Afzal says there have been no posecutions in 27 years for female genital mutilation, even though the UK has been on the books that long. Only last month has the UK recognised that a new approach is required. He says we have got the laws, it is about making sure that every one knows what their responsibility is and supporting those who speak out and come forward.
Sima Samar says the oppression of women is a question of political control of half the population. It is dressed up as religion and culture, but politics is at the base of control over women. She said her proposal is to empower women and challenge using tradition and culture to violate women's rights. She says that as a Muslim you believe that God created you, and unfortunately men think they are trying to fix the mistakes of God, for example by doing FGM.
Why do so many people try and oppress women? What is it about women that prompts men and other women to abuse them? A question for the panel from the audience #twconf12
Sima Samar, chair of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, says there needs to be more money channeled to women's rights and empowerment of women #twconf12. Women also need access to technology - electricity, the Internet, computers. Where this is possible, it will help them to become empowered.
Sima Samar says the amount of money spent in Afghanistan is tens of billions. But of the $1 billion that the US has promised for reconstruction of the country, only $27 million was spent on women's rights, and then on a a program that was not very effective. As for honour killings, she said the number depends upon the level of education -- the higher the education and lower the number of killings -- and the effectiveness of the rule of law.
Jimmie Briggs says there should be more non profits focusing on the engagement of men and women's empowerment. And we need to target corporations for fundraising, not just foundations. The Obama campaign is a great example of how to raise money, through small donations - we need to look at this area for funding. We also need to look at the factors of race, class and ethnicity and how we depict these issues. #twconf12
Briggs says there are more women raped in the US than in Haiti or the Congo #twconf12 We need to look in the mirror, be accountable for what happens on our own turf and not segregate what happens in Africa or elsewhere to what happens at home.