China: Marriage law interpretation could leave many divorced women homeless
BEIJING — Millions of Chinese women, and some men, woke on Aug. 13 to discover their spouse had, in effect, become their landlord.
On that day, the Supreme Court’s new interpretation of the 1980 Marriage Law came into force, stipulating that property bought before marriage, either outright or on mortgage, reverted to the buyer on divorce. Previously, the family home had been considered joint property. Experts agree the change would mostly affect women, since men traditionally provide the family home.
Iraq: Fight for Women’s Rights Begins All Over Again
BAGHDAD, Sep 13, 2011 (IPS) - When a middle-aged mother took a taxi alone from Baghdad to Nasiriyah, about 300 kilometres south earlier this year, her 20-year-old driver stopped on the way, pulled her to the side of the road and raped her. And that began a telling legal struggle.
"She is not a simple case," says Hanaa Edwar, head of the Iraqi rights-based Al-Amal Association, established in Baghdad after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
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.
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.
Tunisia: Leading the way on women's rights in the Middle East
Last December, , triggering a political earthquake that has sent shockwaves through most of the Middle East and north Africa. Now, Tunisia is leading the way once again – this time on the vexed issue of gender equality.
It has become the first country in the region to withdraw all its specific reservations regarding – the international convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
Lebanon - Penal Code Progess on Honor Killings + Femicide Study
After decades of advocacy by the Lebanese women’s movement to abolish the provision of the so-called “honor killing” from the Lebanese law, the Lebanese Parliament voted, on the 4th of August 2011, for the removal of Article 562 from it penal code. Article 562 allowed for a person to benefit from mitigating excuses in the event that this person surprises his/her spouse, sister, or any relative in the act of adultery or unlawful copulation and proceeds to kill or injure one or both of the participants without prior intent. While this is a step forward in the acknowledgement that such crimes are not to be accepted, much remains to be done on the societal level to change the patriarchal mentality that still puts women under the guardianship of the male family members.
Iranian women call for action on gang-rapes
As a human rights worker I am used to hearing shocking stories. However, a recent spate of gang-rapes and sexual assaults in Iran highlights increasing violence against women in a country where women’s rights are already under extreme pressure.
Most disturbing of all is the response of Iranian officials to a series of up to six separate, brutal attacks over the past few months.
One senior official even suggested that some of these crimes could have been avoided if the women targeted had adhered to Iran’s strict dress code, or hijab.
Lebanon: Hotchpotch of religious laws restricts basic rights
BEIRUT, 19 July 2011 (IRIN) - The demand for equal religious, gender and other treatment for all Lebanese citizens has gained pace with some saying the time has come to review laws that confer inequality, especially on women.
“As a women, I am not equal to my brother, husband or male friend," Rita Chemaly, a researcher and women’s activist in the capital Beirut, said. "My state doesn’t guarantee my rights. The constitution says that all Lebanese are equal, yet the laws do not [guarantee this]."
Lebanon has a system that allocates political power through quotas for all officially recognized religious sects.
Iran: The life of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani remains in the balance
A year after public attention was cast upon Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s plight, her life appears to remain in the balance.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old woman from Iran’s Azerbaijani minority, was sentenced in 2006 to be stoned to death for “adultery while married”. She was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for her role in her husband’s murder which, according to her lawyer, was reduced to five years’ imprisonment for complicity in the murder. She remains in prison in Tabriz. In a letter sent by the Iranian Embassy in Spain to Amnesty International Spain on 8 July 2011, the Iranian authorities reiterated that she was sentenced to death by stoning and to 10 years’ imprisonment for murder.
Saudi Arabia: 5 women detained for driving, activist says
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabian police detained 5 women for defying the conservative kingdom's driving ban, an activist said on Wednesday, although police said they had detained only one.
"All the cases were in Jeddah and we were really surprised to hear this because this was not the case before," said Saudi activist Eman al-Nafjan.
Authorities have appeared to allow driving this month by dozens of women who answered a call from groups, including "Women2Drive" and "Women's Right to Drive in KSA", to challenge the ban. Many posted accounts of their driving on the Internet.