Azhar has become the first Pakistani woman to receive The Diana Award for her
on Women in Iran Stepped Up Under Various Pretexts
Quran Activists Gather in Iraq
Appointing New Female Judge, Will Egypt See More Women In Courts?
More Likely Than Men to View Boris Johnson as Dishonest – Guardian Quiz
Congratulates Sana Mir on Induction in ICC Women's Committee
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Award for Humanitarian Efforts: First Pakistani, Aleena Azhar, Bags Prestigious
Nearly two decades after her death, Diana, Princess of Wales, continues to
inspire positive change in the lives of young people around the world. One such
person is Aleena Azhar, who has become the first Pakistani woman to receive The
Diana Award for her humanitarian efforts.
Diana, Aleena Azhar, too, is compassionate about the promotion of human
welfare. A resident of Lahore’s Johar Town, the 20-year-old granddaughter of
former Lahore High Court chief justice Khawaja Sharif, has been serving the
poor, needy and the out casters since she was 11.
got the chance to participate in social activities very early in my life. I
collected donations for the flood victims when I was very young,” the young
philanthropist said. Described as, ‘the most prestigious honour a young person
aged 9-25 can receive for their social action or humanitarian work’, The Diana
Award was set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Azhar, there is no stopping. She has also established an NGO to help senior
citizens and those living in old homes. “The NGO helps senior citizens in old
age homes, and assists people in slum areas, specifically women,” she
said. Through the charity organization,
Azhar is also helping members of the transgender community. “We have provided
sewing machines to helpless transgender persons living in shelters, only
because we want them to give up begging,” the award winner said.
mother, Fatima, believes her daughter has always been a philanthropist at
heart. “Aleena has always been interested in social work. I only encouraged her
and helped her with finances,” she said. Apart from her passion for
philanthropy, Azhar is also a patriot. “I want to do so much more for the
country,” she said.
big plans for life, the young humanitarian will soon be moving to Turkey for
higher education. Since her tragic death in 1997, the charity set up in memory
of Diana, Princess of Wales has focused on young people and change. The
charity’s website claims the annual award is the longest running accolade for
young people and it is given to individuals and groups through a retrospective
nomination process only.
recipients from Pakistan include Nawaz Ahmed, a survivor of the 2014 Army
Public School attack in Peshawar.
on women has been stepped up in Iran under various pretexts. In recent days, a
charity concert by female singers has been cancelled. It has been also
announced that wedding ceremonies must be sex segregated. At the same time, the
State Security Force agents who had violently treated a young teenage girl were
Wednesday, July 18, 2019, Delyar musical group was supposed to hold a charity
concert at Omid Hospital in Urmia, northwest Iran, the revenues of which would
have gone for cancer patients. The concert, however, was cancelled.
all-women Delyar musical group is headed by Neda Behzad, and its solo singers
are Nazli Soltanzadeh and Atefeh Norouzi.
general director of Islamic culture and guidance in West Azerbaijan province
told the official IRNA news agency, that the excuse for cancelling the concert
was that they did not have written agreement of the State Security Force
Command of West Azerbaijan. (The official IRNA news agency – July 17, 2019)
is while Parisa Alilou, general director for women and family affairs in West
Azerbaijan Province said the Delyar musical group with its female singers were
scheduled to perform for women and the concert’s revenues would have gone to
cancer patients. In another measure, stepping up clampdown on women and the
entire society in Iran, Taghi Afarand, deputy for monitoring public places in
Tehran’s Public Security Police, announced that mixed wedding ceremonies are
against religious standards and it is totally banned. If any case is observed,
it will be dealt with. He said women and men must be completely segregated.
(The state-run BORNA news agency – July 18, 2019)
another news related to the clampdown on women in Iran, the plainclothes agents
who had brutalized and arrested a young woman, 16, for playing water guns with
her friends in Tehran’s Tehranpars park, were praised by the Commander of
Tehran’s State Security Force and granted awards and cash gifts.
to the Dar-ol-Quran of the Astan (custodianship) of Imam Hussein’s (AS) holy
shrine, representatives from Quranic centers of the holy shrines and members of
Quran institutes of the country attended the program.
