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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 5 Jun 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Afghan Women Hold Informal Talks with Taliban in Norway

 New Age Islam News Bureau

5 Jun 2015

‘Poverty and Fear’ Keep Hold on Women Subjected To Violence in Eastern Turkey, DHA Photo


 Iran: Execution of Two Women Prisoners in Qerchak Prison

 Canadian Muslim Women Festival Builds Bridges

 Row over Saudi Students Not Wearing Niqab on University Bus

 Sanitary Pads A Simple Way to Keep African Girls in School

 These Muslim Girls Have Written Epic Yearbook Quotes

 Northborough Woman ‘Shines the Light’ For Girls in Kenyan Villages

 Ambassadors See Progress in Empowerment of African Women

 UK department store adds sports suits for Muslim women

 Female Genital Mutilation Practised In Iran, Study Reveals

 Hizb Ut-Tahrir Leader Says Woman Suing For Sexual Discrimination Does Not Understand Islam

 ‘Poverty and Fear’ Keep Hold on Women Subjected To Violence in Eastern Turkey

 Malala's Childhood Home Was One of The Most Dangerous Places In Pakistan But She Still Bravely Went To School

 Million Abortions A Year Done In Russian Private Clinics, It's A Serious Business - Mizulina

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Afghan Women Hold Informal Talks with Taliban in Norway

Jun 05 2015

A group of Afghan women and members of the civil society have met with the Taliban group representatives in Norway to hold informal talks on Afghanistan.

An official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway has confirmed the informal talks and said the participants are not representing any specific group.

According to reports, two female parliament members including Shukria Barekzai and Fawzia Koofi along with two women from High Peace Council have taken part in the informal discussions.

The participants have reportedly held talks on Afghan women and their role in peace process.

The informal gathering in Norway comes as a delegation of the Afghan officials met with the Taliban militants in Qatar last month.

The Afghan delegation consists of 20 members and representatives from Pakistan, the Taliban and some other organisations, including two members of Hezb-e-Islami party led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar also attended the talks.

Efforts to end the Taliban-led insurgency come as the group announced its summer offensive earlier this year and since then has staged numerous attacks across the country including capital Kabul.



Iran: Execution of Two Women Prisoners in Qerchak Prison

05 June, 2016

NCRI - The Iranian regime’s henchmen executed two women prisoners on May 30 in Qerchak Prison in Varamin. One of the victims, Fatemeh Mehrabani, 39, married with two children, had spent five years in Iranian regime’s prisons before execution. Prior to their execution, the two had been transferred to solitary confinement on May 30.

The Qerchak Prison that is known as “End of the world” among female prisoners is a deserted poultry farm that has been turned into a prison for women in 2011. The deplorable hygienic and nourishment condition and lack of medical care has turned this prison into a concentration camp. This prison holds around 40 women whose children are also held with them in this unbearable condition.

The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance calls on international human rights agencies and defenders of women’s rights to dispatch an investigative mission to look into the condition of prisoners, especially female prisoners, in Iran.

Women's Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran



Canadian Muslim Women Festival Builds Bridges

Jun 05 2015

TORONTO –Canada’s premier Muslim women’s festival is set to take place  on Sunday, June 7, in the South Western Ontario city of Kitchener, amid hopes of extending new bridges with the larger community.

“Since its inception in 2010, the Coalition of Muslim Women of Kitchener-Waterloo has presented an annual summer event to build bridges of understanding, friendship and mutual respect with the larger community, and to transcend commonly held stereotypes about Muslim women,” Fran Pappert-Shannon, Director of Public Relations of the Coalition of Muslim Women of KW, told

“Our annual event are totally planned and presented by Muslim women and our research tells us that it is the only annual Muslim women’s festival in North America and Europe.”

‘Tea And Tales With Muslim Women’ is the theme of festival organized by Coalition of Muslim Women of KW.

“This year’s event is very special, as it commemorates our fifth anniversary as an organization,” said Pappert-Shannon.

“The festival will not only allow the public to get to know Muslim women through art, entertainment and dialogue, but it will also offer an opportunity for the over 100 Coalition volunteers to experience the joys of team building and volunteerism, while utilizing new skills.”

The festival will feature the premiere performance of “Daughter of the Moon”, a theatrical fusion of spoken word poetry and storytelling by renowned performer Timaj Garad.

Amira Elghawaby, Human Rights Coordinator of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, will deliver the keynote address on the topic “State and Muslim Women”.

Opportunities for one-to-one dialogue with Muslim women will be available at the innovative “Culture Cafe'”, where community members will be invited to enjoy tea and talk with local Muslim women who will discuss their experiences of growing up in their countries of origin.

“We remain committed to providing an event that showcases superb Muslim female art, entertainment, talent and skills, while also providing a forum for the expression of the true state of Muslim women living in Kitchener-Waterloo,” said Fran Pappert-Shannon.


According to the Coalition of Muslim Women, its vision is “to contribute to creating a just and harmonious community where Muslim women are valued and admired for who they are.”

“We invite the general public to participate in this unique opportunity to get to know Muslim women through art, entertainment and dialogue, and personally enjoy chat and chai tea with Muslim women of many cultures! ” said Zohra Wali, Event Coordinator of the Coalition of Muslim Women.

Entertainment will include Canada's premiere Muslim comedienne, Shelina Merani, who will perform a stand-up comedy piece, “Laughing all the way from the Basement to City Hall!” Poets Zainab Mahdi and Sana Abuleil will also perform original spoken word poetry throughout the afternoon.

Seasoned storyteller Fran Pappert-Shannon will present the Coalition's story in an original tale:  “Looking Back, Looking Forwards”.

Kitchener-Waterloo is a metropolitan area in the south-central portion of the province of Ontario.

Located 100 km from Toronto, it is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Ontario, after Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton, and the tenth largest metropolitan area in Canada.

uslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.

Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.

Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population.



Row over Saudi Students Not Wearing Niqab on University Bus

05 June, 2016

RIYADH: While Princess Nora University didn't officially comment on the case of a student who was told to leave the bus by the supervisor because she was not wearing a Niqab, it posted a tweet on its official twitter account calling on all of its students to abide by the bylaws and regulations of the university.

The case came to light after the release of a video clip on YouTube in which some girls inside a bus were seen arguing with supervisors because one student had shown her face momentarily and then quickly covered it. The supervisor stopped the bus and threatened to throw all students out of the vehicle. He told the driver not to proceed until he found out who was momentarily unveiled on the bus.

The clip, which was distributed widely, showed the supervisor raising his voice at the students while calling for one student to get off because of her face showing. However, he threatened to get all students out if they didn't tell on their colleague who momentarily uncovered her face.

He ordered the driver to turn off the air conditioner in a bid to force the students to snitch on their mate. This was at noon when the temperature stood at 47 degrees centigrade. However, the girls refused to give in and the case was forwarded to Minister of Education Azzam Al-Dakhil.

One student, who preferred anonymity, said she and her three mates had gotten used to taking the Niqab off inside the bus because it was closed and they sat on seats in the back row. But the supervisor saw one of them and insisted that she got off the bus.

The student who videotaped the incident said the supervisor stood his ground and forced the others to get off the bus and walk until the next stop.



Sanitary Pads A Simple Way to Keep African Girls In School

05 June, 2016

It is something so simple but it can make the world of difference.

Access to sanitary products in East Africa is bringing thousands of girls and women out of hiding and into classrooms and jobs thanks to ZanaAfrica, a non-profit created by American Megan Mukuria and partially funded by Grand Challenges Canada.

Using a $2.4-million investment announced Thursday, Mukuria’s goal is to supply 150,000 women with sanitary products in 2016. That translates into roughly 1.2 million sanitary pads every month.

A schoolgirl without sanitary pads, which are too costly for many when imported, can miss up to six weeks of class every year, said Mukuria. Embarrassment, shame and a lack of understanding of what is happening to their bodies can keep the girls inside and away from school, their friends and employment.

It is also a hygiene issue — some women are forced to use rags, newspapers, bark and banana leaves, or goes with nothing at all.

When Mukuria sought to expand ZanaAfrica and reach more women, she approached Dr. Peter Singer, chief executive officer of Grand Challenges, to ask the fund to invest in the Nairobi-based business.

Singer, who believed in the project and in Mukuria’s determination, delivered. She’s already helping 20,000 women in Kenya, and he believes she can do more.

