09. März 2014, von Administrator
On International Women’s Day, the 8th of March, Zhyan group, a Suleymaniah based network of Women Right’s organizations WADI is a founding member of, organized a couple of protests and demonstrations.
They first gathered in Said Sadeek, a town south of Suleymaniah, to commemorate two girls, who recently became victims of a so called honor killing. Thousands of women in Iraqi Kurdistan were killed during the last decade, Zyhan criticized, while the Government does not investigate properly. Although the Kurdish Parliament issued a progressive law against all forms of domestic violence in 2011 police and prosecutors do fail to implement it. Therefore Zyan blamed the government of being responsible for the killings. In January they submitted a list of demands to the government on how so called honor killings and other forms of violence against women should be combated, but till now not even got a reply.
In the afternoon Zhyan called for a protest march in Suleymaniah. Hundreds of demonstrators joined while members of various organizations and MPs gave speeches.
08. März 2014, von aus dem Netz
More than 500,000 girls under the age of 17 were married in the past 11 years in Turkey, according to Family and Social Policies Ministry data, which does not include unofficial marriages. In the past 11 years, 504,957 girls between the ages of 16 and 17 got married in Turkey according to the official marriage data.
08. März 2014, von aus dem Netz
Sogol Ayrom (*1970) ist eine iranisch-österreichische Aktivistin, die für Frauen- und Menschenrechte im Iran kämpft. Im Interview mit progress-online erklärt sie, wieso das iranische Regime frauenfeindlich ist, unter welchen Restriktionen die IranerInnen leiden müssen und warum sie trotz allem Hoffnung hat.
progress online: Wann und warum hast du begonnen gegen das iranische Regime zu kämpfen?
SOGOL AYROM: Ich habe im Alter von 14 Jahren entschieden, dass ich nicht mehr im Iran leben möchte. Der Grund dafür war, dass ich in diesem Alter wegen meiner unzureichenden Kopfbedeckung verhaftet und eingesperrt wurde. Später wurde ich vor einem Gericht zu 60 Peitschenhieben verurteilt, die durch einen Mann vollzogen wurden. Ob mich das eingeschüchtert hat? Nein, ganz im Gegenteil. Ich weigerte mich, mich zu unterwerfen und begann kritisch über den Islam im Allgemeinen und über die Frauenunterdrückung im Iran nachzudenken. Und ich habe mich in kleineren Gesellschaften, in der Familie und in der Schule ausgetauscht.
In diesem Alter habe ich begonnen, mich aktiv gegen dieses Regime zu positionieren. Allerdings gab es schon damals eine enorme Repression gegen Andersdenkende. Deshalb sagte ich zu mir selbst: ‚Ich will hier nicht weiterleben. Ich kann hier nicht leben. Ich möchte nicht, dass meine Töchter in diesem System aufwachsen müssen.’ Glücklicherweise hatte ich Bekannte in Frankreich, zu denen ich mittels eines Studentenvisums flüchten konnte. Mein Vater musste eine hohe Kaution für mich hinterlegen und bekam selbst ein Ausreiseverbot, um mich zu einer Rückkehr zu verpflichten. Diese Bürgschaft führte dazu, dass er niemals den Iran verlassen konnte und daher auch dort verstarb.
Das ganze Interview lesen
05. März 2014, von aus dem Netz
A Lebanese judge made a historic ruling for the under-fire Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender (LGBT) community in the country when he acquitted an unidentified transgender woman accused of having sexual relations with men.
“People living with a disorder regarding their sexual identity, even if they stray away from the rules and the familiar, will remain part of nature which they have come from,” Judge Naji al-Dahdah of the Jdeideh Court said in a January 28 ruling published earlier in March in Al-Moufakkira al-Qanouniya NGO’s monthly magazine.
In his ruling, Dahdah added that “doing something out of the ordinary does not mean that it is an abnormality. And nature is not defined by the behavior of its majority.”
04. März 2014, von aus dem Netz
The gender researcher Rayeheh Mozafarian has tackled the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iran in a new scientific study. Sie demands an open discussion about the problem to stop the practice.
