Issue 105

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(A Special Issue dedicated to women during the Arab Revolutions)

NEWS & ARTICLES
WOMEN IN ARAB REVOLUTIONS

Activists Condemn Brutal Attack on Woman Reporter in Tahrir Square – Egypt
Activists ask: "Where are the women?" in the Egyptian Revolution
Women of the Egyptian Revolution
Calling upon Feminist Sisters all Over the World to Show Solidarity with Egyptian Women!
Women of Egypt: Photos and video
Photo Gallery of Women in Demonstrations in Egypt
Petition: New Constitution Should Guarantee Women's Rights -
No Women on Egyptian Constitutional Committee
Women Play Equal Role In Tunisian Revolution
Women Play Important Role in Tunisian Revolution
Global Fund for Women: Solidarity with Women/People of Egypt
Women of the Egyptian Revolution - Photo Gallery

WOMEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVISM
Shirin Ebadi & Rights Groups Demand Moratorium on Executions
Bahrain & Gulf - Women's Stronger Global Voices & Rights – Women Rally for Stronger Voices

VIOLATED GENDER RIGHTS
Afghani Government’s Takeover of Women’s Shelters Adds Insult to Injury
Maldives: Females cannot perform marriage ceremonies under Islam, declares Fiqh Academy
Returnees Attacked on Way to Southern Sudan
Iraq - Many Widows - Polygamy Issues Considered - Divisive

GENDER RIGHTS
Palestine/Israel: Queer activists Challenge The ‘Pinkwashing’ of the Israeli Occupation
Model Muslim Marriage Contract in the UK
Questioning effectiveness of National Action Plan to combat VAW in Turkey
Saudi Arabia - Away from Cities, Women Drive
Syria Stiffens Punishment for Honour Killings

UN WOMEN                         
UN Women Celebrates Its Launch
UN Women Director Advocates for Women at World Economic Forum

BOOKS & REPORTS

GENDER RIGHTS
Israel - Compensation to Victims of Trafficking - Report 
World Bank - Gender Equality as Smart Economics
National Strategic Plan to Combat Violence Against Women in Palestine
ILO Office for Arab States - Equality & Non-Discrimination

NEWS & ARTICLES
WOMEN IN ARAB REVOLUTIONS

Activists Condemn Brutal Attack on Woman Reporter in Tahrir Square – Egypt
Women's rights activists and pro-change protesters in Egypt have rallied to condemn a serious sexual assault on an American news reporter, Lara Logan, which took place in Cairo's Tahrir Square in the moments following Hosni Mubarak's resignation last Friday. "Lara Logan … and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration," Logan's employers, CBS news, said in a brief statement. "It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.”In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers." http://www.wluml.org/node/6956

Activists ask: "Where are the women?" in the Egyptian Revolution
The lack of women on a committee charged with amending Egypt's constitution for elections post-Mubarak casts doubt over whether the country can develop into a true democracy, a group of activists said on Wednesday. The group of over 60 non-governmental organisation and activists said the committee, which is presided over by a respected retired judge known for his independence, had begun work on Wednesday by "marginalising female legal experts".  http://www.wluml.org/node/6958

Women of the Egyptian Revolution
This is homage to all those women out there fighting on the streets of Egypt, to those whose voices and faces were hidden from the public eye during the first days of the revolution! The album by now has traveled the world back and forth via online social networks, blogs and websites. First and foremost the credit for this album goes to the courageous people of Egypt who are teaching us that freedom is taken and not given. See url link http://www.wluml.org/node/6939

Calling upon Feminist Sisters all Over the World to Show Solidarity with Egyptian Women!
First of all, I have to apologize to the readers for any grammatical mistakes, or if I make no sense; my mental capacities are at their lowest level due lack of sleep for three days. On the 25 January, 2011, a revolution began. Tens of thousands of Egyptians headed to Tahrir (Independence Square), the main square of Cairo, to end decades of despotism, tyranny and brutality. The calls came from a Facebook page called ‘We are all Khaled Said’, an Egyptian icon tortured and killed by the policemen. Thousands of people clicked “attending” and the virtual came real. The Mubarak regime cracked down on the peaceful protests, increasing their brutality in the hope that the protesters would give up. But, I am proud to say that we defeated fear; we are claiming our rights! http://www.wluml.org/node/6926

