Hats Off (But Dresses On) to Our Kurdish Feminist Brothers

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A remarkable and unusual sort of civil disobedience has been triggered in Marivan, a city in the Kurdistan Province of Iran. On April 15, an Iranian court in the city forced a male convict to wear traditional Kurdish women’s clothes in public, perceiving it as a humiliating punishment. Kurdish feminists of the Marivan Women’s Community […]

Baby Steps Toward Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia

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Women are now allowed to ride bikes in Saudi Arabia —with a few tiny restrictions. They’re only allowed to bike if they are:  in a restricted area, with a man, have covered their bodies completely under the rules of Islamic abaya, biking strictly for entertainment (not transportation) and staying away from places where groups of […]

NEWSFLASH: Afghan Women’s Affairs Official Murdered

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Najia Sediqi, the acting head of women’s affairs in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan, was on her way to work on Monday when she was shot to death by two motorcyclists. This is the second time in six months a woman holding this position has been assassinated. In July, Sediqi’s predecessor, Hanifa Safi, was killed […]

Malala Yousufzai: A Girl and a Country

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In 2007 when the Tehrik-e-Taliban forces marched into the town of Swat, the rest of Pakistan watched, aghast and unbelieving. The town was very popular as a tourist destination, its verdant foothills studded with picturesque dwellings: a lush and cool getaway from the sun-baked plains of the rest of the country. Within days signs appeared […]

Where Are the Global Girl Activists? Don’t Ask

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Where are the young women in the fight for global women’s rights? Don’t ask me this stupid question today. Most days I could calmly and politely explain to you where and how young women are doing this work. How it looks different than it did before, that the keywords are different and much of the […]

Israeli and Palestinian Women Defy Checkpoints to Socialize

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On a warm Saturday morning, 15 Jewish Israeli women drove their cars into West Bank Palestinian towns and villages. There, more than 30 Palestinian women and children carrying pots of home-cooked food entered the Israelis’ vehicles. The Palestinians, dressed in jeans or Western-style skirts, removed their head scarves for the journey. As the cars approached […]

Taliban Publicly Executes Woman Accused of Adultery

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Update: Women and men flooded the streets of Kabul Wednesday to protest the public execution of an Afghan woman accused of adultery. The protest included a march from the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs to a traffic stop near a U.N. compound. A three-minute video obtained by Reuters shows a man shooting a burqa-clad woman five times at […]

Saudi Arabia Allows Women in Olympics, But Will Any Qualify?

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For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, women from all competing countries will be offered an opportunity to take part in the international event. That’s because the Saudi Arabia government announced yesterday, through its London embassy, that it will permit female athletes to join its team at the 2012 London Games, which […]

Women and the Egyptian Revolution: An Interview with Mona Eltahawy

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This week, a cover story in Foreign Policy magazine, “Why Do They Hate Us?”, ignited an explosion of praise, criticism and feverish discussion about women’s rights and gender equality in the Arab world. The piece elicited responses from across the globe and the political spectrum, cracking open one of the region’s most pressing issues–one that […]

Stoning, Hanging, Prison, Freedom? Sakineh Ashtiani’s Uncertain Fate

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International concern was sparked early this week when an Iranian prosecutor indicated that Sakineh Ashtiani’s execution for adultery could be imminent. Ashtiani is currently serving 10 years in prison after being convicted as an accessory to her husband’s 2005 murder. In a separate trial, she was found guilty of adultery and sentenced to stoning, but the Iranian […]