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I participated to the African festival that was held in Jesus and Mary School in Rabieh last Sunday.

I was so happy to finally see African people in Lebanon wearing their countries costumes, and eating and dancing their countries folkloric dances.

The Ethiopian Delegation, the Madagascar Delegation, the Côte d’Ivoire Delegation, the Sudanese Delegation all prepared dances, and beautifully colored shows.

Proud to be african, I was just Happy and clapping madly to all the groups!!

even though I loved the Ethiopian dance, and if I wasn’t so heavy in my pregnancy I would have enjoyed dancing with them 🙂

not to forget about the Clothes!!!!!! A simple Waw!!! Mum and I found some Clothes truly beautiful!

for you some of the pictures of the event, thank You samar and Ghada for inviting us, we were supposed to be 2 but you know in My family we are all happy to always enjoy such beautiful events!!!!

Rita

Caritas migrant center distributed brochures to all attendees, It was truly lovely!

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discrimination men and women in lebanon rita chemalysocial security article amendment of article 14 in lebanon women rights

I cannot believe what I am reading on the website of the Parliament.

The Commission of Women and Children headed by MP Gilberte Zwein, has amended again the article 14 of the social security law, but not to end discrimination against women, on the contrary, by adding exceptions that were never in the first law before and exceptions discriminating more and more against women.

in Lebanon, if a woman works she is entitled to have social security, but as per article 14 of the social security law, just working man with unworking women can have their women benefit from social security. the equality in the lebanese social security law doesn’t exist!

A WORKING women cannot let her husband benefit from social security unless he is over 60 or deficient according to article 14.

The National Commission For Lebanese women prepared in 2011 a draft law, to amend the discrimination in article 14, and as stated in its annual report, members of parliament ( ZWEIN and Michel Moussa) Presented the amendment of the law.

The amendment presented in 2011, takes off all kind of discrimination and entitles the husband of a working  women to benefit from health care provided by the social security law if he doesnt work. the amendment prepared and presented has one goal: equality between lebanese women and men.

But while checking the lebanese parliament website http://www.lp.gov.lb/NewsPage.Aspx?id=10102 I read that the Parliamentarian commission on Women and Children met on october 2012, and amended the article 14, but not as presented in 2011 by Gilberte Zwein Herself, but with adding more and more discrimination against women husbands who work in liberal professions, or is enlisted in the commercial records of in the professions record!

here is the text for you in arabic!!!! 😦

زوج المضمون إذا كان لا يتعاطى عملا مأجورا، أو كان لا يتسفيد من تقديمات حصية، أو مساعدات مرضية من نظام الزامي عام، وأن لا يكون منتسبا إلى نقابات المهن الحرة، أو مسجلا في السجل التجاري، أو في سجل المهن”.

More terrible, Michel Moussa who first presented with ZWEIN the first amendment, was present at the commission meeting as it appears from NNA lebanon news
all what I can demand is for Parliamentary commissions to be more sensitive on the issue of discrimination and equality.

all I can demand from our MPs is to be fair vote for laws that truly are in the benefice of working women!!

Rita Chemaly 

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One of the most Horrible action against #human rights and human #dignity without talking about the freedom of choice,

the story as it has been prepared by NOW, is below for your information,

in both english and arabic.

rita

 

“I was standing outside the nightclub with my friends when I was ordered by [municipality] police to get into the car, with no legal order” one of the transgender revelers harassed Saturday night at Dekwaneh club Ghost told NOW, on condition of anonymity. She said she was taken into a room where she was abused both verbally and sexually by municipality head Antoine Chakhtoura’s deputies.

“They hit me and pushed me around and insulted me by using derogatory terms like ‘faggot’ and ‘half-a-man,’ then they asked demeaning questions such as how much do I make per hour and whether I enjoy ‘sucking on it,’ then asked me to strip naked and then took photographs of me.”

Lebanese activists and experts believe Chakhtoura’s actions have set a dangerous precedent whereby the Lebanese official can apply his own conception of justice as Lebanese law.

Among those who were arrested late night Saturday were three gay men and a transgender person. Each were forced to undress in front of Chakhtoura’s policemen, under his order, so they could determine their gender.

Following Saturday’s events, in an interview with the Lebanese television station LBC, Chakhtoura admitted that the detained were undressed, saying “Of course we made them take off their clothes, we saw a scandalous situation and we had to know what these people were. Is it a woman or a man? It turned out to be a half-woman and half-man and I do not accept this in my Dekwaneh.”

In an interview with NOW, Chakhtoura defended his actions saying “It is not my business what gender they decide to be, but they were violating moral codes of conduct and were taking drugs and it is my duty to put an end to it.”

However, the transgender person emphasized that she had no drugs in her possession and has asked the forces to give her a blood test to check for the viability of the accusations. Her requests have gone unanswered.

As for the sealing of the night club, Chakhtoura stressed to NOW that he believes it endorses sexual activities inside and outside its premises, and promoted the trafficking of drugs and “drunken” behavior. He also claims that his actions are justified by Article 74 in the municipal law code.

Ghost nightclub’s management has condemned the municipality’s accusation, stressing to NOW that the accusations against them are false and that the raid had no prior warning.

The manager, who also preferred to remain anonymous, explained that Chakhtoura came to the location and accused him of drug trafficking and prostitution, and when he was given the freedom to look into his accusations Chakhtoura replied “No, I don’t want to check, I want this place to be shut down.”

“I refused to close down,” then he walked out saying “but you have gay men in here.” Soon after, twelve of Chakhtoura’s policemen entered the nightclub, bullied customers out, and turned the music off. As of Monday afternoon, Ghost nightclub was sealed by order of the municipality, a note visible on its door with the names of the 4 persons who had been detained.

Lawyer and human rights activist Nizar Saghieh explained that the head of the municipality, in his actions, surpassed the relevant legal institutions and should thus be held legally accountable.

“By law, he is only allowed to gather the information needed and file a complaint to the public prosecution office. He has no right to take the decision on his own. His raid is illegal,” stressed Saghieh.

Until now, the club’s management has not filed a law suit against Chakhtoura and is waiting for the prosecution office to issue its own order, because they strongly believe Chakhtoura’s case is personal.

“Clearly, he has personal issues with homosexual men because this is not the first time these harassments take place, his men have been detaining passersby for over 6 months now,” the manager added.

Charbel Maydaa, the director of Helem, an NGO whose mission is to defend gay rights, confirmed the above allegations and explained that the organization has been monitoring the nightclub since they learned of the recurrent harassment and abuse of gay men and transgender people. Maydaa told NOW that customers near the nightclub are frequently exposed to abuse because of their appearance, and that victims were taken to the police municipality in the trunks of police cars.

Saghieh added that the municipal police’s detainment of customers is also illegal and should be looked into urgently because it is a clear violation of the constitution.

“They have no right to question subjects in any case; it is the judicial police jurisdiction and that is, if there was a crime at hand, but there isn’t one, transsexuality is not a crime, there is no legal finding to support it anywhere.”

Saghieh emphasized that if the subjects decide not to pursue a case, then it is  the lebanese civil society’s duty to address the issue as quickly as possible.

“This is a crime and Chakhtoura admitted to it publicly. Lebanese civil society should file a complaint against him at the public prosecution office.”

“This is very dangerous. He is forcing his own values, considering anything against them a crime, then punishing the wrong-doers. This should not be accepted,” said Saghieh.

SOURCE https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/reportsfeatures/transgender-club-victim-speaks-out

هذا ما حصل في ملهى المتحولين جنسياً في الدكوانة

رئيس بلدية يعتقل ويضايق مثليين ومتحوّلين جنسياً

(أ.ف.ب.)

“كنتُ أقف خارج الملهى الليلي مع أصدقائي عندما أمرتني شرطة البلدية بالدخول الى السيارة، دون أي مذكّرة قانونية” قالت لـ NOW واحدة من المشاركين في الحفلة الصاخبة الذين تعرضوا لمضايقات ليلة السبت الماضية في ملهى Ghost في الدكوانة، شرط عدم ذكر اسمها. قالت إنّها أدخلت الى غرفة حيث تعرّضت لأذى شفهي وجنسي من قبل مندوبي رئيس البلدية أنطوان شختورة.

“ضربوني وعاملوني بقسوة وأهانوني مستخدمين تعابير بذيئة مثل “مخنّث” و”نصف رجل”، ومن ثم طرحوا عليّ أسئلة مهينة مثل كم هو أجري في الساعة وإذا ما كنتُ أستمتع بالأمر، ومن ثم طلبوا مني ان أخلع ثيابي والتقطوا لي صوراً”.

يعتقد الناشطون والخبراء اللبنانيون أنّ أعمال شختورة تفرض سابقة خطيرة حيث يمكن لمسؤول لبناني أن يطبّق مفهومه الخاص للعدالة على اعتبار أنّه قانون لبناني.

من بين أولئك الذين تمّ اعتقالهم ليل السبت الماضي كان ثلاثة مثليين وشخص متحوّل جنسياً. وكل واحد منهم أجبر على خلع ثيابه أمام رجال شرطة شختورة، بأمر منه، بحيث يتمكنون من تحديد هويتهم الجنسية.

بعد أحداث ليلة السبت، وفي مقابلة له مع محطة التلفزيون اللبنانية LBC، اعترف شختورة بأنّهم جعلوا المعتقلين يخلعون ثيابهم، قائلاً “بالطبع جعلناهم يخلعون ثيابهم،عندما رأينا وضعاً فاضحاً وكان علينا أن نعرف ما هم هؤلاء الأشخاص. رجال أو نساء؟ وبدا أنّهم أنصاف رجال وأنصاف نساء وأنا لا أقبل بمثل ذلك في الدكوانة التي أنتمي إليها”.

وفي مقابلة له مع NOW، دافع شختورة عن أفعاله قائلاً “ليس شأني أية هوية جنسية يريدون لأنفسهم، ولكنّهم كانوا ينتهكون قوانين السلوك الأخلاقية وكانوا يتعاطون المخدرات ومن واجبي وضع حد لذلك”.

غير أنّ المتحوّلة جنسياً أكّدت أنّه لم يكن بحوزتها مخدرات وطلبت من القوى [الأمنية] أن يُجرى لها فحص دم للتحقّق من صحة الاتهامات. ولم تتم الاستجابة لمطالبها.

وبالنسبة لختم الملهى الليلي بالشمع الأحمر، أكد شختورة أنّه يعتقد بأنّه يسمح بالنشاطات الجنسية داخل مبناه وخارجه، وأنّه يروّج لتجارة المخدرات ولسلوك السكيرين. وهو يزعم بأنّ أفعاله تبرّرها المادة 74 من قانون البلديات.

ومن جهتها أدانت إدارة ملهى “غوست” اتهام البلدية، مشدّدة لـ NOW على أنّ الاتهامات الموجهة لها باطلة وأنّ “الكبسة” على الملهي لم يسبقها أي تحذير.

وشرح مدير الملهى، الذي فضّل هو كذلك عدم الإفصاح عن هويته، أنّ شختورة جاء الى المكان واتهمه بتجارة المخدرات وبالدعارة، وعندما سُمح له بالتحقّق من صحة اتهاماته، أجاب شختورة “لا، لا أريد التحقّق، أريدُ إقفال هذا المكان”.

“رفضتُ الإقفال”، ومن ثم خرج قائلاً “ولكن لديكم مثليين هنا”. وبعد ذلك بقليل، دخل 12 من رجال شرطة شختورة الى الملهى، قاموا بالتنمير على الزبائن، وأطفأوا الموسيقى. ومنذ بعد ظهر يوم الإثنين الماضي، جرى إقفال ملهى غوست بالشمع الاحمر بأمر من البلدية، وتبدو ملاحظة عُلّقت على بابه بأسماء الأشخاص الأربعة الذين جرى اعتقالهم.

وفي هذا السياق، شرح المحامي والناشط في مجال حقوق الإنسان نزار صاغية أنّ رئيس البلدية تخطّى بهذه التصرّفات، المؤسسات القانونية المختصّة وبالتالي يجب أن يحاسب قانونياً على ذلك.