Grand Challenges will contribute $1 million to ZanaAfrica; another $1.4 million will come from private sector donors such as TripAdvisor and various foundations. Grand Challenges receives its funding from the Canadian government.

The $2.4 million will allow ZanaAfrica to scale up production of sanitary products, train workers and educate girls about menstruation.

“When it comes to the developing world, availability of menstrual pads equals ability to attend and perform at school. It is just so wrong so many girls in the developing world miss significant amounts of school days because of their inability to access a simple product we take for granted in Canada,” said Singer.

Grand Challenges previously gave Mukuria a start-up grant, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Now, Grand Challenges is investing in ZanaAfrica’s expansion.

“What this shows you is that innovation doesn’t have to be complicated,” said Singer on Thursday.

Affordable menstrual health management is a fundamental human right, Mukuria said from Boston, where she is attending the 21st biannual conference of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.

“We can show, very clearly, how women and girls’ ability to manage their periods changes their lives, their choices, their abilities to negotiate relationships and sexuality according to their own terms,” she added.

ZanaAfrica trains and employs women to visit Kenyan villages and hand out packages containing the sanitary pads and underwear. The packages even have comics explaining how to use them.

“The girls just light up when they see the products and read the comics. They are finally getting honest answers to their real questions that they’ve never been given permission to vocalize,” she said.



These Muslim Girls Have Written Epic Yearbook Quotes

Jun 05 2015

These witty Muslim girls have added some serious pizzazz to their yearbook with some hilarious quotes.

In a society where women in Islam are so often portrayed in a negative light by the media, is it great to see such sassy amazing women making waves with their yearbook quotes.

These girls have found ways to brighten up their yearbook, with some poking fun at celebrity culture, and others mentioning the annoyance of people constantly questioning their choice to wear a headscarf.

So, have a laugh while you check out some of the fabulous Muslim teenagers who find have found humour in the way their peers view their faith.

With thanks to Brown Girl Magazine for bringing this fabulous compilation of pictures to light.



Northborough Woman ‘Shines The Light’ For Girls In Kenyan Villages

05 June, 2016

Northborough – Shine the Light Kenya is a non-profit that was founded in 2011 by Lizzie Maina to help educate children in rural schools and ensure that they have the necessary tools to succeed.

Having relocated from Africa to the United States in 1995, Maina immersed herself into the community and her passion for helping others. Her grandfather started a school in Kenya and she has committed herself to continuing to help those in the surrounding communities. She currently works as a senior caregiver in Worcester and enjoys spending time with the elderly.

The Shine the Light Kenya team consists of Co-Founder Margaret Maina, a childhood friend of Lizzie’s. Betsy Wagoner is a friend and supporter as is Pastor Brian G. Minnich of the First Assembly of God in Worcester where Lizzie Maina is a member.

In 2010, the church sent a mission team to Mapela, South Africa, where they visited schools, churches and clinics. Since that time, they have sponsored afterschool Bible clubs and soccer teams in the village.

Maina was also the catalyst for the “Lizzie Project” after realizing that many female students in areas of Africa cannot attend school while they are menstruating. They don’t have the modern-day products that many of us take for granted and end up missing one week of school each month during their cycles, falling behind in their studies and unable to graduate. Many end up become casual laborers like their grandparents or turn to unethical ways to make a living.

St. Rose of Lima church in Northborough decided to get on board with this project, putting together feminine hygiene kits. Through their project “Days for Girls,” many volunteers from the church have spent countless hours purchasing fabric and sewing the items that make up each kit; 125 kits were completed and will be hand delivered to three schools in rural Kenya by Maina in early June.

Each kit contains eight liners, snaps, two shields, two pairs of underpants, plastic bags, a bar of soap and a washcloth. There is also an instruction sheet. The bag itself looks like a colorful book sack with whimsical fabric and a drawstring. The girls will bring this with them daily to school so as not to draw attention to what it really is. This way, nobody knows when they are menstruating and there is no stigma attached. The girls can attend school without being embarrassed.

“This really has the ability to change lives,” said volunteer Pam Meoli. “Lizzie’s group is making history here, as these will be the first kits delivered to three specific schools. The kits are used for three years. The hope is to raise money in the future so women can get trained to sew and make the kits themselves. St. Rose of Lima in Northborough has a very active church community and women’s group.”