Al-Matouri, head of the Women Quranic Center affiliated to the Dar-o-Quran of
the Astan, said that the participants discussed organizing a national Quran
competition for women elites as well as technical issues related to the
Al-‘Ameri, top Iraqi Qari and director of the National Center of Quranic
Sciences, said that it was decided at the program that two women Qaris and two
Quran memorizers be selected as winners from among each 10 contestants in the
preliminary stage of the competition in different provinces of Iraq and the
competition of each 10 representatives from the holy shrines to have one women
Qari and one Quran memorizer as the top winners.
added that it was also among the decisions at the program that top participants
of the last year’s Quran competition of women and the Quranic women who have
not competed at the international level can participate in the national Quran
competition to be held for Iraqi women elites.
media outlets recently reported that Fatima Qandil became the first female
judge to join a judicial panel of an Egyptian criminal court.
court was trying a case about stock market manipulation. The judicial panel was
led by Mohamed El-Feki and included Mahmoud Rashdan, Abdullah Salam, and Usama
Aboushaisha, alongside Qandil. Several individuals from the Mubarak regime are
suspects in this case, including the former president’s sons, Alaa and Gamal
Mubarak, in addition to seven others.
Qandil is not really the first female judge in Egypt’s criminal courts. She was
preceded by judge Sally Al-Saidi, who was part of several judicial panels in
criminal and misdemeanour courts in 2009. She ruled on 95 criminal cases that
was one of 68 female judges appointed in Egypt’s ordinary courts. She then
became a member of the Cairo Juvenile Court in 2009, and later a member of the
Cairo Criminal Court.
2013, Al-Saidi was appointed as a member of the technical bureau of the Court
of Cassation (Criminal Division).
the role of the technical bureau is to conduct legal research and studies, but
this would not give her the authority to try or rule on cases.
question is: will the media interest of the presence of a female judge, Qandil,
in law courts pave the way for more females to be part of the big scene in the
2003, both the Administrative Prosecution Authority and the State Lawsuits
Authority have appointed women in their offices, but no women were allowed in
the Egyptian courts.
2003, judge Tehani Al-Gebali was the first woman to join the Supreme
Constitutional Court by a presidential decree. This was followed by the
appointment of 42 female judges to the ordinary courts from 2007 to 2008.
June 2015, the Ministry of Justice announced the appointment of a new batch of
26 female judges to the ordinary courts. Unfortunately, the government did not
take further steps to increase the number of women in the judiciary since then.
female judges banned from Egyptian judiciary?
Egyptian judicial system is divided into three branches: ordinary courts, which
are entitled to try civil, economic, and criminal cases, administrative courts,
which adjudicates disputes involving government actions (and sometimes
inaction) and disciplinary actions involving government employees, and the
Supreme Constitutional Court, which rules on constitutional matters.
to the Egyptian constitution, the law graduates can apply to join the
administrative prosecution authority, public prosecution, the State Council,
and the military prosecution, Omnia Gadallah, founder of “Her Honor Setting the
Bar” support campaign of female law graduates, told Daily News Egypt.
has filed a lawsuit against the State Council for refusing to enrol women in
explained that both administrative prosecution and Egyptian State Lawsuits
Authority are judicial bodies, however, the work nature of their members is
different than normal judges, as they do not rule on cases.
though, women are allowed to enter both. They currently account for 43% of the
administrative prosecution members, and represent about 28% of the Egyptian
State Lawsuits Authority.
women are not allowed to join the Supreme Constitutional Court, whose members
represent the best judges in the ordinary courts, the State Council, and the
female law graduates have two options; either to apply in the public
prosecution to enter an ordinary court, which is difficult as the public
prosecution continues to reject women, or to apply in the State Council to
enter an administrative court, which is also rejecting female applicants. This
means that the ban on female judges continues,” Gadallah said.
2009, Egypt’s State Council agreed unanimously to appoint male and female law
graduates from the academic years 2008 and 2009.
in February 2010, a special committee of the State Council’s general assembly
convened and voted against appointing female judges, with an overwhelming
majority of 334 against 42 votes.
when the public prosecution announced the recruitment of a new batch in 2010,
only males could apply.
when Gadallah filed a lawsuit against the State Council, this brought the issue
of female judge ban to light again and this case is still ongoing until now.
of female judges violates constitution
told DNE that the exclusion of women clearly violates the constitutional
principle of equality, citing some articles in the 2014 Constitution, mainly
Article 9. It prescribes that the state is committed to achieving equality
among all citizens, without discrimination.
Article 11 prescribes that the state must ensure equality between women and men
in all civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in accordance
with the provisions of the constitution.
14 also prescribes that citizens have the right to government employment on the
basis of competence, without favouritism.
appointing female judges in courts still a taboo?
said that Al-Saidi and Qandil are among the 66 female judges that were
appointed in the ordinary courts, representing 0.5% of 16,000 judges.
female judges were appointed, not selected normally through career
progression,” Gadallah explained.
this fact that their selection was not through the career progression, social
media and newspapers congratulated the Egyptian women for being empowered.
