New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 04:25 PM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 4 Feb 2020, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Afghan Woman Stoned To Death By A Furious Crowd Shouting 'Hit Her' And 'Allahu Akbar' Being Investigated By Rights Group











Yazidi's women attend a ceremony at Lilash Temple to commemorate the death of women who were killed by Islamic State militants, during the International Women Day, in Shikhan north of Iraq March 8, 2019

(photo credit: ARI JALAL / REUTERS)

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• Yazidi Girls Sold As Sex Slaves Create Choir to Find Healing

• Muslim Women Group of Nigeria Preaches Unity to Mark Hijab Day

• German City Moves To Outlaw Full-Face Veil in Schools after Ruling

• Saudi Businesswomen in Forbes Middle East Top Five

• UAE Athletes Continue To Shine In Arab Women Sports Tournament

• Dubai Forum To Highlight Inspiring Stories About Women

• World's First Female Fire-fighter Among Key Speakers at Dubai Forum

• Steps to Protect Children, Empower Women in Cyber world Announced In Riyadh

• G20 Engagement Group Meets in Riyadh to Discuss Key Women’s Issues

• Turkey’s Enduring Problem with Women’s Rights

• Rohingya American Society Host 2nd Annual Women’s Conference

• Muslim Women Condemn Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan

• Women Power: Two Emiratis and One Dubai-Based Indian Ranked Among Top 10 Most Powerful Businesswomen

• Paymob, Tamweely And Arab Women's Enterprise Fund Signs Agreement To Boost Women Entrepreneurs

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/afghan-woman-stoned-to-death-by-a-furious-crowd-shouting--hit-her--and--allahu-akbar--being-investigated-by-rights-group/d/120985

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Afghan Woman Stoned To Death By A Furious Crowd Shouting 'Hit Her' And 'Allahu Akbar' Being Investigated By Rights Group

4 February 2020

Horrifying footage shows an Afghan woman being stoned to death by an angry mob in an attack which activists have blamed on the Taliban.

The clip shows a woman cowering and screaming in a hole as she is mercilessly pelted with stones in front of a crowd of onlookers. 

A spokesman for Afghanistan's president Ashraf Ghani has pointed the finger at the Taliban, accusing the militant group of 'cruelty and atrocity'.

The Taliban claim the footage is from 2015 but activists do not believe them and the country's Independent Human Rights Commission is investigating the case. 

The human rights commission told RFERL that it was trying to establish when the footage was taken and why the woman was killed. 

Laila Haidari, a prominent Afghan activist, said on Saturday that the Taliban had stoned the woman 'a few days ago' in Ghor province.

'The intensity of their violence and what they can do against women in the absence of law and order is clearly visible,' she said.

'We have to think about how we can stand up against this approaching horror.'

In the video, the woman can be heard crying and screaming while the crowd shouts 'Allahu Akbar' and 'hit her'. 

Another activist, Farangies Shah, also stated that the stoning had been recent as she took aim at possible negotiations with the Taliban.

'Yesterday they stoned a woman in Ghor, tomorrow such acts will reach the shores of the US,' she said.

'Don't forget, you can appease the oppressor but their roots will spread and the problem will persist.'

Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for president Ashraf Ghani, directly accused the Taliban of killing the woman.

'I am utterly shocked and saddened after I watched a video on Twitter in which a group of Taliban is stoning an innocent woman,' he said.

'Taliban's cruelty and atrocity under the name of Islam is a crime against humanity.'

Trying to deflect the blame, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed in response that the video was several years old.

He appeared to be referring to a notorious case in 2015 in which a woman known as Rokhshana was stoned to death for adultery, also in Ghor province. 

Officials said Rokhshana had been captured by the insurgents after she ran away from home, supposedly with a 19-year-old boyfriend.

Rokhshana was accused of adultery because she was engaged to man she did not want to marry, Afghan authorities said at the time.

Although stoning is illegal under the Afghan constitution, it is seen as a legitimate punishment under the Taliban's extreme laws.

Convicted adulterers were frequently stoned or shot when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until the US-led invasion in 2001. 

Zabiullah, the Taliban spokesman, defended the practice and said it 'cannot be rejected by any Muslim'.

He also suggested without evidence that the stoning in question had been carried out by a commander on the side of the Afghan government.   

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7964797/Rights-group-investigates-horrifying-video-Afghan-woman.html

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Yazidi Girls Sold As Sex Slaves Create Choir to Find Healing

February 4, 2020

By Emma Batha

LONDON, Feb 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When Rainas Elias was 14, Islamic State militants overran her Yazidi homeland in northern Iraq, kidnapped her and sold her to a fighter who repeatedly raped and tortured her before selling her to an even more brutal monster.

Two years after her escape, Elias is visiting Britain this week with a choir created by young survivors of Islamic State (ISIS) atrocities.

The girls, aged 15 to 22, say the choir provides them with friendship, healing and an escape from the traumatic memories that haunt them.

“I feel very happy with them. It’s helped me a lot psychologically,” Elias said through an interpreter after performing at a London music conservatory.

