South Africa (GU) – Long shadow of apartheid laws perpetuates discrimination The High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria, is hearing a case that could affect property ownership rights for many black women. Manthsabelle Rahube, represented by Lawyers for Human…
Doctors say Joselita de Sousa died of cardiorespiratory failure. But her family says she died of depression. Two weeks before her death, the police officers responsible for her unarmed black teenage son’s death were released from prison on a court order.
The portrait of homicide victims in Brazil consists of men, young, black or part-black from low-income families. But Joselita’s case illustrates another picture: women whose names do not appear in official homicide statistics, but are systematically victimized by the structural violence in their country.
Justice for Joselita, and women like her, is increasingly being fought by other women. For the last ten years, the Mothers of May have become a significant force in Brazil fighting against police violence and offering support to women directly affected by it.
Governments Should Ensure Respect for Rights of Rural Women
Rojaina and her children used to live in a brick house in a small village in rural Malawi. After a coal mine started operating nearby, she was told to leave her house as the land was needed for mining. Rojaina and her children were given little money to build a new home and she received no compensation for the loss of land her family has farmed for generations. “I used to have three fields where I was growing groundnuts, cassava, maize,” she said. “That is what fed the children. But they took it away from us. That’s why we are hungry now.”
A significant victory in the long struggle to end the reign of Uganda’s military dictator was won last week after a bold action by the country’s burgeoning women’s movement. In late August, Uganda’s parliament presented a bill before House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suggesting that the age limits for judges be raised, which activists believed would inevitably lead to the raising of presidential age limits. Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for 30 years, is set to surpass the constitutionally-permitted maximum age of 75 this term.
As part of the efforts to end the draconian laws against women in the Gulf state, Saudi women launched a campaign demanding an end to male guardianship for basic practices such as work, property ownership and travel.
Using the hashtag #TogetherToEndMaleGuardianship and its Arabic version#سعوديات_نطالب_باسقاط_الولاية (which translates to ‘Saudi women demand the end of guardianship’), hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide took part in this campaign.
Minister of Tourism and Culture advised visiting female foreign tourists not to wear skirts during their journey in India as it may invite unnecessary problems.
India’s Minister of Tourism and Culture Mahesh Sharma said that female foreign tourists to India should avoid wearing skirts and skimpy clothes while visiting small cities for their own safety citing cultural differences. The Tourism Minister also cautioned foreign tourists to avoid going out alone at night in small towns.
Brazil is no stranger to non-monetary and alternative means of mutual assistance, but the country has shown there’s room for even more social initiatives with the arrival, a few years back, of time banks, and now of a grassroots campaign-turned-platform Mais Amor Entre Nós.
The project, which means More Love Between Us, started in March 2016 as a Facebook hashtag by Bahia-born journalist Sueide Kintê and focuses on the gift economy concept with an important difference — it’s exclusively for women.
There is a whole generation behind bars, writes Amy Smith.
Huddled in a dingy classroom, groups of girls chat loudly as teacher Jórge Ramirez gets ready to begin the poetry class. Eventually, the dimly-lit room quietens and Ramirez announces today’s topic – ‘love’ – causing giggles to erupt from the back of the class.
It may seem like a typical teen school scene.
Yet, today’s lesson is far from normal. Set in the Rosa Social Female Reinsertion Centre, a Salvadoran prison surrounded by high-rise concrete walls and barbed wire, it is the place where many young women caught up in El Salvador’s bloody gang warfare end up. Frequently in the name of love.
Six of the twelve candidates for the job of UN Secretary-General are women, but in the first informal vote at the Security Council only one woman made it to the top five. Why?
On July 21st the UN Security Council conducted the first (but not the final by any means) informal poll to identify top candidates for the job of next UN Secretary-General. For the first time in history, fifty percent of the candidates – six of the twelve – are women. But a more familiar history repeated itself during the polling: the male candidates fared much better than the women. Only one woman figured amongst the top five. Four of the five at the bottom of the list are women. Old-style geopolitics may be responsible for the outcome: candidates from Eastern European countries that are in good odor with Russia did best. But the stern relegation of most of the women candidates to the bottom half of the list means we must ask if gender bias played a role. The secrecy of the process makes it hard to know, though it is obvious that the Council ignored civil society petitions, pressure from 60 Member States, and an Open Letter signed by fifty UN experts and former leaders calling for the selection of a woman and feminist to lead the UN.
As Olympics Open, Government Should Lower Hurdles to Sport
Women in Saudi Arabia have made some progress in participating in sports for health, competition, and professional opportunities but serious barriers remain. On the eve of the Rio Olympics, the Saudi government, including the new women’s section of the Saudi sports authority, should remove the remaining barriers to sports in schools, businesses, federations, and team sports.
Four women will represent the country in Rio, a slight improvement from the two who competed in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. But inside Saudi Arabia, widespread discrimination still hampers access to sports for Saudi women and girls, including in public education. This exists against a backdrop of pervasive discrimination that constrains women’s day-to-day lives in Saudi Arabia. Women are not allowed to travel abroad, marry, or be released from prison without a male guardian’s permission, and may be required to provide guardian consent to work or get health care. They are not allowed to drive.
There is a real sense of a people responding to the facts on the ground with the few resources they have to hand. Rojava’s frontline of the war against ISIS is constantly shifting – at the moment in a positive direction, outwards, encroaching into ISIS held territory such as Shaddadi in Hasakah province and Tal Abyad on the Turkish border – which means becoming responsible for new populations and the work of drawing them in to the radical representative democratic structure described in this series earlier. In order to accommodate these newly liberated areas where the Kurds are not a majority and where the population of Syriacs, Assyrians, Arabs and Turkmen may not fully sign up to the revolutionary ideals of Rojava, this region declared itself the Federal Democratic System of Rojava and Northern Syria in March shortly after I returned. Similarly, the women’s umbrella organisation which was known as Yekitiya Star (Kurdish for Star Union of Women) when I was planning my trip to Rojava, changed its name to Kongra Star (Star Congress) by the time I got there because they had decided at their last conference to open out its membership to women of all ethnicities, not just Kurdish women. Signs outside government offices are often computer generated notices on A4 sheets of paper, suggesting both lack of resources and the rapidly changing situation.
Homemade barricades, often oil drums filled with concrete or pipes welded together in spiky star shapes, are placed outside official buildings to prevent suicide bombings. Apartment blocks have been requisitioned for the administration’s offices. The media centre, for example, is housed in a block of flats in a residential area at a crossroads where three roads have been blocked off to cars by oil drums about a hundred yards from the office building. On the fourth road, there is a wide low iron gate which slides across to let official cars through.
The official TV station of the administration called QAM, which seems to be on everywhere, is simply a series of moving stills and texts. Although another channel, Ronahi, does broadcast film, it tends to favour endless static discussions with women in military fatigues.
As the US Congress approves a measure that requires women to register with Selective Service, former presidential hopeful Ron Paul points out that, while the move may seem like a vote for gender equality, it actually just makes the entire US population eligible for military draft.
“The amendment is a response to the Pentagon’s decision to allow women to serve in combat,” Paul writes for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, referring to the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, approved by the House Armed Services Committee last week.