Archive for the ‘Womens Rights’ Category

Lawyer: 9-year-old Saudi girl divorces 50-year-old husband

Friday, May 1st, 2009

1/5/09

A 50-year old Saudi man has agreed to divorce his 9-year-old bride, media reported on Thursday, after the marriage drew international criticism. The decision, reported by newspapers Alwatan and Al-Riyadh, came after months of court hearings, criticism from the United Nations and an international media frenzy about Saudi Arabia’s human rights practices. “This is a good step and I think the man did it because he was under a lot of pressure from everyone,” Wajeha Al-Huaider, founder of the Group for Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia, told Reuters by telephone. Al-Huaider, who campaigned for the child, said she hoped the pressure generated by the case would eventually lead to a law banning child marriages.

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Preventing violence against children is a shared responsibility – Queen

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Hana Namrouqa; 30/4/09

More that 200 Amman residents of all ages on Wednesday expressed their rejection of violence against children and called for stricter laws to protect them from abuse. During a gathering organised by the Jordan River Foundation (JRF) at the Greater Amman Municipality square, people from different walks of life mourned the death of Yazan and Qusai, two recent victims of child abuse. Her Majesty Queen Rania, chairperson of the JRF and a strong advocate of child rights, participated in the event, where she underscored that each and every individual and institution shoulder a responsibility in preventing violence against children. The Queen signed a wall painting by artists and children which calls for denouncing and eliminating child abuse and lit a candle for the souls of the two children, who perished at a very early age after being subject to domestic violence.

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National register to track domestic violence orders

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Patricia Karvelas; 29/4/09; (2 Items)

A national register of domestic and family violence orders is the centrepiece of the Rudd Government’s plan to reduce violence against women, to be unveiled today. The national register will allow orders to be enforced across state and territory borders. It comes as research by KPMG, commissioned by the Government, reveals that each year violence against women costs the nation $13.6billion, and the figure is expected to rise to $15.6 billion by 2021. Kevin Rudd will invest $12.5 million on a new national telephone and online crisis service. The service will be run by professional staff and make referrals to follow-up services, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Saudi women face ban from ‘shameless’ gyms

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Ian Black; 28/4/09

Saudi women could see their private sports clubs and gyms closed down because the Government seems likely to agree to licensing of the clubs for men only. News of the likely shutdown came as a government official signalled that women might be allowed to vote in municipal elections, though they would still be barred from running for office. With the sexes strictly separated in public, the two reports illustrate the slow and fitful nature of the progress made since the octogenarian King Abdullah instigated reforms three years ago.

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Sex worker tells of false refugee claim

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Farah Farouque; 28/4/09

A Thai woman flown to Melbourne to work in the sex industry manufactured a story that she was a member of a persecuted religious minority to gain a bridging visa, a court was told yesterday. But although the woman, who had no English, signed the blank refugee application soon after she arrived in Australia she only later came to understand what was written on her behalf, she said through an interpreter. The woman was allegedly told by members of a sex-trafficking syndicate to claim she was a part of an oppressed group, the Hope of Thai People Foundation and subject to physical harassment and maltreatment in Thailand.

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‘Fight not over yet for women’

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Madeleine Arek; 28/4/09

While there is an emerging trend of women in leadership roles in the country, the struggle is not over for them as society is yet to fully grasp the transformation and adjust to the changes it presents. This is because traditionally and for the most parts, Papua New Guinean societies do not recognise women as being in positions of authority or having a leadership role. Their roles, primarily, were to tend the gardens, bear children and carry out other domestic duties. This stark reminder of the challenges facing women in leadership in the country was drummed home by Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane, in his address at the two-day “Women’s leadership in PNG’s development” themed workshop organised by the PNG-Australia Alumni Association last Wednesday.

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Families homeless in ‘tit for tat’ raid

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Poreni Umau; 28/7/09

More than 50 people including women and children and women remain homeless at Busu Compound outside Lae city after their community leaders initiated an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth retaliation after a drunken youth stoned a company vehicle on Sunday night. Five families have nothing but the clothes they wear after their properties worth more than K200,000 including four high covenant houses and one semi permanent house were torched by more than 200 youths within the Busu Compound early yesterday morning. This followed instructions from five community leaders to burn the houses of the five drunken suspects as a token to weed out bad practices and other criminal related activities induced by consuming alcohol.

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Women may be allowed to vote in municipal elections

Monday, April 27th, 2009

27/4/09

Saudi Arabia is considering allowing women to vote in municipal elections this year but they would still be barred from running for office, a senior government official was quoted as saying yesterday. Prince Mansour bin Miteb, deputy minister for municipal and rural affairs, made the comments after attending a conference of municipal councils in the Eastern Province. “The meeting’s recommendations included that women should be eligible to vote. A special committee will study this proposal,” one paper quoted the prince as saying. Only men eligible to vote participated in municipal elections in 2005, which were the first nationwide polls held in the Kingdom. The election for half of the seats on the councils was part of a series of reforms undertaken by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.

