Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias



KABUL, Apr 7 2015 (IPS) - Women human rights defenders in Afghanistan face mounting violence but are being abandoned by their own government – and the international community is doing far too little to ease their plight – despite the significant gains they have fought to achieve, says Amnesty International in a new report released Apr. 7.

The report titled ‘Their Lives On The Line’ documents how champions for the rights of women and girls, including doctors, teachers, lawyers, police and journalists as well as activists, have been targeted not just by the Taliban but by warlords and government officials as well.

Rights defenders have suffered car bombings, grenade attacks on homes, killing of family members and targeted assassinations. Many continue their work despite suffering multiple attacks, in the full knowledge that no action will be taken against the perpetrators.

“Women human rights defenders from all walks of life have fought bravely for some significant gains over the past 14 years – many have even paid with their lives. It’s outrageous that Afghan authorities are leaving them to fend for themselves, with their situation more dangerous than ever,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, in Kabul to launch the report.




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Based on extensive field research in Colombia, our new article Beyond Sexual Violence in Transitional Justice: Political Insecurity as a Gendered Harm examines political insecurity as a specifically gendered harm that must be addressed in the ongoing Colombian transitional justice process.

In a previous blogpost we described the tragic plight of the women’s rights activist and survivor of sexual violence Angélica Bello. Bello was one of the main proponents of Law 18 June 2014, which sets out to guarantee access to justice for victims of sexual violence. The Law is part of the transitional justice process and seeks to bring Colombian law into harmony with international law regarding sexual violence in the context of the armed conflict. It defines crimes of sexual violence as war crimes and crimes against humanity, and sets out criteria for investigating sexual crimes and protecting survivors analogous to those of the ICC. As the peace negotiations in Havana between the government and the FARC guerrilla continue to make slow but steady progress, the sexual violence agenda increasingly captures the field of harms to women in war.

While recognizing the importance of this law, we nevertheless suggest that it is a problem for the ongoing transitional justice process that there are so few articulations of what other kinds of gendered harms may look like and how they should be effectively addressed. Much of the growing literature on gender in armed conflict and the debates over post-conflict reparations for women focuses on the prevalence and harms of sexual violence. This development has engendered controversial debates concerning the alleged prioritization of sexual violence at the expense of other harms to women, whether this debate sexualizes and infantilizes women, as well as with respect to forms of victimization not captured by feminist frames of reference, such as male rape (This is often framed as a debate between the Halley and MacKinnon schools of thought). In her work on reparations, Ruth Rubio-Marin takes issue with what she sees as an excessive emphasis on sexual violence in transitional justice, embodying both a suggestion that sexual harm is the worst abuse that can happen to women and the entrenchment of a patriarchal ideal of female chastity. Rubio-Marin (2012) argues that the ‘hyper-attention’ to sex now risks doing further harm to women by deviating attention from other non-sexual forms of sex-specific harms, and isolating sexual and gender based violence from broader agendas that confront the multiple gendered forms of harm and injustice.

What are these other gender specific harms? What should transitional justice focus on beyond sexual violence? How can we think of gendered harms in relation to poverty alleviation or of resource redistribution?


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A surge of children and teens over the past couple years have come across the borders fleeing violence and oppression in their home countries. Up to 80 percent of women and girls are sexually assaulted during that journey, and many are fleeing sexual violence at home.

When unaccompanied migrant children are caught, the government is solely responsible for their care until they can be reunited with relatives in the United States, or until a court decides whether they qualify for asylum. Since juveniles are detained without the freedom to leave during this time, the government is also responsible for all of their necessary medical care, including family planning.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement hires contractors, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), to house and care for these young people. The USCCB receives millions of dollars in government contracts for this purpose.

But the USCCB objected to the administration’s proposed regulations, scheduled to take effect in June, requiring contractors to provide emergency contraception and abortion care for immigrant youth who have been raped.


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Estas pacientes eran distintas.

“(A las defensoras) ya no les asusta el miedo, son valientes, arriesgadas, muchas veces se olvidaron de sí mismas. Hay defensoras de mucho tiempo que no sienten el dolor, su cuerpo está acostumbrado a vivirse con estrés, a decir ‘yo siempre he sido así, no sé por que me duele la espalda’ hasta que dejan de caminar. Dejan que el dolor les abarque su cuerpo y tienen mucho problema de espalda, cuello, cadera, insomnio, dolor, cansancio, porque cargan mas de lo que pueden. Una vitamina del médico no les hace nada”, dictamina.