“كما ينص القانون، يُسمح له فقط بجمع المعلومات المطلوية ورفع شكوى الى مكتب المدعي العام. لا يحق له أن يتخّذ القرار بنفسه. إغارته على المكان غير قانونية” شدّد صاغية قائلاً.

حتى الآن، لم ترفع إدارة الملهى قضية على شختورة وهي بانتظار أن يُصدر مكتب الادعاء حكمه، لأنّهم يعتقدون اعتقاداً راسخاً بأنّ قضية شختورة قضية شخصية.

“من الواضح أنّ لديه مسائل شخصية حيال الرجال المثليين لأنّ هذه ليست المرة الأولى التي تحصل فيها هذه المضايقات، فمنذ أكثر من ستة أشهر يقوم رجاله باعتقال المارة”، أضاف المدير.

وبدوره أكّد شربل الميدع، المدير التنفيذي لجمعية “حلم” غير الحكومية التي تهتم بالدفاع عن حقوق المثليين، على الادعاءات السابقة وشرح أنّ الجمعية كانت تراقب الملهى الليلي منذ علموا بالمضايقات المتكرّرة وبالإساءة الى الرجال المثليين والأشخاص المتحولين جنسياً. وقال الميدع لـ NOW إنّ الزبائن قرب الملهى الليلي دائماً ما يتعرّضون للاعتداء بسبب مظهرهم، وأنّ ضحايا الأحد الماضي نُقلوا الى مقر شرطة البلدية في صناديق سيارات الشرطة.

وأضاف صاغية أنّ اعتقال الشرطة البلدية للزبائن هو أيضاً غير قانوني ويجب النظر فيه بأقصى سرعة لأنه مخالفة واضحة للدستور.

“ليس لديهم الحق باستجواب أي كان في أية قضية كانت؛ فهذا من اختصاص الشرطة القضائية، هذا في حال كانت هناك جريمة، ولكن لا توجد جريمة، التحوّل الجنسي ليس بجريمة، ليس هناك أي حيثية قانونية لدعمها في أي مكان”.

وشدّد صاغية على أنّه في حال قرّر المعنيون بالحادثة عدم رفع أي قضية، فمن واجب المجتمع المدني اللبناني معالجة المسألة بأسرع وقت ممكن.

“هذه جريمة وقد اعترف شختورة علناً باقترافها. على المجتمع المدني أن يرفع شكوى ضدّه لدى مكتب المدعي العام”.

“هذا أمر شديد الخطورة. إنّه يفرض قيمه الخاصة، معتبراً أي شيء يعارض هذه القيم جريمة، ومن ثمّ يعاقب الآثمين الذين ارتكبوها. لا يجب القبول بذلك”، قال صاغية

Source:

https://now.mmedia.me/lb/ar/nowspecialar/%D9%87%D8%B0%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%A7-%D8%AD%D8%B5%D9%84-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D9%85%D9%84%D9%87%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%AC%D9%86%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%83%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%A9

 

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what is happening in #Syria is #horrible #Human basic & #Fundamental #rights have been forgotten by all parties!

I cannot look at the feed of my Facebook page, without being afraid of watching the horrific images coming from Syria!

I love this country, when I visited for the first time in 2005, i found the cultural heritage they have, and that syrian people are not protecting now. How can they be interested in their cultural heritage, when the life of Innocents are taken without any conscience???

all Parties in Syria should Stop violating Human rights, Children Rights, Women Rights.

I won’t re-post the shocking pictures of guys  handling the heads of the people they just killed!! this is an abomination!!!

in a war, (And in LEBANON) we have lived numerous ones, atrocities happen, but keeping quiet is an ABOMINATION!!!

The basic Human rights should be Respected!!!!!!

People and Innocents should be Protected!!!!

Khalass , Enough to Atrocities!!

yes for the implementation of basic rights even during war!

Rita!

here are recent articles describing the war crimes happening in Syria our neighbor country

U.N. lists Syrian army and militias as sex predators
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Apr-17/214104-un-lists-syrian-army-and-militias-as-sex-predators.ashx#ixzz2Rt7sWovW

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Dears, the UNFPA communication office have released the new issues of the newsletter TANSEEQ for Ending GBV in Lebanon”.

as the communication team of UNFPA stiplulates, “This newsletter constitutes Lebanon’s very first national networking tool on Gender Based Violence (GBV). It provides a comprehensive snapshot of activities in the area of GBV undertaken between July and December 2012 in Lebanon. A total of 14 actors in the area of GBV have contributed to the present issue.

 This issue’s special features are:

  • Supplement on the “16 Days to End Gender Violence” and the “White Ribbon” campaigns
  • Section on the Inter-Agency SGBV Task Force operating under the Protection working group for the Syria Humanitarian response
  • Winning articles of the UNFPA-supported GBV article-writing contest  among Journalism students at the Lebanese University”.

 to read this english version:

http://www.unfpa.org.lb/Documents/Tanseeq-6-English.aspx

to read the arabic version:

http://www.unfpa.org.lb/Documents/TANSEEQ-6-Arabic.aspx

 

tanseeq ending gender based violence in leabnon rita chemaly expert on women rights

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Lebanese Women claim their rights:

the right to live safely at home

the right not to be harrassed at work

the right not to marry her rapist

the right to transmit her nationality to her children

the right to Live and To be A Lebanese CITIZEN!!!!

Rita Chemaly,

also for those who feel that big rage I feel,

do not hesitate to wath this short short movie, that is translated to English….

a great initiative bt the take back the parliament movement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5dTJKwIMb0

 

 

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Women in Detention guide TO gender sensitive monitoring_English_0Women in Detention guide Rita Chemaly Lebanon

A new guide is launched and it is adressed to monitoring bodies responsible for the external scrutiny of places of deprivation of liberty.

i quote the introduction of the guide:

“It outlines the risks faced by women deprived of their liberty of being subjected to torture and ill-treatment and measures that can be taken to reduce such risks. The main focus of the paper is the situation of women in detention in the criminal justice system, though the discussion is in many cases equally relevant to women deprived of liberty in other contexts, such as psychiatric institutions and immigration detention facilities. “

In lebanon, I know that CLDH and SOLIDA worked with detainees, also, the good work Zeina Daccach did with women in detention in Lebanese prisons. Catharsis (The lebanese center for Drama Therapy) held the project in which women detainees played theater pieces.

Going back to the guide and for you to know more what is the content of the guide, here is the synoposis:

Introduction

II Why should monitoring bodies look at this issue?

III Concepts

1. Gender and gender mainstreaming

2. Discrimination and violence against women

IV Risk factors and measures to reduce risk

1. Certain contexts which heighten risk

a. Societal context

b. Legislative context

2. Certain times that heighten risk

a. Police custody and pre-trial detention

b. Transit

3. Certain policies and practices that heighten risk or cause physical or mental suffering

a. Inadequate safeguards and assessments on admission

b. The nature and scope of medical examinations

c. Not separating male and female prisoners

d. Supervision by male staff/ mixed gender staffing

e. Searching policies and practices

f. Solitary confinement/ disciplinary segregation

g. The inappropriate and unjustified use of restraints

h. Inadequate provision for gender specific hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare

i. Inadequate provision for family contact

j. Inappropriate decisions to separate dependent children from their mothers in prison

k. Detention for protection

4. Certain categories of women who are at heightened risk

a. Girls

b. Victims of human trafficking and sex workers

c. Women with mental healthcare needs

d. Other groups that are at heightened risk

V What qualities do monitoring bodies need to engage in this issue?

Recommended further reading

 

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Yesterday a protest was held in Lebanon, to demand the outlaw of domestic violence.

The protest begun by a march from Sanayeh towards the head of Parliament head quarters.

when I saw the protest on TV, I observed that a “dance” was organised during the protest.
here are some TV reportage about the march http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvx8t1iwSXI&list=PLDE66A357407C699B&index=23

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2013/02/24/268117.html
KAFA violence and exploitation

it resembles to the One billion rising campaign. It felt awkward to see belly dancing and some moves during a protest against violence, rape, humiliation.

When I talked with Lina today, she told me about an article she sent to us and that I didn’t get the chance to read. The article shows why reservations are expressed against the PR campaign of dancing against violence.

bref, for those who would like to read it, I am pasting it below. 

Rita Chemaly

Why I Won’t Support One Billion Rising

The premise of One Billion Rising is to ‘rise’ above forms of violence; to dance, to celebrate and in doing so to ‘DEMAND an end to this violence’. It was created by Eve Ensler, the creator of The Vagina Monologues, whose exposure has risen along with the success of the play. It is receiving considerable media attention, has gained political ambassadors such as Stella Creasy MP, and has even had special mention of support from the Office of the UN Secretary General.

However, reservations about this campaign are being expressed quietly amongst grassroots activists. I say quietly not because we’re not speaking loudly, but because mainstream feminists, mainstream press, politicians and large organisations don’t tend to be so interested in those of us lacking considerable PR power.

The primary problem with One Billion Rising is its refusal to name the root cause of women’s inequality; its outright refusal to point the finger at a patriarchal system which cultivates masculinity and which uses the control and subjugation of women’s bodies as an outlet for that machoism. In fact, a colleague saw Stella Creasy speak at an event last week where she spoke about One Billion rising and its inclusion of men in the campaign, stating ‘violence is not a gender issue; this affects our societies as a whole’. Really Stella? Really?

In asking women to dance in order to overcome violence and rape, focus is displaced and root causes are overlooked, it completely diverts the world’s attention away from the real issue of gender based violence and rape with a pleasing-to-the-eye coordinated dance. It’s like saying to survivors ‘Ok, you’ve been raped, but you can overcome it if you come together and dance for 20 minutes on Valentine’s Day… Eve Ensler says so…’. It’s patronising and it denies not only the causes of violence, but also the devastating and long lasting effects. Thus, a campaign with unprecedented media fire-power has failed to achieve anything other than to create a façade which will have no effect whatsoever upon the global pandemic which is gender based violence.

The fact is that Eve Ensler’s other charitable organisation, V-Day, has raised money for some effective work on the ground; running educational projects, re-opening refuges and safe houses. These are the activities which have actual effect. However, instead of continuing to focus on and raise money for such essential services, it seemed important to Ensler (or some PR guru at her end) that a high profile, notoriety-gaining campaign be launched. I don’t see why it can’t be enough to do essential grassroots work. Why has such a huge PR campaign, with ‘a message from Eve’ videos plastered everywhere, been necessary?

The answer from most will be that it is an awareness raising exercise. However, I can tell you from working with grassroots organisations, that seeing footage on the news of women dancing in unison will do absolutely nothing to educate or deter a perpetrator or potential perpetrator. Educational programmes on the ground are much more effective form of deterrence. News footage does not equal awareness, educational programmes do.

The other counter argument to my reservations would be that this campaign provides an effective form of cathartic release for survivors through the medium of coordinated dance. However, from women I’ve spoken to with knowledge of counselling survivors, the displacement of focus onto a dance on one day would not be considered to be an effective way to ‘rise’. Surely the money spent on this campaign would have been better used to support counselling organisations as an effective form of therapy?

The aforementioned reservations I have about this campaign are not massively uncommon. Many campaigns have come before which, by way of seeking to be inclusive of men, refuse to name the causes of gender based violence. However, where One Billion Rising goes one step further is in itsworld domination international influence. One of the main hubs for the campaign is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a report found that fourty-eight women are raped every hour; a statistic which is likely to have risen (not the same kind of ‘rise’ unfortunately) in recent months during fighting with M23 rebel insurgents – a conflict in which rape has been systematically used as a weapon of war.

I recently listened to a Congolese woman talk in a speak-easy setting of radical grassroots feminists. She was radiantly and beautifully powerful in her unfiltered anger towards the One Billion Rising movement, as she used the words “insulting” and “neo-colonial”. She used the analogy of past crimes against humanity, asking us if we could imagine people turning up at the scenes of atrocities and taking pictures or filming for the purposes of “telling their story to the rest of the world”. Take it one step further and try to imagine a white, middle class, educated, American women turning up on the scene to tell survivors to ‘rise’ above the violence they have seen and experienced by…wait for it…dancing. “Imagine someone doing that to holocaust survivors”, she said.

