The issue of women’s subordinate legal, social and political position in Afghan society and the failure of the government to meet its obligations to ensure gender equality and address discriminatory social attitudes forms the basis of this report. Cultural, religious and social norms are at the root of the various kinds of abuse experienced by women human rights defenders.

By Kecia Ali, May 27 2014

It has been a lousy month for Islamic law.  

First, there was the kidnapping and sale of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram, which claimed religious acceptability for their acts. As Muslim theologian Jerusha Lamptey opined, this is not my sharia.

تتمخض النكبات والكوارث في حياتنا‏,‏ أو ما تسمي أحيانا أحداث مؤسفة‏'‏ عن أمهات فقيرات ينتحبن علي دماء أولادهن المراقة‏ , تشرب الارض الدماء, ترتدي النساء الحداد, ثم تخلعه أولا تخلعه, وتتكرر الأحداث, تعود الأمهات المنكوبات الي النحيب, وتشرب الأرض الدماء.

Somalia has recently selected its parliament on Somali soil for the first time since the civil war of the late 1980s. This is a significant achievement since regional power brokers such as Ethiopia and Kenya, with the financial and logistical backing of the European Union, the United States and the United Nations, concocted Somali governments in neighbouring countries. 

The Kurdish ethnic group historically inhabited Kurdistan, an area now divided between the modern states of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria.  Kurds form about 20% of Turkey’s population. Since the formation of the state of Turkey, Kurds in Turkey have faced marginalization  and suppression of their cultural identity and a very severe assimilation policy. In 1984 the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) launched an armed uprising against the Turkish state demanding an independent Kurdish homeland.

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