Community Women Against Abuse

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We Call on the British Government to Stop Pushing Minority Women Towards Religious Courts

 

In the light of recent court decisions on marriage and divorce, today we have written to the Ministry of Justice, calling for an urgent review into Sharia and civil marriage and divorce laws and to guarantee access to justice for all.

We welcome the recent High Court decision in Akhter v Khan [2018] EWFC 54 in the UK, to declare that a Muslim marriage contract (nikkah) was ‘void’, rather than a ‘non-marriage’. Shabaz Khan had refused to divorce Nasreen Akhter on the grounds that they did not have a valid marriage registered under English law. This had the effect of keeping Nasreen Akhter in marital captivity and denying her legal rights under English family law.

The outcome means that Nasreen Akthar is entitled to seek a decree of nullity, and hopefully, to obtain financial relief against Shabaz Khan. Even though the decision turned on the specific facts of the case, it is nevertheless significant for women trapped in unregistered marriages and should be examined for its relevance to marital captivity, forced and child marriage.

The judgment does not recognise ‘Sharia’ laws as some in the media have misleadingly stated. It deals with the knotty problem of women who believe that they are married but find that they have an unrecognised religious marriage only. This case shows that they can turn to the formal legal system. In fact, the judgement deals a blow to those who justify the sharia ‘courts’ as the only recourse for women who have not registered their marriages.

Our research shows that the power and control of religious fundamentalist networks over Muslims has grown enormously over the last thirty years. This has led to a widespread belief that a civil marriage is not necessary, that women must have a divorce certificate issued by a Sharia ‘court’ in an apparent judicial procedure; and that they must get this ‘certificate’ even if they already have a civil divorce.

While the judgement is a step in the right direction, the government urgently needs to examine its own complicity in keeping religious fundamentalists in business. Sharia ‘courts’, have been actively tolerated in Britain by being given charitable status and treated as partners by the police and local councils. While the government rejected the recommendation of the sharia review headed by Mona Siddiqui for regulation of the sharia councils; it has quietly ensured the continuing power of religious courts.

The application form for a divorce (Form D8) actively encourages women to turn to religious bodies. It states ‘If you entered into a religious marriage as well as a civil marriage, these divorce proceedings may not dissolve the religious part of your marriage. It is important that you contact the relevant religious authority and seek further guidance if you are unsure.’

If the government is serious about gender equality and ending violence against women, why is it undermining the validity of a civil divorce under English law? Why is it pushing women towards religious courts? For decades, the civil divorce has been the valid certificate demanded by courts abroad, regardless of whether there is also a religious marriage such as a Sikh, Hindu or Muslim ceremony. This guidance undermines women’s rights and the recognition of divorces awarded by British courts.

We call on the government to immediately withdraw this guidance from the divorce application form; to address the lack of access to justice brought about by cuts to legal aid; to overhaul outdated marriage and divorce laws and to take active measures to end religious courts and their control over women’s lives.

Gita Sahgal, Director, Centre for Secular Space

Pragna Patel, Director, Southall Black Sisters

Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner

Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, One Law for All

Afsana Lachaux, Women’s Rights Campaigner

Ahlam Akram, Founder, Basira

Amina Lone, Women’s Rights Campaigner

Diana Nammi, Executive Director, Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation

Gina Khan, Spokesperson, One Law for All

Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation

Rahila Gupta, Writer

Rumana Hashem, Spokesperson, Community Women Against Abuse

Sadia Hameed, Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Critical Sisters Director

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive Officer, National Secular Society

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Free Shahidul Alam and All Detained Protestors: Stop Violence against Students and Journalists Immediately

The Teachers Against Abuse and Torture & The Transnational Friends of Bangladesh’s Joint Statement

 

Over the past few weeks Bangladesh has witnessed a new social phenomenon, a social movement spear-headed by a generation of students who may be called “the generation of the 2000s”. School children and university students in Bangladesh have come together to demand road safety, rule of law and justice. Students have carried innovative placards and festoons, written all by themselves and performed protest songs on the streets of Dhaka, day in and day out. They chanted slogans, such as, We Want Justice. While this was all going on very well, we note in horror that after the sixth day of continual protest, a spate of violent activities took hold of the streets of Dhaka, perpetrated by a number of different groups claiming association with the government. Their protests have been opposed, harshly, by the police, members of the Chatro League and security agencies. In deep shock we note how a peaceful social movement by the school and college students is being vilified and demonized, as alleged, by different functionaries affiliated to the ruling party. The political hooligans had, as reported, chased students, violently attacked on peaceful gatherings, molested female students and journalists, locked up students in different buildings, and also had physically assaulted students in broad day light and in front of police. On several occasions police had, as evident in the published reports, tear gassed students, shot rubber bullets and used water cannons to disperse processions and gatherings.

