Friday, May 30, 2014


- I am sorry Farzana your child could not see the Haven under your feet because it was killed in your womb with bricks when you were three months pregnant

- I am sorry Farzana you were killed by the followers of a religion that shocked the world 1400 years ago with the message “do not kill your daughters”

- Dear Farzana, I cannot stop thinking if you died from the pain from the bricks in your head or from the shock of seeing your brother and father pelting bricks on you ?

- I am sorry Farzana your Muslim family did not know that Islam allows an adult Muslim woman to marry with her own choice

- I am sorry Farzana there will be no mass protests for you in the streets of Pakistan by religious groups and political parties because you are not“the daughter of our nation”

- I am sorry Farzana that the 30 people who saw you being killed with stones did not come to help you in Lahore

- You know Farzana that most Lahoris would rush and get hurt to catch a kite if they see it falling

- But all of them saw you bleed to death but did not run to help you because it was your family’s private matter

- I am sorry Farzana that your brothers and father and cousins who stoned you to death will never get punished

- Because your murder is not a crime against the state – it is a crime against your family

- I am sorry to tell you Farzana that even if your mother files a case against your father she will be emotionally blackmailed to forgive her husband and sons and your case will be closed for ever under Qisas and Dyat law

- I am sorry Farzana no one will call you a Shaheed and no one will put flowers on your unnamed hole of a grave

- I am sorry Farzana that you were a woman in Pakistan where the laws and police protect the big and strong politicians when they go to visit their own villages

- I am sorry Farzana that the police in Lahore did not protect you knowing that you were under threat from your family members

- I am sorry Farzana you are not a front page news on any of Pakistani paper today because today’s top story is trade and your life has no value for any transaction in our country

- Do you know Farzana that all the TV channels are also discussing security situation in Pakistan and all the experts are wise men

- And you know Farzana the other most popular program on our TV is still more wise men reminding us that Islam respects women more than any religion in the world

- I am sorry Farzana you did not get any respect for your Islamic right to marry with your own choice

- I am sorry Farzana that what you did is not a crime but you were punished as a criminal

- I am sorry Farzana that many girls in villages across Pakistan will not sleep tonight due to fear after they hear the story of your death and their family tells them this is what happens to bad girls

- I am sorry Farzana you died at the age when most young women in the world are still enjoying youth

- Rest in Peace Farzana !

- May you always live long on the conscience of all those Pakistanis who have one !

- May the little girls in your village continue to dream !

29 May 2014 - From Sameena Nazir, Executive Director, PODA-Pakistan -
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Friday, May 16, 2014

Nasrin Sotoudeh wrote

Nasrin Sotoudeh, the human rights lawyer who spent 3 years in prison for defending female attorney clients, women's rights and prisoners' rights in general, wrote to the Stealthy Freedoms from Tehran and shared her thoughts on the call for women to have a choice over hijab

This is what Nasrin Sotoudeh wrote:

Stealth Freedoms -- This is rather an ironic term to refer to the current surge of activity that is going on in Iran. Because, as we all know, if something is done stealthily, then it cannot be called FREEDOM. 
The term "Stealthy Freedom" is indicative of the pressures that exists within Iran. The issue of how women are covered up is something that is normally not taken seriously for several reasons. Now on the social media such activities do not have anything to do with being stealthy; and when thousands of women defy the hijab laws on social media, we cannot deny the existence of pressures for change

But let me recount an episode from when I was imprisoned: 
For many years, female prisoners have had to wear Chador (the long normally black sort of veil that covers a woman’s body fully), even though there is no such stipulation in the law. I'd like to point out that the kind of social pressure that exists outside the prison walls, exists many times more and exerts a lot more pressure on prisoners. In prisons, the wardens feel that they have complete power over the prisoners and that they can make them do whatever they want. That creates bitter feelings -

When I was in jail, I argued with the ones who were in charge that according to the law hey did not have the right to force us wear the Chador. The head of the prison, however, did not follow the letter of the law and in the end repeated that we had to wear Chadors. This went on till one day, I told my jailers that I am not wearing the chador anymore and I'd rather they chopped off my head right in front of the warden's office door. I wasn't going to wear chador

