New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 02:18 PM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 27 May 2020, NewAgeIslam.Com)

'ZairaWasim Just Used a Quran Verse to Justify Locust Attacks': Netizens Pan Her For 'Pseudo-Secular' Quote












Zaira WasimPhoto by Viral Bhayani

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• For Many Women Living in Old Age Homes of Lahore, An Eid Spent Waiting for Loved Ones

• 18-Year-Old Iranian Woman Burned To Death By Brother For Marrying Older Man: Reports

• GOC Women’s Commissioner Salutes Muslims in Sports

• Liberia: Muslim Women Network Donates Food, Non-Food Items To Christian-Run Orphanage, Others

• Pakistan Actor Uzma Khan Files Complaint Against Daughters Of Business Tycoon Malik Riaz For Instigating Violence, FIR Registered

• Middle Eastern Female Filmmakers Are Focus of New Sharjah Art Foundation Series

• UAE-India Repatriation: 800 Pregnant Women Flown Home So Far

• Pakistani Female Peacekeepers Forging Strong Ties With Congolese People To Build Peace: Team Leader

• Turkish Women's Rights Movement Fights Back As COVID-19 Spurs Violence

• Female Life Expectancy In Egypt Increases To 75.5 Years

3 Saudi Women Injured In Houthi Missile Attack On Jazan

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: https://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/-zairawasim-just-used-a-quran-verse-to-justify-locust-attacks---netizens-pan-her-for--pseudo-secular--quote/d/121971

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' ZairaWasim Just Used a Quran Verse to Justify Locust Attacks': Netizens Pan Her For 'Pseudo-Secular' Quote

May 27, 2020

ZairaWasim is known to be a deeply religious person. The actor who shot to fame with movies such as Dangal, The Sky is Pink and Secret Superstar had earlier bid her film career adieu because she felt that her "relationship with her religion was threatened" by it.

In a detailed Facebook post the 18-year-old had cited religious reasons for her decision to quit Bollywood. While Wasim is on something of a sabbatical for social media, she does make occasional appearances online to address issues that affect her on a personal level, or that which she feels strongly about.

On Tuesday, she tweeted a quote from the Quran, that has led to tremendous backlash from netizens. "So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin,” Wasim wrote quoting the Quran.

ZairaWasim

?

@ZairaWasimmm

“So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”

-Qur’an 7:133

11.2K

12:38 PM - May 27, 2020

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2,134 people are talking about this

Her tweet has received immense backlash as there has been an abnormal locust attack in recent days. Five states of North India have been put on high alert, as this could yield massive crop destruction.

Netizens thought this was an insensitive tweet and resorted to trolling her.

Her tweet on Wednesday drew her much criticism as some called her a 'Jihadist' and trolled her for being a 'pseudo-secular'.

"Well She just used a Quran's verse to Justify Locusts attack on a country which offered her an opportunity in cosmopolitan city. I will again say, The Source of Hate & bigotry is something else, Education and Secularism can never become the answer to radical Islamism," wrote one Twitter user.

"If one wonders how does a millennial who was offered an opportunity in uber cosmopolitanism, end up with so much bigotry and hate, she is mentioning the source also," wrote another.

Here are some of the reactions she received for her tweet:

BALAJI RAAMADHOOTHAN IYENGAR

@Raamadhoothan

Once upon a time..not so long ago...she was the toast of the secular fabric that supposedly held the Nation together....

Here the fabric is being torn bit by bit! https://twitter.com/ZairaWasimmm/status/1265540285997764608 …

ZairaWasim

?

@ZairaWasimmm

“So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self-explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”

-Qur’an 7:133

6:29 PM - May 27, 2020

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?????? ??????

@Neutral_atom

Well She just used a Quran's verse to Justify Locusts attack on a country which offered her an opportunity in cosmopolitan city. I will again say, The Source of Hate & bigotry is something else, Education and Secularism can never become the answer to radical Islamism. https://twitter.com/ZairaWasimmm/status/1265540285997764608 …

ZairaWasim

?

@ZairaWasimmm

“So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”

-Qur’an 7:133

6:31 PM - May 27, 2020

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Guruji

@Guruji31546528

Are you a radical Jihadi? Are these your true colours (or some master (s) are directing you to do this)? https://twitter.com/ZairaWasimmm/status/1265540285997764608 …

ZairaWasim

?

