[empower] women’s activism

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.

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.

Ce 10 juin au matin, les manifestantes ont été brutalement tabassées et sexuellement agressées par des hommes qui auraient été convoyés en bus par milliers pour perturber la manifestation hebdomadaire. Les manifestants ont subi des fractures, des blessures au couteau et ont été battus. Plusieurs femmes ont été rouées de coups et soumises à des attouchements violents ; des attaquants armés ont tenté de leur arracher de force leurs vêtements. Les activistes qui travaillent avec l’Organisation pour la liberté des femmes en Irak rapportent que leurs attaquants étaient recrutés et payés par les forces de sécurité du gouvernement qui ont utilisé des hommes en civil pour éviter d’être accusées de ces violences.

In 2002, Mukhtaran Mai, a Pakistani seamstress from a small village in the Punjab province was gang-raped by men from a neighbouring clan. Several men from the dominant Mastoi tribe in Meeranwalla had volunteered to rape Ms Mai as a way to settle a score after her 12-year-old brother Abdul Shakoor was seen walking with a Mastoi girl. The decision had been taken by a village court to preserve tribal honour. The jirga, or council of village elders, summoned Ms Mai to apologise for her brother's sexual misdeed. When she apologised, they gang-raped her anyway. In April 2011, the Pakistan Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the Lahore high court and ordered the release of the five acquitted men. In February, 2009, WLUML issued a call for action: Pakistan: Interference in the case of Mukhtar Mai demanding that the Pakistani authorities ensured the trial of those accused of attacking Ms. Mai went ahead without interference. Unfortunately, there continued to be political influence in her case and regular serious threats to her life and the lives of family members in an attempt to pressure her to drop the charges against the perpetrators. Sanaz Raji explains the genesis of a petition to be sent to the Supreme Court of Pakistan, below. Please consider signing it.

This report is part of a WLUML three-part series on women’s rights in the context of the ‘Arab uprisings’. Next week: Syria: Debates on women’s bodily autonomy and sexual violence.


In the wake of the 25 January Revolution in Egypt, and throughout ongoing political developments, women’s and human rights organization in Egypt have been fully aware of what they have to gain – or lose. Seeking to build on women’s participation in the revolution and capitalize on a moment of immense hope and possibility, different groups have joined forces to demand greater representation for women in parliament and on national councils and committees. Their main concerns are the need both to expand women’s roles in a new, democratic Egypt and to safeguard hard-earned gains in women’s rights achieved over the past few decades.

واجهت الناشطة العراقية هناء أدور رئيس الحكومة العراقية نوري المالكي وممثل الامم المتحدة في العراق اد ميلكرت بحقيقة الانتهاكات التي يمارسها المالكي ضد حقوق الانسان في العراق.
جاء ذلك خلال ندوة عقدت بحضور المالكي والقى فيها إد ميلكرت كلمة اثارت اعتراض منظمات المجتمع المدني ورابطة الحقوقيين العراقيين. وصرخت ادوار في وجه المالكي والمجتمعين وهم يتجنبون الحديث عن اعتقال المتظاهرين والاشارة الى الانتهاكات التي يتعرض لها الانسان في العراق في ظل حكومة المالكي . 

الأحد, 05 حزيران - يونيو 2011 

Dear High Representative Ashton, We are leading Saudi Women’s rights activists and we write this open letter - endorsed by citizens throughout the EU - to express our deep concern over the EU's public silence on the issue of Saudi women's right to drive. [You can sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/catherine-ashton-publicly-support-saudi-womens-right-to-drive]

Much attention has been focused on the process of radicalisation of young men in the areas of Pakistan that border Afghanistan. Peshawar, the town near the border between the two countries, is infamous for being the centre of a vibrant industry and trade in homemade guns. For more than two decades, violence has become the dominant currency of almost every aspect of life in this area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, once known as the North West Frontier Province.

Tunisia's ruling that men and women must feature in equal numbers as candidates in July polls is an Arab world first that builds on this year's revolt and allays fears of conservative influence, observers say. The decision by authorities preparing the July 24 constituent assembly poll after the uprising that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the north African nation's long-serving president, has been hailed as a regional breakthrough. The Tunisian revolution has sparked similar revolts in other Arab countries. "It is historic," said Sana Ben Assour, president of the

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