Archive | Violence

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Fazil Jamili: A Confession of Crime

Posted on 11 June 2013 by

On 8 March 2013, the Provincial Assembly of Sindh unanimously passed a Bill against domestic violence which subsequently became an Act. On 30 March 2013, Aurat Foundation held a meeting of all stakeholders and those who had contributed towards the passage of this Bill. Poet Fazil Jamili dedicated this poem on this occasion to the women of Pakistan.

(Translated from Urdu by Dr. Masuma Hasan, President of the Board of Governors, Aurat Foundation, WLP’s partner in Pakistan, and Chairman of The Pakistan Institute of International Affairs. The translation was originally posted in the journal Pakistan Horizon.)

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Day of Action: Let’s stop sexual and gender-based violence against women and children!

Posted on 30 May 2013 by

Gulbarchyn Jumabaevа of WLP Kyrgyzstan shares photos and an update on the local day of activism against sexual and gender-based violence.

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WLP Kyrgyzstan/Bir Duino Kyrgystan and civil society activists, representatives from women’s NGOs, and youth activists rallied today under the slogan: “Let’s stop sexual and gender-based violence against women and children!”

Each year the number of women and children facing violence in Kyrgyztsan increases, and the violence reported is more devastating in scale and form.

According to the Center for Assistance to Children, in the first quarter of 2013 they have already worked with 13 cases of child victims of sexual abuse. In 2011-2012 they worked with 254 children, 34 of which were victims of sexual abuse. And these figured merely represent the small portion of the population the Center is able to work with. According to an informal survey of doctors at a local children’s hospital 3-7 children are treated for injuries related to sexual assault each month.

The General Prosecutors Office reports that in 2011 there were 22 cases of domestic violence related suicides.

WLP Kyrgyzstan feels the hour has come when the whole community must say NO to violence against children and women, to demand the authorities take strong and effective measures and steps to improve the situation.

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After years of struggle, a timely victory for women in Pakistan

Posted on 12 March 2013 by

Author at Aurat Foundation's Women's Day March, Karachi

Author at Aurat’s Women’s Day March, Karachi

It was a great day for Aurat Foundation. Not only because 8 March was International Women’s Day but also because the Sindh Assembly unanimously passed long-awaited legislation against domestic violence. In its dying days, the Assembly adopted the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2013. This much needed legislation, defines domestic violence as:

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Malala Continues to Inspire: Local High School Art Society Auctioning Work to Support Women’s Rights

Posted on 04 February 2013 by

Painting by Christina He of Poolesville High School National Honors Art Society

Painting by Christina He of Poolesville High School National Honors Art Society

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The power of transnational partnership in challenging the new war on women

Posted on 23 October 2012 by

Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) joined the World Movement for Democracy Seventh Annual Assembly in Lima, Peru (October 15-17). At the Assembly WLP hosted Topical Workshop: Democratic Transitions and the Inclusion of Women to generate a participatory conversation on advancing women’s rights and democracy during periods of political transition. Panelists asked what the gendered outcomes of democratic transitions might be, and how women could weigh with significant bargaining power in those transitions. Lina Abou-Habib, WLP Lebanon, shares insights from the session.

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History books vs YouTube: Democratization and the Arab Spring

Posted on 19 March 2012 by

Abandoned Fax Machine (cc) Abhisek Sarda

The official narrative’s toughest competitor is now YouTube.

Reports of horror have been coming in from Homs, Syria. Last year in Deraa (Syria also), a family was returned the horrifyingly mutilated body of their 13 year-old child. Children had playfully scribbled “the people desire the downfall of the regime” on a wall, and were immediately rounded up by the authorities. During their long disappearance, when parents asked news of their children, they were told to go “make some more [children]”. ‘Child Martyr’ Hamza Ali el-Khateeb’s body was eventually returned bruised, burnt, riddled with bullets, and other unmentionable atrocities. His parents posted a video of the horror on YouTube.

