The truth is that domestic violence and violence against women touch many of us. This violence is not a private matter. Behind closed doors it is shielded and hidden and it only intensifies. It is protected by silence – everyone’s silence. Violence against women is learned. Each of us must examine - and change - the ways in which our own behavior might contribute to, enable, ignore or excuse all such forms of violence. I promise to do so, and to invite other men and allies to do the same.
The struggle in Iran against compulsory veils began 33 years ago when brave women demonstrated in March 1979 - some were stabbed by pro-regime forces.
Three decades later, Iranian police still carry out veil crackdowns every summer, and women are still campaigning to decide their own attire.
Pawel Ferus, Phantom, 2010
• Odd announcement of the day – Saudi Arabia is planning to build all-female cities to boost women’s employment:
The country already has separate schools, segregated universities (and the biggest all-female university in the world) not to mention offices, restaurants and even separate entrances for public buildings. Now industrial hubs are to be built so that women can be hidden away even further than their current dresscode of abaya, headscarf and niqab allows.
The country’s segregation is so extreme the plans bring to mind the US’s racial divide under the Jim Crow laws, ensuring “separate but equal” institutions for black and white people. And like the legalised discrimination in the US, “equal” in this context means no such thing. The female half of the adult population of Saudi Arabia is considered unfit to control their own lives. Women cannot decide whether to leave the house, whether or who to marry, whether to work or study, whether to travel, what to wear, or even whether to have major surgery – without the consent of a male guardian.
Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images
Where are your feminists now?!