Police and Foreign Office will suggest that more than 22,000 girls under the age of 15 risk being taken abroad by their family for "cutting", based on data from The International Centre for Reproductive Health.
Campaigners say the victims are being failed by a lack of awareness from teachers and neighbours.
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.
Europe: New Council of Europe convention to prevent and combat violence against women
Istanbul, 11.05.2011 - The Council of Europe’s new (CETS n° 210) has been passed and also open to accession by non-European countries and by the European Union.
This new landmark Council of Europe treaty is the first legally binding instrument in the world creating a comprehensive legal framework to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence.
United Kingdom: Muslim women fighting extremism
Tehmina Kazi wears modest western dress and believes in plurality and diversity within her faith, . For her pains, she has been labelled a whore, admonished for not wearing the hijab and accused, inaccurately, of wearing short skirts by people she has never met, writing online.
When she defended after he said evolution was compatible with Islam, she had to go to police after receiving threats of her own.
Spain: Brotherhood includes women in Holy Week procession for first time
SEVILLE — Ana María Ruiz Copete, a sister in the oldest religious brotherhood of Seville, has been anticipating this Easter celebration for 30 years.
On Friday, the Brotherhood of Silence will include for the first time Ms. Ruiz Copete and 25 other women in one of the traditional processions of hooded penitents that have put the Andalusian capital at the center stage of Catholic celebrations of the Holy Week.
Austria: UN cultural rights expert calls for better promotion of cultural rights and diversity
GENEVA – UN Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed on Friday encouraged the Austrian Government to approach cultural diversity as an invaluable resource and to take concrete measures to promote it.
“The Government should mainstream cultural diversity and the cultural heritage of Austria’s diverse populations by incorporating minority cultures and histories in public schooling curricula, media and cultural activities,” she said. “They should also promote intercultural understanding and minority language proficiency in all official institutions and among civil servants.”
France: Full-face veils outlawed as France spells out controversial niqab ban
From Saudi tourists window-shopping on the Champs-Élysées to Muslim women in a departure lounge at Charles de Gaulle airport or the few young French converts on suburban estates, any woman who steps outside in France wearing a veil that covers her face will be breaking the law from next month.
Turkey: Headscarf Continues as Political Issue
ANKARA, Jan 31, 2011 (IPS) - A ruling by an administrative court banning female candidates for academic posts from being veiled during an admission examination has brought the headscarf back to the front of Turkish politics, and reignited tensions between secularist and religious forces.
Italy: Slow Changes in the Ways to Tackel 'Honour' Killings
“AND YET IT MOVES”… SLOW CHANGES IN THE WAY TO TACKLE HONOR KILLINGS IN ITALY
By Valentina Colombo
In Sweden between January 20th and January 22nd, in occasion of the 9th anniversary of the tragic death of the young girl of Kurdish origins, the association “Never forget Pela and Fadime” in the person of the president Sara Mohammad, herself a survivor of a forced marriage, organized many public events to stress that Sweden will not forget Fadime and the other victims of honor related violence.