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From: NAD [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2002 6:48 PM

April 16 - 30, 2001
Volume 3, Issue no.1

A development e-newsletter that covers current Arab issues through up to
date press news, analytical articles, and activists/NGOs reports. In
Solidarity, please forward this e-mail to other interested
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        NAD Supports Global Women's Strike

   2. NEWS
         2.1 Ratification of UN Convention Puts End to Bias of Bahraini
         2.2 Report Charts Progress in Women's Status in Jordan
         2.3 Kuwait Women in Fresh Bid to Register as Voters

   3. FOLLOW Ups
         3.1 Family Law in Islam, the Turkish Case
         3.2 Reproductive Health & Rights, Diwan Health

   4. GLOBAL
        4.1 Amnesty Int'l: End Violence Against Women and Girls

        5.1 Call for International Women Volunteers in Palestine
        5.2 Workshop: Experiences of Practitioners on Gender Training in
        5.3 Women and Education International Conference

*               *               *


NAD Supports Global Women's Strike: Invest in Caring not Killing!

The Nisswa and Development Network (NAD) joined the Global Women’s
Strike held the 8th of March 2002 by women in different parts of the
world to celebrate the International Women’s Day asking to “invest in
caring not killing”.
The 8th of March, a Friday, is a non-working day in most Arab countries;
therefore, NAD has called its members to stretch the initiative on two
days: to strike on the 7th and celebrate through creative initiatives on
the 8th.  Some of NAD members will also hold different initiatives
during the month of March adherent to the strike.

Beyond the technical aspects of the initiative, women across the Arab
states share the same concerns of their sisters across the globe.
Globalisation and the world economic policy is increasing the level of
poverty of the poor, whom majority are women.  Arab countries like many
other countries are forced to adapt to the international policy of world
economy which is causing a greater gap between the rich and the poor,
tension within social structures, impoverishment of the Arab family
livelihood which has to continuously resist new forms of colonisation
within its own micro-reality.

Another important issue is the call of Palestinian women on March 8th to
renew the invitation to the women of the world to express their
solidarity and support taking efficient stands to influence the politics
of the international community toward the crisis of the Palestinian
people.  The silences around the Palestinian condition of apartheid,
colonisation (Palestinians represent the greater population density in
the world, 535.2 people per square kilometre) are complicit in
maintaining the status-quo of the political situation which is leading
to an endless escalation of violence.

"Let the 8 of March be throbbing in the sky of humanity, towards a
shining tomorrow for women from all society classes. There will be no
security and no peace without the enforcement of the national rights for
the Palestinian people" The call of Palestinian Working Women Society
for Development.

The Global Women’s Strike asks to:
* Strike for a world which values all women’s work and every life –
invest in caring not killing.
* Strike to end ‘America’s new war’ and all wars – women and children
are most of those killed & wounded, and 80% of refugees.
*Strike to end globalisation – end no pay, low pay and too much work

In addition öNAD demands with regard to the Arab Region:
* Solidarity with the Palestinian women against the Israeli occupation
and apartheid.
*Gender equality and equity in the different aspects of life: socially,
economically, politically, and in the letter of the Law.
*End women’s illiteracy.
*End the feminisation of poverty especially with the spread of
globalisation and international economic policies.
*End all forms of violence against women.
*End the prejudice against Arab women for being women and for being
Arab, especially within the ‘western’ media.
*End the transformation of the Arab people to societies of economic
production on the expense of family life, and social human relations.

