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WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women
Initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women's responses
This report presents initial results based on interviews with 24 000 women by carefully trained interviewers. The study was implemented by WHO, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), PATH, USA, research institutions and women's organizations in the participating countries. This report covers 15 sites and 10 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Peru, Namibia, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Report findings document the prevalence of intimate partner violence and its association with women's physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health. Data is included on non-partner violence, sexual abuse during childhood and forced first sexual experience. Information is also provided on women’s responses: Whom do women turn to and whom do they tell about the violence in their lives? Do they leave or fight back? Which services do they use and what response do they get?
The report concludes with 15 recommendations to strengthen national commitment and action on violence against women.
Data from the report show that violence against women is widespread and demands a public health response.
[ Introduction, Chapters 1-2 [pdf 967kb]
[ Chapters 3-4 [pdf 885kb]
[ Chapters 5-6 [pdf 712kb]
[ Chapters 7-8-9 [pdf 932kb]
[ Chapters 10-11 [pdf 1.67Mb]
[ Annexes 1-2 [pdf 2.02Mb]
[ Annexes 3-4 [pdf 24.93Mb]
[ Appendix-Index [pdf 1.29Mb]
[ Country fact sheets in English
29. Dezember 2005
ein neues gesetz im bereits nach islamischen regeln strukturierten familiengesetz ( section 107A)
erleichtert männer die polygamie und erlaubt es ihnen mit einer einstweiligen verfügung ihren frauen und ehemaligen frauen den verkauf ihres eigentums zu verbieten.
( dem koran nach darf ein mann nur dann mehrere frauen haben wenn er alle frauen gleich behandelt und die frauen gleich finanziell unterstützen kann. das eigentum der frau ( ihr geld oder land) darf dem koran nach vom ehemann nicht verkauft werden.)
Islamic law angers Malaysian women
Fury has been raging in Malaysia over new Islamic family legislation on polygamy and divorce.
The new law has already become a lightning rod for furious critics who charge that it undermines women's rights by making it easier for men to take multiple wives and to claim property after divorce.
Last week, the Senate, Malaysia's Upper House, approved controversial amendments to the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) Bill 2005. Under the new Section 107A of the law, a husband is allowed to obtain an injunction preventing the disposition of property by a wife or a former wife.
The amendment also endorses man's right to polygamy without having to prove he is financially capable of treating his wives on equal footing before taking on another, IslamOnline.org reported.
Upon taking a new wife, men can now seize property belonging to existing wives, and they are also given new rights to claim assets after a divorce, as well as less obligation to pay compensation and maintenance, the Web site said.
In Wien haben sich ähnlich wie in anderen Städten und Ländern christliche "LebensschützerInnen" unter den Namen "Pro Life" und "HLI" zusammengefunden, um mit Gebetsmärschen vor Abtreibungskliniken Frauen mit Gebetsseiereien, Bildchen von blutigen Föten zu belästigen und sie von einer Abtreibung abzuhalten. Fortwährender persönlicher Psychoterror trieb die Lucina/Mairo Klinik in den ökonomischen Ruin. In den Räumlichkeiten der ehemaligen Abtreibungsklinik befindet sich jetzt das "Babycaust Museum der HLI", in dem u.a. öffentlicher Holocaust-Revisionismus betrieben und der Holocaust mit Abtreibungen verglichen wird.
Aktuell scheinen sich diverse Leute vermeintlich fortschrittlicher, katholischer Organisationen gemeinsam mit militanten katholischen Vereinen in einer sogenannten "Allianz für das Leben" einen Generalangriff gegen die Fristenlösung zu führen. Nach 30 Jahren wollen sie die Fristenlösung in ihrer bisherigen, rechtlichen Form in Österreich zu Fall zu bringen. Sie nehmen dadurch bewusst in Kauf, dass weltweit Frauen an illegalen Abbrüchen krepieren!
Proteste: Seit Jahren finden immer wieder Proteste gegen die Machenschaften dieser "LebensschützerInnen" statt. Zuletzt fand anlässlich des internationalen Tages gegen Gewalt an Frauen eine Spontankundgebung und Flugblattaktion vor dem Schaufenster der Human Life International (HLI) am Fleischmarkt in Wien statt.
[ Abtreibung ist Frauenrecht
[ RAW: Frauenkampf!
[ EKHaus Frauen
[ Verein Autonome Österreichische Frauenhäuser
[ östereichische hochschülerinnenvertretung
[ no-racism.net rubrik feminismus
[ Geschichtlicher Hintergrund zur Abtreibungsgegnerschaft in Österreich
Changing a Harmful Social Convention: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
„Every year, three million girls and women are subjected to genital mutilation/cutting, a dangerous and potentially life-threatening procedure that causes unspeakable pain and suffering. Not only is it practiced among communities in Africa and the Middle East, but also in immigrant communities throughout the world. Moreover, recent data reveal that it occurs on a much larger scale than previously thought. It continues to be one of the most persistent, pervasive and silently endured human rights violations. This Innocenti Digest examines the prevalence of FGM/C and its social dynamics. It provides an explanation as to why the practice persists and of the elements necessary for its abandonment. It also takes stock of progress to date, identifies what works and what does not, and provides direction regarding the most successful strategies to promote the abandonment of FGM/C. Combining concrete field experience with tested academic theory, the Digest provides a practical tool to bring about positive change for girls and women.“
[ CHANGING A HARMFUL
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION/CUTTING.pdf
14. December 2005
Women bike ban clash in Nigeria
Motorbike taxi riders and religious marshals have clashed in the northern Nigerian state of Kano over a ban that stops women travelling on the bikes.
In accordance with Sharia law, men and women are not allowed to travel together on public transport.
Women have ignored the ban, being implemented this week, saying there are not enough transport alternatives.
Six people were wounded in the incident as a woman was told to get off a taxi motorbike on Tuesday afternoon.
The BBC's Ado Sale Kankiya in the city of Kano says some 9,000 religious marshals are on the streets to implement the ban passed earlier this year.
Despite the officials and publicity leading up to the implementation of the law, many women are still riding on the bikes, he says.
About 500 three-wheeled motorbike taxis and 100 women's-only buses have been introduced, but women say this is not sufficient.
Our correspondent says officials are not arresting or fining offenders, just warning them about the new law.
But after one taxi rider was told to drop a woman on Tuesday afternoon, more than 50 other motorbike taxi riders began fighting with religious marshals.
In Zamfara State, taxi riders have been lashed when found carrying female passengers.
For and against
Kano is one of several Muslim majority states that adopted Sharia law five years ago.
The move initially heightened tensions between Muslims and Christians and led to clashes which left thousands dead.
Human rights groups have condemned abuses sanctioned under the law including amputations and flogging, and say it discriminates against women.
Sharia law appears to have retained popular support in the north.
But there is significant opposition to the law, especially among the Christian minority.
While officially it does not apply to them, many say that in practice they are forced to comply.
13. Dezember 2005
dies ist ein langer artikel über "vergewaltigungs- kinder" ,gemeint sind damit kinder , die während des krieges geboren wurden und deren mütter vergewaltigt wurden.
während die vergewaltigungen während des krieges u.a. auch ein vorwand für die nato war dort einzugreifen, und es großes öffentliches interesse gab, wird wenig bis gar nichts getan um den tausenden frauen die extreme sexuelle gewalt und folter erlitten haben, oder den kindern die als konsequenz der vergewaltigungen geboren wurden, zu helfen.die kinder haben oft keine geburtsurkunde weil sich die jeweiligen regierungen weigern welche auszustellen.
ohne hilfe von staatlichen stellen leben viele dieser stark traumatisierten frauen in armut.
ausgeschlossen aus ihrer community, meist vom ehemann verlassen, haben nur die wenigsten einen job. nur eine handvoll der frauen haben eine entschädigung erhalten.
die regierung weigert sich die frauen als zivile opfer des krieges anzuerkennen, hat aber im oktober 2005 zugesagt abfindungen zu zahlen. allerdings wird jetzt den frauen unterstellt sie würden lügen um geld zu bekommen. zitat des stellvertretenden ministers für menschenrechte und flüchtlinge:
"in einer traditionellen gesellschaft ist es für frauen wegen der enormen stigmatisierung, ungewöhnlich eine vergewaltigung anzuzeigen, und es ist sehr schwer diese dann medizinisch zu beweisen. jetzt melden sich die frauen und wir haben keine möglichkeiten zu beweisen ob sie vergewaltigt wurden. es gibt keine lebenden augenzeugen und es ist nach 10 oder 12 jahren schwierig den wahrheitsgehalt der anträge der frauen zu prüfen. viele sind sehr arm und wollen vielleicht nur geld."
die regierung weigert sich die frauen als zivile opfer des krieges anzuerkennen, was die bezahlung von abfindungen ohnehin erschwert.