@ZairaWasimmm

“So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”

-Qur’an 7:133

6:52 PM - May 27, 2020

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Sudhanshu S Singh????

@sssingh21

You must know Ms Wasim, the swarm of locusts has entered into India after damaging crops extensively in Iran and Pakistan.

I hope, you would not lose sensitivity during the time of such crises. https://twitter.com/ZairaWasimmm/status/1265540285997764608 …

ZairaWasim

?

@ZairaWasimmm

“So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”

-Qur’an 7:133

34

6:33 PM - May 27, 2020

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VikasSaraswat

?

@VikasSaraswat

If one wonders how does a millenial who was offered an opportunity in uber cosmopolitanism, end up with so much bigotry and hate, she is mentioning the source also.

View image on Twitter

4,202

6:02 PM - May 27, 2020

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Boycott Chinese Products!

@Against_Pseudos

Who’s ‘WE’ ?

Your family? https://twitter.com/zairawasimmm/status/1265540285997764608 …

ZairaWasim

?

@ZairaWasimmm

“So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”

-Qur’an 7:133

1

5:05 PM - May 27, 2020

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TanmayMoitra

@MoitraTanmay

An average Kashmiri who made a name & fortune bcoz of India, feeding on Indian blood, want India to rescue when stranded in a foreign nation but has audacity to rejoice on natural calamity harming the same nation. What favour you are doing to your own community Parasite. https://twitter.com/ZairaWasimmm/status/1265540285997764608 …

ZairaWasim

?

@ZairaWasimmm

“So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”

-Qur’an 7:133

8:23 PM - May 27, 2020

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Qrious

@KalingaPua

Desert Filth getting all excited abt the recent locust attack reports .. https://twitter.com/zairawasimmm/status/1265540285997764608 …

ZairaWasim

?

@ZairaWasimmm

“So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”

-Qur’an 7:133

9

8:00 PM - May 27, 2020

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VivekDhonde

@vivekdhonde

So sad to see such a young talent who played two iconic roles is so opposite of them in real life https://twitter.com/ZairaWasimmm/status/1265540285997764608 …

ZairaWasim

?

@ZairaWasimmm

“So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”

-Qur’an 7:133

8:14 PM - May 27, 2020

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Vatsala

@Vatsala88304941

Even the quality education of modern times couldn’t cure the bigotry of these Neanderthals! https://twitter.com/zairawasimmm/status/1265540285997764608 …

ZairaWasim

?

@ZairaWasimmm

“So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin”

-Qur’an 7:133

2

6:28 PM - May 27, 2020

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https://www.freepressjournal.in/india/she-just-used-a-quran-verse-to-justify-locust-attacks-netizens-pan-zaira-wasim-for-pseudo-secular-quote

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For Many Women Living in Old Age Homes of Lahore, An Eid Spent Waiting for Loved Ones

By Asif Mehmood

May 28, 2020

LAHORE: Many elders living in old age homes were left waiting for their loved ones even on Eid.

KousarNaseem, who has loved her children her whole life, would never have thought that she would have to spend the last part of her life in an old age home because of her children. The 74-year-old woman from Karachi has three daughters and a son.

Her son lives with his in-laws in Karachi, while two daughters live in South Africa and one in Jeddah.

Naseem has been living in an old age home named “Haven” in the Pak-Arab Society for five years. She told The Express Tribune that her husband had remarried but had covered his children’s expenses. He gave a good education to all the four children, arranged the marriages of his daughters and gave 40 tolas of jewelery to each daughter.

She said her husband had given them all the comforts of the world but it was her daughters who had brought her to this point. She said her daughters had invited her to South Africa but after after three months, she was humiliated and sent back in a state of shock. She has been living in the old age home ever since. She said she did not even have a mobile phone to contact anyone.

She misses her son very much. She says he is very obedient but has no home of his own. She hopes that one day her son will come and take her away.

Pointing out that Eid is celebrated with children, she said she got new clothes, shoes and food in the old age home but this was not enough for her to celebrate the occasion.