Eve Ensler has reportedly spent much time in the DRC in the build-up to Valentines Day. I really wonder under what premise she is there? What goes through her mind? Does she think that her shared experiences of abuse make her a kindred spirit to Congolese women? That her presence will bring about comfort? Change? Does she really have such an inflated sense of ego that she simply must jet set around, visiting One Billion Rising hubs?

Another woman at the same event, an Iranian woman who had demonstrated in the 70’s and seen female comrades beaten, raped, doused in acid, set alight, imprisoned and murdered, also used the word “insulting”. “Who is someone else to come to my country and claim to ‘help’ me by telling me to ‘rise’ above the experiences I have had?!” She went on to recount the numerous occasions when she’d been patronised by white, middle class, educated feminists who assumed that as an Iranian woman she lacked education and had lived a sheltered and oppressed life (only to be left open-mouthed by her exceptional education, theoretical knowledge and sharp gendered analysis). We laughed at the hilarity of the questions she’d been asked (“So do you go everywhere by camel in Iran?”) but reflected soberly at the state of a feminist movement dominated by white academics.

The consensus from those on the ground, providing services to women survivors, was that women of privilege should not preach feminist ideals, particularly where gender and race intersect – and essentially where ‘developed’/’developing’ world’s intersect. The focus for white, western feminists should be on gender equality at home, where there are enough problems for a lifetime of activism. But, if the white saviour complex were to endure, that the best form of action would be to lobby their own governments to stop their patriarchal, neo-colonial influence in so-called ‘developing countries’. For it is western companies that create resource enclaves in oil and mineral rich countries, the profits from which local communities never benefit. And it is western governments that continue to pervade the economic systems of ‘developing countries’ with their development aid laden with conditionality to replicate western models of governance which is often irreconcilable with historical economic, cultural, social and economic patterns. And it is western backed arms traders which cash in on conflict in many ‘developing’ regions, fuelling both sides for financial gain. Not content with its first wave of colonisation, the west continues to insist upon ‘helping’ other countries. Word on the street is that the people don’t want ‘help’; they want to make their own decisions and bring about change free from outside influence.

I sat at the back, listening intently and trying my best to take in the radical thought reverberating off the cold walls of a poorly heated, poorly lit room in Finsbury Park, not saying anything. It wasn’t my place to interject into this space with my white-ness, educated-ness or my relative middle-class-ness. It was my place to listen, drink in as much knowledge as possible, and admire these amazing women with the knowledge and analysis to recognise a problematic campaigning, and to reject it outright in favour of gritty, thankless, unrecognised, poorly paid and underfunded grassroots work. It was a pleasure to learn from them. And it is with their words in my head that I will not support One Billion Rising.

 Follow Natalie Gyte on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@NatalieGyte @w
 

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King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia issued Friday a historic decree allowing women to be members of the kingdom’s previously all-male Shura Council for the first time. The decree amended two article in the council’s statute introducing a 20 percent quota for women in the country’s 150-member Shura Council, and the king appointed 30 women to join the consultative assembly. (source: http://www.wluml.org/news/saudi-arabia-breakthrough-saudi-arabia-women-allowed-parliament )

In Lebanon, women still fight for their basic rights such as transmitting their nationality,

have women in the political parties, have women on political parties lists, have women in Parliament.

The most conservative country alias Saudi Arabia was able to empower some women ” bin and bint… of someone) to be part of the Parliament, in Lebanon, do we need a decree by the supreme court to have Women participate in Politics?

for the info: the Lebanese government doesnt have Any women; 

at the parliament Lebanon has some women, that are the daughters, or sisters, or funding  ($) members of someone, or blocks….

our Nation needs change, I wont vote for Maronites women…. I would love to vote for good Candidates wherever their confession is, but I would love to know that they will engage with us on pushing forward for our Civil=Lebanese State Laws!!!

 

Isn't it strange that women are named by their daddy and grand-fathers?

Isn’t it strange that women are named by their daddy and grand-fathers?

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Equality now

The Equality now organisation, is asking web users to participate in a massive e-mail campaign, urging the Head of Lebanese state, the head of government, the Ministers, and parliament to revise the Nationality law in Lebanon. Harrassing people by the same letters and requests have not shown any results in my opinion, mainly regarding issues such as citizenship. Anyways,

the Campaign is called: 

Lebanon: Give women equal citizenship rights to men under the nationality law.

the campaign had been launched in 2010. according to the website of Equality now,  and a new update had been published explaining the latest actions done in that matter mainly after the denial by the ministerial committee of the right for women to transmit their nationality.

 

Update: 

11 February 2013 UPDATE: The Ministerial Committee established to study Lebanon’s nationality law has failed to meet the aspirations of Lebanese women married to non-nationals. In a disappointing decision, the Ministerial Committee concluded on 14 December 2012 that Lebanese women should not be granted the right to pass their nationality to their children and spouses, a decision made public on 16 January 2013. Instead, it recommended to the Prime Minister that restrictions on children of Lebanese women married to non-nationals relating to resident permits, education, work in the private sector and access to state medical care should be eased. If implemented, these recommendations are welcome in that they should alleviate the hardships experienced by the children of Lebanese women married to non-Lebanese men. However, campaigners still want removed, once and for all, the discrimination that treats Lebanese women and men differently under the nationality law.

>> TAKE ACTION NOW! Please continue, in support of Lebanese women campaigning for their rights, to urge the President and the Prime Minister to revise the nationality law urgently and comprehensively to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male and female, have the equal right to confer their Lebanese nationality on their spouses and children.

the campaign is asking web-users to write e-mails to the head of state, and the government, and the ministers.

“Please continue to write to the Lebanese authorities listed below welcoming these new labor regulations but asking them to revise the nationality law urgently and comprehensively to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male or female, have the equal right to confer their Lebanese nationality on their spouses and children.Please continue to write to the Lebanese authorities listed below welcoming these new labor regulations but asking them to revise the nationality law urgently and comprehensively to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male or female, have the equal right to confer their Lebanese nationality on their spouses and children.|

the equality now page even propose a letter to be sent to all:

Letters: 

‘Dear President/ Prime Minister:

I am writing to express my support of Lebanese women campaigning for their rights to pass their nationality on to their children and non-national spouses. I am concerned that the Ministerial Committee established to study Lebanon’s nationality law did not meet the aspirations of Lebanese women married to non-nationals by failing to recommend ways to revise the nationality law in order to guarantee full equality between women and men in this regard.

I understand that the Ministerial Committee concluded on 18 December 2012 that Lebanese women should not be granted the right to pass their nationality to their children and spouses, and instead recommended only that restrictions on children of Lebanese women married to non-nationals should be eased in relation to resident permits, education, work in the private sector and access to state-medical care.

While I welcome these recommendations to alleviate the hardships experienced by children of Lebanese women married to non-nationals, they do not treat Lebanese women as equal citizens under the nationality law as required by the Constitution and Lebanon’s international legal obligations. These women and their families will continue to face difficulties in their daily lives. I therefore urge you to revise the nationality law without delay to ensure that all Lebanese citizens, male and female, have the equal right to confer their nationality on their children and spouses.

Thank you for your attention.”

For more information about the campaign follow the link http://www.equalitynow.org/take_action/discrimination_in_law_action362

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civil servant women's rights in Lebanon Rita Chemaly

 

The Lebanese Council of Ministers, during his session held on the 12 december 2012,
decided to give LEBANESE WOMEN such as Lebanese Men same rights. Congratulations Lebanese Women, and specifically Lebanese women civil servants 🙂
in details, in his session, the Council of ministers amended the law 3950 of 1960, regarding civil servants access to family compensation and assistance benefits! ( Nizam el ta3widats wal mousa3adats), and now if a couple of civil servants, both can choose who can benefit from the Family compensations and assistance.

the National Commission for Lebanese women, worked a lot to achieve equality in this domain:
as the Annual report stipulates:
“The objective is to achieve equality between husband and wife who are both civil servants in terms of the entitlement to family compensation and assistance benefits. The conditions governing civil servants’ access to such benefits are not the same for the husband and his wife.

Currently, a male civil servant benefits from family allowance (and takes priority over his wife in the access to such benefits despite her being also a civil servant and possibly being in a higher rank to his). The conditions governing the husband’s entitlement are clear. In contrast, the conditions governing the wife’s entitlement to this same family allowance are more stringent. Hence, women civil servants and men civil servants are not placed on an equal footing when it comes to family allowance entitlement and do not benefit from the equal opportunity policy. Clearly, men enjoy a preferential right to receive such compensation. This imbalance needs to be corrected in that entitlement to this family allowance shall be decided based on the rank of the civil servant, whether they be the husband or his wife.”
so at this end, thanking the Councils of Minsiters for this Beautiful step forward, and while still hoping to achieve equality and complete citizenship for Lebanese women and Men!
Rita Chemaly

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We don’t know the name of the 23-year-old student who was raped and killed on a city bus in Delhi.

We do know that, after getting on a bus home after watching a film with a friend, she was tortured so badly that she lost her intestines. Six people – including the bus driver – have been arrested; they have been widely denounced as “animals” on social media. It’s always comforting to think – despite everything that the 20th century should have taught us – that those who commit vile acts are sub-human, are not quite like us, so we can create emotional distance from them. But it was thinking, feeling, living human men who committed this rape, however nauseating it is to accept.

The death of a woman popularly named Damini – “lightning” in Hindi – has provoked thousands to take to India’s streets, furious at endemic and unchecked violence against women. Some have been met with police batons, tear gas and water cannon. But, in the West, Damini’s death has triggered a different response: a sense that this is an Indian-specific problem. “The crime has highlighted the prevalence of sex attacks in India,” says the Daily Telegraph; “India tries to move beyond its rape culture,” says Reuters. Again, it’s comforting to think that this is someone else’s problem, a particular scandal that afflicts a supposedly backward nation. It is an assumption that is as wrong as it is dangerous.

Rape and sexual violence against women are endemic everywhere. Shocked by what happened in India? Take a look at France, that prosperous bastion of European civilisation. In 1999, two then-teenagers – named only as Nina and Stephanie – were raped almost every day for six months. Young men would queue up to rape them, patiently waiting for their friends to finish in secluded basements. After a three-week trial this year, 10 of the 14 accused left the courtroom as free men; the other four were granted lenient sentences of one year at most.

Shocked? Again, let us Brits not get all high and mighty, either. Amnesty International conducted a poll in the United Kingdom a few years ago. Only four per cent of respondents thought that the number of women raped each year exceeded 10,000. But according to the Government’s Action Plan on Violence Against Women and Girls, 80,000 women are raped a year, and 400,000 women are sexually assaulted. It is a pandemic of violence against women that – given its scale – is not discussed nearly enough.

All rape is violence by definition, but particularly horrifying incidents take place here, too. Exactly a year ago, one woman was raped by 21-year-old Mustafa Yussuf in central Manchester; shortly afterwards a passer-by – who the rape survivor thought was coming to help – raped her again as she lay on the floor. Or take 63-year-old Marie Reid, raped and savagely murdered earlier this year by an 18-year-old boy she had treated like a “grandson”.

It’s important to clarify that most rapes – in India or elsewhere – are not carried out by strangers waiting in alleys to pounce on women. It is mostly by people known to the rape survivor or victim; often someone they trust. It is a concept that the law itself took a long time to recognise, which is why – until 1991 – it was legal to rape your wife.

Other myths are even more disturbing. The Amnesty poll found that a third of Britons believed a woman acting flirtatiously was partly or completely to blame for being raped, while over a quarter found women who were wearing revealing clothes or were drunk shared responsibility. This victim-blaming was echoed by a judge at Caernarfon Crown Court a few weeks ago, who told the rapist: “She let herself down badly. She consumed far too much alcohol and took drugs, but she also had the misfortune of meeting you.”  A Thames Valley Police poster combating underage drinking featured a young woman being attacked underneath the headline “Her mum bought her the cider”.

If we are to defeat rape, we have to understand where it comes from – and that means linking it to a broader continuum of violence against women. According to the Government’s own estimates, one million women in England and Wales are victims of domestic violence every year.

Those punches, slaps, kicks and bile-filled screams are happening all around us – yes, undoubtedly on our own streets. A quarter of women will face this abuse at some point in their life and – horrifyingly – two women will be murdered by their current or former male partner each week.

