“Be a Champion: Prevent Violence and Discrimination against Women and Girls in Afghanistan” — UNO/ read also in Dari and Pashto languages

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KABUL, 25 November 2014 -

UNITED NATIONS – PRESS RELEASE

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

“Be a Champion: Prevent Violence and Discrimination against Women and Girls in Afghanistan”

 

KABUL, 25 November 2014 - Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW), followed by 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. The Day is commemorated around the world giving individuals and groups a chance to mobilize and call attention to the urgent need to end violence against women and girls.

“Afghan women and girls must be able to fully enjoy their freedom and contribute to the building of the nation,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom. “There should be no place in Afghanistan for violence and discrimination against women and girls, and every effort is needed to end the impunity for such violent crimes.”

In Afghanistan, violence against women and girls remains endemic, and constitutes a serious violation of human rights impeding women’s full realization of their civil, political, social, cultural, economic and development rights.  The Government of Afghanistan has international and national legal obligations to end violence against women and girls, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, as well as the 2009 Elimination of Violence against Women Law (EVAW Law). An encouraging development is the Government’s recent approval of the National Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security which reaffirms Afghanistan’s commitment to protect women and girls from all types of violence, particularly in situation of conflict. Other positive steps are the Government’s establishment of EVAW prosecution units in 18 provinces focused on improved enforcement of the EVAW Law. Last week, the country’s first-ever Gender-based Violence (GBV) Treatment Protocol was introduced to strengthen health sector response to GBV.

In her visit to Afghanistan earlier this month, Rashida Manjoo, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, urged accountability for all crimes committed against women and girls in the country. She stressed that “the pervasive levels of gender-based violence and an ever-present climate of fear has had a disproportionate impact on the promotion, protection and fulfillment of human rights of women and girls.”

Despite advances made, violence remains a reality for many women and girls in Afghanistan with severe consequences for their well-being and enjoyment of their basic human rights. Slow and uneven implementation of the EVAW law continues to result in weak enforcement of legal protections leaving far too many women victimized twice  –  first when they are subjected to violence, and second when they are denied access to  services and justice.

The implementation of the EVAW Law must be fully reinforced. It is also essential that several law reform initiatives, including revision of the Penal Code, protect gains made for women’s rights in the last decade together with initiatives that are gender responsive and that promote justice and equality.

“It is time for action when more than 80 per cent of women in Afghanistan face violence in their lifetime. We need to strengthen implementation of EVAW law. We also need to place more focus on preventing violence against women and girls, which requires the engagement of all segments of society, and especially men and boys as partners in gender equality and respectful relationships,” said Elzira Sagynbaeva, UN Women Country Representative in Afghanistan.

Eliminating violence against women is the primary responsibility of the Government of Afghanistan and Afghan authorities. The United Nations, civil society and individual women and men also have key roles in advancing efforts to end violence against Afghan women and girls. This day, and the 16 Days of Activism launched today is an opportunity for the Government of Afghanistan and its partners to consolidate and expand the gains made in protecting women and girls from violence. The 16 Days Campaign also provides an opportunity for all concerned to focus on addressing the root causes of violence against women in Afghanistan such as poverty, exclusion from decision making and limited access to health, education and economic opportunities.

The United Nations is fully committed to support the Government of Afghanistan and civil society in concrete actions to realize the rights of all women and girls, allowing them to live lives free of violence.

 

United Nations press release in English, Dari and Pashto

In English

In Dari

In Pashto

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“Festiwalla 2014” Youth Theater Festival (Jugendtheaterfestival) in Berlin from 26 Nov to 29 Nov. 2014| Against Wars

Festiwalla 2014

Jugendtheaterfestival
Mi, 26. November 2014 — Sa, 29. November 2014

Festiwalla | © Felipe Frozza

Festiwalla | © Felipe Frozza

Ist Krieg wirklich so weit weg? Betrifft er nur die Vergangenheit oder andere Länder? Jenseits der Gedächtnispflege um den 100. Jahrestag des Ausbruchs des Großen Kriegs betrachtet und hinterfragt FESTIWALLA 2014 kriegerische Handlungen aus dem Blickwinkel der Jugend. Wie kommt es zu Krieg? Wie wird er begründet –ökonomisch, psychologisch oder politisch? Und wo gibt es Gewalt und Gefahrengebiete in unserem Alltag – in der Schule? Im Jobcenter? Im eigenen Kiez?