For more info and for up dates go to NAD's site http://odag.org/nad


2.1 Ratification of UN Convention Puts End to Bias of Bahraini Women

Bahrain's ratification of the convention on the elimination of all forms
of discrimination against women will further ensure that the rights of
Bahraini women are legally safeguarded and applied through proper
mechanisms, a seminar by the Bahrain Human Rights Society marking the
National Day for Women highlighted yesterday.
The convention, adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often
described as an international bill of rights for women, defining all
forms of discrimination against women and setting up an agenda for
national action to end the biases.
His Majesty the King, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, issued Decree No.
5 for 2002, approving Bahrain"s joining the UN convention on March 2,
making Bahrain the second after Kuwait in the GCC to ratify the
The convention was approved by the Cabinet under the chairmanship of the
Prime Minister, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, on February 4,
after taking into consideration recommendations of the Shura Council and
the Supreme Council for Women.
The convention defines discrimination against women as "any distinction,
exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect
or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or
exercise by women irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of
equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in
the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other area.
Speaking at the seminar at the Bahrain Sociologists Society, Bahraini
lawyer Dalal Zayed said that by accepting the convention, states commit
themselves to a series of measures to end all forms of discrimination
against women.
The measures include incorporating the principle of equality of men and
women in their legal system, abolishing all discriminatory laws and
replacing them with others to end discrimination against women,
establishing public institutions to ensure the effective protection of
women from being discriminated against and the elimination of all acts
of discrimination against women by persons, organisations or
"Bahrain must start now to set up the mechanism to implement the
provisions of the law which normally takes countries about four years to
complete, said Dalal.
"There should also be a governmental agency to follow up the
implementation of the laws based on the convention to ensure that women
enjoy all rights and fundamental freedoms.
She said that the National Charter and the amended Constitution had
ensured women's participation in the municipal and legislative elections
which would be further affirmed with the application of the convention.
"The convention provides the basis for achieving equality between women
and men by ensuring equal opportunities for women in political and
public life, including the right to vote and contest elections, said
Dalal. She said that the countries which had ratified the convention
were legally bound to put its provisions into practice. "They are also
committed to submitting national reports on measures they have taken to
comply with their treaty obligations at least every four years.
Dalal said that Bahrain had reservation on several articles and
provisions of the convention, including Article 15, Provision 4, which
says that states parties shall accord to men and women the same rights
with regard to the law relating to the movement of persons and the
freedom to choose their residence and domicile, Article 16 which
contradicted Islamic laws on marriage and family issues and Article 29
on disputes between states parties over the interpretation or
application of the convention which is based on arbitration. Bahrain
Tribune© 2002

2.2 Report Charts Progress in Women's Status in Jordan

A national report on the status of Jordanian women has revealed that the
highest degree of professional inequality between men and women is found
in the political arena and the media.

The report also showed that one of the biggest gender gaps was in
women's participation in Parliament. Not one woman was elected to the
Lower House in 1997.

The report, whose findings were discussed on Monday at a meeting of
officials from the EU, UN and a local NGO, sought to chart the progress
of Jordanian women following the Fourth World Conference on Women in
Beijing in 1995. The Beijing conference called on governments to ensure
women's equal participation in all spheres of life, including decision
making and the media.

According to the UNIFEM project coordinator, Dana Malhas, who presented
the report on the occasion of the Arab Women's Day, women's
representation in the pool of government judges was also low compared to
that of their male counterparts.

Women's representation in courts stood only at one per cent in 1997,
said Malhas.

Judge Taghrid Hikmat was appointed as Jordan's first female judge in
1996. She served with around 350 male justices. More female judges have
been appointed since then, and now number 12.

The study of women's status relied on figures from the Department of
Statistics and data provided by various ministries, such as education,
social development and health.

The report addressed the weak representation of women in the media,
indicating that in 1997, no women were chief editors of local dailies.
The country published five daily newspapers in 1997.

Female employment at the Jordan Radio and Television Corporation during
1998 was 11.9 per cent, while the percentage of women working at the
Ministry of Information was about 30 per cent, Malhas said.

Gender equality was high in other fields such as education, she said.
The number of girls in primary and secondary schools was almost the same
as boys, according to the report.

"It is clear that women's representation in professions such as
education, health and social work was much higher than in other jobs,"
she said.

The report, funded by the European Union, is part of UNIFEM's Governance
Programme and its Post Beijing Follow-Up Operation which seeks to set up
gender-sensitive national plans in cooperation with the national
partners in Arab countries. It is the outcome of a year's effort by the
Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) and the United Nations
Development Fund For Women (UNIFEM).

The Post-Beijing Follow-Up Operation started in 1996 and exists in five
countries: Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Yemen.

HRH Princess Basma, who acted as patron of Arab Women's Day, said, "Arab
women have to seize this opportunity and relentlessly seek to evaluate
their status and the progress achieved so far. They should engage in an
endeavour to bridge the gender gaps that still exist." Jordan Times©

2.3 Kuwait Women in Fresh Bid to Register as Voters

Kuwaiti women activists, ignoring repeated failure to gain political
rights, on Sunday marched into voter registration stations to demand the
right to add their names to electoral lists.

Scores of women in the Muslim conservative Persian Gulf Arab state
marched to the stations waving banners demanding equal rights and
reminding the country of a failed 1999 decree by ruler Emir Sheikh Jaber
al-Ahmad al-Sabah granting them the right to vote and run for public

Kuwait has 25 constituencies with registration stations spread across
the small country of some 835,000 kuwaitis and 1.4 million foreigners.