En su amplia y antigua casa de rancho habilitada para dar terapias tradicionales, “las Lulús”, como les llaman a las hermanas, reciben a pacientes que llegan torcidos quejándose porque durmieron mal o los agarró un mal aire, a quienes requieren una limpia o cargan un problema. También atienden ‘los casos de Yesica’, como le dicen a las enviadas por la abogada Yesica Sánchez Maya, co-directora de Consorcio, una de las organizaciones involucradas en un llamativo proyecto: cuidar de las mujeres que cuidan de otros, cuidar a las defensoras.

A Lourdes le gusta recibir a las mujeres que entran en esa categoría. Con ellas usa sus técnicas tradicionales e intenta distintos métodos porque cada situación es especial. Se emociona, por ejemplo, de la familia de la defensora guatemalteca que salió más fortalecida después de las varias terapias que ayudaron a que los hijos y el marido expresaran el miedo que cargan por las brutales amenazas de muerte que ella recibe. Menciona también la plática que tuvo con una abogada para que incorporara rezos, rituales, flores y meditación a su vida cotidiana porque si se está en contacto con violencia extrema la fuerza propia es insuficiente......


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Annotation: This abridged version of the report, “Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States” is intended for professionals in the healthcare sector.
Abstract: In identifying and treating victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, healthcare professionals are in a unique position to identify them in the course of preventing and treating their injuries, illness, and disease; however, despite the potential opportunities for intervention on behalf of these victims of sexual exploitation, healthcare professionals often overlook or fail to identify these youth.
This guide is intended to raise awareness of these opportunities so that healthcare professionals will be better prepared to perform their important role in preventing, recognizing, and responding to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of youth in their care. Following an introduction, the guide provides definitions of relevant terms, a set of guiding principles, a summary of what is known about the prevalence of the problem, and an overview of risk factors and consequences associated with sexual exploitation.
The guide’s second major section identifies and discusses barriers to healthcare professionals’ identification of victims and survivors of these crimes; promising ways to overcome these barriers are also addressed. Barriers include practitioners’ lack of awareness and understanding of the prevalence and symptoms of such victimization, victims’ reluctance to share their victimization experiences with healthcare professionals, and a lack of protocols for treating and referring these victims to appropriate authorities.
Another major section of the guide presents models of care for healthcare professionals in serving these victims and descriptions of specialized providers of services to these victims. The guide’s concluding section recommends comprehensive strategies for countering the sexual exploitation of minors.

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This report presents an overview of the changes that have occurred in tribal courts under the Tribal Law & Order Act of 2010 (TLOA), which amends the Indian Civil Rights Act to allow felony sentencing for certain crimes through the provisions of enhanced sentencing authority, the establishment of new minimum standards for protecting defendants’ rights in the tribal court system, and encouragement for federally recognized Indian tribes to consider the use of alternatives to incarceration.



Because the law is so new and so few tribes have begun implementing it, there are few resources and/or tools available to guide tribes in implementing enhanced sentencing in their courts. In order to meet this need, this report features a checklist based upon the experiences of tribes that have led the way in implementing the TLOA. The checklist includes two general preparatory activities.

First, determine the existing competencies/capabilities of the tribe to implement enhanced sentencing under the TLOA. Second, determine whether there will be increased costs to the tribal justice system. Two sections of the checklist pertain to the responsibilities of the judicial officer and defense counsel who meet TLOA qualifications. Other sections of the checklist address inmate incarceration for enhanced sentences, ensuring that the tribe’s laws are publicly available, and code revisions. Suggestions are also offered for obtaining funding to support changes under the TLOA.


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Violence committed “in the name of religion”, that is, on the basis of or arrogated to religious tenets of the perpetrator, can lead to massive violations of human rights, including freedom of religion or belief.

In the present report, the Special Rapporteur first provides a typological description of various forms of violence carried out in the name of religion. He subsequently explores root causes and relevant factors that underlie such violence. The main message is that violence in the name of religion should not be misperceived as a “natural” outbreak of collective acts of aggression that supposedly reflect sectarian hostilities existing since time immemorial. Rather, it typically originates from contemporary factors and actors, including political circumstances.

