Tag Archive for women’s rights

#1090 They stand firm against the terror of Muslim fundamentalism

Karima Bennoune

Karima Bennoune at TEDxExeter; photo clip from video below

Karima Bennoune, professor of international law at the University of California-Davis School of Law, is telling the stories of women and men risking their lives to counter right-wing fundamentalistm. She asks us to do the same.

Always in her mind is the bravery of her father. In the 1990s the University of Algiers professor faced death threats for his vocal opposition to fundamentalism and terrorism. Although he was forced from his university position and had to flee his apartment, he remained in Algeria, publishing denunciations that kept him in the crosshairs of those he saw as the destroyers of true Islam.

In the TEDxExeter talk she gave in March 2014, she introduced four of the people she interviewed in writing her book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism. Until his death of a heart attack in 2012, Faizan Peerzada and the Rafi Peer Theatre brought children’s theatre to Pakistani audiences in spite of terrorist attacks. Maria Bashir, Afghanistan’s only woman prosecutor, fights for the rights of women in spite of threats to her life. Abdirizak Bihi works tirelessly in the Somali-American community of Minneapolis to counter the recruitment efforts of the militant Al Shabaab. The 22-year-old Algerian law student, Amel Zenoune-Zouani, refused the fundamentalists’ order for women to halt their studies and was murdered as an example to other young women. That was in 1997. Today Amel’s sister Lamia practices law in Algiers.

When she spoke to CBC’s Michael Enright in December 2013, Bennoune said the people she interviewed for her book have been abandoned by the west. Their stories are virtually unknown. She wants to change that, with our help.

If we are serious about supporting the struggle for social justice, we need to know and share the stories of these courageous people. They are putting their lives on the line. They give me hope.

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#816 Bravery behind the veil

Badam Zari

Many times in my life I have been irritated by misogyny. I hated the gauntlet high school boys put us through, sitting on the hall floor, commenting on us as we walked by. I was furious with the high school…

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#689 Angel Streets pay tribute

Angel

Statistics vary, but one thing is indisputable. Indigenous women in Canada are far more likely to be victims of violence than are non-indigenous women. The Angel Street Domestic Violence Education Project is trying to change that. The project was started…

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#685 Teen shows power of intention

Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan

What can one teen do in the face of a major social issue, in this case the need for more teachers, training, supplies and schools for women in Afghanistan? As it turns out, quite a lot, at least if that…

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#682 Guys in pink helmets

Cascos Rosa

If you see young men and women wearing pink t-shirts in Ecuador and if they are spreading a message about “Neomasculinos”, they are likely members of Cascos Rosa (Pink Helmets). The network of Ecuadorian youth formed to struggle against the…

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#668 Proud to vote

681-Elections-barrel

The year my mother was born, 1917, American women did not have the right to vote. Three years later her mother cast her ballot in tiny Inman, Nebraska. On March 14, 2013 I voted in British Columbia’s provincial election because…

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#660 Gender equality in Marivan, Iran

A court in Marivan, Iran punished a man by parading him through the streets in traditional Kurdish women’s clothing. They could think of no greater humiliation. I do not know what crime landed the man in court, but his punishment…

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