Women's Rights News

Africa Transformed: How Women and Youth are Leading the Way Through Technology and Innovation

May 08, 2013
Development on the African continent has gone “high tech.” Using the Internet, mobile devices, and other tools unavailable to previous generations, young people, particularly women, are leading the way in finding innovative ways to unleash technology to solve problems large and small. During a recent conference conducted by the Wilson Center’s Africa Program, we spoke with three front line leaders of a movement that has transformational potential.

Women Challenge the Muslim Brotherhood

Apr 19, 2013
Responding to the Muslim Brotherhood, leading female activists are charging that Islam actually guarantees women wide-ranging rights–and that the largest Islamist movement in the Arab world merely wants to maintain male dominance. In March, the Brotherhood had warned that U.N. passage of a draft declaration on violence would lead to society’s “complete disintegration.” It said that the declaration contradicted Islamic principles by allowing women to have full sexual freedom and marry outside their faith while cancelling the need for a husband’s consent to “travel, work, or use of contraception.”

Women on Saudi Appointment of Female Advisors

Mar 24, 2013
In early January, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz appointed 30 women to Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council, which had been an all-male assembly. Fifteen women in nine Arab countries, from Morocco to Egypt and Iraq, reacted to the appointment, and remarks by controversial cleric Ahmed al Abdulqader ― who reportedly called the new council members “prostitutes” on Twitter. Nearly all of the women saw the appointment as an important step in the struggle for women’s rights in the kingdom. But several stipulated that the appointment would make little difference if other reforms are not enacted.

Muslim Brotherhood Denounces U.N. Women’s Declaration

Mar 15, 2013
A U.N. declaration on women’s rights contradicts “established principals in Islam” and would “lead to the complete disintegration of society,” according to a new statement by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The online statement warned that the ratification of the document would “be the final step in the intellectual and cultural invasion of Muslim countries.”

Report: Female Workforce Participation 25 Percent in Mideast

Mar 15, 2013
Women in the Middle East and North Africa are more educated than ever before, but their participation in the workface is 25 percent – about half of the world average, according to a new report by the World Bank. “Often what stands between women and jobs are legal and social barriers,” said Manuela Ferro, Director for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management in the MENA region. But even some educated women lack the relevant skills currently in demand.

Has the Arab Spring Become a Nightmare for Women?

Mar 13, 2013
In the wake of the Arab Spring, women are not participating in the drafting of new constitutions and political violence against them is on the rise. In this interview, Special Representative to Civil Society for the League of Arab States Haifa Abu Ghazaleh discusses the challenges women of the MENA region are facing in the post-Arab Spring period and prospects for their future.

Challenges to Women’s Security in the Middle East

Mar 07, 2013
Many women in the Middle East and North Africa are experiencing physical violence and are being pushed out of public life, according to a new report by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

Part II: Gender-based Violence and Intl. Women’s Day

Mar 06, 2013
The official United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2013 is “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women.” Women leaders from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon were asked how government and civil society can combat gender-based violence. Nearly all of them called for tougher legislation to criminalize violence against women.

Part I: International Women’s Day

Mar 04, 2013
International Women’s Day will celebrate economic, political and social achievements of women on March 8. Female leaders in five Arab countries were asked to discuss women’s achievements from the last year.

International Women’s Day in Saudi Arabia

Mar 04, 2013
Wajeha al Huwaider reflects on the status of women in Saudi Arabia five years after she started a campaign for the right to drive.

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