Middle East

Forced marriages result from harmful traditional practices1 justified in the name of cultural, economic, political and/or legal standards. Forced marriages are a phenomenon tantamount to slavery, as explicated in a report by a United Nations Special Rapporteur, and often affect boys and girls under 18 years of age, especially under 10. 2 Global statistics demonstrate that every minute an average of 27 girls are forced into marriage.

WLUML has been shocked to learn that there are two individuals at imminent risk of execution by stoning in Iran. In 2012, Zahra Pour Sai and Ali Sai Bashsiz were tried in Tabriz (Iranian Azerbaijan) court, convicted of Zina (adultery), and sentenced to death by stoning. They appealed their convictions, but the appeal was refused and the verdict was confirmed by Branch 7 of the Supreme Court. It is now feared that they are at imminent risk of death by stoning.

Eid Without Harassment - Media Statement

By Imprint Movement

'Imprint Movement and Anti-Sexual Harassment movement launched a campaign called "Eid without Harassment" which took place on Talaat harb square and street on the 9th and 10th of August from 4pm until 10pm. 

We divided ourselves between 3 teams; patrolling, awareness and operations. We spoke and interacted with bystanders on the importance of rejecting this crime and rejecting violence. 

Nasrin Sotoudeh, 50, is an award-winning lawyer, human rights activist and mother of two who is sentenced to six years in prison. She has been detained and imprisoned since September 2010. Ms. Sotoudeh is a member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, the One Million Signatures Campaign to Change Discriminatory Laws against Women, and the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child.

Please download the full report to read more. 


Women Living Under Muslim Laws International Solidarity Network (WLUML) are deeply concerned about the situation of Iranian journalist Fariba Pajooh, who has been detained since her arrest without charge on July 10, 2013 (first day of Ramadan). When her family visited the Evin Prison Court, Islamic Republic of Iran authorities informed them that Ms. Pajooh’s case file had been transferred to Branch 2 of the Shahid Moghaddas Prosecutor’s Office of the same prison. IRI authorities have reportedly instructed the family to not follow up on her case as they have reportedly guaranteed her imminent release.

“It may be said that the provision of Mahr may be considered to be beneficiary to women as long as women’s social and economic subordination remains the norm. It is a way of reinforcing, institutionalising and perpetuating women’s dependency on men... It can only be appreciated as an effort to minimise the economic risk of women within marriage in a society where her rights to equality are either systematically denied or violated.”

In 1998, in Dossier 19, Sultana Kamal tackled the topic of Mahr, the Islamic obligation of the groom to provide the bride with money or possessions as a prerequisite to marriage. I will revisit this topic and review the ideas put forward by Kamal in different contexts. Kamal analyzes Mahr within a South Asian framework, but what can be said of it from a Gulf context? Furthermore, how can we as Muslim women assert our rights by understanding the place of Mahr in the Qur’an and Hadith?

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network is deeply concerned about the growing trend of Syrian refugee women being sold into marriage as a ‘strategy’ of survival for desperate families; or as a way of escaping the destitution of life in refugee camps. Forced marriage is a form of sexual slavery which includes limitations to a woman’s autonomy, freedom of movement and power to decide matters relating to her sexual activity.

عائشة والعنف السياسي

في إحدى استمارات مركز الاستماع لضحايا العنف من النساء في فرع اتحاد نساء اليمن بأبين، كتب في الخانة المخصصة لتصنيف نوع العنف كلمة (هروب). لأول وهلة، يثير تصنيف الهروب كأحد أنواع العنف حيرة لدى الباحث، إذ لم تتم الإشارة إلى الهروب كأحد أنواع العنف في التعريف الدولي أو في التقارير الوطنية. إلا أنه وبعد قراءة تفاصيل واقعة العنف في نفس الاستمارة أتضح أن المعنفة والتي سنطلق عليها هنا اسم "عائشة" هي امرأة أمية متزوجة من رجل فقير ولديهما أطفال. كانت عائشة تتعرض للطم والضرب بالأيدي من قبل زوجها كلما حاولت حماية أطفالها من ضرب الزوج إلى أن رأت الهرب من المنزل مع أطفالها كحل لإنهاء عنف الزوج عليها وعلى أطفالها. بلغ الزوج الشرطة عن هروب الزوجة، الأمر الذي أدى برجال شرطة إحدى نقاط التفتيش بين محافظتي عدن وأبين إلى القبض عليها تحت تهمة "الهروب"، هكذا سجل عنوان التهمة على ملف عائشة. 

Earlier this month, WLUML held its first transformational feminist leadership workshop as part of our ‘Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratization’ program.  Activists  from Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Tunisia gathered in Cairo for one week of capacity building and strategizing. All participants were grassroots activists and/or feminists that are publicly engaged in advancing the cause of gender justice and equality.

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