1998 hat das international war crimes tribunal vergewaltigung als verbrechen gegen die menschlichkeit verurteilt, aber es gibt keine internationalen oder nationalen reaktionen oder umsetzungen des urteils. es gibt keine hilfe für die aus den vergewaltigungen resultierenden traumata, und für die kinder ,die geboren werden nachdem die frauen vergewaltigt wurden.
im juli letzten jahres gab es einen bericht der unicef zu den kindern, der allerdings nie veröffentlicht wurde. es ist die bisher einzige studie zu dem thema.
die regierung will keine veröffentlichung und behauptet sie wolle die "sehr verletzlichen kinder schützen".
Bosnia's rape babies: abandoned by their families, forgotten by the state
Suzanna is 12 years old. In the eyes of the law she does not exist. She has no family, no birth certificate. The place that she calls home is the state-run orphanage in Zenica in Bosnia, a run-down building with broken windows.
The orphanage is home to just over 150 children. Some of them have lost their families to war and sickness, others, like Suzanna, were abandoned as "rape babies" - children born during the war to women who had been raped - and left unacknowledged by families and state alike.
"She is a very loving child sometimes has problem socialising," says Enisa Herzeg, a social worker at the orphanage. "We have had money donated for her care but we can't open a bank account in her name because she has no birth certificate, because the Croatian authorities refused to register when she was born." Suzanna's mother abandoned her when she was born and has never visited. "We have no way of finding her," Herzeg says. "There are many children here with equally sad stories ."
Ten years after the war in Bosnia ended we have come back with Channel 4 news to meet the forgotten victims of sexual violence. Despite the widespread publicity concerning the atrocities committed during that time little has been done to help the thousands of women who suffered extreme sexual violence and torture, or the children born as a consequence of this abuse.
Abandoned by the state, many of these women are not only traumatised by their horrific experiences but also impoverished. Cast out from their communities, often abandoned by their husbands, few of them can hold down jobs. Only a handful have received compensation for their suffering, which continues in the form of nightmares, physical injury and mental ill-health.
"I was raped for over a year by Serbian soldiers," says Mirella, a softly spoken woman of 33. "They kept me prisoner in my house and raped me day and night in front of my children. When I became pregnant I had an abortion ? I never told my husband about it or about the other terrible things that happened, although I'm sure he knows." Once the war had ended Mirella and her family, unable to return to their home town of Brcko, found their way to Sarejevo. Life is hard here. Mirella suffers from severe gynaecological problems as a result of her rape and has been diagnosed with depression.
"I have tried to take my life three times," she admits. "I get 36km (£10) from the government every month and each child gets 26km. My husband gets 56km because he was in a war camp. I have to spend most of my money on medicines to stay calm and to help with the pain. I feel as though no one cares what has happened to our family. I only keep going because of my children." Mirella's experience is not unusual. In 1998 the International War Crimes Tribunal condemned rape as a crime against humanity, yet there is still no formal international or state response to sexual violence, the related trauma caused by rape or to what happens to the children born of it. In July this year, Unicef in Bosnia commissioned a report on the children born as a result of war rape. It is the first time any organisation has focused on these children. The report, however, remains unpublished.
Marijana Senjak, a psychologist working for the NGO Medica in Zenica, which assists women who have been abused, says ' A lot of politicians have taken advantage of the women's plight and used the issues of war rape for their own ends. The state has done nothing to organise a unified response to women's needs.
"It has used war rape as a political tool and a means to get money, nothing else.'
Amma was raped during the war when only 16 years old and became pregnant. Without the financial means to keep her child she was forced to place her in care. A frail woman now at 29 years old, tormented by her past and suffering from mental and physical health problems, Amma's eyes fill with tears as she recalls the few precious years she had with her daughter.
"I remember celebrating her first birthday and the naming ceremony we had," she says. "I kept her with me till she was five years old. I loved her. I had another child a few years later and that was hard - two young children, no job and the war going on which made everything very expensive. Nobody in the community wanted to help me because they knew where the first child had come from and hated me for it. I couldn't work because no one wanted to look after the child. I went to the centre for support but they gave me nothing and took away my children."
For women such as Amma the situation is made worse by the Bosnian government's reluctance to recognise women as civilian victims of war. In October it agreed to pay compensation, but this has led to further problems as many within the government claim that women are falsifying claims of rape to receive money.
"In a traditional society with a huge stigma attached to rape it is unusual for women to report it, and at a later stage it is difficult to establish it medically," says Slobodan Nagradic, Deputy Minister for Human Rights and Refugees. "So now women are coming forward and we have no way of knowing if they have really been raped or not. There are no living eyewitnesses and 10 to 12 years later it is difficult to establish the authenticity of these women's claims. Many are very poor and may just be doing it for the money."
Nagradic opposes publication of the Unicef report: "The children born of war rape are in a very vulnerable position compared to other children," he says. "It is the obligation of our society to ensure that these children are not discriminated against and that is why we are being very careful about drawing attention to them. Women do not traditionally talk about rape here, he says, and those that do are using rape for political manipulation."
It is not a line of argument with which Sanella would agree. Now 32, she was raped repeatedly by Serbian soldiers in her home town of Visegrad, became pregnant and then miscarried. She now works for a woman's organisation in Bosnia, supporting fellow rape victims and says that she lives in fear that the soldiers who raped her will find her and refuses to testify in The Hague.
"I don't believe that this war has stopped," she says. "The war criminals are still around and we still have to see them. The police in charge know who they are and do nothing. We women, the victims of the war, have become its policemen. We have photographs of those who raped us and killed our men but there has been no care or help for women like me who have experience sexual violence on this level. "
Nadia made the difficult choice to keep her son, now aged 10. She became pregnant after being repeatedly raped by soldiers while interned in a concentration camp. She says that she wanted an abortion, but by the time she had escaped to Sarajevo it was too late. Her husband does not know that the child is not his.
"My husband and son were taken away during the war and I was put in a camp," she says. "The soldiers would taunt me, calling me a Turkish whore. Then they began to rape me. I would cry every time and when I passed out I would wake up with a different soldier in the room and they would keep going until I didn't come round any more. When they found out I was pregnant they put me on a truck and I arrived in Sarejevo. I had to take medicines to calm me down and I think this is why my son is so nervous and has to have therapy."Nadia will not abandon her son as so many women have done with their children born of rape. "I love my son," she says. "Sometimes I look at him and feel very angry though - I see him as a focus for what has gone wrong with my family and our lives."
2. Dezember 2005
bericht einer 25 jährige frau die wegen eines positiven drogentests während ihrer bewährungszeit in den knast kam, und dort allein in einer zelle ein kind bekam.
die frau sagt die wärterinnen des jennifer road detention centers / maryland ignorierten ihre aussagen das sie in den wehen sei und ins krankenhaus muß. stattdessen wurde sie aus einer gemeinschaftszelle herausgeholt und in eine einzelzelle gesperrt.
Woman recounts giving birth alone in jail
Kari Parsons said she can still hear her own screams when she sleeps, days after she delivered a baby alone in a county jail cell.
The 25-year-old Pasadena woman, jailed after testing positive for drugs while on probation for theft, said officials at the Jennifer Road Detention Center repeatedly ignored her pleas that she was well into labor and needed to go to the hospital. Instead, they took her out of a holding area with other inmates, who helped to time her contractions, and put her in a cell by herself.
"I was screaming so much my whole body was trembling. Everyone could hear it," Ms. Parsons said. "I was screaming and praying for God to help me."
County Detention Center officials are investigating why Ms. Parsons wasn't taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center in time for the birth. She'd been taken to a Baltimore hospital a few days earlier when her labor pains apparently started a few weeks early.
After paramedics finally arrived at the Jennifer Road jail and took mother and child to the hospital a quarter-mile down the road, it was hours more before she was taken in shackles to see her newborn. She was then returned to jail, where she was held until being released Tuesday. She's free on her own recognizance until her next court hearing.
"It was ridiculous and totally inappropriate for the detention center to do what they did," said Michael L. May, her attorney.
He wouldn't say whether Ms. Parsons plans to file a lawsuit.
"We are examining the situation to determine what is appropriate," he said.
Detention center officials declined to comment on the incident, or the actions of Correctional Medical Services, a St. Louis company that provides health care at the jail.
Richard Baker, superintendent of county detention facilities, said Ms. Parson's willingness to talk doesn't allow him to discuss her treatment, citing the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. "I do not have a release from her, and if I had a release, I would still not talk about her," he said this morning.
But the District Court judge who rejected a request to release the young woman just five days before the birth defended his decision yesterday, calling Ms. Parsons a "very committed drug addict" whose desire to get out of jail was "trumped" by his concern for the baby's health. "I'm sorry it turned out the way it did, but given the chance, I would do the exact thing again," said Judge Robert C. Wilcox.