She complained that none of her children came to see her on Eid. She could only talk to her son on telephone.

Another woman, Maria, said she was also living in the old age home due to her children. She was a resident of Behar Colony, Lahore and she cannot walk without support.

She also hopes that one day her children will take her away. However, her wait for her loved ones on the Eid also proved futile.

The head of the old age home, Dr Jameel Pervez, said he had been running the institution for 15 years. Some elders have lived here for eight or nine years. The staff serve the elders like their parents and take care of their diet and health.

They also spend time with them take them out for a walk whenever there is an opportunity.  But despite all this, they cannot be a substitute for their children. He said all the residents of the old age home had complaints against their children but they still prayed for them.

“We have bought new clothes and shoes for them on the occasion of Eid,” said Shaista, the administrator of the facility. She added that there were also some elderly women whose loved ones did not come to visit them on Eid. However, there are many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) whose representatives spent Eid with the elders.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2229845/1-eid-spent-waiting-loved-ones/

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18-Year-Old Iranian Woman Burned To Death By Brother For Marrying Older Man: Reports

28 May 2020

An 18-year-old Iranian young woman has died of critical burns after her brother torched their house for marrying a man he did not approve of, state media reported on Wednesday.

The victim had been hospitalised for a week and died from severe burn injuries on Tuesday, according to local media. The incident occurred in the city of Rasht in Iran’s Gilan province.

The victim’s brother was against her marriage, and when he failed to prevent the marriage, he set fire to the house where the victim and her husband were at the time, the official IRNA news agency cited a local police official as saying.

“The defendant stated in his statement that his motive for the crime was his opposition to his sister’s marriage and the 12-year age difference between her and her husband,” he said.

Both the girl and her husband had suffered burns and were taken to the hospital. There are no details on the husband’s condition.

This comes as the news of the beheading of a 13-year-old girl by her father in a so-called “honor killing” in the same province shook Iran on Tuesday and stoked a nationwide outcry.

The exact figures for honor killings in Iran are unknown. In 2014, HadiMostafaei, a senior police official at the time, said that honor killings made up 20 percent of the murder cases in the country.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2020/05/28/18-year-old-Iranian-woman-burned-to-death-by-brother-for-marrying-older-man-Reports.html

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GOC Women’s Commissioner Salutes Muslims in Sports

May 26, 2020

The Chairperson of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) Women’s Commission, Madam Elizabeth King who is Vice President of the Ghana Hockey Association and Executive Board member of the African Hockey Confederation and International Hockey Federation has sent well wishing messages to all Muslims in sports on the 2020 Ramadan celebrations and the African Day celebration on May 25.

She said “To all Muslim brothers and sisters especially those in sports I wish them Eud Mubarak and may Allah bless them with happiness and Grace an also may their prayers be heard and answered. Whilst the fasting is over which was very demanding on them coupled with Codvid-19, they should not forget to do exercise and practice their skills on their own. Practice they say makes man perfect so they will be fit to participate in their various disciplines. Not only participating but to excel and win laurels for Ghana for definitely the ban on sporting activities will one day be lifted. Once again i wish them well they should enjoy the occasion but they should take care, stay safe and healthy”

“I also wish all sports women in Ghana and Africa well on this day, Happy Africa Day. That we stay united and find solutions to the Covid -19 pandemic which has halted all sports activities. Stay home if you do not have anything to do in town, wash your hands often with soap under running water or use the sanitizer, and don’t forget social distance till we stop the spread and win the war against the coronavirus to bring back our sports” she expressed.

https://newsghana.com.gh/goc-womens-commissioner-salutes-muslims-in-sports/

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Liberia: Muslim Women Network Donates Food, Non-Food Items To Christian-Run Orphanage, Others

May 28, 2020

Monrovia – The Liberia Muslim Women Network (LMWN) has donated a consignment of food items to a Christian orphanage and another, Khatan orphanage, all in Brewerville. The Muslim women also presented some items to another group in the VOA Community. The women’s donation was part of their way of celebrating Ramadan.

LMWN is one of Liberia’s biggest Muslim women organizations, which propagate the modesty and dignity of women, women empowerment and women’s personal hygiene.

