Louise Livesey // 16 September 2008
Over at the BBC there is preview of some upcoming films about life around the world. The article on Eritrean women is particularly interesting. It focuses on three women, Leyla trying to decide whether to have her daughter circumcised, Amina debating the safety of a hospital birth but knowing they won’t reinfibulate her after the birth and Howa who is trying to find ways around cultural mores to allow her to take the offer of land to grow crops to feed her family.
Meanwhile at Alternet there is discussion as to why the first legally operating women’s refuge isn’t enough to protect Syrian women.
Al Assad says many of Syria’s personal status laws discriminate against women, including those seeking divorce, and break the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW, which Syria signed in 2003 after making some provisions to accommodate Islamic law. But she and others reserve their strongest criticism for Syria’s failure to revoke Article 548 of the penal code, which exempts a domestic killer from standard punishments, as the most serious flouting of CEDAW. “He who catches his wife or one of his ascendants, descendants or sister committing adultery, (flagrante delicto) or illegitimate sexual acts with another and he killed or injured one or both of them benefits from an exemption of penalty,” the article says.