News and Views by Region
Honour Crimes Shame the World - Robert Fisk
It's one of the last great taboos: the murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of 'honour'. Nor is the problem confined to the Middle East: the contagion is spreading rapidly.
Afghan Women's Movements Deserve More From the West
Time magazine's is a tribute to their heroism and silent suffering. However, the poignant images and story fail to reflect the determined achievements of a women's movement that has battled cultural and Islamist misogyny. They deserve more from the West.
Ironically, women in Afghanistan had greater opportunities for education and employment under colonial rule, including that of the Soviets. Tribal traditions and a male-dominated reading of Islam have produced a deeply rooted ideology of women as temptresses, who must be kept under control to avoid "fitna" or social strife, thereby safeguarding the "peace of Islam." In this patriarchal society, a man's honor, bound by the behavior of his female relatives, may be defended with violence. Girls are traded to settle family disputes, and rural tribal courts dispense summary justice that can overrule central authority.
Campaigning must continue to end stoning
SAKINEH Mohammadi Ashtiani could be stoned to death or hanged in Iran within days.
Facing arrest, her lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, fled to Norway via Turkey, where he was briefly detained. His wife and two relatives were held hostage in Tehran's Evin prison. They have since been released on bail. Non-government organisations campaigned forcefully on their behalf. However, few Muslim or non-Muslim leaders have spoken out against the criminalisation of adultery and its punishment by stoning.
Dr Mohammad Javad Larijani, Secretary General of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, believes the ancient custom, revived after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, is consistent with Islam. Article 104 of the Iranian Penal Code states: "The stones should not be too large so that the person dies on being hit by one or two of them; nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones." Members of the community, often family and in-laws of the accused, carry out the deed. According to Larijani, international protests are part of a destabilising political campaign orchestrated by Western nations, an argument the UN appears to accept without dispute.
Amnesty: Bosnia and Herzegovina must reject Burqa ban
Amnesty International has urged the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina to reject a draft law, set to be debated on Wednesday, prohibiting the wearing in public of clothes which prevent identification.
"If adopted, such a law would violate the human rights of women who choose to wear a full-face veil as an expression of their religious, cultural political or personal identity or beliefs. It would violate their right to freedom of expression and religion," said Marek Marczynski, Amnesty International's researcher on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Islam without veil
Since the recent controversy surrounding the French government’s ban on total face coverings (burqa or niqab), the head scarf issue has once again attracted the world’s attention.
Review: Velvet Jihad—Muslim Women’s Quiet Resistance to Islamic Fundamentalism
The book catalogues a long list of hurdles and restrictions that millions of Muslim women across the world are subjected to in the name of Islam.
Petition against Vatican`s miscategorization of Women’s Rights Advocates with Child Abusers
On July 15, 2010, the Vatican issued a clarification of its canonical procedures for how dioceses should handle priests who sexually abuse children. As part of the statement, they have added that the “attempted ordination of a woman” has now been added to the list of “delicta graviora,” or most serious crimes in church law, alongside the sexual abuse of minors.
Catholics denounce Vatican putting female ordination on par with sex abuse
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
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.
Women point to biases in Koranic exegesis
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and the National Commission on Violence Against Women and Children are hopeful their newly launched book will change the views of the Indonesian Muslim community surrounding women and their rights.
Breaking the Silence: Religion listens to the voice of women victims of violence for the sake of justice, launced on June 30, is intended to serve as a reference for clerics, Islamic women's organizations and the government, in promoting progressive and just perspectives on the Islamic view of women.