Gender Identity

Honour Killings – Religion or Culture?

There is nothing honourable about murder. And murdering someone of your own family, your own child - a daughter, someone you held in your arms and rocked to sleep when they were babies? This is such a horrifying crime that there are no words to describe it – certainly not the word Honour. And yet it happens! It happens in Pakistan and to the shame of all of us in the diaspora, it has been brought to Italy.

A Film Challenging Religious Norms

When Turkish- Norwegian writer and filmmaker Nefise Ozkal Lorentzen heard about Seyran Ates’ mixed gender mosque in Berlin, Germany, she immediately decided to make a film on Seyran’s life. It took three years to produce the film, ‘Seyran Ates: Sex Revolution and Islam’ a portrait of a female Imam and her struggles in activating revolution within Islam.

France Needs More Civil Liberties and Less Hypo-Securitization of Religion

In 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron announced plans for tougher laws to tackle what he called, “Islamist Separatism”, and a crackdown on “radical Islamists” in France, which he said were materializing through repeated deviations from the Republic’s values. To counter this, President Macron announced his plans to create a “French Islam”, a practise of the faith which would be regulated by the state.

Not Without My Hijab: Why Representation in Sports Matter

In 2016, when Bosnian-American professional basketball player, Indira Kaljo got in touch with Asma Elbadawi because she had been forced to give up playing basketball after she started wearing the hijab, they decided to take it up with the International Federation of Basketball (FIBA), the sports governing body to change its rules on headgear.

Dr Aqsa Sheikh: Transgender Doctor Injecting Hope During COVID Pandemic

When Dr Aqsa Sheikh Tweeted and asked if she was the only transgender person to head a vaccination centre, it seemed extraordinary that in a country with 1.3 billion people, that this could be true.

International Women’s Day, 2021
Women Must Continue To Claim Power & Challenge The Unseen Barriers

Power is an intriguing concept and it means different things to different people. In simple words, power is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get what you want. Power distribution is usually visible in most societies when there is a clear and obvious division between the roles of the men and expectations from women. One can’t talk about power without talking about patriarchy - in which men always hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. Women are almost always taught power and ambition are two dirty words, and should not be linked to their personalities.

Punch Like A Muslim Woman: An Egyptian-Danish Boxer Breaking Many Stereotypes

As a Muslim woman born and brought up in Denmark, Nadia Helmy Ahmed broke many stereotypes when she started boxing at the age of 15. “Back then it was not common for girls to take up elite boxing, let alone common for Muslim girls, I used to be the only girl in my gym, along with ten others boys,” said Nadia to IPS News.

How Africa can Lead the World in the COVID-19 Recovery

Africa, compared to Asia, Europe and the US, has largely escaped the devastating death toll of COVID-19, accounting for a fraction of the world’s 63 million cases.

Discriminatory Laws Still Holding Women Back in the Middle East

Decades of aggressive efforts to create equal opportunities for women, shatter the glass ceiling and build a more inclusive society only ends up in failure, when the key stake holders refuse to acknowledge discriminatory laws, socio-cultural and religious set ups that continue to threaten progress made by the female work force.

Women’s Bodies, COVID-19 and Male Chauvinism

COVID-19 has in some nations been converted into a noxious, political issue. One of many worrying examples is the rhetoric of Brazil´s president. On 10 November, when Brazil´s COVID-19 death toll surpassed 162,000 victims – the numbers have continued to raise and are now 179,032 second only to USA´s 296,745 – Jair Bolsonaro minimized the effects of COVID-19 by stating: ”All of us are going to die one day. There is no point in escaping from that, in escaping from reality. We have to cease being a country of sissies.” Bolsonaro actually said maricas, which like sissies is slang for gay people. Both expressions originally indicated ”small girls” – marica is a diminutive of Maria and sissy of “kid sister”. Bolsonaro thus defined homosexuality as effeminacy by associating gay men with affectation and cowardice. By connecting disease, fear, and femininity the Brazilian president not only ignored the strength and courage women throughout history have demonstrated by enduring childbirths and caring for others, it also shows a strong disregard for gender equality and the rights of women and gay people.

My Voice, Our Equal Future! Joining the Chorus of Girls Who Are Speaking up for Change

Girls are change makers and world shapers! When girls speak up, they are a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Q&A: How Fast Fashion Sits at the Crucial Intersection of Environmental & Gender Justice

Racism “keeps the global north oblivious to the effect of fast fashion addiction on the global south” say environmental and gender justice experts.

The Fuzia Story: Empowering Women Through the Fusion of Cultures and Ideas

A young and dynamic digital platform, named Fuzia, has attracted millions of women social media followers and 100,000 active global users with its eclectic mix of content. The platform showcases women’s talent and provides a support network.

Q&A: How Kazakhstan’s Transgender and Lesbian Women are Being Impacted by COVID-19 

 The coronavirus lockdown in Kazakhstan, and the resultant limited public oversight and limited publication engagement, has paved the way for the government to propose amendments to the country's laws around gender that could see the exclusion of the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ)  community. 

LGBTQI Rights in the Balkans: A Perpetual Struggle

Romanian Adrian Coman and his American-born partner Clai Hamilton had two major reasons to celebrate when they tied the knot last June.

Criminality, School Dropout and Gender Equality

I assume it was the Swedish author Stieg Larsson´s Millenium trilogy (2005-2007) that generated the popularity of Scandinavian Crime Fiction, as well numerous movies and TV-series that followed in its wake. A typical Nordic Noir novel takes place within a gloomy landscape of dreary towns, or a semi-deserted countryside, where under the thin surface of an apparently well-ordered society, murder, misogyny, rape, racism and international crime syndicates are thriving.

Muslim women between stereotypes and reality: an objective narrative

On the occasion of the launch of two new publications on topics related to women’s rights and gender equality, and in order to mark International Women’s Day, the Geneva Centre will organize a panel discussion and book presentation. The discussion will expand on the themes of the two publication, namely the status of women’s rights and gender equality in the Arab region, but also more generally, across the world, and the history and the true symbolism of the headscarf in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, the stereotypes and controversy surrounding this topic, and the recent developments in Western societies with regard to the headscarf.

Dismantling Sexual Health Stigma in India

Results from a survey with young and unmarried women suggest that as low as 1% of women have received information on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) from their mothers, doctors or government campaigns. And 53% of these women feel unsure if the sexual health problems they faced were severe enough to visit a gynaecologist. Within the Indian context and patriarchal system, any conversation around young women’s sexuality is limited and stigmatised.

Sex Education and Women´s Health

Is there a connection between sex education, gender equality and promiscuity? On this website, Fabiana Fraysinnet recently denounced a Brazilian crusade against sex education conducted by conservative and religious sectors. Such initiatives are common in several other countries, where politicians and religious leaders accuse sexual education of blurring boundaries between male and female and thus foment homosexuality and transsexualism, as well as a moral relativism undermining family structures and adherence to religious guidance and dogma.

LGBT Violence and Discrimination is “Disastrous”

Transgender and gender-diverse people are facing unprecedented levels of violence and discrimination around the world and states must act to ensure they are not left behind, said a United Nations rights expert.

“Outsiders” in Focus at French Film Fest

The usual big-name directors were absent this year from the Cannes Film Festival in southern France, creating space for cutting-edge films from Asia, Africa, small European states, and the Middle East.

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