The Contribution of Mrs. Nabeela Hamza In the Celebration ofInternational Women’s Day
“Hundred Years, But the Rights Still Incomplete”I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Nizam Assaf and the Amman Center for the Human Rights Studies on our hosting and organizing this celebration.
Please allow me in the beginning of this special day, to congratulate all the women of the world, and the Arab women in particular for their contribution in this great movement that the region is witnessing, and to express my appreciation for the role of women in the Arab spring, where they were always in the front of the demonstrations, even in the most conservative Arabic society.
During the last year we have witnessed the women in the revolution in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Syria and other Arab countries, where the women have strongly contributed in the events and fighting the tyrant regimes, the thing that raised their expectations in realizing equality and dignity in a free society where human rights and the rule of low are prevailing.
Today, I don’t intend to talk to you as the chairman of the Future Institution, neither as a lecturer, but I want to talk spontaneously as a female fighter, who spent a big part of her life in the struggle for the women’s issues, as an integral part of the human rights, having the opportunity in the whole last year to be close to the Arab capitals who are boiling with transformation and change, as a result of my legal work, and as the chairwoman of an institution aiming at the support of democracy and human rights in the middle east and North Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen
A whole year had passed on the revolution in Tunisia and Egypt. Many things have been changed, many achievements have been realized, but many objectives still need to be realized. Last year we had witnessed almost everything, we had passed through moments of fear and hope, sometimes we were frustrated, sometimes optimistic, it is true that the tyrant regimes had fallen. It is true that we had organized the first pluralistic, transparent elections in Egypt and Tunisia. These days we are preparing for new constitutions that will define the shapes of the new societies and regimes that we need for the future.
It is true that we had completely broken the fear and silence barriers once for all. The street had become a strong pressure tool that couldn’t be ignored by any force; this is a precedent in all the Arab countries.
It is true also that we are witnessing a new qualitative step in the field of media and free opinion, and the start of a new, pluralistic independent media. The people in charge are not any more far from criticism, questioning and cynicism. As far as the political level is concerned, there is an explosion of new parties of all spectra. There are parties that diminish, and hundreds of others evolve. In parallel to that there is an unprecedented rise of civil society organizations that provides for an opposition authority, and forms a control power and suggestion of alternatives and solutions, and that is the best product of the revolution.
These days we have interred the actual stage of democratic building, which is more serious and accurate than the destruction stage, but a question remains pending:
Do we, the Arab women, have the right to celebrate the women’s day?
Have the Arab revolutions realized, or they are going to realize our dream of a rule of low and equality and human rights, or we are witnessing a disaster that will repeat the tyranny and totalitarian regimes, and causes us to miss the days before the Arab spring. It would be difficult to answer this question with a yes or no, but what is sure is that we are particularly in Egypt and Tunisia witnessing a historical phase surrounded with dangers and challenges.
What is sure is that the revolutions and the democracy could not necessarily lead spontaneously to the equality between the two genders and to the full citizenship of the woman (as it is the case in many international practices), and particularly in the Arabic cases could lead to a huge retreat for the weak and fragile rights and gains that had been gained under the totalitarian regimes. There are very dangerous indications evolving in the horizons of the Arab revolutions.
What is happening these days, is a strange and shameful thing in the same time, in Egypt of Huda Sharawi, and the feminine movement of the nineteenth century of Qasem Amin, which is these days facing:
- Cancelling of the women’s quota.
- The campaign for the cancelling of the national council of the woman.
- Amending of the lows of the personal status.
- The exclusion of women from the commission of the constitution amendment.
- Ignoring the women in the formation of the new government, except on woman from the previous regime.
- A small presence of women in the new parliament (the people’s council), only 10 women from one party.
As expressed by the women activists of the civil rights, the Egyptian woman is just a décor. In Egypt of the revolution, women are subjected to virginity test; others are subjected to sexual harassment, or beating in the Tahreer square.
In Tunisia, of Al-Taher Al-Haddad, Tunisia of Burgeiba, Tunisia of the Personal Status magazine, the women capture only 49 seats out of 217 seats of the founding board, all the 49 seats are from one party, the An-Nahda Islamic party. In spite of the recognition of some improvement of the election low in Tunisia, the low that approved the fifty-fifty principle in the election lists; there is an increase in the fundamental activities in different parts of the country.
The voices are rising that calling for the demolition of the civil state and all the gains of modernization of the Tunisian women, and trying to:
- The cancelling of the adoption low.
- The return to the customary marriages and polygamy.
- The renewal of the forensic authorization marriages.
- The legislation of violence against women.
- The imposition of the veil on the young, non adult girls.
- The fabrication of the burqa issue in the universities.
In the last few months, Tunisia became an important station in the travels of the Salafi preachers who had captured the media and the mosques after capturing the Arabic satellite channels. They are playing a rising role in our countries. The latest of those preachers is Wajdi Ghuneim, who preaches for the circumcision of females and pretends that this is a cosmetic surgery. Tunisia became after the revolution open for the intellectual and cultural movements. There are those who believe that it is time to avenge the modernization movement of BURGEIBA, even further, there are those who are calling for the re-islamization of Tunisia, and the “Islamic conquest” against the “infidel secularism”. The most dangerous of all is that there is plenty of money pumped to reaffirm the political scene of Tunisia.