Another volunteer, Amy Graham, personally made 25 of the kits.

“Lizzie is trying to raise funds for sewing machines in Kenya so that they will be self-sufficient. We pitched in a lot of our own funds and also got a lot of donations with the fabric. She is all about sustainability,” she said.

“Her commitment to this life project is very commendable. She is unbelievably passionate and really is helping to make a difference,” said Meoli.

“Shine the Light Kenya is the first nonprofit organization in Kenya working in collaboration with Days for Girls to ensure that all girls are provided with these kits,” Maina said. “In placing a kit in a girl’s hand, we drastically change her future in that she will be able to go to school every day and graduate high school and college versus being absent from school for almost a week every month and ending up pregnant, getting married and continuing in the poverty cycle that has been a way of life in these rural areas for decades.”



Ambassadors See Progress in Empowerment of African Women

05 June, 2016

While African women have made considerable gains in the political, economic and social development of the continent, some say they are still widely marginalized within government.

The African Union has declared 2015 the year of women's empowerment and development toward Africa's Agenda 2063, and many women say it's time to put public declarations into practice.

Women are empowered throughout the fabric of Rwandan society — and even make up 64 percent of the parliament.

“Primary and secondary schools are free" in Rwanda, said Mathilde Mukantabana, her country's ambassador to the U.S. "That means once you give them that strong beginning, then the other programs at the highest level of university and professional education, women are competing as men. Women are now flying the high skies in my country.”

But Mukantabana said that in other parts of Africa, women remain excluded from social, economic and political power by a lack of education and the inability to own and inherit property.

Mukantabana said that for her, women's rights are human rights. "That’s the bottom line."

Empowering women benefits an entire nation, said Amelia Matos Sumbana, Mozambique's ambassador to the U.S., who also stresses it cannot be accomplished without men's help.

“Why? Because in our societies in Africa, you know that the society is male-dominated, and if we don’t have men working along with us, we can have much more difficulties than what we are having now," she said. "It’s fortunate that men are becoming much more sensitive to the gender issues.”

For that reason, laws alone will not bring enough change, said Kamissa Camara of the National Endowment for Democracy, a U.S. nonprofit that promotes democracy abroad.

“The structural barriers that affect women on the African continent elsewhere, also, are mostly tradition, religion, patriarchy, et cetera — barriers that can only be addressed through a change in mentality," Camara said.

That change is key, the ambassadors said, because full development cannot happen if half the people of Africa are not fully recognized as equal partners in society.



UK department store adds sports suits for Muslim women

05 June, 2016

London-based department store House of Fraser has expanded its sports range by adding key garments to a line especially for Muslim women.

The line, which is produced by the company Shorso UK, offers black body suits for adults, according to the Daily Mail.

All body suits, which are only available in black, are sold for about $55.

Speaking about the new products, Jessica Robinson, Shorso UK's Regional Commercial Director, said: “We are very proud of our achievements with House of Fraser and will be growing our range within the next few months.

“It is a pleasure to bring these products to the UK and internationally… We enable people to be active, without compromise – that’s what makes us unique,” she added.

All designs are made for aerobics and swimming and cover the women from head to ankle, leaving the face visible.



Female Genital Mutilation Practised In Iran, Study Reveals

05 June, 2016

The first authoritative study into female genital mutilation in Iran has found the practice is being carried out in at least four major provinces while officials are silent on the matter.

According to research by social anthropologist Kameel Ahmady released on Thursday, FGM is more prevalent in the southern province of Hormozgan and its nearby islands (Qeshm and Hormuz) than in any other parts of the country.

It is also being practised to a lesser degree in Kurdistan, Kermanshah and West Azerbaijan provinces, which are situated in western Iran close to the Iraq border.

Ahmady’s research shows that FGM is mainly an issue concerning the Shafi’i sect of Sunni Muslim Iranians, a minority in the Shia-dominated country. Only a small fraction of the Shia population living in proximity of Sunni communities practise FGM.