Rayeyeh Mozafarian who is working at the University of Schiraz conducted interviews about FGM in several Iranian provinces between 2007 and 2009. Yet, only recently was she permitted to publish her study after waiting for five years. According to her research 70 percent of female circumcisions are taking place in the provinces Kurdistan, West Aserbaidschan, Kermanshah, Ilam, Lorestan and Hormozgan. The practice can be found among both Shia and Sunni Muslims.
03. März 2014, von Administrator
With support from the US consulate in Erbil, WADI implemented a three-months project to support the implementation of law No. 8 which outlaws violence against women in the Kurdish Region of Iraq.
During the project two publications and a special calendar were produced which aimed at introducing the law to the public. In the first publication the text of the law against domestic violence was printed with 4000 copies in the three languages Kurdish, Arabic & English. The second publication is a guide for Stopping FGM with 3000 copies printed. And the last one is 2000 copies of a calendar designed and carved by the famous Kurdish artist Rostam Aghala. These publications were distributed in the 12 seminars and many other events in the Kurdish region.
In a second step of the project 12 meetings were held in different regions of KRG focusing on the three areas Halabja, Ranya and Garmyan. The aim of these meetings was to make the domestic violence law known and to spread awareness among people. In discussions people shared their thoughts about the law and how they will deal with it. In total 388 people participated in the meeting, 326 women and 62 men.
In the region of Garmyan region, the Director of the department for domestic violence Ms. Lameea and the local NGO-network NBO could be won to participate in organizing four seminars.
This project got huge media interest and during the project six satellite channels, four radios and two newspapers covered the activities.
See more pictures
01. März 2014, von aus dem Netz
Syria was once a destination country for refugees. Now, it is fast becoming the world’s biggest source of them. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres offered a stark reminder at a recent U.N. gathering.
“Five years ago, Syria was the world’s second-largest refugee-hosting country,” Guterres said. “Syrians are now about to replace Afghans as the biggest refugee population worldwide.”
That’s saying something, since Afghanistan has been in conflict for more than four decades. Guterres says if current trends continue, there could be 4 million Syrian refugees by the end of this year.
27. Februar 2014, von aus dem Netz
A report issued by the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS) , based in London warned on Thursday from the bankruptcy of Iraq in three years because of the budget deficit, which now threatens the Iraqi oil sector clearly , as the report indicated that the military operations in Anbar cost per day seven million dollars.
According to the report , the deficit exceeded $ 50 billion , Iraq would be at risk of bankruptcy in 2017 . Iraq will be unable to pay the salaries of its employees . It seems that the indicators of bankruptcy is looming , especially that the Iraqi government pays the salaries of its employees , including the salaries of the staff of Kurdistan Region in monthly form, which has allocated 4.5 billion dollars for February and did not send the salaries of next March , because the available amount is not enough but for one-third of the staff of Iraq .
23. Februar 2014, von aus dem Netz
About a month after Kurdish groups in Syria declared self rule, the provisional government has appointed ministers, established courts and set a date for elections.
But many of Syria’s Kurds remain skeptical about the venture, concerned that the government does not represent them.
“I think the government is more of a political stance than an actual power,” says Nohat Bahlawi, a doctor living and working in the city of Qamishli in Syria’s Kurdish regions, or Rojava.
He says the declaration was flawed from the start because it was not inclusive.
14. Februar 2014, von aus dem Netz
At least three students were wounded Friday in a clash at a university in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, following a dispute over Valentine’s Day celebrations in the deeply Muslim country, police said.
Students from the left-leaning Pakhtun Students Federation were marking the international day of romance with red balloons and cake when they were attacked by students from the rival Islami Jamiat Tulba (IJT) group.
The IJT, the student wing of Pakistan’s hardline Jamaat-e-Islami party, had been celebrating “Haya (“Modesty”) Day” in response to Valentine’s Day which they oppose as un-Islamic. (…)
Valentine’s Day is increasingly popular among younger Pakistanis, many of whom have taken up the custom of giving cards, chocolates and gifts to their sweethearts to celebrate the occasion.
13. Februar 2014, von aus dem Netz
The Local Coordination Committees report 164 people were killed across Syria on Wednesday, including 11 women and 36 children.
Of the deaths, 88 were in Aleppo Province, 33 in Daraa Province, and 23 in Damascus and its suburbs.
