I have already written a few articles about Saudi Arabia, and today I am sharing with you the first anti-domestic violence ad ever in this country governed by Sharia Law. It is a real important step forward for the protection of women in Saudi Arabia. Let’s hope that it is only a start.
The Kingdom of Saudia Arabia has launched its first campaign against violence towards women. A simple advertisement : a woman wearing the hijab, we only see her eyes, one is blackened and bloody. The slogan is direct: “Some things can’t be covered – fighting women’s abuse together.”
Backed by the King Khalid Charitable Foundation, he explains on his website that ” The phenomenon of battered women in Saudi Arabia is much greater than is apparent on the surface. It is a phenomenon found in the dark. We want to achieve justice for all women and children exposed to abuse in all parts of the Kingdom.” This first advert must encourage first of all Saudis to report cases of violences in Saudi Arabia.
It’s a real progress in a country where women are almost non-existent as they cannot do anything without the permission of a male relative because of Sharia law.
“The King Khalid Foundation is also working on further projects to reduce victimisation, effectively dealing with violence and abuse in order to provide further legal protection for women and children. Last Year, the Foundation also held programmes and training for women, which focussed on empowerment, management and active participation in development.” (Source : Blessed Islam)
The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Report in 2012 ranked Saudi Arabia 131st out of 134 countries for gender equality. So there are still a lot of work to undertake. But we all hope that this campaign will start to smooth the mindset for positive change.
I am so honored and proud to be nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Ranin from the blog Sex and the Arab Woman. Thank you so much Ranin and congratulations for the blog you are running ! The way you are writing your articles through as you say “inspired by real life “lack of experience”” is touching and gives a new look on the work ! Wish you all the best!
The ten questions I must answer:
1. Your favourite colour = Red
2. Your favourite animal = koala (I got the chance to hold one and it’s adorable)
3. Your favourite non-alcoholic drink = Totally a Coca-Cola addict !
4. Facebook or Twitter =Facebook
5. Your favourite pattern = ??
6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents = Both
7. Your favourite number = 6
8. Your favourite day of the week = Friday
9. Your favourite flower = Iris
10. What is your passion = Travelling
I don’t know a lot of women’s blogs so here is a very short list of blogs that I can nominate:
Here are the rules: (I know, I hate rules too)
1. Provide a link and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award.
2. Answer 10 questions.
3. Nominate blogs that you find a joy to read.
4. Provide links to these nominated blogs and kindly let the recipients know that they have been nominated.
5. Include the award logo within your blog post.
“Today violence against women is increasingly recognized for what it is: a threat to Democracy, a barrier to lasting peace, a burden on national economies, and an appalling Human rights violation.” Michelle Bachelet
November 25th stands for the International day for the elimination of violence towards Women. Before starting my article that deals with the greatest international campaigns around the world against violence towards women, please let us have a look at the annual report (2011) of the United Nations Trust Fund to end violence against women.
A very touching story from a service provider in the dominican republic who participated in colectiva mujer y salud sensitization training: “As far as the staff is concerned, we are now much more sensitive… I used to say ‘if she was done over, she must have deserved it. It’s terrible, I know, but I said it…now I am more aware and I identify with these people who have suffered…now I say nothing justifies this woman having been treated that way.”
But please do not forget that fighting for the end of violence towards women is not ONE day per year but EVERYDAY, all together, men, women, girls, boys… all together we are stronger !
Women around the world suggests you have a look at these TED talks. They portray the sharing of ideas, hopes, struggles from women around the world: Women Reshaping the World
Below are examples of two personal stories that really touched me. The first one is about Nadia Al-Sakkaf, the editor of the Yemen Times. She describes the Yemen she wants to show to the world. She also points out the Western viewpoint regarding her country in particular and the rest of the non-Western world in general. As she says: “We fear what we don’t know…and we hate what we fear”. I believe she is right. In most of cases, we fear what we do not know or at least we sometimes believe too easily and quickly the preconceptions of Western media.
The second documentary deals with Shirin Neshat, an Iranian-born artist.
She explains the paradox of being an artist in exile: a voice for her people, but unable to go home. She portrays the consequences of the 1979 Revolution and the rise of Islamic society in Iran.
L’actualité des dernières semaines a porté mon attention sur la condition de la femme en Tunisie où se mêlent traditions religieuses et modernité. Il est clair qu’au sein du monde arabe, la femme tunisienne est une femme moderne, une femme qui a des droits. Au cours de diverses lectures, j’ai découvert avec surprise par exemple le droit à l’avortement accordé dès 1973, soit deux ans avant même la loi Simone Veil en France, ou encore l’implication des femmes dans la vie politique du pays puisque le Parlement compte 23% de femmes.