“FGM is practised in Iran in some cases to tame girls’ sex drive before marriage; it is made to preserve their chastity,” said Ahmady. “The attitude of officials and authorities is that FGM doesn’t exist in Iran. The Iranian public is also largely ignorant about the subject.”

Ahmady first decided to focus on FGM in Iran when he was working with relief NGOs in Africa in early 2000s. Over the course of 10 years he has spoken to around 3,000 Iranian women who have experienced FGM in Iran, as well as 1,000 men. His research was published to coincide with the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, observed every year on 4 June.

“I returned to Iran in 2005 to study FGM in my home country and instantly I was shocked to discover that it even happened to the closest members of my own family and relatives,” he said. “In fact, many in Iran don’t have a clue that [FGM] is being practised in some parts of the country.”

FGM, which has affected millions of girls and women alive worldwide, predates Islam and Christianity and has been practised in many different cultures and societies, from Coptic and Catholic Christians in Eritrea and in Ethiopia, to Beta Israel society, Australian aboriginal tribes and some parts of the Middle East and Asia. It is usually performed on girls between the ages of four and 12 and can include partial or in extreme cases total removal of external parts of female genitalia.

In Iran, the practice, referred to as Khatne or Sonat, is usually carried out outside hospital without anaesthesia or prior consent by amateur midwives. The tools used include sharp razors.

Mehrangiz Kar, a leading Iranian human rights lawyer, said it was tragic that such mutilation was carried out by women. “It’s one of those instances where the violence against women is carried out by women in unhygienic circumstances,” she told the Guardian. “In areas where FGM exists, unfortunately it’s usually the mothers who insist that their daughters should be cut.”

In at least one extreme case which had involved stitching up after cutting, Kar said an Iranian mother refused to allow her daughter to have her stitches removed before marriage. “The daughter told me that she was afraid of marriage; she feared she would have pain during sexual intercourse.”

Although Ahmady’s research is unprecedented in its depth, other people have also studied FGM in Iran, including Fatemeh Karimi and Rayehe Mozafarian, who have both published books on the subject. Mozafarian said that the Iranian authorities had let activists research FGM in Iran and had allowed those books to be published.

“When people in Iran learned for the first time seven or eight years ago that women are being cut there, it was a cultural shock,” she said. “People didn’t believe that it was being practised.”

Mozafarian said she had reached out to the country’s vice president for women’s affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, who is considering her proposal for a nationwide campaign to end FGM. Iran’s penal code criminalises mutilation but does not specifically mention FGM.

Mozafarian warned that in some parts of Khuzestan province, home to many Arab Iranians, an extreme form of FGM known as infibulation, which involves the removal of the clitoris as well as the narrowing of the vaginal opening by creating a covering seal, is being practised.

Influenced by events in the neighbouring Kurdistan region of Iraq, which prohibited FGM in 2007, female circumcision is in decline in Iran’s Kurdistan but still goes on. Hormozgan is less affected by that change.

Not all Sunni Iranians practise FGM, such as those belonging to the Hanafi sect or those living in other provinces. In West Azerbaijan, FGM exists among Sunni Shafi’i Kurds of Sorani dialect but not among Sunni Shafie Kurds of Kermanji dialect, Ahmady’s report shows. In Iran’s Kurdistan, where prevalence of FGM is patchy, it is mainly seen in rural areas, some villages and communities but not usually in urban areas. Even in provinces where FGM exists, many communities do not practise it.

“The majority of women I spoke to who were circumcised defended FGM, saying that it is a tradition that had existed for hundreds of years,” said Ahmady. “Some Sunni mums even boasted that their daughters were more virtuous than the majority Shia girls because they were cut.”

Shia clerics also avoid interfering in what they see as a Sunni issue. The government, wary of inciting anti-Shia sentiment among the country’s Sunni minority, is also largely quiet. In Hormozgan, minimal traces of FGM are seen in Shia communities in some village, the report shows.



Hizb Ut-Tahrir Leader Says Woman Suing For Sexual Discrimination Does Not Understand Islam

Jun 05 2015

THE leader of radical Islamist political party Hizb ut-Tahrir will argue a woman who is suing the organisation for $100,000 over claims of sexual discrimination simply does not understand Islam.

Freelance journalist Alison Bevege is taking the hardline group to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal after she was asked to sit at the back of a hall with other women at a public meeting last October.

