Dossier: Gender

Activists attend a silent protest march against a recent rape case in Calcutta, India, 15 June 2013. Photo: EPA/Piyal Adhikary

India's rape problem

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New rape laws must be implemented

A series of brutal gang rapes in India has once again highlighted the rampant problem of violence against women in the country. Despite recent law reforms and harsher penalties, little is being done by the authorities to prevent crimes against women. By Roma Rajpal WeissMore

Karama co-ordination meeting in Cairo on 7 October 2011 on the occasion of the establishment of the Libyan Women's Platform for Peace (photo: Dominique Margot)

Women's movements in the transitioning Arab states

For dignity, peace and equal rights

Despite all the setbacks suffered by many women's rights groups in the transitioning Arab states, regional co-operation has improved considerably over the past few years. Juliane Metzker takes stockMore

Joumana Haddad (photo: Ceyda Nurtsch)

Interview with Joumana Haddad

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"I don't believe in female solidarity"

The Lebanese journalist and writer Joumana Haddad is considered one of the most courageous women's rights activists in the Arab world. In this interview with Ceyda Nurtsch, she talks about the erotic magazine "Jasad", feminist stereotypes and why the "Arab Spring" was just another winterMore

Women protesting outside the parliament in Rabat on 17 March 2012 after the suicide of Amina Filali (photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Women's rights in Morocco

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Gender equality on paper only

Ever since a young woman took her own life two years ago after being raped and married off to her aggressor, equal rights between men and women have been the subject of heated discussion in Morocco. A set of laws that is riddled with contradictions further fuels the debate. By Susanne KaiserMore

Hélène Cixous (photo: AFP)

Interview with the philosopher Hélène Cixous

"I don't regret attending the school that is Algeria"

The renowned philosopher and leading French feminist theoretician Hélène Cixous talks about her latest literary work, her lifelong friendship with the "father of deconstruction", Jacques Derrida, and her difficult relationship with Algeria. She is interviewed by Claudia KramatschekMore

Zahra Ali (photo: private)

Book review: Zahra Ali's "Islamic Feminisms"

Female emancipation based on the spirit of Sharia

In 2012, the French sociologist Zahra Ali published a book entitled "Féminismes islamiques" (Islamic Feminisms), a compilation of ground-breaking articles by female Muslim scholars and activists from around the world. It has just been published in German translation. Claudia Kramatschek read the bookMore

Palestinian women protesting in Ramallah (photo: Mohanad Adam)

Women's shadow councils in Palestine

Strengthening women's voices

In the Palestinian Territories, a legal quota stipulates that at least 20 per cent of all seats on municipal councils must be held by women. As progressive as this sounds, elected councilwomen often face opposition and obstacles. A local non-governmental organisation is lending them support in a most original way. By Reham Alhelsi and Petra SchoeningMore

The Egyptian writer and feminist Nawal El Saadawi (photo: Arian Fariborz)

Interview with Nawal El Saadawi

"They don't want any really courageous people!"

The spirited Egyptian author and feminist Nawal El Saadawi is not afraid of castigating the hypocrisy of the political system and the continued violations of women's rights in her country. Arian Fariborz spoke to her in CairoMore

Women in Kabul (photo: DW/H. Sirat)

Abortion in Afghanistan

Trying to break a major societal taboo

Birth control is a taboo topic in Afghanistan, the country with the highest birth rate in Asia. Many women resort to having illegal abortions in order to avoid social exclusion and to prevent undesired additions to their family. By Waslat Hasrat-NazimiMore

Postcards advertising the Berlin "Heroes" project in front of a cardboard box marked "Arabic" (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

The "Heroes" project in Berlin

Combating repression

Boys are strong and courageous, while girls are chaste and obedient. The Berlin "Heroes" project wants to get young people with a migrant background to think about the traditional sense of honour found in many Muslim families and reflect on their role in it. By Heiner KieselMore

KAFA demonstration on International Women's Day on 8 March in Beirut (photo: Juliane Metzker)

Domestic violence against women in Lebanon

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Protection, yes, but not enough

On 1 April, the Lebanese parliament approved a law designed to curb domestic violence. However, the women's rights organisation KAFA, which ran a high-profile campaign demanding a law to protect women against domestic violence, is disappointed with the outcome and says the law does not go far enough. Background information from Juliane Metzker in BeirutMore

A girl holds up a poster of Amina al-Filali, victim of rape and forced marriage in Morocco (photo: Naqi Tbel)

Women in Morocco

Rape victims no longer forced to marry their aggressors

Although Morocco has done away with a controversial law allowing rapists of underage girls to escape prosecution if they marry their victims, the basic problem of rape remains. Activists say it's time to enact change in society to protect rape victims. By Monika GriebelerMore

Abdullah Hamidaddin wearing his daughter's abaya (photo: Abdullah Hamidaddin)

The hijab

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Power and the headscarf

Abdullah Hamidaddin, a writer and commentator on religion and the Middle East, wore his daughter's hijab to remind people that the hijab was originally an expression of power, and to point out that if women had ruled, things might have been very differentMore

Pastor Rola Sleiman in her church in Tripoli (photo: DW/A. Williams)

Lebanon's first female pastor

"The fact that I am a woman was never a problem"

In Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, an Evangelical community has decided to break with tradition and elect a woman as their pastor. The small parish has come to appreciate Rola Sleiman in trying times. By Andreane Williams in TripoliMore

Dr. Elham Manea (photo: private copyright)

Women in Saudi Arabia

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Caught in a System of Gender Apartheid

No professional or vocational training, no visits to the doctor, no lawsuits without male approval. The Yemeni-Swiss political scientist Elham Manea describes the plight of women in Saudi ArabiaMore

Roman Paul (photo: © DW/Bernd Sobolla)

Saudi Arabia's First Feature Film "Wadjda"

"It's Not Just about Suppression"

"Wadjda" is the first feature film ever made in Saudi Arabia. One of its German producers tells Bernd Sobolla about the daring women involved, and how his own perception of Saudi Arabia changed in the processMore

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