These are, ladies and gentlemen, red signs on the road of the revolution; they are threatening the revolution and showing the coming dangers. They should be faced so as not to change the “Arab Spring” into a dark winter and tyrannical nightmare. Plenty of awareness is needed.
So, I should return to the question: Do we have the right to celebrate in these situations? I would say”yes”, because even in spite of these difficulties, we are living a historical moment and a crucial stage, full of challenges and opportunities. Egypt and Tunisia are these days in the process of drafting new constitutions that will define the shapes of the societies that we are looking for, and the type of the political regimes that we are struggling for. The issue of women’s rights and her status will form a substantial issue that all political parties and powers will be positioned around it, and together with the issue of freedoms shall be the test for the revolution and its reaction with the modernity. We have a golden opportunity to put the women’s rights as a principle over the constitution (the constitutionalization of the women’s rights).
In front of us there is an opportunity to demand the just representation, equal opportunity in the legislative, executive and juridical authorities. We have the opportunity to rearrange our powers and gathering support to our aims and struggles. We have an opportunity to revise our strategies, and build bigger alliances of women’s organizations at the national and regional levels. An opportunity to join our efforts and gather the young energies, calling them to join the struggle for equality, freedom and national dignity, and to continue on the same path. This will allow the women’s movement to get out the cage of the elite and big cities. For all these reasons I am optimistic, because the door is open for building a new society, the society of equality and social justice.
We have an opportunity to form an advanced type of democracy and development in the Arab region. Let me remind you that the women’s rights are not of second grade, its neither second nor third item in the democratic building. It is in the heart of the process of reform. If we succeed to pass through this critical stage, and reach a national consensus on our objectives, then we would get out of the bottle neck and successfully passed the test with a good mark. Then we would be able to talk about a revolution in the full meaning.
Thank you once more, and good luck.
Speech of Women’s Committee in the Jordanian Bar Association /Attorny Nour AL Emam, Member of the Board of Trustees in the JBA and rupartur of the women’s committee.
in The Occasion of the International Women’s Day 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen
First of all I would to thank and appreciate my friends in the Amman Center for Human Rights studies(ACHRS)for their kind invitation to me to give a speech on the occasion of celebration of International Women's Day, which comes in this year after that fought women in the Arab countries as well as men for freedom, democracy and social justice, and it does still in the squares lever to the slogan of equality and citizenship in many Arab countries dominated by injustice, oppression and discrimination.
In Jordan, the Jordanian young women , as well as his youth men participating in the reform movement, which aims to prosecute corruption and advancing democratic approach.
As we witness in this period concern the government and parliament to the completion of the adoption of the democracy of legislation package , which includes the law of the Independent Commission for the election and the election law and the law of political parties and the law of the Constitutional Court,,,,, what concerns us as activists in the feminist movement of Jordan is what will be the impact of this package to improve women's political participation,,,,
Therefore, we have seen several initiatives of human rights organizations and women's to the amendment of Article (6) of the Constitution in order to emphasize the equality of all Jordanians, men and women, but it unfortunately was not taken out and stayed article on the same, and that the reason for the claim to amend Article (6) was to reflect its impact on the all the texts of legislation immediately, resulting in modification of all legislation that include any form of discrimination against women, including, for example Jordanian nationality law that distinguishes between women and men in the right to grant citizenship to their children and husbands,,,,,,,
In spite of the justifications which we heard when prompted to amend the constitution that does not distinguish between citizens and the added word (sex) to Article (6) or clarify (the Jordanians withdraw to men and women)) is a matter of extra needs,, I find me and many Jurists of men and women that it was necessary to amend the constitution at the stage where Jordan is witnessing a legislative shift toward stat based on the rule of law and citizenship legislatively .
I hope that we do not get disappointed now when we are on the threshold of approving a package of legislation for democracy, the law for independent commission which is pushed by civil society organizations for the purpose of monitoring the elections and the completion of a fair election that represents all segments of Jordanian society in cities, villages, Valleys, and his men, oldest, youth,,,,, not provided to appoint a representative / her to civil society among the members of the commission or even from the parties on the contrary, even the draft law was excluded parties from its text,,,,,,,,
The election law, which rushed to it women's organizations and human rights organizations to develop proposals for the amendment , Within leaks initial will be no proportional lists as was the demand of many in the human rights organizations, and as for women's quota will not reach in any way to 30% , but will be added for up to 15 seats are distributed on the basis of a woman for each province in addition to the Valley, and this of course due to the increase number of members of parliament in full, and of course this is where the injustice to women activists in the main cities, namely ((Amman)) and who became pregnant the banner of the amendment and equitable representation.
The Law on the Constitutional Court does not give the right for individuals to complain of the unconstitutionality of the texts, although the Constitutional Court was the demand of the human rights movement in Jordan since the early nineties. At that time, many faced our demands that Jordan does not need a constitutional court, and having approved the Constitutional Court denied organizations civil society to be a channel before the submission of cases and that the legislator did not take into account the judges to appoint a woman.
The Law on political parties and within the first draft has decided positively to be 10% of the founders of the women and this is an opportunity for women to engage in political action, and to obtain an umbrella for protection and the burden on the parties to attract women and young women and develop programs to make women leaders and to include the demands of women's for freedom and the delete of all forms of discrimination and change the stereotype women and approval of citizenship as a party brings together women and men to build nations,,,,, and I hope that does not have to include the names of women as institutions of the parties for the purposes only complete the legal requirements for registration by adding the names of relatives or wives or sisters of the founders, as is the case in the proportion of women registered as business women and owners of the territory, in fact their names records show only, but some of them actually are not real business.
For all these challenges and to be the March spring women's ppermanent and harvested fruit, the women in all places need to engage seriously in order to achieve their rights, and do not wait for political grants made as decisions and policies in a given period in order to improve the situation of women's political or legislative, in order not to frustrate in the case the political systems changed , and find themselves with no earnings and lose what she got rights.
I Conclude my speech by congratulating the guidance especially for women teachers who gave good lesson for all Jordanians :.
that the rights are taken or not granted.
Long live the women of the maker of the life and inspirational values
Speech of Lina Jazrawi /the coordinator of the Woman’s Unit Of The Amman Center for Human Rights Studies
in The Occasion of the International Women’s Day 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen
We meet every year to celebrate a day in which we revise the programs and achievements of the International Women’s Day, the day which has never been only for women, but for common rights of men and women in our Arab society who is achieving significant conditions of change in all aspects. While we celebrate this occasion nominated for women, doesn’t mean in any way the separation between rights and duties, but we reaffirm that our continuous demands to gain more rights shall reflect positively on our commitment for more duties.
The dream we have had since many years of having a special women’s unit to work as a center for research and studies, is very close to realization. This unit is aimed towards the creation of an enlightened women’s thought, through the development of social concepts and values towards the cause of women in a society built on the respect of human rights regardless of color, ethnicity or sex, where the humans naturally struggled for their rights in freedom, dignity, justice and equality.
The Amman Center for Human Rights Studies has participated in the highlighting of many issues of rights and freedoms in the last twelve years. The center raised many issues for dialogue and imposed many visions for discussion, such as the right on thinking through focusing on academic freedoms in the universities(starting from 2004), and the creation of the Arabic society for academic freedoms (2008) and an electronic observatory for academic freedoms(2009). The right on opinion and expression through focusing on media freedom and the right to access to information (300 journalists were trained and 5 annual reports were published).The right on partnership through focusing on different election issues, and the creation of an election network in the Arab region and an electronic observatory for elections. The right on living through focusing on the abolishing of the death penalty and the creation of a Jordanian alliance and another pan Arabian alliance against the death penalty and an electronic observatory for the death penalty.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The most important contribution of the center is probably his work on the integration of the gender approach in his activities, where the participation of the women in his courses exceeded 60% of the total participation, beside the targeting of different layers of the society, legal men and women, activists of both genders, students of both genders, government and private institutions. In this context, work started in the women’s center of research and studies, through the women’s unit, as a complementary step in the work of the center in highlighting issues of importance to men and women as partners in development and building of the society, where all citizens are equal in rights and duties in a country of low and constitutional rights, with complete citizenship to all persons.
The women’s vision for work can be summarized: “Towards the building of an enlightened female thought, through the development of values and concepts for men and women together, as a national duty that raises the value of the citizen and maintain his freedom in a society ruled by justice and equality”.
The strategy of the women’s unit focuses on utilization of all the tools that realize its objectives in improving the Jordanian women’s status in the society, through lectures, seminars and workshops about the female thought and the pressing female issues. We have had some experience in the last few years, where we have targeted a number of women in special projects for the building of leadership capabilities of women. The Jordanian center for female leaders, has graduated the first group of female leaders for the year 2010/2011.This center who belongs to the Amman center, is working on the preparation of the Jordanian women for political partnership, to share in the political decision making. We have also worked on plans for gaining the support in the actual issues. We have had our share in the constitutional amendments concerning women’s rights in the constitution which was forwarded to the royal committee for the amendment of the constitution. This is besides our intention to utilize the tools of the social communication to fight the stereotypical image of women, and enhance their awareness in their legal and juridical rights. We have gained some experience in report writing and the writing of articles in the newspapers. This is in addition to the issuing of special information and data about women’s status in Jordan.
Starting from this point the women’s unit shall move forward to realize the following objectives:
1- To spread knowledge and the human rights culture for women and fighting the illiteracy in legal affairs.
2- To change the concepts and the values that dedicate the stereotypical and traditional role of women.
3 - To spread the human rights concepts and teaching it.
4- To enable the women to strengthen their role in the educational, social, political, and economical life.
In the end, please accept our thanks for coming to our gathering, hoping that we always meet with more achievements for women in all aspects through a network of national alliances towards a society free of all types of discrimination.