Ms. Parsons gave birth roughly two weeks before her due date, and three days after she said she was taken to the emergency room at Harbor Hospital and hours after she saw a nurse in the detention center.
The baby remained at Anne Arundel Medical Center today, but is expected to be released Sunday. He suffered an infection as a result of the birth, Ms. Parsons said. "He was so dry when he came out because I had no water left," she said in a telephone interview yesterday from the hospital.
Ms. Parsons was picked up Nov. 9 on a warrant for violating her probation for a misdemeanor theft conviction from 2003. Eight months pregnant, she was held at the Jennifer Road jail until Nov. 16 when she was moved to the Ordnance Road Detention Center. County officials use the Glen Burnie facility for long-term prisoners and those on work-release programs.
On Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 24, she awoke at 5 a.m.
"I felt like my water broke and I was having little contractions," she said. Ms. Parsons was sent to a nurse, and by 7 a.m. she was shackled and handcuffed in a van headed for Harbor Hospital. "They told me my water hadn't broken, but if it gets worse, I should come back," she said.
Taken back to Ordnance Road, Ms. Parsons said she continued to suffer contractions. She was taken back to a nurse at the jail, then put in an isolation booth so her contractions could be monitored.
By 5 p.m. Thursday, she said, she was driven to Jennifer Road to be closer to the obstetrics center at AAMC. For the next day and a half, she stayed in a cell with four other women. They helped her time her contractions, but she was still leaking water. "I was using my sheets as a diaper," Ms. Parsons said. "I was saturated."
By Saturday, she said, the women in the cell with her were pleading with correction officers to let her see a nurse. At 6 a.m. Sunday she was allowed to leave the cell to see one, but was told she was fine and sent back to the cell. At 11 a.m. Ms. Parsons started yelling, "I'm going into labor!"
Taken to a nurse again, she was told that the baby hadn't turned and she wasn't in labor, she said. "They had me thinking I was crazy," she said.
Sent back to her cell, she continued to yell in pain. A little after 2 p.m., she was yelling so loudly that corrections officers moved her to a cell by herself.
Ms. Parsons was alone in the cell, with a bed with no sheets and a toilet. She said a nurse came by again and told her she wasn't going into labor.
Ms. Parsons tried to lie down, but couldn't. She got up and walked closer to the toilet and squatted, bracing herself against the wall. "I felt down there and I felt my uterus open. I felt his head," she said. She put her hand on the baby's head and jumped to the mattress, where she pushed and her child came out onto the green plastic cover. "He slid right out of me," she said.
Seeing the child, corrections officers finally called county Fire Department paramedics at 3:53 p.m. When they arrived, paramedics cut the umbilical cord and took Ms. Parsons to the hospital. It wasn't until 11 p.m. that Ms. Parsons was taken in shackles from her room to see her son, she said.
Ms. Parsons pleaded guilty to a charge of misdemeanor theft at the JCPenney at Marley Station on Sept. 10, 2003. She stole clothes worth less than $500.
On Nov. 4 of this year she tested positive for illegal drugs and was cited for violating her probation and for failing to take part in drug treatment programs. She had already tested positive for cocaine and opiates on May 3, and failed to report to her supervisor later that month and early in June.
Judge Wilcox refused a Nov. 22 request by Mr. May to release her, saying the baby's health was in danger.
"It was the sole reason," Judge Wilcox said yesterday.
While he didn't want Ms. Parsons on the streets while she was pregnant, he was open to releasing her to an inpatient drug treatment program for pregnant women. His "hope and belief" was that Ms. Parsons would be transferred before she gave birth, and he said he thought she was only eight months pregnant, not 81/2 as she now contends.
A graduate of Northeast High School, Ms. Parsons said her drug addiction started two or three years ago with a guy she was dating. She said she was working for the school system at the time, driving a bus for disabled students. She started abusing prescription drugs first, but later moved on to cocaine and heroin, she said.
She remembers being high while she was caught shoplifting at JCPenney. Her boyfriend later went to prison for drug charges, which caused her to try to get clean, she said.
Ms. Parsons said she had been clean from drugs for two weeks before her Nov. 9 arrest.
"I was trying to get ready for the baby," she said.
But regardless of her crime, she's angry about the way she was treated.
"I want to know," she said, "if it was their wives with their kids in their belly, if they would let them go through what I was going through."
29. Oktober 2005
ein langer artikel über folter und vergewaltigung an gefangenen frauen in den knästen des irakischen innenministeriums.
In einem von der iraqi national association for human rights herausgegebenen report wird unter anderem über vergewaltigung während den verhören und massive folter berichtet.
Das innenministerium hat bestritten das gefangene frauen mißhandelt und vergewaltigt werden, das justizministerium hat nur verlauten lassen daß es ähnliche berichte bereits von den knastbehörden selbst hat.
Governmental and Humanitarian Reports Disclose Violations of the Rights of Iraqi Female Detainees at Iraqi Interior Ministry Stations
Reports prepared by nongovernmental organizations have disclosed that female detainees have been exposed to disgraceful violations at interior ministry stations, including rape on behalf of investigators and obtaining confessions under threat and force, in addition to physical and psychological torture.
These organizations have expressed their worries regarding the deterioration of the conditions of female detainees in detention and investigation centers of the interior ministry. They pointed out that the detention centers do not provide with the minimum necessary living conditions. The public prosecution, under the higher judiciary council, has acknowledged cases of committing rape and assaults against female detainees in interior ministry stations, on behalf of investigators at these centers. The justice ministry confirmed that it received reports by the reformation departments (prisons) that indicate the existence of organized civil violations. It clarified that human rights and justice ministry institutions have confirmed the occurrence of these violations. On its behalf, the interior ministry has denied that any of its female detainees have been exposed to assault or rape on behalf of investigators.
A report prepared by the Iraqi National Association for Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization, has stated the existence of violations against female detainees at stations and centers of the interior ministry. Essam Al Jilbi, head of the association has confirmed "the occurrence of some violations against female detainees at investigation centers, before transferring them to prisons." He added, "We have created a team from the association for visiting Iraqi detention centers and prisons, to witness the conditions of detainees and prisoners after notifying the ministries of justice and interior on September 4. These included the women's detention center of Al Kazimiyah, where we verified the occurrence of civil violations against female detainees, which included organized rape on behalf of investigators, in addition to physical assault and forcing female detainees on confessions.
He accused "some investigation officers of exceeding their competence, in addition to violating the criteria of just professional performance of their jobs, and employing facts for the interest of a certain party for personal interests, with regard to forensic medicine." Al Jilbi added, "We have recorded similar cases at Al Masba' Police Station, which are relating to obtaining confessions in a manner that violates the Human Convention for Human Rights." It is worth mentioning that a report, which was issued by the research and studies center of the Iraqi Human Rights Organization and published by Al Zaman earlier, has disclosed the occurrence of sexual, physical and psychological violations that detainees of both sexes have suffered from, including blinding eyes during the investigation, excessive beating with sticks an plastic and metal pipes", squeezing limbs, kicking and tying for long hours, in addition to using electricity and torture." The report confirmed that the Human Rights committee has documented 5 cases of rape at Iraqi investigation stations, which have been executed on behalf of the investigation centers' elements.
Public Prosecution and Human Rights Confirm the Violations
The public prosecution department has admitted receiving similar reports on behalf of the Iraqi reformation departments (prisons) and the Human Rights ministry, which indicate the occurrence of similar violations, such as beating, torture and rape, which female detainees have undergone at interior ministry centers. Hana Ali Fayyadh, a legal assistant in the public prosecution department, confirmed that a report received by the department has disclosed that the female detainee (Z.A.Kh) has been exposed to rape on behalf of Major (S), who is an affiliate of the Big Crimes Department.
This led the public prosecution presidency, which is the competent authority for public rights, to address Al Karkh Investigation Court for Punitive Claims for filing a lawsuit, pursuant to Article 393 of the penal code. The female detainee (H.T.A) has also been exposed to torture on behalf of the officer (M.A.) at Al Hurriya Police Station. We have also filed a punitive lawsuit against the said suspect, pursuant to Article 333 of the penal code. Fayyadh also confirmed that the female detainee (F.A.) has been raped at the headquarters of the interior ministry intelligence and Al Baya' Police Station on behalf of several persons, whom she is unaware of their names. On the other hand, three female detainees have been raped at the headquarters of Big Crimes Department. We have also filed a lawsuit, which is still in progress. Fayyadh accused the public prosecutor's department and the interior ministry of neglecting the "facts and submitted lawsuits, in addition to their insistence that there are no violations of this sort."