The choir has sung at Westminster Abbey and will perform at the Houses of Parliament and in front of Prince Charles, a longtime patron of AMAR, a charity helping with the girls’ rehabilitation in Iraq.

The estimated 400,000-strong Yazidi community in Iraq is a Kurdish minority whose faith combines elements of Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Islam.

ISIS, which considers them devil-worshippers, killed and abducted thousands of Yazidis after unleashing a 2014 assault on their Mount Sinjar heartland in what the United Nations says was genocide.

Although the militants were driven out three years ago, most Yazidis still live in camps, too afraid to return.

ANCIENT TRADITION

On a boat ride down the River Thames this week, the girls gathered on the deck to take in the sights and snap selfies.

In their sunglasses and high street fashions, they could have been any group of excited teenagers on their first trip abroad – until they brought out a large tambourine-like daf drum and broke into song.

Music is central to Yazidi religion and culture, but it has never been written down or recorded.

British virtuoso violinist Michael Bochmann has been working with Yazidi musicians and AMAR to record the ancient music.

On Tuesday, Bochmann and the choir handed over the archive to Oxford University’s Bodleian Library.

The project also aims to protect Yazidi music by teaching it to hundreds of young people in the camps.

Although traditionally performed by men, nearly half those learning are girls and women, which Bochmann is delighted by.

He said the choir was having a transformative effect.

“It’s extraordinary how they’ve grown in confidence,” Bochmann told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The great thing about music is that it makes you live in the here and now. More than any other art form, it can make you happy in the present moment.”

JUSTICE AND PROTECTION

For their performance, the girls donned long white and lilac dresses tied with orange sashes, and black headdresses adorned with gold.

As they danced with sequined scarves or ululated during a folksong it was hard to imagine the horrors they had endured so recently.

About half the 14 choir members were enslaved. Most did not want to tell their stories, but Elias was keen to speak out.

“I’m not sure whether I’ll (ever) recover from what I’ve experienced,” said the teenager who spent three years in captivity.

Elias was sold three times to different men after her abductors took her to Syria.

The second man, a Saudi national, died while she was pregnant. She was sold with her child to a Moroccan who raped her “like a monster,” sometimes six times a day.

She became pregnant twice but lost both babies, attributing the first miscarriage partly to torture.

Elias’s family secured her release in 2017 for $12,000, but ISIS kept her daughter.

“I suffered a lot. I hope the world community will help us capture the (men) and imprison them,” said Elias.

Her sister and two brothers are among thousands of Yazidis who are still missing.

Some choir members were even younger when abducted. One girl was sold five times to ISIS rapists after being kidnapped when she was 11. Another was nine when she was taken as a domestic slave. Her tiny frame suggests how little she was given to eat.

Elias, now 19, said the international community must help rescue remaining captives and ensure the Yazidis are never persecuted again.

It is a message the choir is taking to politicians and religious leaders during their trip to Britain.

While ISIS may have been defeated, the Yazidis say they have not gone away and could resurface.

“The danger is still there. The only thing that can save us is a world commitment to protect us,” Elias said.

“What I experienced, the torture and rape, I cannot forget. Of course I’m still afraid.” (Reporting by Emma Batha //news.trust.org)

https://nationalpost.com/pmn/entertainment-pmn/yazidi-girls-sold-as-sex-slaves-create-choir-to-find-healing

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Muslim Women Group of Nigeria Preaches Unity to Mark Hijab Day

Feb 5, 2020

The Federation for Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOWMAN) has said that unity is essential in every community without which development cannot be sustained. Speaking at a ceremony in Kaduna to mark the World Hijab Day with the theme “Unity In Diversity’’ the Amira of FOWMAN Kaduna State, Aisha Isyaku Tukur, said that when unity was pervasive in the society progress would be easily achieved. She said the day was being celebrated annually to promote collaboration between different organizations. “We are stressing on the importance to emulate the unity portrayed by our founding fathers to ensure the country is indivisible. That is what we are trying to promote that we should be unified. When you get more than 10 or 100 people to do a task with the same focus the result will be astounding,” she said.

She added that the association is on course to sensitize the public on the negative effect of domestic violence, stressing that both men and women need to be educated on the trauma it leaves on the society.

In his presentation the Imam, Masjidil Sal Sabi, Kyauta, Milleinum City, Baba Ibrahim, said history has shown that unity brings peaceful coexistence and security. “The unity of the founding fathers made them to achieve the strides they attained which we have not achieved after so many years. Muslim women should be unified under one group to avoid duplication of responsibilities.” He further pleaded with religious groups not to overheat the nation with divisive comments. The Amira of Al-Manar Women Association, Rabiatu Umar Abdullahi, emphasized that working together in communities as well as eschewing violence and polarizing statements will bring about harmony. “We should live in a peaceful community so that  we can grow and develop on religious teaching,” she stressed.

https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/muslim-women-group-preaches-unity-to-mark-hijab-day.html

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German City Moves To Outlaw Full-Face Veil in Schools after Ruling

05.02.2020

Education authorities in the German city-state of Hamburg said on Monday that they would move urgently to change the law after a court ruled in favour of a Muslim pupil who wore a full-face veil to school.

