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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) 

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_123.pdf    ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ 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, DevelopmentGateway: 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, TheDaily 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  ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ   The MENA Gender And Development E-Brief is published by CRTD.A.   To get all previous GAD e-brief issues please log on to: http://crtda.org.lb/newsletter/82   For more informationabout CRTD.A please visit: http://crtda.org.lb   You are receiving this newsletter because you are a member of CRTD.A / IRIS.   Please direct any comments to rchemaly@crtda.org.lb   If you choose to unsubscribe please send a blank e-mailfrom the e-mail in which you receive the e-Brief from, with the heading unsubscribe to   unsubscribe@crtda.org.lb   If you wish to subscribe please send a blank e-mail, with subscribe as a heading to subscribee_brief@crtda.org.lb   All the available links were accessible during the preparation process   Please accept our apologies if your subscribe / unsubscribe needs are not being met to your satisfaction, as errors will inevitably occur   Opinions and views expressed in this GAD E-Brief relate to their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect those of CRTD.A   Information presented in this GAD E-Brief is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate credit is requested. While CRTD.A makes every effort to provide accurate and complete information, various data such as contacts, weblinks, dates, etc. may change.   CRTD.A provides no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the data and information harvested from other public sources.   Some ofthe information in this GAD E-Brief may contain references to information created and maintained by other organizations. Please note that CRTD.A does not control and cannot guarantee the timeliness, or accuracy of these outsidematerials.   ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ

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IN THE patriarchal societies of the Arab world, quite a few women are getting noticed for flouting conventional gender norms. There’s Saudi Arabia’s Manal al-Sharif, who lost her job and came under great pressure for driving a car and putting a video of it on YouTube; Sheikha Mayassa Al Thani, a powerful art patron in Qatar; and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, a globe-trotting minister of foreign trade for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). And later this year the region will see its first museum dedicated to the accomplishments of women.

The Women’s Museum of the United Arab Emirates is the creation of Rafia Obaid Ghubash, an academic, psychiatrist and former president of the Arabian Gulf University, who campaigns for women’s education. Her aim is to educate visitors—locals, expats and tourists—that Emirati women have enjoyed more power and influence than is recognised. She also wants to re-connect the fast-moving modern Emirates with its history and tradition. The three-storey museum is determinedly contemporary: traditional jewellery hangs suspended in minimalist cases; material wraps a stylised mannequin; worn housework tools are displayed alongside artwork by modern female Emirati artists.

Dr Ghubash declined a free site in Bastakya (an official Dubai heritage district), preferring to buy one in Deira, Dubai’s old nexus of souks. She sold off some commercial property she owned to finance the museum herself, at a cost of around $4m, and plans to seek sponsors for its projects and exhibitions. She explains that her mother taught her that womanhood need not equal subservience. Speaking in the museum to the sounds of saws and final touches, her iPhone headphones threading through her fingers like worry beads, Dr Ghubash recalls her mother telling her: “You have to learn that your rights are born with you. Don’t think the government or a man or your husband will give you a right. It’s inside you, just practise it.”

This belief emanates from the art and artefacts on permanent display, from photographs to literature, mosaics, paintings and objects. They tell the stories of Sheikhas operating as peacemakers and dynastic linchpins, women who became pioneers in education and business, and also poets (“When you say Shakespeare, we would say Ousha Bint Khalifa”, says Dr Ghubash). Emirati women today are much better off, she adds, because many of them are now able to go to school and work, which enables financial independence. Dr Ghubash sees these changes as the legacy of Sheikh Zayeed of Abu Dhabi, who was president of the UAE from its foundation in 1971 to his death in 2004.

For Dr Ghubash the appreciation of history and tradition in rapidly developed societies like the UAE isn’t just good cross-generational manners, but mentally healthy. “Those who keep their tradition in dealing with modernity will be healthier than those who take out their tradition,” she explains. “Globalisation is an umbrella to use in part of your life but not all of your life.” When talking of Dubai’s near-famine years during the second world war and the six months of every year the men spent away pearl fishing, she asks, “Who was running society? Just recently you can see us but we were behind the door all the time.”

She accepts that there is a dual attitude to Arab women. “Part of the tradition is kind to women. But part is very negative. Those who are not educated just utilise the negative part.” Now female UAE graduates outnumber males two to one. Dr Ghubash wants to reach those young women, and help them appreciate the achievements of earlier female generations. “They are educated, they become powerful, you see them everywhere but there is something missing.” She also wants to close the distance between non-Arabs and locals. “Foreigners are the majority here. They know nothing about our society. You live with us and you don’t know us.”

Dr Ghubash hopes locals will feel a sense of pride, and visitors will have a richer understanding of the Emirates as a place where women have played important roles in politics, business and education. The message of the museum, she says, is that “everything from your past is important to you.”

 

source: the Economist July 30 2012 http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2012/07/museums-middle-east

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Un article de Elham Manea, politologue Yemenite a l’institut des sciences politiques de l’universite de Zurich, dans lequel elle retrace les changements survenus dans les relations tribales au Yemen.

 

Un  article qui a été publie dans le Daily Star Libanais le 6 avril 2012

rita chemaly

Tribalism in Yemen has changed deeply

February’s presidential election in Yemen by no means marks the end of the country’s troubles. However, the suggestion that the United States host a new arrangement based on decentralized negotiation between tribal and regional leaders is not the way to solve them.