Im Rahmen der vierten Ausgabe von FESTIWALLA gehen junge Theatermacherinnen und Theatermacher diesen Fragen nach. Mit Theaterstücken, Performances, Diskussion, Ausstellungen, Workshops und künstlerischer Aktion betreiben sie ihre ganz eigene Friedensforschung – eine Suche nach dem Frieden jenseits von Grenzzäunen und Museen.

Eine Kooperation mit dem JugendtheaterBüro Berlin

Mehr Informationen unter www.grenzen-los.eu/festiwalla/

Video:

FESTIWALLA 2014 – NO Justice – NO Peace! Widerstand dem Krieg.

Source:

<a href="/channel/UCysd8vvsfvViNcHG6GeM0FQ" class=" yt-uix-sessionlink     spf-link  g-hovercard" data-sessionlink="ei=YkJ0VKWsBeTNiAbjgoGACQ" data-name="" data-ytid="UCysd8vvsfvViNcHG6GeM0FQ">grenzenlosFILM</a>

grenzenlosFILM

26. – 29.November 2014
im Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Das JugendTheaterFestival mit Theaterstücken, Workshops, Diskussionen, Aktionen, Konzert
und Performances


Elf Jugendtheater-Produktion erforschen die Gefahrengebiete der Vergangenheit, Zukunft und von heute. Wie erging es der Jugend im ersten und zweiten Weltkrieg, wie ergeht es jungen Geflüchteten heute in Deutschland und wo sind die Gefahrengebiete für die Berliner Jugend: In der Schule? Im Jobcenter? Im eigenen Kiez?


Im Anti-War-Room erproben wir den Widerstand mit Workshops zu Kunst gegen Krieg: Taping, Stencils, Rap und Performance. Eine Anti-Kriegs-KonferAction, eine Blockparty gegen soziale Verdrängung, ein Konzert gegen den Krieg.


FESTIWALLA betreibt Konfliktforschung jenseits von Grenzzäunen, fernen Ländern und Museen.
NO Justice, NO Peace – Widerstand dem Krieg.

http://www.hkw.de/de/programm/projekte/2014/festiwalla_2014/start_festiwalla_2014.php

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„Religion hat keinen gewalttätigen Kern“ — Interview mit Karen Armstrong in Cicero de (In German language)

Im Namen Gottes mordeten sich die Kreuzzügler durchs Gelobte Land, im selben Namen wollen radikale Milizen einen islamischen Gottesstaat in Syrien und im Irak errichten. Die Religionswissenschaftlerin Karen Armstrong erklärt im Interview, warum heilige Kriege dennoch keine bloßen Religionskriege sind und weshalb Säkularismus Gläubige radikalisieren kann

 

Karen Armstrong zählt zu den weltweit renommiertesten Religionswissenschaftlern. Sie wurde als Botschafterin der UN-Initiative „The Alliance of Civilizations“ berufen, wo sie sich für religöse Freiheit einsetzt. Als Islam-Kennerin hat sie Regierungen und Parlamente beraten.

Frau Armstrong, Religionen scheinen ein äußerst nützliches Instrument zu sein, um Gewalt zu rechtfertigen. Denn wenn ich eine metaphysische Rechtfertigung für einen Krieg habe, kann mir schließlich keiner was mit irdischen Argumenten. Ist das der Grund, weshalb die Geschichte von der Inquisition bis zum Islamischen Staat von religiöser Gewalt durchtränkt ist?

Transzendente Werte relativieren menschliche Zielsetzungen und verbannen sie auf den zweiten Platz. Religion ist daher immer „nützlich“ gewesen, um eine Handlung wie Krieg mit einer letztgültigen Bedeutung auszustatten. Sie war in der Kriegsführung und strukturellen Gewalt von Gesellschaften eingebunden. Für einen Grund alleine aber sind Menschen noch nie zu Felde gezogen. Das sieht man zum Beispiel an den Kreuzzügen, zu denen Papst Urban II 1095 aufrief. Er wollte damit auch die Macht der westlichen Kirche nach Osten ausdehnen und eine päpstliche Monarchie errichten. Ein Krieg hat immer soziale, ideologische und vor allem wirtschaftliche Gründe. Zu behaupten, Religion habe einen sich nicht verändernden und inhärent gewalttätigen Kern, ist weder genau, noch reflektiert das die Geschichte. Denn sie hat häufig die einzige nichtgewalttätige Alternative geboten.

