11 December 2022
• ‘Ana Arabia’ (I am an Arab Woman) Exhibition Brings Together Arab Women In Design To Showcase Work
• Female Journalists in Farah, Afghanistan Ask to Resume Their Work
• The Secrets Shared By Afghan Women
• Women’s Rights and Girls’ Education, a Major Challenge for the Interim Afghan Government
• Petition Filed In LHC Against Discrimination With Women In Receiving Summons
‘Ana Arabia’ (I am an Arab Woman) Exhibition Brings Together Arab Women In Design To Showcase Work
December 10, 2022
RIYADH: The exhibition “Ana Arabia” (Arabic for “I am an Arab Woman”), which highlights Arab women in design and fashion, launched on Saturday at Riyadh Front, one of the entertainment zones of Riyadh Season.
The exhibition showcases the work of Arab women in fashion, jewelry, perfumes, leather and other fields related to design in what is the largest event of its kind in the Middle East.
The event brings together fashion experts, designers and businesswomen to market their products in an interactive environment that highlights Arab female creators and represents a unique opportunity to gain new experiences in design and fashion.
Visitors to the exhibition, which also includes entertainment events, can explore the works of over 200 designers from all over the Arab world.
“Ana Arabia” will be open from 4 p.m. until midnight until Dec. 16. Entry tickets can be booked via the link:
Source: Arab News
Female Journalists in Farah, Afghanistan Ask to Resume Their Work
In a gathering in the province of Farah, female journalists asked Islamic Emirate officials to let them resume their media activities.
By TOLO news
"Women have not been allowed to continue their activities one hundred percent up to this point, but they have said that they will allow them. We will be happy if they allow us and truly abide by their promises," said Marzia Noorzai, a journalist.
The representatives of Naw-e-Zan radio said that in addition to receiving permission for media operations, they also need financial help in order to continue their media activities.
"Life safety is really essential, but so is financial support. We ask the Islamic Emirate to please allow women to work," said Homaira Mohammadi, Naw-e-Zan radio's director.
"We support all forms of media, whether it is Naw-e-Zan radio or other stations,” said Abdulhai Sabawoon, director of the information and culture department of Farah.
There are presently seven active radio stations in the province of Farah. The directors of the halted media organizations say they hope they will be able to start again.
Source: Tolo News.Com/
The secrets shared by Afghan women
By Lyse Doucet
At times, voices of Afghan women rise from the streets of Kabul and other cities in small, loud, protests. Often, they ring out in speeches by women now far away, outside Afghanistan. But mostly, their thoughts are only expressed quietly, in safe places. Or they fester in their heads as they try to reconcile their lives with the increasingly rigid rules of the Taliban government. They restrict what women wear, where they work, what they can do, or not, with their lives.
In the months before the Taliban returned, in August 2021, 18 Afghan women writers wrote fictional stories, drawn from real lives, and published early this year in the book, My Pen is the Wing of a Bird. Many Afghan women felt let down and left alone by the international community. But these writers used their pens and phones to comfort each other and to reflect on issues now faced by millions of women and girls. Here, two writers in Kabul, with pen names Paranda and Sadaf, shared their thoughts written in secret.
"Today I woke up with determination. When I chose my clothes, I decided to wear a pink headscarf to fight with the black headscarf I wear daily... is it a sin to wear a pink headscarf?"
Paranda prefers to wear pink, to feel feminine. But what women choose to put on is now a battleground. Strict Taliban edicts on modesty are enforced, often forcefully. In this traditional society, Afghan women aren't fighting against head-coverings - some just want their right to choose. You see it on the streets, in public spaces. A pink scarf. A sparkling trim. A little light in the dark.
"Going backwards is not easy. Going forward is also a big hassle, should I be hopeful or not? We cannot go back," writes poet Hafizullah Hamim.
Afghan women have been leading the charge in rare public protests. Small brave crowds have taken to the streets in Kabul and other cities brandishing banners calling for "bread, work, freedom." They've been forcibly dispersed, and detained. Some have disappeared in detention. Across the border, in Iran, it's also the women leading calls for change with cries of "women, life, freedom" and a demand to end mandatory hijab. For Afghans, it's the right of women to work, for girls to be educated.
''The Taliban guard stopped our office car, he pointed at me… my heart beat faster, my body shook. It felt as if a wind was blowing across me... when our car moved away, it felt like the wind moved in another direction. My fear turned to anger."
It's the unpredictability that is so hard. Some Taliban guards are aggressive, some more accepting. Women's journeys are nerve jangling. For long distances over 72km (45 miles), a mahram - a male escort - is mandatory. Some Talibs invoke the rule at will - sending women home on a whim.
You often see queues at ice cream kiosks, crowds of women and children in cafes. These have become places to escape for a rare treat, a retreat. Now even public parks and women-only gyms and baths are off limits, "because women don't observe hijab", the strict dress code. All this means small spaces could get smaller still.
"The public baths owner's daughter has been engaged. It's amazing. She's only 13. Her mother says the Taliban will never re-open schools, let her go to her home of luck... it seems that little girl is me... I was in despair the first time the Taliban arrived. I also accepted a forced marriage... the wounds still haven't healed... but I got up from the ashes and stood up."
It's repression on repeat. Afghan women recall, painfully, 1990s Taliban rule which also ended their education. Paranda, like many others, seized opportunities when the regime was toppled in 2001 - like going to school or getting divorced. A new generation of schoolgirls has grown up with even bigger dreams. Their pain is profound as their schools stay shut.
"I had used social media but now I have locked my lips. I'm upset with my society, the naked words men use against women. I believe the roots of Afghan women's problems are not the governments which change and bring new rules… it is the evil thoughts of men toward women."