 

This is all that an internationally acclaimed photographer, an activist and a writer in Bangladesh, Dr Shahidul Alam, was documenting, using his veteran lens. He was doing what he does best, and what a veteran photographer should be doing in times of crisis. His lens was speaking truth to power. As an independent journalist and photographer, he was simply on duty, filming the machete wielding goons chasing down the unarmed students. At some point his camera was broken by goons who didn’t want to be filmed. A number of the other photo-journalists were reportedly attacked on August 4 and 5 in different parts of the city. Around midday on August 5, Dr Alam was interviewed online by Al Jazeera English where he provided his observation and analysis of the current situation in Dhaka.Within hours of airing the live report, late in the evening on the same day, he was forcibly abducted by 20-30 men from his house in Dhanmondi.

 

At the outset, it was unclear as to where he was taken to and who his abductors were. According to the security guards of the building, the intruders claimed to be from the Detective Branch (DB). They had, as reported, forcefully taken away the CCTV camera footage, and put scotch-tape on the CCTV camera. Dr Alam was allegedly forcefully put into a Hi-Ace microbus. Late in the night, the Additional Commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Abdul Baten has admitted to UNB (United News of Bangladesh) that a team from the Detective Branch of police has detained Dr Alam from his Dhanmondi residence for interrogation over his Facebook posts on the ongoing student protests. The family members of Dr Alam waited throughout that night in front of the DB office in Dhaka. It was only in the morning on August 6 that they were informed about his whereabouts. Later in the day he was produced to the Court and shown as arrested in a case filed by the Police under Section 57 of Bangladesh’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.

 

In a recent press conference held that morning by Dr Alam’s wife, who is also an anthropologist and a columnist, Rahnuma Ahmed asked:  “…Is the law enforcement force supposed to abduct him like this? It is the goons who abduct, we all know that. If the law enforcement force continues to pick up people from their houses forcibly, we have to re-think about the meaning of the term ‘Law Enforcement Force’ once again.”

 

Shahidul Alam’s lawyer, Barrister Sara Hossain, said that: “According to Section 33 of our [Bangladesh] constitution, if someone gets arrested it is customary for the force to provide information about the arrested person’s whereabouts, as soon as possible. Under  Section 43, a person’s house cannot be entered illegally or forcibly. The state is supposed to protect the communication and correspondence of every citizen. In this case, the state has violated both the sections.”

 

Echoing Rahnuma Ahmed, we condemn, unequivocally, the circumstances in which Dr Alam was (as alleged) abducted. This incident begs fundamental questions on citizenship rights and the rule of law. The incident shows how state institutions are engaging in victim-blaming and “violating law”. Is there any law? If not then how are they called law “enforcing agencies”? As citizens and transnational friends of Bangladesh, we deserve to know if it is the government’s responsibility to provide explanation to the citizens of Bangladesh. We ask the government why law enforcement forces are acting as goons. Why are the citizens being targeted and attacked one after another? Why are citizens being whisked away and made to disappear?

 

We demand immediate release of Dr Shahidul Alam. Dr Alam was, reportedly, tortured in the custody and has been made so frail that he is unable to stand on his feet. While his family is saying that he needs medical attention, he has been taken back to the DB office in the afternoon of August 8. As well a new campaign against Dr Alam and his family members and friends has been launched by pro-government groups on August 9, which has created fear of further custodial torture and judicial harassment. We are outraged by the maltreatment that an internationally renowned photographer, a cultural activist, a writer and a veteran archivist has been forced to undergo.

 

We are therefore calling on the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to ensure:

  1. An independent inquiry into why the officials responsible destroyed property and threatened others.
  2. An urgent inquiry into why the security forces could not act within the bounds of the law.
  3. Provide an explanation as to why a peaceful movement for road safety was met with violence?
  4. Provide an explanation about why the university students (both public and private) are attacked by outside goons and why the goons were protected by the police? On August 7, 22 student protestors from different universities of Bangladesh have been remanded for 2 days in custody. According to confidential information, students are being harangued by the political party goons when taking shelter in private houses in some areas of the city. The figures in authority have stooped to talk down to children as if to threaten them into submission, showing how state institutions engaging in “victim-blaming”. The pupils have been threatened by the schools’ committees to be evicted from their schools.

