According to data from the World Bank and the OECD, illiteracy in Saudi Arabia has fallen to below 4 per cent and more and more school leavers are now entering higher education. Press releases boast about Saudi higher education institutions for moving away from entirely face-to-face delivery, to using digital learning tools, such as e-texts and online learning systems, but what about the effect of distant and e learning on women in Saudi Arabia?
Participants of Rabat Forum which ended today adopted the UNFPA regional strategy on prevention and response to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Arab states region for 2014-2017. They also recommended the strategy to serve as a roadmap for the fight against all forms of GBV and to be efficiently implemented across the region.
Married women in Lebanon who suffer abuse at home remain at the mercy of the country’s multitude of religious courts, because the hard-fought civil law against domestic violence has been stalled for a vote in parliament since the summer. One woman demanding a divorce and custody rights is Aisha, a 24-year-old mother of four originally from the Bekaa Valley, whose abusive husband forced her into prostitution.
Nihal Saad Zaghloul is an Egyptian woman in her late twenties. Like other young women, she faces the daily risk of sexual harassment on the streets of Cairo. But Egypt’s revolution made her realise that people can unite and that she can make a difference.A trend of mob rapes has risen rapidly in Egypt as political stability and social security have diminished post-revolution. Together with a friend she founded an organisation called Basma to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the streets of this metropolis of 30 million.
Moroccan lawmakers have drafted a bill threatening jail terms for sexual harassment that will soon be submitted to parliament.The proposed law would affect the author of "any unwelcome act against a third party in public spaces, whether an act, remark or gesture of a sexual nature, or intended to obtain a sexual act," said Arabic-language daily Al-Massae yesterday.
On the occasion of the 10 years of the reformed Moroccan family code, KVINFO, the Danish Center for Research and Information on Gender, Equality and Diversity, is pleased to invite you to the conference "Family Code + 10: Experiences and Ways Forward."
Join a public debate and a series of presentations on Islamic feminism in light of the Arab Uprisings of 2011. Panelists in the discussion are Professor Omaima Abu Bakr, Cairo University, Sheikh Gamal Qutb, Islamic scholar and former chairman of Azhar Fatwa Committee, and the Danish Minister of Development Cooperation, Christian Friis Bach.
'The expert women in Palestine are silently working, and the media don’t focus on their work,’ says Maali Abbadi. She is the editor for the Who is She- database in Palestine, that is launched today with the purpose of giving a solution to the problem spoken of. Who is She Palestine is the latest of a number of databases created by KVINFO and partners in cooperation in countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The Palestinian version is established together with med INSAN Center for Women and Gender Studies på AlQuds University.
‘Highlighting a large number of prominent women, they will get recognition of their community; also professional women will get opportunities to participate actively in all levels, says Fadwa Al Labadi, researcher and teacher at INSAN Center; she was director of the center when the cooperation regarding the database began.
The database with women experts was launched in its first version by KVINFO in 1995 with the name KVINFOs Ekspertdatabase. Since then Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon have got their own versions of Who is She, and versions in Tunisia and Morocco are underway.
When Saudi Arabia permitted women to vote but not drive, a newspaper cartoon last year captured the double standard with dark irony. As a group of women in burqa wait in line to vote at a polling station in Riyadh, an aggressive-looking polling agent tells the women, “We have a small problem here. We need your driver’s licence as identification.”
The Middle East and North Africa were the only regions not to improve in the past year, with Yemen at the bottom, with regards to the World Economic Forum Gender gap index, of which the 2013 report has just been launched. The list measures on political participation, economic equality and rights like education and health.Overall, the report, entitled Global Gender Gap Report 2013, found Iceland to be the most advanced country in the world in terms of gender equality for the fifth year running. Denmark is ranked number 8 on the list of 136 countries.
If the case on parental custody after divorce has ended up in a deadlock, or if the case about marital violence is not solved ideally with a court settlement, then mediation by a judge may be the way to go. In a short while Moroccan judges and other professionals working in the field will have a new tool for conflict resolution via mediation. The Moroccan Higher Institute of Judicial Authorities and KVINFO in partnership are about to launch a pedagogical and easy to use guide to mediation. The guide will be free of charge and immediately accessible online. It is one of the elements in a project that supports the practical use of the reformed Moroccan family code of 2004. The guide will be launched at a conference at the occasion of the upcoming 10 year anniversary of the family code.
A core KVINFO initiative, Ekspertdatabasen, which is a database on women experts in various fields, has been appointed a best practice by the European Institute for Gender Equality, EIGE. The database has been the model for the similar Who is She databases that are currently running in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine and are under construction in Tunisia and Morocco as partnership projects between KVINFO and a local parner.
Women experts constitute only 24.4 % of media expert, an English study shows, and during the Irish EU presidency women and media had special attention as a focus area.
A total of 14 European best practices have been appointed.