While the homepage website for the U.S. National Organization for Women (NOW) lists "Hot Topics" like gay marriage and heaps praise on President Obama’s health care overhaul, another woman has been sentenced to die a horrid death for adultery.
In parts of Africa and the Middle East, women continue to be flogged, stoned, hanged and beaten to death for crimes of adultery and other behaviors that dishonor their families, or the state.
Last month, in Sudan, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said his country would apply Islamic law more strictly, “100 percent,” as he was quoted in the press. Until recently, South Sudan was largely non-Muslim, but that all changed last year, according to a Reuters report.
Meanwhile, a court in the capital, Khartoum, on July 10, sentenced Laila Ibrahim Issa Jamool, to be stoned to death for adultery, according to Sudanese human rights activist Fahima Hashim, who tracks such judicial extremism.
The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA), a women's rights group, is doing what it can to save Jamool and other women condemned to die for social behaviors that would hardly raise an eyebrow, let alone draw police action, in Western cultures.
Lawyers hired by the group have appealed against the conviction and sentence. Jamool's husband had accused her of adultery, according to SIHA, according to Reuters. She and her sickly six-month-old baby are being held in Omdurman, a women's prison near Khartoum.
After a coup in 1989, Sudan’s leaders embraced Islamic law, or sharia. The country also had close ties to Osama bin Laden and other Islamist militants.
Sudan's justice and information ministries would not release a statement about the case, according to Reuters.