It’s not just the overt aggression. It’s the sexual harassment and objectification of women by men that provide fertile ground for this violence. In a poll by End Violence Against Women this year, 41 per cent of women aged between 18 and 34 had experienced unwanted sexual attention in London. Some men may regard a few “jokes” about rape  as a bit of harmless banter, but it all helps normalise violence against women.

As a country, we still don’t take rape survivors seriously. A 2009 study revealed that Britain has the lowest conviction rate of 33 European countries: it’s a shockingly pathetic 6.5 per cent. Survivors often struggle with a misplaced sense of shame, of somehow bringing it on themselves, of fear; an all-too pervasive sense of victim-blaming discourages them from coming forward and having to facing down their attacker. If any good is to come from the horrors of the Jimmy Savile scandal, it must be that these voices are taken far more seriously.

But although the voices of women must be heard above all else, men must speak out too. It’s really important that we show solidarity with women, educate each other and challenge prejudice in our ranks. In the US and Australia there are more flourishing movements of men against sexual violence, such as Men Can Stop Rape. But there are similar campaigning groups in Britain such as the White Ribbon Campaign and Respect: they have a crucial role to play, too.

There is nothing inevitable about violence against women, here or anywhere. Struggle by courageous women and their allies has already had an impact. But the worst thing we can do is allow our horror at what happened on that Delhi bus to make us complacent. Let the death of Damini inspire everyone – everywhere – to defeat this horror once and for all.

Twitter: @owenjones84

source: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/sexual-violence-is-not-a-cultural-phenomenon-in-india–it-is-endemic-everywhere-8433445.html

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 I am sure an increasing number of Lebanese citizens who are sick and tired of their political system, realize that political competition over who is more anti-Palestinian is a smokescreen meant to cover inefficiency, ineptness, and corruption.

Response to Nayla Toueni

Dear Nayla Toueni,Lacking in analysis or journalistic integrity, your article, العبء الفلسطيني مجددا,merely regurgitates a xenophobic Lebanese discourse that tirelessly uses Palestinians to cover up the failings of a sectarian Lebanese political system run by a band of war lords and children from political dynasties.  Your article echoes another recent incoherent diatribe by Lebanese Minister of Energy, Gebran Bassile, who advocated closing the Lebanese border in the face of all refugees, and who singled out Palestinian refugees as more dangerous and unwanted.  In a typically opportunistic move, he miraculously managed to blame Palestinians for the chronic electricity shortage in Lebanon!

Whereas the two of you (Toueni and Bassille) belong to two vying political camps, what brings you so intimately close (and keeps you afloat) is the bankrupt logic of مزايدات at the expense of Palestinians.

Perhaps there was no purpose for drafting the short rant you drafted on the last day of 2012 other than to outbid Bassille’s racism, lest the Lebanese start to think that the Christian right in the March 8 camp and their Shia allies can be more anti-Palestinian than the Christian right in the March 14 camp and their Sunni allies.  Palestinians, and I am sure an increasing number of Lebanese citizens who are sick and tired of their political system, realize that political competition over who is more anti-Palestinian is a smokescreen meant to cover inefficiency, ineptness, and corruption.

In your reference to Palestinians as مستوطنين, a term used to describe colonial settlers such as Whites in South Africa or European Jews in Palestine, you either made a linguistic mistake (in which case you need to hire a language editor) or you intentionally used the term to misconstrue reality.  Had you read a basic history book on the Arab region, you would have realized that Palestinians arrived to Lebanon as refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing in 1948; they continue to insist on their right to return to Palestine.  The Palestinians who have been arriving to Lebanon from Syria in recent months are also refugees fleeing the same violence perpetrated against Syrian citizens by the Syrian regime.  Based on what logic, other than prejudiced presumptions, do you suggest that these refugees (who are granted the right to work and other civil rights in Syria and denied the same rights in Lebanon) dream of staying in Lebanon in squalor conditions?  Based on what logic, other than racist stereotyping of Palestinians as criminals, do you suggest that the refugees are plotting to hide in camps in Lebanon when in reality they are impatiently waiting to return to the jobs and lives they tried to build in Syria until they return to Palestine?

As you warn us of a “new Palestinian nightmare”, I assure you that there are many Lebanese who view the sectarian system in which you are an active participant as the “Lebanese nightmare.”  Since you (and Bassille) are so concerned about Lebanon’s limited resources, it is only fair that you yourselves leave these resources to the Lebanese people and stop blaming Palestinians for all the social ills caused by the corruption of the political elite which you exemplify.  Had the sad excuse for an article you published in Annahar been written by an American or French journalist about Lebanese immigrants abroad, she would have surely been asked to resign to save the newspaper from accusations of racism and even lawsuits.

Dr. Sawsan Abdulrahim

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Second Call for Applications

A new Call for Applications for the MEDASTAR Programme has been launched. It will be open between December 10th, 2012 (12:00 p.m., Spanish time), and February 14th, 2013.

About MEDASTAR

MEDASTAR (Mediterranean Area for Science, Technology and Research) is a project that aims for broader co-operation between Europe, Egypt and Lebanon putting emphasis on science, technology and research.

The project is devoted to creating a mutual forum for scientific cooperation, acknowledgement and exchange. It takes into account the objectives (both general and specific) of the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 Strand1 (EMA 2-1) call and the objectives and expected results of Egypt and Lebanon as reflected in their national reports on the state and development of education.

MEDASTAR will actively respond to the needs of Egypt and Lebanon for higher education, in accordance with their level of development. Attention will be given to the promotion of equal opportunities and the values of democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

flyer egypt and lebanon to Europe universities

http://www.medastar.eu/press_kit/flyer_egypt_lebanon_to_europe.pdf

Scholarchips for academic exchange from europe to lebanon or egypt:

http://www.medastar.eu/press_kit/flyer_europe_to_egypt_lebanon.pdf

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Facebook attempts to shut down the voice of the Uprising of Women in the Arab World
For Arabic and French please scroll down:

للعربية برجاء النظر للأسفل

Facebook attempts to shut down the voice of The Uprising of Women in the Arab World


Nov 7, 2012 – On the morning of November 7, 2012, the 5 admins of The Uprising of Women in the Arab World log into Facebook, to find out that one’s account has been blocked for 30 days, another for 3 days, 2 others for 24 hours, and 1 other received a warning notification.


According to Facebook, those persons had violated its policy by sharing a post asking for supporting Dana Bakdounes on Twitter. The message that was sent to the admins as the reasoning for the ban from Facebook was: “You have posted a content that violates Facebook Community Rules, the post says: Follow us on Twitter @UprisingOFWomen. Support Dana with hashtag #WindToDana”
Dana Bakdounes is one the hundreds of women and men who participated in the Uprising of Women in the Arab World campaign, holding a sign expressing the reason why they support this uprising. Dana’s slogan stated: “I am with the uprising of women in the Arab world because for 20 years I wasn’t allowed to feel the wind in my hair and on my body”, and her picture showed an unveiled woman carrying her passport with her picture when she was veiled.

Dana’s picture was initially posted on October 21, among many other photos and statements of women and men of various religious beliefs and practices (some women were veiled, some unveiled, some in niqab…), all demanding women’s rights and equally enjoying the freedom of speech, in a secular space that promotes tolerance and embraces the differences. But on October 25, Facebook chose to censor Dana’s image and to suspend for 24 hours the account of the admin who posted it. This incident provoked an outrage among the defenders of freedom of speech who started sharing Dana’s picture all over Facebook, Twitter and other media channels.

On October 28, persuaded that Facebook had mistakenly taken down the photo due to abusive reports of haters of the Page and that the photo held no offensive content, and seeing that it was all over the web, we uploaded it again. A few hours later, Facebook removed it again and blocked another admin’s account for 7 days.

However on October 31, Facebook restored Dana’s censored photo to The Uprising of Women in the Arab World page without any notice nor explanation, although it didn’t lift the ban on the admin’s account which ended on November 5.

On November 7, all 5 admins of The Uprising of Women in the Arab World’s Page received threats by Facebook for the reasons mentioned earlier that their accounts may be permanently deleted. The repeated temporary blockades on the admins’ personal accounts with no clear motive or explanation show a direct attack on The Uprising of Women in The Arab World’s Page. It also raises serious questions about the true intentions behind FB’s policies, and whether Dana’s “controversial” image is a mere excuse to shut down the voice of the Uprising of Women in The Arab World.
(Note that during the past 3 weeks, we have wrote to Facebook several times asking for explanation about their censorship but received no response at all.)

Today more than ever we want to say to the world that our voices will not be silenced, not by Facebook, nor by patriarchy, dictatorships, military rule and/or religious extremism. They may be temporarily denied, overlooked, censored or whitewashed, but only to be uttered once again. We will continue to write on the dividing walls of fear, submission and defamation, if not tear them down.

The Uprising of Women in the Arab World has already hit the streets! Our slogan is printed on t-shirts in Damascus, riding bicycles in Marseille, being tagged from walls of Mohamed Mahmoud street of Cairo to private home walls in Riyadh, and will soon be all over the world. Schools and universities are organizing workshops inspired by the campaign, films are being shot, music composed, as tens of thousands of women have  decided that enough was enough. The wall of silence has been broken. The revolution continues.

