misogyny

arvan's picture

Women Intensify Push to Pass Law Against Acid Attacks in Pakistan

By Zofeen Ebrahim

KARACHI, Pakistan, May 31, 2010 (IPS) - Almost seven years after Naila Farhat, 20, became another victim of an acid throwing attack by a spurned suitor, she is finally seeing more vigorous efforts toward the passage of a law seeking to amend existing legislation to reinforce protection of women against violent assaults.

Farhat is the first to admit, though, that beneath her physical scars is a smoldering anger that refuses to be pacified until she has exacted vengeance against her violators.

"I want him to be doused in acid so he can feel not just the searing pain but live with disfigurement day after day, for the rest of his life," she said of her main assailant over telephone from Layyah, a town in the southern part of Punjab province.

Yasmeen Rehman, advisor to the prime minister on women’s development and a legislator, told IPS that the Ministry of Women Development (MoWD) was doing further research on a draft law against acid attacks.

"It is seeking help from the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women, she said.

The ASF, in turn, is getting assistance from its parent organisation in Britain and Cornell Law School in the United States, said Sana Masood, a lawyer working with the Foundation, which provides medical, psychosocial, socioeconomic and legal aid to acid survivors. "We are currently involved in extensive research to help the MoWD in coming up with another bill," she revealed

"Realistically speaking, I should say we will be able to present it in the (legislative) assembly by July," said Rehman

In November 2009, six years after Farhat filed a case against her perpetrators – a tailor and her elementary science teacher, who acted as an accomplice – Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary urged the government to pass a new law that would restrict the sale of industrial strength acid and increase the punishment for acid attacks.

This came with his landmark verdict upholding the original lower court ruling sentencing Farhat’s violators to 12 years in prison and ordering them to pay 1.25 million rupees (about 14,775 dollars) in damages.

arvan's picture

Iran: Imprisoned activist Shiva Nazar Ahari to go on trial for 'acts against national security'

(From Women Living Under Muslim Laws)

In March 2010, Women’s human rights defender and WLUML council member, Shadi Sadr, took the extraordinary step of dedicating her International Women of Courage Award to Shiva Nazar Ahari, a young human rights activist and a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), currently imprisoned in Iran for ‘acts against national security’. Sadr refrained from attending the award ceremony in the U.S. in the hope that her absence would draw the international community’s attention to Nazar Ahari’s dire situation, urging the audience in a speech recorded for the event that “any measures available to you [be taken] to help to free Shiva along with other human rights activists and journalists in Iranian prisons”. According to Nazar Ahari’s mother, she will be brought to trial at Revolutionary Court No. 26 on Sunday 23 May. The offences she is being accused of carry severe penalties.

Please see attached our sample letter:

WLUML sample letter to Head of Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran.pdf

You can follow this link (and scroll down) to watch a series of films in Farsi on Shiva by Iranian WHRD, filmmaker and WLUML ally, Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh.

The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Solidarity Network calls on civil society organisations and UN member states to ask the Honourable Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani to do everything in his powers, as head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to address our grave human rights concerns and immediately release Shiva Nazar Ahari. 

arvan's picture

Women's rights and Kenya's constitution: Challenging 'men of faith'

By Beth Maina and Cenya Ciyendi

What gives a church in which celibacy is equated with holiness, in which males have all the undemocratic power, the right to a place at the table where laws are made about women’s bodies?

A large number of contradictions have arisen in the Kenyan debate on the new constitution just passed through the Kenyan parliament in preparation for a referendum scheduled for 2 July 2010, and particularly around the clauses on the right to abortion.

We are Kenyan women in the diaspora who have struggled with other women in Kenya and other nations on the right to life for the mother as well as the unborn child. With CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women) and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, particularly the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, established, we wish to join a debate which is a fundamental concern over the fundamental right to life and which is critical in the bill of rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

However, we would like to state from the outset that this debate is currently moribund as far as the referendum is concerned as time has lapsed in relation to the act. Opening the door now to one group of people will raise further questions about democracy and the rule of law. As women, whose lives and bodies this is all about, we therefore cannot remain silent as we do not believe that those who purport to represent us either seek our view or care about our humanity. We have to question the protests by religious groups and politicians such as William Ruto, who hope to manipulate the ignorance and vulnerability of the faithful to jettison the new constitution on this specific aspect on emotive and pseudo-religious grounds. We believe that they are seeking power and hiding behind religion to derail what is a very important document in our lives as Kenyans, the new Kenyan constitution, which we unequivocally support as it gives all Kenyans greater protection, rights and freedoms than the old one.

arvan's picture

FPI sabotages transgender workshop

By Theresia Sufa and Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post

Dozens of members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) stormed a human rights training program intended for transgender individuals at a hotel in Depok, West Java, on Friday.

The program, organized by the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM), had just begun when dozens of FPI members forced their way (past police) into the room.

Nancy Iskandar, a participant, said after a coffee break at around 10:30 a.m, a number of police officers had come into the room.

The committee had then asked participants to take a snack break in the training room.

“Several people then suddenly banged on the door and shouted the name of God,” she said.

Nancy, who is also the head of the Transgender Communication Forum, said the group verbally assaulted participants disgracefully.