The network is known for its famous World Hijab Day celebration, which is held every February 1st across Liberia.

Mrs.Makoma Z. Donzo is president of LMWN. Mrs.Donzo told this newspaper that in addition to their donation, the network also conducts a Ramadan feeding program, which is intended to reach out to their less fortunate brothers and sisters.

“We Muslims are encouraged by Allah and his messenger, Prophet Mohammed, to share with our neighbors, the poor, less fortunate, including orphans, especially in the month of Ramadan,” she said.

She extended appreciation to everyone, including their international partners, who contributed towards the reality of their Ramadan 2020 feeding program. “We are humbled and remained grateful for your kind gestures.

“May Allah reward you for helping to relieve the hardship of our brothers and sisters. Please keep on supporting our network as we continue preparations for all our programs up to next year’s Holy Month of Ramadan. We are seeking the support and permission of some of our donors to use their entities for donation spots. We want to place our donation boxes in those places so anyone who may want to make donation can do so,” she stated.

Mrs.Donzo further stated that as a group, they were working on a special Ramadan program — Ramadan Iftar (breakfast), for which they are asking for support.

“Your support can be given as payment of zakat, sadaqah, fidya, or kararah. Your Ramadan donations will help us distribute food to impoverished and challenged Muslims. The holy month of Ramadan is blessed; it brings families and loved ones together. Unfortunately, this is not a privilege enjoyed by everyone so this is why we are steadfast in providing Iftar for Muslims.

“Whoever relieves his brother of a hardship from the hardships of this world, Allah shall relieve him of a hardship from the hardships of the Day of Judgment. And whoever makes things easy for a person in difficulty, Allah will ease for him in this world and the hereafter, and Allah is forever aiding a slave so long as he is in the aid of his brother.” As she again thanks those who contributed toward making their donation successful, she stated that an item menu will be sent out or placed at various supermarkets to enable donors to donate any of the listed items on the menu.

https://frontpageafricaonline.com/health/liberia-muslim-women-network-donates-food-non-food-items-to-christian-run-orphanage-others/

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Pakistan Actor Uzma Khan Files Complaint Against Daughters Of Business Tycoon Malik Riaz For Instigating Violence, FIR Registered

May 28, 2020

Actor Uzma Khan on Thursday filed a complaint against women whom she claimed were the daughters of business tycoon Malik Riaz after the women allegedly broke into her house with gunmen and instigated violence.

"I have been shamed, harassed, been threatened to kill in the past 3 days. I feel like I have nothing to lose now and I have decided to fight the strongest people of Pakistan," she said in a statement. "For me it is either I get justice or I get killed but there will be no turning back now."

"I will fight against daughters... of Malik Riaz who stormed into my house around midnight with 12 gunmen. I request the police to register my FIR and conduct me and my sister's medical examination before our wounds start to heal. I hope I am as much Pakistani as Malik Riaz."

Uzma's statement came hours after a video circulating on social media showed the distraught looking actor and her sister being yelled at by a group of women.

In the video can be heard a woman yelling and accusing the actor for allegedly having an affair with one Usman.

The guards were then seen groping, harassing and surrounding the actor, while one of the women can be seen beating her with a shoe, all while throwing decorative items made of glass at Uzma.

(Trigger warning: harassment)

Another video showed the actor's living space, which had allegedly been vandalised. Traces of blood could be seen on the floor.

The actor took to social media with her police complaint number, and requested that a medical examination be urgently conducted of her and her sister.

Soon after Uzma's statement, a woman Amna Usman, who called herself wife of the said Usman, issued a video statement, claiming that her husband Usman Malik was not related to Malik Riaz.

"Firstly, I'd like to add that my husband, Usman Malik has nothing to do with Malik RiazHussain, he's not a part of his immediate family. This is being done to malign Malik Riaz; this is a personal spat between Hassaan Khan Niazi and Malik RiazHussain."

She went on to add: "As far as barging into someone's home is concerned, this was not their house. This was my husband's other house which I followed him to so basically this was my husband's home and I have every right to be there. I repeatedly warned this girl to save my 13-year-long marriage. This was not the first time I approached her."

She then went on to say that she is aware that her husband is to be blamed the most and that she has left him.