"It is proper at school for teachers and pupils to have an open, unobstructed face. Only in this way can a school and teaching operate," said Ties Rabe, the senator responsible for the city's schools. "And for that reason, we will soon change the schools legislation, so that this is assured in the future," said Rabe, a member of the Social Democrats (SPD), the largest party in the ruling coalition.

He received support from the Greens, the junior partner in Hamburg's government. "The burka and the niqab are for me symbols of oppression," said Katharina Fegebank, the city's deputy mayor.

The opposition parties in the city-state's parliament also called for a ban on full-face veils during lessons.

Earlier Monday, a Hamburg court ruled against the education authorities by lifting a ban on full-face veils. It found that there was no legal basis for an order by the education authorities to the 16-year-old pupil's mother to ensure that her daughter showed up to lessons with her face uncovered.

The court added that a legal basis was required for any interference into the pupil's full rights to be free to exercise her faith.

According to media reports, the pupil, the daughter of an Egyptian man and a German convert to Islam, has attended a vocational school in the city since August last year.    (dpa)

https://en.qantara.de/content/german-city-moves-to-outlaw-full-face-veil-in-schools-after-ruling

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Saudi Businesswomen in Forbes Middle East Top Five

February 05, 2020

JEDDAH: Saudis dominate the Top 10 of Forbes annual Power Businesswomen in the Middle East list, with three of the country’s biggest names in the top five.

Samba Financial Group’s Rania Nashar is ranked third on the list, followed by Tadawul’s Sarah Al-Suhaimi and Saudi British Bank’s Lubna Olayan.

On the cusp of International Women’s Day next month, Forbes Middle East has unveiled its annual Power Businesswomen in the Middle East list, packed with 100 exceptional businesswomen at the head of many of the most influential and transformational companies in the region.

In the 2020 list, there are 22 new entries and 23 nationalities represented across 28 sectors. Emiratis are the most prevalent nationality with 23 entries. There are also nine Egyptians, eight Lebanese and eight Omani women.

The Forbes list was constructed via nominations and through in-depth research based on criteria including the size of the businesses that these women head, their accomplishments over the past year, the initiatives that they champion, and their overall work experience.

The majority (79) of the 100 women are self-made, 16 of whom have started their own businesses. And 21 women work in their family businesses, with many of them starting out when it was rare to find women in the workplace. There are 21 women from the banking and financial services sector, including four from stock exchanges and financial regulators.

The public sector is also well represented, with 13 women on the list heading government organizations, including Director General of Smart Dubai Aisha Bin Bishr, who is overseeing Dubai’s digital transformation. Sarah Al-Suhaimi chairs Tadawul, the region’s biggest stock exchange, which recently handled the IPO of the world’s most valuable company, Aramco.

Half of the list head large corporations, including Nadia Al-Saeed, who runs Jordan’s fourth biggest lender, Bank al Etihad, and Pakinam Kafafi, CEO of Egyptian energy company, Taqa Arabia, who is the only female leader in the oil and gas sector on the list.

The Middle East’s outstanding female leadership was reflected internationally in 2019 when Forbes’ list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women featured three women from this region — who now make up the top three. Raja Al Gurg (#84 on the Forbes list) manages her family’s business, which was first founded by her father. Indian national Renuka Jagtiani (#96 on the Forbes list) has built a retail empire in the UAE. And Rania Nashar (#97 on the Forbes list) became the first female CEO of Samba Financial Group in 2017, Saudi Arabia’s fourth-biggest bank by assets.

“These Arab women are not only driving economic growth in the region, but they are also representative of the Middle East’s strong female leadership and influence across all areas of life, from e-commerce to financial services,” said Khuloud Al-Omian, editor in chief of Forbes Middle East.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1623056/business-economy

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UAE Athletes Continue To Shine In Arab Women Sports Tournament

February 4, 2020

In the karate competition, Egypt dominated the kata and kumite team contests. Emirati Equestrians came out top on the first day of showjumping event.

sharjah - UAE's sportswomen continued their stellar performance on the second day of the fifth edition of the Arab Women Sports Tournament (AWST), organised by Sharjah Women's Sports (SWS).

UAE athletes competed in basketball, and karate and finished their day with a silver and bronze in the karate team competitions that ended on Tuesday in Sharjah, according to a press release.

In the karate competition, Egypt dominated the kata and kumite team contests which conclued at the Sharjah Women's Sports in Al Hazzanah area.

The Egyptian team clinched the kumite gold after a 2 -1 win against the SWS team who had to be content with the silver medal. Kuwait and Bahraini teams tied for the bronze medal.

In the kata category, Egypt bagged the gold medal while SWS clinched the bronze after they lost to the Saudi team who bagged the silver medal. Algeria's Bi'r Al Touteh Club went home with a bronze in the same category.

In volleyball, Algeria's Le Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers defeated Syria's Taldara Club. The Algerian team won all three sets with an impressive 75-29 score.

In basketball, Jordan's Fuheis Youth Club started their journey on a high note, winning a thriller against Bahrain's Al Riffa Sports Club with a final score of 73-62. The Fuheis athletes won the first two quarters, 21-9 and 19-15, and drew a tie in the third, 17-17. The Bahraini team retaliated with a fourth quarter win with 21-16 points.