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Equality backed for ‘new ATSIC’

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Patricia Karvelas; 25/4/09

An independent national indigenous body, which does not deliver services and has equal representation of men and women, has been agreed to by 100 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from around Australia. The decision to form a body which mandates equal representation for women comes after former ATSIC chief Lowitja O’Donoghue unleashed a furious attack on the disbanded body, claiming its male leaders were preoccupied with drinking, gambling and womanising. At a closed-door meeting in Adelaide last month, where indigenous leaders were hammering out how the successor to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission should be constituted, Ms O’Donoghue said the organisation she headed for six years in the 1990s “supported the greedy, not the needy”. Last night she told The Weekend Australian that Aboriginal women wanted a body that included them properly.

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Let women be Enlightened

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Helen Irving; 24/4/09

The assassination of a leading Afghan women’s rights activist, Sitara Achakzai, this month was yet another tragic reminder that equality between the sexes is far from accepted in the world today. Achakzai, who spent the years of Taliban rule in exile in Europe, returned to her country five years ago to campaign for justice for women, and for the rights of girls to be educated. On International Women’s Day this year, she led a pro-rights demonstration with thousands of Afghan women. Well aware of the Taliban’s violent opposition to women’s equality, Achakzai feared for her life, but refused to be silenced. Her death came at a time of international controversy over proposed laws restricting Shiite women’s freedom to decline marital sex, or to leave their homes without their husband’s permission. Peaceful protesters have been abused and pelted with stones. In Kandahar late last year, acid was thrown in the faces of girls daring to go to school.

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Woman braves into world of law to help the weak

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Badea Abu Al-Naja; 21/4/09; (4 Items)

Faryal King is one of the few Saudi women legal practitioners in Saudi Arabia. With over 20 years of experience, King ironically made her debut as a legal expert when she represented herself in her own divorce case in 1990. Driven by confidence and fueled by the injustice women suffer because of general ignorance of the law, King braved into the world of law championing the cause of the weak, even if they are men. A good part of her spare time has been devoted to social work, mostly in helping women and children. “A major chunk of cases pending in Saudi courts are divorce suits involving the ill-treatment and irresponsible conduct of husbands,” King told Arab News

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Rabbis go unpunished for divorcing mentally disabled woman without her knowledge

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Tomer Zarchin; 21/4/09

Four religious court judges (dayanim) are continuing in their posts, despite serious findings over their involvement in granting an “express divorce” to a developmentally disabled woman – without her knowledge. The four dayanim continue to sit on panels deliberating hundreds of divorce cases a year in the country’s busiest religious court, in Tel Aviv. Only minor sanctions have been taken, and they were taken against only Rabbi Dov Domb, the instigator of the divorce ruling: Rabbinical High Court President Rabbi Shlomo Amar has delayed Domb’s appointment as the head of the Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court for six months.

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US ‘regrets’ Afghan civilian deaths

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

21/4/09; (2 Items)

The senior US and Nato commander in Afghanistan has apologised for civilian casualties caused by international forces, saying there is not enough money in the world to replace the loss of an Afghan life. General David McKiernan made the remarks on Sunday, following repeated calls from Hamed Karzai, the Afghan president, for explanations of civilian deaths.McKiernan said international forces did make mistakes – “and for that I apologise” – but that US and Nato forces were working hard to minimise civilian casualties during operations. arzai had asked McKiernan to explain reports that civilians were killed in a number of recent incidents.

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Drunkeness ‘no excuse for underage sex’

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

21/4/09

Getting, even rip-roaring drunk, is no excuse for a man mistaking an underage girl for an adult, according to a new study. Under national laws in many countries, men accused of illegal sex with a minor can claim on “reasonable grounds” that they were not aware that the girl was underage. Factors often taken into account in such cases are how much alcohol a man has imbibed, or how much make-up the young lady might have been wearing.

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Crime reduced in grog-free shire

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Padraic Murphy; 21/4/09

The Queensland Government’s decision to strip Aboriginal communities of the right to sell alcohol appears to have been a success, with one Cape York community recording a large reduction in crime and alcohol-related health problems and an increase in school attendance. The improved figures for Aurukun, obtained by The Australian, come as a white manager with the Aurukun Shire Council pleaded guilty yesterday to breaking alcohol restrictions and operating an illegal rum still in the community. The Queensland Government last year banned Aboriginal shire councils from operating hotels, known locally as canteens. Critics said the move denied the councils vital revenue.

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UAE vows transparency on human trafficking issues

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Rayeesa Absal; 20/4/09

The UAE will be transparent in dealing with human trafficking issues, a senior official has said. Speaking ahead of a two-day symposium on human trafficking organised by the Interior Ministry, Colonel Ahmad Mohammad Nakhira Al Muharami, the Head of the Human Rights Department, said: “We will not hide human trafficking-related cases, its numbers or its victims. The UAE is fully committed to tackling the issue head on. We will be fully transparent in dealing with it.” “The number of human trafficking cases in the country is very limited and it has not grown into a phenomenon,” said Colonel Al Muharami. The department set up recently will shortly announce the statistics, he said.

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