 

Echoing students, we demand an answer to and legal action for addressing all of the above.

We call upon the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, to ensure justice for both students and journalists, and an immediate release of Shahidul Alam and all those detained protesters.

 

Sincerely,

We, the undersigned:

(names are in alphabetic order of first names)

A-Al Mamun, Associate Professor and Chairperson, Mass communication and Journalism, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi.

Abdur Razzaq Khan, Associate Professor, Department of  Mass Communication and Journalism, Dhaka University, Dhaka.

Agnes Khoo, Ph.D. Independent Scholar, The Netherlands.

Ainoon Naher, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Savar.

Akhter Sobhan Khan, PhD. Sociologist and environmental activist, London, UK.

Alfredo Quarto, Director, Mangrove Action Project, USA.

Amena Mohsin, Professor, Department of International Relations, University of  Dhaka.

Anu Muhammad, Professor, Department of Economics, Jahangirnagar University. Savar.

Ariana Reines, Poet, Visiting Critic, Yale University, USA.

Arpita Roychoudhury, Fellow Writer, PEN Center Germany, & Editor Europe Chapter, Ongshumali, Berlin, Germany.

ATM Nurul Amin, Professor Emeritus, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand.

Atonu Rabbani, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka.

Asheek Mohammad Shimul, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Dhaka.

Azfar Hussain, Professor, Liberal Studies/Interdisciplinary Studies, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, USA.

Chaumtoli Huq, The City University of New York School of Law and Editor, New York.

Dr Bina D’Costa, Associate Professor, International Relations, the Australian National University, Australia.

Dina Siddiqi, Professor, BRAC University, Dhaka.

Ekramul Kabir, Filmmaker, Cinematographer.

Elora Halim Chowdhury, Ph.D. Professor & Chair,  Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department, University of Massachusetts Boston,  USA.

Fahima Al Farabi, Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Savar. 

Fahmidul Haq, Professor, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Dhaka University, Dhaka.

Farjahan Rahman Shawon, Research Assistant, Department of Curriculum and Instructions University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho.

Farzana Boby, Independent film maker,  Broadcast Journalist at Deepto TV, Dhaka.

Georgie Wemyss, Senior Lecturer, University of East London, London, UK.

Gitiara Nasreen, Professor, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Dhaka University, Dhaka.  

Gita Sahgal, Director, Centre for Secular Space, London.

Hana Shams Ahmed, PhD Student, York University, Canada.

Hasan Jamil, PhD. University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho.

Imtiaz Ahmed, Professor of International Relations, University of Dhaka.

Kaberi Gayen, Professor, Mass Communication and Journalism, Dhaka University, Dhaka.

Kazi Maruful Islam, Professor, Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka.

Kajalie Shehreen Islam, Assistant Professor, University of Dhaka, Dhaka.

Laura Wagner, PhD. Archivist, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

Mahmudul H Sumon, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Savar.

Maha Mirza, Researcher and environmental activist, Bangladesh.

Maidul Islam, Department of Sociology, Chittagong University, Chittagong.

Manosh Chowdhury, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University. 

Masood Imran Mannu, Associate Professor, Department of Archaeology.

Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, One Law for All and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

Meher Nigar, Assistant Professor, Department of Bangla, University of Dhaka.

Dr Max Farrar, Sociologist and Emeritus Professor, Leeds Beckett University, UK.

Mirza Taslima Sultana, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University. Savar.

Miriam Rose, Co-Chair, Foil Vedanta, UK.

Munasir Kamal, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Dhaka

Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan, PhD. Associate Professor, Department of  International Relations, University of Dhaka.

 Moshahida Sultana, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka.  

Nasrin Khandokar, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University.

Nira Yuval-Davis, Professor of Sociology, University of East London, London.

Md. Nur Khan, Human rights activist, Dhaka.

Parvin Jolly, Associate Professor, Department of History, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka.

Parsa S. Sajid, Writer, Editor and Researcher.

Piya Mayenin, Solicitor, London.

Paul Dudman, Archivist and Civic-Engagement Lead, Refugee Council Archive, University of East London, London.

Peter Marshall, Photographer, London , UK.

Peter Redfield, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, President, Society for Cultural Anthropology, USA.

Qazi Arka Rahman, Assistant Professor (on leave), Department of English, Jagannath University, Dhaka.

Qazi Mamun Haider, Department of Journalism, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi.

Rafida Ahmed Bonya, Bangladeshi-American author, humanist activist and blogger, USA.

Rahila Gupta, Author, activist and journalist,  London.

Rayhan Rhyne, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Jahangirnagar University.

Rezwana Karim Snigdha, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Savar.

Reetu Sattar, Artist, Britto Arts Trust, Prachyanat.   

Rezaur Rahman Lenin, Academic Activist, Eastern University of Bangladesh & Committee for the Protection of Fundamental Rights, Dhaka.

Ridwanul Hoque PhD,Professor of Law, Department of  Law, University of Dhaka, Dhaka.

Robayet Ferdous, Professor, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, University of Dhaka, Dhaka.  

Roger Moody, Mines and Communities, UK.

Rumana Hashem, Political Sociologist, Educator and Spokesperson, Community Women Against Abuse, London.

Rushad Faridi, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Dhaka University, Dhaka.

Sadaf  Noor E Islam, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Chittagong University, Chittagong.

Barrister Sadia Arman, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh, Dhaka.

Safia Azim, Photographer and Psychologist, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Salim Reza Newton, Professor, Mass communication and Journalism, Rajshahi University.

Samina Luthfa, Theater Activist and Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka.

Samarendra Das, Environmental Activist and Chair, Foil Vedanta, London, UK.

Shapan Adnan , PhD.Former Teacher of National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Soumya Sarker, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Dhaka

Sayeed Ferdous, Professor Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University 

Sayema Khatun, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Savar.

Dr. Saydia Gulrukh, Journalist and Researcher, Dhaka.

Sanjeeb Drong, General Secretary, Bangladesh Indigenous Forum, Dhaka.

Seema Amin, Lecturer, BRAC University, Dhaka.   

Seuty Sabur, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, BRAC University, Dhaka.

Shaswati Mazumder Lecture, Fine Arts, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Savar.

Shahana Hanif, Community Organizer, Co-Founder of the Bangladeshi Feminist Collective, New York City, New York.

Shusmita Chakravarti, Professor, Department of Folklore, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi.

Spyros Themelis, Senior Lecturer and Sociologist, School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia, Colchester, UK.

Stephan Vince, Artist, photographer and filmmaker, Norwitch, UK.

Thahitun Mariam, Bangladeshi-American Writer, Community Organizer and Activist. New York City, USA.

Tapan Bose, Filmmaker & human Rights defender, New Delhi.

Taslima Akhter, Photographer and Documentary Filmmaker, Dhaka.

Tahmina Khannam, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, University of Dhaka.

Tasneem Siraj Mahboob, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Dhaka.

Tomas Munita, Independent Photographer and New York Times contributor, New York.

Tsitsi Jaji, Associate Professor, English and African & African American Studies, Duke University, USA.

Vanessa Lye, Practitioner and Researchers, London.

Veronica Saba. PhD researcher and women’s rights activist , Trieste, Italy.

Vishnu laalitha Surapaneni, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota, USA.

Yasmin Rehman, Women’s rights campaigner, Centre for Secular Space, London.

Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, artist, president of the Arab Image Foundation.

Ziaur Rahman, Advocate, CEO and Legal Adviser, International Institute of Technology and Management, Dhaka.

Zobaen Sondhi, Fellow Writer in Exile, PEN Centre Germany, Berlin.

Zobaida Nasreen, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Dhaka.

 

Dr Shahidul Alam waves hands to his fellows from the Detective Branch Police Van on 8 August, 2018. Copyright: Sabuj Shahidul Islam


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Renowned photographer Shahidul Alam is still held by the Bangladeshi Detective Branch police custody

Press Release by DRIK

Tortured photographer Shahidul Alam raises his hands and waved to other photographers/ journalists before he was taken back to the Special Branch custody from the Hospital in Dhaka. Wednesday, 8 August 2018. Copy right: Sabuj  Shahidul Islam.

 

The recipient of Bangladesh’s highest honor, Shilpakala Padak Award (2014), globally renowned photographer, academic, and human rights activist, Dr. Shahidul Alam has been taken back to the Detective Branch (DB) police custody from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University (BSMMU) on August 8.