She claims that, despite her protestations, she was told she had to sit separately to the men in the hall and was the victim of sexual discrimminsation.

But the group’s leader Ismail Alwahwah will categorically refute the claims.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal Mr Alwahwah is of the view that Alison Bevege doesn’t understand the Muslim religion and that the separation of men and women is part of Islam itself and not reserved to religious gatherings in mosques.

Mr Alwahwah will argue that Hizb ut-Tahrir requested women like Ms Bevege in attendance on the night sit at the back of the hall, rather than ordered them to separate.

Ms Bevege compared her treatment to the racial divide in the US before the African-American Civil Rights movement, saying she felt like “Mississippi blacks” who were forced to sit at the back of a bus.

The Sydney reporter last night said she was left heartbroken and “annoyed” when told she had to sit separately and despaired for moderate Muslim women who are becoming voiceless.

“Secular Muslim women in the middle are getting crushed,” she said.

“It breaks my heart, I’m so sad to see what is happening to our country.”

Rather than being motivated by money, Ms Bevege said she wanted to make a point for equality and that if successful in her legal action she would donate any damages to atheist and secular Muslim charities, including the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

“This is about human rights, the right to equality for women is enshrined by the United Nations and inalienable,” she said.

“This was not a religious gathering, it was an open political meeting.”

NSW Anti-Discrimination Board president Stepan Kerkyasharian was unable to comment on the case specifically as it has been before his board.

“If I am of the view that there has been a breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act I refer it to the Tribunal,” he said.

“I try to resolve it through conciliation. If that fails I refer it to the Tribunal.”

Sociologist and feminist Eva Cox described the incident as “trivial” but pointed out her opposition to segregation on gender lines.

“Sitting at the back of some religious group’s tacky way of separating men and women is not worth $100,000.”



‘Poverty and Fear’ Keep Hold on Women Subjected To Violence in Eastern Turkey

June 5, 2015

Poverty and fear are the major reasons why most women subjected to domestic violence in eastern Turkey opt not to take action, according to a new report released by a women’s rights group.

A significant number of the women interviewed by the Women Centre Foundation (KAMER) said women did not take action to avoid violence because they feared repeat violence and they had economic concerns, according to the report, which was compiled after face-to-face interviews in 25 provinces in eastern, north-eastern and south-eastern Turkey.

Of the 24,723 women interviewed, 4,500 - roughly 18 percent of the total - said they themselves had contacted KAMER over violence they experienced. However, only 1,308 - or 5 percent of the total - said they took “solid steps” to stop violence.

Some 61.4 percent said they thought most Turkish women subjected to violence took no solid step to escape violence, while 70.8 percent said they thought the main reason for this inaction was fear of consequences.

Some 20.2 percent said unfamiliarity with the necessary authorities to contact in the event of violence is another reason for the women’s inaction, according to the report.

In addition, a majority of women told the survey that economic problems and poverty are their most urgent problems, meaning that they neglect to deal with the violence to which they are subjected out of consideration for their economic situation.

“Many of the women who said they were exposed to violence told us that their children were not even sufficiently nourished, so they themselves could not even think about their own problems about domestic violence as a priority,” stated the report.

KAMER conducted the survey in several languages including Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic between January 2014 and May 2015, with contributions from the European Union delegation to Turkey, the Istanbul University Medical School, and the Open Society Foundation.

“Violence against women is a systematic problem and is fuelled by inadequate education, low income levels, language-related communication issues, and wars and conflicts,” the report said in its recommendations to fight against violence against women.

“That is why several development programs should immediately be put forward, primarily to advance the quality of life of impoverished women who have not had the right to education, as well as those who have problems with communication outside of their native language,” it adds.

Of the women interviewed by KAMER, 9,738 spoke Turkish as their native tongue, 12,154 women spoke Kurdish, 2,137 spoke Zazaki, and 646 spoke Arabic.

Some 20,299 of the 24,723 women interviewed were married, while 8,191 of this total were younger than 18 when they were married.

As for the literacy rate, 26.8 percent of the women were illiterate and 92.7 percent had not attended any higher education institution.



