Sarah El Deeb’s article discusses the opposition that a UN Women’s document has received from the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt. The group has opposed this document because of clauses within it that they consider incompatible with the tenants of Islam. Actual details of the document have yet to be released pending negotiations. Officials are remaining optimistic that the document will pas, but there is speculation that Egypt will seek the choice to opt out of sections of the document before passing it. Libya has also publicly rejected the document. Egypt has called for an amendment to the document before they would approve it. Issues lie in the differences in interpretations of ideologies of Islamic law. The rise in Fundamentalist groups as a result of protests and political upheavals in the region has led to more traditional interpretations as well as an increase in violence against women. Women activists have responded on both sides, some agreeing with the document and others with those who have challenged it. Issues between differences in interpretations have created contention amongst Politicians and activist who have called for stronger protection and enforcement of rights for women. Shannon
This article from the BBC details a the Malaysian Women’s Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s response to a camp that claims to “un-gay” young Muslim boys. She maintains that characterizing these supposedly effeminate teenage boys as gay or transsexual, and then attempting to “correct” their behavior will be detrimental to their mental and emotional health.
Though this is the first time I’ve heard about any Muslim attempts at “curing” perceived homosexuality, it is definitely not the first of its kind, as we have such camps and programs here in the United States, and unfortunately they also exist in Europe (and I’m sure the rest of the world as well).
This fascinating little article addresses a new study published by the Guttmacher Institute on contraceptive use amongst religious women. The Guttmacher study found that there is little to no difference among contraceptive practices between religious and non-religious women. The article suggests that the results from this study will have implications in United States health care policy, but do you think that this new data will have any repercussions within our government, especially with regard to our healthcare and insurance? Though I find the results of the Guttmacher study fascinating, I remain skeptical when it comes to actual positive governmental or social change for women’s sexual and overall physical/mental well-being.
Aljazeera has created a special series about maternal health in the world. The website has videos with detailed stories about maternal health issues around the world. It has detailed facts about the social problem. The social facts state that maternal morality is the greatest health disparity in the world. 99% of maternal morality happens in the developing world. Pregnancy is the biggest killer of women age 15 to 19 in the developing world. Girls under 15 years old are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their twenties. A girl in Chad has the same percentage chance of dying in childbirth as they do of going to secondary school.
With the transition from extended families to nuclear families, elderly women have lost their support from their children. Money, contraception, and education has changed the institution of the family. Elderly women are showing up are orphanages that were traditionally for children. Now, the orphanages are becoming packed with elderly women without family members to help them. The government has not done anything to correct the social problems that are been created from the transition of the extended family to the nuclear family. Private donations have been keeping the orphanages operating. The elderly women constantly talk about the change in values of the culture that has lead to them having to live in the orphanages.
This is a must read. We’ve been reading a lot about the Gender inequalities taking place around the world. This piece touches on this struggle by taking us a step deeper into the conflict; steps toward resolution. Women and men are taking to the streets all over the world to promote awareness. My only criticism is to break out of the tendency to limit awareness to such important issues to a particular month. Gender inequality happens everyday and everywhere in the world, let’s not diminish the issue by ignoring the problem 11 months out of the year.
Read more on NPR
Girls who desire to finish their schooling usually have to live far away from their villages and families in cheap huts called ghettos. The ghettos are buildings without electricity, water, and security for the girls living in them. This has made the girls a prime target for men who want to rape them. It is believed that the 20% drop out rates of girls between 13 and 17 years old is mainly caused by pregnancies from being raped. Usually the ghettos are too far from authorities to stop men from raping the girls, and when girls scream for help no one comes to help them. The girls in the ghettos live in fear that makes it hard for them to sleep and study for their classes. Aid Organizations are working to build dormitories, but there is an understanding that the culture needs to be changed in order to protect women from rape. In one case two men were caught for raping girls in the ghetto, but they were never convicted.