A world of women

Rosemary Bechler
6 March 2009

Women writers on openDemocracy

* Afghanistan

Sharia law comes to the Swat valley

Islamabad insists that its compromise with Islamists in the Swat valley will help bring peace to the region. But is the peace of sharia law what Pakistanis want? Ghazal Mahtab reports. (First published 2009.)

* Zimbabwe

Women of Zimbabwe: A time for dignity

On 31 March 2005, more than 265 women and twenty babies spent a night in custody after conducting a prayer-vigil on election-night. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) by then had conducted over thirty protests in its three-year existence, and more than 800 women had spent up to forty-eight hours in custody, some more than once, wrote Taurai Khulumani. (First published on 25 November 2005.)

* Burma

Burma's struggle, Aung San Suu Kyi's role

The eighteenth anniversary of the "8-8-88" massacre in Rangoon is a moment to reaffirm the core principles of Burmese people's long march to democracy, says Kyi May Kaung. (First published on 8 August 2006.)

* Iraq

The promise of Iraq

Maysoon al-Damluji returned to her homeland for a week in May 2003, and stayed for two and a half years. She tells Rosemary Bechler about why she stayed, and her work with Iraq's women's movement. (First published on 14 November 2005.)

* Afghanistan

Afghan revival

Amidst ongoing violence and fragile politics, how has independent reportage fared in post-Taliban Afghanistan? Charlie Devereux talks to world-renowned photojournalist Reza about his Kabul-based NGO Aïna and ambitions to construct a free Afghan media. (First published on 10 October 2006.)

* Iran

Shirin Ebadi and Iran's women: in the vanguard of change

The award of the Nobel peace prize to Shirin Ebadi on 10 October 2003 sparked intense political and emotional reactions in Iran. Nazila Fathi measures the significance of the independent human-rights lawyer's achievement. (First published on 30 October 2003.)

* Nepal

A different shade of red in Nepal

Lily Thapa is campaigning for a seat at the peace table, on behalf of the widows and wives of the missing, who make up many of the surviving victims of a conflict which has claimed over thirteen thousand lives in the last decade. (First published on 8 June 2006.)

* Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: city of women

Saudi Arabia's professional women and young people are creating their own spaces of personal freedom in a conservative and segregated society, finds Bissane El-Cheikh. (First published on 7 March 2008.)

* United Kingdom

"She was probably glad of the attention": tackling rape in the UK

The debate about how and why rape happens goes to the heart of cultural gender and power dynamics, writes Sarah Campbell.(First published on 28 November 2007.)

* Namibia

Thinking positive

It is only by listening to those most affected, that we can bring about real change. Ahead of World Aids Day, Luisa Orza and Jennifer Gatsi Mallet report on a groundbreaking project bringing together parliamentarians and HIV positive women in Namibia. (First published on 30 November 2007.)

* Egypt

Living the other side of existence

Novelist and short story writer Afaf El Sayyed was recruited to join a strict Muslim group while she was at university in Egypt. She spoke to Jane Gabriel about the eleven years she spent inside the movement. Today Afaf runs the Heya Foundation in Cairo which works to end all religious discrimination against women. (First published 2008.)

* India

Putting power back into empowerment

The political claim advanced by women in India via the idea of "empowerment" has been appropriated by their adversaries and false friends. It needs to be rewon for a fresh vision grounded in the experiences of poor women, says Srilatha Batliwala. (First published on 30 July 2007.)

* South Africa

A mirror image of our society

Mamphela Ramphele, a much-honoured South African academic, businesswoman and former anti-apartheid activist responds to the wave of violence directed against foreign immigrants that recently swept through her country. The South African people, she says, must now rise to their challenges. (First published on 15 June 2008.)

* Bangladesh

Women and religion in Bangladesh: new paths

Islam's rising public profile in Bangladesh also offers opportunities for young urban women to make more of their own lives, finds a research project headed by Firdous Azim. (First published on 19 December 2007.)


Happy International Women's Day!



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