Such a call ignores lessons from Yemen’s past and underestimates the deep changes that have taken place in Yemeni society over the last decades. Although the tribal system continues to operate as the prevalent mode of social organization, it is crucial to recognize that the nature of tribal networks and institutions has changed drastically.

Historically, tribal networks compensated for the state’s lack of capacity. The tribe assumed the role of protector and provider: securing tribal territory, protecting water wells, and resolving conflicts between its members or with other tribes. In many ways, the tribe was the institution of first resort for financial backing and social support in times of crisis. It is perhaps very telling that Aden – where the nuclear family has displaced the tribe as the main social unit – is more affected by poverty than regions that have preserved tribalism, such as Shabwah, Mahra and Al-Dali.

Tribal sheikhs were also once accountable to their constituents: They were elected and could be voted out. Thus, a sheikh was often regarded as a first among equals, rather than an absolute ruler. Custom (Irf) governed the mediation of conflict within or outside the tribe and could not be violated without loss of honor – a distinct disgrace – and threat of severe penalty.

However, the calculated politics of patronage applied by the former Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, changed the nature of the relationship between tribal leaders and their constituencies. Saleh and the sheikhs had a number of incentives to engage in a new relationship. From the regime’s perspective, offering assistance to warring or otherwise weakened tribes undercut potentially strong alliances against it, and by incorporating tribal forms of arbitration, the regime also depleted tribal resources that could be used in opposition to the state. On the other side of the bargain, this patronage system afforded sheikhs freedom from accountability to their constituencies.

By successfully co-opting these leaders and rendering them dependent on Sanaa for privileges and largesse, Saleh’s patronage system eroded tribal codes and norms – ultimately leading to a leadership vacuum. Many sheikhs today are dramatically wealthier than their fellow tribesmen – and thus no longer dependent on their constituencies. More tribesmen are alienated from their leaders – who often take up residence in Sanaa and are only just beginning to abuse their power.

The most famous example is the case of the Jaashin area in Ibb, where the sheikh there evicted dozens of families in 2009 after they refused to pay “taxes” – they instead insisted on paying the municipalities directly. Additionally, there are reports of “private” prisons run by sheikhs who use them to intimidate and terrorize their own tribesmen – enough to cause Yemen’s Human Rights Minister Huriyya Mashhour to pledge to shut them down.

Saleh understood this reality belatedly. He mistakenly thought that securing the allegiance of sheikhs would ensure their tribes’ loyalties. But as was revealed in the uprisings that led to his removal from office, many tribe members did not follow the orders of their “leaders.” In this context, it is difficult to imagine how the United States would host a new arrangement based on decentralized negotiation with leaders who can no longer deliver.

Perhaps we should look to the Sultanate of Oman as a source of inspiration – particularly to its strategy used to integrate the region’s tribes and end the Dhofar Rebellion in the 1970s. Oman managed to overcome Dhofar’s isolation by connecting it to Muscat while simultaneously instilling a sense of national identity in its population through three major initiatives.

First, the government pardoned all the Dhofari fighters who were willing to switch sides: Those who accepted amnesty were retrained and incorporated into the armed forces. As a result, hundreds of Dhofari rebels deserted and joined Sultan Qaboos’ “Firqat” Irregulars. These squads ranged in size from 30 to 100 men, the majority of which were defected rebels and local tribesmen trained to operate as a paramilitary force.

Not only did this strategy help secure the support of the tribes from which members of the Firqat were drawn, but it also built up the squads as provisional regional governments, which may have helped rebuild trust in the central government. At the very least, this was a clear departure from previous policies of dispatching regular forces composed mostly of Pakistani soldiers.

The tribal factor was also especially important in Oman’s efforts to create an administrative network in the region and to ensure the allegiance of both tribal leaders and local people. Like the rest of the country at the time, Dhofar lacked a basic civil service. Starting in 1974, the new sultan set up several ministries to run Dhofar’s public affairs. And although the heads of these ministries lived in Muscat, local branches were set up for each, and their representatives were usually elected – rather than appointed – tribal leaders.

By addressing the economic and social demands and grievances of the population of Dhofar, the state aimed to undermine the very basis of the rebels’ cause. Between 1971 and 1975 the Omani government used generous funding from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to allocate 25 percent of the nation’s development budget to Dhofar alone and provide for the construction of local roads, airports, schools, clinics, and power stations. While promising to make the province economically self-sufficient by 1980, the overarching objective of the program was, however, to instill “pride in the community and a spirit of nation-building.” These efforts both appeased the Dhofari population and strengthened the connection between the center and the periphery.

All of this would not have been possible had the state been absent from the equation. The state is very much key to any attempt to solve Yemen’s problems, and hitherto has been hampered by weakness and corruption stemming from the rule of a single clan – one more interested in filling its coffers than addressing the needs of its population. But for this, we should not blame the state: Blame instead the leaders – and get to work.

Elham Manea is an associate professor at Zurich University’s Institute of Political Science. She specializes in Yemeni affairs and is the author of “Regional Politics in the Gulf” and “The Arab State and Women’s Rights: The Trap of Authoritarian Governance.” This commentary first appeared at Sada, an online journal published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Commentary/2012/Apr-06/169391-tribalism-in-yemen-has-changed-deeply.ashx#ixzz1sYwdmhu1

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