The Special Rapporteur also recommends concerted actions by all relevant stakeholders, including States, religious communities, interreligious dialogue initiatives, civil society organizations and media representatives, in order to contain and eventually eliminate the scourge of violence committed in the name of religion.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt


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Las mujeres latinoamericanas, al frente del cambio social

BUENOS AIRES / SAO PAULO // Es muy probable que Zoila no se llame a sí misma feminista. Su lucha es por el río Magdalena: ese donde, en la región colombiana del Huila, la filial de Enel Endesa pretende hacer una represa que, según los lugareños, acabará con su sustento: la agricultura, la pesca y la minería artesanal. En el pequeño municipio de La Jagua, el principal afectado por las obras y los desplazamientos forzados, y por ello epicentro de la resistencia contra la multinacional, Zoila se ha convertido en un referente. Su casa, donde Zoila vive con sus cuatro hijos, su marido y su padre, es un punto de encuentro para los vecinos implicados en la resistencia. Y de puertas para adentro de la casa, también han cambiado las cosas: “Ahora me ayudan más en casa”, afirma ella.

El de Zoila no es un caso aislado. A lo largo y ancho de América Latina, las mujeres están liderando procesos de resistencia contra el modelo extractivista, esto es, los grandes proyectos de minería, centrales hidroeléctricas, monocultivos destinados a la exportación y otros negocios que proyectan grandes transnacionales y contribuyen al acaparamiento de tierras en la región y al despojo de comunidades rurales e indígenas que no sólo pierden sus tierras; también su identidad, su cultura, sus lazos comunitarios. Y su salud y la de sus hijos: lo vieron claro las Madres de Ituzaingó Anexo – un barrio de la Córdoba argentina-, que llevan años batallando para frenar el avance del monocultivo de soja, desde que se dieron cuenta de que el empleo de agrotóxicos como el glifosato estaba provocando el aumento de cánceres y nacimientos con malformaciones.



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Is the international community abandoning the fight against impunity?

The Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice recently participated in a debate hosted by the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) on whether the international community is abandoning the fight against impunity. The debate brought together leading experts and figures in the field of international criminal law, transitional justice, and human rights including Fatou Bensouda (Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court), Betty Murungi (Former Commissioner of Kenya’s Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission), David Tolbert(ICTJ President) and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights), to discuss and critically debate the status of impunity. The following is the contribution from the Women’s Initiatives’ contribution to this timely debate:

As an advocate for gender justice in conflict situations under investigation by the ICC, we, together with our more than 6,000 grassroots partners, associates and members, have seen a growing momentum in the international community, including government actors, civil society and international organisations, towards tackling impunity for SGBV crimes.


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I wanted to alert our readers to the Margot Wallstrom Affair –because, most likely, most of our readers have not heard about it.  This is unfortunate because, as a journalist for The Spectator noted, “[i]f the cries of ‘Je suis Charlie’ were sincere, the western world would be convulsed with worry and anger about the Wallstrom affair.”  The Affair pits women’s right against politically interested support for the Saudi Arabian regime, by most of the western world, despite the fact that the Saudi regime has been notorious for its violations of human (and women’s) rights.  The extremely scant western media coverage of the Wallstrom Affair signals, at the very best, a lack of interest for the protection of human (and women’s) rights.

Several weeks ago, Margot Wallstrom, the Swedish foreign minister, criticized Saudi Arabia for its subjugation of women (women in Saudi Arabia, as many know, are not allowed to travel, conduct official business or marry without the permission of a male guardian; moreover, Saudi girls can be forced into child marriages), as well as for its decision to punish blogger and human rights activist, Raif Badawi, by sentencing him to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes.  According to Wallstrom, these were “medieval methods” and “a cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression.”  Thus, Wallstrom stated that she thought it would be unethical for Sweden to continue its military co-operation with Saudi Arabia (Sweden is the world’s 12th largest arms exporter, and its exports to Saudi Arabia total $1.3 billion; Wallstrom’s comments  may have been immensely disliked by Swedish arms manufacturers and exporters, whose ability to make money would be undermined if Wallstrom’s comments were taken seriously by the remainder of the Swedish government). Wallstrom’s criticism of Saudi Arabia, perhaps too blunt for a diplomat, was nonetheless truthful.  Saudi Arabia, a strategic partner of many western democratic nations, including the United States, has an abysmal human rights record and restricts women from enjoying many basic rights that their male counterparts have access to.  Yet, the backlash against Wallstrom has been swift and severe.