 
– Ends –
 
موقع التواصل الاجتماعي “فايسبوك” يحاول إخماد صوت انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي
نوفمبر 7، 2012في صباح السابع من نوفمبر 2012، حاولت الناشطات الخمس المشرفات على صفحة “انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي” الدخول إلى حسابات الفايسبوك الخاصة بهن ليكتشفن بأنه قد تم حظر حساب إحداهن لمدة 30 يومًا، وحساب أخرى لمدة 3 أيام، بينما تم حظر حساب مشرفتين أخريين لمدة 24 ساعة، كما تلقت إحداهن إخطارًا تحذيريًا بشأن استعمالها للفايسبوك.
ووفقًا للفايسبوك، فإن هؤلاء الناشطات قد انتهكن سياسة الموقع عندما وضعن نداءًا نصيًا يطلبن فيه دعم السورية دانا بقدونس على موقع تويتر والتغريد عنها. وقد كانت الرسالة التي بعث بها فايسبوك لمشرفات الصفحة لتفسير سبب الحظر من على الموقع كالتالي: “لقد شاركتن بوضع محتوى يخالف القواعد المجتمعة للفايسبوك” وضحت رسالة الفايسبوك بأن هذا المحتوى هو الجملة النصية التي نشرتها الصفحة كالتالي: “تابعونا على حسابنا على تويتر @UprisingOFWomen ، ادعموا دانا باستخدام هاش تاغ #WindToDana”.
دانا بقدونس هي واحدة من مئات النساء والرجال الذين شاركوا في حملة انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي والذين أرسلوا بصورهم وهن/هم يحملون لافتات يعبرون فيها عن الأسباب التي من أجلها يدعمون هذه الانتفاضة. أما الشعار الذي اختارته دانا وحملته في مشاركتها فكان: “أنا مع انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي لأنني كنت محرومة لمدة 20 سنة من أن يلامس الهواء جسدي… وشعري”، وكانت في صورتها تقف دون حجاب للرأس بينما تحمل اللافتة وجواز سفرها الذي يظهر صورتها في الماضي عندما كانت ترتدي الحجاب.
وقد نشرت الصفحة صورة دانا بقدونس لأول مرة بتاريخ 21 أكتوبر 2012 مع العديد من الصور والعبارات الأخرى  لنساء ورجال من مختلف المعتقدات الدينية والممارسات (بعض النساء يرتدين الحجاب وبعضهن يرتدين النقاب وأخريات لا يرتدين الحجاب..)، بحيث يطالبون جميعهم بحقوق المرأة ويتمتعون بالتساوي بحرية التعبير في مساحة علمانية تحث وتشجع على التسامح وتقبّل الاختلافات. ولكن في تاريخ 25 أكتوبر، قام موقع الفايسبوك بحجب صورة دانا بقدونس كما أوقف حساب إحدى المشرفات التي رفعت الصورة على الصفحة لمدة 24 ساعة. أثارت هذه الحادثة موجة من الغضب بين المدافعات والمدافعين عن حرية التعبير والذين بدأوا على الفور بمشاركة صورة دانا على الكثير من الصفحات والحسابات الشخصية على الفايسبوك، وتويتر، ووسائل التواصل والإعلام الأخرى.
في 28 أكتوبر، أعادت الصفحة رفع ونشر صورة دانا بقدونس بعد اقتناع المشرفات بأن فايسبوك قد قام بحجبها عن طريق الخطأ نتيجة للبلاغات المسيئة التي قام بإرسالها كارهو الصفحة، حيث أن الصورة لا تضم أي محتوى مسيء ولا تنتهك قواعد الفايسبوك، إضافة إلى أنها قد انتشرت بكثافة على الإنترنت وعلى الفايسبوك نفسه في صفحات أخرى. إلا أنه وبعد ساعات معدودة، قام موقع الفايسبوك بإزالة الصورة مرة أخرى، وحظر حساب واحدة أخرى من المشرفات على الصفحة  لمدة 7 أيام.
لكن في 31 أكتوبر 2012، تراجع الفايسبوك عن حذف صورة دانا التي حجبها مسبقًا وأعاد نشرها من تلقاء نفسه على صفحة انتفاضة المراة في العالم العربي دون تقديم أي إخطار أو تفسير لأسباب الحذف أو الاسترجاع، في حين أن إدارة الفايسبوك لم تتراجع عن قرارها بحظر حساب مشرفة الصفحة التي لم تستعيد حسابها إلا في 5 نوفمبر 2012.
في تاريخ 7 نوفمبر 2012، تلقت جميع المشرفات الخمس لصفحة انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي إخطارات تهديد من إدارة الفايسبوك بأنهن قد يتعرضن لتعطيل حساباتهن بشكل دائم للأسباب المذكورة سابقًا. إن هذا الحصار المؤقت والمتكرر التي تفرض على الحسابات الشخصية لمشرفات الصفحة ودون أي دوافع واضحة أو تفسيرات تكشف عن هجوم مباشر على “صفحة انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي”. كما أنها تثير تساؤلات خطيرة حول النوايا الحقيقية وراء سياسات الفايسبوك، وإذا ما كانت صورة دانا بقدونس “المثيرة للجدل” هي مجرد ذريعة تستخدم لإخماد صوت انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي (جدير بالذكر أن فريق عمل الصفحة وعلى مدى 3 أسابيع، قد قام بالتواصل مع إدارة الفايسبوك عدة مرات للاستفسار عن توضيحات بشأن قرارهم بحجب صورة دانا وحظر الحسابات الشخصية للمشرفات ولكن دون تلقي أي ردود من الفايسبوك حتى الآن).
اليوم أكثر من أي وقت مضى نريد أن نقول للعالم بأن أصواتنا لن يتم إخمادها، ليس بواسطة الفايسبوك، ولا بواسطة المجتمعات الذكورية ولا الدكتاتوريات ولا الحكم العسكري ولا التطرف الديني. وقد يتم إنكارها مؤقتًا، أو تجاهلها، أو حجبها أو إزالتها، لكن ذلك لن يؤدي إلا إلى إطلاق أصواتنا من جديد. سنستمر بالكتابة على حواجز الخوف والخضوع والتشهير، هذا إن لم نهدمها تمامًا.
إن انتفاضة المرأة في العالم العربي قد وصلت بالفعل إلى الشارع! شعارنا اليوم مطبوع على بعض القمصان في دمشق، ومعلق على بعض الدراجات الهوائية في مرسيليا، ومرسوم على الجدران بدءًا من شارع محمد محمود بالقاهرة وصولاً إلى جدران المنازل في الرياض، وسينتشر هذا الشعار قريبًا حول العالم. لقد بدأت المدارس والجامعات بتنظيم ورش عمل استلهمتها من حملتنا، هناك أفلام يتم تصويرها، ومقطوعات موسيقية يؤلفها أصحابها دعمًا لانتفاضة المرأة بعد أن قررت عشرات الآلاف
من النساء أنهن قد اكتفين من واقعهن الأليم.
لقد كسرنا حاجز الصمت. الثورة مستمر.
– انتهى –

Facebook tente de faire taire la voix du soulèvement des femmes dans le monde Arabe

7 Novembre, 2012Le matin du 7 Novembre 2012, les 5 admins de la page “The Uprising of Women in the Arab World” se connectent à Facebook pour découvrir que le compte de l’une a été bloqué pour 30 jours, de l’autre pour 3 jours, de 2 autres pour 24 heures et enfin la dernière reçoit un avertissement comme quoi son compte sera bloqué de même.
Selon Facebook, ces personnes ont violé les règles du réseau social en partageant un post qui appelle à soutenir Dana Bakdounes sur Twitter. Le message reçu par les 5 admins visant à expliquer la raison du blocage de leur compte est le suivant: “Vous avez posté un contenu qui viole les Règles de la Communauté Facebook, le post disait: Suivez-nous sur Twitter @UprisingOFWomen. Soutenez Dana avec le hashtag #WindToDana”.
Dana Bakdounes une parmi des centaines de femmes et d’hommes ayant participé à la campagne du soulèvement des femmes dans le monde Arabe, à travers une pancarte exprimant la raison pour laquelle elles/ils soutenaient ce soulèvement. Le slogan de Dana dit: “Je suis avec le soulèvement des femmes dans le monde Arabe parce que pendant 20 ans, je n’avais pas le droit de sentir l’air dans mes cheveux et sur mon corps”. Sa photo montre une femme non-voilée brandissant son passeport où elle apparait voilée.
La photo de Dana a été posté pour la première fois le 21 Octobre, parmi de nombreuses autres photos de femmes et d’hommes de croyances et pratiques religieuses différentes (certaines femmes voilées, d’autres non voilées, d’autres portant le niqab), tous réclamant les droits des femmes et bénéficiant à égalité de la liberté d’expression, dans un espace laïque qui promouvoit la tolérance et embrasse les différences. Cependant le 25 Octobre, Facebook décide de censurer la photo de Dana et de suspendre pour 24 heures le compte de l’admin qui l’a postée. L’incident provoque un scandale parmi les défenseurs de la liberté d’expression et ceux-ci partagent la photo de Dana partout sur Facebook, Twitter et autres médias.
Le 28 Octobre, persuadées que Facebook avait enlevé la photo à tort en prêtant attention aux signalisations abusives des haïsseurs de la Page et que la photo en question ne comportait rien d’offensant, et voyant qu’elle avait déjà fait le tour du web, nous l’avons repostée. Quelques heures plus tard, Facebook la censure à nouveau et suspend le compte d’une autre admin pour 7 jours.
Pourtant le 31 Octobre, Facebook restitue la photo censurée de Dana sur la page de The Uprising of Women in the Arab World, sans notice ni explication, tout en refusant de lever le blocage sur le compte de l’admin, qui a duré jusqu’au 5 Novembre.
Le 7 Novembre, tous les 5 admins de la page The Uprising of Women in the Arab World’s sont simultanément averties par Facebook qu’elles risqueront la supression totale de leurs comptes respectifs, pour les raisons mentionnées en début de ce communiqué. Les blocages temporaires continuels de leurs comptes personnels sans motif ni explication démontrent qu’il y a une attaque directe sur la page The Uprising of Women in The Arab World. Cela soulève aussi des questions sérieuses sur les réelles intentions de la politique de Facebook, et l’on se demande si la photo “controversée” de Dana n’est pas simplement une excuse pour faire taire la voix du soulèvement des femmes dans le monde Arabe.
(Il faut noter qu’au cours des 3 dernières semaines, nous avons écrit plusieurs fois à Facebook pour demander des explications et n’avons obtenu aucune réponse).
Aujourd’hui plus que jamais, nous voulons dire au monde entier que nos voix ne seront pas réduites au silence, ni par Facebook, ni par le règne du patriarcat, la dictature, le régime militaire et/ou l’extrémisme religieux. Elles pourraient être temporairement niées, négligées, censurées ou blanchies à la chaux, mais seulement jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient émises à nouveau. Nous continuerons d’écrire sur les cloisons de la peur, la soumission et la diffamation, jusqu’à pouvoir les briser.
Le soulèvement des femmes dans le monde Arabe est déjà dans la rue! Notre slogan, imprimé sur des t-shirts à Damas, se promenant en vélo à Marseille, taggé sur les murs de la rue Mohamad Mahmoud au Caire et aux maisons privées à Riyadh, sera bientôt partout dans le monde. Les écoles et les universités organisent des ateliers inspirés par la campagne, des films sont en préparation de tournage, des musiques en composition, au moment où des dizaines de milliers de femmes ont décidé qu’elles en avaient assez.
Le mur du silence a été brisé. La révolution continue.
– Fin du communiqué –
For more information regarding The Uprising of Women in the Arab World page:
Email: arabwomenuprise@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/intifadat.almar2a
Twitter: @UprisingOfWomen
Support us on the Online Protest in Solidarity with “The Uprising of Women in the Arab World” Page and its Administrators
The links to these press releases are below:
English:
Arabic:
Best Regards,
Admins of the Uprising of Women in the Arab World Page

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In Lebanon, a white March has been organised by independent activists .

The aim of it, to bring back the political sphere on the daily matters of Lebanese: electricity, inflation, prices…. and was mainly organised to commemorate the men, women and children who have been killed by the violent “events” that happened  in the country.

 

I am sick of walking and chanting and asking for a third voice to be more clear and to voice out in pratical initiatives.

Polarisation in the local sphere of people is at its extreme.

Elections are coming soon in Lebanon, and we can’t see any new leader emerging: where are the women? the educated men? and the expatriates?

in each list it is a must to represent every body!

the parliament will need to vote and amend laws!

bon… I will go back to reading the papers and pray for a miracle …

Rita

the link of Now lebanon http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=450898

the link for the daily star: With no flags, White March makes peaceful statement

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2012/Oct-26/192785-with-no-flags-white-march-makes-peaceful-statement.ashx#ixzz2BHuMlJ4I 

 

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Dear Readers,

 

Kindly find below the latest issue of the Middle East & North Africa Gender and Development e-Brief (No 125)  

 

Best regards, 
CRTD.A / IRIS

 

 

The Middle East &North Africa 
“Gender and Development E-Brief”
Issue #125
October 2012

 

NEWS & ARTICLES

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GENDER ACTIVISM

Iranian Women’s Rights Activists Stop the Registration of Anti-Women Tradition As ‘National Heritage’

Women on Waves Boat Makes First Trip to a Muslim Country, Morocco

 

GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

Syrian Refugee Women – High Risk of Violence in Lebanon

… and Refugees suffer from critical lack of women’s health care
Algeria TV boss convicted for sexual harassment

Child Marriage on Rise Due to Hunger in Niger

Woman Allegedly Raped By Police, Accused of “Indecency” in Tunisia...

… Public Support & President Apology for Alleged Police-Raped Victim

Maronite clergy unleashes unprecedented public attack on what they refer to as “the gender concept”

Ikea deleted women from Saudi version of catalogue

Women lose out on affordable housing in Gulf countries

Egypt teacher cuts girls’ hair for not wearing veil

 

GENDER & HUMAN RIGHTS

Oman Has Lowest Divorce

Women’s Day Video in Tunisia

In Yemen Women Say Lives Worse Since Revolution

Women & Children Refugees Flee Attacks in Sudan

Egypt’s Brotherhood top officials face investigation over attacks on women protesters
RESOURCES & CALLS

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ANNOUNCEMENTS & CALLS

UN Joint Statement: “Adultery as a criminal offence violates women’s human rights”

 

 BOOKS & REPORTS

UN: Marrying Too Young, End Child Marriage Report

Arab Region: No Revolutions without Equality and Justice: The struggle for women’s rights in rethinking development in the Arab region

A frank discussion from woman to man

 

Please note that the MENA Gender and Development e-Brief is posted on line on the following URLM:http://crtda.org.lb/sites/default/files/newsletters/MENA%20GAD_125.pdf

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The MENA Gender and Development e-Brief receives material from various sources for its publication. Should you wish to refer to these sources/ sites directly, the list includes publications from: AVIVA, www.aviva.org, AWID: www.awid.org, Democracy Digest: www.freedomhouse.org, Development Gateway: www.developmentgatway.org, Dignity: www.dignity.org, e-Civicus: www.civicus.org, Eldis:www.eldis.org, ESCWA: www.escwa.org.lb, GDB: www.developmentex.com, Global Knowledge Partnership: www.globalknowledge.org, IGTN: www.IGTN.org, ILO: www.ilo.org One World: www.oneworld.net,Siyanda: www.siyanda.org, The Daily Star: www.dailystar.com.lb, The Drum Beat: www.comminit.com, The Soul Beat: www.comminit.com, The World Bank: www.worldbank.org, UNDP: www.undp.org, Wicejilist:www.wicej.addr.com, WLP: www.learningpartnership.org; WIDE: www.wide-network.org; IRIN News: www.irinnews.org, Women’s UN Report Network: www.wunrn.com, Women Living Under Muslim Laws:www.wluml.org
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The MENA Gender And Development E-Brief is published by CRTD.A.