 

On August 5th, Shahidul Alam was abducted by force from his apartment by approximately 30-35 unidentified men in white plain clothes. The men came in three cars, and entered the apartment building by force at 10:30 pm. They took away phones from the building security guard, destroyed CCTV camera in the building, and took away CCTV camera hard drives, according to the FIR submitted to police.

 

On August 6th, Shahidul Alam’s wife, eminent anthropologist Rahnuma Ahmed, filed FIR at Dhanmondi Thana, with the above details. Following a day of national and international outcry over the abduction, and a press conference where his family lawyer Sara Hossain and eminent citizens demanded his immediate return, the Detective Branch of Police stated that they were going to file a case and then, produced him in court in connection with a case filed under Section 57 of the ICT Act for online speech which ‘hurts the image of the nation’.

 

At the time of his court appearance, Alam could not walk, was missing sandals, and stated to the court that he had been beaten and tortured in police custody. Witnesses say he showed clear signs of mental and physical abuse.

 

On August 7th, eminent jurist, Dr Kamal Hossain, with Dr Shahdeen Malik, Sara Hossain, Tanim Hossain Shawon, Jyotirmoy Barua, Aynunnahar Lipi among others, represented him in the High Court. The court ordered ‘immediate medical examination and treatment.’ The order was served by 9 pm on the various police authorities, but medical examination did not happen that night.

 

Dr Alam has been walking out slowly from the Hospital. The condition of his hand and legs are not good enough to walk on his own. His wife and family helped him to walk down the stairs on Wednesday, 8 August, 2018. Copyright: Sobuj Shahidul Islam.

On August 8th morning, Shahidul Alam was finally taken to the government hospital Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), and medical examinations were conducted as informed by the Director of the Hospital, Brigadier General Abdullah-Al-Harun. Around 2 pm, Shahidul Alam was returned to the custody of the Detective Branch of Police, instead of being kept at the hospital for further observation and treatment. His lawyer was given no access to him and it was not clear what treatment if any he received. The government hospitals’ health reports are due to the High Court at 10.30 am August 9th.

 

The Bangladesh Government, through the Attorney General, in the meantime sought to stay the High Court order for examination and treatment of Dr Alam in hospital by moving the higher court (the Appellate Division Chamber Judge). The ADC judge referred the matter to be heard August 9th morning in the Appellate Division. The Attorney General of Bangladesh submitted that ‘Shahidul Alam had criticised the Government’ and referred to the order to place him in remand.

#FreeShahidulAlam

For Further information, please visit:

An Acclaimed Photographer in Bangladesh Says He Was Tortured, New York Times, 08 August: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/world/asia/bangladesh-photographer-shahidul-alam.html

The veteran photographer was remanded for seven days on Monday, Dhaka Tribune, 07 August:  https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/court/2018/08/07/high-court-halts-shahidul-alam-s-remand/
Photographer charged as police crackdown in Bangladesh intensifies, The Guardian, 06 August:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/06/famed-bangladeshi-photographer-held-over-road-protest-comments?CMP=share_btn_tw
Bangladesh protests: How a traffic accident stopped a city of 18 million, BBC News, 06 August  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45080129
Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam detained after post about Dhaka protests, CPJ, 08 August: https://cpj.org/2018/08/bangladeshi-photographer-shahidul-alam-detained-af.php 


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Invitation to an International Women’s Conference

revolution in the making 1st conference, 6-7 October 2018, Frankfurt

Peace in Kurdistan is circulating the attached invitation to a major international women’s conference in Frankfurt on 6-7 October 2018: Revolution in the Making, as we strongly support this new initiative and would encourage as many of you as possible to consider participating. Women in the Mesopotamian and Middle East region have been struggling for freedom for a long time and we want to bring together women of the world to combine our knowledge, power to change, and our experiences.  You may have heard of the Women’s Revolution under way in Northern Syria (Rojava) where an area of self administration has been declared in which all ethnicities are working together to create a gender equal, ecologically sustainable future. If you are interested to know more, the following book is a great introduction: https://www.plutobooks.com/9781783719884/revolution-in-rojava/

Please do consider coming to the conference to hear about the feminist philosophy underpinning such a struggle and to take part in the discussions, panels and workshops. You will see in the technical information below that if you can get to Frankfurt all other expenses can be taken care of, including food and accommodation.