At one station, the district chief was not present and employees told
women who gathered there that they had no authority to place their names
on voter lists, witnesses said.

In Kuwait, the only Persian Gulf Arab state with an elected Parliament,
the electorate of some 115,000 eligible male voters are invited to
register in February of every year.

Kuwait also holds municipal elections for an assembly which like
Parliament has a four-year term. The next municipal and general
elections are scheduled for 2003.

"When will Kuwaiti women get their political and social rights? vote and
stand in elections?" read one banner.

Following elections in 1999, Kuwait's Parliament rejected the emir's
decree. It later voted against a draft law which would have granted
women political rights in the oil-rich state.

A new draft law is currently before Parliament.

Last year, in a symbolic gesture, some women were allowed to sign up but
on a parallel list.

Activists who were denied the right to register at other stations later
lodged police complaints and launched court cases against the state,
seeking a ruling by the constitutional court on the ban which they argue
violates the Constitution.

Several such cases have been dismissed on procedural grounds in recent

A ruling on the latest attempt is due on March 17.

Women, slightly more than 50 percent of Kuwaitis, and seen as the most
emancipated in the Persian Gulf Arab region, have been struggling for
suffrage for almost four decades.

They hold senior government posts, run diplomatic missions and
newspapers, and help steer the country's vital oil industry but they are
not allowed to vote or run for Parliament. Tehran Times©2002


3.1 Family Law in Islam, the Turkish Case

Margot Badran writes from Turkey on the implications of the recent
reform of the 1926 Civil Code on women's rights in marriage and divorce
for Al-Ahram Weekly.
"The amended Civil Code scraps the supremacy of men in marriage and
allows women to have a say in all matters related to the marriage, thus
establishing the equality of men and women in the family," announced the
Turkish NGO Women for Women's Human Rights voicing the jubilation of
women upon hearing that the 1926 Civil Code had finally been reformed.
The new Code "sees the removal of the clause that defines the man as
head of the family, giving equal status to the woman," the NGO went on
to explain.

After seventy-five years the new amendment to the Civil Code establishes
the principle of equality of males and females in the family. The change
brings the 1926 Civil Code into closer alignment with the Constitution
of 1924 declaring the full equality of citizens, regardless of race,
religion, and sex. Women are no longer forced to sustain the
contradiction of being secondary to men in the family sphere where they
are deemed to require special protection while being considered equal in
the public sphere where they are expected to shoulder full
responsibilities... more http://www.ahram.org.eg/weekly/2002/576/fe4.htm

3.2 Reproductive Health & Rights, Diwan Health

ODAG has set up Diwan Health, an Arabic/English space, as a follow up to
the Arab regional roudtable meeting ‘Building Alliances for Women’s
Empowerment: Putting Reproductive Health into Context’, which was a
successful and empowering meeting held in Catania, Italy, last November.
It was the first of the UNFPA-SID series of policy ‘Dialogues on
Population, Gender Equity, Reproductive Rights and Development for
Alliance Building in Support of the International Conference on
Population and Development Programme of Action’.  A report of the
meeting is available in PDF format

Diwan Health at the time being is looking at the following themes: a)
Violence Against Women b) Sexuality and Social Change. c) Men, Boys and
Masculinity.  And is working to develop active working groups to address
these issues in the Arab region.

For more information and if you want to participate contact:


4.1 Amnesty Int'l: End Violence Against Women and Girls

Between Valentine's Day (V-Day) on 14 February and International Women's
Day on 8 March, tens of thousands of Amnesty International student
activists are linking up with one of the most radical political, social
and theatrical campaigns of 2002 - - the V-Day College Campaign to end
violence against women and girls

In collaboration with the International V-Day College Campaign -- part
of the V-Day movement -- students in over 25 countries are campaigning
for a 12-year-old girl reportedly raped by a public official still in
office in Guatemala, women political detainees tortured in Lebanon,
students raped by government security forces in Liberia and Turkish
activists on trial simply for speaking out against rape in custody.

"The international community has taken up the cases of some forms of
violence against women but regularly fails to address others, turning a
blind eye when international politics make it inconvenient, or the local
situation makes it appear 'too difficult'," Amnesty International's
Secretary General Irene Khan said today on International Women's Day.

For more info:


5.1 Call for International Women Volunteers in Palestine

International Women's Peace Service - Palestine, needs 16 women now to:
*Spend three months a year, for three years in a Palestinian village&
support local efforts toward non-violent peacemaking
* Respond to any instances of injustice witnessed; record and report
abuses of human rights to the international community
* Live and work in an international women's community alongside
Palestinian people.

