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Compassion In Kenya

Compassion-CBO

Compassion CBO

Compassion CBO, was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas of Kenya and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Survivors In DR Congo

Bahati-with-group

COFAPRI

COFAPRI is registered in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Rupublic of Congo The organisation empowers women through encouraging income-generating activities such as the rearing of livestock.

Grassroots News

Safe World Field Partner, work directly with issues such as poverty, health-care, marginalisation, FGM, child marriage, and education.

Asha Leresh

How Asha Survived the Unnecessary Cut

Asha’s luck came when Samuel Siriria Leadismo, the Director of Pastoralist Child Foundation and his team visited her village, creating awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual reproductive health....
Handwashing

Washing Hands to Improve Health in Rural DR Congo

COFAPRI organised handwashing sessions for school children and mothers in rural villages, with the aid of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education. The word has begun to spread as neighbours are now prompting each other to wash their hands.
Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Crucial for Women's Self-Reliance in Rural DR Congo

Increased security helps women become self-reliant and less financially dependent on their husbands. This improves the situation for the whole family and also means the women are less vulnerable to abuse.
Towards womens empowerment

DR Congo: Men's Inclusion in Women's Empowerment Benefits Everyone

It remains very important within communities for men and boys to be educated regarding the rights of women and girls, including their proper, fair and respectful treatment. When the women and girls become empowered, it is the whole community that benefits.
Margaret from Kiambu Support Group

Nairobi cancer survivor has hope at last

Margaret is among many women Compassion CBO trained in 2015. She has survived breast Cancer 2 times.

New Womens Magazine for Cameroon

The first edition of the Women for a Change Magazine is now available.

News, Interviews and Blogs

Under-reported issues affecting women and children. Exclusive interviews, articles and blogs by Safe World Correspondents and Content Partners

Compensation Claims Board 2

The Need for Victim Compensation Programmes - Pakistan and Globally

Globally, victim compensation programmes play a significant role in providing assistance to the victims of violence... however, in Pakistan we are lacking any such programme. It is high time to take serious note of the issue and develop a strong referral…
Lizzy and Victoria

Peace, Dialogue & the Ripple Effect: #RISING16 Global Peace Forum

Perhaps the most inspiring session for me came towards the end of the two days and was entitled ‘Bring back our girls – the forgotten victims of conflict’... We heard the CEO of International Alert, Harriet Lamb, and Victoria Nyanjura - who was kidnapped by…
Olutosin 2

Olutosin Adebowale: To America With Love

Once upon a time in my country, Nigeria, there was a ruler who was dreaded by many... We resisted and said No to every oppressive action or word to any weak or voiceless Nigerian... This is the time to stand firm on what has held the world together - Love.
Berlyne Ngwalem Ngwentah

Berlyne Ngwentah: 'The Biggest Cheerleaders of Women are Women'

All the most prominent, biggest community and feminist movements to alleviate the sufferings of women and girls and support women’s involvement in education and leadership have been championed mostly by women...
Jen 9

Promoting Misogyny, Zenophobia, and Bullying... is.... Nasty

I cannot ever vote for anyone who promotes misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, zenophobia, homophobia... It would be a mockery of my life... dishonoring my elders who have endured the many injustices of racial animosity, my friends who've experienced the same...
Women united

Women United for a Better Community in High Andean of Peru

“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the…

Aya Chebbi

Source: Aya Chebbi | Women Living Under Muslim Laws

Orginally published as part of WLML 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence

November 2012

We come from all around the globe. We emerge from different backgrounds. We speak different languages, and hold different nationalities. Yet, unfortunately, as women we suffer from the same inequalities and gender based-violence everywhere in the world.

This violence begins early for some of us. It starts while we are still floating in the safety of our mother’s womb when outside the father, the family, and the community declare that they prefer a boy - a son. It continues up until we rise into adulthood and find ourselves judged and punished by society for the sole reason that we are women.

Tunisia

In Tunisia, women are the victims of this violence though we stood up for dignity and freedom, side by side with men, for the same cause.

During Tunisia’s revolution, I saw the many different kinds of violence to which women might be subjected. A Woman’s body becames a threat to her life. In the aftermath of the ex-President fleeing the country, one of the first outcomes was the kidnapping and raping of girls.

This behavior became so normalized that men and boys even joked about it on Facebook. They said: “if a girl today isn’t kidnapped, it means that they’re not beautiful.” It’s funny for these men because they've never experienced rape or how much it can affect the psyche, never mind the body.

Since then, the police has been taking advantage of the chaos. They took every opportunity to sexually harass women – from looking, to staring, to touching, to raping and beating and insulting.  I can’t call these attitudes anything but animalistic. Some police acted in gangs to inflict violence on women as happened this past September.

Even before the revolution, I didn’t feel that I could walk by myself securely in the street at 3am, for instance, without being afraid of being insulted or raped. During last year unrest, I would be lucky not to be beaten or raped on any given day!

Worldwide

This violence is worldwide. Three days ago, I watched a documentary entitled “Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan”. It shows that even when people say that they want to make women happy, they terrorize them! It is called an amusing tradition, but it is not funny at all. In fact, from Kyrgyzstan, a tiny country in central Asia, to the rest of the world, women suffer from different forms of gender-based violence either under the name of tradition and culture, or under the pretext of religious teachings, or during and following conflicts, wars or political and economic crises.

This violence is verbal, and surrounds us in the whispers of our society. As a woman, I have heard all kinds of sexist statements even when visiting the supposed democracies of the world that guarantee women’s rights. The same kinds of jokes are everywhere: an American friend said to me some time ago, during an innocent conversation on driving: “you’re a girl, you can’t drive!” I face the same sexism in my home country, Tunisia. The same stereotypes: my ex asked me once our relationship got to engagement: “Do you know how to cook?”

This sort of question seems normal, since most girls I suppose have been asked this question by their boyfriends sooner or later – but try reversing the situation. It wouldn’t sound like an ordinary question if we ask them the same. Why? Is this women’s role in life? I still call these men and boys my friends, however. I refuse to simply get depressed from patriarchal attitudes. Instead we should try to change perspectives, one person at a time, to arrive at an understanding of who women are and what our role in society is today.

Gender Inequality

This is gender inequality we face and challenge every day in school, at home or at the workplace - only asking for work valued equal to men, the right to drive like men, or lead our businesses, or choose our partners as men do. I feel that these issues can be solved through dialogue and debate without engendering major losses - but what about the greater sexual and gender based violence and its effects on women? How do we address this?

We should not remain the victim anymore. It is also our role as women to raise awareness, to protect our fellow women and to help them understand that they are born with unreliable rights and freedoms.

Blogging is one way that I use to empower women, to give them a voice and reveal the violations that are otherwise hidden away in different corners. Blogging for me is the practice of 'citizen journalism' which is needed in every community.

One of the first articles I posted was about women’s experiences , simply because we need to realize; it is a daily experience as a woman to talk about my issues and violations. I have a voice, and now I am bringing it out of the silence.

Women first to rise up high in revolution

It has always been a challenge to get women talk openly about their experiences, especially sexual violence by police and authorities. Women have been taught that both law and society will take the side of the violator and not the violated, where she is a woman. This continues into today – think again of the Tunisian woman that was recently arrested and charged with public indecency. And why? Because she had been gang raped by police officers!

Despite these hurdles, I am proud to say that Tunisian women were and still actively participating in our revolution. Women were among the first who rise up high our revolutionary slogans and they have been part of all crucial moments. We have been the protesters, the journalists, the volunteers, the elections observers, the campaigners… all this in spite of the violence we live in fear of from the bus station till arriving to the demonstration square.

I would like to leave you on a hopeful note. I was once asked by a Yemeni friend, “if you were born again would you choose to be a man or a woman?” I answered immediately: “I would be a WOMAN!”

A proud woman proves herself every day and changes her community. YOU should also be proud of being a woman. It is not your sex that you should change but the society that you live in.

Aya Chebbi is a dedicated Tunisian activist and a founding member of United Women For Peace.


 

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Aya Chebbi on YouTube

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Aya's Chebbi's blog - Proudly Tunisian

Extract from:  'Do you object to equal share of inheritance in Tunisia? WHY?' by Aya Chebbi

CEDAW is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women , that Tunisia has signed  in 24 July 1980 and ratified in 20 Sep 1985 but with reservations to opt out of certain provisions. When ratifying the treaty, Tunisia has made a general declaration stating that:

" The Tunisian Government declares that it shall not take any organizational or legislative decision in conformity with the requirements of this Convention where such a decision would conflict with the provisions of chapter I of the Tunisian Constitution". Chapter I establishes Islam as the state religion. So by removing the declaration, no state would use its own constitution as an excuse for not complying with international standards.

Many of the reservations limited women’s equality within their families, and now their removal finally recognizes that women are equal partners in marriage and in making decisions about their children. These include passing on their nationality to their children, rights and responsibilities in marriage and divorce, matters relating to children and guardianship, personal rights for husbands and wives with regard to family name and occupation, and ownership of property.

Tunisia's laws have provided women a measure of equality largely absent among its neighbours. We, as women, have one of the most progressive personal status codes in the region. In fact, polygamy is banned and Tunisian women have equal rights in marriage and divorce. In addition, the minimum age for marriage is 18 for both spouses and both must consent to the marriage. However, we still do not have a comprehensive law on family violence, though we have some very strong provisions in the penal code criminalizing domestic abuse and marital rape.

Women and girls are still not entitled to an equal share of their fathers' and husbands' estates. Brothers get more of the share, and sometimes inheritance can be divided among other relatives, such as male cousins, leaving girls and women with a much smaller amount. According to article 58 of the personal status code , judges can grant custody to either the mother or the father based on the best interests of the child, but prohibits allowing a mother to have  her children live with her if she has remarried. No such restriction applies to fathers. Would you call that justice?  I can't but call these laws, discriminatory laws. I think the personal status code has settled discriminatory provisions more than guaranteeing equality for Tunisia’s women.I believe, it should always be a case by case study.The logic beyond giving women half of the man's share is the fact that men are supposed to carry on the financial burden in the family.However, are all men today taking the responsibility of their families needs? are all brothers taking care of their sisters?are all husbands meeting their duty of financial responsibility?

 I believe we should proclaim our(your) commitment to advance women’s rights. We should call for equality and ensuring basic rights and freedoms for all citizens without discrimination. We(you) should eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and try instead to protect their rights.