Malala's Childhood Home Was One Of The Most Dangerous Places In Pakistan But She Still Bravely Went To School

Jun 05 2015

Pakistan’s Swat Valley was once one of the most dangerous parts of the country’s unruly northern frontier – dominated by a toxic cocktail of tribal feuds and Taliban rule.

Until last year the Pakistani Taliban had it under brutal control and any rejection of their reign was met with beheadings, shootings, bombings and any other horror they could think of.

The Taliban came to prominence from 1994 in Pashtun areas straddling Pakistan and Afghanistan in religious schools, or madrassas, paid for by funds from Saudi Arabia.

They preached a hardline form of Sunni Islam promising to bring peace and security with an austere version of Sharia, or Islamic law.

This included harsh punishments such as public executions of adulterers and amputations of those found guilty of theft.

In early 2009 a dancer was accused of immorality and executed with her body put on public display.

Soon afterwards a video emerged showing the Taliban flogging a 17-year-old girl for alleged “illicit relations” with a man.

Men were required to grow beards and women had to wear the all-covering burka.

Television, music and cinema were banned and the Taliban disapproved of girls aged 10 or more going to school.

This is where Malala was raised and her bravery in objecting to the Pakistani Taliban, who have more of an affinity with al-Qaeda than their Afghan Taliban brothers, was breathtaking.

Then last year a series of Pakistani Army missions devastated the Taliban in Swat, many of whom fled to join their Afghan cousins in places such as neighbouring Bajaur.

Around 500 militants were killed in weeks but Swat is still a frightening place where an unknown traveller, let alone a westerner, could fall prey to kidnapping gangs and extremists suspicious of outsiders.

Locals are now as terrified of the Pakistani Army as they are the residual Taliban elements that remain there.

Horrific killings of overrun Pakistani soldiers by the Taliban have given rise to revenge human rights abuses by the army, including summary executions.

Conditions are better in Swat than they have been for years – when measured by the lack of corpses dangling from traffic lights and girls now feeling safe enough to return to school.

But the spectre of extremism has never gone and could easily grow again in an area still dominated by the gun – whether it is one held by a soldier, a policeman or a Taliban militant thug.



Million Abortions A Year Done In Russian Private Clinics, It's A Serious Business - Mizulina

05 June, 2016

Moscow, Interfax - Not less than a million abortions are done annually in Russian private clinics, this business bring billiards profit, head of the State Duma Committee for Family, Women and Children Yelena Mizulina says.

"When we submitted the bills, officials of the Health Ministry told us: no less than a million is done in private clinics," the MP said on air The Eternity and Time program on Spas TV channel.

According to her, such abortions are done without any control. Mizulina believes that in case of private clinics focused on making profit, medical staff is interested in abortions.

"We infringe on serious business interests as abortive business bring billions of rubles," she said and added that they make money not only on doing abortions, but on abortive material used in cosmetology and curing of certain diseases.

Mizulina recently submitted three bills to State Duma: about cancelling mandatory health insurance coverage for abortions and performing abortions outside of state-run healthcare institutions (the artificial termination of pregnancy funded by mandatory health insurance will be possible only in the presence of certain medical or social reasons), about ban on retail sale of abortive medicines, about making compulsory a visualization of an embryo and his heart beating for women who decided to do an abortion.

Moscow, Interfax - Not less than a million abortions are done annually in Russian private clinics, this business bring billiards profit, head of the State Duma Committee for Family, Women and Children Yelena Mizulina says.

"When we submitted the bills, officials of the Health Ministry told us: no less than a million is done in private clinics," the MP said on air The Eternity and Time program on Spas TV channel.

According to her, such abortions are done without any control. Mizulina believes that in case of private clinics focused on making profit, medical staff is interested in abortions.

"We infringe on serious business interests as abortive business bring billions of rubles," she said and added that they make money not only on doing abortions, but on abortive material used in cosmetology and curing of certain diseases.

Mizulina recently submitted three bills to State Duma: about cancelling mandatory health insurance coverage for abortions and performing abortions outside of state-run healthcare institutions (the artificial termination of pregnancy funded by mandatory health insurance will be possible only in the presence of certain medical or social reasons), about ban on retail sale of abortive medicines, about making compulsory a visualization of an embryo and his heart beating for women who decided to do an abortion.