Justice Accuses Interior
On his behalf, Boshu Ibrahim Ali, justice minister, stated, "No cases of human rights' violations have been spotted in Iraqi prisons." He confirmed, "The violations take place at the interior ministry stations, i.e. before transferring female detainees to prisons of the reformation department." Ali said, "We are aware of these violations that we witness through female prisoners transferred to us. Consequently, we have addressed the competent authorities regarding such violations for the purpose of stopping them and punishing those in charge of them.
Within the same context, Fa'eza Mahdi Hazza', director of Al Kazimiyah Women's Prison, stated that a series of field visits on behalf of humanitarian organizations and governmental authorities have confirmed that our department is keen on maintaining the civil rights of female detainees and no worth-mentioning violations have been recorded. This has been documented in reports kept on behalf of the department, including letters of thanks and appreciation. Hazza' stressed "addressing and informing the competent authorities with regard to the violations against female detainees, whether during the investigation' i.e. before joining us, or while serving the penalty period.
Interior Ministry Denies?But?!
Meanwhile, the interior ministry denied that the female detainees have been undergone any physical or sexual assaults in the ministry detention centers. An official ministry source said to Al Zaman, "There is no evidence that prove the occurrence of a single rape case in a police station." The source continued, "We do not deny the presence of elements with criminal records, who sneaked into the police authority after the fall of the regime, amidst the security absence that followed the fall.
Some of them are still in service. We have more than one committee, created in the interior ministry, for studying the files of elements that are involved in committing immoral and penal crimes and administrative corruption, in preparation for firing them." He admitted, "Some policemen are rough during investigation, for the purpose of obtaining additional information that serves the investigation and obtaining names of partners in the case. Nevertheless, these cases are scarce, as we reject this approach in the ministry, due to the fact that it violates human rights.
It is worth mentioning that we have committed cases to judiciary, where pressure over suspects represented a crime punishable by law." He also admitted, "Some police elements occasionally resort to the use of rough methods while investigating suspects, for the purpose of obtaining information that lead to settling the cases committed to them, but they are not of a number that makes us worry." He confirmed, "The ministry of interior rejects any methods or practices that contradict with the International Convention for Human Rights." He referred to "committing some persons, who are involved in practicing illegal pressure during investigation, to judiciary to be legally punished."
18. Oktober 2005
die behörden von missouri haben kein recht einer gefangenen die abtreibung zu verbieten. Das hat das oberste gericht entschieden und damit einen widerspruch von gov. Blunt, der gegen schwangerschaftsunterbrechungen ist, abgelehnt.
Die frau die von der aclu vertreten wird, hatte erst im knast erfahren daß sie schwanger ist und wollte eine abtreibung. Dies wurde ihr mit der begründung , es sei dem steuerzahler nicht zuzumuten die transportkosten zur klinik zu bezahlen, abgelehnt.
Missouri gehört zu den bundesstaaten mit den strengsten abtreibungsgesetzen.
Court won't block inmate abortion
WASHINGTON -- Missouri officials must let a pregnant inmate have an abortion, the Supreme Court said Monday, rejecting an appeal by anti-abortion Gov. Matt Blunt.
Missouri, which has some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, argued taxpayers should not have to pick up the tab for transporting the woman to an abortion clinic.
The unanimous order declining to intervene comes as the Senate prepares for the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, during which lawmakers are sure to press her on abortion.
She was picked to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a key swing voter in abortion cases who is retiring.
The inmate, known only as Jane Roe, is serving a 4-year sentence and is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.
She is at least four months pregnant. She found out she was pregnant after being arrested on a parole violation and sued the state after her attempts to get an abortion were rebuffed.
The Supreme Court has never addressed the rights of pregnant inmates to get abortions, but U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple in Missouri said that the high court has made clear that women have a constitutional right to abortion.
Whipple ordered the state to transport the woman on the 80-mile trip from her cell in Vandalia to a St. Louis clinic.
The Supreme Court declined to overrule Whipple, following an unusual last-minute appeal from Missouri and the temporary intervention of Justice Clarence Thomas, who opposes abortion rights.
A stay from Thomas kept the inmate from having the abortion on Saturday. However, on Monday, he joined the other eight justices in rejecting the state's emergency appeal.
13. October 2005
weil sie die " ehre ihres tribes" verletzt haben soll, hat eine jirga ( sowas wie ein ältestenrat) die ermordung einer 16 jährigen angeordnet. Ermordet wurde die junge frau, die einen mann eines anderen tribes heiraten wollte, von ihrer familie.
UA-175-2005: PAKISTAN: Jirga orders the murder of a 16-year-old girl
PAKISTAN: Honour killings; Violence against women; Rule of law
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the murder of a 16-year-old girl following a Jirga calling for her death for having dishonoured her tribe. Ms. Bashi of the Luhar tribe left her parents home to marry Mr. Munaware of the Otho tribe. When her father and several relatives approached the elder of their tribe, Mr. Mir Hassan Luhar, he called upon a Jirga of the eminent persons of his tribe. The Jirga at first found that the girl must be returned to her tribe. In a second hearing it decided that the girl must be killed. Accordingly, the girl's father and six other relatives took the girl to a nearby canal where they suffocated her and buried her body.
A First Information Report has been registered in relation to this case, but as all of the perpetrators are currently in hiding, no arrests have been made. Thus, justice has not been served in this heinous and barbaric crime.
Honour killings are an extreme form of violence against women and have claimed the lives of tens of thousands of women in Pakistan. It is only with continued pressure on the Pakistan government to implement policy to prevent and punish this dreadful crime that the practice may eventually be stopped................
[ See more Details: ahrchk.net
17. September 2005
Für grosses Empören sorgte ein Ausspruch des pakistanischen Präsidenten gegenüber der Washington Post, der unterstellte, das zu sagen man sei vergewaltigt worden ein leichter Weg sei, um an ein Visa oder die Staatsbürgerschaft für Kanada zu kommen.
Fury over Musharraf's 'cry rape, get rich' claim
The president of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, came under fire from human rights groups, international statesmen and media in his own country after suggesting that crying rape was an easy way to "be a millionaire" and get to Canada.Gen Musharraf, a key ally in the war on terror who promotes a liberal version of Islam, let slip his views during an interview with the Washington Post. He complained about Pakistan being singled out for abuses against women: "You must understand the environment in Pakistan ... this has become a money-making concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped."
Paul Martin, Canada's prime minister, complained to Gen Musharraf at the sidelines of the United Nations general assembly, saying later that the comments were not acceptable and violence against women "is a blight that besmirches all humanity". International human rights groups released an angry response, in advance of Gen Musharraf's speech today to an audience of Pakistani-American women in New York. Amnesty International said he had been "callous and insulting". A public apology was needed "from President Musharraf to the women of Pakistan and especially to victims of rape, sexual assault and other forms of violence that are rampant with impunity in Pakistan". Hundreds of women are raped or killed every year in so-called "honour" attacks over behaviour deemed inappropriate. Mukhtaran Mai, who was gang-raped on the orders of a village council because her 12-year-old brother befriended a woman of a powerful clan, said: "A large number of women are molested and insulted in the country. How many of them have made money? Such thinking about women is not good."
15. September 2005
das oberste gericht hat die in verschiedenen teilen des landes ausgeübte "tradition", nach der frauen während der menstruation in einen kuhstall gesperrt werden, dort altes essen bekommen und zusätzlich verbale mißhandlungen erleiden müssen ,als "böse" verurteilt.die regierung hat einen monat zeit das zu verbieten und zu unterbinden.
Women hail menstruation ruling
Women's rights activists in Nepal have hailed a Supreme Court order to end discrimination against women during their menstrual cycle.
There is a tradition in parts of Nepal of keeping women in cow-sheds during their period.
The practice is common in far western districts of the country.
The Supreme Court has ordered the government to declare the practice as evil and given it one month to begin stamping the practice out.
The court reached its decision on Wednesday.
Women's rights activists say the court has upheld their right to equality.
Pushpa Bhusal, a leading lawyer, said it was a positive move in removing the traditional discrimination against women.
She warned however, that a change in the law alone would not be enough.
She said people needed to be educated against such a scourge of society.
Women in poor villages in much of western Nepal are forced to stay in dirty cow-sheds outside the home for four days during their monthly period.
They are often given unhygienic food and suffer verbal abuse.
6. September 2005
ankündigung in shahin-shahr das frauen, die den islamischen kleider- code verletzen, verstärkt verfolgt werden und die strafe, meist 100 schläge, sofort ausgeführt wird.
Iran to speed up flogging of women for "bad" veil
Women who violate Iran's strict Islamic dress code will be flogged immediately, prosecutor's offices in provincial centres announced on Tuesday.
