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).
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
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.