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Below you can read a part of the article of Bassam explaining what the journalist in Future did yesterday at Martyr’s square Beirut…

if that was the answer of Liana and Elias for him, good for them,  Liana I salute your courage, as I saluted the courage of Samir Kassir when we was against all odd asking people not to use the world Syrian people but fuel their anger against the regime!

yes, I was shocked by the “use” and “instrumentalisation” of the sorrow of people yesterday;

Burning the country, burning tires, and sending RPJ and Energa all night is not the solution.

God bless those who spoke again maturely and asked some of the followers to calm down.

Again, the final question I tried to solve in the Book Spring 2005 in Lebanon, was of a citizenship built on common grounds: chaos? or unity and respect? I am lost! this is not what peaceful collective Action looks like…. Gene Sharp … we need to refresh our memories and Peaceful tools!

Spring 2005 was Peaceful, I described the actions clearly … what the fall of 2012 is preparing to us? do you need a description or an image?

Source: L’Orient Le Jour… est ce pacifique ya sharp?

 

 

Source: Reuters Houssam Chabro… and is this pacific collective action?

 

 

Photo de Nada Merhi L’Orient le jour…. Pour moi voila une mobilisation pacifique qui est moins couverte mediatiquement certes, mais qui me rappelle ce Printemps 2005 au Liban…. le Mythe… Rita

 

Rita Chemaly

طالق بالثلاثة

http://www.al-akhbar.com/node/169954

من استوديو «المستقبل» الى ساحة الشهداء، حمل قطيش شعار «الطلاق حتى العدالة»، وتقدم الجماهير، رافعاً قبضته التي زينها بشارة صفراء، لأنّ

الطلاق برأيه هو مع «حزب الله وجميع أتباعه في قوى 8 آذار». كلام قطيش لم يعجب النائب السابق الياس عطا الله الذي اعتبر شعار الطلاق «حالة غضب وليس موقفاً سياسياً». وأضاف: «نحن لا نطلّق أحداً». مداخلة عطا الله أدت إلى مشادة كلاميّة مع قطيش نقلتها وسائل الإعلام مباشرةً على الهواء. لكن ما لم تنقله الشاشة هو التلاسن بين قطيش وليانا ابنة الصحافي الراحل سمير قصير، بعدما ادعى قطيش أنّ «الناس في الضاحية توزع البقلاوة». رفضت ابنة قصير اتهام «الناس في الضاحية» وحصر التهمة بـ«الفاعل الحقيقي». لم يعجب الأمر قطيش، فعبّر عن استيائه بكلام خارج السياق. وجددت قصير رفضها لـ«زج الشعارات التحريضيّة في الحدث»، مطالبة الحاضرين بالتعاطف مع الشهداء لا توزيع الاتهامات «ضدّ جميع أهل الضاحية الذين هم جزء من هذه البلاد». وقطيش يحاول أن يكون حاداً، من دون كاريزما سمير قصير 2005 حتى الآن.
بدا قطيش أمس كمن يريد أن يستنسخ تجربة الصحافي فارس خشان. لكنه فاق فارس تأثيراً أمس. أراد أداء دور بوعزيزي بيروت، لكن من دون بنزين. مع

ذلك، كاد «أنصاره» أن يحرقوا شيئاً آخر، غير أجسادهم.

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chers,
a vous l’analyse de la situation par un ami, karim, je reprend son billet comme tel;
rita
SOURCE: The Beirut Entreprise blog : Tumultuous Lebanon, Where the Intelligence War Never Pauses
Dr. Karim El Mufti
University Professor
Political Scientist
It took longer than usual compared with other political assassinations (given the high secrecy linked to security related areas), but the information eventually came out, the head of the Intelligence Branch of the Internal Security Forces (ISF), Brigadier Wissam El Hassan, was targeted and terminated.
1. The political war and Syria
Minutes into the Ashrafieh blast and 14 March local figures were already trying to make political good fortune out of the tragedy, raising the scenario of an alleged targeting of the Kataeb House, or the 14 March General Secretariat office, or even how Syria the terrorist “targeted the heart of a Lebanese Christian area”. The context changed once the announcement broke of the direct plot against the ISF Brigadier, even though the accused party remained the same: Syria had killed Al Hassan in “retaliation of the arrest of Michel Samaha”, the close advisor of Bashar Al Assad ; he was targeted because of the “efforts made by the ISF to stop Syrian infiltrations into Lebanon”.
Blaming directly the Syrian regime for the terrorist blast, self-exiled Saad Hariri was, from day one, trying to use the killing as a high horse to make a comeback onto the Lebanese political landscape after a period of political numbness: “if I were prime minister, my actions would be to stand against Bachar el Assad and say very clearly that anything that will come into Lebanon, if the regime is trying to export its terrorists to Lebanon, we would definitely refuse it[1].
Other spokespersons from the 14 March coalition carried on with the interpretation that this attack was an export of the Syrian conflict into the heart of the Lebanese capital. As clearly put by Kataeb president and anti-Syrian figure, Amine El Gemayel, to the LBC television : “This regime, which is crumbling, is trying to export its conflict to Lebanon”.
But this explanation falls short when, at the same time, the same anti-Syrian coalition eagerly connected the attack (due to “troubling similarities”) with past attacks on anti-Syrian figures (Gebran Tueni or Antoine Ghanem for instance), at a time when “Syria al Assad” was well up on its feet, way before the civil war there.
Still, there is no doubt in the extensiveness of the blow the anti-Syrian coalition 14 March has just received with the decapitation of the head of a security service loyal to its agenda. Along with other public administrations, like the Council for Reconstruction and Development and Ogero within the Telecommunications Ministry, this ISF branch represented little of what was left of the opposition’s influence within State institutions, remotely led by Saad Hariri since he was removed from power in January of last year. Given the sensitive and strategic nature of the Information Branch within the ISF, needless to say how enduring the hit came to the political leverage of the 14 March coalition.
2. The evidence war and the STL
Wissam Al Hassan was not only a top security operative who made possible the dismantlement of pro-Israeli cells, or the arrest of former Minister Michel Samaha last August for planning to carry out terrorist attacks on Lebanese soil, he was most importantly in charge of the Lebanese side of the investigation of Rafic Hariri’s assassination. Brigadier Al Hassan was hence among the people the prosecutor at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) could count on in order to build his case. In that, the indictment against the four members of Hezbollah is based, in the prosecutor’s own words, on “circumstantial evidence[2] related to a series of interconnected telecommunications cells that were operating in preparation to the attack, and that were allegedly set up by the four suspects yet to be arrested.
With the overturn of the political equilibrium and the formation of the 8 March pro-Syrian government, which is hostile to the STL work, the intelligence unit run by Brigadier Al Hassan had the mission of keeping the cooperation with the STL’s prosecutor alive. It is important to highlight that the ISF Information Branch is the unit that uncovered the telecommunications cells’ matrix (with the support of another police martyr and IT expert, Captain Wissam Eid, assassinated in January 2008), before linking it to Hezbollah members, and then possibly leaking the information to Der Spiegel who suggested this eventuality in May 2009, two years before the indictment was issued. Since that time, a crucial target shift has taken place, passing from the suspicion of an official Syrian involvement to a Lebanese (Hezbollah) involvement in the assassination of Rafic Hariri.
As such, anti-Hezbollah formations in Lebanon had high hopes in the work of the ISF intelligence branch as it was fuelling, genuinely or not, the accusation party, despite the loss of control over the government. Whether these pieces of evidence were authentic or not was never really the primary concern of the 14 March coalition. Some opposition figures, like Samir Geagea, chose to entirely endorse the views of the prosecutor as to the involvement of Hezbollah suspects[3], even before the pre-trial Judge had set a trial date, whereas Hezbollah officials regularly rejected the telecommunications related evidence considering it fabricated.
This evidence war, that will contribute to determine the fate and outcome of the coming trial, has put Brigadier Wissam El Hassan at the centre of a vast intelligence (national, regional and international) confrontation, as he fell victim of irreconcilable conflicting interests where the battles behind the scenes never pause.
3. The 14 March window of opportunity to regain political ground
For the opposition group, the killing of Al Hassan has hence taken away a strong Lebanese ally in the investigation team that would have been keen on beefing up the accusation party against the four Hezbollah suspects, especially with the trial date (in abstentia) approaching and fixed to 25 March 2013. In the minds of 14 March figures, as the trial would advance against Hezbollah members, the popularity of the party of God would be shaken, and this during election year.

Until then, fearing another May 2008 violent showdown, 14 March leaders have decided to throw their internal wrath against Nagib Mikati. The prime minister now faces a tough spot as the attack happened on his watch while he is representing a pro-Syrian government, despite ingenious manoeuvring to escape impossible contradictions during his mandate through decisions that digressed from core 8 March interests. We can mention for instance the funding of the Lebanese share of the STL, the spearheading of aid towards the Syrian displaced usually considered as supporting the Free Syrian Army, or the freezing of the wage increase, an important component of 8 March agenda, as a gesture to the private sector. At the end of the line, Prime Minister Mikati offered his resignation that has been, curious constitutional outcome, “suspended”, as he is today threatened by experiencing the same political fate as Omar Karame whose political carrier crashed back in April 2005 in close circumstances.
Accumulating political and street pressure against the present prime minister is a convenient way for 14 March to be blaming a Sunni official for the death of another Sunni official, hence hitting on Hezbollah’s hold over the government in an indirect fashion without being accused of fuelling sectarianism, and eventually try and bring it down. This short-term battle represents, for opposition figures, a small window of opportunity to regain some political capital a few months before the 2013 elections, but at the cost of maintaining Lebanon in a state of tumult.
Beirut, 21 October 2012

[1] Saad Hariri interview to CNN, reported by The Daily Star, 20 October 2012, available athttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Oct-20/192109-hariri-tells-cnn-hasan-killed-over-samaha-case.ashx#ixzz29owAYqFW
[2] §3, p.3 of the indictment
[3] Press conference of Samir Geagea in Meerab on 27 August 2011, cf. Geagea : L’acte d’accusation est basé sur suffisamment de preuves, L’Orient-Le Jour, 28 August 2011.

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The council of Ministers has Approved during his session on October 10 2012, the amendment of article 15 of the Public Code of Contractuals , Nizam el Am lil Oujara2! 🙂

now, a woman contractual in the public sphere can benefit from a 60 day maternity leave instead of a 40 days maternity leave!!!!

Hourray!!! We are still waiting for the amendment of the Labor law articles 28-29 (maternity leave), and hoping to extend this maternity leave to at least 10 weeks   in Lebanon… for all female employees!!!

A great Step forward By the Council of Ministers!!!

Rita Chemaly

Take a break… I arrive Mum!!

for you the article as it appears in the decisions of the Council of ministers:

الموافقة على طلب الهيئة الوطنية لشؤون المرأة اللبنانية تعديل المادة 15 من المرسوم رقم 5883 تاريخ 3/10/1994 وتعديلاته (النظام العام للأجراء) بحيث تعطى الأجيرة الحامل , إجازة بأجر كامل , تدعى إجازة أمومة , مدتها /60/ يوما

 

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a very interesting intiative I am not sure they have a # for us to follow waht is being discussed and shared, but that will be help women from the region that were not able to attend, to participate in the discussions!

