Tag Archive | "women’s social status"

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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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WLP Central Asia Regional Training – An Indescribable Experience

Posted on 16 May 2013 by

WLP guest-author, Bahriniso Shamsieva, is a Mine Action Project Assistant for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Tajikistan Office and also an activist with local NGO Marriage and the Family. She joined women from Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan at the WLP Central Asia Regional Training of Trainers Institute on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in Shymkent, Kazakhstan this April as a participant. Bahriniso shares her reflections from the training below.

Bahriniso

Dear sister! I want to share my impressions on the WLP leadership training seminar in Shymkent, Kazakhstan. I have the most vivid and warm memories of the event, because it was an amazing opportunity to meet with so many unique women—both from neighboring Central Asian countries as well as from abroad. I realized that women around the world have shared vision for the world and our problems are very similar. And we can all easily understand each other and support each other. WLP as an organization is using their knowledge and experience to help us to unite and support each other.

Personally, working with these wise and active women who share similar passions, brought me great happiness and pleasure. Meeting with politician trainers— such as Asma Khader and other no-less inspiring women leaders— face-to-face, hearing them speak, and learning so much from them was an indescribable experience.

There were three of us women from Tajikistan at this Institute, and we were so pleased to have this opportunity. At this time, Tajik women are in need of such leadership trainings, as these trainings may help change their mentality and help them realize their place and significance, and find the strength to become more active in the personal and public arenas. While many of the preconditions for this kind of change are in place in our country, women still do not use their full potential and are not very active in politics and public life.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the organizers of this workshop training on behalf of the Tajik delegation and myself personally for inviting us and for this opportunity!

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Reflections from WLP Central Asia Regional Institute

Posted on 10 May 2013 by

WLP guest-author, Saida Arifkhanova, is trainer and facilitator for journalists with twenty years of experience and a public relations specialist in Uzbekistan. She joined women from Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan at the WLP Central Asia Regional Training of Trainers Institute on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in Shymkent, Kazakhstan this April as a participant. Saida shares her reflections from the training below.

Saida Blog Post

This training made a very unique impression on me. The participants of this training were beautiful and stylish women, possessing strong character and leadership qualities. Participants were instantly happy to see each other and it was clear that something invisible united them. In all, there were women from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. And there were the four of us—women from Tashkent— representing Uzbekistan.

Gradually, I learned more about those who took part in the training and realized that each of these women has a unique position, and that each is successfully serving her community. Many participants work on issues such as human rights, women’s rights, and protecting women from abuse. I could sense their resolve to act decisively to achieve social change. I could also tell that these women held harmony and calm in their hearts, so when I heard about the struggles they faced everyday in their work I felt confused.

So, I asked many of the women if they were happy. At first my direct question seemed strange to them, and they did not answer me directly. Yet, as the days went by we began to communicate more closely, and many of the women came up to me and began talking to me. Gradually, our communication became more intimate and heartfelt.

I learned that each woman has a complex history behind her—the story of what pushed them to dedicate their lives to creating change. For some, that pivotal event was the experience of an ancient tradition of custom—for example bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan or norms that deny women a voice and a vote, and confine her to her role in her family. Some of what I heard was new to me, as I grew up in a family where my parents always discussed issues openly and made decisions together.

Some of the participants shared first-hand accounts of recent conflict in Kyrgyzstan and human rights abuses. As they shared their experiences and their stories, I realized that these women are making history and that each hard won freedom gives them personal strength and inspiration. So many of these life stories were piercing and unique. I began to see clearly that all of our women from Uzbekistan possess the same features and abilities as our peers in other Central Asian countries, but we have been completely overwhelmed by the need to maintain stability in our country.

During this training it became obvious that our countries are no longer as  similar to one another as they had been before and our realities are quite different today. Tajikistan has experienced a war, Kyrgyzstan has been through two revolutions and many difficulties, Kazakhstan is still overcoming the sharp shock of transition, and Turkmenistan faced leadership transition. In Uzbekistan, we are still struggling to maintain our stability, at the cost of many of the gains of independence. Still, while women in our countries do not speak the same language or share the same experiences, we very clearly understand each other and can relate to each other’s adversities.

Through the training it became very obvious that all these women are educated and independent, and that they will continue to do what they do despite these adversities. However, they still benefit from this access to better tools to support them and the work that they are doing for their communities.

Namely, they benefit from acquiring special skills and knowledge of topics such as,  modern public relations technology, effective communication skills, time management skills, and techniques for developing a vision. In addition to the training provided, this may require a special training facilitated by experts in all these areas. It is obvious that these women will be able to comprehend these complex topics, and from what I saw at the training these women could benefit from even more investment in their tremendous capacities.

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Following My Dreams: Reflections from WLP’s Central Asia Regional Institute

Posted on 23 April 2013 by

Maria Kolesnikova is a citizen journalist in Kyrgyzstan and a volunteer with WLP Kyrgyzstan/Bir Duino Kyrgyzstan. She joined women from Kazakhstan,  Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan at the WLP Central Asia Regional Training of Trainers Institute on Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in Shymkent, Kazakhstan this April as a participant and to present on her own experiences utilizing social media for change as a citizen journalist. Maria shares her reflections from the training below.