Women of Egypt: Photos and video
 More images here: http://arabs48.com/?mod=articles&ID=77844 

Photo Gallery of Women in Demonstrations in Egypt
 These photos capture the faces of Egypt's women who have been participating in the week-long demonstrations gripping the nation.
 http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/egypt/110207/photo-story-women-egypt

Petition: New Constitution Should Guarantee Women's Rights -
The Supreme Council of Egypt's armed forces has suspended the Constitution, dissolved the Parliament, and formed a committee to draft a new Constitution for the country.  Amendments will be submitted to a popular referendum. Specific guarantees covering the political representation of women need to be written into Egypt’s new Constitution to ensure a significant women’s Parliamentary presence.  It would be extremely helpful if the information below can be forwarded to Egypt’s Democracy activists and journalists and among the International community concerned with the region’s well-being. http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/02_14/021411_egypt.htm 

No Women on Egyptian Constitutional Committee
The Constitutional committee starts working while neglecting and excluding female legal experts
 The institutions and organizations below have signed this statement in disapproval of the criteria and formation of the Constitutional Committee, whereby the committee does not include a single female expert. Advancing with a committee like this, triggers fears and suspicions with regards to the future of Egypt and the transitional phase which Egypt is currently witnessing after the 25th of January Revolution. This issue poses a critical question with regards to democracy and the main aims of the revolution which were initially spelled out as equality, freedom, democracy and participation of all citizens. http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/02_14/021411_egypt2.htm

Women Play Equal Role In Tunisian Revolution
Female voices rang out loud and clear during massive protests that brought down the authoritarian rule of Tunisian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Women in Tunisia are unique in the Arab world for enjoying near equality with men. And they are anxious to maintain their status. In Tunis, old ladies, young girls and women in black judges robes marched down the streets demanding that the dictator leave. Hardly anyone wears the Muslim headscarf in the capital, and women seem to be everywhere, taking part in everything, alongside men. http://www.wluml.org/node/6915

Women Play Important Role in Tunisian Revolution
A woman participates in a demonstration in Tunis on January 22.
Female voices rang out loud and clear during massive protests that brought down the authoritarian rule of Tunisian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Women in Tunisia are unique in the Arab world for enjoying near equality with men. And they are anxious to maintain their status.
Hardly anyone wears the Muslim headscarf in the capital, and women seem to be everywhere, taking part in everything, alongside men.
 http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/01_31/013111_tunisia.htm

Global Fund for Women: Solidarity with Women/People of Egypt
February 01, 2011 - A new dawn is rising in Egypt. Approximately two million people have gathered in Tahrir (Liberation) Square in Cairo to demand the end of the Mubarak regime. Among them are Global Fund for Women advisors and grantees who, together with their people, are raising their voices against injustice in their call for freedom, equality, and democracy. The revolution has swept across all Egyptian provinces and cities, even little villages, where on a daily basis for a week, women and men have taken to the streets in protest.
http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/01_31/013111_egypt2.htm
 
Women of the Egyptian Revolution - Photo Gallery
PHOTO GALLERY - PHOTOGRAPHER: LEIL ZAHRA MORTADA 
http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/01_31/013111_egypt3.htm

WOMEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVISM
Shirin Ebadi & Rights Groups Demand Moratorium on Executions
Other nations and the UN should speak out against a wave of executions in Iran, the Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi and six human rights organizations said today. Shirin Ebadi and the human rights groups called on the Iranian Judiciary and Parliament to institute an immediate moratorium on all executions. At least 86 people have been executed since the start of 2011, according to information received by the six organizations. http://www.wluml.org/node/6961

Bahrain & Gulf - Women's Stronger Global Voices & Rights – Women Rally for Stronger Voices
WOMEN from across the Gulf are being urged to join forces to make their voices heard on the global stage. That is the message being sent to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) trying to win more rights for the region's female populations.
http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/02_07/020711_bahrain.htm