2 more days!

Partnership for Change: Empowering Women

Oct. 4-6, 2012

Pristina, Kosovo

 

The International Women’s Summit hosted by President of the Republic of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga, will address women’s economic development, political participation, and social status, and the inclusion of women in the security, business, and justice sectors. A diverse group of more than 200 public and private sector leaders from Kosovo, neighboring countries in southeastern Europe, as well as from wider Europe, North America, the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere, will convene for three days of discussions. Scheduled participants include Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State and NDI chairman, and Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

Source: http://www.ndi.org/node/19382

 

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Terms of Reference

Consultancy for the visioning exercise of the men’s forum and Steering Committee for the project

“Promoting Working with men and boys to end Violence against Women in the Middle East”

in Jordan, oPt and North Iraq

 

1. Programme background

 

The growing global debate on the role of men in promoting gender equality pursued Oxfam GB to explore this area, due to the tremendous work of the organization in promoting gender equality, in particular addressing the structural barriers to women’s development, in particular violence against women. Accordingly, since 2008 Oxfam started a regional programme with the aim of engaging men in ending violence against women. The key programme components included: 1) capacity building of women’s organizations that are engaged in ending VAW; either service providers for women’s survivors of violence or as actors in empowering women to speak up on violence; 2) research component that analysed masculinity; and 3) promoting the role of men as key actors in ending violence against women by establishing a men’s forum and launching White Ribbon Campaign.  At the pilot phase 2008-2011, the programme was implemented in Lebanon, and leveraged the learning, in particular the capacity building component to other countries in the region including Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Yemen. A men’s forum was established in Baalbeck, Lebanon conducting different awareness raising sessions at the community level. During the course of the pilot phase implementation, in order to promote the approach of working with men to end violence against women; Oxfam encouraged the partner in Lebanon engaged in the implementation to establish Steering Committee from various stakeholders. The final evaluation of the programme, informed the need for moving the Steering Committee mandate from being a project driven to encompass a group of stakeholders that are interested to work around the approach of working with men and boys to end violence against women.

 

Based on the success model of the pilot phase, in January 2011, Oxfam started the implementation of Phase II of the programme, in partnership with national CSOs in the region. Phase II is funded by the European Union (EU) for the period 2011-2013.  The overall project objective is to contribute to the efforts of civil society organizations in the Middle East in countering gender stereotypes to combat the root causes of Violence against Women with the specific objective of improvement in the attitudes and practices of men and government policies to end VAW in the Middle East, specifically in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Palestine. Major components of this project include the establishment of the men’s forum and the enhancement of the coordination and networking among organizations and relevant stakeholders through the formations of Steering Committee in each country where the programme is implemented.

 

In Lebanon, KAFA began to support community-based organisations to establish a men’s forum in Baalbek, a work that has been started in Lebanon during the pilot phase of the project of working with men and boys to EVAW back in 2009. During the first phase, Oxfam GB supported and funded activities at universities, among farmers, religious leaders and youth that focused on various interests of men in different groups, but also included violence against women.  It is expected that 50 enlightened men from the four targeted countries will form the men’s forums and will deliver their priority action plan for change. Based on the lessons learned working with men’s forum inBaalbeck, there is a necessity to conduct a vision building exercise with the members of new forums in order to: Define the purpose and the mandate of the forum, which will result in production of ToRs for the forum with clearly defined roles and responsibilities; Establish transparent and accountable governance system; and Development of by-laws for the forum

Simultaneously, and  in order to sustain the Steering Committee network, Oxfam believes that there is a need for a visioning exercise, similar to the one launched with the partner in Lebanon; among the Steering Committees formed in Jordan, Iraq and Palestine.

 

It is therefore, and based on the above, that Oxfam decided to recruit a consultant to support the men’s forum and the steering committees in Jordan, oPt and North Iraq to reflect on their major future role thru a visioning exercise.

 

 

2. Objective of the consultancy:

 

The overall objective of the consultancy is to explore the functions of the steering committees and the men’s forum in the three countries being established by partners and lead a process of a visioning exercise that would inform the mission and the entity of the men’s forum and steering committee in each country. This exercise will aim at sustaining the Steering Committees and the men’s forum Structures beyond the programme cycle.

 

 

3. Tasks to be performed:

 

● Review existing role of the men’s forum and the steering committee in Lebanon and its scope of work.

● Prepare the materials for the visioning exercise for the members of the men’s forum and the steering committee in Jordan, oPt and North Iraq including a clear understanding on the approach of working with men and boys.

● Conduct a two to three days visioning exercise in each of the targeted countries (Jordan, oPt and Iraq) including the development of the mandate of the men’s forum, their role, Action plan, criteria for joining the men’s forum, KPI,…

● Conduct a one day visioning exercise with the steering committee members in each of the targeted countries (Jordan, oPt and Iraq) including the development of the mandate of the steering committee, their role, …

● Provide an output report to Oxfam GB including a clear mandate of the men’s forum and the steering committees and clear recommendations.

 

4. Timeline:

 

 

The following table indicates approximate timings for the assessment to be completed.

 

Action

By   When

Who

Review   of men’s forum activities and scope of work in Lebanon 15 October 2012 Consultant
Preparation   for the visioning exercise 17 October 2012 Consultant
Review   the materials with Consultant 16 October 2012 Consultant,   Oxfam GB
Visioning   exercise with the men’s forum in Jordan 21-22-23 October 2012 Consultant
Visioning   exercise with the men’s forum in North Iraq 25-26-27 October 2012 Consultant
Visioning   exercise with the men’s forum in oPt 29-30-31 October 2012 Consultant
Report   submission to Oxfam GB with recommendations 10 November 2012 Consultant

 

 

5. Qualifications and required skills:

 

Oxfam is looking for consultants with strong presentation, analytical and facilitation skills to conduct the visioning exercise with the members of the men’s forum and the steering committee in each of the targeted countries (oPt, Jordan and North Iraq).  The consultants should have the following skills and competencies:

 

● Demonstrable experience of facilitation skills.

● Experience in conducting visioning exercise.

● Strong background and expertise in Gender and Violence against Women issues.

● Strong Analytical and writing skills.

● Computer literate.

● Committed to deadlines.

● Ability to write concise, readable and analytical reports.

● Experience working in the Middle East and knowledge of each targeted country context.

● Excellent writing and verbal communication skills in Arabic.

 

6. Remuneration:

 

The remuneration is commensurate with skills and competences of the selected applicant/s. Oxfam will pay a total fee of 9,500 USD  -11,000 USD for the overall assessment including all expenses (Travel, accommodation, transportation, consultancy fee, …) based on satisfactory completion of the job.

 

7. Applications

 

Applicants with the experience and skills described above are invited to submit the below:

1. CV including contactable three references.

2. A cover letter of no more than 2 pages introducing the consultant experience and how the skills and competencies described above are met, with concrete examples. Please also use this cover letter to indicate consultants’ availability at critical periods.

3. An outline of no more than 2 pages of the proposed process and key considerations.

4. A 1-page budget covering all major anticipated costs (Oxfam prefers to pay an agreed price for the totality of the work including the field trips to North Iraq)

5. One example of a previous similar task.

 

Applicants not conforming to this model may be rejected. Applicants should be emailed to rabisaad@oxfam.org.uk by October 10,2012.

 

8. Technical evaluation

 

The quality of each technical offer will be evaluated in accordance with the award criteria and the associated weighting as detailed in the evaluation grid below.

No Criteria Max Score
1 Methodology

– Marks will be awarded for clarity, credibility, innovation and “achievability”

40
2 Quality of personnel/consultant

– Assessed against the skills, competencies and experience specified

30
4 Commitment to availability in the critical periods. 10
5

 

 

Commercial

– Fees commensurate with skills/experience

– Quoted expenses reasonable/realistic to deliver outputs

– Terms and conditions

20
Total 100

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NGOs in Lebanon: Abusing Their Workers in the Name of Human Rights

“Ability to work under stress, alone or in a team, and the ability to multitask.” These are some of the conditions repeated in most job ads for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Lebanon. “Under stress” and “multitasking” might not seem like the kind of expressions that call for closer examination, yet they often tacitly spell worker exploitation.

With a fragile Lebanese economy, many qualified young people look for work in the fastest “growing” sector in Lebanon and that is the NGO sector. Most of these people are forced to accept adverse working conditions under the pretext of working for the public good and supporting important humanitarian causes! Labor rights are seen as nothing but a minute detail that distracts from fundamental goals like “poverty reduction,” “the empowerment of women,” “good governance,” “conflict resolution and the dialogue of civilizations” as well as other such concepts shoved down people’s throats by funders.

Organizations in Lebanon are not new, they were one of the foundations of sectarian pastoral institutions shortly before Lebanon’s independence and the withdrawal of foreign forces in 1946. They also flourished during the war to compensate for the breakdown of the state. But after 1990, and with the rise of structural economic policies globally accompanied by the gradual withdrawal of the welfare state, civil organizations proliferated dramatically. Funds from international donors started pouring in to address the social repercussions of structural changes that occurred in state institutions.The number of associations registered, according to the Law of Associations, reached 5,623 in 2007. If we exclude from this figure political parties, clubs, scouts and family ties in addition to fictitious or inactive associations then the number would range between 1,200 to 1,500 organizations, according to the 2010 civil society organizations directory.

Open Job Opportunities

Civil society organizations’ fields of activity have varied over the past few years and so have the approaches they take, ranging from charity to services and development. Funding increased and the donors multiplied. This created new job opportunities that are rarely found in the public and private sectors especially for medium-qualified and highly-qualified young people.

For example, the number of job vacancies on the website Lebanon Support (a civil society portal) sometimes reaches about 800 positions, according to the executive director Bassem Chit.

The civil organizations sector brought with it new kinds of professions that are not recognized in the public and private sectors, including human rights trainer, facilitator and advocacy officer. Some Lebanese universities have started to provide disciplines for these jobs to respond to market demand.

As with the private sector, this sector has witnessed a decline in labor earnings… though hidden in its “non-profit” cloak.

It is hard to count the number of employees in these organizations because only a small percentage of them have work contracts that are registered with social security. And even if they have contracts, they often work for short periods of time (depending on the length of the projects), and herein lies the problem. The civil society organizations sector is characterized by an absolute lack of job security and stability.

Chit said that while donors used to operate based on programs which lasted longer and needed a medium-term strategy, the current trend is to fund short-term projects and rely on contractors to cut labor cost.

Maya (not her real name) has ten years experience in civil society organizations, during which she moved between seven different organizations (the longest period she spent at one organization was a year and a half). Throughout those years she only received social security benefits for two years, therefore she was deprived of a large chunk of end of service indemnity. She admits that she has recurring anxiety about funding running out or the project ending. She remembers an incident that happened when she used to work for an organization concerned with women’s rights on a program addressing women’s economic rights, including social security. She says that she felt embarrassed working on this campaign: “How did we have the nerve to work for women’s social security at a time when the organization consisted mostly of women who lacked social security?”

Zeina (not her real name) has worked at many organizations since 2003. She believes that the basic offense lies in the manipulation of concepts and values which legitimizes many violations at work. She explains: “One can not ask for a raise or adhere to certain working hours or calculate overtime… because one’s work is divided between the job and volunteering.”

She says that at one of her jobs she was signing papers stating that her monthly salary was $900 while in reality she was receiving $700. When she complained about it the executive director justified it by saying that the association takes from employees’ salaries to pay for office expenses that were not taken into consideration by the funder in the budget.

Zeina’s case apparently is not unique. Based on the interviews we conducted, the problem is a common one in these organizations even if the excuses differ. Walid (not his real name), for example, has been working for a year at an association concerned with women’s rights. He says that part of his salary was deducted to pay social security contributions in full, including the employer’s contribution!

Zeina says that the problem she experienced most at work was the large number of tasks she was assigned that went beyond the scope of her “job,” under the pretext that part of the work is volunteer-based.

Farah remembers her first work experience in an organization concerned with refugee issues. When she asked her director about working hours, the director responded firmly: “There are no work hours here, we’re all volunteers.” Farah said she couldn’t stay for a long time in this organization as “employees” were on average putting in about 12 hours work a day in addition to working weekends, which was the normal trend. Of course there is no overtime pay because “the funder pays based on the tasks performed, not the hours of work,” says Maya.