Annabelle River's picture

When Sex Negativity Is Kinda Hot

I recently finished reading The Edge of the Bed: How Dirty Pictures Changed My Life by Lisa Palac, which I highly recommend, because I agree with almost everything she writes.  The part especially sticking with me has been Chapter 6, in which she analyzes her kinky desires that don't just deny, but appropriate her anti-sex Catholic upbringing:

At its core, my Daddy fantasy isn't about my father but about Our Father Who Art in Heaven.  I'd taken the dynamic of love and punishment, which terrorized me as a child and made me feel helpless -- kneeling down and sticking out my tongue to receive his body, whispering my most sinful transgressions in a dark confessional, doing penance to show my love -- and turned it into a powerful source of erotic pleasure.  It wasn't a conscious decision, but then, sexual fantasies rarely are.

...Despite my fear that all of my intellectual processing would ruin by best sexual fantasy, it didn't.  It's still a turn-on because I'm still struggling with the after-effects of Catholicism and I always will be.

Personally, unlike Palac, I was never raised with the idea of God as an old man who would send me to hell for sexual adventurousness.  Instead, the messages that my sexual desires were wrong came from pop-psychology and a specific strain of feminism.  Without God or hell, wanting men to dominate me sexually was a sin against Women's Liberation and a transgression against my Mental Health.  My sex-negative clergy got most of its ideas from Andrea Dworkin.  And I consciously rejected it years ago.

arvan's picture

Stop the Anti-Family Law ratified by Iran’s Parliament

Reprinted from Change for Equality

People of Iran, men and women

The Legal and Judicial Commission of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Parliament, has recently re-introduced the so-called “Protection of Family Bill” to the parliament with changes to articles 23 and 25 and rushed it through parliament for ratification among the political chaos in the country. This bill is ineffective to support the institution of family and is far behind the bill that was ratified some 35 years ago in 1974.

According to the new bill, polygamy is legalised and men are given further powers to re-marry without the consent or even the knowledge of the first wife. According to the new amendments if a woman contracts a terminal disease or is away from home for 6 months or is imprisoned for a bounced cheque, her husband can take a new wife. On the other hand, women’s right to divorce is very limited.

In July 2007, a draft of this bill was introduced to the parliament for the first time but faced with widespread objections by women activists and other civil rights groups. The objections focused on articles 23 and 25, where the first was given further rights to men and the second introduced tax on women’s Gift Money which is allocated to her on marriage and is women’s only guarantee and safeguard in case of divorce and maltreatment. The new bill has omitted the tax but has divided the Gift Money into ‘conventional’ and ‘unconventional’ without setting a standard for this, thus restricting the only legal mechanism women had within the institution of family.

arvan's picture

Woman's Last Stand

Women have their say about that Superbowl Dodge Charger ad...and I love it.

h/t Ann's Scribbles

arvan's picture

A Message from Iran

(via Stop FGM Kurdistan)

Dear Reader, 

I have a message from Iran for you, written in a simple language, away from the many big words and grand expressions. I know that hearing the name Iran brings to mind images and memories of a different place – where different laws and government exist and people live in a different style.  But different how? 

Well, you may agree with me that there are some restrictions that you feel as soon as you become a part of the everyday life within the Iranian society. You become especially unlucky when an Iranian law applies to you and even more unlucky if you are woman. There is beauty to everyday life in Iran, great food, warm hospitality, and the rich culture and history that multicultural Iran holds. But if you are a professional, activist, writer etc. and you are there to make a difference and have something to say which doesn’t go according to the government’s line or the ruling clergymen – then you would feel those restrictions even more. 

arvan's picture

Study shows: Majority of Kurdish Women in Iraq Victims of Genital Mutilation

Arbil (Iraq) | Berlin: On the occasion of the International Action Day against Female Genital Mutilation, a representative empirical study on Female Genital Mutilation in Iraqi-Kurdistan is going to be presented on February 6.

A 40 page report summarizes the results of a one-and-a-half year empirical study conducted by the German relief organization WADI.  The numbers presented in the report are alarming: A vast majority of women in Iraqi-Kurdistan have undergone FGM with some regions reaching a top ratio of more than 80 percent.

The study provides comprehensive evidence on the underlying dynamics of FGM and helps understand, why mothers who themselves experienced the horror of mutilation allow FGM to be practiced on their daughters. A vast majority of women who adhere to the practice believe it to be a religious obligation in Islam. Others refer to tradition and state that  "it has always been like that ".

The study also shows a clear correlation between the level of education and the attitude towards FGM. Still, the FGM rate amongst university graduates is around 30 percent. But it becomes clear that with an increasing social status, women are more likely to question harmful traditions and alleged religious obligations.

arvan's picture

Indian Gov't to make honour killing heinous crime

By Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times

The government is set to amend the 150-year-old Indian Penal Code to define honour killing as a heinous crime by adding a new section to the criminal law, with punishment ranging from life imprisonment to even a death sentence.

The move follows the growing demands to curb the social menace of killing young girls defying their families in marriage related issues, in some north Indian states particularly Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

So far, honour killing is not a classified crime in India, and no separate data is available of such cases with the National Crime Records Bureau.

The proposal moved by Home Ministry, has been cleared by the Law Ministry and the government is likely to move a Bill in Parliament in the coming Budget session, after getting the cabinet nod.

“We have completed our preparations to put in place a strong deterrent against the pervert practice of honour killings not only against those who carry it out, but against those who abet it also,” Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily told Hindustan Times.

The government has shelved its plan to bring a fresh law to curb such killings, and has decided to amend the IPC, the law that prescribes punishment for criminal offences.

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