 

Nun, Jesus peitschte sich durch den Tempel, er focht einen Kampf der Entkolonialisierung – zumindest verbal. Mohammed führte einen blutigen Krieg auf der arabischen Halbinsel.

Hätte Mohammed nicht gegen Mekka gekämpft, wäre das Gemeinwesen in Medina sicherlich ausgelöscht worden. Sobald sich aber das Kriegsglück zu seinen Gunsten wandte, setzte er eine mutige Politik der Gewaltfreiheit in Gang. Jesus hatte dagegen den Luxus, nicht Staatsoberhaupt zu sein und konnte daher seinen Anhängern sagen, sie sollten die zweite Wange hinhalten und auch ihre Feinde lieben.

 

Mehr in Cicero de

Lesen sie in Englisch:

“No, Religion Does Not Cause All Wars”: Fields of Blood|Religion and the History of Violence — Book by Karen Armstrong listen at Amazon com and Huffington Post com

Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong

Fields of Blood

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Event – November 29-30: Aga Khan Museum, Toronto | Sufi Singer from Pakistan, Sanam Marvi in Concert

Originally posted on Ismailimail:

Event - November 29-30: Aga Khan Museum, Toronto | Sufi Singer from Pakistan, Sanam Marvi in ConcertA gifted singer of Sufi music and Pakistani folk songs, Sanam Marvi began her musical career as a student of her father, Fakir Ghulam Rasool. She devoted many years of study to Sufi poetry and today is known as one of the finest singers in the Sufi tradition to emerge from Sindh. Whether singing in Urdu, Sindhi, or Saraiki, Marvi aims to reach across generations and cultures.

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UNESCO launches competition to design cultural centre in war-torn Afghanistan — Dezeen com

Bamiyan Cultural Centre design competition

News: international heritage body UNESCO has launched a competition to design a cultural centre on the boundary of the Bamiyan Valley site, which housed two giant seventh-century statues of Buddha that were destroyed by Taliban militants in 2001.

UNESCO has teamed up with the Afghan government’s Ministry of Information and Culture to launch the Bamiyan Cultural Centre Design Competition for a building that will provide storage areas for archaeological and traditional artefacts, as well as space for cultural programmes and research facilities.

(…)

With a budget of $2.5 million (£1.6 million), the scheme is expected to start on site shortly after a winner is selected with a 24 month completion schedule. The winner will be chosen by a seven-strong jury, which includes Elizabeth O’Donnel, dean of the Cooper Union school of architecture in New York, and Afghan architect and CEO of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Ajmal Maiwandi.

“We have been given the most prominent site overlooking the Buddha Cliffs by the Ministry of Information and Culture and the Bamiyan Municipality,” said Mojadidi. “This site is historical and now, through this design competition, people around the world will have the opportunity to make a contribution to world heritage.”

Read and view full on Dezeen com

*****

Video: UNESCO Announces the Bamiyan Cultural Centre Design Competition

Source:

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Ben Bruges

 

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“No, Religion Does Not Cause All Wars”: Fields of Blood|Religion and the History of Violence — Book by Karen Armstrong listen at Amazon com and Huffington Post com

Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong

Fields of Blood

From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence.

For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American.

Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness—something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? With deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present.

While many historians have looked at violence in connection with particular religious manifestations (jihad in Islam or Christianity’s Crusades), Armstrong looks at each faith—not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism—in its totality over time. As she describes, each arose in an agrarian society with plenty powerful landowners brutalizing peasants while also warring among themselves over land, then the only real source of wealth. In this world, religion was not the discrete and personal matter it would become for us but rather something that permeated all aspects of society. And so it was that agrarian aggression, and the warrior ethos it begot, became bound up with observances of the sacred.

In each tradition, however, a counterbalance to the warrior code also developed. Around sages, prophets, and mystics there grew up communities protesting the injustice and bloodshed endemic to agrarian society, the violence to which religion had become heir. And so by the time the great confessional faiths came of age, all understood themselves as ultimately devoted to peace, equality, and reconciliation, whatever the acts of violence perpetrated in their name.

