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Issues and Analysis

Council holds debate with new Independent Expert on cultural rights

The new Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights, Ms Farida Shaheed, presented her first report to the Human Rights Council on Monday 31 May 2010.


Nobel Women 's Initiative Condemns Gaza Flotilla Attack

The Nobel Women's Initiative on Monday issued a statement, denouncing the Israeli military attacks on the Free Gaza flotilla in international waters in the morning hours of May 31.


A Nascent Movement: Sex Worker Organising in East Africa

FRIDAY FILE: An interview with Zawadi Nyong’o, an independent feminist social justice consultant, who has done research on sex worker organising in East Africa, and is the author of When I Dare to Be Powerful, a book that tells the herstories of women engaged in sex work.


Global Fund Condemns Israeli Attack on Freedom Flotilla

The Global Fund for Women strongly condemns the Israeli army’s violent raid on the Freedom Flotilla carrying peace activists and civilians from around the world who were hoping to deliver desperately needed aid to the people of Gaza


Let an Arab woman lead way at UN

The UN is creating a unified body to promote gender equality – and who better to lead it than an inspirational Arab woman? An Op-Ed by Hibaaq Osman.


Muslim Conservatives Blocking New Family Law

BAMAKO, May 19, 2010 (IPS) - A new family law has raised tension in Mali. This controversial law, intended to give greater freedoms and rights to women, has been sent back to the National Assembly for a second reading after protests from Muslim radicals.


Women's rights gain in Saudi Arabia

After years of stymied efforts, the reform focus in Saudi Arabia is centering on women’s rights. A recent survey by the Researchers Center for Women’s Studies in Riyadh examining Saudi newspapers and websites showed that from mid-January to mid-February 2010 some 40 percent of articles in print media and 58 percent of articles on websites treated women’s issues. Empowering women has become a priority for local activists and various initiatives are springing up to secure their basic rights. The most recent and ambitious of these efforts is a national campaign, driven by local actors, calling for women’s participation in municipal elections scheduled for autumn 2011.


Does Religion Instigate Or Hinder Women’s Political Participation?

A review of history shows that "God" has been a dominant factor in whether or not women participate in politics. Separation of church and state is a myth in many countries in the world, and, in the minds and hearts of many, an undesirable goal. In some places, devotion and faith catalyze women to take up a cause, political or otherwise. In other places, the "powers that be" invoke interpretations of holy books to prohibit women's political participation - and relegate women to their homes and household duties. So, does religion ultimately instigate or hinder women's political participation?


Around the world The III Brazilian Human Rights Program: a last chapter?

On May 13th, 2010, President Lula finally signed a new decree altering the text of III National Program for Human Rights (PNDH3), in response to the voices that have contested original contents considered by them to be controversial: decriminalization of abortion, the prohibition of religious symbols display in public buildings, social accountability of media, procedures regarding the mediation of agrarian conflicts and also the revision of human rights violations during the military dictatorship in Brazil.


Rights Group Condemns Secret Executions

NEW YORK, May 14, 2010 (IPS) - Iran's nuclear ambitions and the bloody disturbances following its elections last year have so dominated media reporting on the country that many equally critical issues have been virtually forgotten.



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