The recent and dramatic changes in Tunisia since the Jasmine Revolution have brought new challenges for its citizens and for its women in particular. Tunisian women, long considered the most liberated in the Arab-Muslim world, are now seeing a growing conservative mind-set spreading across the country. The more frequent appearance of women wearing headscarves and men sporting beards in public, if only an outward symbol of Islam, is unusual behavior in the traditionally secular, post-independent Tunisia. This more conservative phenomenon, although not the primary driver of the recent revolution, has secured a legitimate place in Tunisian society since January 2011. Many Tunisian feminists and NGOs fear that this legitimacy will eventually threaten women's active participation in public and private life, legally guaranteed through the 1956 Code of Personal Status (CPS). In this paper, we examine pre- and post-revolutionary Tunisia to understand the importance and influence of the rising tide of conservatism and its potential impact on women's rights. Two principle questions frame this study: (1) what factors have prompted the re-emergence of the more religiously based conservatism in secular Tunisia in recent years? and (2) will the new Tunisia safeguard the CPS through its transitional period and thereafter? The authors use an interdisciplinary approach in their study, integrating Tunisia's unique past – grounded in historical, political, and socio-economic events and conditions – with the interviews of 33 citizens prior to January 2011, and then evaluate the post-revolutionary events in light of the former. The analyses reveal that before January 2011, the more conservative behaviour was linked to the present-day challenges and global developments, and not necessarily to a deep-rooted Islamic practice and/or religiosity. Since the revolution, however, the legitimate acknowledgement of certain Islamic practices and movements, previously banned over a period of 50 years, has created an audible voice in the public arena which, in turn, has created a renewed and heightened concern about the possible deterioration of women's rights.
This presentation does not reflect a formal position of the World Council of Churches. It does not have any ambitions to be a scientific contribution to the discussion of the expert group. Instead, my paper is basically a reflection of my own experience of working for thirty-five years in the intersection of faith and politics, both out of Sweden and in the global arena.
It is a scandal that violence against women is still an everyday reality in the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and girls all over the world. The scandal is aggravated by the fact that, more often than not, victims are accused of bringing the violence upon themselves – for being disobedient wives or for dressing in a provocative way, or for any number of reasons, all of which aim at pushing the responsibility from the perpetrator to the victim.
The magnitude of the on-going violence against women, in homes, in public spaces, and in wars and conflicts, is well-known and carefully documented. Scientific studies and testimonies from abused women have been presented over the years at conferences, in reports, in media, and in courts of law. No one can say: We did not know.
The political turmoil that has swept Yemen since early 2011 has overshadowed the plight of child brides such as Reem, as thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule, and security forces responded with excessive and deadly force. But, while the focus of attention both inside and outside of Yemen is understandably the political future of the country, following President Saleh’s agreement in November to cede power before elections in February, child marriages and other discrimination against women and girls in Yemen continue unabated. And while the president’s resignation topped the list of most protestors’ demand, many young demonstrators especially are calling for a wide range of reforms, including measures to guarantee equality between women and men, and an end to child marriage.
What is the meaning of Shari’a law? How can we understand its implementation in different contexts, given the diversity in the practice of Islam in Africa and around the globe? What are the elements of Shari’a that are particularly relevant to the position of women and gender relations in the African nation(s) under consideration?
The Nineteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Peace, Interdependence and Development), held in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, from 9-14 Muharram 1411H (31 July to 5 August 1990),
Having examined the Report of the Meeting of the Committee of Legal Experts held in Tehran from 26 to 28 December, 1989; Agrees to issue the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam that will serve as a general guidance for Member States in the Field of human rights.