Industrialization and modernity have ushered in an epoch of spectacular and unexampled violence, although, as Armstrong explains, relatively little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions, in their relative maturity, came to absorb modern belligerence—and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different creeds in our time.

At a moment of rising geopolitical chaos, the imperative of mutual understanding between nations and faith communities has never been more urgent, the dangers of action based on misunderstanding never greater. Informed by Armstrong’s sweeping erudition and personal commitment to the promotion of compassion, Fields of Blood makes vividly clear that religion is not the problem.

Click here to Read and listen on Amazon com

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LISTEN: “No, Religion Does Not Cause All Wars” | A Conversation With Karen Armstrong — Huffington Post com

Welcome to this week’s ALL TOGETHER, the podcast dedicated to exploring how religious ideas and spiritual practice inform and shape our personal lives, our communities and our world. The show is hosted by Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, the Executive Editor of HuffPost Religion.

This week we talk to author Karen Armstrong on: The Relationship Between Religion and Violence.

Religious scholar Karen Armstrong has written books on religious topics ranging from Muhammad, to the Buddha to the History of God. She is also known as the founder of the Charter for Compassion, which promotes the principles of compassion in cities and communities around the world. Her latest book Fields of Blood Religion and the History of Violence chronicles how religion has, and has not contributed to violence over human history.

Armstrong told Raushenbush that she took on the project to explore this question for herself as well as to respond to the those who blithely insist that religion is the cause of violence. As she writes in the introduction to her book:

As one who speaks on religion, I constantly hear how cruel and aggressive it has been, a view that eerily, is expressed in the same way almost every time: ‘Religion has been the cause of all major wars in history.'”

In her conversation with Raushenbush Armstrong convincingly refutes this ‘odd remark’ as she calls it, first of all by reminding the listener that the two World Wars of the 20th century were not fought over religion.

In her book and in this conversation with Raushenbush, Armstrong makes a case for better understanding the interplay between religion and violence as a way to reduce violence in the world and to increase compassion.

 

No, Religion Does Not Cause All Wars

Click the Image to listen audio interview on Huffington Post com

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Prospects for Regional Integration in Central Asia — Remarks by Fatema Z. Sumar,Washington University — U.S. State Department

Remarks as prepared

Introduction

Good afternoon. It’s a pleasure to be here with all of you. I want to start by thanking George Washington University for organizing today’s discussion about the prospects for regional integration across Central Asia. I spend a lot of time dealing with this issue and will be traveling next week to Bishkek to represent the United States at the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Ministerial Conference. So today’s discussion is timely.

Major Developments Affecting Central Asia

During these past few months, there have been a number of developments in the region and across the globe that are having a real impact on the political, economic, and security situation in Central Asia. On the regional front, first and foremost, the Afghanistan transition continues, with the drawdown of U.S. and Coalition forces. Just this weekend, British troops ended their combat operations in Afghanistan, handing over Camp Bastion in Helmand province to Afghan National Security Forces.

While Central Asian countries have been anxious about this transition – in particular its effects on stability of the government in Kabul and the ability of the Afghans to combat terrorism and narco-trafficking, there are encouraging signs of recent progress. Last month’s inauguration of a new national unity government led by President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah was a major step forward. The signing of the U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement – which provides the necessary legal framework to allow U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014 for a limited mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces, and to conduct counter-terrorism operations with our Afghan allies – also demonstrates our commitment to the region. And our redoubled efforts to advance the New Silk Road initiative economically linking Afghanistan with Central and South Asia is helping countries reestablish and expand connections across the region.

(…)

Importance of Supporting Regional Connectivity

These are just some of the challenges the region faces. So the question in my mind is, given these realities, how can Central Asian countries best plan for their own futures? The truth is the region is already connected when it comes to the reach of terrorist networks, drug traffickers, and smugglers. No walls are high enough to keep out the bad influences. But when it comes to positive influences, the region has enormous barriers preventing the movement of people, goods, energy, and ideas. So while the virtuous networks are inhibited, the vicious networks of jihadists and criminals thrive. The only answer is in better governance, better education, and better connectivity to counter these threats, to improve security and stability by enhancing opportunity and creating shared prosperity.

 

 

Read full  on: http://www.state.gov/p/sca/rls/rmks/2014/233577.htm

 

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