Courtesy: Women’s Initiative for Peace in Afrin, UK

revolution in the making
http://revolutioninthemaking.blogsport.eu/
1st conference, 6-7 october 2018, Frankfurt

To all the women, dear friends,
Your Mesopotamian and Middle Eastern sisters have been struggling for freedom for a long time – just as our sisters around the world. The social, ecologic and economic problems created by the patriarchal system – disguising itself in various forms over thousands of years – have grown ever larger. This system did not only deprive women, all peoples, workers, farmers and laborers of their freedom. Today we are confronted with the feminicide, society-cide, genocides and nature-cide.

Capitalism is in a structural crisis, and although it claims there is no alternative it has lost its legitimacy around the world. In order to overcome this crisis, the system revises and reinstates its fundamental pillars of religionism, scientism, sexism, feudalism, fascism and nationalism, and tries to present itself as the only alternative.
We, those who struggle, know that the fundamental common ground of all these paths is to further colonize women and peoples as well as ever further deepening of the economic, social and ecological problems.

Dear women,
We know there are paths beyond the ones that are presented to us as alternatives. In Rojava/North Syria, Bakur/Southeast Turkey as well as in other parts of the world such as the Zapatistas it is possible to see the struggle and building of the new. The building of a non-patriarchal system and a democratic economic order is at a reachable distance and has the potential to permanently establish itself. 21st century is thus just before us with the potential of being the century of women’s and people’s freedom.

Dear Friends,
For this reason, we want to bring together and combine our knowledge, power to change and our experiences in the conference “Revolution in the Making”, which will take place in Frankfurt between 6-7 October 2018. We think that as much as an in-depth analysis of state-class civilizations’ ways and methods used in the colonization of women there is a need for the revival of the resistance memory of women. We find it extremely important that we share experiences; so that we can be prepared for patriarchal system’s new attacks. We will thus be able to create paths, methods and perspectives that can match the conditions, qualities and needs of our age. So that we can organize ourselves and create our alliances from the local to the universal. Against the constant attacks of the patriarchal system we will be able to weave a durable network of resistance. Thus, we will have the opportunity to become an active subject of the most gripping struggle of our age.
Now is women’s time, now is the time to weave this future together and is time to make the 21st century the century of women’s and people’s freedom!
Main sessions of the conference:
•    The Crisis of Patriarchy and its Systematic War on Women
•    Women’s Struggle for Freedom and Building Processes
•    Experience of the different women’s movements
•    Revolution in the Making – Weaving our Future Together
•    Workshops

Technical Information:
Date: 6-7 October 2018
Time: 9am
Location: Frankfurt am Main
Simultaneous Translation: Kurdish, English, German, Turkish, Italian, Spanish and French
Registration fee: € 30 including lunch and coffee, tea; €50 solidarity price (Let us know if you have difficulties)
registration begins on 5th October at 5pm.
Accommodation: Solidarity accommodation for a maximum of three nights by Kurdish families and their friends. We also have reserved rooms in affordable hostels

Registration:
Please register till 15th of September under womenweavingfuture@riseup.net. Let us know if you will need accomodation and for how many nights, if you need child-care and in which region you are living.
More information on the program and actual announcements you will find on our webpage www.revolutioninthemaking.blogsport.eu

 

For Further information, contact:

Peace in Kurdistan
Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question
Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com


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Tracing your Female Ancestors and Electoral Registers

This post is not about abuse of women or men as such, but we re-blogged the article with thanks to the Archives+ Blogspot because it addresses important questions in relation to Electoral Registers and Tracing Female Ancestors.”Can we use these register’s to find women prior to the Representation of the People Act 1918? How do you search the Electoral Register?” See below for answers:

This blog is the seventh in a continuing series of posts written by members of the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society.  In this blog, we turn our attention to Electoral Registers  specifically trying to trace our female ancestors.  Can we use these register’s to find women prior to the Representation of the People Act 1918?  How do you search the Electoral Register?

There are many ways in which we can continue to draw and add to the profile of our female ancestors.  After 1918, and the enfranchisement of women over 30 (who met the minimum property qualifications), we can now start to consider the use of Electoral Registers in order to better place our female ancestors.

First let’s look at the interesting story of  Lily Maxwell, who become the first women to a vote in a Parliamentary election.

Lily Maxwell

Lily Maxwell, was born in Scotland about 1802 and…

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