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Bahrain: Women’s Rights Activists Launch Campaign to Amend Citizenship Law

(Oct. 31, 2017) The Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society (BHRWS), in conjunction with other Bahrain women’s rights groups and various Members of Parliament (MPs) and the business community, has launched a campaign to extend equal citizenship rights to women by amending a provision of the country’s citizenship law.  (Huge Support for Gender Equality in Bahrain’s […]

Switzerland: Referendum on Burqa and Niqab Ban Will Go to a Vote

(Oct. 24, 2017) On October 11, 2017, the Swiss Government announced that a proposed referendum on a ban of the full body and face veil (burqa) and the face veil (niqab) had achieved the required 100,000 number of signatures to be put to a vote. (Eidgenössische Volksinitiative, “Ja zum Verhüllungsverbot” [Swiss Federal Popular Initiative, “Yes […]

Egypt: Fatwa Permits Females to Have Permanent Tattoos

(Oct. 18, 2017) On October 9, 2017, the former Grand Mufti of Egypt (the main, official religious scholar), Sheik Ali Gomaa, issued a new fatwa (religious decree) allowing women to have permanent inked tattoos on their bodies. However, the same religious decree bans males from getting permanent tattoos. (Getting Tattoo Permissible for Girls, Sin for […]

Saudi Arabia: Royal Decree Allows Women to Be Issued Driving Licenses

(Oct. 3, 2017) On September 26, 2017, the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, issued a royal decree to add new provisions to Royal Decree M/85 on Traffic.  The new decree gives women the right to be issued a driving license and creates a government authority to execute its provisions within 30 days from the […]

Tunisia: Government Lifts Ban on Inter-Religious Marriages

(Sept. 19, 2017) On September 14, 2017, the Tunisian government lifted a ban on inter-religious marriages between Muslim Tunisian females and non-Muslim males. (Tunisia Lifts Ban on Muslim Women Marrying Non-Muslims, AL JAZEERA (Sept. 14, 2017).) This measure was issued by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.  During his speech on the national Women’s Day that […]

Belgium/European Court of Human Rights: Ban on Full-Face Veil in Public Does Not Violate European Convention on Human Rights

(Aug. 30, 2017) On July 11, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) unanimously ruled that Belgium’s ban on wearing an Islamic full-face veil in public does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights. (Affaire Belcacemi et Oussar c. Belgique [Case of Belcacemi and Oussar v. Belgium], Judgment (July 11 2017), Application No. […]

Jordan: Repeal of Controversial Article in Penal Code

(Aug. 8, 2017) On August 1, 2017, the majority of members of the lower house (House of Representatives) of the Jordanian parliament voted to repeal article 308 of the Penal Code, which had allowed rapists to avoid a jail term if they married the victim. (Zena Tahhan, ‘Historic Day’ as Jordanian Parliament Repeals Rape Law, […]

Saudi Arabia: Shura Council Denies Social Media Reports on Resolution to Allow Women to Drive

(June 7, 2017) The official spokesman of Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council has denied social media reports that went viral at the end of March claiming that the Council was forwarding a resolution to the Council of Ministers seeking approval for the country’s women to drive. (Tariq A. Al-Maeena, Getting Behind the Wheel in Saudi Arabia, […]

Ascension Island/Bermuda/St. Helena/Tristan da Cunha/United Kingdom: Convention on Women Extended to Overseas Territories

(May 10, 2017) The Government of the United Kingdom recently extended the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women to some of its overseas territories, namely Ascension Island, Bermuda, St. Helena, and Tristan da Cunha. (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, opened for signature Mar. 1, 1980, […]

Israel: First Female Judge Selected for Muslim Religious Court

(Apr. 27, 2017) On April 25, 2017, the Qadis (Muslim law judges) Appointment Committee in Israel selected Hana Mansour-Khatib, a female jurist, for the position of a Sharia (Islamic law) court judge.  Mansour-Khatib is a lawyer specializing in Sharia family law and a licensed mediator.  (Hur Uriel Nizari, History in the Committee for the Appointment of […]