Lahore's Capital City Police Officer Zulfiqar Hameed confirmed receiving a complaint from the actor, following which an FIR was registered later in the night.

Malik Riaz has also denied all involvement.

"I categorically rebut this malicious propaganda associating me with a viral video. Usman is not my nephew. I'm appalled at such below the belt attempt to malign me for something I'm not involved in any capacity," he said.

He also threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against anyone trying to "wrongfully implicate" him.

https://images.dawn.com/news/1185331/actor-uzma-khan-files-complaint-against-group-of-women-for-instigating-violence-fir-registered

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Middle Eastern female filmmakers are focus of new Sharjah Art Foundation series

May 27, 2020

Sharjah Art Foundation is celebrating the work of female artists from the region in a new series of online film screenings. The event is in collaboration with Habibi Collective, a digital film archive that focuses on the work of female filmmakers from the Middle East and North Africa.

The screenings, which will take place on Friday, May 29, Friday, June 12 and Friday, June 26, will feature short and feature-length narrative, documentary and experimental films.

Each day will have its own programme with a focus on a specific theme. This Friday, the event will feature five short films on the themes of memory, coming-of-age and familial relations.

The featured shorts are: The Story of Milk and Honey (2011), a short film by BasmaAlsharif; Clams Casino (2018), a short film by Pam Nasr; The Fall of the Standard of Beauty: The Iranian Nose (2019), a short film by SaharGhorishi; Staff of Life (2019) by MozaAlmatrooshi, a short documentary; and Chergui (2019) by ChahineFellahi, a short experimental film.

On Friday, June 12, the programme will consist of a narrative feature film, the title of which is yet to be confirmed, while the programme on Friday, June 26 will explore the use of oral histories and archival materials through three shorts.

The films will be streamed live at 8.30pm through this vimeo link. However, viewers who are late to joining the streaming won't be able to watch the film programme from the beginning. To find out more about the films in the programme and upcoming online screenings, visit sharjahart.org.

https://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/film/middle-eastern-female-filmmakers-are-focus-of-new-sharjah-art-foundation-series-1.1025515

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UAE-India repatriation: 800 pregnant women flown home so far

Ashwani Kumar

May 27, 2020

Pregnant women and those with medical emergencies have always been on the priority list of passengers for repatriation.

More than 800 pregnant women have already been repatriated from the UAE to India as part of the Vande Bharat Mission.

"We know there are thousands waiting but it is tough task for us to prioritise them. We have so far sent more than 800 pregnant women in advanced stage pregnancy and 850 plus patients back to India," the Consulate-General of India in Dubai said as the second phase of the UAE mission started on Tuesday.

Pregnant women and those with medical emergencies have always been on the priority list of passengers for repatriation. On May 16, during the first phase, a record 108 pregnant women and 148 people with medical emergencies were flown back on just three flights.

And now, with the second phase having additional flights, there is more hope for stranded Indians.

A total of 81 flights operated by Air India and subsidiary Air Indian Express will repatriate around 14,000 Indians till June 8.

"Today we have four flights to Kochi, Kannur, Kozhikode and Trivandrum from Dubai carrying around 725 passengers. The Consulate ensures that no seat remains vacant and full capacity utilised," the Consulate tweeted.

Additionally, four special flights flew from Abu Dhabi to Amritsar, Kozhikode, Kochi and Trivandrum.

At least 6,500 pregnant women in the UAE, in various stages of their pregnancy, have registered their interest to return home to India, when embassy and consulate opened registrations for repatriation.

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/coronavirus-pandemic/uae-india-repatriation-800-pregnant-women-flown-home-so-far-

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Pakistani female peacekeepers forging strong ties with Congolese people to build peace: Team leader

May 27, 2020

Ahead of the International Day of U.N. Peacekeepers, the leader of first-ever Pakistani Female Engagement Team (FET) serving the U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), known as MONUSCO, has said that through hard work they have established strong bonds with local people, especially women, as part of the world body’s efforts to promote peace in the central African country.

“Resultantly, enhanced protection has led to a decrease in sexual violence cases, recruitment of child soldiers and threats by armed groups in the region,” Major Saba Anwar, the team leader, said in an online interview with APP correspondent in New York from her base in DRC’s province of South Kivu.

