March 2017
President's Letter

By Ani Zonneveld

Dear Everyone,

We usually send a newsletter out once a month, but March is our equivalent of basketball’s March Madness! (It’s an American thing…)

Every March we somehow balance participation at the Human Rights Council March session and the annual U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a gathering of women’s rights and advocate organizations, men and women, from all over the world.

Last week in Geneva we supported the work of Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Karima Bennoune as a cosponsor of a panel titled: Cultural rights threatened by global avalanche of hate.  Finally we have an ally in the U.N. who gets the effects of extremisms on our basic human rights globally, and where MPV’s work is concerned, its effects on culture, the arts in the Muslim world, and in Muslim communities in the West. As a Muslim woman in the West, I am not immune to these extremists. Karima's report is therefore, a must read, which is also available in French and Spanish. Visit the mandate page for the report and keep checking back for the video of the panel discussion.  

March 8th is International Women’s Day, and no more than in America are women’s reproductive rights threatened. Did you know that the Affordable Care Act, or more popularly known as Obama Care, provides women with free birth-control pills or at a nominal fee? With this new President and with the Christian Right dominating the legislature, we are seeing the complete assault on women’s reproductive justice and health in the U.S. and globally. Also, legislation proposed in the House will shut down Planned Parenthood, a clinic that dots America providing health services for women, services that I myself used when I was too poor to have health insurance.  

As such we are joining in with the plethora of activities this month such as CHANGE, a protest challenging the global GAG Order, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) - an amendment to insert the word “women” into the Constitution to read “women and men are of equal stature”...

At this juncture, on paper, even the constitution of Tunisia protects its women better than the U.S. of A. 

Moving onward and upwards!

  • MPV at CSW61
  • MPV Los Angeles
  • MPV New York
  • MPV Netherlands
  • MPV Malaysia
Quick links:
Progressive Muslim values are universal human values. Support our work at home and abroad with a tax-deducible contribution today. Thank you!
Press Release:
MPV and partner's statement on International Women's Day: 

"1400 Years Later Muslim Women Are Still Fighting For Their Right to Work".

Click here to read.
MPV Netherlands

March 11 - Amsterdam, Women's March:
Muslims for Progressive Values Nederland will join the Women's March in Amsterdam. We march against all forms of discrimination, xenophobia and polarization. We march for equal rights for all humans, for diversity and for compassion. Join us! Together we stand strong and can create a world of inclusivity and tolerance.
Check Facebook for more info or send us an email at info@mpvnederland.org if you want to join. 

Check out the Malay translation of the Marrakesh Declaration.  
MPV at CSW61
New York

March 16th: Faith and Feminism Strategy and Advocacy Roundtable, hosted by the Faith and Feminism Working Group (for which MPV is a member of), featuring Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, Karima Bennoune; discussion will draw from experience of key actors and ideas regarding advocacy, strategy and opportunities for collaboration on faith and feminism issues at the UN. MPV’s Omair Paul will be leading the round-table.
When: 1.15 pm to 2.45 pm
Where: Baha’i Office, 866 UN Plaza Suite 120

March 20th: Breaking stereotypes for transformed social norms on women and work: The role of men and boys and faith actors in achieving sustainable change for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. MPV’s Ani Zonneveld will be a respondent.
When: 3-5 pm
Where: The Japan Society - 333 E 47th St
Co-sponsors: UNWOMEN, UN Interagency Task Force on Religion and Development, WCC, Musawah, World YWCA, MenEngage Alliance, Baha’i Faith, Promundo, Tearfund, Church of Sweden, Rozaria and Muslims for Progressive Values
MPV New York

March 24th 
MPV will be hosting an event called “Progressive Muslims: Get Out of the Closet Already!”, a talk and dinner with MPV Founder and president Ani Zonneveld. Come hear about the work MPV is doing and why now is the time to step up. If time permits, Ani will lead Maghrib prayers. Those interested in attending please check out MPV NY Facebook event page for details. To rsvp email Bee Diaz at bhashmi21@gmail.com
When: 7 pm
Where: rsvp to receive location details
MPV Los Angeles

MARCH 12: MPV's president Ani Zonneveld is a speaker (and singer) on a panel: Women, a Pivotal Force for Change. Join MPV in celebration of Women's Rights Day at California State Fullerton University on women's issues from various women's perspective, which promises to be a very informative experience. 
When: 3 - 6 pm
Where: 800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831
Organizer: California Women's Society for Democracy in Iran
March 26th
MPV’s president Ani Zonneveld will be a speaker at an Equality Rights Amendment (ERA) rally. We are fighting back against the attacks on women's rights and pushing forward to put women and girls in the constitution. Visit the ERA website for more about the issue. 
When: 9 am
Where: Pan Pacific Park (7600 Beverly Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90036
Organizer: Feminist Majority.