In the central Iranian city of Shahin-Shahr, the prosecutor?s office posted huge notices on billboards and shop windows warning women that dress code violators will appear before an Islamic judge immediately after arrest to receive a sentence, usually 100 lashes in public. The prosecutor will be demanding maximum penalties, the notice warned.
"Individuals whose state of attire and make-up is against religious laws in public will be prosecuted without having to first wait in a queue and will be sentenced to flogging and fines", the statement said.
"Scarves which do not cover the hair and neck", "tight overcoats or coats that which finish above the knees and whose sleeves cover to a point higher than the wrist", "tight trousers which do not cover the calf of the leg", and "women`'s make-up" are all forbidden, according to the statement, which added that failure to adhere to the dress code would be dealt with accordingly.
Women whose scarves do not properly cover up their hair will face between 10 days to 10 months in prison, the statement added.
6. September 2005
in rawalpindi wurde ein polizist wegen vergewaltigung festgenommen. Dies ist das zweite mal innerhalb einer woche das frauen vergewaltigungen durch polizisten öffentlich gemacht wurden
Pakistan police in new rape case
A police officer has been arrested in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi in the second case in a week in which police have been accused of rape.
Three other officers have gone missing after a woman said that four officers gang-raped her in her own home.
A medical report on the woman is due to be released soon.
Last week the head of police in the city of Faisalabad was suspended after he was accused of ordering that a woman be raped.
Rawalpindi's District Police Officer Saud Aziz told the BBC that three constables had absconded after a woman said that four police personnel raped her in her house on Sunday.
He said that a sub-inspector had been arrested in connection with the case.
The woman alleges that police officials arrested her husband and demanded a bribe of 100,000 rupees ($1,674).
She said she paid the police 30,000 rupees after which her husband was released but the officials continued demanding the remaining amount.
She accuses the four officers of then barging into her house on Sunday and raping her after locking her husband and uncle in another room in the house.
The case comes after Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ordered separate inquiries into the alleged rape of a woman in Faisalabad.
Faisalabad police chief Khalid Abdullah was removed from his post after the allegations emerged.
Mr Abdullah has denied any wrongdoing, accusing the woman of lying.
The 23-year-old woman said she was kept in illegal confinement for 15 days and raped by a police officer as "punishment" for seeking to publicise the detention of her husband.
The officer accused of the crime was suspended on Tuesday.
The woman said she was abducted, blindfolded and handcuffed and driven to a house where she was kept for 15 days and raped by a police officer.
Pakistan has witnessed a number of high-profile rape cases in recent months.
The most highly publicised is the case of Mukhtar Mai, 33, who was raped in Punjab province in 2002, allegedly on the order of a village council.
Since then she has become an icon in the campaign for women's justice in conservative Pakistan.
Last week, tribal council members in Karachi were accused of preventing a rape case being reported to police.
he council instead allegedly imposed a fine on the accused.
1. September 2005
drei frauen wurden während der polizeihaft gefoltert.
COP accused of illegal detention, probe ordered
The Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of Jayadev Kasaba police outpost has been accused of torturing three women of Chheliapada village in police custody.
Although he has been transferred, the villagers have demanded his suspension failing which they have threatened to resort to agitation.
Sources said there was a clash between two families of the village under Sadar police limits following a dispute on Friday last.
Although both the families had lodged separate FIRs, ASI Shasadhar Sethy, had reportedly arrested six persons, including three women, of one family. They were in police custody for a night and produced in the court the next day.
On being released on bail, the women members of the family alleged that they were tortured by Sethy.
"Since there was no female constable, the officer kept us in the male hazat and misbehaved with us in front of our husbands," one of the women, Laxmipriya Barik told this website?s newspaper.
Balasore Sadar MLA Arun Dey has also demanded immediate suspension of the officer. Citing a Supreme Court ruling, the MLA said a woman couldn't be kept in police custody at night without the presence of a female constable.
The officer has violated the SC ruling and should be dismissed, the MLA reiterated. When contacted, Nishamani Sahu, In-charge SP of Balasore said,
"We have transferred the ASI and Sadar Circle Inspector has been asked to inquire the matter. Action will be taken only after the investigation."
He, however, said the women had come to the outpost after the arrest of their husbands and the police officer had not arrested them earlier.
"As an FIR had been lodged against all the family members, the women were kept in police custody and produced in the court the next day," he added.
1. September 2005
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
polizeiminister bire kimisopa hat zugegeben das der bericht von human rights watch über die extreme gewalt durch polizisten zutrifft und das ihm die vergewaltigungen im polizeigewahrsam bekannt sind.
PNG admits police force brutality
Papua New Guinea's police minister, Bire Kimisopa, has admitted that he is aware of females being raped while in police custody.
He was responding to a scathing report by US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) which detailed an epidemic of extreme physical violence by police in PNG.
This includes the gang rape of young girls in police custody, HRW said.
Mr Kimisopa told Australia's ABC radio that he was not proud of police violence and was working to stop it.
"I'm aware of instances of female offenders in custody being raped. That's something we're not proud of, that's something we need to eradicate within the PNG police force now," he said.
It was not clear whether Mr Kimisopa was referring to the rape of women or girls.
"All I can say is that as far the PNG police force is concerned, now we're going to change that culture and we're working extremely hard to change the culture."
The HRW report, released on Wednesday, described the violence as widespread.
Children, it said, are routinely beaten and kicked, knifed and even shot by police officers.
Sexual abuse, including the gang rape of girls and boys, is also common, it said.
One of the report's researchers said some of the violence and acts of sexual humiliation were so severe that they constituted torture.
Government officials knew about the abuse, the report went on, but were doing little to prevent it.
As well as calling on the government to intervene, the researchers also called on Australia, Papua New Guinea's largest foreign aid donor, to take a more active role in making the police more accountable.
Australia has just agreed to send a small group of its own police officers to Papua New Guinea and also to provide police training.
That support could include ways of improving discipline and tackling abuse.
The report did hail one positive development - the recent setting up of juvenile courts in Papua New Guinea.
The new courts and guidelines for dealing with children were important steps in the right direction, it said, but at the moment any gains were being undermined by rampant police violence.
Papua-Neuguinea: Polizei misshandelt Kinder
Folterungen und Gruppenvergewaltigungen durch Beamte an der Tagesordnung
(Port Moresby, 1. September 2005) – Die Polizei von Papua-Neuguinea misshandelt, vergewaltigt und foltert Verhaftete – darunter viele Kinder, so Human Rights Watch in einem neuen Bericht. Die internationale Menschenrechtsorganisation forderte die Regierung von Papua-Neuguinea auf, den Gewalttätigkeiten durch die Sicherheitskräfte des Landes Einhalt zu gebieten[.....]
[ Papua-Neuguinea: Polizei misshandelt Kinder / Zusammenfassung des Berichts
Papua New Guinea: Epidemic of Police Brutality Against Children
Torture, Gang Rapes Common in Law Enforcement
(Port Moresby, September 1, 2005)—The Papua New Guinea government must act to stop the police from engaging in brutal beatings, rape and torture of arrestees, many of who are children, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. [.....]
[ Papua New Guinea: Epidemic of Police Brutality Against Children / Summary of the Report
“Making Their Own Rules”
Police Beatings, Rape, and Torture of Children in Papua New Guinea / Full Report as .pdf
10. August 2005
bericht über die situation von frauen im süden des sudan. U.a. steht da dass alle 24 frauen die im rumbek knast im frauentrakt inhaftiert sind, dort wegen "verstöße gegen die familiengesetze" sind.Etwa die hälfte ist wegen "ehebruch" inhaftiert, die anderen weil sie sich weigern den traditionellen heiratsregeln zu folgen.
*In Sudan, Sitting in One Prison to Escape Another*
Women Commit Adultery, Serve Time To Obtain Divorces
RUMBEK, Sudan -- Crouched in a dank prison ward, Ding Maker admits she broke the law by committing adultery. But she didn't do it for love, she says. Like many women in jail for infidelity in Sudan, she did it because she wanted a divorce. For three months, she has been sitting in a cell with 12 other women, hoping to shame her husband into repaying her dowry and leaving her.
"He abused and beat me, never paying for my food or taking care of our sick children," Maker said, adjusting her shiny green shirt over her swelling belly. She is pregnant from the affair, but not worried about it."I had no other way to get divorced," she said. "I was his second wife and he wasn't caring for me. I don't mind staying here. I will just wait."
In patriarchal southern Sudan, as in much of Africa, only men have the right to file for divorce. The one legal loophole for Sudanese women is to commit adultery, a crime that is instant grounds for divorce. But even then, most husbands refuse to agree to one because they don't want to ask their relatives to return the dowry -- in Maker's case, 90 cows -- they have received from the bride's family and distributed as gifts.