In the past, it was very much the case that history was written by the victors. The history books and official newspapers primarily reflected one point of view and the victims’ accounts disappeared. Today, YouTube and easily-duplicated digital records are standing neck-to-neck with these official narratives; multiple accounts will live on.

Governments clearly sense this. On January 28, 2011, the Egyptian government shut down the country’s internet access down to a single cable to keep the Cairo stock exchange running.  The whole country and its activists were disconnected. However a group of cyberactivists called Telecomix engineered a parallel access solution using analog fax machines and telephone landlines. 50 or so activists were hooked up this way, and information was once again able to flow out of Egypt. This information was able not only to help activists organize on the ground, but also to impact citizens and voters around the world.

If Tunisian author Tahir Ben Jelloun is correct, the Arab Spring is also seeing the emergence of ‘the individual’. He argues that whereas in the past, Arab society focused on the clan, the tribe, the family at the expense of the individual, that now the Arab individual is being born and will ultimately prevail in the social fabric. What is key is that the individual is the basis of democracy, where one individual is one vote, and one vote can determine an election’s outcome.

YouTube, as well as other digital activism tools, can influence faraway voters in a country’s election as they assess the candidates’ ability to respond to human rights crises and violations. Sadly, at the same time, we hear political analysts explain that world leaders turning a blind eye in Syria is directly tied to this being a big election year – in Russia, the US, France, Mexico, Venezuela and many others.

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United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo Meets with Palestinian Women

Posted on 09 January 2012 by

In a joint effort between the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee and the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, Professor Rashida Manjoo (who is also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences) visited the Occupied Palestinian Territory between the 21st and 31st of December 2011. This was an informal visit, in her academic capacity. An official visit will require a formal invitation by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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WLP Malaysia Responds to Brutal Government Crackdown

Posted on 12 July 2011 by

On Saturday, July 9, over 20,000 took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur to protest past electoral fraud and demand free and fair elections in the largest demonstrations in Malaysia since 2007, known as Bersih 2.0. Over a thousand people were detained and injured as they took to the streets in spite of the ban issued by the ruling Barisan Nasional party. The opposition is demanding reform to ensure fairer laws prior to the elections scheduled for mid-2012.

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WLP Partner Investigating Human Rights Violations in Libya

Posted on 03 May 2011 by

WLP’s partner in Jordan, Asma Khader, General Coordinator of WLP Jordan/Sisterhood Is Global/Jordan, is currently on a fact finding mission to Libya to investigate human rights abuses in the country. Asma joins this mission as part of the three-member independent team formed by United Nations Human Rights Council in the wake of reports of serious human rights violations in Libya since the start of a popular uprising against the Muammar Qaddafi regime. The report, which will be publicly released in the coming weeks, will include investigations into rape used as a weapon of war, the conditions and abuse of foreign workers resulting from the conflict, and other violations of human rights. Upon release of the full report, WLP will discuss Asma’s findings with her in more detail, and will share this information as it becomes available.

rally for libya (cc) omar chatriwala

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An Activist Visits

Posted on 10 March 2011 by

A middle aged woman comes into the office, smiling. She is wearing an unassuming outfit, in beige and white. She introduces herself, I take her coat, and offer her some tea. On the surface, this is perfectly normal.

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A Feminist Perspective on Nigeria’s Jos Crisis

Posted on 18 February 2011 by

Over the past five years there has been an escalation of sectarian violence in the Middle-Belt Zone of Nigeria. In the North-Central city of Jos, the army sent to protect, and the residents supposedly acting on behalf of their respective religious communities, have carried out extreme acts of violence against innocent victims. In the month of January of 2011, there have already been over 200 victims.

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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Nicaragua

Posted on 23 December 2010 by

One of the things I love the most about participating in this blog is that I get to share with you my thoughts, but also (and most important) I get to read about other experiences around the world.

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