In Ivory Coast, troops loyal to Laurent Gbagbo gunned down eight women as they marched peacefully against his rule chanting, “We want peace!” He sent tanks against the women, who had held several all-women marches. As one woman said, “We’re marching because we’re tired. We can’t sleep. We are not able to eat. And our husbands are not working…” Like Qaddafi, Gbagbo is willing to foment a civil war to hold on to power after he lost the recent election.
* * *
Egyptian feminists Nawal El Saadawi of the Egyptian Women’s Union and Hoda Badran of the Alliance for Arab Women want to ensure that women’s issues and participation in society do not get swept aside as they have in previous revolutions. They also state that former first lady Suzanne Mubarak held back feminism and stifled debate on controversial issues by consolidating all activism under her own group, the National Council of Women.
* * *
The Afghan Women’s Network (a network of feminist and human rights organizations in Afghanistan) and Amnesty International are calling on Afghanistan’s government to end its plan to seize control of the country’s activist-run women’s shelters. The shelters, where women and girls can escape from violent families and forced marriages, would have new rules including handing victims over to abusive families who demand them back and giving them virginity tests.
* * *
UK Uncut is a feminist British organization protesting government cuts to public services, which disproportionately affect women, as well as exposing the role of banks in causing the economic crisis. Recently, the group has been demonstrating inside banks and bringing their children to protest cuts to childcare services.