The violations do not stop there, according to the editor of the Lebanese Observatory for the rights of Workers and Employees, Ahmad al-Dirani. He says that in addition to the problem of not having contracts and workers being deprived of social security and set work hours, most organizations do not have a mechanism for wage increases and most workers did not get the wage increase that was passed recently.Furthermore, under the pretext of being secular, some civil society organizations do not commit to all the official religious holidays and do not give vacations. In the last organization where Zeina worked, which was concerned with legal and human rights issues, she was allowed eight days of vacation annually instead of 15 – a clear violation of labor law.

Despite the human rights approach adopted by most civil society organizations, you find a lot of discriminatory practices between employees, whether in hiring or employment conditions. “We have the foreigner complex,” says Maya with a bitter smile. She says that during her work she came across many cases of discrimination between the “locals” and the foreigners. “With the same job description and indentical tasks and qualifications required, there was a $300 difference in wages between a French employee and myself, even though she did not know Arabic.”

Al-Dirani believes that the working conditions of civic association employees are still a lot worse, even though they enjoy job stability due to the flow of funds from religious and sectarian institutions.

Jinan is a nurse at a medical clinic that belongs to a religious organization. She has been working for five years for minimum wage, she has no work contract and does not receive social security benefits or health insurance and not even her yearly vacation.

Samia is in no better a situation. She’s been working for six years in an organization that belongs to a prominent political personality and there too “working hours depend on the work that needs to be done.” She indicates also that she does not have social security or private insurance.

Volunteering… or Cheap Labor?

Most of these violations take place under the guise of volunteering. The United Nations Volunteer Program defines volunteer work as “contributions that individuals make as non-profit, non-wage… action for the well-being of their neighbours, and society at large.”

If we step away from the idealism of this definition and we look at the dynamics of work and relationships between people inside organizations it becomes clear that volunteering has become in many cases synonymous with cheap labor.

The way money is dealt with in these NGOs is made evident in the examples that Walid cited about his work in this field. He saw how money is generously spent on hotels and taxis, so he did not have the audacity to convince target populations, most of them from poor and marginalized areas, to volunteer.

Who’s the Boss?

Labor relations in this field are no doubt ambiguous. The identity of the worker is lost between volunteering and working and the role of the employer is not clearly defined and is lost between the board of directors, the executive director and the funder.

If legally the employer is the administrative body then actual power is likely to lie in the hands of the executive director who is hired by an organization to be in charge of personnel management and to perform daily tasks. That is, the executive director is the decision-maker when it come to the terms and working conditions of the rest of the employees.

For Zeina, the executive director is the boss, meaning he is the person with whom she negotiates for her labor rights while “the role of the administrative body in this respect is often marginal.”

Walid points out that despite the direct daily relationship with his executive director, the funder bears a huge responsibility whether directly or indirectly in terms of determining working conditions.

Based on her experience in dealing with donors, Zeina stressed that in the best case scenario, some funders force management to sign model contracts (that include tasks, duration of contract and salary) but without determining the hours of work, social security, end of service indemnity and mechanisms for complaints.Maya is sure that most funders do not observe the working conditions at the organizations they deal with and even if they notice violations at work, they turn a blind eye.

It appears then that work relationships are three-pronged and consist of the employee, management and funder. The last party might seem absent but has a lot of influence. If exploitation of workers in the private sector involves reducing their share of added value for the benefit of increasing the corporation’s capital and the investors’ profits, exploitation in civil society organizations consists of reducing labor costs (wages and social security) to invest in projects and activities in order to compete with other organizations and attract more funding.

The ambiguity of labor relationships and the resulting “invisible” exploitation are not the only obstacles to organizing this sector and defending the rights of its workers. The problem also lies in the workers’ way of thinking and the logic of their work that relies on dialogue to “resolve conflicts” and the “we all benefit and no one loses” mentality regardless of who has the authority and the capital.

The question therefore remains, are employees of NGOs who are used to legalizing conflict and diluting it able to engage in a battle to defend their labor rights?

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

an Article by CAROLE KERBAJ

Source: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/ngos-lebanon-abusing-their-workers-name-human-rights

 

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Lebanese Mothers: Missing Their Babies

Lebanon currently has one of the shortest maternity leave periods in the world, offering only 49 days off work for new mothers. (Photo: Marwan Bu Haidar)

By: Chloe Benoist

Published Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A draft law addressing maternity leave is set to be presented in the upcoming fall Parliamentary session, aiming to lengthen time off work for new mothers. However, mothers, doctors and activists are saying it’s still not enough.

Lebanon currently has one of the shortest maternity leave periods in the world, offering only 49 days off work for new mothers. This embarrassing record is beaten only by Bahrain and the UAE, who both allow 45 days of recuperation after childbirth. A current draft law to increase the maternity leave to ten weeks is set to be presented in front of the Parliament in the upcoming months. However, it still falls short of the minimum 14 weeks recommended by the International Labor Organization.

The proposal, presented by MPs Gilberte Zwein of the Free Patriotic Movement and Michel Moussa of the Amal Movement Parliamentary Bloc, has already been approved by the Women and Children Committee, the Public Health, Labor and Social Affairs Committee and the Justice and Administration Commission. The proposal was also given the green light by Prime Minister Najib Mikati in April. For Moussa, the draft law represents “an acceptable step forward for both mothers and employers.”

But what might seem an acceptable compromise for politicians is far from sufficient for those directly affected by the law. For Jinane Khashouf, a 31-year-old human resources consultant and creator of a blog entitled Lebanese Working Moms, it was a struggle to conciliate work with the responsibility of caring for a newborn.

 

 

Khashouf said she was “lucky” that her now five-year old daughter was born in the summer while she was working as a teacher, hence giving her two and a half months off. However, she only had the seven-week long maternity leave after the birth of her son two years ago.

“It was not enough,” she said. “You want to go back to your daily life, but you are not ready: you are still breastfeeding, the baby is awake most of the time, but the show must go on.” Khashouf added that if it hadn’t been for her mother being able to take care of her youngest child while she was in the office, she would simply have chosen not to have a second child.

The pressure of balancing a career with motherhood is heightened by the fear of many women that they will be replaced at work, and this despite the existing law which prohibits the firing or women who are pregnant or on maternity leaves. “The law might say many things, but it is not always respected,” Khashouf said, noting that she knows of several women who were unlawfully dismissed from their jobs during or right after their pregnancy.

While hailing the draft proposal as progress, obstetrician Souha Nasreddine emphasized the need to aim higher, citing the negative health concerns a short maternity leave might entail.

“Having time off work to care for your newborn is not a benefit, it’s a need,” she stressed. She recommended a minimum of three months off, while noting that it is highly preferable for mothers to breastfeed until the age of six months. Unfortunately, working hours and a persistent taboo concerning breast pumps at work has meant that many mothers have had to stop breastfeeding their children much earlier than they would have liked.

 

 

According to Nasreddine, forcing mothers to get back to work so quickly also has a psychological effect on the newborn child. “The bonding during the first six months of a baby’s life is important for personality building,” she said, estimating that children separated too early from their mothers have a tendency to be more agitated, anxious and insecure.

The slow pace of reform also has some activists worried that Lebanon will continue to lag behind on international rights standards for decades. The former president of the League for Lebanese Women’s Rights, Linda Matar, recalled the last time the maternity leave law was updated twelve years ago, when private sector employees were granted nine extra days, finally on par with their public sector counterparts’ 49 days off. “It made no sense,” Matar said, referring to the old status quo. “Childbirth is the same, regardless of your place of employment.”

Additionally, while employers could previously legally fire women before their fifth month of pregnancy, women have been fully protected from termination of employment during the entire duration of their pregnancy and subsequent time off since 2000 – at least, according to the law.

Although they recognize the limitations of the current draft law, those who contributed to it highlighted the fact that this proposal represents the best possible outcome of negotiations between the feminist movement and economic actors. Rita Chemaly, a blogger and activist who also works at the National Commission for Lebanese Women, noted that while the commission initially hoped for a 12-week maternity leave, there was resistance from employers against extending the leave so dramatically.

 

 

However, Chemaly said she was hopeful. “I feel pretty confident that this law will pass,” she said. “This is not a polarizing subject. It transcends communitarianism and will benefit all women.” The fact that the proposal has already been approved by three parliamentary commissions strengthened her belief.

While Moussa shared Chemaly’s optimism about the proposal’s potential to pass, he did have a word of caution. “There is a chance that the current political tensions could negatively affect the outcome of the vote,” he noted. “We will have to see how the discussions go.”

For Matar, the relegation of this law to the backburner wouldn’t be anything new. She has been advocating for around sixty years trying to improve conditions for women in the country, and said that time and time again, progress is stifled by political paralysis.

“We are always told ‘now is not the time,’ whether we are at peace or at war,” she said. “Well, if not now, when? Women’s issues are always forgotten because they are not supported by the government.”

But more importantly than legal change, many agreed that Lebanon needs a drastic change in mentality regarding its perception of working mothers. For many women, being a stay-at-home mom is no longer an option the way it was a generation or two ago.

 

 

“Many women work because they have to work – otherwise they would simply switch to part-time jobs,” Khashouf said. “Quitting your job also means losing a huge part of your identity. We need to find options that work for everyone.”

Zeina Ibrahim, an office manager, agreed. “Working mothers have a lot of pressure in our society,” she said. “There is that expectation that you should give up your job, and that you are a bad mother if you don’t.”

Ibrahim changed jobs after giving birth to her son because of the long hours at her previous place of work, which made it impossible for her to be there for her child. Yet, she never considered giving up working altogether, knowing it would be very hard to find work again.

Another factor often cited as making life more difficult for working mothers is the lack of involvement of fathers in day-to-day childcare. For Chemaly, a paternity leave would be a great step for families to bond, “but there must be a change of mentality. People need to stop thinking it is a shame for a man to change a diaper before we can even think of passing a law.”

Nasreddine summarized the imperative to keep aiming higher and not relegate mothers’ rights as “simply” a women’s issue: “Working mothers need real support, and it’s not only for them, it’s for the whole society. Everybody needs to remember that they are not doing this simply for their own benefit; they are raising the country’s next generation.”

soruce: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/lebanese-mothers-missing-their-babies

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Dear Readers,

Kindly find below the latest issue of the Middle East & North Africa Gender and Development e-Brief (No 123)

Best regards,  CRTD.A / IRIS

The Middle East &North Africa  “Gender and Development E-Brief”  Issue #123 August 2012

NEWS & ARTICLES

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GENDER ACTIVISM
Tunisians protest to demand legal protection of women’s rights

Lebanese protest against anal exams on suspected gays

Lebanese advocates ABAAD partner with men for gender equality

United Arab Emirates – First Women’s Museum

Libya – Women Win 33 Seats in National Assembly Elections

GENDER BASED VIOLENCE

Women Refugees Flee Conflict & Gender-Based Violence in Syria

Devil in the detail: abortion drug [misoprostol] banned in Turkey

Iran Obstructs Women’s Access to Education, Moves Closer to Segregating University Classes and Bars Women’s Entry to Certain Majors

And … Aggressive Enforcement by Morality Police as for the Women’s Dress Code in Iran

on the same issue you can read the previous article on how to wear a hijad in Palestine ( veil)

Women in Gaza: how life has changed

Several arrested as sexual harassment surges in Cairo

GENDER & HUMAN RIGHTS

Egypt’s Mursi appoints Christian man and two women for his cabinet

Women-Only Industrial Cities in Saudi Arabia

Women in Prison – Drama-Social & Personal Issues in Lebanon

Woman Triumphs over Disability – Inspiring Video

Women’s Land Rights – International Land Coalition 
 

RESOURCES & CALLS
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ANNOUNCEMENTS
Women’s Right to Nationality Campaign Newsletter, Issue Zero 

UN Women congratulates the government and people of Tunisia

Development Index for Countries -Gender Equality Indicator?

CALLS

Call for Papers – Mapping FeministMovements, Moments,Mobilisations – 2013 Conference – Feminist & Women’s Studies Association, UK & Ireland (FWSA) 

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