Archive for law

Unpromising

As I might have mentioned, I recently went to the UN for CSW57. Although I was there for just a single day, the atmosphere was dynamic, with busy  women with bulging folders darting about, queuing up for sessions, with a wonderful and energising sense of collaboration across women of all nations and backgrounds. While waiting to enter, I sat (and smoked) next to the logo near the entrance (in the picture) and took photographs of countless cheerful activist women who wanted proof that they were involved in this, that they were playing a part in developing policy and shaping a better future of women across the world. A promise is a promise was the tagline for the event, and for a glorious moment, it felt promising. Read more

Still human

Women Seeking Sanctuary Advocacy Group Wales receiving the Emma Humphreys Award.

I have spent the last few weeks working on a report which looks into the problems that asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant women encounter when they are experiencing violence. All women in violent relationships face barriers to exit: they may be financially dependent, they may be psychologically beaten down by continued abuse, they may be worried about the reaction when they leave. But for a minoritised non-citizen, there are many more barriers, and many of these relate to their legal status, and the Kafkaesqu bureaucracies erected around these. Read more

The shari’a card

Demonstration against shari'a law

Demonstration against shari’a law in London, 2009

Kecia Ali identifies a core problem through all schools of Islamic law based on a close scrutiny of the core texts: the status of wife and the status of slave are constantly presented in parallel – statuses are applied and extrapolated from one position of dependence to another. There are reasons then, to have concerns about legal systems which stake their distinctiveness in  continuity with this paradigm. Certainly, clients of IKWRO have expressed fury at shoddy and discriminatory treatments in shari’a courts, of the type exposed in the C4 documentary Divorce: Sharia Style. Read more

Divorce: Iranian style

Just found this important documentary on Youtube while researching a post that I may finish later today. It’s definitely worth viewing if you haven’t seen it before.

Marriage and slavery

I’ve been reading about shari’a for a few years now. It’s a complicated subject and to be honest I don’t have enough patience to get to the bottom of it. I think Kecia Ali’s Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam is an excellent book however, and deserves to be far better known. Sexual Ethics and Islam is also really good.

Here, Ali discusses how for Islamic jurists of the 9th century, legal decisions relating to marriage were often derived analogically from the position of slavery.

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