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A new report from the International Organization for Migration and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine documents the staggering effect of human trafficking on victims’ physical and mental health. The report, the largest study of its kind, compiled data from 1,100 interviews with trafficking victims in Southeast Asia. Nearly half of the interviewees were subjected to physical or sexual abuse while they were trafficked, including extreme forms of violence such as burning, rape and strangulation. Women and girls trafficked for marriage, factory work or domestic work suffered the most severe mental health problems. Trafficked brides experienced the “worst violence.” Most trafficking victims lived and worked in hazardous and brutal conditions.

One of the study's lead authors, Dr. Ligia Kiss, said, “[o]ur findings highlight that survivors of trafficking urgently need access to health care to address a range of needs, and that mental health care should be an essential component of this." 

The full report is available from The Lancet Global Health.

Compiled from: First comprehensive study of trafficked men, women and children reveals severity of abuse and complex health issuesLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine News (February 18, 2015); Whiting, Alex, From fishing to sex work, trafficked people badly abused, major study findsThomson Reuters Foundation (February 18, 2015).New Report: Landmark Survey Reveals Devastating Physical and Mental Consequences of Human Trafficking



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In too many countries around the world, abortion is criminalized, stigmatized, or otherwise restricted. Although pregnancy termination is one of the most common experiences people have across the globe, reproductive rights are often ignored by local health, community, or legal systems. In response, women have advanced incredibly innovative strategies for challenging the system and meeting their own needs. This women’s history month, it’s time we honor the contributions of the international “sheroes” who have been leaders on spreading information about the use of pills tosafely terminate a pregnancy.

The use of misoprostol—a pill available over-the-counter in many countries—as a safe, low-cost, and easy-to-use method to terminate early pregnancies is a shining example, to me, of women “doing it for themselves,” as the Eurthymics once put it. Self-use of misoprostol for abortion began in the 1980s, when women in Brazil living under criminal abortion laws realized they could take advantage of the contraindications of an otherwise readily available drug. The label on Cytotec (the brand name for misoprostol), a medication sold over-the-counter to treat gastric ulcers, included a warning that it might induce abortion in pregnant women. Recognizing that this could serve their needs when faced with an unwanted pregnancy, women began to pass on this knowledge through word of mouth, person-to-person. In later years, they used new technologies—such as hotlines, mobile phone texting, and the Internet—to continue to spread the information. Effectively organizing informal networks, they thus enabled more and more women with the knowledge of how tosafely end unintended pregnancies on their own terms.


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​New ICC President Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (Argentina) ©ICC-CPI

Something happened last week that almost seems to have slipped by unnoticed: the International Criminal Court (ICC) has become the first international court entirely headed up by women. On Tuesday March 11, just days after International Women’s Day, the judges of the ICC elected from among their midst the court’s first female President, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi from Argentina. Not only that, but she is joined by two women in the rest of the presidency; is Judge Joyce Aluoch from Kenya has been elected First Vice President, and Judge Kuniko Ozaki from Japan has been elected Second Vice President. And since 2012 Fatou Bensouda, from the Gambia, has held the office of Chief Prosecutor, meaning that now all the leading positions of the court are held by women.

Women have presided over international courts before; Gabrielle Kirk McDonald was the first woman to preside over an international criminal tribunal at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), Navi Pillay presided over the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and Dame Rosalyn Higgins presided over the International Court of Justice from 2006 to 2009. However there have never been this many women in the top positions of an international court. At one point the ICTY had women presiding (Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald), as Chief Prosecutor (Louise Arbour) and as Registrar (Dorothee de Sampayo Garrido-Nijgh), however it has always had a vast majority of men on the benches.


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Cherry Smiley, is project manager, violence prevention and safety, at the Native Women’s Association of Canada and member of the Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution

As a country, and as a result of the work of many aboriginal residential school survivors, family members, and advocates, we have come far in recognizing the inherent harm that the Indian Residential Schools have caused. We recognize that the purposes of the institutions themselves were violating, and the processes by which they attempted to achieve their aims resulted in systemic sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, loss of language, culture and identity, and sometimes death. We recognize that these horrific consequences continue to have an impact on lives today, and have left a particularly devastating legacy for aboriginal women and girls.

