<\body> Stories in America: Women's Rights in Iraq & Other (Depressing) News

Friday, December 16, 2005

Women's Rights in Iraq & Other (Depressing) News


Women Legislators' Reviews Mixed in Iraq - AP
Mariam al-Rayes still remembers the words of a skeptical colleague at law school. "You cannot work as a lawyer because people do not trust women lawyers," he told her many years ago. Since then, al-Rayes has successfully practiced law and gone on to become one of nearly 90 women in Iraq's current 275-member parliament, dominated by a coalition of Shiite religious parties to which she belongs. And she was hoping to keep her spot in the legislature, campaigning in Thursday's elections, but this time on a different ticket. Some women's rights activists argue that female legislators have little to show for their time in parliament. Harsher critics even accuse them of helping pass a constitution that the critics say undermines women's rights.

Reproductive Rights

The Destructive Strings of U.S. Aid - International Herald Tribune
Today, unfortunately, we are seeing a new wave of stigma against the very people who pioneered Uganda's struggle against AIDS. For the first time in years, it seems fashionable to say that people living with AIDS are "promiscuous" or "pro-sex." A beauty pageant that would have celebrated the dignity and beauty of women living with HIV/AIDS was recently canceled because politicians said that AIDS should not be glorified. In recent speec hes, President Museveni has said that condoms are only appropriate for "high risk" groups like prostitutes and truck drivers. What has brought about this change? For me, the culprit is U.S. backing of programs that focus on "abstinence-until-marriage."


Women just 6% of India's workforce - The Economic Times
thought women were getting a better deal at the workplace, think again. Women make up only 6% of India's workforce and the numbers get more skewed as you go up the corporate ladder. There are only 4% women at senior management levels and almost none in a leadership role. North India leads the way in this discrimination -- 1% senior management posts are held by women and none at the top. These facts were revealed in the first-of-its-kind study by the Confederation of Indian Industry on women empowerment in the workplace.

Russia urged to protect its women - UPI
Every hour a woman dies in Russia at the hands of a relative, a partner or a former partner, Amnesty International has said in a new report. The human rights watchdog called on Russian authorities Wednesday to take more effective steps to prevent domestic violence against women, The Moscow Times reported Thursday. The Interior Ministry's latest figures say that 9,000 women were killed by a partner or relative in 2003, mostly after a relationship ended.

Egypt's liberal women see veiled threat in Islamist rise - Middle East Times
The spectacular performance of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's legislative polls has heightened fears of a clampdown on women's freedoms should the Islamist group ever come to power.

Malawi acts against child brides - BBC
The government of Malawi is considering raising the legal age of marriage in the country to 18 as a result of a growing number of cases of young girls being forced to marry much older men. The legal age of marriage in country is currently 15, but many man are illegally marrying girls as young as 11 or 12. As a result, the average age of marriage in Malawi is among the world's lowest, while the percentage of teenage mothers is among the world's highest.

SOMALIA: Primary attendance lowest in the world - IRIN
Only one out of every five children in Somalia is enrolled in primary school, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in its State of the World's Children report for 2006. Somali children are further disadvantaged by disease, conflict and harsh environmental conditions, the agency added. "The net primary attendance ratio is lower than anywhere in the world, at just 12 percent for boys and 10 percent for girls," the report said. "Years of underinvestment have left Somalia lagging behind the rest of the developing world in education."

Bangladeshi women say no to the WTO - Reuters
Hundreds of poor rural women in Bangladesh descended on the capital Dhaka on December 7 to say 'no' to the WTO negotiations currently being held in Hong Kong. Supported by Christian Aid partner, UBINIG, women from the countryside carrying earthen pots and bamboo winnowers were joined in Dhaka by garment workers, professionals, artists, singers and housewives. The protestors called on governments to be more accountable to people when signing WTO agreements perceived by many in Bangladesh as being 'anti-people', but especially 'anti-women'.


At 12/16/2005 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if I may, one more...

Successful elections in Iraq.

(Just in case nobody heard...)

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