On Monday, Egypt's Sporting Sports Club defeated Syria's Al Sahel Sports Club 66-42 while Tunisia's Al Amal Sportif Al Watan Al Qabali made a successful debut, winning against Kuwaiti Al Fatat Sports Club 88-63.

Emirati Equestrians came out top on the first day of showjumping event on Monday.

The SWS equestrian team that competed at the Sharjah Equestrian Club included Shamma Al Hameli with her horse Don't Worry; Lama Al Ajami and her horse Alaska; Eman Al Muhairi who rode Douwecara; and Nadia Taryam on her horse Askaria. The SWS team clinched gold in Class 2 competitions.Fellow equestrian Kanna Al Hashemi from Fatima bint Mubarak Academy was on top of the Class 1 'One Round and Jump off' competition, riding 'Angelina'. Khawla Al Hameli from the same academy finished in second place with her horse 'Valentino'. Princess Jawaher Al Saud from KSA and her horse 'Carlou' finished third.

Jordanian rider Sarah Al Armouti clinched gold in the Class 2 'Two Round' category, riding her horse 'Virus'. The category's silver medal was scooped by Nadia Taryam and her horse 'Askaria' and finally, Saudi Arabia's Fnon Al Humaidan riding 'Diablo De Grasset' claimed bronze.

In archery, Team Iraq impressed with Fatima Saad Al Mashanadi winning gold in the Qualifying Individual compound bow category. Her sibling Rand, followed suit, finishing in the top spot of the Qualifying Individual Olympic round. The contest's runners-up was Bahrain's Mariam Issa Najm, and UAE's Fatima Mohammed Al Blushi from SWS finished in third place.

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/local/uae-athletes-continue-to-shine-in-arab-women-sports-tournament

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Dubai Forum To Highlight Inspiring Stories About Women

February 04, 2020

Angel Tesorero

Dubai: The Global Women’s Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020 will be held in Dubai on February 16 –17, bringing inspiring stories about women from some of the world’s foremost thought leaders and decision-makers.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, GWFD organisers said it is one of the largest forums on women, with over 3,000 delegates from 87 countries attending.

The forum’s theme is ‘The Power of Influence’. Shaikha Manal Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, highlighted the significance theme in bringing positive impact and influence to society.

“If we look at the UAE, the impact of our leadership’s vision over the past 50 years has made our nation synonymous with unprecedented achievements across numerous fields, and has always been inclusive of women. We will continue our unwavering support and encouragement for women to realise their full potential – a commitment which will always remain a top national priority,” she emphasised.

The GWFD 2020 agenda features five main plenary sessions which will explore a wide range of topics, from transformative strategies for global gender balance and the future of women at work during the Fourth Industrial Revolution, to propelling female entrepreneurship in the MENA region.

The forum will also address women’s active role in government, and the importance of female engagement in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.

Mona Al Marri, chairperson of the board and managing director of Dubai Women Establishment, said: “GWFD 2020 is another key milestone in the UAE’s ongoing journey to further the influence of women across all sectors.”

Notable thought leaders who confirmed at GWFD 2020 include Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF and David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, who will deliver the opening remarks while Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, will share her perspectives on leadership through culture and art.

The women’s role in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030 will be the focus of the final plenary session. Zohra Khan, Policy Specialist and Advisor at UN Women, alongside Stefania Fabrizio, Deputy Unit Chief of the Strategy, Policy and Review Department at the IMF, will be among the speakers at the panel.

‘Game-Changers’ – will be introduced for the first time. The sessions will showcase inspiring personal stories from women who have made great strides across various industries.

The forum will be addressed by Shaikha Mozah Bint Marwan Al Maktoum, the first female pilot from the royal family in the UAE; Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley; Captain Brenda Berkman, a pioneering female firefighter (retired); Dr. Rana Dajani, Jordanian Molecular Scientist and founder of ‘We Love Reading’; Dr. Ghada Al Mutairi, scholar at the University of California in San Diego; Dina El Shenoufy, Chief Investment Officer of Flat6Labs in Egypt; Daniele Henkel, Canadian businesswoman and We-Fi Leadership champion; and Laura Lane, President of Global Affairs, UPS.

https://gulfnews.com/uae/dubai-forum-to-highlight-inspiring-stories-about-women-1.69489633

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World's First Female Fire-fighter Among Key Speakers at Dubai Forum

Saman Haziq

February 4, 2020

Captain Sheikha Mozah bint Marwan Al Maktoum, the UAE's first female pilot, is another key speaker at the event.

The world's first female firefighter will be among the several inspiring figures who will speak at the Global Women's Forum Dubai (GWFD) on February 16-17. Brenda Berkman from the US pioneered a federal sex discrimination lawsuit that opened the Fire Department of the City of New York to women firefighters. When she won the lawsuit in 1982, she and 40 other women became firefighters.

Captain Sheikha Mozah bint Marwan Al Maktoum, the UAE's first female pilot, is another key speaker at the event.

Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of the Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), highlighted the significance of the event's theme - 'The Power of Influence'. Furthering women's positive impact and influence is essential to the overall elevation of societies and development of nations at large, she said.

Mona Al Marri, chairperson of the board and managing director of the DWE, said: "Discussions at the event will inspire dialogues on the role of women across four main areas: Government, economy, society and future."

Notable thought leaders confirmed to speak at the event include Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group; and Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

Lamia Abdulaziz Khan, CEO of the GWFD, said: "Delegates from 87 countries will attend over 60 workshops and sessions to be addressed by over 100 inspirational speakers and experts. These partnerships will spearhead positive dialogue on best practices related to global gender-friendly policies. Alongside the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), DWE is also co-organising the We-Fi MENA Regional Summit - a side-line event that will host entrepreneurs from the region's emerging economies."

https://www.khaleejtimes.com/uae/dubai/worlds-first-female-firefighter-among-key-speakers-at-dubai-forum

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Steps to Protect Children, Empower Women in Cyber world Announced In Riyadh

RASHID HASSAN

February 05, 2020

RIYADH: Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, on behalf of King Salman, inaugurated the two-day Global Cybersecurity Forum on Tuesday, which brings together the world’s top cyber experts to strengthen the links between the region’s cybersecurity infrastructure and the global cybersecurity ecosystem.

Organized by the National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA), the forum is hosting global policymakers, businesses, investment firms and international organization representatives to discuss how the world’s collective cybersecurity should be maintained.

Thanking the king for patronizing the forum, the governor, in his opening address, affirmed that Saudi Arabia was witnessing major modernization in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030.

He announced two initiatives to serve global cyber security, launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: The first on the protection children in cyberspace, and the second for the empowerment of women in cybersecurity.

“The forum provides opportunities to exchange experiences and mix ideas, and discuss best international practices, and the most important developments,” Prince Faisal said.

He also expressed his confidence that the forum would enhance confidence and joint responsibility among countries participating through sharing of experience and cybersecurity strategies.

Speaking at the opening session, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Sawaha praised the announcement of the two global initiatives saying: “The first initiative is … related to securing a safe cyberworld for our children, where we can reach a minimum level of bullying and aggression to protect this space. We should also focus on women, and we are launching a women’s initiative in the world of cybersecurity.

“On the basis of these two initiatives, we are fully confident that we can succeed and realize the opportunities of the 21st century by empowering people, protecting the physical and digital world, and achieving new success.

“It is expected during the next five years that the digital economy will represent a quarter of the global economy,” he added, stressing the need to seize this opportunity by facing the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution.

He pointed out that the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Risks Report indicated that cybersecurity faced the greatest challenges, threatening an industry with an economic value of more than $6 trillion, equivalent to the economy of more than a third of the G20 countries.

NCA Gov. Khalid Al-Sabti made a presentation on the Kingdom’s cyber journey and the way forward. The NCA’s Chairman Musaad Al-Aiban said: “We are excited to host this forum and act as a catalyst for cybersecurity cooperation and innovation. The constantly evolving threat landscape requires intensified global cooperation on cybersecurity and the Global Cybersecurity Forum is encouraging global leaders to take meaningful actions to better protect the world’s economies and make cyberspace safer for all.”

The forum, which is convening more than 1,200 participants from 58 countries, is being attended by some of the world’s leading cybersecurity companies, including Microsoft, IBM and FireEye, and is anticipated to generate significant investments in the cybersecurity industry, accelerating the development of Saudi Arabia’s rapidly growing cyber sector and supporting the growth of the global cyber industry.

The forum will help bolster global cooperation between regional and global cybersecurity players. Five major memorandums of understanding (MoU) will be signed by the NCA on the sidelines of the forum to provide better cybersecurity training to young people, and collaborate with international organizations on cybersecurity strategies.

The MoU between the NCA and the Global Resilience Federation will seek to enhance cybersecurity protections for critical national infrastructure through improved information sharing and threat mitigation strategies.

The MoU with Underwriters Lab is a strategic partnership that will enable the Kingdom to further enhance its national capabilities in cyberthreat mitigation, whereas the MoUs signed with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the Saudi Human Resources Development Fund and Neom will enable Saudi students to acquire a deep knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity matters, increasing the pipeline of qualified cybersecurity professionals.

Over the two days, participants will discuss how the issues under the forum’s five themes (cybersecurity industry, international cyber collaboration, cyberculture, cyber disruption, and cyberthreats and resilience) should be understood and what responses need to be developed to strengthen the integrity of the world’s cyber defenses.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1623126/saudi-arabia

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G20 Engagement Group Meets in Riyadh to Discuss Key Women’s Issues

February 05, 2020

RIYADH: The G20’s Women 20 (W20) engagement group met in Riyadh on Monday for the first of this year's national dialogues on women’s issues.

The meeting, which was led by Saudi nonprofit Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women, took place at Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University, the largest women's university in the world. It focused on women’s priorities and economic empowerment, along with ways to promote policies relating to inclusion in the labor market and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Inas bint Suleiman Al-Issa, the director of the university, opened the session with a presentation titled “Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University: Enabling Empowerment,” in which she discussed some of the establishment’s most notable initiatives designed to aid the advancement of Saudi women. She highlighted the university’s role in supporting Saudi women through study and research, its work with the National Observatory for Women, and the launch of its Master of Women’s Studies, among other things.

