[Violence against women] is generally sustained and protected by a combination of religion and culture; that combination makes reform very difficult. It is worth examining the way religion and culture function to shield the oppression of women from criticism not only locally but also globally, so that it is not only councils in Punjab and priests in Nigeria who keep the shackles on, but also multiculturalists and diversity-celebrators in the rich world who, muttering apologetically about cultural imperialism, look the other way.
Stop Honor Killings:
Over 5000 women and girls are killed every year by family members in so-called 'honour killings', according to the UN. These crimes occur where cultures believe that a woman's unsanctioned sexual behaviour brings such shame on the family that any female accused or suspected must be murdered. Reasons for these murders can be as trivial as talking to a man, or as innocent as suffering rape.
Case Study: "Honour" Killings and Blood Feuds: "Often burning or scarring with acid are the preferred weapons of the men committing such crimes. 'The Progressive Women's Association, which assists attack victims, tracked 3,560 women who were hospitalized after being attacked at home with fire, gasoline or acid between 1994 and 1999,' according to Constable. About half the victims died. Lawyer and women's activist Nahida Mahbooba Elahi states that 'We deal with these cases every day, but I have seen very few convictions. The men say the wife didn't obey their orders, or was having relations with someone else. The police often say it is a domestic matter and refuse to pursue the case. Some judges even justify it and do not consider it murder.' (Constable, "The Price of 'Honour.'") Such crimes are also rife in Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, where some 2,200 women are disfigured every year in acid attacks by jealous or estranged men."
Pain of Afghan suicide women:
Driven to desperation by forced marriages and abusive husbands, more and more [Afghani women] are seeking release through self-immolation.
Female genital mutilation:
Today, the number of girls and women who have been undergone female genital mutilation is estimated at between 100 and 140 million. It is estimated that each year, a further 2 million girls are at risk of undergoing FGM.The WHO reports that "In cultures where it is an accepted norm, female genital mutilation is practiced by followers of all religious beliefs as well as animists and non believers. ... Some Muslim communities, however, practise FGM in the belief that it is demanded by the Islamic faith. The practice, however, predates Islam."
Happily, at least on this point, Islamic religious authorities and some Islamic nations are just now beginning to outlaw the practice.
Iranian women 'on yer bike':
Iran plans to make special bicycles designed for women that will be compatible with Islamic regulations and not expose their body movements while riding... The new bicycle would have a cabin to cover half of a rider's body.
I cannot respond to this sort of thing with dispassion and emotionless logic and without ridicule or moral condemnation. If you can, more power to you, I guess.