Photo of Child Marriage
Muslim Women Want FGM Issue in Poll Manifestos of Parties
Is Female Genital Mutilation And Where Does It Happen?
Arabia Grants Women Right To Serve as Privates at Security Institute
Marriages In Ilam Amounted To 94 In Nine Months
Child Girls Are Physically And Sexually Abused By City Agents
Hosts Female-Led ‘Hackathon’ To Create Mobile Apps for Smart Cities
New Chapter Has Begun For Female Arab Writers
40,000 Women Die Of Breast Cancer Annually In Pakistan
by New Age Islam News Bureau
in Egypt Say ‘No’ To Female Genital Mutilation
Doctors at two Cairo hospitals will pin blue ribbon badges to the clothing of
newborn baby girls on Wednesday as they launch a campaign to persuade parents
in Egypt to “say no to female genital mutilation (FGM).”
country has the highest number of women affected by FGM in the world, with
nearly nine in 10 having been cut, according to UN data.
will receive the badges — which resemble the Arabic word “no” and look like an
upside down version of awareness ribbons for HIV/AIDS and breast cancer — after
signing a pledge that they will not have their daughters cut.
hope more hospitals will join the campaign, which launches on International Day
of Zero Tolerance for FGM.
was banned in Egypt in 2008 and criminalized in 2016, but the practice
persists, with most procedures now carried out by health professionals.
families see FGM as a religious obligation and a way to preserve their
is a wrong and ugly belief. We have to make clear that FGM (does not stop)
sexual desire,” said pediatric doctor Amira Edris who works at one of the Cairo
have a veil on my head and I respect religious rules ... but this is not a
religious rule — it is a false belief,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
which commonly involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia,
is practiced in a swathe of African countries and parts of Asia and the Middle
is often done by traditional cutters with unsterilized blades, but there is an increasing
trend for FGM to be carried out by health professionals — particularly in
Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria and Sudan.
anti-FGM group 28 Too Many, which is working with the Egyptian hospitals, said
the “medicalization of FGM” was hindering efforts to end the practice.
having the backing of hospitals in the campaign, we are showing that FGM is
wrong, wherever it is carried out,” said 28 Too Many founder Ann-Marie Wilson.
can cause a host of serious health problems including infections and
has been mounting concern over the practice in Egypt following the deaths of
several girls during botched procedures.
said she had been particularly affected by the death of a 7-year-old girl from
couldn’t save her ... she bled to death. I remember she started to hallucinate
... and she knew she was going to die — this really traumatized me,” she said.
Fahmy, director of women’s advocacy group Tadwein which is backing the
campaign, said doctors were ideally placed to spread awareness of FGM.
can’t be shy about this. It’s time to talk about this as a harmful practice,
and for doctors to tell parents you shouldn’t do this to your daughter,” she
is female genital mutilation and where does it happen?
leaders have pledged to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030, but
campaigners say the ancient ritual remains deeply entrenched in many places.
Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on Wednesday will highlight
efforts to end the widely condemned practice thought to affect at least 200
million girls and women globally. Here are some facts:
FGM dates back over 2,000 years and is practiced across many cultures and
It is practiced in at least 30 countries, mostly in Africa but also in pockets
of the Middle East and Asia.
FGM typically involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia.
In some cases the vaginal opening is sewn up. Other procedures, more common in
parts of Asia, include nicking or pricking the clitoris.
FGM can cause longlasting mental and physical health problems including chronic
infections, menstrual problems, infertility, pregnancy and childbirth
Somalia has the world’s highest FGM prevalence (98 percent of women have been
cut), followed by Guinea, Djibouti, Mali and Sierra Leone.
Of the 28 countries in Africa where FGM is endemic, 22 have legislation
criminalizing FGM, although enforcement is generally weak and prosecutions
Half of all girls who have undergone FGM or are at risk live in three countries
— Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria — all of which have laws against FGM.
Chad, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan, which are home to 16
million girls, have no law.
There is an increasing trend for FGM to be carried out by health professionals
rather than traditional cutters, particularly in Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria
The ritual, often justified for cultural or religious reasons, is underpinned
by the desire to control female sexuality.
Somalia and Somaliland are drafting laws against FGM.
Despite not yet having a law, Somalia announced its first FGM prosecution last
year after a 10-year-old girl died.
A group of Bohra Muslim women on Wednesday urged political parties to take
steps to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) prevalent in their
community and make the issue part of their poll manifestos.
women gave the call on the 'International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female
Genital Mutilation', which is observed on February 6.
United Nations has dubbed the practice as a violation of human rights.
lot of political parties talk about women's rights and saving the girl child.
We want to ask them what is their take on FGM? Will they end it? Will they
support a ban on it? If yes, they deserve our vote," WeSpeakOut, a private
organisation led by an FGM survivor, said in a statement.
the Lok Sabha elections are going to be held this year, the issue needs to part
of the poll manifesto of the parties, it said.