All of this, however, could change. Southern Sudan, now at peace after two decades of civil war with the north, is drawing up a new constitution and attempting to craft a modern penal code. With international donors reluctant to aid an entity that jails women for adultery or elopement, its new leaders are reviewing traditional rules regarding marriage, dowry and divorce.
But many women have started defying the rules on their own, in part because they became more independent from men during the civil war, and in part because the political liberation of the region has brought new ideas and influences into a tightly controlled tribal society.Virtually all 24 women in Rumbek prison's female ward are there because they defied customary family laws. More than half have been charged with adultery; the rest have been jailed for eloping or failing to follow traditional marriage rules.
"With peace and talk of change, adultery and requests for divorce are more frequent than they were ever before," said Chief Justice Ambrose Riny Thiik of South Sudan's Superior Court. "In fact, we're all surprised it's happening already."But Thiik, 62, wonders if citizens will accept such drastic changes. In Sudanese society, "the couple may not be in love at all," he said. "These are arranged marriages to create an economic network of family relations. If we change these rules, our entire society could change."
According to Akur Ajuoi, a lawyer who works with UNICEF, the push to reject these traditions has been a byproduct of the 21-year war between the Arab-dominated north and the African south. With their husbands away fighting for long periods, women learned to manage their own farms and cattle herds."Now that their husbands are back, they want more rights," Ajuoi said. "There is also a lot of influence from the outside. Times are changing and women are getting enlightened. As much as we want to say that traditions are nice and are going to stay, we should leave the harmful ones behind."
Ajuoi is an example of the new outside influences. A war refugee, she was educated in Kenya and South Africa, both more modern countries where women can obtain a divorce in the courts.Many educated Sudanese coming home to rebuild their country have very different ideas than their grandparents. Ajuoi is also working on a measure that would make it illegal for parents to keep children out of school, even to work with crops or cattle.But she said laws involving women may be hardest to change, largely because of money. Payment of dowry cattle is at the heart of the region's economy.
"It may be easier to get rights for children than to get women's rights. Children are viewed as gifts, whereas women are seen as having a monetary worth because of the dowry," she said.Conservative lawyers working on the new constitution argue that putting a woman in jail for adultery is practical and that many customary laws were built upon popular opinions of what is morally correct for society."To be very frank, it's an important preventive measure to protect a woman from getting killed," said one of those lawyers, William Ajal Deng. "Not all of our customary laws are bad. Divorce, in my opinion, should rarely be permitted at all. It's a bad thing for children."
Maker's husband is a gruff regional chief named Manganat Deng (and not related to William Deng). He said that even though Maker "misbehaves" and gets into fights with his first wife, he is opposed to divorcing her or returning her dowry."Why is this woman doing this to me? It's not done," he said with a scowl. "We Dinkas don't believe in divorce, even if there are problems. I do not want that as a solution." The Dinkas are the major tribe in southern Sudan.But others see the traditional system as biased against women. Under customary laws, a woman or man who commits adultery must pay a fine, usually seven cows or about $800. Those who cannot pay serve six months in jail.
But there are no cases of any men being put in Rumbek prison for adultery, because they own cows and land and can afford the fines, said Cmdr. Benjamin Jok, who runs the facility. Women are not allowed to own property and so cannot bail themselves out."Men also are allowed to take as many wives as they can support," Jok pointed out.He said he hardly considers the women in his custody criminals. Because the prison system has few funds , he lets them grow sorghum and ground nuts on a nearby farm and sell their produce in the market.
In certain cases, Jok agreed that jailing a woman was unfair. An elderly woman named Ayen Malual was sent to Rumbek prison because her son, an army soldier, failed to pay the dowry for his bride. Her family demanded cows, but the soldier had been sent away on duty and Malual had no animals to offer them.
"She loved my son, and we were happy with the marriage," said Malual, who sat with her spindly legs folded on the concrete cell floor. "It's just the dowry that was not there. These traditions can make things too hard. I miss my mattress and mosquito net at home."
Maker, already a mother of six, spends her nights with only a straw mat covering the cold cement. There are no toilets, so the women go to the bathroom outside. Most said they were depressed and angry, but willing to stay.Last month Maker's 15-year-old daughter died of rabies. Four prison guards escorted Maker to the funeral. But at the ceremony, she said, her husband began shouting that he wanted to kill her."He started hurling sticks at me," she said. "I never want to be with that man again. My life is terrible with him. I will stay here until things change."
07. August 2005
artikel über frauen in ländlichen gebieten, die der hexerei beschuldigt werden und deswegen gefoltert, verjagt und manchmal getötet werden.
From Superstition to Savagery: Women Accused of Witchcraft Face Violence in Rural India
At sundown, Pusanidevi Manjhi recalled, nine village men stormed into her house shouting, "Witch, witch!" and dragged her out by her hair as her six small children watched helplessly."This woman is a witch!" the men announced to the villagers, said Manjhi, 36. She said they tied her ankles together and locked her in a dark room. Pusanidevi Manjhi, pictured with husband Gooda and their six children, was accused of being a witch by a landowner whose paddy crop was destroyed by fire. She was tortured and held captive for four days."They beat me with bamboo sticks and metal rods and tried to pull my nails out. 'You are a witch, admit it,' they screamed at me again and again," Manjhi said, tearfully recalling her four days of captivity in June.
"They accused me of casting an evil spell on their paddy crop that was destroyed in a fire. I begged them and told them I was not a witch," she said, showing wounds on her legs, thighs, hips and shoulders one recent morning in this village in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.After a police investigation, the men who attacked Manjhi were arrested. An official said that the attack was spurred by a powerful landowner who owned rice paddies in the village and used local superstition to mask his attempts to maintain control.
Threats and charges of witchcraft occur in a number of Indian states that have large tribal populations with traditional beliefs about witches. Indian newspapers periodically publish reports about women who, after being accused of being witches, have been beaten, had their heads shaved or had strings of shoes hung around their necks. Some have been killed.In a tribal society steeped in superstition, the spells of witches often are blamed for stubborn illnesses, a stroke of bad luck, the drying up of wells, crop failure or the inability to give birth to a son. But social analysts and officials said that superstition and faith in witchcraft often are a ploy for carrying out violence against women.
"Superstition is only an excuse. Often a woman is branded a witch so that you can throw her out of the village and grab her land, or to settle scores, family rivalry, or because powerful men want to punish her for spurning their sexual advances. Sometimes it is used to punish women who question social norms," said Pooja Singhal Purwar, an official at the Jharkhand social welfare department."Women from well-to-do homes in the village are never branded witches," Purwar said. "It is always the socially and economically vulnerable women who are targeted and boycotted."
Purwar said she sees an average of five women a month being denounced as witches and tortured in rural Jharkhand. Her department has drawn up a public information project to oppose the practice, providing information at village fairs and conducting street performances and puppet shows. Police at the local level have been alerted to track the cases of women who are attacked, she said.While Manjhi was imprisoned by her captors, her husband, a farmhand, sought help from the village elders, who called a meeting to determine if Manjhi was a witch and summoned a witch doctor for verification. But by then, word spread and the police arrived.
The nine men were charged under a Jharkhand state law that forbids accusing people of being witches. One of them was Gahan Lal, the man whose paddy had caught fire. Lal later confessed to torturing Manjhi."Gahan Lal was a powerful landlord. There were fights all the time in the village over land and wages," said Jayant Tirkey, the police officer investigating the case. "When his paddy caught fire, he blamed [Manjhi] for casting an evil spell. But that is merely an excuse. His real motive is to instill fear among the poor."
Tirkey said he thinks that village witch doctors are to blame for superstitious practices, but added that witch doctors are not arrested and tried because they are not directly involved in the violence.
"I never name a witch. I only give villagers some clues to find her," said Leena Oraon, who is known as a witch doctor in Aragate village and who says she studies rice grains to ascertain the presence of a witch in the village. "Today's doctors cannot cure ailments that are caused by a witch's curse. That is why people come to me."
In a case three years ago in Lalganj village, an elderly woman, Baili Kashyap, was branded a witch for supposedly causing sickness in the family of a relative. The relatives, who allegedly were engaged in a land dispute with her, tied her to a tree and slit her throat with a sickle while others in the village watched. Six men are in prison for the murder."My mother-in-law was not a witch. They were after our land. But the entire village just stood and watched the murder," said Kashyap's daughter-in-law, Reena, 28. "They believed she was a witch and deserved to die."
According to a study by the Free Legal Aid Committee, an advocacy group that works against witch-hunting, only 2 percent of people charged with witch-hunting are convicted in court."People go scot-free because witnesses are hard to come by. Villagers often approve of the torture meted out to these women," said Girija Shankar Jaiswal, a lawyer who heads the organization. "They think witch-hunting is a heroic act and that it will clean the society of evil."