11. Februar 2014, von aus dem Netz
The Syrian people are starving. According to the United Nations, about 800,000 civilians are currently under siege. In areas around the cities of Homs, Aleppo and Deir Ezzor and in parts of the capital, Damascus, no food, medical supplies or humanitarian aid can get in, and people can’t get out. Many have already died under these “starvation sieges” and hundreds of thousands teeter on the brink, subsisting on grass and weeds. In Damascus, a cleric has ruled that under these conditions, Muslims are permitted to eat normally forbidden animals like cats, dogs and donkeys.
This is not a famine. Food is abundant just a few miles away from these besieged areas. Military forces — mainly the army of President Bashar al-Assad, but in some cases extremist anti-Assad militias — are preventing food and medicine from reaching trapped civilians. In addition to starving, many people in besieged areas have been stricken by diseases, including polio, but can’t get medical treatment because doctors can’t get through.
This moral obscenity demands action by the international community. Any armed group that prevents humanitarian access — whether the Syrian regime’s forces or rebel militias — should be subject to coercive measures.
08. Februar 2014, von Administrator
Prevailing political and intellectual theories have it that democratic regimes are based on certain cultural, societal, and ethical foundations. Still, the political regime in Kurdistan can be described as a “tunneled” democracy, as it lacks the three most important pillars of any democratic regime: an independent judiciary, professional police and army, and independent and professional media. Some in Kurdistan – and political elites are content with leaving it at that – believe that the available freedoms, the possibility of holding parliamentary and municipal (and, implicitly, “presidential”) elections, and the formation of a government where power is shared among parties is a convincing-enough form of democracy. Others adhere to the outdated notion that a change in political roles is essential to the establishment of a democratic regime.
08. Februar 2014, von Administrator
A must read from Mohammad Hussein about the controversy, if Iraqi-Kurdistan should transform into a parliamentary system:
I know it is not easy to build a democratic government just through an appropriate constitution, but the right constitution could be a useful tool for preventing despotic rule. A presidential system could work if there are strong, active political parties, free and independent media, NGOs and active civil societies, but unfortunately these are non-existent in Kurdistan. Kurdistan’s society is really vulnerable to the danger of a strong president due to already “rising authoritarianism, absence of financial transparency and increasingly evident gap between the haves and the have-nots in Kurdish society,” as described by Denise Natali, a specialist in Iraq, regional energy issues and the Kurdish problem (Al-Monitor) (…)
Back to the risks of a presidential system, another factor is the structure of Kurdistan’s political parties. In Kurdistan, all political parties, except the Gorran movement to some extent, are based on a Stalinist model of “centralist democracy,” which means a hierarchy of power from the president to the local committees inside the parties. The structure is not based on a democratic tradition of campaigning and competitions, dialog and real political participation. On the contrary, the parties are just channels to produce charismatic leaders who always expect people’s blind-following. The leaders have proved that they won’t be able to create any hope for building real democracy as much as they are skillful to prompt civil war, stealing from the public budget, and polarizing the societies about some tribal interest and identities.
With this political tradition, it is clear how a strong president could threaten Kurdistan’s hopes for democratic governance. I know it is too naive to think that a parliamentary-elected president could guarantee a democratic government, but parliamentary accountability would make the president’s evolution towards direct dictatorship more difficult.
07. Februar 2014, von Administrator
On February 6th, the eleventh international Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, a number of media outlets have picked up on the topic of Female Genital Mutilation in Asia. Many non-governmental und international organizations tackling FGM, including the World Health Organization, still don’t mention the existence of FGM in many Asian countries. Breaking the silence is a first step to saving millions of girls in these countries from being mutilated. WADI and Hivos stressed this in their press declaration on this year’s February 6th. Therefore, we are happy that many journalists have now brought out this message. In several cases Stop FGM Middle East and WADI were able to provide information.
Al Jazeera Turkey
came to Wadi’s office in Suleymania in North Iraq and spoke with victims of FGM. The film also describes the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan and the successful campaign against FGM.
De Vokskrant, the largest newspaper of the Netherlands also reported on the work of Wadi in Iraqi Kurdistan on February sixth. On February 7th, they ran a long story on FGM in Indonesia, underlining the importance to stop ignoring the brutal tradition in Asia.
Y-Magazin, an Omani English language culture and lifestyle magazine, ran a large feature article on FGM in Oman quoting the activist Habiba al Hinai, presenting her study and mentioning Stop FGM Middle East mission in Oman.
