Al-Jeffery shown in a school yearbook photo
Smoking by Saudi Women Leading To Divorce
Strangles Teenage Niece for 'Honour' In Mansehra, Pakistan
Saudi Women Allowed By Courts to Travel Alone
Closed Doors: Virginity and Hymen Reconstruction in Morocco
That! Egyptian Women Are World Leaders in Assaulting Husbands
Girl, 16, Rescued From Early Marriage
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Dual Citizen Amina al-Jeffrey Taken to Saudi Arabia and Locked in a Cage
al-Jeffrey was born in Swansea, UK, and taken at age 16 to Saudi Arabia by her
father, who disapproved of her Western lifestyle.
21, she is fighting a court battle in the High Court in London against her
father to be allowed to return to the UK.
alleges that her father, Mohammed al-Jeffrey, put "metal bars" on her
bedroom and described being a "locked-up girl with a shaved head."
a judge in the High Court, Justice Holman, has asserted, "We have to be
careful about asserting the supremacy our cultural standards."
also said that it is unclear whether or not Britain had jurisdiction in the
matter since al-Jeffrey was an adult with dual Saudi and UK citizenship.
said her father hit her, deprived her of water and forced her to urinate in a
"metal bars are no longer in her room" according to her lawyers,
"she is still locked up in the house" and "not allowed to use
the phone or internet."
need to be taken to ensure Ms. Jeffery is returned to the UK where her safety
can be guaranteed," the Foreign Office Forced Marriage Unit said in a
treatment has extended to depriving her of food and water, depriving her of
toilet facilities, physical assault and control of her ability to marry who she
wishes and creating a situation in which she feels compelled to marry as a
means of escape," Henry Setright, a lawyer acting on behalf of al-Jeffrey
said in a statement.
described the situation as a "fundamental breach of human rights."
Arabia does not recognize al-Jeffrey's British citizenship. They are also
paying for her father's legal fees.
returning Amina back to the UK, I am unwilling to do this as I fear she will go
back to her old destructive lifestyle," her father said in a letter submitted
to the court.
her father, I fear for her health and safety and only want what is best for
Amina, so she may focus on her education."
is a normal Welsh girl and still has her Welsh accent," said Anne-Marie
Hutchinson, from the Academy of Family Lawyers who is representing al-Jeffrey.
wants to return home so she can have control of her own life and make her own
Preacher Ahmad Al-Ma’bi warned against the increasing popularity of smoking Shisha
among Saudi women, citing a number of cases in which marriages were dissolved
once men discovered their wives smoked Shisha.
said that statistics reveal that Shisha and cigarettes are becoming popular
among Saudi women in backyards or roofs of homes after work, as they find a
place for relaxing and retiring to these places.
Nawfil, a journalist with Laha magazine, said that the smoking of shisha or
hookah has become very popular among young Saudi women in the last five years,
either in cafés, or at home. Many Saudi women do not mind smoking, even with
as a way to attract customers, Nawfil said dealers have introduced a new form
of commercials into the market such as showcasing shisha in attractive colors
and fancy bags.
Al-Omari, a housewife, said: “I started smoking after I tried the taste of
shisha with one of my friends.” She said that her friend encouraged her to smoke
this and now it has become a habit. However, she smokes shisha not in front of
her family members, but with a group of friends. “I faced difficulty in finding
a place to smoke shisha. But when my husband came to know that I smoke shisha
and I can't do without it, he allowed me to smoke inside home.”
Ali, one of the owners of a shisha shop, said that many women regularly come to
his shop to purchase items to smoke hookah. He said that the price of hookahs
is between SR200 and SR1,000, depending on the shape and specifications. He
said that there are innovative forms of women’s shisha, as well as specific
types of scented tobacco which women want like melon, strawberries and loban.
Zairi, a psychologist, said that statistics reveal that 5.7 percent of the
total population of women in the Kingdom smoke shisha and/or cigarettes. This
is a large percentage compared to other Gulf countries.
Ministry of Health report said that 16 percent of female students in the
Kingdom have experimented with smoking. Eleven percent of women use tobacco.