Ranalvi, a member of WeSpeakOut who herself has been a victim of the FGM, said
this year when the country goes to polls, they want all Indian political
leaders to hear appeals of the Bohra women and take a stand to end FGM, the
practice of removal of the clitoral hood of minor girls.
said political parties need to be more sensible and accountable to save a girl
child's dignity, and that the FGM issue should be a part of their agenda.
eradication should be a part of manifestos of the parties which call themselves
progressive. Those (parties) who come forward and eliminate this barbaric practice
would certainly get our votes," Ranalvi told PTI.
to a report of WeSpeakOut, she said many women respondents reported feelings of
fear, anxiety, shame, anger, depression, low-self-esteem and betrayal of trust
as some of the fallouts of FGM.
Supreme Court had in September 2018 referred to a five-judge constitution bench
the plea challenging practice of female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohra
apex court had in July last year questioned the prevalent practice of FGM, saying
women cannot be "subjugated" to the level where they have to
"please" their husbands only.
World leaders have pledged to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) by
2030, but campaigners say the ancient ritual remains deeply entrenched in many
FGM can cause long lasting mental and physical health problems including
chronic infections, menstrual problems, infertility, pregnancy and childbirth
Somalia has the world's highest FGM prevalence (98 percent of women have been
cut), followed by Guinea, Djibouti, Mali and Sierra Leone.
Britain secured its first successful FGM prosecution this month — more than 30
years after outlawing FGM.
Sierra Leone banned FGM last month as part of a clamp down on the secret
societies that practice it, but there are doubts over how it will be enforced.
one-year ban on FGM in Liberia expired last month. Campaigners continue to push
for a law.
Arabia announced on Wednesday that women are eligible for admission to rank of
private, in a move that is seen to boost female empowerment in the kingdom.
issued by the Interior Ministry said that applications must be born, raised and
bred in Saudi Arabia, except for those women who grew up abroad while their
family members served the country in international roles.
applicants are required to undertake a medical exam, an interview and a written
test which will be administered by the institute.
list of requirements says the women must be aged between 25 and 35, have no
criminal convictions and should not be less than 160cm in height.
must also have an independent valid national identification card.
for the Women’s Security Training Institute will be open from February 10 to
Riyadh-based college specialises in training and educating students in security
and military fields. Many of its graduates typically find jobs in government ministries
such as the interior, civil defense, immigration and the police forces.
February 2018, the Kingdom granted women the right to apply to join the
country’s military service.
were told to apply for position with the rank of solider in the provinces of
Riyadh, Mecca, Al Qassim and Medina.
gave women the opportunity to work in the kingdom’s security sector.
Arabia has launched various campaigns to empower its female population as part
of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030" plan to modernise
the country and accelerate economic development.
crown prince has spoken repeatedly of giving women greater rights and
participation in the country's private and public sector jobs has been a key
aspect of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 diversification plans, with ambitions to
increase women’s participation in the workforce from 22 per cent to 30 per
June, the kingdom lifted a ban on women driving, giving them greater mobility
and independence. More than 120,000 Saudi women applied for driving licences in
the first month after the ban was lifted, according to the Interior Ministry.
government has also allowed women to attend football matches and has given them
the right to manage their pregnancy without permission from a male guardian.
director of the Welfare Organization of Ilam Province said the number of
under-15 marriages of girl children in Ilam amounted to 94 in first nine months
of the current year.
an interview with the official IRNA news agency on February 6, 2019, Zahra
Hemmati announced that a total of 98 under-15 marriages took place in Ilam 94
of which were girl children and four were boys under 15 years of age.
the statistics of the previous year, Hemmati said, “There were 188 under-15
marriages of girl children in Ilam in 2017 registered in various cities and
counties. There were five cases of under-15 boys getting married. So, there
were a total of 193 under-15 marriages in 2017.”
official acknowledged that under-15 marriages needed to be rectified. She said,
“The phenomenon of child marriages is a new social ailment we face in this
province. The number of child marriages in this province which are considered
forcible marriages, is particularly noteworthy in one of the cities.” (The
official IRNA news agency – February 5, 2019)
Sajjadi, special assistant for citizens’ rights in the directorate for Women
and Family Affairs, commented on the rejection of the bill proposing to ban
child marriages of under-13 girl children by the Legal and Judiciary Commission
of the Majlis (the mullahs’ parliament).
said, “When a 12-year girl is forced by her father to get married, the validity
of this marriage is under question both legally and religiously because of the
girl’s lack of consent. Unfortunately, the bills are examined based on
prevalent taste (of the MPs) instead of expert work and statistics. Everyone
makes his/her decision based on his/her own taste…
am sure that members of the Legal and Judiciary Commission who opposed this
bill, none of them are willing to have their children quit school and get
married in young age.” (The state-run ILNA news agency – December 29, 2018)
on the reports and video clips disseminated in the social media, labor child
girls who are forced to work in the streets to earn meager amounts of money,
are abused physically and sexually by municipality agents.
of the labor child girls said, “Me and my two brothers were doing our homework
and at the same time selling walnuts when municipal agents came and caught my
two brothers. I told them, ‘what do you want to do with them?’ Then they caught
me, too… They took off my older brother’s clothes and started beating him by
sticks. My younger brother started crying. Simultaneously, they told me to
polish their shoes, I said I won’t. Then they rubbed black polish on my face.”