On Dec. 6, 2014, Canada’s new prostitution legislation came into effect. Prostitution survivors, aboriginal women’s groups, anti-violence workers, and equality rights advocates and scholars celebrated the decision to criminalize johns, pimps, and third-party advertising for sexual services, and to decriminalize prostituted women in most circumstances. We welcomed the investments in support and exiting services, although much more is still needed. While not quite yet the “Nordic Model” of prostitution policy, we are beginning to move in the direction of equality for all women by working to abolish prostitution.



Canada’s new prostitution law: Separating fact from fiction (Bill C-36)


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Two decades after the Fourth World Conference on Women, women and girls around the world deserve better than this year’s CSW outcomes. At this time of celebration and affirmation of Beijing and commitment to accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, what women don’t need is an outcome weakened by its lack of engagement with women on the ground and lacking in vision and commitment.

By Naureen Shameem

It’s been twenty years since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, a flashpoint moment for women’s rights activists around the world. Women’s rights are human rights: this oft-repeated phrase still holds power for many belonging to the generation after Beijing. It represents a moment of claiming and an affirmation that women’s rights, lived experience and human dignity are central and equal rather than marginal.

Yet on this twentieth anniversary and celebration of the Conference (Beijing +20), state missions came together to draft a Political Declaration weeks before nearly 9000 activists stepped away from their daily lives to attend the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women(CSW59). There will be no outcome document at the end of CSW59, and women’s rights and feminist groups have been shut out of negotiations.  As a result, the final version of the Declaration adopted last Monday is weak and general, and does not go far enough towards the kind of transformative change necessary to truly achieve the promises made in Beijing two decades ago on the indivisibility of human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The Commission also brought forward a resolution intended to review and enhance its methods of work this year, but again, civil society voices were largely excluded from the Working Methods process. 

An ahistorical Declaration



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Trabajadoras confeccionan ropa deportiva de una marca estadounidense en una maquila de la Zona Franca de San Bartolo, en el municipio de Ilopango, en el este de El Salvador. En la planta trabajan 350 personas por cada turno de ocho horas, 80 por ciento mujeres, que ganan el salario mínimo. Crédito: Edgar Romero/IPS

SAN SALVADOR, 19 mar 2015 (IPS) - Compañías textiles que confeccionan ropa para marcas transnacionales en El Salvador son acusadas de aliarse con pandilleros para amenazar de muerte a los trabajadores y romper sus sindicatos, según denuncias de personal afectado recabadas por IPS y por agrupaciones internacionales.

Trabajadoras que pidieron reserva de sus identidades señalaron que desde 2012 se intensificaron las amenazas en el sector, aprovechándose del clima de violencia que impera en este país centroamericano.

“Me llamaban por teléfono, y me decían que me saliera del sindicato, que dejara de andar de revoltosa”, dijo a IPS una empleada en la empresa LD El Salvador, ubicada en la Zona Franca San Marcos, un complejo de fábricas al sur de esta capital.

“Me llamaban por teléfono, y me decían que me saliera del sindicato, que dejara de andar de revoltosa… Me dijeron que eran homeboys (pandilleros) y que si no me salía iba aparecer colgada de uno de los árboles que están afuera de la empresa”: trabajadora en empresa LD El Salvador.


Ella trabaja como operaria de máquinas de coser desde 2004 y está afiliada al Sindicato de la Industria Textil Salvadoreña (SITS). Unas 780 personas laboran en la compañía, de capital coreano, que produce prendas de vestir para las firmas Náutica y Walmart.


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State legislators across the country are pushing to make it much harder for the public to obtain police officer body camera videos, undermining their promise as a tool people can use to hold law enforcement accountable.

Lawmakers in at least 16 states have introduced bills to exempt video recordings of police encounters with citizens from state public records laws, or to limit what can be made public. Their stated motive: preserving the privacy of people being videotaped, and saving considerable time and money that would need to be spent on public information requests as the technology quickly becomes widely used.

Advocates for open government and civil rights are alarmed.


