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TUNISIA: Tunisian schizophrenia over women

Tunisia has long been known for its advanced stand regarding women's rights, thanks to the Personal Status Code, a series of Tunisian progressive laws aimed at instituting equality between women and men in a number of areas. However since the moderate Islamic party Ennahda topped the election results this time last year, the burning question within Tunisian society and abroad is whether Tunisia will regress in this regard or not.

AFGHANISTAN: Despite deadly risks, Afghan girls take brave first step

For many girls in Afghanistan, the simple act of walking to school can be a life-threatening journey.

"You close the door behind you, and you enter a war zone," said Nushin Arbabzadah, an American-based author and scholar who was raised in Afghanistan.

MIDDLE EAST/ NORTH AFRICA: A Struggle Against Invisibility - Gender Justice in the Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, it is a challenge to ensure transitional justice measures do not further entrench the invisibility of gender-based abuses. As different countries consider the ways to confront the legacies of past abuses, ICTJ works with women's groups across the region to build their capacity to engage in discussions around transitional justice and gender.

TAJIKISTAN: Partners in Law: Legal Help Leads to Brighter Futures for Tajikistan's Rural Women

The 58-year old mother of five and wife of an ill husband, Maksad worked on cooperative farms for much of her life. She married and became a mother at 16, arranging the same for her two eldest daughters when she couldn't pay for their further education. Yet her burden was eased only briefly. Within five years her eldest daughter died, leaving Maksad to care for three young grandchildren.

BURMA/MYANMAR: Ban Hails Aung San Suu Kyi's Role in Myanmar's Reconciliation, Reaffirms UN Support

“We have great expectations and hope that she will lead this path of reconciliation and greater participatory democracy and development of her country, together with President Thein Sein of Myanmar,” Mr. Ban said at a joint media encounter with Ms. Suu Kyi at UN Headquarters in New York

SOLOMON ISLANDS: UN Goals Beyond Our Reach

The seven MDGs include elimination of extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/Aids and other diseases and ensure environmental sustainability.

GEORGIA: European Jumbo of Women's Political Participation

On October 1st parliamentary elections will be held in Georgia. Currently there are only 6.6 percent women representatives in the Georgian parliament, the lowest number in all of Europe.To achieve long-term stability in Georgia, it is crucial to include more women in the decision-making processes, says Alla Gamakharia from the women and peace organization Cultural-Humanitarian Fund Sukhumi, based in Kutaisi.

LEBANON: Lebanon Launches Campaign to Protect Children From Sexual Abuse

With the support of the European Union, Save the Children and its partner in Lebanon KAFA (Enough) Violence and Exploitation have launched a week-long advocacy campaign “The key to protection is a word”, aiming to raise awareness of children to protect them from sexual abuse. The campaign started on Monday with a press conference launching the opening of 15 child and adolescent friendly spaces.

IRAN: Iran Women to be Watch Guards at Prisons

The Iranian government and police have begun positioning women as watch guards at female prisons across the country aimed at preventing abuses, the ISNA news agency reported.

According to the report, the women will be trained by the Iranian Police Prison authorities and will work inside prisons.

NORTH AFRICA/ MIDDLE EAST: Arab Spring reforms still leaving women out in the cold

Nawal Al Saadawi has been at the lead of the fight for rights for women for decades, and like many here was exhilarated when women and men united in Tahrir Square to lead protests against dictator Hosni Mubarak.

But more than a year after Mubarak's ouster, not much has changed for women, she laments.

"Things didn't improve for women, and we are going backward," said Nawal, 81, an author and activist.