GUATEMALA CITY, Sept 9, 2011 (IPS) - "Women have more opportunities nowadays to participate in the economic, social and political development of the country, but this has still not improved the quality of their lives," said Laura Reyes, one of the three women candidates for vice president of Guatemala.

"Many women have done a good job, but others have taken advantage of power to serve their own personal interests," Reyes, a lawyer belonging to the Cakchiquel Maya indigenous group, told IPS ahead of Sunday's general elections.

The NGOs signing below express their worry and extreme anger from the Personal Status Law decree project that counselor Abdallah El Baga, president of the Family Appeal Court, presented under title "number 25 January" for year 2011 to Prime Minister, Essam Sharaf. The project includes 7 articles, where El Baga demands in the first one, the cancellation of (El Khol'), and in the third article he demands that a mother's custody would end when the male child reaches 7 years old and female child reaches 10 years old. In article four he demands, that the father has sole educational guardianship and in case that the foster mother is inflicted she should go to court. In article five, he talks about enforcing wife obedience by coercive force in case that the wife doesn't object to the warning in time, or that a finale verdict has been issued in addition to the cessation of her alimony till she is back to obedience.

On April 11, 2011 the Tunisian transitional authorities ruled on a gender parity law, requiring equal numbers of women and men as candidates in the upcoming Constituent Assembly election. AWID interviewed Radhia Bel Hak Zekri, President of the Association of Tunisian Women for Research and Development (AFTURD), on the significance of this law for women and women’s rights in Tunisia.

In high heels and head scarves, a small band of Afghan women took to the streets of the country's capital, Kabul, on Thursday to protest harassment by men in public places. Carrying signs, that read "This street also belongs to me" and "We won't stand insults anymore" the 20 or so women -- and some men marching in solidarity -- protested being abused, groped and followed on the city's streets. Afghanistan remains a deeply conservative country, with heavy cultural and social restrictions on women's freedoms, even though the ouster of the hardline Taliban nearly a decade ago brought huge improvements in their legal rights.

The enormous role of women in the uprisings in the MENA region is undisputed. They faced verbal and physical abuse, violence, arrest and death just as their male counterparts. The transformation of these countries has been groundbreaking, and their participation is as important as ever. After the dust of the battle settles, will Arab societies remember to include women in the rebuilding of their countries?

Roj Women’s Association has just published its last Annual Activities Report that maps out the organization’s campaigning and community work from April 2010 until March 2011. Field research in Kurdish regions of the world, community research among the Kurdish Diaspora, lobbying meetings at British, European and United Nations forums, grassroots groups capacity-building, seminars for university students and communities, to mention a few, are the activities that materialize a wider strategy that seeks to improve the lives of women in Kurdish regions and communities of the world.

إلى والدنا خادم الحرمين الشريفين الملك عبد الله بن عبد العزيز حفظه الله ورعاه السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته وبعد: نحن بنات وأبناء هذا الوطن نشكر لكم كل ما قدمتموه وبذلتموه للنهوض ببلدنا الغالي من خلال اهتمامكم بقضايا المرأة وهي من تمثل نصف المجتمع و وإننا نرفع خطابنا هذا لكم من أجل مستقبل أكثر إشراقا لهذا الوطن. سيدي لا يخفى عليكم ما تعانيه المرأة السعودية من مشكلات لا تنعكس أثارها عليها فقط، بل على الأسرة بأكملها وعلى الاقتصاد الوطني ككل ، فالنساء يشكلن مانسبته 50% من تعداد السكان في المملكة وفقا لمصلحة الإحصاءات العامة و المعلومات، و قد أثبتت المرأة السعودية نجاحها و تميزها علمياً و عملياً ، و أيضا أنشأت رجال ناجحين ساهموا في بناء هذا الوطن.

شبكة النساء في ظل قوانين المسلمين"في حاجة ماسة للموارد المالية لتغطية تكاليف خدمات الاتصالات والمنشورات التي هي محور عملنا، وخصوصا في ظل التطورات السياسية الأخيرة والفرص المتاحة من أجل حقوق المرأة والديمقراطية عبر السياقات الإسلامية.

WLUML a besoin, de toute urgence, des fonds pour couvrir ses frais de communication et de publication qui constituent les secteurs les plus importants de son travail, surtout avec les évènements politiques récents et les chances de promouvoir les droits des femmes et la démocratie dans les contextes musulmans.

The Casa Asia Award 2011, in its eighth edition, has been awarded to the Malaysian NGO Sisters in Islam for its solid committment in promoting women's rights in the Muslim world from Malaysia. Sisters in Islam is a Non-Government Organization of Muslim women that searches to articulate women's rights in Islam, highlighting the need to interpret Koran in its own historical and cultural context. This group, made up of several Malaysian women, who are lawyers, activists, academics and journalists, advocates for the right of women to hold public positions, and directs its efforts towards the promotion of rights, in global, of Muslim women, on the basis of principles such as equality, justice and freedom imposed by the Koran.