This is a 3-year project to set up and run an International Women's
House in Haris, Salfit, Palestine from August 2002. It will provide
trained women from the international community to witness, monitor,
document and publicise human rights abuses; to peacefully intervene to
try to stop such abuses from occurring and to support the growth in
non-violent resistance to the illegal and brutal Military Occupation of
Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Gaza.

Women will live communally in a house in a village with basic facilities
and under the restrictions enforced by the illegal Israeli military
occupation. Each member of the team, of at least 16 women, will agree to
stay for 3 months a year. Thus there will always be a presence of a
minimum of four women, which will be supplemented by others staying for
shorter periods.

It is essential that applicants have been to Palestine and been involved
in non-violent direct action somewhere. The minimum age is 21 years. The
decision making will be largely by consensus and women should have some
skills such as human rights monitoring or accompaniment, report writing,
photography, computing, group process, or a willingness to learn. The
working language will be English and it will be necessary to learn basic

The following costs will be met by the project:
*Full board and lodging in the International Women's House
* Travelling expenses to and from your home country
*Medical insurance
*A stipend of $275/£185 per month whilst in Palestine

If you are interested in the project but cannot apply for this post,
please let us know as we shall be looking for volunteers at home and in
Palestine and will also welcome visitors to the project. For an
application pack please contact one of the people below:
Josephine Jaffray - Tel: +44-1539-732583 - Email:
Angie Zelter - Tel: +44-1263-512049 - Email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Nadya Waziri - Tel: +1-720-564-1462 - E-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Mission Statement of IWPS
The IWPS (International Women's Peace Service) wishes to develop
projects where there are massive, violent, human rights abuses
occurring. IWPS seeks to develop nonviolent skills, training and support
for intervention in such conflict situations.
IWPS is an independent non-governmental organisation that is supported
by donations, grants and volunteers from global civil society. IWPS is
run by women from different countries around the world and is
intentionally diverse in recruiting support from a wide range of
differing racial, age, religious, and cultural backgrounds.

5.2 Years of Training: The Experiences of Practitioners in the Field of
Gender Training in Egypt March 8-9, 2002 (Cairo, Egypt)

The Institute of Gender and Women's Studies at the American University
in Cairo (Egypt) will host the first of a series of workshops to discuss
the relationships and discourses of activists, academics, and donors in
the field of gender training in Egypt. The first workshop will focus on
the experiences and perspectives of practitioners involved in gender
training initiatives. The main objective of this first meeting is to
facilitate the critical discussion of the context, content, and
consequences of over a decade of gender training and other activities
aimed at impacting the situation and potentials of women in Egypt. The
workshop will be conducted in Arabic and will privilege experience and
grass root involvement over theory and distance.
For more information contact Hania Sholkamy: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

5.3 Women and Education International Conference, April 11-13,  Fès -

The Centre for Studies and Research on Women, affiliated to the  Faculty
of Letters Dhar El Mehraz, Fès organises its third  international
conference on: «Women and Education» on April 11, 12, and 13  2002 at
the Faculty of Letters Dhar El Mehraz, Fès - Morocco.

Education constitutes an important factor in the promotion of women in
all domains. In addition to its role in individual and collective
consciousness raising, education is an efficient means of women¹s
promotion, especially with the advent of globalisation.

One of the major objectives of this conference is to promote reflection
on the impact of education women¹s condition, especially in developing
countries. The conference also aims at debating ways of integrating the
gender approach in the Moroccan education system. The conference also
aims at highlighting the main activities undertaken in this respect in
Morocco, as well as allowing comparison between different experiences in
both developing and developed countries, taking into account the legal
and administrative changes aiming at promoting women

The conference will focus on the fundamental role education in allowing
women to participate in the process of democratization as full citizens
It is an opportunity for writers, university researchers,  and agents of
civil society to consolidate and create partnerships between Moroccan
universities and civil society on the one hand, and  international
universities and associations.

The conference will be composed of eight plenary sessions:

- Women, education and knowledge
- Education, gender and women¹s emancipation
- Women, gender the policy of education
- Women, education and mother tongues
- Women, education and development
- Education, human rights and civil society
- Education, gender and culture
- Gender and technology

The conference will also feature a demonstration of the impact of
technology on gender, organized by the SMART club of London Institute,
and a book exhibit.
For more info visit  http://www.fesnet.net.ma/CERF/Centre Programme

NAD© 2000-2002 All Rights Reserved.
The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent
those of NAD.
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