I’m well aware that nobody reads this blog, and so its not the best venue for raising awareness of demonstrations and other activism. Nevertheless, I feel I owe it to a young Danish-Kurdish activist called Suzan Star Jabary (pictured!) to mention her demonstration against the proposed Ja’afari Personal Status law in Iraq, which will tend to reproduce all the inequities of the Iranian system.
The draft law will reduce the marriage age to eight years and eight months, institute legal polygamy, reduce women’s grounds for divorce and deny custody to mothers. HRW has condemned it. Iraqi women are protesting it. And for good reasons: Nadia Mahmood spells out some of the problems in the attached audiocast (below).
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 9:27 — 8.7MB) | Embed
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
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
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