VIOLATED GENDER RIGHTS
Afghani Government’s Takeover of Women’s Shelters Adds Insult to Injury

The recent move by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Women Affairs (MoWA) to take control of women’s shelters is deeply worrying.  I have spoken to NGO workers who run these shelters, and they have been outraged by the new legislation. Over the past few years I have personally been able to see the work of five of these shelters out of a total of 14 set up around the country by NGOs after the Taleban’s fall. The shelters house hundreds of Afghan women and girls whose lives are at risk due to forced marriage, under aged marriage, and other forms of violence.  http://www.wluml.org/node/6965

Maldives: Females cannot perform marriage ceremonies under Islam, declares Fiqh Academy
The Islamic Ministry’s Fiqh Academy has declared that women are not allowed to perform marriages or lead a marriage ceremony according to Islam, and therefore cannot be a judge when performing marriages. The declaration was announced by the President of Fiqh Academy and Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari, together with eight other scholars of the academy. http://www.wluml.org/node/6905

Returnees Attacked on Way to Southern Sudan
IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) traveling to Southern Sudan before and after the recent referendum on independence have faced difficulties during and after their journey. Between November 2010 and January 2011, around 200,000 Southern Sudanese IDPs living in the north returned to the south. There have been various reports of convoys of returning southerners being attacked in the disputed region of Abyei during and in the weeks following the January referendum, according to some reports by Misseriya tribal militias loyal to the government in Khartoum. http://www.internal-displacement.org/8025708F004D31AA/(httpIDPNewsAlerts)/84EA2CAFCBB20613C1257834002EF7A2?OpenDocument

Iraq - Many Widows - Polygamy Issues Considered - Divisive
Years of conflict in Iraq have left the country with more than one million war widows and a shortage of young unmarried men - pressures that may be bringing about the return of polygamy.
 Politicians have suggested financial incentives for men who marry widows Hanan lost eight members of her family in the war, including her husband, and was left to bring up three children alone. http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/01_31/013111_iraq.htm

GENDER RIGHTS
Palestine/Israel: Queer activists Challenge The ‘Pinkwashing’ of the Israeli Occupation

I attended a public forum entitled “Palestinian Queer Activists Talk Politics” in San Francisco’s Mission District. More than 20 groups including the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace and the Middle East Children’s Alliance sponsored the forum, moderated by lesbian Chicana activist and writer Cherríe Moraga. The discussion featured three speakers: Abeer Mansour works for Aswat, a feminist queer Palestinian women’s group dedicating to “generating social change in order to meet the needs of one of the most silenced and oppressed communities in Israel;    Sami Shamali, who resides in the West Bank, represents Al Qaws, which aims to develop a “Palestinian civil society that respects and adheres to human and civil rights and allows individuals to live openly and equally, regardless of their sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity”; Haneen Maikey, based in Jerusalem, is Al Qaws’ director. http://www.wluml.org/node/6964

Model Muslim Marriage Contract in the UK
The model Muslim marriage contract is designed for use by British Muslims who wish to enter into an ‘Islamic marriage’ or nikah in addition to any civil marriage they may or may not enter: http://muslimmarriagecontract.org/documents/MuslimMarriageContract.pdf.

Questioning effectiveness of National Action Plan to combat VAW in Turkey
In a recent summary report of their campaign for an effective implementation of the National Action Plan to combat violence against women Roj Women explain why they believe the Turkish Plan is failing to deliver its goals. In South East Turkey 1 out of 2 women are victims of violence against women. The national average is 39%. In a context of social and economic development neglect, pervasive patriarchal attitudes and militarization all contribute to high rates of violence against women in the region. http://www.wluml.org/node/6933

Saudi Arabia - Away from Cities, Women Drive
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia -- Whenever Hawazen Ebrahim’s family spends an evening picnicking in the desert outside of Medina, it’s her job to jump into the car and drive to the nearest village to load up on extra supplies. During the week, she is responsible for taking the kids to school and picking them up each day.
http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/02_07/020711_saudi.htm

