Religious and Cultural Interpretations
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.
UN HRC: Witches in the 21st Century
Throughout history, people described as witches have been persecuted, tortured and murdered and the practice continues today. Statistics are not easy to come by but it is known that every year, thousands of people, mostly older women and children are accused as witches, often abused, cast out of their families and communities and in many cases murdered.
The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, in his most recent report to the Human Rights Council, says: “In too many settings, being classified as a witch is tantamount to receiving a death sentence.”
Emergency Contraception: Catholics In Favor, Bishops Opposed
While polls of Catholics show that they support access to emergency contraception both after rape and as a fallback contraceptive method, Catholic bishops around the world continue to oppose access.
Emergency contraception (EC) is a term used to describe contraceptive methods that can be used up to five days after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. Whether because of a broken condom, a moment of passion, a calendar miscalculation or the tragedy of rape, women frequently find themselves needing a second chance to prevent a pregnancy. EC gives women that second chance. The most widely available EC method is levonorgestrel-alone pills; this publication refers only to the levonorgestrel form of EC, sometimes referred to by its brand name, Plan B, in the United States. The Vatican opposes artificial methods of contraception, although the majority of Catholics around the world support the use of contraception.
Oxfam Discussion Document: Learnings and analysis about religion, culture, diversity, and development
Executive Summary: Why think about religion?
Religion is a significant force that shapes attitudes, practices, policies, and laws across the world, North or South, developed or developing, whether the state is secular or theocratic. For many people (including some development actors), religion is an essential part of their personal well-being and identity; and, as an institution, it can provide networks and services that ensure practical survival in times of economic stress and national crisis. Many religious organizations have significant resources available for service-delivery and for influencing policy advocacy. However, religion is also used to justify discrimination and conflict. To summarize, religion and religious organizations evidently need to be taken seriously in rights-based development analysis and practice.
Jordan: Child Bride in Jordan Puts Daughters on Same Path
What kind of mothers subject their daughters to drudgery, deny them education and threaten them with early marriage and other human rights abuses? The answer, one family's story suggests, are women who've gone through just that themselves.
AMMAN, Jordan (WOMENSENEWS)--Fawzeya, a 70-year-old Palestinian-Jordanian woman living in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan, raised her two daughters--now 53 and 47--with an iron hand.
Tunisia: Women's rights hang in the balance
For 55 years, Tunisia celebrated Women's Day every August 13, representing the push for gender equality that has been one of the hallmarks of the North African nation's post-colonial era.
Women were active players in the uprising that ended the rule of Zine Abidine Ben Ali, and many hope that event will translate into a more visible role in the country’s soon-to-be democratic political life.
Yet some are worried that the rights women have enjoyed for the past five decades might soon be swept away by the tide of social conservatism that has emerged in the wake of the uprising.
Nigeria: Changing attitudes to contraception
DAKAR, 27 July 2011 (IRIN) - Health workers say an apparent rise in contraceptive use in Nigeria stems largely from a willingness by traditional and religious leaders in some regions to use their influence in promoting reproductive health.
In the predominantly Muslim north, where contraceptive use has historically been far lower than the national average, the support of traditional leaders has helped change attitudes in communities where contraception was long regarded as taboo.
Alhaji Sani Umar, district head of Gagi District, Sokoto State, in northwestern Nigeria, works with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to advocate reproductive health in his community.
Egypt: Women seek to establish themselves during transitional period
CAIRO: Six months on, women say they are yet to reap the benefits of a revolution that explicitly called for equality and social justice, with women missing from key positions that are helping shape the country in its transitional phase.
There are no women on the committee assigned to draft the constitution, no women appointed as governors, and only one woman in the new Cabinet of ministers.
The recently appointed all-male governors infuriated women rights’ organizations and political players, especially since the Minister of Local Development Mohamed Atteya, had told the media that he and Prime Minister Essam Sharaf were considering the nomination of women as governors and that they were in the process of choosing the new governors.
Religious Fundamentalisms and Their Gendered Impacts in Asia
Preface: Amidst growing uncertainties in a globalised world, fundamentalist convictions have been gaining ground in many religions. Reinforced by the threat from interna- tional terrorism, this renaissance of religious fundamentalisms has created ideolog- ical conditions for polarisation between ‘us’ and ‘them’, from community to trans-national level. At national level, it has affected both politics and society, leading to something of a ‘retraditionalisation’ of gender roles.
Dr. Farouk Musa: Feminism, gender equality and the Qur'an
There have been numerous tafsirs throughout the ages, but few stressed on the gender equity issues as propounded by the Qur’an. Many exegetes failed to distance themselves from the misogynist views prevalent in their society while endeavoring to interpret God’s words. Their exegeses are so deeply embedded in the minds of the Muslims nowadays and considered to be the ultimate truth that any other forms of interpretation are considered non-conformist or worse, heretical.
It has to be understood that all the previous exegetes approached the Qur’an with their reason, explaining the purport of each Qur’anic statement in the light of their knowledge of the Arabic language and the traditions of the Prophet apart from the knowledge they acquired historically and culturally.