Laws and Courts

Tunisia's Election Through the Eyes of Women

Publication Date: 
October 23, 2011
Al Jazeera
Tunisia's fledgeling democracy offers particular challenges and opportunities for the nation's women [REUTERS]

Al Jazeera speaks to Tunisian women from across the political spectrum about their hopes and fears for Sunday's poll.

The role of women in the new Tunisia has been a controversial issue throughout the transitional period, with some fearful that they would lose precious rights from the previous era, and others arguing for a return to traditional values.

Early on in the democratic transition, an ambitious  was introduced to ensure women would have a voice in the constituent assembly.

For some, however, this law did not go far enough. There are no gender quotas for seats in the assembly, for example.

UN: General Assembly Holds Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women

Publication Date: 
October 10, 2011
International Service for Human Rights

On October 10, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Ms. Rashida Manjoo, presented her to the Third Committee at the 66th session of theGlossary Link . Ms. Manjoo opened by giving a summary of her report on the continuum of violence against women from the home to the transnational sphere: the challenges of effective redress. The meeting was then opened for comments and questions from delegations. Overall, the dynamic of the discussions during the interactive dialogue was friendly, with most delegations welcoming the Special Rapporteur’s work and report.

Afghanistan: Women Face Rising Danger If Excluded From Peace Talks

Publication Date: 
October 3, 2011
Women's News Network
Four graduates from Kabul University's intensive five-month engineering training program for women (Photo: USAID).

(WNN) KABUL: On the tenth anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, a new October 3, 2011 Oxfam report on progress for Afghan women shows steady advances for Afghan women since October 2001. But recent data shows women’s personal safety, opportunity and human rights inside the nation are beginning to erode back to conditions that existed previously. 

With May 2011 being the deadliest month for Afghan civilian casualties since 2007, opinions inside and outside the country on the war in Afghanistan have been mixed. Many women in the region worry they will be left behind as international peace talks accelerate toward the proposed U.S. military campaign ‘end’ date in 2014.

Secularism vs Communalism: Learning from the Ban on Full Face Covering Veil in France

Publication Date: 
April, 2011

Three days after the enforcement of the French law that prohibits full face covering, and after the first women law breakers have been fined, international media focus on ’protesting Muslims’, while the voices of the vast majority of presumed Muslims in France are ignored.

One has to raise issue with the absence of proper coverage by English language international media regarding the public stands taken by French citizens of migrant Muslim descent.

Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Report to UN General Assembly 2011

Publication Date: 
August, 2011

This is the first written report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, to the General Assembly, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 65/187. The report provides an overview of the mandate’s work and main findings and the challenges it continues to encounter, and presents specific recommendations to address violence against women through a holistic framework based on States’ obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of women and girls.

Yemen: Shari'a Replacing State Law

Publication Date: 
October 8, 2011
Army forces move into Zinjibar, the capital of southern Abyan province, after freeing it from the hands of Islamist militants.

Amid regular military bombardment, the Abyan governorate of southern Yemen has witnessed the rapid deterioration of state institutions and the rule of law. Local Islamic law (sharia) courts have risen in this vacuum to govern communities’ daily affairs.

Lahj - The situation in Abyan governorate is markedly different than in the rest of the country. While most governorates have witnessed weekly protests demanding the regime’s overthrow, Abyan is subject to regular Yemeni and American air and ground attacks against Islamist militants who control much of the area.

Iraq: Shadow Report on UN Universal Periodic Review

Publication Date: 
February, 2010

Stakeholder Report the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Process by Karama - Feb. 2010

1. Executive Summary

1.1 Improvements since 2005

Iraq has demonstrated certain efforts to improve the human rights of women in these past four years. The quota in effect for elections of 2005 and 2009 increased women's representation in national and provincial legislative bodies to 25%, one of the highest levels in the region. Also, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq amended its Personal Status Law in 2008 to place restrictions on polygamy, created emergency shelters to provide a measure of protection to women from violence, established a Cabinet-level Committee on Violence against Women, and set up a Directorate to Follow up Violence against Women in each KRG governorate.

Child Marriage: Laws Against Must Be Enforced

Publication Date: 
October 3, 2011
A child bride in Bangladesh, aged 14. Photo: BBC

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: Sisters in Islam Remains Firmly Opposed to the Implementation of Hudud Law

Publication Date: 
October 4, 2011
Sisters in Islam

Sisters in Islam (SIS) is unequivocally opposed to the adoption and implementation of Hudud law in Malaysia. This has been our considered position since 1993. Our stand on Hudud law is based on the following reasons:

  • That it is against the Federal constitution

The Hudud law is unconstitutional on several grounds. First, crime falls under federal jurisdiction, thus a state has no authority to legislate on criminal matters. This is why we have in place a Penal Code that all Malaysians – irrespective of religion – are subject to. Second, it violates constitutional guarantees of equality and non-discrimination on the basis of gender;

Saudi Arabia: We Say "Yes" to Women's Full Enjoyment of their Rights

Publication Date: 
October 2, 2011
Violence is Not our Culture
Violence is Not our Culture (VNC)

The Violence is Not our Culture (VNC) Campaign welcomes long awaited and recent reforms announced by King Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud, that promise to gives Saudi Arabian women the rights to vote and run for office in municipal council elections, and to become full voting members of the next Shura council. The promise to increase women’s participation in civic life is a tribute to women’s efforts on the ground who have been campaigning inside the country, despite strict and rigid opposition.

However the measure remains, in King Abdullah’s own words, a “cautious reform”.