Al-Issa said that the university places great importance on the future of women in the Kingdom, reflecting its belief that they have an important role to play in achieving the goals of Vision 2030, especially in key sectors such as information technology, entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer.

The rest of the meeting featured three sessions. The first focused on the current experience of Saudi women in the labor market and technical training, the second on financial inclusion and entrepreneurship, and the third on monitoring mechanisms and strategies for follow-ups.

Saudi Arabia will host this year’s G20 summit, the first to be held in the Middle East, in November. The W20 is one of eight engagement groups established by the G20 to discuss financial and socioeconomic challenges. The others focus on the private sector, youth, labor, thinkers and researchers, civil society, science, and urban issues. They develop policy recommendations that can be presented to G20 leaders for consideration. Led by representatives of nongovernmental organizations from the host country, who work with peers from other G20 nations, these groups meet each year ahead of the main summit.

The next W20 meeting will be held in Jeddah on Feb. 27.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1623151/saudi-arabia

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Turkey’s Enduring Problem with Women’s Rights

By ÖMER TAŞPINAR

FEBRUARY 5, 2020

One of the most polarizing issues between the West and the Islamic world is gender inequality. In the eyes of many in the West, nothing captures female subjugation more vividly than the image of Muslim women forced to cover their face, their hair, their body. Alongside this, the idea that some women in the Arab world should be grateful just to be allowed to drive, to apply for a job or to receive an education is the quintessential symbol of patriarchalism. For most Western observers, such patriarchy is legitimized by Islam.

Turkey, however, was supposed to be different. And for a time, it was. But it is no longer today. The reason is that Turkey’s supposed enlightenment was enabled, ironically, by patriarchalism itself. And such “gifts” as might be proffered can just as easily be retracted.

To be sure, Turkey, until relatively recent times, was apparently a shining example of gender emancipation. For those who pay particular attention to the sartorial aspect of gender rights, here was a Muslim country where headscarves were banned in schools and government offices. The liberalization of women was, indeed, at the heart of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s modernization mission. The Kemalist founding fathers were determined to free their newly established republic from Islamic legal and social norms in their drive for rapid Westernization.

Ataturk’s republic encouraged women to attend universities, to obtain professional qualifications and to pursue careers in medicine, law, engineering, and the natural sciences, as well as the arts.

The secular civil code of 1926 gave Turkish women equal civil rights to men. Religious and polygamous marriages were no longer recognized, and women gained the right to initiate divorce. By 1930, long before many Western countries, Turkish women could vote and even run for political office. In 1935, there were 18 women elected to the Turkish parliament, at a time when just eight women served in the US Congress and only nine sat in the British Parliament. In France and Italy, women didn’t gain the franchise until 1945 – 15 years after women in Turkey.

Turkey’s current poor record on gender equality is ironic considering such a progressive history.

In President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s conservative Turkey, secular Westernized elites often look back with nostalgia to those formative decades of “state-sponsored feminism.” They rightly lament the current gender deficit in areas of political empowerment, economic participation, educational attainment and health. They are also increasingly alarmed by the rising level of violence against women.

For indeed, Turkey’s recent performance is dismal in these same areas as measured by the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap index. In 2018, Turkey ranked 130th among 149 countries, behind Tunisia, Algeria and many Arab Gulf countries such as Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Yet those nostalgic for the Kemalist era of state feminism miss the point. They should be aware that that golden age had serious deficiencies, and that those shortfalls explain why conservative twitches have so easily found resonance in today’s Turkey.

Any praise for the emancipation of women in the 1930s should acknowledge that like most Kemalist reforms, laws empowering women were confined to urban centers and embraced only by the progressive and educated segments of society. Eradicating outdated laws that discriminated against women is much easier than changing a deeply rooted patriarchal political culture.

Next, the Kemalist reforms emancipating women came in the spirit of “modernization from above.” They were not the culmination of powerful, grassroots social mobilization and political struggles. Rather, they were “generous gifts” from a patriarchal state to its “passive daughters” – rights offered by the state in search of a shortcut to Westernization, not civil liberties earned by feminists seeking equality. To be sure, there were of course feminists fighting for such gains, but their battle for fundamental change was short-circuited by top-down fiat. The reforms did not have strong and deep roots.

State feminism was all about the public space. It had little concern for what happened behind closed doors. The primary objective was to empower women as a class, but not necessarily as individuals. For instance, it was only in the 1990s that laws stipulating that women needed permission from their husbands to work outside the home or to travel abroad were repealed.

While it’s true such antiquated laws were repudiated, Turkey cared more about the legal façade than the social reality of the country. Turkey was the first to sign and ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, and a year later, in 2012, Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) launched a national plan for gender equality. Yet violence against women continued to rise to alarming levels, with very few of the perpetrators punished to the full extent of the law. So while the legal and political façade looked impressive, the culture of impunity prevailed.