Dès l’indépendance de la Tunisie en 1956, Habib Bourguiba, alors président de la première République de la Tunisie instaure, non sans l’influence féministe de son épouse Wassila Ben Ammar, le code du statut personnel (CSP) afin d’assurer aux femmes des droits. Tels, le droit de vote et le droit de se marier librement, l’instruction, le droit de tutelle à la mère sur ses enfants mineurs en cas de divorce judiciaire. La polygamie est interdite et aucune discrimination n’est autorisée dans le monde du travail entre les hommes et les femmes. Habib Bourguiba va même jusqu’à interdire le port du voile dans un pays où l’Islam est pourtant religion d’État. (1)
Malgré la dictature de Ben Ali et le manque considérable de liberté d’expression qui régnait au sein du pays, il a pourtant poursuivi cette politique d’émancipation des femmes. Mais voilà, aujourd’hui à l’heure où la Tunisie se dirige vers une nouvelle phase de son histoire, nous pouvons nous demander si tous ces droits accordés aux femmes depuis l’indépendance de la Tunisie sont des acquis irréversibles ou si la Révolution du Jasmin peut les bouleverser ?
L’avocate et militante des droits de la femme Bochra Bel Haj Hmida témoigne par ailleurs son inquiétude sur le sort des femmes suite à la Révolution du Jasmin, en somme n’est-elle pas la porte ouverte à un endoctrinement sur l’infériorité de certaines femmes afin de prendre le pouvoir sur elles ? (2) Ont-elles la garantie qu’elles garderont les mêmes droits dans le prochain gouvernement ? N’y a-t-il pas un risque d’une influence de certains pays où la Charia mène la vie des femmes désarmées et soumises ?
(1) Habib Bourguiba: la trace et l’héritage, Michel Camau,Vincent Geisser (2004)
Throughout the last several weeks media attention has been squarely focues on the “Jasmine Revolution” in Tunisia. For this reason I started to gather some information about the status of women in this country. Tunisia is the exception to the rule in the Arab World when it comes to the rights and position of women. Tunisian women are free, have rights, and can speak freely. I have discovered with some surprise that Habib Bourguiba, the first president of Tunisia since it gained its independance in 1956, established many rights for women: voting, education, abortion, and perhaps most shocking he banned the wearing of headscarves in public spaces. Ben Ali, in spite of the dictatorial nature of his regime, continued the policy of emancipation for women. Recently, however, some specialists (2) are wondering if the rights given to women almost 60 years ago are safe in the current political turmoil or could the “Jasmine Revolution” reverse the trend of women’s rights in Tunisia. It is important to point out that Tunisia is the only secular country in the Arab world while many others (Saudi Arabia, and Yemen for example) are governed under Sharia law, underwhich women are distinctly lacking in rights. The question arises: will Tunisia revoke the rights and freedoms awarded to women under pressure from other regional governments, or will Tunisia continue along its path of women’s rights and secularism?
Highly interested in the condition and position of women all over the world at the global, regional and local levels, I have decided to create a blog dedicated to women. I look forward to learning more about the rights and priorities of the world’s women. Nowadays, many organizations already exist to fight for women’s rights; unfortunately these international organizations seem to be insignificant in some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, where women have not got the right to vote yet, or Afghanistan and Yemen where women do not have a lot of respect or recognition from men. These are only a few examples but the list of countries where women are still looking for more consideration and equality is long.
However, last year, in July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women in order to protect and strengthen Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and particularly merges four main units which are: the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW); the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW); the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI); and finally the United Nations Development Fund for Women. As of this month, January 2011, UN Women has officially been operational. As it is clearly said on their official website, the UN Women will work for the :
- Elimination of discrimination against women and girls
- Empowerment of women
- Achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.
Michelle Bachelet, ex-President of Chile from March 2006 to March 2010 has been appointed as the head of UN Women since September 2010.
More specifically, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women or UN Women will provide a new powerful and purposeful voice for women and girls, for these who are still waiting for education, Human Rights, respect from men or even simple daily needs. Fortunately over the last decade, the world has seen a significant improvement regarding access to education for girls, however among the 776 million illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds are Women. (source: UN Women: Fact & figures on women)
Basically, through my research and my interest in women’s issues, I will try to present the most relevant topics from social, economic, political, and cultural views. I will talk about women who are under the boots of misogynous men, women who are struggling everyday for their rights, and finally I will provide portrayals of select women such as Michelle Bachelet, Zam Zam Abdullahi, Queen Raina of Jordan, , Lúz Mendez…
Below is a video where Michelle Bachelet, the Executive director of United Nations for Women points out the challenges that UN Women will have to take up.
Can we still hear that “women are almost invisible in some places or citizens of second class in some places”?