Syria Stiffens Punishment for Honour Killings
President Bashar Assad amended the current law which stipulated a jail sentence of just two years for those convicted of killing a relative for having illicit sex.
Damascus: Syria has ordered the sentence for those convicted of honour killings tripled to between five and seven years.
The local press reported on Monday that President Bashar Assad amended the current law which stipulated a jail sentence of just two years for those convicted of killing a relative for having illicit sex.http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/01_31/013111_syria.htm

UN WOMEN                              
UN Women Celebrates Its Launch
UN Women, the new UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, celebrates its launch. An evening event featuring music and film brings together political leaders, extraordinary women leaders, media personalities and celebrities. Thursday, 24 February 2011, 6:30-8:00 pm. At the UN Headquarters, New York, General Assembly Hall. http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/02_14/021411_un2.htm

UN Women Director Advocates for Women at World Economic Forum
UN WOMEN DIRECTOR MICHELLE BACHELET MAKES ECONOMIC, POLITICAL & SOCIAL CASE FOR WOMEN AT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet will partake at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week to “make the economic, political and social case for women in the world.”
During the annual meeting, Ms. Bachelet will participate at high-level forums, focusing on major challenges and solutions of and for women, on social protection and global sustainability.
http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/01_31/013111_un.htm

BOOKS & REPORTS
GENDER RIGHTS
Israel - Compensation to Victims of Trafficking - Report 

Isha L'Isha of Israel is pleased to present you with a report on compensations paid to trafficking victims on a criminal basis in the framework of our project Fighting against Trafficking in Women. The project has been running for the past nine years, and one of its activities is locating and transferring compensations to victims of trafficking. We see the transfer of compensation to trafficking victims as an essential act, as these women have already returned to their countries of origin, with no resources to rehabilitate and start a new life. Most of them struggle to survive in a harsh reality. The intervention of non-governmental organizations and government bodies is thus required. We do not know of other organizations engaged in locating trafficking victims and transferring to them the compensation ruled in their favor by the courts. We will be happy to help with any information on this issue. http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/02_14/021411_israel.htm

World Bank - Gender Equality as Smart Economics
The Bank Group launched the Gender Action Plan: Gender Equality as Smart Economics in 2007. This four-year action plan, which closed in Dec. 2010, aims to increase women’s economic opportunity by focusing on key sectors such as Agriculture, Labor Markets, Infrastructure and the Private Sector. The GAP’s budget totals US$65 million and funds over 220 projects worldwide.
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTGENDER/0,,contentMDK:...

National Strategic Plan to Combat Violence Against Women in Palestine
The Palestinian Cabinet endorsed a nine-year national strategic plan to combat violence against women in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), the first of its kind in the Arab region developed through a bottom-up approach. Officially adopted on 11 January 2011 and announced at the Palestinian Ministry of Women’s Affairs during a press conference today, the strategy takes on a cross-sector approach, recognizing violence against women as a development issue affecting the social, economic and political systems of Palestinian society.
http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/02_07/020711_palestine.htm

ILO Office for Arab States - Equality & Non-Discrimination
Since its founding in 1919, the ILO has been committed to promoting the rights of all women and men at work and achieving equality between them. The ILO vision of gender equality – which coincides with the organization’s four strategic goals – recognizes this goal not only as a basic human right, but intrinsic to the global aim of Decent Work for All Women and Men. This vision is based on the ILO mandate on gender equality as stated in numerous Resolutions of the International Labour Conference, the highest policy-making organ of the ILO, as well as relevant International Labour Conventions. The ILO Policy on Gender Equality and Mainstreaming, which is made operational through the ILO Action Plan, supports a two-pronged approach of gender mainstreaming: systematically analyzing and addressing in all initiatives the specific needs of both women and men, and targeted interventions to enable women and men to participate in – and benefit equally from – development efforts.
http://www.wunrn.com/news/2011/02_11/01_31/013111_ilo.htm