It is not hard to understand why. In a 2014 speech at a summit on justice for women, Erdogan said: “Women and men could not be treated equally. It is against nature.” He has also famously accused feminists of “rejecting motherhood” and argued that women who are not mothers were “incomplete.” He urged them not to use birth control and to have at least three children to ensure the growth of Turkey’s population.

Adopting seemingly progressive laws is easy. What is difficult is eradicating the patriarchalism that dominates politics at the very top. Sadly, this predicament neither is new nor confined to Islamists. After all, it was none other than Ataturk himself, the architect of state feminism, who once declared that “a woman’s highest duty is motherhood.”

So beware the patriarchy that comes bearing gifts, for it can just as easily withdraw them, as Turkish women have come to understand.

https://www.asiatimes.com/2020/02/opinion/turkeys-enduring-problem-with-womens-rights/

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Rohingya American Society Host 2nd Annual Women’s Conference

Feb 4, 2020

Dozens of Rohingya women in brightly colored dresses and hijabs filled the gathering room at the Burmese Rohingya Community Center of Wisconsin on February 1st.  They were gathered in Milwaukee for the Rohingya American Society’s 2nd Annual Women’s Conference. 

Almost all of the attendees are part of the resettled Rohingya and Burmese refugee population in the State of Wisconsin.  The Rohingya along with other Burmese minority groups in Burma (Myanmar) are considered among the most persecuted populations in the world.

On Saturday, the women gathered to hear guest speakers talk about women’s empowerment and self advocacy.  The conference opened up with a recitation from the Quran as the fragrant smell of curries being prepared for lunch wafted from the kitchen across the hall.  About a dozen men were present, some to listen to the speakers, others to help make sure the room and speaker system was functioning properly.

Keynote speakers included Janan Najeeb, president of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition; Yasmin Ullah who flew in from Canada; UW-Madison student, Nurhayati Ali, and Saleha Khaleel, a longtime teacher for students who have English as their second language.   Hasinah Begum Ashraf Mia, who was attending the conference said “the Rohingya Women’s Conference is an excellent opportunity for Rohingya Burmese women in Milwaukee to meet, network and share community resources with each other.  We had members from Chicago that travelled for the day to join us.  The success of any advocacy effort has always been in the strength and resilience  of community building, in coming together regardless of barriers, be it education, language or economic status.”  Based on the discussions taking place, community building was clearly front and center.

https://wisconsinmuslimjournal.org/rohingya-american-society-host-2nd-annual-womens-conference/

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Muslim Women Condemn Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan

February 5, 2020

HE International Muslim Women Union (IMWU) yesterday condemned the deal proposed by the United States President Donald Trump to resolve the long lingering crisis between the Palestine and the Israel.

A statement by IMWU’s Council of Trustee member Sherifah Yusuf-Ajibade described the deal as a shame.

The plan, announced by Trump last week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side, was rejected outright by the Palestinians. It would give Israel most of what it has sought during decades of conflict, including nearly all Palestinian land on which it has built settlements.

She said: “With greater intransigence and arrogance, the attacks on the State of Palestine, its land, its people and its holy places, continues before the eyes of the world rulers, people, international organisations, human rights and civil society.

“What was yesterday an idea, became today an ominous plan, a deal of shame, arranged between an occupying party and an authoritarian state that imposes its hegemony on the world and the people, flouting all international norms and conventions and overcoming the rights of peoples, namely, the right to self-determination.”

According to her, the deal was a blatant conspiracy that seeks to completely eliminate the rest of the State of Palestine through its fragmentation, the confiscation of the rights of its people, their lands and their capital, and the denial of the right of the Palestinian diaspora to return to their homeland, and to finally abort the entire Palestinian cause.

“We, therefore, call first on all Palestinian parties to be united in the face of this malicious conspiracy, and we call on the international community, the Arab and Muslim states, to take a unified and courageous stand and to exert maximum pressure so that this plot never sees the light,” she said.

The IMWU warned against the repercussions of the deal on the fate of the Palestinian people and on the future of the Arab and Muslim World.

The European Union (EU) also rejected parts of plan for the Middle East yesterday, prompting an angry response from Israel, which has strongly backed the U.S. proposal.

The EU, which often takes time to respond to international developments because of a need for unanimity among its 27 members, had said last week that it needed to study the Trump plan before it would give its verdict.

It made its conclusions public yesterday in a statement from EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who said Trump’s plan departs from “internationally agreed parameters”.

https://thenationonlineng.net/muslim-women-condemn-trumps-middle-east-peace-plan/

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Women Power: Two Emiratis and One Dubai-Based Indian Ranked Among Top 10 Most Powerful Businesswomen

February 04, 2020

Ashfaq Ahmed

Dubai: Dubai based Emirati Raja Easa Al Gurg and Indian Renuka Jagtiani ranked first and second respectively amonsgst the most powerful businesswomen in the Middle East. Dr Aish Bin Bishr, Directror General of Smart Dubai is also included in the list of top 10 businesswomen.

On the cusp of International Women’s Day next month, Forbes Middle East has unveiled its annual Power Businesswomen in the Middle East list, packed with 100 exceptional businesswomen at the head of many of the most influential and transformational companies in the region.

