Laws and Courts
Canada: New insights on 'honour killings' in report by Ontario police
The phrase “honour killing” is a misnomer that should be shunned because it emphasizes a twisted rationale for murder rather than the murder itself, and even in Canada the notion has spawned instances of judicial leniency toward the killer, a landmark report on domestic violence among South Asian immigrants concludes.
The report, released Thursday at Toronto Police headquarters, cites numerous other factors as explanations as to why Ontario’s justice system sometimes falls short in addressing family violence – which overwhelmingly means violence toward women and the elderly – among the province’s largest visible-minority group:
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.
Nepal Looks Set To Officially Recognize Third Gender
FRIDAY FILE: Almost four years after Nepal’s Supreme Court recognized the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, the South Asian country may get a new constitution that secures their rights.[i] By Kathambi Kinoti
The first public wedding between two women in Nepal in June 2011 in a town a few kilometres south of the capital Kathmandu. Nepal was constitutionally a Hindu state until 2006 when Parliament amended the constitution to make it secular. The majority of Nepalese are Hindu and the second most prominent religion is Buddhism.
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.
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.
Kenya: Law passed against FGM
Kenya has become the latest African country to ban female genital mutilation, with the passing of a law making it illegal to practice or procure it or take somebody abroad for cutting. The law even prohibits derogatory remarks about women who have not undergone FGM. Offenders may be jailed or fined or both.
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.
Burkina Faso: Free Legal Aid for Women Accused of being Witches
PARIS (TrustLaw) - What links a British-based law firm to an initiative aimed at protecting women in Burkina Faso from accusations of witchcraft?
The answer's global pro bono work.
Earlier this year, a charity caring for older people, HelpAge International, asked Advocates for International Development (A4ID) to help with its work in, among others, Burkina Faso where it's been trying to raise awareness about the plight of women who've fallen victim to witchcraft allegations.
Nepal: Religious Practices, Discrimination & Gender Violence
KATHMANDU, Jul 28, 2011 (IPS) - The recent gang-rape of a Buddhist nun and her expulsion from her sect have sparked a debate about the deep-rooted religious traditions and biases that foster discrimination and violence, especially against women, in this South Asian state.
The public outcry against the nun’s expulsion forced the Nepal Buddhist Federation to reconsider, saying now that once she recovers, the victim can return to her nunnery.
But it is only a minor triumph. While public debate on a discriminatory socio-religious practice led to its retraction, thousands of women continue to be victims of other religious rituals in Nepal.