The Islamic Veil across Europe
Countries across Europe have wrestled with the issue of the Muslim veil - in various forms such as the body-covering burka and , which covers the face apart from the eyes.
The debate takes in religious freedom, female equality, secular traditions and even fears of terrorism.
The veil issue is part of a wider debate about multiculturalism in Europe, as many politicians argue that there needs to be a greater effort to assimilate ethnic and religious minorities.
France: With the burqa ban women are 'effectively under house arrest'
Since France introduced its burqa ban in April there have been violent attacks on women wearing the niqab and, this week, the first fines could be handed down. But a legal challenge to this hard line may yet expose the French state as a laughing stock.
Hind Ahmas walks into a brasserie in the north Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. Jaws drop, shoulders tighten and a look of disgust ripples across the faces of haggard men sipping coffee at the bar.
Forced Marriages - Sara's Story
The British High Commission has commissioned three short animated documentaries on the issue of Forced Marriages in Pakistan in an attempt to raise awareness of this human rights violation. Watch 'Sara's Story' below.
The Netherlands: Transgender Law Violates Rights
VNC supports the call below by Human Rights Watch for legal reform, and believes that State imposed rule on its citizens aimed at regulating and controlling their gender identity exemplified by Article 28 of the Netherlands' Civil Code is both influenced by, and reinforces, 'cultural' or social norms that are discriminatory towards LGBT people.
Repeal Requirement for Irreversible Surgery to Change Official Gender.
(Amsterdam) September 13, 2011 – The Dutch Civil Code violates the human rights of transgender people, and the government should amend it without delay, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should revise article 28 of the civil code, which requires transgender people to take hormones and undergo surgery to alter their bodies and be permanently and irreversibly sterilized before they can have their gender legally recognized on official documents Human Rights Watch said.
UK: Parents charged over suspected 'honour' killing
The parents of Shafilea Ahmed, a suspected victim of a so-called honour killing eight years ago, have been charged with murder and are due to appear in court.
Council of Europe Convention calls for hotlines, shelters, medical and forensic services
Hamiyet, a member of Turkey’s Kurdish minority, was a 15-year-old newlywed when her husband began beating her every evening after work. He hit her when she was pregnant with each of their nine children, and he raped her almost nightly. She sought help from the police, but they always sent her back home, more concerned with preserving “family unity” than with her safety.
Report on the Strategic Conversation on Addressing Gaps in the Defense of Women Human Rights Defenders
The VNC Campaign was privileged to be part of this meeting on women human rights defenders organised by the Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) and the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition. The Campaign was represented by AIsha Shaheed and Edna Aquino who took part in the Working Group on Families, Communities and Culture.
The Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) is pleased to publish this report on the ongoing efforts being taken by the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC) and its allies to shed light on the unique challenges women human rights defenders face and to create new systems of advocacy on their behalf.
Norway: Retail Chain Pulling Violent Video Games in Wake of Breivik Killings
Norway's still reeling from the shocking mass murders allegedly performed by Anders Breivik 10 days ago, and the latest cultural repercussions will make it harder to find certain video games in the massacre's wake.
Coop Norway, one of the country's largest retailers, announced late last week that they'd be removing 51 video games and weapon-like toys from their shelves in the aftermath of the Oslo/Utoya shootings.
Among the titles affected are , Sniper: Ghost Warrior, Counter-Strike, and four games.
We Condemn the Norway Carnage as a Terrorist Act
The Violence is Not our Culture campaign (VNC Campaign) expresses its deepest sorrows to the people of Norway following the horrible terrorist attacks in Oslo that left some 76 persons dead. The VNC campaign condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist acts in Norway as well as the extremist, bigoted and racist ideology that underpins it.
'Culturally-justified' violence occurs in all faiths, nations, and societies. In the midst of tremendous grieving, we are reminded of the dangers of right-wing extremism, Christian fundamentalism, and bigoted anti-Muslim sentiments that can and do turn deadly.
300 Austrian clerics call for women priests, reform
VATICAN CITY -- Austrian bishops have criticized an effort by a group of priests calling for reforms in church practice, including opening the priesthood to women and married men, but the bishops have not taken or threatened disciplinary action.
Michael Pruller, spokesman for Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, said the cardinal plans to meet in late August or September with the Viennese priests who are among the leaders of the "Initiative of Parish Priests," which launched a "Call to Disobedience" in June.
The initiative, which says it has just more than 300 members, suggested saying a public prayer at every Mass for church reform;