News and Views by Region
Statement of the Gender Dynamic Coalition at the UN Internet Governance Forum 2011
The 6th UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held in Nairobi between 27-30 September 2011, and was attended by a representative of the VNC Campaign / WLUML. In addition to panels and workshops, the IGF brings together a number of Dynamic Coalitions working on specific themes, one of which is on gender. This year, the VNC represenative joined the Dynamic Coalition on Gender and contributed to the statement issued on the last day of the Forum. The statement below criticizes the continued gender imbalance in the participation and the substance of the discussions at the IGF, and supports the call issued by the Association of Progressive Communications, and others, to make human rights the theme of the IGF in 2012 and emphasise a rights-based approach instead of protectionist solutions.
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: Hudud Laws - Between the Implicit and the Explicit
The hudud controversy has now returned to the eyes of the media after it was discussed at the National Syariah Seminar sponsored by the Department of Islamic Affairs of Kelantan.
PAS indeed had taken a step forward in their comprehensive proposals for a welfare state but their preoccupation with the hudud issue clearly shows that they are still stuck in the framework of antiquarian politics.
For this evidently shows that the hudud laws are still a crucial part of their raison d'etre. It doesn't look likely that this will change, since evoking the hudud is a convenient way to claim that they are the real fighters for Islam in Malaysia, as opposed to Umno.
Malaysia: Why Hudud Law Is Everybody’s Business
SEPT 23 — Once again the familiar argument has surfaced, or been desperately invoked, this time in the latest stand-off between the leading Pakatan Rakyat allies Karpal Singh and Anwar Ibrahim.
Hudud law, if implemented, will apply only to Muslims, Anwar Ibrahim again insists, so the question is one that concerns only Muslims, not Malaysian citizens of other faiths — or no conventional doctrinal allegiance at all. So non-Muslims have nothing to fear, no legitimate interest in the matter, and no right to express any opinion. The matter is for Muslims alone.
Documenting Violence Against Women in 10 Countries
Karin Alfredsson is spearheading a nongovernmental project to document violence against women around the world, and to highlight the shortcomings and successes of legislation and other initiatives aimed at helping to curb it.
Stockholm: Violence against women worldwide causes more deaths and injuries than traffic accidents, cancer, and malaria combined.
Dear Facebook: Rape is No Joke
According to Facebook’s , users are not permitted to post content that is hateful, threatening or incites violence. But it appears that, in the minds of the Facebook powers-that-be, pages that encourage rape that rule.
For two months now, Facebook users have been for the site to take down several “rape joke” pages.
Between Power and Freedom: The Challenge in the Future of Islamic Feminism
Ahmad Fuad Rahmat | Research Fellow, Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF): It is an evident, although often unacknowledged, fact that Islam’s long history and intellectual tradition is comprised of a rather impressive list of important women thinkers and figures. The Qur’an itself included “believing women” in its scope and statements. Further precedent was set through the leadership of Aisha and the historical significance of Fatimah. Spiritually, even the most conservative of Muslim men have taken the example of Rabiah al-Aldawiyah to heart.
Are women with secure land rights less vulnerable to domestic violence?
The problem of domestic violence in the world can seem intractable. In a recent report, UN Women notes that in 17 out of 41 countries, “a quarter or more of people think that it is justifiable for a man to beat his wife.”
Think about that. In almost half of the countries the report studied, more than 25% of people think that husbands have a right to hurt their wives, that they have a right to use physical violence as a punishment and a method of control.
Women's 'sex strike' a global phenomena
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - A collective launched by women in Dado, Maguindanao, to bring peace to the troubled village and nearby communities is not the first of its kind in the world.
It has its roots in Greek playwright Aristophanes'
In the play, the female characters led by Lysistrata withheld sex from their husbands as part of their strategy to secure peace and end the Peloponnesian War.
Gay Rights: A World of Inequality
Gay people still live in fear in many countries around the world – prejudice, torture and execution are common. Can two new legal and diplomatic campaigns change attitudes?
Last Thursday, , sexual intercourse between two men. The case is considered extreme even by Iranian standards, because while the death penalty is in place for homosexuality, it is usually enforced only when there is a charge of assault or rape alongside it; the accusations in these three cases were of consensual sex.