At the same time, she said that the outbreak of coronavirus — not as significant in DRC compared to rest of the world — has not hindered the their routine activities aimed at bringing about a change in people’s lives for the better.

“My team (FET) and MET (Mixed Engagement Team), while adopting safety protocols, is conducting patrolling activities to impart COVID-19 awareness and prevention techniques among the locals, along with surveillance of suspected corona cases.”

Composed of 49 Pakistani female army officers, the team has been a part of MONUSCO for the past about 11 months. The officers are psychologists, stress counsellors, vocational training officers, gender advisors, doctors, nurses, operations, information and logistics officers.

Overall, the total strength of UN peacekeeping troops in DRC is 15,171, including 1,978 Pakistanis who form the largest segment of the force. Fifty-seven countries have contributed military and police personnel for the peacekeeping effort.

In her interview, Maj. Saba Anwar said that female officers in DRC easily engage with women and understand their problems better, enabling the team to carry out its mandate efficiently.

“However”, she said, “FET’s outreach activities are not confined only to women and girls but are also to men and boys of all ages and backgrounds. They see us in uniform, working side-by-side with our male counterparts, in specialized fields … crossing gender barriers (and) working for all segments of the community.”

DRC’s Women and girls, Maj. Anwar said regard them as role models in providing peace training activities, including those related to security and protection.

FET, she said, had worked for uplifting women, youth and children by engaging them in fields related to health, education, self-improvement and socio-economic tasks.

Replying to a question, Maj. Saba Anwar said she agreed with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ position that more women in peacekeeping means more effective peacekeeping.

Unlike women, she said that it was difficult for male soldiers to build a trust-based relationship with women. Regular patrolling activities by FET had facilitated better interaction, boosting the confidence of local women resulting in their increased protection and security.

“The relationship established by FET has won the hearts and minds of locals and pave the way for further deployment of female peacekeepers,” the team leader said.

“Deployment of females is also necessary for prevention and resolution of conflicts by information gathering, peacekeeping and humanitarian responses in mission area.”

The enhancement of women’s role in the peacekeeping operation has become more and more important given their crucial role in conflict prevention, conflict management and post-conflict peace construction.

Answering a question, Maj. Anwar said they have gained invaluable experience while serving in a complex environment of DRC, a country with a diverse culture and challenges.

She said they keep in touch with their families, especially children, back home, whom they miss. But the welfare of the Congolese people was a motivating factor and “the sense of achievement keeps us going.”

Noting that the UN is celebrating the achievements of its women peacekeepers, Maj. Saba Anwar said that as the first women to be selected for a peacekeeping mission to work for DRC people’s betterment, the recognition of their hard work and achievements was “really a proud moment for me and my team — being a woman and being a brave soldier of Pakistan Army.”

https://nation.com.pk/27-May-2020/pakistani-female-peacekeepers-forging-strong-ties-with-congolese-people-to-build-peace-team-leader

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Turkish women's rights movement fights back as COVID-19 spurs violence

David Lepeska

May 28 2020

Just after dawn in the Turkish city of Muğla on Sunday, 26-year-old SelimAhmetKemaloğlu, a boxer with aspirations to make Turkey’s national team, grabbed a bread knife and stabbed his girlfriend, 25-year-old ZeynepŞenpınar, in the chest.

Şenpınar, who liked to sing folk songs and graduated from a nearby university last year hoping to be a teacher, died on the spot. Kemaloğlu then stabbed himself, called emergency response and posted a tweet saying he had killed two people. He survived and remains in police custody.

Şenpınar’s killing again put the spotlight on one of Turkey’s festering horrors. The number of murdered Turkish women has leapt more than 63 percent in recent years, from 303 in 2015 to 474 last year, according to data from the Ankara-based advocacy group We Will Stop Femicide. The number of Turkish women who have suffered violence has surged 50 percent, from 145,000 in 2015 to nearly 220,000 in 2018, according to Interior Ministry data.

Human Rights Watch and other leading advocates have pointed out that domestic abuse has intensified during the pandemic, as many women are trapped at home with potential abusers and minimal access to support. An April survey by a Diyarbakır-based organisation found violence against women in Turkey increased 28 percent in the first weeks of lockdown, while Istanbul police recorded a 38 percent increase in domestic violence in March.