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Another breakthrough for the Claiming Equal Citizenship Campaign: CRTD.A/WLP-Lebanon called by Ministerial Committee to present case for reform

Posted on 04 December 2012 by

Earlier this year, CRTD.A (WLP-Lebanon) was engaged in some serious lobbying which led to the inclusion of the reform of the nationality law on the official agenda of the Cabinet meeting of March 21st 2012.  This was the first time the matter was officially discussed with the Prime Minister that he gave indication that he is personally in favour of the reform of the law so that women have equal rights to transmit citizenship as men.  During that same period, CRTD.A was also in discussions with the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) on the process of reforming the law as well as the development of a counter proposal for a new law.  Both processes yielded results.  The NCLW concluded a process of consultations which culminated in the drafting of a law petition.  The Prime Minister for his part set up a Ministerial Committee formed of seven Ministers in order to review the nationality law and submit scenarios for reforms.

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On Generations: Curating Change with IMOW

Posted on 30 November 2012 by

This fall Mahnaz Afkhami curated On Generations for the International Museum of Women’s Curating Change exhibit. This exhibit features the voices of women leaders, filmmakers, and activists who curate their favorite stories from IMOW’s rich global archives.

Writing stories with my granddaughter opened me to her world of endless possibility. My childhood world was one of small wonders and many limits; hers is open-ended. We spend a lot of time opening windows into each of our worlds for one another. We share a desire for change and the willingness to do what it takes.

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The Bottom of the Gender Equality Pie

Posted on 14 March 2011 by

When protesters toppled their governments in Tunisia and Egypt, and demonstrations spread around the globe, the world paid attention. The BBC in particular put up an interesting series of factsheets on corruption, demographics and unrest in some of the North Africa, Middle East and Gulf states.

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A Call for Action on African Women’s Health & Human Rights

Posted on 03 February 2011 by

African Women’s Health and Rights Day (AWHRD) on February 4th, is an annual event to raise awareness and advance critical debate around the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women throughout the African continent both at the national and local levels. This year’s event is another opportunity to assess the state of women’s health and rights advancement across the region from the referendum in Sudan, the tensions around elections in Nigeria, the crisis in Democratic Republic of Congo which includes sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war, the women’s human rights abuses in Uganda based on sexuality, and the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire arising from that country’s last elections and the impact of all of these political issues on the political will to implement measures towards the protection of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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What About the Women?

Posted on 08 June 2010 by

Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court has just ruled against an archaic interpretation of law allowing only fathers to apply for their children’s passports. While clearly a victory for women’s rights — granting mothers equal parental authority in securing travel documents — the basis of the ruling was that the previous practice infringed upon the child’s freedom of movement.

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“All You Need to be a Housewife is a House” in Lebanon

Posted on 24 May 2010 by

When a major financial institution promotes gender stereotypes

Driving home to work this morning, I was listening to one of the local FM stations when the music was interrupted by a commercial. The advert featured a man telling has wife that he longed to see her cooking for him while she retorted that she is longing to be ironing his shirt…the advert finished by saying: “all you need to be a housewife is a house”.

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Fear — The Enemy of Gender Equality

Posted on 26 February 2010 by

Mar 8 Update: First Prize Winner in Group 2

Finalist in WLP’s Youth Essay Contest Group 2: 18-25 Years
Temitayo O, Nigeria

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?…As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson

A woman’s fate is determined by men and women who play God. Her first gift is a doll-named-Baby with which she rehearses home maker, wife and mother. She is groomed to be a ‘proper woman’ — the silent one when the men are talking. All these in preparation for her husband’s house; is that not where all ‘good’ women end?

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Don’t Let Sexism Go Too Far

Posted on 26 February 2010 by

Finalist in WLP’s Youth Essay Contest Group 2: 18-25 Years
Shi Min T, Malaysia

Ever thought of how the issue of sexism can affect the women’s life in Malaysia?

“It is unusual for women’s issues to be touched (raised) by men
… but women are supposed to be touched by men.”
“Most single mothers were divorced as they were ‘gatal’ (flirtatious)
and therefore would not be pitied by society.”
“Toilets are like new brides after they are completed. After some time, they get a bit spoiled. Even if you do not use them frequently, you need someone to clean them every 25 minutes.”
(Sexist MPs better watch out, New Straits Times, 24th February 2009)

Malaysian politics suddenly becomes everyone’s focus, when the male Members of Parliament, or better known as MPs in Malaysia, made sexist remarks against women, the above are just to name a few. While many developing countries such as Chile, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and even neighbouring countries of Malaysia, like the Philippines and Indonesia have made a big leap in the effort of leveling gender equality by having woman Prime Minister or President in the countries, Malaysian women are still struggling to be given decent respect by the men whom they voted into the parliament, who are supposed to speak up for them!

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