And I didn't

You know.. forcing female prisoners to wear the hijab and the resistance against such pressure is not a new thing. In fact, for the past 30 years or so, many women have objected to this compulsion of wearing the hijab --, it's just that such protests may not have got the publicity they deserved, for many reasons, such as absence of the Internet

In our prison ward, there were also a few older women than the rest of us and wore Chador by their own choice. That was their choice, which I of course respected. During the time that I was forbidden to have any visitors, these women would come and see me whenever they had their own visitors and express their sympathy. They always emphasized that if they wore Chador it was because of their own choice and belief and not because of the do's and don'ts imposed by the head of the prison. I assured them every time that I respected their choice. 

As always, I wish the governments would allow greater freedoms for the people to live their lives. That would be the way for greater mutual respect
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Friday, May 9, 2014

Statement calling for immediate redress for violations of human rights of 234 Nigerian schoolgirls

IWRAW Asia Pacific is an international women’s human rights organisation working to achieve the full and effective realisation of the rights guaranteed to women and girls under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”). Nigeria ratified CEDAW in 1985 and is required to comply with its duties and obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of women and girls and to achieve gender equality. The recent kidnapping of 234 Nigerian schoolgirls from their boarding school in north-eastern Nigeria by religious extremists has outraged us and the entire international community. This conduct is a gross violation of the fundamental human rights of these girls to dignity, liberty, education, life and to their right to peace and security. Reports have emerged that they have been sold into slavery for paltry sums and that the kidnapping was prompted by resistance to the education of girls. Irrespective of the motivation this is criminal conduct which justifies the highest penalty.
We join the call to President Goodluck Jonathan to take every possible step to search for these girls and to ensure that they are immediately found and returned to the safety of their families unharmed. We call for the transgressors to be arrested and charged and reparations made to the families and the girls, as well as effective measures put in place to prohibit further transgressions of their human rights and those of any other girl in Nigeria. We call upon the international community, represented by the High Commission of Human Rights and the UN Secretary General, to utilise the remedies available in the UN Charter and international law to take immediate action to address this heinous criminal conduct. We call upon the business community to provide the necessary resources and means to ensure the facilitation of the search and restoration of rights of the girls.
Like girls the world over, these Nigerian girls deserve full and effective implementation of their human rights, including the right to personal security, and the right to receive education without fear. They deserve nothing less than the strongest international condemnation, as well as co-operation and strong mobilisation of resources to ensure their safe return and continued safety. We owe them this as human beings who care about injustice and humanity and who claim to be bound by the glorious principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Bring them home. Observe their rights. NOW!!!
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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Gladys Acosta

Gladys Acosta es una abogada feminista que ha trabajado por los derechos humanos de las mujeres, tanto en la comunidad de las ONG en el Perú y Colombia y para las Naciones Unidas (UNICEF y UNIFEM-ONU MUJERES) en varios países de América Latina. Ella jugó un papel destacado en la Campaña Global por los Derechos de las Mujeres en el proceso previo a la Conferencia Mundial de 1993 sobre Derechos Humanos en Viena, donde la ONU reconoció los derechos de la mujer como derechos humanos. Su contribución fue fundamental para la movilización de la región de América Latina y el Caribe, estableciendo relaciones duraderas con mujeres de todo el mundo. Esto se consolidó aún más en el proceso que condujo a la Cuarta Conferencia Mundial de 1995 sobre la Mujer en Beijing y en las décadas siguientes.

Gladys Acosta posee la integridad, la inteligencia, la pasión y la experiencia a tierra, para hacer de ella una candidata excelente para unirse al grupo de expertos del Comité de la CEDAW. Ella traería un profundo conocimiento del derecho internacional y el conocimiento de cómo traducir la Convención en las políticas y programas que pueden ayudar a guiar la acción de los gobiernos en la implementación de la CEDAW.

PS. CV Gladys 'en Inglés y Español en sí Adjunta A Este Mensaje.

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