Out of them, 7.2 percent are students. More than 9 percent use different other
forms of tobacco products. The ratio of smokers among girl students is around
Zahhar, a sociologist at the Saudi German Hospital in Asir, said that girls are
attracted to hookah because they think this is the in-thing, or the latest fad.
also think that through this they achieve equality with men in all aspects of
life. This is also a behavior which indicates their rebellion against society
Khalid Jalban, a family medicine expert at King Khalid University, said smoking
adversely affects the mother, the child and a woman's fertility.
A teenage girl was strangled to death by her uncle for ‘honour’ in a remote
village of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P)’s Mansehra district, police sources said.
suspect, who has been arrested, had initially tried to make the killing appear
as suicide; however, post-mortem examination of the victim revealed she was
strangled to death, sources told The Express Tribune.
Bibi, a 9th grade student, left her home for half an hour on Wednesday
afternoon for an unknown reason. However, her uncle Khan Muhammad suspected she
went to meet her alleged boyfriend from the same village, Lassan Nawab Sahib
first beat his niece and later strangled her to death before escaping from the
village, police sources added.
the news of Misbah’s death broke out in the village, the family initially tried
to give an impression of suicide but torture marks on her body helped police
crack the case.
to the doctor who carried out Misbah’s post-mortem examination, her body
carried marks of torture which suggested she had been mercilessly beaten before
accused was later arrested from a nearby village as police carried out an
intelligence-based raid during the early hours on Thursday. A local magistrate
has handed him over to the police on a two-day physical remand while further
investigations are underway.
At least 200 Saudi women were permitted by courts to travel without guardians
once or several times for the purpose of study, treatment or tourism.
than 350 Saudi women had applied for travel permission in cases where they have
custody of children or no longer have guardians.
Human Rights Society received complaints and requests for intervention from 100
women who had been denied permission to travel by their guardians or
requests were filed by widows whose sons denied them permission to travel.
8 of the Travel Documents Regulations stipulates that a Saudi woman is to be
granted a passport and, in the case of husband’s death, a legal document
indicating the legal guardian is needed for travel.
100 requests were filed with the Family Court by women in Jeddah alone.
court requires two witnesses and it verifies the purpose of travel before
granting permission. If there is no legal guardian, regulations stipulate that
the woman is to be issued a passport in her region.
the Justice Ministry is preparing to launch the electronic marriage contracts
early next year.
system, to be implemented in coordination with the national information system,
will allow for marriage contracts to be authenticated at ministry courts
immediately after being completed by the ma’zoun (sheikh overseeing the
of parties involved will be authenticated immediately, thus eliminating any
potential contractual issues.
sources say the system aims to “protect the rights of women, facilitate
procedures, and prove their rights concerning inheritance and husbands’
non-compliance with the marriage contracts”.
will be able to identify the rights and entitlements of women and other
conditions stipulated in the marriage contract, such as marriage dowry,
employment and other matters.
and legal advisor Yousef Al-Jabr said implementation of the e-marriage contract
is a strategic move that eliminates excessive amount of paperwork and maintains
new system will also help guarantee that contracts are properly written, as per
the regulations, and in legible script, and are easily accessible if needed.
– In a culture that expressly values female virginity, to not be a virgin at
the time of marriage is grounds for divorce, shame, or even violence. If the
fact that a woman is not a virgin comes to light, then her marriage could be
rendered void and she, as well as her family, would receive great shame and
scrutiny from the community. Noticeably, the sexual history of a man is rarely
questioned or considered in marriage, and in fact there is encouragement of
adolescent sexual activity through a narrow, virility-defined notion of
hymen is a thin membrane that partially covers the opening of the vagina and
usually remains intact before sexual intercourse, though it can also be
ruptured by extreme physical activity, a blunt force strike, or even just a
simple bike ride.
though not always —the Hymen releases some amount of blood when it is broken.
