Male Mormons exclude women


This video is called USA: Mormon women march for gender equality in church.

From Reuters news agency:

Mormons exclude women seeking ordination from male-only meeting

• Campaigners seek admission of women to lay priesthood
Ordain Women brave bad weather to press case

Salt Lake City

Sunday 6 April 2014 15.05 BST

Hundreds of Mormon women who want ecclesiastical equality were denied admittance to a male-only session of their faith’s spring conference on Saturday, in their attempt [to] promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood.

Adorned in purple, members of Ordain Women marched through a hailstorm from a park to the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square, the heart of a four-block campus that is the global home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were seeking unfilled seats at the evening priesthood meeting at the faith’s biannual conference.

This follows the group’s attempt last autumn to gain admittance to the meeting. The actions have led to tensions between church officials and the women, who say they are steadfast in their faith but want to play a more significant role in the life of a religion that claims over 15 million adherents worldwide.

One by one, the women and some male supporters were politely turned away by a church spokeswoman. High school student Emma Tueller, 16, fought back tears after the rejection, which came with a hug from the church representative, who encouraged her to watch the proceedings of the meeting online.

Tueller, a resident of Provo, Utah, joined Ordain Women in the previous action last autumn. “This time it was more painful,” she said. “I love this church and I think my personal gifts and my personal talents could be much better utilised if I had the priesthood.”

In advance of Saturday’s event, church officials had asked Ordain Women to refrain from bringing their cause to Temple Square, saying it would detract from the “spirit of harmony” at the two-day conference, which includes four events open to both genders and the male-only priesthood meeting. In a statement late on Saturday, church officials expressed displeasure with what they called the women’s “refusal to accept ushers’ directions and refusing to leave when asked”.

Ordain Women has objected to being characterized by the church as protesters. “We’re not activists. We’re not protesters,” said Kate Kelly, a Washington, DC-based human rights attorney and lifetime Mormon who last year co-founded the group with about 20 other women. “We’re people on the inside. We are investing in an institution … not critiquing it to tear it down,” she said.

Men ordained to the priesthood in the Mormon church can perform religious rituals, including baptisms, confirmations or blessings and can be called to lead congregations. Boys enter into the priesthood as deacons at age 12 and grow in authority and responsibility as they get older or are called to service by more senior church leaders.

Initially, about 200 people appeared to be taking part in the action, but a spokeswoman for the group put the number of participants at 510.

Women are powerless in matters of church governance and can make no autonomous decisions, even at the highest levels, Kelly said.

Church officials declined an interview request in advance of Saturday’s event.

“Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organisation for His Church,” said last month’s church letter to the group.

Outside the gates to Temple Square, church member Nate Brown said he does not object to the idea of women in the priesthood, but does not like the tactics of Ordain Women. “I perceive [their asking] not as a civil action, but more of a challenge of church leaders,” said Brown, 59, who came from Salem, Oregon, for the conference.

Brown is not alone. A 2011 Pew Research study found Mormons overwhelmingly disapprove of women joining the lay priesthood.

But Brown said he would welcome the ordination of women if a church president, whom Mormons consider a prophet who communicates with God, changed church policies. “I believe in following the prophet,” Brown said.

Since Ordain Women first pushed their cause last fall, church leaders have taken some actions to show their regard for women. For the first time, a woman was asked to pray at the conference and the men’s priesthood meeting was broadcast live on cable television and the internet.

That is a far cry from the 1990s when the faith’s leaders excommunicated some women who advocated for gender equity, said Nadine Hansen, a lifetime church member and an attorney who published her first article about women’s ordination nearly 30 years ago. “I appreciate the changes they are making,” said Hansen. “They are listening.”

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Marital rape legal in Bahrain


This video says about itself:

3 April 2013

Footage has emerged of Bahraini police throwing stun grenades at two women and a young child in the town of Al-Malkiyah on 31 March. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights say the women were targeted for being protesters.

From IANS news agency:

Suggestion on spousal rape opposed in Bahrain

Manama, March 10, 2014

Last Updated at 14:26 IST

Bahrain‘s top legal authority’s suggestion that spousal rape should not be treated as crime has been opposed, local media reported.

The Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) last Tuesday suggested that husbands who force themselves on their wives should not be prosecuted. Also, it said, the men who “reasonably” discipline their wives and daughters should be considered above the law. …

“Rape is rape, regardless of who the victim is. There is still a lack of understanding in this region about the rights of women in abusive relationships. The last thing we want is for a rapist husband to use the law as a shield against being charged with rape,” the Gulf Daily News quoted Batelco Care Centre for Family Violence Cases head Sharifa Swar as saying.

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Sudanese government bans International Women’s Day


This video says about itself:

Sudan woman whipped including in the face while police laugh–Warning Graphic images

14 Dec 2010

Amenesty International say Article 152 – moral codes relating to dress, allow women and even girls to be charged for wearing trousers.

From Al Jazeera:

Women’s day event denied permission in Sudan

It is unclear why permission was denied though March 8 event had been held without incident for the past eight years.

Last updated: 09 Mar 2014 15:02

Sudanese authorities have rejected permission for an International Women’s Day event in Khartoum, despite President Omar al-Bashir’s vow that freedoms should be respected.

The women in the capital were told on Sunday that they needed additional authorisation from a government commission handling voluntary activities but that was just a delaying tactic, said Fahima Hashim, director of the Salam Centre for women’s rights.

“We didn’t get the permission” from state security agents for Saturday’s planned event, she said.

The March 8 event – marked around the world when women are recognised for their achievements – had been held without incident for the past eight years at Khartoum’s Nubian Club, Hashim told AFP.

Hashim said it was unclear why approval was denied, but it might be connected with the larger size of this year’s event.

“We had more than 30 groups joining us,” she said.

The day-long event typically features exhibitions, forums, films and concludes with a party.

In January, al-Bashir appealed for a political and economic “renaissance”, including political freedom, in the country ravaged by armed insurrection and political turmoil.

Hashim said his renaissance was just “a lot of talk.”

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