Mohamed Samir, spokesperson for the Administrative Prosecution Authority, told
DNE that the media interest of appointing females in the criminal court is a
result of the public argument whether women can hold judicial positions.
to the Malik and Shafi‘i schools of Islamic law, being a male is a precondition
to be a judge. Meanwhile, Abu Hanifa school says that women may be judges in
all matters, except “Hudud” crimes, which include theft, robbery, illicit sex,
alcohol consumption, and apostasy, and “Qisas”, which refers to offences that
involve bodily injury or loss of life. The Hanbali school said that women may
become judges in all matters.
explained that the criminal court tries matters related to Hudud, thus women
were always excluded.
a female judge in the criminal court means that the picture is changing. It
shows that we now follow the Hanbali school that permits women to be judges in
all matters,” Samir said.
is the next step?
continued that appointing women in the criminal court was a good step, however,
we aspire to more progress.
explained that the appointment of Qandil was not through the normal procedures
as males. He called for ending this gender discrimination, especially in the
agreed with Samir, stating that the evaluation of female judges is conducted
unfairly. Male judges should not be compared to female judges, as women’s
career progression face more challenges than men’s.
are more likely than men to view Boris Johnson as dishonest, xenophobic and
politically calculating, according to a sample of more than 70,000 Guardian
of participants’ answers to a quiz on the character of the likely next prime
minister revealed a consistent gender divide in how respondents viewed him.
quiz presented readers with a set of contradictory statements about the
Conservative leadership frontrunner and asked to choose where on a scale
between the two he should be placed.
results should not be understood as a scientific poll, since they are unlikely
to represent, for example, enthusiastic Conservative voters. But they did
appear to show that among users of the Guardian website, those who declared
themselves women before answering the questions were far less likely to
perceive Johnson as “genuinely gaffe-prone”. Some 70% of female readers viewed
Johnson’s behaviour as part of a dishonest political act, against 55% of men.
were slightly more forgiving of Johnson’s xenophobic comments on immigration,
with 10% opting to describe him as consistently pro-diversity. In comparison,
only 6% of females took this view.
the Guardian readers who responded overwhelmingly believed Johnson to be
“xenophobic”, with 91% of women and 86% men describing the Tory frontrunner as
on whether Johnson was more more accurately described as “repellently
dishonest” or “charmingly frank”, respondents came close to a consensus, with
97% of women and 96% of men viewing Johnson as “repellently dishonest”. More
than one in eight readers (13%) put him at the furthest end of the scale.
month Johnson was questioned at a Tory leadership hustings over his “arguably
racist” comments in his newspaper column comparing veiled Muslim women to
letterboxes. Johnson defended his column, describing it as a “strong, liberal
defence of the right of women to wear the burqa”, and said he received letters
of support from Muslim religious leaders.
year, Johnson was reported to have said: “Fuck business” when questioned about
the sector’s concerns over a no-deal Brexit, but this had little bearing on
Guardian readers who generally viewed the Tory frontrunner as more pro- than
anti-business. 71% of women and 67% of men described Johnson as such.
results of the quiz showed different age groups had similar perceptions of the
potential future prime minister. The Guardian’s youngest and oldest readers –
those aged under 18 and those aged over 60 – were more likely to believe
Johnson is genuinely gaffe-prone.
online quiz received more than 70,000 entries since Monday 15 July. The
interactive asked readers to define Johnson’s political positions and approach
the readers who looked at the quiz (although not necessarily of respondents),
73% were from the UK, with 16% from the EU. The EU countries which proved most
interested were from Ireland, France, and Germany.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has congratulated Pakistan women’s cricket star Sana
Mir for her inclusion in the ICC Women’s Committee as one of the three current
England player Clare Connor has been retained as the Chair of the ICC Women’s
Committee, which also includes PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan as one of the
Full Member representatives.
the former Pakistan captain and leading wicket-taking spinner in women’s ODIs,
is joined by Australia’s Lisa Sthalekar and Mithali Raj of India as current
players’ representatives on the committee that met for the first time in London
on Thursday during the ICC Annual Conference week.
Chairman Ehsan Mani said: “On behalf of the PCB, I want to congratulate Sana
Mir on her inclusion in the ICC Women’s Committee. I am confident that Sana
will bring great insight and knowledge to the group, which will only help
women’s international cricket get stronger.
latest achievement will attract and motivate our young girls, which, in turn
integrates with our strategy on the growth and development of women’s cricket
thanked the ICC for the opportunity: “It is an absolute honour to represent the
current players at this elite forum and become their voice. Women cricket is
growing around the world and I feel this is a very courageous and inclusive
step by the ICC to have current players involved in the promotion and
development of the game.”
will be the voice of the players, we can take the notes from the committee and
get the players on-board on how the ICC plans to promote the game. It is great
to be a part of this committee and I look forward to giving my views and making
a positive impact for the cause of women’s cricket around the world.”
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