Raja Easa Al Gurg

Raja Easa Al Gurg who was ranked number 1 among the top 10 most powerful businesswomen in the Middle East, is the managing director and vice chairperson of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, which is one of the biggest conglomerates in the Middle East. Al Gurg is also president of the Dubai Business Women Council and works to improve female entrepreneurship in the UAE. She also serves as a board member at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Women’s Association and HSBC Middle East. She was the first Emirati woman to be appointed to the board of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited.

Ranuka Jagtiani

Dubai based Renuka Jagtiani who ranked at number 2 on the list, is the chairwoman and CEO of the Landmark Group, a multinational retail and consumer conglomerate based in Dubai and founded by her husband, billionaire Micky Jagtiani. For more than 20 years, she has led the company’s corporate strategy and expansion into new markets. As head of the company, Jagtiani oversees more than 50,000 employees. Currently, the group operates over 2,300 outlets, encompassing over 30 million square feet across 22 countries. Jagtiani has initiated the e-commerce platform and driven the group’s CSR initiatives.

Dr Aisha Bin Bishr

Dubai based Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, who is at number 10 in the top 10 Middle East, is the Director General of the Smart Dubai Office — the government entity entrusted with Dubai’s citywide smart transformation. Bin Bishr is also the chairperson of the Sustainable Development Goals 11 Global Council, and serves as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Councils, and The Fourth Industrial Revolution’s Smart Cities Readiness Index Team. Before taking up her current role.

Steep career ladder

According to the report issued on Tuesday, most of the people on this list have been working their way up a steep career ladder for decades to reach the top of their professions. And let’s not forget how much the world has moved on in those decades. If there were glass ceilings to be smashed, these are the titans that first smashed them.

Most entries by Emiratis

In the 2020 list, there are 22 new entries and 23 nationalities represented across 28 sectors. Emiratis are the most prevalent nationality with 23 entries. There are also nine Egyptians, eight Lebanese and eight Omani women. British women have the highest representation among non-Arabs, with seven entries. The top 10 is dominated by Saudis, with three of the country’s biggest names in the top five: Samba Financial Group’s Rania Nashar, Tadawul’s Sarah Al Suhaimi and Saudi British Bank’s Lubna Olayan.

The list was constructed via nominations and through in-depth research based on criteria including the size of the businesses that these women head, their accomplishments over the last year, the initiatives they champion, and their overall work experience.

Self-made women

The majority (79) of the 100 women are self-made, 16 of whom have started their own businesses. And 21 women work in their family businesses, with many of them starting out when it was rare to find women in the workplace. There are 21 women from the banking and financial services sector, including four from stock exchanges and financial regulators.

Women from government organisations

The public sector is also well represented, with 13 women on our list heading government organisations, including Director General of Smart Dubai, Aisha Bin Bishr, who is overseeing Dubai’s digital transformation. Or Sarah Al Suhaimi who chairs Tadawul, the region’s biggest stock exchange, which recently handled the IPO of the world’s most valuable company, Aramco.

Large corporates

Half of the list head large corporations, including Nadia Al Saeed, who runs Jordan’s fourth biggest lender, Bank al Etihad, and Pakinam Kafafi, CEO of Egyptian energy company, Taqa Arabia, who is the only female leader in the oil and gas sector on our list.

The Middle East’s outstanding female leadership was reflected internationally in 2019 when Forbes’ list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women featured three women from this region — who now make up our top three. Raja Al Gurg (#84 on the Forbes list) manages her family’s business, which was first founded by her father. Indian national Renuka Jagtiani (#96 on the Forbes list) has built a retail empire in the UAE. And Rania Nashar (#97 on the Forbes list) became the first female CEO of Samba Financial Group in 2017, Saudi Arabia’s fourth-biggest bank by assets.

“These Arab women are not only driving economic growth in the region, but they are also representative of the Middle East’s strong female leadership and influence across all areas of life from e-commerce to financial services,” says Khuloud Al Omian, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Middle East.

https://gulfnews.com/uae/women-power-two-emiratis-and-one-dubai-based-indian-ranked-among-top-10-most-powerful-businesswomen-1.69483709

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Paymob, Tamweely And Arab Women's Enterprise Fund Signs Agreement To Boost Women Entrepreneurs

4 Feb 2020

Digital payment technology company Paymob has signed a cooperation agreement with Tamweely Microfinance and the Arab Women's Enterprise Fund (AWEF) to increase financial and digital opportunities for female entrepreneurs in Egypt, within the broader context of the #AcceptTheChange campaign.

The campaign aims to empower 250 female merchants and their female clients by providing e-payment solutions.

The agreement also aims to empower a larger audience of female consumers, by providing them with greater payment choices, additional convenience, and the ability to generate valuable transaction records for future credit purposes.

As part of this partnership, the AWEF, which is a development programme financed by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), will provide technical and financial assistance to Paymob, while Tamweely Microfinance will facilitate linkages with their client base of female-owned micro-businesses to enhance their business strength and growth potential.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/362866.aspx

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