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Issues and Analysis

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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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Notorious U.S. Hate Site Gets Kenyan Look-Alike

A Kenyan Web site exposing pro-choice and LGBT activists to intimidation tactics claims to be homegrown. But it has the hallmarks of a notorious U.S. site for anti-choice extremists and is registered in Georgia.

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Mary Glasspool, First Openly Gay Female Bishop, Ordained By Episcopal Church

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Seven years after the Episcopal Church caused an uproar by consecrating its first openly gay bishop, it has done the same thing again – only this time with a woman.

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Young Feminist Wire: Young Feminist Activism Online

FRIDAY FILE: AWID's Young Feminist Activism Program recently launched the Young Feminist Wire an online community for and about young feminists around the globe.

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The April 2010 attack on women at Hassi Messaoud in south Algeria: What really happened?

FRIDAY FILE: In April 2010, criminal attacks took place for several weeks against the women of Hassi Messaoud, mostly migrants workers in the economic industries and structures. These attacks led to international protest and an intervention by the United Nations Special Rapporteurs.

In order to understand what truly happened and why, AWID interviewed Dalila Iamarene Djerbal, a member of Réseau Wassila, a group of associations and professionals that have been combating violence against women and children for ten years in Algeria. Réseau Wassila is very active on this story and participates in the support committee for women of Hassi Messaoud.

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