“The most dangerous place for women is their home,” MelekÖnder of We Will Stop Femicide told Ahval in a podcast, adding that the number of calls to the platform’s hotline had increased by more than 50 percent during the pandemic.

“With everybody staying at home it causes different kinds of difficulties for women,” she said. “There’s a virus outside and there’s violence inside.”

We Will Stop Femicide has posted guidelines on its website to help project women during the lockdown. Women unable to make a phone call to the police or a helpline are advised to send a text message to the platform’s WhatsApp number.

Women are also advised to reach out to somebody they trust - a close friend, relative or neighbour - and agree on a response plan in the event of imminent danger. This could include a code word to alert someone of the threat without the possibility of the abuser finding out.  The guidelines also urge women to document any injuries with photos and videos and mark the date by going to the hospital to get a battery report.

Most advocacy groups agree that a key reason for Turkey’s domestic violence problem is the failure of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to implement the relevant laws, particularly the Istanbul Convention and a 2012 law to curb violence against women.

“If these are implemented effectively, we know that femicide would be really decreasing, and also domestic violence,” said Önder, adding that the root problem in Turkey is a deep-seated patriarchal culture that views women as unfit for decision-making and mainly good for domestic roles.

“In Turkey, men are thinking they have the power to control women. They think they can decide when you live or die, work or not, have economic independence or not,” she said.

At 32 percent, women’s labour force participation in Turkey is just over half the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 60 percent - a symbol of the extent to which women continue to be forced into domestic roles.

Violence against women will only fall, according to Önder, when Turkey is able to establish equality in politics, in society, in the economic arena and within the family.

“The government and the people who manage the country are saying that nobody will believe in this equality,” she said. “But first the politicians and the government must apply this equality and then the people and individuals will follow this path.”

Turkish officials seem to take their cues from President RecepTayyipErdoğan, who has explicitly said men and women are not equal and urged women to have three children.

The day after Şenpınar’s murder, HamdullahArvas, an AKP member of the Istanbul city council, appeared to legitimise the killing by describing her, in a tweet, as a “freedom-loving woman who was having an extramarital life.” He pointed out similarities with the stories of other women killed in Turkey, and wondered if such acts were “perception management that is done on purpose”, adding the hashtag #decency.

Arvas was roundly criticised on social media, particularly by women’s rights groups. “Those who question women’s lifestyles and give men this courage are responsible for Zeynep’s death,” We Will Stop Femicide responded in a tweet.

Early this month, the AKP revived a 2016 draft law that aims to grant amnesty to rapists who marry their victims, as long as they are aged 14 or older.

FatihErbakan, head of the Welfare Party and the son of Erdogan’s political mentor, former prime ministerNecmettinErbakan, said in an interview this month that the consent of 15-year-old girls was valid because they had reached sexual maturity.

CananGüllü, head of the Federation of Women’s Associations in Turkey, told Bianet this week that marriages for girls aged 10 to 15 have been sharply increasing in Turkey and the state was largely to blame. The new draft law could come before Turkey’s parliament in the coming weeks.

“The child does not have consent,” said Önder. “This will open the way to forced marriage and child abuse at an early age. We are saying that we will not allow it.”

That stronger stance for Turkish women may have begun in February 2019, after pop singer SılaGençoğlu posted images of her bruised and battered face on Instagram and said that her actor boyfriend AhmetKural had beaten her. The post quickly received more than a million likes and led to a story in the Washington Post arguing that Gencoglu had offered an example of how to fight back.

“It had an impact because women are seeing that all women in Turkey can be part of this violence,” said Önder. “It’s not depending on your economic situation or ethnicity...violence and femicide is an issue for all women.”

Last December, following large protests, a Turkish court sentenced the lead defendant in the rape and murder case of 23-year-old student ŞuleÇet, which had initially been ruled a suicide, to life in prison - a sign of progress in a country where such perpetrators have long received a slap on the wrist.