In traditional Moroccan culture, a women’s “purity” is, therefore, established
on the first night of intercourse when the sheets are stained with blood. If
that doesn’t quite cut it, a woman can receive a “virginity certificate” from a
gynecologist to further make the case for her decency and purity prior to a
marriage. Or, if the woman is comfortable with a little illusion, she can opt
to buy a fake hymen for an affordable amount all over Morocco.
some more liberal Moroccan bachelors report that the issue of virginity is not important
when considering marriage, the problem of establishing virginity at marriage
remains a huge concern to many women. At risk is their social value, marriage
prospects, family honor, and life as a functioning woman in Moroccan society.
answer? Just put it all back together.
reconstruction is a short, relatively simple procedure that repairs the
membrane. According to Dr. Mansur, a physician at the Hospital De Maternité
Universitaire Souissi, who started to perform the procedure in 2000, the
process is easy: “in a half hour, they have fixed a big problem in their life.
In 90% of cases the operation is a success,” according to the Spanish daily El
many parts of world, discreet hymen reconstruction procedures are rising at an
incredible rate. Clinics openly advertise in Europe and North America, and
clinics clandestinely operate all over the world from India to Argentina.
yet despite the demand, information about hymen procedures is relatively
non-existent or inaccessible at most health clinics in Morocco. It remains
heavily stigmatized, with many doctors speaking up about it only on conditions
of anonymity. Furthermore, it lies in a legal grey area. Although voluntary
abortion is prohibited under Moroccan law, hymen reconstruction falls into a
discreet category, according to a gynecologist in Casablanca. In her own words,
“we do not scream from rooftops.”
or perhaps because of —the lack of publicity and stigmatization of the
procedure, the internet has become the go-to source for all things related to
hymen reconstruction. With a couple of key strokes, one can find information
about local clinics, doctors, prices, and even connect with other women that
have gone through the procedure. There are even tiers of operations, with a
temporary— around two weeks —fix costing around €200 and a long-term fix
costing between €500 and €800.
the healthcare providers themselves refuse to discuss details in person,
instead directing potential patients towards their computers. Kamal Iraqui, a
plastic surgeon in Casablanca whose clinic is repeatedly mentioned on dozens of
online forums, refused a request for information by the Spanish Newspaper El
País and just said “it is all online.”
issue of establishing virginity will not be leaving Moroccan bedrooms or health
centers anytime soon. Hymen reconstruction is placed squarely on the forefront
of the contemporary culture debate surrounding sexuality, feminism, marriage,
and a whole range of other social issues.
that debate rages, the internet represents a gateway for potential patients to
connect with professionals, seek answers, and find community. A necessary
thing, for as long as the Janusian standard of virginity between men and women
remains unchanged then the need will still be there lurking just out of sight.
that! Egyptian women are world leaders in assaulting husbands
While women in several male-dominated Muslim states live in deplorable
conditions, their position is slightly different when it comes to Egypt.
obtained from the Family Law Court in Egypt has revealed that nearly 28% of the
Egyptian women beat their husbands.
sixteen-year-old school girl has been rescued from potential forced marriage in
student, who would be referred to as Zahra for the purpose of protecting her
identity, was saved when the Department of Children got wind of his marriage
and moved in to stop it.
to Joynews, Zahra who is in her first year in Senior High School says she has
on several occasions opposed her parents desire to get her married to a Muslim
cleric rather than attend school.
says the only time she realised her parents were serious was when the man came
to their house and requested her hand in marriage in front of her.
told my parents and the man I was not interested but they insisted I do it,”
investigations reveal the parents had taken the bride price without the
knowledge of the student.
ceremony to bond her to the supposed husband was scheduled for Sunday, July 24
but had to be called off following the intervention of the Department.
Regional Director of Department of Children explained a Good Samaritan hinted
them resulting in their timely intervention.
She said Zahra has been kept at the Kumasi
Children Home for three days to enable her to continue her education.
says the Department has handed her to one of the uncle’s who is angry with what
the parents wanted to do in Obuasi.
and school authorities say the state intervention is timely to an event that
could have truncated the aspirations of Zahra who wants to become a
of the teachers who spoke to Joynews says the student has “potential to further
her education and the marriage could have truncated her education.”
Zahra had gone through the marriage process, she would have joined hundreds of
thousands of girls who have fallen victims to what many people consider
retrogressive cultural practice- early in a marriage.