social worker said the labor child girls are also sexually abused in addition
to being brutalized. “Two of the labor child girls who work on the
intersection, were forced into a car by municipal agents. One of the agents
told one of the girls to unbutton her clothes. This girl even told us that when
she was taken to the police station, she was separated from other kids and
forced to take off her clothes.”
one of the labor child girls talked about sexual abuse of her friend by
municipal agents. She said, “One day, when I saw Sara, I asked her, ‘Why are
you upset?’ She said municipal agents caught me and mistreated me… They pulled
my scarf, and touched me. When I screamed, he stepped away. But when I went to
the office of the municipality and told my story, they did not believe me. They
said I was making up the story so that they would let me go.”
on the reports of social experts, the population of labor children amounts to 7
million. (The state-run Tasnim news agency, September 27, 2017)
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is set to host
developers and designers, over half of whom will be female, at its first SAP
Mobile Hackathon event, to create mobile apps for smart cities.
Hackathon, which will run from Feb. 7 to 9, is part of a partnership between
German software firm SAP SE, and several
university departments, including KAUST Innovation and Economic Development and
the KAUST Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering
is committed to being a hub for innovation, attracting talent to find solutions
to shared global challenges,” said Dr. Kevin Cullen, vice president of KAUST
Innovation and Economic Development. “The SAP Mobile Hackathon is a great way
to collaborate and develop infrastructure for smart cities of the future.”
first Hackathon will bring together 38 designers and developers, 55 percent of
whom are women, to create mobile applications for iOS and Android devices,
using SAP technology. An expert jury will select the best performing team and
evaluate the benefits its mobile app will have.
Hackathon is a great opportunity, as it brings state-of-the-art technology in
the context of fast-paced problem solving,” said Dr. Mootaz El-Nozahy, dean of
the KAUST Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering
six authors shortlisted for this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction
must wait until April to learn which of them has won the coveted award. There
is already one clearly emerging winner, however – the writing of women. This
year the shortlist includes a record four female authors. This is no overnight
revolution; two of the four writers have made the shortlist before and a third
was longlisted previously. Nevertheless, this is a significant development, for
these are writers with much to tell all of us. This year all six shortlisted
novels are, in the words of judge Charafdin Majdolin, “about family, memory,
disappointment, exile and migration”. These are themes that reflect the Arab
experience, a reality to which female writers bring a unique perspective.
Iraqi author Shahad Al Rawi, shortlisted for the Ipaf award last year, whose
novel The Baghdad Clock tells the story of her country’s horrors through the
lives of two girls who meet in a bomb shelter in 1991. Syrian teacher Shahla
Ujayli, one of the four women on this year’s shortlist, set Summer With The
Enemy against the background of the conflict in her country.
the years, the prize has done much to provide a showcase for women from the
Arab world writing about the region. Thanks to the award,, five women writers,
from Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, have had their novels translated
into a dozen different languages and read around the world.
novelist Elif Shafak once wrote: "Male writers are thought of as 'writers'
first and then 'men'. As for female writers, they are first 'female' and only
then 'writers'." With the odds firmly in favour of a woman winning the
Ipaf prize this year, we have edged a step closer to male and female writers
being appreciated on an equal footing. Until that happens, we can all benefit
as readers whose horizons have been broadened by new insights, while a new
generation of young Arab women have been inspired by their peers to find their
More than 40,000 women die of breast cancer every year in Pakistan, said Dr
Omer Aftab, Chief Executive Officer Pink Ribbon.
an awareness session on breast cancer in Faisalabad Women Chamber of Commerce
& Industry (FWCCI) on Wednesday, he said breast cancer was spreading at
much faster pace in Asia.
Pakistan, its prevalence is alarming as around 38.5 per cent women were
infested with this disease, he said. He said no doubt, it was a deadly disease,
but life could be saved by taking preventive and early diagnostic measures.
Pakistan, unfortunately, patients with breast cancer are brought to oncologists
when they have already touched the last stage of cancer and colonization of
cancer cells have taken roots in other parts of body, he said.
the need for early diagnosis of breast cancer and in this connection teenage
girls should be educated to be vigilant in case of any unusual change, they
must consult their parents or doctors.
women under 40 years should also ensure regular monthly checkup and annual
Mammography. In his welcome address, FWCCI president Robeena Amjad appreciated
the initiative of Pink Ribbon for holding awareness seminars about breast
cancer and said it was the most common disease haunting women worldwide.
Club President Mrs Yasmeen Zahida appreciated the initiative of Pink Ribbon and
said that it was a painful disease and immediate cure of the disease was very
important. Dr Mehr-UN-Nisa, chairperson of the Food science Department of the
Government College Women University gave a detailed presentation about dietary
methods to check breast cancer.
General Abeera Matloob, Executives and Members of the FWCCI were also present.
Former MPA Dr Najma Afzal thanked the FWCCI president.
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