Only two Indian states, Jharkhand and Bihar, have outlawed witch-hunting. Last year, one of India's northeastern states, Tripura, conducted a discussion in the legislative assembly about the need to ban the practice of witch-hunting. After a day-long debate, the assembly unanimously decided that killing of people for practicing witchcraft should be prevented.However, members failed to reach a consensus on whether witchcraft was a science or superstition.
02. August 2005
zum ersten mal hat eine frau im tv darüber geredet daß sie von ihren eltern zwangsverheiratet werden sollte, weglief und in kabul den mann geheiratet hat den sie wollte.Es ist noch nicht entschieden ob sie deswegen angeklagt werden wird.
Afghan TV broaches marriage taboos
Television viewers in Afghanistan were mesmerised recently by a hard-hitting edition of a TV programme, Corridors, on the privately-run Tolo TV station.A young woman featured on the programme spoke out forcefully, accusing her parents of having tried to get her engaged to a man without her consent.
In defiance, she had run away to Kabul and married another man, for love."It's my right under Sharia law and the constitution," she said on camera, "to break off my engagement and marry someone else. I have the right to make my own choice. Why should I be pressurised?"Angry members of her family also appeared on the programme, rejecting her argument. The man her parents had chosen to be her husband also spoke out, equally angry.
"Everyone has sisters and mothers," he said, "and as a result of all these women's rights, a man might go to work during the day and come home to find his wife has run off with someone else or someone's taken her."In Afghanistan, a woman who breaks off a genuine engagement can be punished with a prison sentence.Now the courts will have to decide if this particular young woman got engaged willingly or not.
But the mere fact that these people spoke about such a sensitive issue on a prime time current affairs programme was news in itself.Those who support women's rights see it as a positive example, saying it could influence others to resist forced marriages.
Shamsola Mazai of Afghanistan's Human Rights Commission says that they have seen a sudden increase in women seeking help, partly because of television coverage like this."The public is getting information about their rights from the media, the human rights commission, the ministry of women and other sources," he told me."When they hear about the rights of women, it helps them know their rights and come forward to demand them."
The presenter of the TV programme, Corridors, Humayoon Daneshyar, wants his programme to foster change. From now on, he told me, any families trying to push their daughters into forced marriages know that their daughters might speak out on television too and shame them."It's like climbing a staircase," he said, "and we've taken the first step. Afghanistan is a developing society and because of the war, we still have people with very old fashioned attitudes towards women."
But the prospect of change is already causing concern. Fazl Hadi Shinwari is Afghanistan's Chief Justice, head of the Supreme Court and a top Islamic scholar.He wants Tolo TV banned, objecting in particular to women appearing unveiled and Asian music videos showing women dancing in outfits he considers immodest.
"Some of Tolo TV's programmes violate Islamic principles," he said. "We've condemned that and asked the authorities to stop them. Western women walk about half-naked. But in Islam we say women should be covered, apart from the face."In a small Kabul beauty parlour set back from a busy main road, we found women of all ages chatting as they had their hair or make-up done.Everyone there had seen or heard the Corridors programme on forced marriage - and heartily approved.
"This is an independent TV channel," said the salon manager, hairdryer in hand, "and will bring positive change. A lot of other young women will be inspired to talk about their problems, not hide them.""At the moment lots of young girls forced into marriage commit suicide. If they're able to talk openly on TV, it might reduce the problem."The courts are yet to pass judgement on the particular case featured in the programme.But there's no doubt that the mere fact her family dispute has been aired so publicly has already made a previously taboo topic the talk of Afghanistan.
31. July 2005
bericht über die behandlung von inhaftierten frauen während einer geburt. Die frauen werden an händen und füßen an die betten gefesselt.In california wird seit einiger zeit mehr über die mangelhafte medizinische behandlung von gefangenen diskutiert.Nach einem bericht eines gerichtes sterben pro jahr 64 gefangene in den kalifornischen knästen weil sie entweder falsch oder gar nicht medizinisch behandelt werden.
Shackling women prisoners while giving birth comes under fire
*SAN JOSE, Calif.** - *(KRT) - Desiree Callahan raced in an ambulance to deliver her first-born at a Madera hospital, racked with contractions every three minutes, her ankle chained to a gurney.
Even after she had general anesthesia and an emergency C-section, the state of California still considered the 21-year-old serving time in a San Joaquin Valley prison a flight risk. As Callahan regained consciousness and learned that her baby girl had died, the shackles were there, securing her to the bed rail. She remained in cuffs for most of her four-day hospital recovery last spring, under the constant watch of an armed guard.
In California and across the country, women prisoners are routinely shackled for most of labor and immediately after childbirth - a longstanding practice opposed by a growing number of legislators and even a spokesman for the conservative guard's union. A bill introduced by California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber that would ban the practice has moved from the Assembly into the Senate.
"They've got to do what they've got to do, but at the same time it's humiliating," Callahan said last week, days after her release from 20 months in the Valley State Prison for Women. "And it's just ridiculous. If I really wanted to - even if I had a ride and everything - I couldn't make it out the front door."
The practice of shackling laboring inmates is defended by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, although there is no known record of an escape or assault by a prisoner giving birth. All inmates, male and female, who leave state institutions for community hospitals are shackled and guarded by at least one armed correctional officer. That includes the 185 women prisoners on average who give birth each year in California.
"Basically, we don't want them to escape - that's the bottom line," said department spokeswoman Terry Thornton. "It's part of our mission of public safety. When any inmate is away from the institution, they need to be appropriately supervised and restrained to prevent escape."But Lieber, a San Jose Democrat, calls applying such a rule to pregnant inmates "an inhumane practice" that violates United Nations prison standards.
"When we have individuals who are incarcerated, we have a duty to provide minimum standards of health care, particularly when there is a newborn involved," she said.The treatment of pregnant inmates is yet another example of the deteriorated state of the state's $1.1 billion prison health care system, where custody trumps treatment. Even comatose and brain-dead inmates are shackled and guarded on overtime at tremendous cost to taxpayers.
As many as 64 California prisoners die unnecessarily each year from medical negligence or malpractice, according to the U.S. District Court, which seized control of the system July 1. The receiver has yet to be named, and it is unlikely the treatment of prisoners giving birth will be an immediate priority.
But Justice Now and other Bay Area prisoner rights groups are taking up the cause, documenting cases of mothers at the Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla - where more than 100 pregnant prisoners are housed on any given day. They deliver at the nearby Madera Community Hospital.
In general, the women ride to and from the hospital in handcuffs. Inside, they can be shackled to a bed during early labor, a critical period when walking and changing positions assists the progress and comfort of delivery. Per department policy, after giving birth, they have one leg shackled to the bed for the duration of their stay.
Callahan, a first-time offender from Merced, said the shackles were more than emotionally traumatic - they made her physical recovery more difficult. "You have to be stuck to a bed even though the doctors say you need to get up and walk because your stomach was cut open," she said. "They uncuffed me because a doctor and a nurse had given direct orders for me to walk around."
Between 1998 and 2004, California prisoners gave birth to 1,300 babies, the majority conceived prior to their mothers' sentencing. Most of those babies went home with relatives or into foster care.Pregnant inmates get extra milk with meals and the services of a "doula" - a trained labor coach who runs weekly childbirth preparation classes and provides bedside support during delivery.
According to prison officials, hospital doctors decide when a patient is in "active labor," and that is when restraints are removed. But that stage is ill-defined.
"Active labor means contractions that are regular, forceful and coordinated, and that can go on for 36 hours," said Corey Weinstein, a correctional medical consultant who serves on the board of the San Francisco-based California Prison Focus. Women interviewed by advocacy groups report being restrained until the pushing stage, the last part of active labor, a practice Weinstein described as "barbaric."
Although the American Public Health Association opposes shackling prisoners during childbirth, it is not uncommon nationwide. According to a 2001 Amnesty International report, 21 state departments of correction allow women to be restrained during labor and delivery.Yet even the California Correctional Peace Officers' Association, the guards' union typically opposed to loosening restrictions on inmates, called the practice inhumane.
"Obviously there's a security risk any time a prisoner is not restrained," said union spokesman Lance Corcoran. "But labor is such an intense experience that I think the risk is very minimal."Speaking as a father and a correctional officer, Corcoran said he favors a policy change, with exceptions for high-risk inmates. "The personal presence of an officer would be sufficient in most cases," he said. "Certainly, shackling someone to a bed when they're in labor and transition is horrible. It just doesn't make any sense."
Department officials said pregnant inmate issues may be addressed by a new Gender-Responsive Strategies Commission, which includes staff members and outside experts. So far, the commission has developed soon-to-be-implemented regulations eliminating body searches of female inmates by male staff. More than 57 percent of the 11,000 incarcerated women in California are victims of sexual or physical abuse, and the searches are believed to exacerbate their trauma.
