Archive for May 9th, 2008

The national Child Rights Observatory Group (NACROG) has noted that during the period January – December 2007, Illegal detention and rape dominated abuses among children in Liberia.

NACROG’s Acting Officer-In-Charge, Senyon Kieh told a news conference Friday that during the reporting period (January-December 2007), with planned activities in Montserrado, Grand Bassa, Bong and Nimba counties and response interventions, it was established that children are still faced with violence in many forms.

Giving NACROG’s situational report for the period under review, Kieh noted that analysis of the data collected show that some 438 cases of child rights violations were documented.

“The violations documented include Rape, abandonment, neglect, illegal detention, Illegal adoption, torture, Physical abuse (beating) child trafficking, sodomy, forced and early marriage, murder, economic exploitation, ritualistic killing, violence related injury and abduction,” Mr. Kieh noted.

He observed that 116 rape cases were documented and handled, representing 26.5% of the total violations, while 33 cases of neglect which accounts for 7.5% of the violations were documented.

The Child Rights Advocate pointed out that the ages of the victims ranged from two months to 17 years old, and added that an analysis of the action taken on the documented rape cases shows that 83 were without action, five referred, 22 resolved and 11 ongoing.

Kieh: “Illegal detention makes up 191 cases accounting for 43.6% of violations documented. Four of these cases were referred; 13 ongoing, while 174 were resolved”.

Mr. Kieh further noted that torture accounts for 21 cases or 4.8% of violations documented, while ritualistic killing accounts for 0.5%, and added “action on the two ritualistic killings is still ongoing, while all of the 21 torture cases were resolved by the police.”

He said abandonment constitutes 6.6% or 29 cases of the violations, while neglect accounts for 7.5% or 33 cases, adding “eight of the abandonment cases along with 22 of the neglect cases were resolved; two neglect cases were referred and 11 neglect cases and 5 abandonment cases are ongoing respectively.”

Mr. Kieh said the plight of hundreds of children who are less privileged is of serious concern to his group and strongly holds the belief that much needs to be done to help such children.

NACROG comprises 24 member organizations and the ICRC serves as an Observer. It is headed by the National Chairperson who represents the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia and assisted by the National Co-chairperson who represents Mother Pattern College of Health Sciences.

Islamist-feminist Hidayet Tuksal bursts against AKP spokesperson Firat’s statement that “AKP women would not be slaves to the feminist ideology”. Feminst activist Filiz Karakus is of the opinion that AKP leadership is weary of the feminist elements in their ranks.

Following Fırat’s statement that “the women of AKP did not become slaves to the feminist ideology?”, the founding president of the Başkent Kadın Platformu (Woman’s Platform of Capital) Hidayet Tuksal asked where Dengir Mir Fırat gets the right to talk for all of the women supporters of the Justice and Development Party?”

Fırat stated at the AKP Congress of Adana Provincial Woman Branches that “we are not for the philosophical belief, the medium of clash, which the feminist thinking creates.”

Is this speech a threat?

In her evaluation of what happened, Tuksal asked Fırat the following:

“Is feminism an ideology banned to the women? Were the women to show interest in feminism with their permission? What does he know about feminism? Did he follow the feminist thinking? Does he know anything about feminism other than the motto of ‘man-hating’? Does he know what the feminist women watch, what they get upset at? Should we read this speech as a threat, a warning, to the AKP women who have established relations with the feminists?”

“These words are the expression of the ignorance about feminism”

The feminist activist Filiz Karakuş interpreted Fırat’s explanation as such:

“I think AKP is in panic. In recent months, opinions against the religious-conservative ideas upon which AKP stands, opinions that will upset an important part of the religious section, the articles that were published in the Religious Affairs and the Hasan Üzmez incident were published everywhere, including the newspapers that support AKP. These words are the expression of the panic that AKP feels about its own future and unity, wishing to discipline the women; they express the attempt to prevent the contradiction between religious conservatism and the women’s liberation from surfacing.”

“The development of feminism threatens AKP’s future”

“AKP women do not see these incidents as isolated occurrences. There have been verbal, written, visible and invisible reactions pointing out that this is at the source of the male domination. In fact this is the result of the years of woman’s struggle. There were similar reactions when the prime minister told people that they should have three children. Dengir Fırat’s going against feminism emanates from his panic about the feminist element. Religious conservatism is very much opposite of feminism, but feminism has been successful in entering into every opinion. The development of a feminism that will enter into conflict with religious conservatism threatens AKP’s future. I regard this as a panic related to this and let them panic.”

For this report we called AKP Gaziantep deputy Fatma Şahin but we could not reach her.

Following feedback from users we have now set us a new blog – womensgrid – which will focus on information by and about women from around the UK and Ireland (and any European items that seem relevant).

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