SEE ALSO: Use of Police Body Cameras in Cases of Violence Against Women and Children

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Marie Ashe  , 

Suffolk University Law School,  Anissa Helie CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice


Religio-legalism – the enforcement of religious law by specifically-religious courts that are tolerated or endorsed by civil government – has long operated against women’s interests in liberty and equality. In the 21st century, religious tribunals – Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim – operate throughout the world. Almost all are male-dominated, patriarchal, and sex-discriminatory. Harms to women produced by Muslim or sharia courts have come into focus in recent years, but present realities of religio-legalism operating through Christian and Jewish – as well as Muslim – religious courts in Western nations have been under-examined. This essay documents controversies concerning sharia-courts that have arisen in Canada and in the United Kingdom during the past decade and also looks at concurrent developments relating to sharia and to other-than-Muslim religious courts in the US.

Religious courts – Christian, Jewish, and Muslim – have in common that they assert original or exclusive jurisdiction over certain matters. In calls for “official recognition” of sharia courts, proponents have advanced a religious-equality argument, claiming that denial of that status to Muslim tribunals would violate the governmental obligation to avoid discrimination among religions. At the same time, sharia-related controversy has raised sharply the question about the implications for women’s liberty and equality rights that are produced by governmental accommodations of the religious-equality and religious-liberty interests asserted by all religious entities enjoying governmental recognition. 

While recognizing the legitimacy and weight of the complaint against inequitable treatment of religions, we argue here that whenever governmental action to “resolve” sharia-related conflict adopts the avoidance of discrimination among religions as its single goal and therefore expands its “official recognition” to include additional religious courts, it will have the effect of enlarging religions’ power and at the same time exacerbating harms to women. 

Referencing feminist writings that have documented the global spread of religious fundamentalisms from the 1990s to the present and that have exposed capitulations of liberalism to those fundamentalisms, we call for reconceptualization of the law-religion-women nexus. We urge recognition that governmental goals of equitable treatment of religions and protection of women’s rights will together be served not by expansions of governmental engagements with religion, but by retrenchment from religio-legalism. Thus, we urge, in policy and in law, clear prioritization of the protection of women’s rights and concurrent retreat from the formal recognition of all religious courts and of civil-law enforcement of the orders of any such bodie


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This music video captures a day in the real life of Maryann Aguirre, a fierce woman of color from the Eastside of Los Angeles. The video follows her as she faces the daily challenges of work, single motherhood, & the pressure of being a leader in her community. However, she faces those obstacles with hope, patience & dignity.

The REMIX was a special collaboration with YUKICITO, member of Los Angeles DJ Crew, LA JUNTA SOUND SYSTEM. 

Shot & Edited by Elefante
Directed & Produced by Las Cafeteras
Remixed by Yukicito of La Junta Sound System
Original Song “Mujer Soy” by Las Cafeteras



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2015 Releases


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 Feminism Inshallah: A History Of Arab Feminism
A film by Feriel Ben Mahmoud 
The struggle for Muslim women’s emancipation is often portrayed stereotypically as a showdown between Western and Islamic values, but Arab feminism has existed for more than a century. This groundbreaking documentary recounts Arab feminism’s largely unknown story, from its taboo-shattering birth in Egypt by feminist pioneers up through viral Internet campaigns by today’s tech-savvy young activists during the Arab Spring. Moving from Tunisia to Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, filmmaker and author Feriel Ben Mahmoud tracks the progress of Arab women in their long march to assert their full rights and achieve empowerment. Featuring previously unreleased archival footage and exclusive multigenerational interviews, FEMINISM INSHALLAH is an indispensable resource for Women’s Studies, Global Feminism, Middle East and Islamic Studies.More.

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It Was Rape 
A film by Jennifer Baumgardner
U.S. sexual assault statistics are startling—and have remained unchanged for decades. The latest White House Council on Women and Girls report reveals that nearly one in five women experiences rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. Among college student victims, who have some of the highest rates of sexual assault, just 12 percent report incidents to law enforcement officials. In earlier studies, 15% of sexual assault victims were younger than 13; 93% of juvenile victims knew their attacker.  More.




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The burial of a woman who was brutally killed in Kabul for allegedly burning a copy of the Koran, saw Afghan women break with tradition on Sunday and help to carry the 27-year-old’s coffin to its final resting place.

The woman, now named as Farkhunda, was beaten to death by a mob in Kabul last week following accusations she had burned a copy of the Koran. The mob of men threw her body off a roof after beating her, ran over it with a car, set it on fire and then threw it into a river next to a well-known mosque in their brutal attack.


SEE ALSO: The lynching a woman in broad daylight in present-day Kabul



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