Nigeria: Women Receive Death Penalty for Abortion, Sexual Relations
A leading human rights organization released a report stating that the death penalty in Nigeria is often used in a discriminatory way against women. According to the Amnesty International report, the death penalty was used for abortion-related offences and so-called crimes of sexual impropriety that went against sharia (Islamic) law.
In addition, the crime of zina (sexual relations with someone other than a spouse) carries a mandatory death sentence if the accused is married and one hundred lashes if the accused is not married. The most recent case of sharia law being used against a woman for adultery was the case of Amina Lawal, who was sentenced to death by stoning. After great international and national outcry against the sentence, Lawal's sentence was overturned.
Amnesty International is urging the Nigerian government to take steps to abolish the death penalty and practice and to ensure that the rights of girls and women are fully protected against discriminatory laws and practices.
The issue of danger to women's rights by placing family law under the jurisdiction of sharia law has recently come under fire in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan, the new constitution includes such a provision and in Iraq, the Iraqi Governing Council has
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .