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The survey reports on the worst countries in the world for women in terms of health (e.g. maternal mortality, lack of access to health care facilities, lack of control over reproductive rights); discrimination (e.g. over land rights, job rights, property or inheritance); culture and religion (e.g. acid attacks, FGM, forced marriages); sexual violence (e.g. Rape, rape as a weapon of war, domestic rape or by a stranger); non-sexual violence (e.g. domestic violence); and human trafficking (including domestic servitude, forced labour, sexual slavery and forced marriage). The methodology is outlined and each listed country is fully described in each of the categories explored by the survey.
Al-Taher begins by observing that, unlike in the beginning of the Syrian Spring 2011-12, the international and western press no longer reported on peaceful protests in Syria. The paper discusses two possible explanations: a problem of information (either a lack of information or an excess of news), or the absence of nonviolent protests in the region. The author refutes the second thesis, arguing that despite the ongoing bloody civil war in Syria, large parts of the society nevertheless participate in peaceful protests.
Part 1 of a two part series. Part 2 is available at http://www.opendemocracy.net/civilresistance/maciej-bartkowski-mohja-kahf/syrian-resistance-tale-of-two-struggles-part-2
Abortion is a hotly debated topic among Muslim communities. In this paper, the author examines how both anti-abortion and abortion rights groups deploy ideas about Islam. She analised the language used by these groups when describing Muslim communities and Muslim views and found that a majority of them did not include arguments from both sides. Almost all the Anti-Abortion Websites included generalizations about the Muslim community, and also used the conservative elements in Islamic Religion to persuade more Muslims to join their stance on abortion.
An informative and detailed account of how the proposal for an Arms Trade Treaty to set international standards and controls upon the sale of arms, promoted in the 1990s by NGOs (such as Oxfam and Amnesty International) and by prominent individuals, for example Nobel Peace laureates, gained governmental support. The goal was not to stop all arms exports, but the more limited one of setting international standards for controlling sale of arms to strengthen national rules and to prevent weapons from intensifying conflicts or worsening human rights abuses. The Treaty was agreed at the UN General Assembly in April 2013 by 157 states, including the US under President Obama.
See also: Campaign Against the Arms Trade, 'Issues - Arms Trade Treaty'
CAAT notes that the Arms Trade Treaty came into force in December 2014 when ratified by 50 states (including the UK), but explains their scepticism about the concept of a 'responsible' arms trade. CAAT claims the UK approves licenses which contravene the approved guidelines. and it should stop promoting arms sales A number of other sources sceptical about the Treaty are listed.
See also: 'Canada, ‘Canada joins the Arms Trade Treaty while still selling arms to Saudi Arabia’, Oxfam, 16 May 2019
Oxfam comments that whilst Canadian eventual accession to the Treaty is a major victory for civil society, the government has not made moves to cancel its $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, despite the Saudi record on human rights (denounced by the Trudeau government) and the Saudi role in the war in Yemen.
See also: Pecquet, Julian, ‘UN Approval of Arms Trade Treaty sets up Obama, Senate Showdown’, The Hill, 2 April 2013
Commentary on the domestic political context of Obama’s decision to back the Arms Trade Treaty, opposed by 53 Senators and the National Rifle Association. In the light of domestic opposition the Obama Administration had delayed support for the UN treaty in the run-up to the November 2012 election. Pecquet also notes that the treaty passed with 154 votes; three countries opposed – North Korea, Syria and Iran – and 23 abstained.
Designed as a textbook, it covers history, theoretical developments and debates about the results of nonviolent movements. It categorizes nine types of nonviolent action, which are illustrated by case studies. A separate chapter explores key issues of why and when sections of the armed services defect from a regime challenged by a nonviolent movement.
Very useful compendium covering early resistance, the development of civil war and proxy wars providing a timeline, celebrating artistic activity, citizen jourbalism, the White Helmets who rescue the injured, and individual acts of resistance to ISIS. It includes resources on campaigns, web-based analysis and recommended books.
Note on the "White Helmets": in early 2017 the White Helmets, who have operated in rebel-held areas, have been criticised for exaggerating their role and using misleading videos (a Channel Fact Check disputed a claim by a Canadian journalist that video footage had been recycled). They have also been attacked for their receipt of official western funding, and even accused of extremist factions. Criticisms, which appears to come mostly from pro-Assad and pro-Russian sources, was fuelled by an Oscar nomination for a documentary about their work.
Popovic, an activist against the Milosevic regime in Serbia in the 1990s, went on to find CANVAS, which has offered advice and nonviolent training to activists in former Soviet states and other parts of the world, including Egypt before Tahrir Square and Syria. The book emphasizes the role of CANVAS (but does not address criticism of its role) and foregrounds the author's own experiences and interpretation of nonviolent action. It covers many varied campaigns with examples of how to mobilize successfully and use humour and imaginative forms of protest. It also addresses how to make oppression 'backfire' and the need to persevere in one's effort after apparent success. Written for activists rather than for scholars of nonviolence.
After a general overviews of politics and resistance in the region, experts on individual countries explore the immediate impact of the Arab Spring in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Syria, and the subsequent developments, discussing the reasons for reassertion of repression on Bahrain and later Egypt; political breakdown in Libya and civil war intensified by external interference in Yemen and Syria. There are also chapters on the monarchical response to pressure for reform in Jordan and Morocco, and why the Arab Spring did not ignite massive resistance in Palestine. Adam Roberts provides a concluding assessment of the problems of using civil resistance in the Arab Spring, the difficulties of democratization, and the lessons to be learned.
See section on 'Syria in Crisis', pp. 191-236.
This section includes essays by Robin Yassin-Nassab, 'Syria Seen and Represented' (based on two visits in 2013 and challenging media representations of Syrian resistance); and by Malu Halasa, 'Defyign the Killers: The Emergence of Street Culture in Syria'.
Highlights important challenges that women face in the Kurdish part of Syria; Tunisia; Morocco; Egypt; and the Persian Gulf in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
On the week marking the United Nations Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, Council on Foreign Relations published a link featuring six publications from the Women and Foreign Policy Program. The publications are:
- CFR Discussion Paper: Countering Sexual Violence in Conflict (Include PDF);
- ‘Sexual harassment and gender-based violence in the workplace’ (http://fortune.com/2017/11/17/sexual-harassment-legal-gaps/);
- ‘Rape as a tactic of terror’ (https://www.cfr.org/event/countering-human-trafficking-and-sexual-violence-conflict) inclusive of a discussion with human rights activist, Yazidi survivor to ISIS’ sexual slavery and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nadia Murad. The link provides both the video and its script);
- ‘The economic costs of violence against women’ (https://www.cfr.org/report/closing-gender-gap-development-financing);
- ‘Ending gender-based violence in conflict’ (https://www.cfr.org/blog/its-time-end-gender-based-violence-conflict);
- ‘Addressing gender-based violence in peace agreements’ (Link not retrievable).
A Guide to Civil Resistance
The online version of Vol. 1 of the bibliography was made possible due to the generous support of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). ICNC is an independent, non-profit educational foundation that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies aimed at establishing and defending human rights, democratic self-rule and justice worldwide.
For more information about ICNC, please see their website.
The online version of Vol. 2 of the bibliography was made possible due to the generous support of The Network for Social Change. The Network for Social Change is a group of individuals providing funding for progressive social change, particularly in the areas of justice, peace and the environment.
For more information about The Network for Social Change, please visit their website.