The Iraqi Kurdish channel KNN interviewed Wadi’s women project coordinator Souaad Abdelrahman in Suleymania. And the Kirkuk Torture Center published a declaration condemning FGM.
05. Februar 2014, von Administrator
Aus einem Interview in Huch mit Thomas v. der Osten-Sacken über die syrische Flüchtlingstragödie:
Erstaunlich ist, wie lange Europa eigentlich überhaupt nicht auf die syrische Flüchtlingskrise reagiert hat. Ich erkläre mir das daraus, dass die syrischen Flüchtlinge zum großen Teil aus sehr armen Bevölkerungsschichten kommen. Der syrische Konflikt ist ja vielschichtig, aber er hat eigentlich begonnen in den kleineren Städten und vor allem auch bei der ärmeren Bevölkerung. Die besteht
in Syrien hauptsächlich aus Sunniten, während die Eliten Christen und Alawiten sind. Nun können Leute die arm sind wenig Geld für Schlepper bezahlen. Eine sichere Passage aus dem Osten nach Europa mit einem Schlepper kostet durchschnittlich zwischen 4000 und 5000 Dollar pro Person. Das konnten die meisten Syrer nicht aufbringen. Für lange Zeit hat das deshalb die Europäer gar nicht gejuckt, weil man wusste: Die Syrer kommen einfach nicht weiter, sondern bleiben in den regionalen Flüchtlingslagern hängen.
Der Hintergrund, dass man jetzt in Europa aufwacht in Bezug auf die syrische Flüchtlingskrise, ist ein doppelter: Bis August hatten sehr viele geflüchtete Syrer gehofft, dass Assad gestürzt wird und sie danach in ihr Land zurückgehen können. Mit dem sogenannten Chemiewaffendeal zwischen den USA und Russland war klar, der Westen hat keinerlei Interesse Assad zu stürzen und ab dem Moment hat sich der Blick der Syrer nach Europa gerichtet, weil sie für Syrien keine Hoffnung mehr haben. Die Fluchtroute für die meisten geht jetzt über Libyen, wo ihnen eine relativ billige Passage angeboten wird, nämlich im Moment so um die
700-800 Dollar pro Person. Nur ist diese Route natürlich extrem unsicher, weil die Boote völlig überladen und in extrem schlechtem Zustand sind. Das heißt, es war abzusehen, dass früher oder später relativ viele von diesen Seelenverkäufer-Schiffen im Mittelmeer absaufen. Der Landweg hingegen ist zu.
Das ganze Interview lesen
05. Februar 2014, von Administrator
By HIVOS and WADI; The Hague, Suleimania 5 February, 2014.
On the fourth official International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female genital mutilation (FGM), the practice is far from being eradicated. While the numbers of mutilated girls are decreasing in Africa after decades of concerted efforts, large regions where FGM is practiced are entirely neglected in this worldwide battle. This is particularly true for Asia. The practice is widespread in Indonesia and Malaysia, it exists in Iran, Iraq, and Jordan. In several countries of the Arabian peninsula FGM is practiced by relevant parts of the population.
These countries need to make an effort to fight FGM among their population. We also call upon Indonesia and Malaysia, where the practice is legally carried out in hospitals, to ban FGM and initiate a strong campaign against it. In some Arab countries and Iran the practice is not legal in hospitals, yet governments shy away from tackling the issue. As a first step reliable studies must be conducted and a campaign initiated. In some countries authorities must stop censuring voices that talk about FGM.
In Europe FGM deserves far more attention. The United Kingdom has seen an immense campaign this last year against the practice common among several migrant communities in Britain. France has taken some action. Yet, little to no campaigning has been seen in other European countries – even though migrant communities known to practice FGM are present in most European countries. It is more than likely that some have kept their tradition and practice FGM in their new homeland – just as has been found out for Britain. FGM can certainly not be viewed as a solely British problem. Governments and politicians all over Europe need to take initiative.
05. Februar 2014, von Administrator
WADI conducted a couple of community dialogues about Female Genital Mutilation in Kurdistan. This project was supported and funded by UNICEF.
Last week one of the first discussions with men took place in Kalar. Without the support of men campaigns against FGM are only partly successful. Therefore Wadi is planning to hold many more of these meetings.