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Women Living Under Muslim Laws Gazette


"The tendency to marginalize women's concerns and silence their voices must be overcome and their underrepresentation in defining the culture of their communities surmounted."
-Farida Shaheed

Edition 1. May 2013
Welcome to the WLUML Gazette, our new and revamped newsletter! Below, we hope to give you a taste of the amazing work of our international solidarity network, and a survey of news and events from Muslim contexts worldwide. 
Commemorating the Life and Work of Sindi Medayr-Gould and Asghar Ali Engineer: It is with deep regret that we hear of the passing away of Sindi Medar Gould, a life-long feminist and human rights activist and of Asghar Ali Engineer, a renowned Islamic scholar and supporter of women's rights.
Participants at the WELDD Workshop in Dakar, Senegal, April 2013.

WELDD West Africa Feminist Leadership Workshop
Human rights lawyers met campaigners and researchers, professors met lobbyists and NGO founders, all with a long history of fighting on the front-lines, at the first West Africa transformative feminist leadership workshop in Senegal this April - brought together by our Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratization programme (WELDD). Sessions and group debates and discussions were chaired by this collection of highly experienced women's rights activists and academics, including the irrepressible WLUML International Director Fatou Sow. Read on for more...

WLUML Highlights

Stop Stoning Women: International Campaign
Aziz from Iraq, Najiba from Afghanistan, Layla from Sudan and Amina from Tunisia. What do these women have in common? All are victims of a cruel and inhumane practice of stoning from the past that exists to this day. Let's stand together and say NO to stoning. Please join the campaign against stoning – give us your support and urge the UN to take action on stoning by signing.

Urgent Action Appeal: Nuba Activists and Asma Ahmed
The Sudanese government recently initiated a new arrest campaign against Nuba activists. Detainees, including women and the elderly, face inhuman treatment and torture. Further, Sudanese WHRD Asma Ahmed has been placed in detention without charge  at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.  Read more...

Muslima Interviews WLUML Board Chair, Zarizana Abdul Aziz
"Do not accept that women are born to suffer discrimination… The more you learn the better you will understand  how culture and religion have been politicized to justify discrimination and silence women's voices." Zarizana Abdul Aziz, Human Rights Lawyer and Board Chair of Women Living Under Muslim Laws, on diversity within Muslim contexts, the laws that govern women's bodies, and WLUML's success stories. Read more...

Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: A Book by Karima Bennoune
WLUML Board Member & UC Davis Professor of Law Karima Bennoune highlights eye-opening accounts of heroic resistance to religious extremism, in a fresh and welcome perspective on resistance in the Muslim world.
 Read more... 

     Elahe Amani on Stoning and Women's Rights in Iran: The chair of Women's Intercultural Network, Elahe Amani, discusses women's issues in Iran and discriminatory laws and gender-based violence, such as stoning. Read more...

Muslima: Muslim Women's Art & Voices

The International Museum of Women presents a groundbreaking collection of thought pieces and artwork from contemporary Muslim women. IMOW has a diverse range of campaign partners including WLUML! Muslima represents a broad spectrum of Muslim realities and identities, addressing such topics as Power, Leadership, Appearance, Myths, Generations, Faith and Connection.  Read more...
The Voice of Our Network

It's Time to Reflect: WLUML West Asia Officer Dina Wahba presents a critique of the contemporary Egyptian feminist movement. "We participate in conferences, workshops, marches and demonstrations that we don't approve of... Because we have to stand by each other no matter what - do we really have to?"

Who Should Care About Stoning? Everyone: As part of the launch of the new WLUML global campaign, Stop Stoning Women, WLUML networker Rochelle Terman examines the history of this gendered practice of violence against women. Read more...

Through Her Eyes - A Networker's Reflection On Her Time at Stanford: WLUML Networker Nihal Zaghloul shares her recent experience at AMENDS, an initiative at Stanford University, "The media mostly conveys only the negatives of the situation in the MENA region - but listening to everyone's stories at the summit that day, hope was re-born in my heart." Read more...