Department spokeswoman Thornton said the state will investigate or rethink any other questionable policies. But in the end, she said, "security is paramount."
26. July 2005
frauen im bundesstaat kano dürfen nicht mehr in den selben bussen / autos wie männer fahren und auch nicht mehr hinter einem mann auf einem motorrad sitzen. ( motorräder sind eine art taxi).
Zur einhaltung dieser neuen gesetze wurde eine 9.000 mann starke religionspolizeitruppe gegründet.
NIGERIA: KANO INTRODUCES SEPARATE SEX BUSES AS IT TIGHTENS SHARI'AH LAW
KANO, 26 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - Women in Kano State have been banned from riding in the same buses as men and from riding behind men on motorcycles as the state government extends its application of Islamic Shariah law.
The separation of the sexes in this state in northern Nigeria will be enforced by a 9,000-strong religious police force with the power to fine people who ignore the new rules.
State governor Ibrahim Shekarau launched the implementation of the new law on Tuesday at a ceremony at Kano city stadium attended by 10,000 chanting supporters.
He told them that the new road traffic law promulgated by the state government earlier this year would stop "the mixture of men and women in commercial vehicles and the carrying of women on motorcycles."
"Our aim is to be at the forefront of conducting our activities decently and to protect Allah's Sharia," Shekarau added to chants of "Allah is great!"
At the ceremony, the state governor formally presented new 100 mini-buses, 100 motor cycles and 300 motor tricycles which have been bought to ease the implementation of the new law.
Motorcycles as well as cars are widely used as taxis in Kano city.
Shekaru said his government had recruited 9,000 Hisbah or Islamic law enforcers to help with the implementation of the law.
Transport operators who mix men and women in their vehicles risk a fine of 5,000 naira (US $38) or a six-month suspension of their license.
However, some exceptions will still be allowed. A man will still be able to ride in the same car or taxi as his wife and children, for example.
Kano is one of 12 states in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north that adopted the strict Shari?ah code in 2000, but it is the first to introduce segregated public transport.
The introduction of Shariah deepened mutual suspicions between Nigeria's Muslim north and the mainly Christian south, erupting in periodic bouts of sectarian violence in which thousands of people have died.
Punishments under the legal code include amputation of limbs for stealing, stoning to death for adultery and homosexual activity and public flogging for premarital sex and drinking alcohol.
Kano's Muslims majority, for the most part, welcomed the new law.
"It is against the injunctions of Allah for a man to sit close to a woman who is not his wife, and this is what happens in public vehicles," Suleiman Musa, a Muslim cleric, told IRIN. "That is why we want this law."But the large Christian community in Kano, which will have to abide by the new rules too, was less happy.
"In the first place the buses are not enough to serve the millions of people in this city. But then I hope they limit the application to Muslims only, because we Christians won't accept it," said Michael Akpabio, a Christian Pentecostal preacher in the city.
Kano, with a population of four million, is the biggest city in northern Nigeria and has long been a hotbed of sectarian violence.
More than 200 people died in the last outburst of Muslim-Christian clashes in Kano in May 2004.
12. July 2005
bericht über die beschneidung von mädchen . das gesundheitsministerium schätzt die zahl der beschnittenen frauen und mädchen auf 98%. Seit 27 jahren kämpfen die frauen der djibouti national women's union gegen diese mißhandlungen.
DJIBOUTI: WOMEN FIGHT MUTILATION
For thousands of years, girls in the area that is now the tiny African country of Djibouti, have been subjected to pharaonic circumcision.
It is a practice that involves cutting away a girl?s inner labia and clitoris, and sewing the wound together, leaving a tiny hole for passing urine and menstrual blood.
Siti Robitu, 21, describes a recent argument she had with her family over the circumcision of her four-year old daughter. "My father, my mother - they all cried," she said. "They wanted my daughter to be circumcised. I was against it."
Siti, a nursing aid in a local clinic, belongs to a small number of mothers in Djibouti who are trying to protect their daughters from the circumciser's knife.
Despite medical evidence that genital mutilation puts women at risk of infection, pain and complications during childbirth, social pressure is such that most mothers opt to circumcise their daughters.
"At first, I asked the doctor to do it, but he refused," Siti said. "My mother was furious. When you are not circumcised, the whole neighbourhood talks behind your back. They say she [my daughter] is like a white woman."
Djibouti's health ministry estimates that 98 percent of all Djiboutian women are circumcised - the highest rate of any country in the world.
"Mothers have their daughters infibulated to make sure that they get a husband and a secure future. Otherwise they get loose and become prostitutes, people believe here," Fatuma Abdi, from the Djibouti National Women's Union (UNDF) explained.
"It is the women not the men who insist on circumcision," she added. "The weird thing is that my mother believes she has benefited from it. How, she can't tell me."
Siti is encouraged by activists like Fatuma Abdi not to follow age-old tradition.
Door to door campaigns, programmes on government radio and roundtable television shows bring the new message into every home.
Teachers are obliged to talk about the issue for at least five minutes a day, so girls do not perpetuate in adulthood what may have already been done to them.
It has been a long, hard struggle for Djiboutian women activists to get this far.
QUARTER CENTURY OF STRUGGLE
Twenty-six years ago, members of the women's union started the fight against female genital mutilation (FGM). The breakthrough came only early this year after a decade-long series of conferences and meetings with religious leaders.
Safia Elmi, technical advisor to the Ministry of Health, recalls the outcry of more than 200 women in a conference hall on 2 February, when Muslim Imams conceded that female circumcision was not required by the Koran.
Nonetheless, they demanded that women still have at least their clitoris cut.
"That was the best thing that happened to us," Safia says. "We all stood up and shouted - 'don?t touch our girls'."
The Minister of Health was forced to call another closed session with clergymen. They finally declared female circumcision a thing of the past.
This, however, was just on paper.
FGM was made a criminal offence in Djibouti as far back as 1994, incurring a penalty of one million Djbouti francs (US $5,500), or up to two years imprisonment.
"But until now, nobody was jailed or fined because it is difficult to fine someone for a cultural practice that is very widespread," said Ayanne Hassan Omar, spokeswoman for Djibouti?s president, Omar Guelleh.
FIGHT ACROSS BORDERS
Safia Elmi is establishing an organisation of midwives who oppose FGM. She wants to track down those who carry out female circumcisions and have them prosecuted.
Increased public censure in Djibouti, she says, means more Djiboutian mothers are taking their daughters to Ethiopia or Somaliland to be circumcised. To prevent this, she wants to create a regional anti-FGM committee.
The UNDF's Fatuma Abdi says circumcision is primarily cultural, not religious: "It is not just the Muslims who are practicing infibulation. It is the Catholics as well."
In December 2003, Djibouti signed the Maputo Protocol of the African Charter of Rights, which stipulates that FGM must be forbidden and condemned.
This did not stop the average mother from subjecting her daughter to it.
"The real reason why nobody was punished, is that nobody complained," Safia Elmi said. "In Djibouti, everybody is a cousin of someone."
PAIN AND SUFFERING
Madina Mohammed, a mother of five, lives in a very poor Djibouti neighbourhood. She proudly describes how her daughter was circumcised shortly after birth. The girl is now three years old.
"It needs three women to do the procedure. One closes the eyes of the girl. One spreads the legs and one does the cutting. Then we tie the legs together for seven days. I spent DF50 (30 US Cents) for Afar medicine to help the healing."
The women of the Afar ethnic group circumcise girls in the first week after birth. The Somali Issa girls are circumcised between five and nine years of age.
An expert circumcision costs to DF5,000 ($30). People often save for years to get the money together for the practitioner.
Many circumcisions are badly carried out.
Fatma Hatchi, one of just two local gynaecologists in Djibouti, is confronted daily with women who suffer complications stemming from infibulation. Girls bleeding profusely are regularly admitted to the hospital where she works.
There are other complications too. "Sometimes girls take half an hour to urinate," she says. The urethra is closed-up during infibulation, forcing urine inside the vagina, before it finds it way out through the tiny hole left after circumcision."Today, we had a patient who could not pee anymore. When we opened her up, we found lots of blood. The woman must have had menstruation for a year, but it could not get out. She had pharaonic circumcision," Hatchi explained.
"During my time, it was important that five women from the family inspected whether the hole was small enough," Hatchi said. "If it was too big, even if the woman had had no contact with a man, she was sent home and could never get married."
Siti, the health worker who refuses to circumcise her daughter, remembers her wedding night was not what she had dreamt of. "We tried for a whole week, but my husband could not penetrate," she says. "It was very painful. Then he sent me to the hospital, to open the hole."
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