Women's Rights News
May 30, 2013
Jane Harman, director, president & CEO of the Wilson Center, is pleased to announce the members of the 2013-2014 fellowship class. The 21 fellows, most of whom are expected to start September 2013, include scholars and practitioners from the United States, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.
May 10, 2013
Ina Merdjanova, former Southeast Europe policy scholar, releases her latest monograph Rediscovering the Umma. "Ina Merdjanova discusses the conditions and role of Islam in relation to post-Ottoman nation-building, the communist period, and post-communist developments in the Balkans, focusing in particular on the remarkable transformations experienced by Muslim communities after the end of the Cold War. Amidst multiple structural and cultural transitions, they sought to renegotiate their place and reclaim their Islamic identities in formally secular legal and normative environments, mostly as minorities in majority-Christian societies." (Oxford University Press)
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.