Where Did I Learn About Freedom? WLUML Networker Noorjahan Akbar reflects on her sources of inspiration growing up in Afghanistan. "Freedom is in my blood, and in the blood of millions of women and men who have never been to the USA, but know that as humans, they deserve the right to breathe fresh air and say their opinions without the fear of prosecution." Read more...

I Don't Know How to Keep My Opinions to Myself!: Libyan Activist and WLUML networker Alaa Murabit discusses educating women in her country and women's foundational role in the revolution, "Often when violence happens, people excuse it with religion," Murabit said. "Young girls need to know that they can fight fire with fire and say, 'No, my religion is not why you are doing this.'" Read more...

Events & Activities

Weapons of Mass Discrimination - A Presentation for the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Justice for Iran, part of the WLUML network, participated at the 50th Session of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights this May. JFI highlighted important issues such as the plight of Arab minorities and discrimination against women in higher education as well as LGBT rights in Iran . Read more...

'When Sleeping Women Wake, Mountains Move' - An International Symposium by Justice for Iran: This symposium, on June 8th, will focus on the role of women and mothers in transnational justice and the sexual torture of women. Speakers include  United Nations SR on the situation of Human Rights in Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed and human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr among others. Read more...

The WLUML ICO Team of Staff and Volunteers, (from left to right) Aneela Majid, Naureen Shameem, Harriet Dodd and Mariem Omari at the Women of the World (WOW) Festival , March 2013. 
News & Resources from WLUML

Dozens of Afghan Schoolgirls Taken to Hospital After 'Poison Attack by Taliban': Up to 74 girls fell ill after smelling gas at their school in a suspected poisning attack in northern Afghanistan.

Saudi Arabia Launches Powerful Ad Campaign Against Domestic Violence: Saudi Arabia, a country not exactly known for progressive attitudes toward women, has launched its first major campaign against domestic violence. Read more...

Gambia: 30 traditional Female Circumcisers Vow to 'Drop the Knife': Thirty traditional female circumcisers in Gambia have publicly declared to "drop the knife", committing themselves to abandon female genital mutilation (FGM). Read more...

Teenager Exposes India's 'One Month Wives' Sex Tourism: Cantract marriages are increasing in Hyderabad, in southern India, where wealthy foreigners, local agents and 'Qazis' – government-appointed Muslim priests – are exploiting poverty among the city's Muslim families. Read more...

Dossier 29-Human Rights & Gender Equality: The papers in this Dossier, now available in Arabic provide an overview of different country and regional experiences in the quest to achieve the promotion of both women's rights and gender equality. Read more...

Legal Guide to Digital Security for Arab Human Rights Activists: The guide was produced for campaigners, human rights activists and lawyers interested in freedom of digital expression and the confidentiality of communications and information stored on mobile phones, computers or any other device used to store or distribute data or information. Read more...
WLUML is happy to announce that they are Founding Members of the newly re-launched feminist magazine Spare Rib!

From WLUML's Library

"Execution by stoning is still carried out in various parts of the Muslim world (either by state or non-state actors) as a punishment for zina (adultery and fornication), even though there is no direct reference to this form of punishment in the Quran. According to the Shafii, Hanbali, Hanafi and Shia schools of Islamic jurisprudence, the proof required to convict an adulterer is so stringent that the smallest doubt or lack of evidence should prevent a stoning sentence from taking effect."

An excerpt from the WLUML report
Mapping Stoning in Muslim Contexts.

Support Women Living Under Muslim Laws - International Solidarity Network

In 2013, we are looking forward to developing projects in line with current global events, starting with work in areas such as violence against women and political participation. We need your continued support in order to help us develop WLUML's work and offer WLUML's unique and expert perspectives to a wider audience. Please consider donating!

International Coordination Office

PO Box 28445, London, N19 5NZ, UK

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