The next month, Turkey announced a slate of new measures to curb violence against women: security personnel will receive sensitivity training, anti-women violence units will be created within the police, special courts and local commissions will be created to enforce the 2012 women’s protection law, and men convicted of violent crimes will be under constant surveillance via electronic tags.

These steps may fail to address the core issue of women being forced into traditional roles, but they still show progress. “Women in Turkey are now awakening,” said Onder. “They are protesting. There’s a huge women’s movement in Turkey...Women also want these whole rights like men have.”

ElifEge of Purple Roof Foundation, a women’s shelter, told Ahval last month that the main problem in Turkey remains the lack of public support for women’s protection. Women in Turkey still cannot even rely on the police.

Two weeks before she was killed, Şenpınar went to the police station and lodged a domestic abuse complaint against Kemaloğlu, according to Deutsche Welle. She returned the next day, however, and withdrew the complaint.

If there had been a municipality-funded women’s advocacy outlet for Şenpınar, it would have linked her complaint to the fact that Kemaloğlu had a lengthy criminal record that included 10 acts of violence and a 2019 sexual assault. If Turkey had a local and national system to protect women from violence, Şenpınar and many others might still be alive today.

https://ahvalnews.com/gender-equality/turkish-womens-rights-movement-fights-back-covid-19-spurs-violence

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Female life expectancy in Egypt increases to 75.5 years

May 27, 2020

Female life expectancy in Egypt increased to 75.5 years in 2019, compared to 74.7 years in 2018, according to a report released on Wednesday by Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMS).

The cause of this increase, CAPMAS revealed, was a slight decrease in the overall death rate among Egyptian females, from 5.6 deaths per thousand individuals in 2014 to 5.4 deaths per thousand in 2018.

The female mortality rate due to diseases of the circulatory system increased, however, to 53.4 percent of total deaths in 2018 from 50.6 percent in 2017.

The female mortality rate due to gastrointestinal diseases decreased to 7.3 percent of total deaths in 2018, compared to 8.9 percent in 2018.

CAPMAS also pointed out that the female mortality rate due to diseases of the respiratory system diseases increased to 8.7 percent in 2018, compared to eight percent in 2017.

The percentage of female deaths due to tumors did not change between 2017 and 2018, remaining at 6.4 percent.

The female mortality rate due to complications during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum remained at 0.1 percent, unchanged from 2017 to 2018.

CAPMAS noted that the mortality rate due to these complications in 2018 was 43.6 women per 100,000 live births.

The percentage of smokers in Egypt’s 2017-2018 income, spending and consumption survey sample, meanwhile, was 17.3 percent of the total sample, while the percentage of female smokers reached 0.3 percent in urban areas, compared to 0.2 percent in rural areas.

https://egyptindependent.com/egypts-female-life-expectancy-at-birth-increases-to-75-5-years-in-2019-capmas/

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3 Saudi women injured in Houthi missile attack on Jazan

May 27, 2020

Three women were injured in a missile strike in the southern Saudi town of Jazan, the Saudi Press Agency reported yesterday, adding the projectile had been fired by the Houthis in Yemen.

According to the SPA, the spokesman for the Saudi Civil Defence in Jazan, Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, reported that the military had detected a missile from Yemen heading towards an area in the kingdom’s south.

The missile then struck Jazan, damaging a house and injuring three women who were then taken to a hospital where their conditions were stabilised.

This is not the first incident in which the Houthis – a Shia militant movement backed by Iran which has taken over vast swathes of territory in Yemen and unseated the internationally-recognised government – have conducted missile strikes indiscriminately targeting military and civilian sites.

After five years of Yemen’s ongoing civil war, in which the Saudi coalition has aimed to reinstate the government of President AbdRabbuh Mansur Hadi and defeat the Houthis, the groups has successfully launched strikes and raids with its ground forces into the south of the kingdom.

The Houthis have been accused of committing a number of other human rights violations throughout the conflict in Yemen, including the forced conscription of young men, the seizure of medical aid sent by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the continued detention of journalists.

The attack on Jazan came as six Saudis were shot and killed in the south-west region of Assir. That incident, however, has not been confirmed to have been terrorism-related but adds to the unrest seen in the kingdom’s south in recent years.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200527-3-saudi-women-injured-in-houthi-missile-attack-on-jazan/

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