Iraq proposes law to legalize child brides and marital rape

A terrible step backwards in women’s fight for equality overseas. Iraq’s Council of Ministers has drafted a law, The Jaafari Personal Status Law, which will be voted on April 30. If passed the law would:

  1. Legalize marital rape
  2. Grant men the authority to marry girls as young as age nine

    Photo Courtesy: (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Photo Courtesy: (AP Photo/Karim Kadim) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

  3. Prohibit Muslim men from marrying non-Muslims
  4. Require wives to submit to sex on their husband’s whim
  5. Prevent women from leaving the house without the permission of their husbands
  6. Give automatic custody in divorce cases to fathers.
  7. Only father have the right to accept or refuse a marriage proposal
  8. Discontinues temporary marriages for sexual pleasure (called zawaj al-misyar or “traveller’s marriages”) Read More »
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The march backwards: Women’s rights at risk in Europe

Spain is about to criminalise abortion; politicians in the UK repeatedly attempt to reduce the 24-week limit; and yesterday in Brussels (Thurs, Apr 10), a Parliamentary hearing discussed a European Citizens’ initiative that if successful would block European Commission (EC) development funding for maternal health.

Working for sexual and reproductive health charity, Marie Stopes International, I know that every day, 800 women die during pregnancy or childbirth, and 99% of these women are from the developing world. This is why the international community identified maternal health as one of the eight Millennium Development Goals and why the European Union (EU) apportions development funding to maternal health each year.

But the ‘One of Us’ initiative, which aims to block EC funding for any activities that involve the destruction of the human embryo, would adversely affect development aid to maternal health projects. Projects that enable women in developing countries to make life-saving choices over their fertility; projects that help young women delay pregnancy until they are physically developed to safely deliver and projects that give mothers time to recover before giving birth to their next child. Read More »

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What to do if you can’t tell the difference between sexual harassment and sexual liberation

Crossposted at Of Means and Ends.

1) Stop publishing articles about feminism.

2) Stop talking to women, just to be safe.

Guardian writer David Foster has faced a fierce and well-deserved backlash to an inane article blaming feminists for stifling sexual liberation by calling out sexism. Read More »

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Why an Australian Snickers ad is a kick up the vagina

Cross-posted at Miscellaneous Me.

When I first saw the recent Australian Snickers advertisement online, I had no idea of what I was about to watch, presuming it to be a generic homemade video and not part of a corporate advertising campaign. The viral video was simply listed on an entertainment site as, “Aussie Builders Surprise Women With Loud Empowering Statements,” and was tagged under, “funny” and “pop culture.” From this, I expected the video to be bit of lighthearted amusement at least, a display of female empowerment at best. The aim of the video is obviously to entertain through the reversal of the stereotypical assumption that construction workers are misogynistic, and it opens with the question, “What happens when builders aren’t themselves?” This already implies that any act of female empowerment to follow will not be a true representation of the average construction worker, an ambivalent start to a supposedly “amusing” clip. Read More »

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The Fulfiller of Expectations

She’s not
asking for the attention
of the holy order
of stoners and slashers
when she walks
with contemplation
or dances
without reservation
in consonance
with her stimulation.

She’s got nature’s approbation
as the fulfiller of the expectations
for rain and laughter. Read More »

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