Afghan regimes come and go; patriarchy stays put. Afghan women have long lived with limits set by men. But advances of recent years are reversing - with what the UN describes as "staggering repression". It has a knock-on effect - reinforcing conservative family norms which keep women and girls under wraps.
"I must write about what is happening. There are so few media now… I believe that, someday, Afghanistan will be a very good country for women and girls. It will take time. But it will happen."
Paranda is a pen name - it means bird. Women like her, especially educated women in the cities, refuse to be caged. Many have fled. Many still hope to. Small crowds bravely protest. Even in remote corners of the country, I've met illiterate women seething inside about their prison-like life.
"Write! Why are you scared? Who you are afraid of? ... Maybe your writing can heal someone's soul… Your pen becomes the support of someone's broken arms and brings a little hope to some hopeless people," writes Sadaf.
A writer's life anywhere can be fraught with doubt and fear. For Afghan women, it is especially so - to find safe quiet corners to write, to forge a sense of self and purpose. Being published in "My Pen is the Wing of a Bird" gave new life to their words.
"One of the students introduced the book in beautiful words, and the best part was when she mentioned my name. All my students cheered for me. I write this as the most pleasant memory of my life."
"My belief tells me I should not worry about money as God may have something better for me. But God knows why I am worried. We are a family of 10, and I am the only breadwinner. I did not earn much better in the last Republic and it isn't good in this Islamic Emirate."
Women's work hasn't been wiped away. Some female doctors, nurses, teachers, policewomen are still in their jobs, mainly working with women and girls. Some businesswomen are still in business - but there's a crushing economic crisis. And doors have been slammed shut for women in most government ministries. With girls' high schools closed, the link between women and work is being severed.
"I said, 'No, no! I cannot commit suicide.' I comforted myself, saying, 'Maybe you don't want to live. Still, your suicide will affect many other lives. Please be kind to them, you are strong, everything will be fine, you can make it. This too shall pass.'"
It's a whisper you hear everywhere. Suicide attempts - especially among young women - are reported to be on the rise, but it's hard to confirm. Families keep their secrets. Public hospitals are told to hide any proof. A UN agency tells me when they meet women in the provinces, this issue comes up. Forced marriages of young girls blocked from school is cited as a cause.
"How can we be normal and not become crazy? How much pain can we tolerate? Finally, my heart accepts that this land has faced everything inhumane and cruel. But when will this end?"
More than one generation now has only known war - it's been more than four decades. The country lurches from one conflict to the next. Afghans keep daring to dream the next chapter will be better than the last. It's a story which never seems to end.
"I sprinkle sparkles of hope on the surface of my heart… There is a fire within me. There is a spirit within me telling me to fight. I have to hope the law of nature will send its orders in these dark days to change this darkness to a set of lights."
Afghans often say hope is the last thing to die. In recent years, before the Taliban took over, when everyday violence intensified, some said hope was killed too. But people who have lived through so much still hold fast to whatever hope still lives.
Women’s Rights and Girls’ Education, a Major Challenge for the Interim Afghan Government
By Nizamuddin Rezahi
December 11, 2022
Since the current regime’s takeover of power in August 2021, they have barred women from working in government organizations and banned girls above grade six to attend classes and get an education. Women’s and girls’ education have become one of the hottest topics to be discussed on the national and international levels.
Recently, a conference entitled “International Conference on Afghan Women’s Education” co-chaired by Indonesia and Qatar, was held in Bali, Indonesia last week. Representatives from 38 countries, international organizations, NGOs and academics attended the meeting. The participants stressed the need for supporting women’s education in Afghanistan and finding a comprehensive solution to the existing issues Afghan women are faced with.
“Getting an education is the natural right of every human being, including women and girls. Afghan women, therefore, should not be deprived of this very basic right,” one participant said. Another speaker of the conference said ‘female education is an investment for the future of the nation’ and added that hundreds of Afghan women would be provided with scholarships to educate out of the country.
Meanwhile, the de facto authorities have not yet altered their strict policy toward women’s rights and girls’ education. Although respecting human rights and freedom, particularly that of women is a major component of the Doha Agreement, the current regime emphasizes practicing their established policies regarding the aforementioned matters. Moreover, they label it something foreign, backed by Western thoughts and ideologies.
Source: khaama Press
Petition filed in LHC against discrimination with women in receiving summons
By Staff Report
December 10, 2022
LAHORE: A writ petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) challenging discrimination against women over receiving “summons” issued by the court.
The petition questioned why the summons, both in criminal and civil cases, could not be served or received by female family members. “Serving summons only to the adult male of the family members and depriving the female of this right is itself a violation of the right guaranteed under the Constitution of Pakistan,” petitioners Syeda Izzat Fatima and Maryam Chaudhry implored the court.
Advocate Syeda Izzat Fatima implored in the petition that the service of summons in criminal cases shall be only on the adult male member of the family of the person summoned. While in a civil suit, Order V Rule 15 provides the service of summons on an adult male member of the family.
The petition noted that relevant section 70 of Cr.P.C and Order V Rule 15 of CPC are outdated in today’s era, women are working side by side and are active in every sector of the field. Both these codes create a distinction and discriminate between genders.
The Code of Criminal Procedure and Civil Procedure Code does not consider an adult female member of the family capable and competent to receive the summons, she noted.
She argued that the majority of males work outside the house while female members are mostly available, especially during day time, at their home. Therefore, women must have the right to receive summons and come under the ambit and definition of an adult and reasonable person, she added.
The counsel contended that the aforesaid relevant section and Rule 15 both fail to account for situations such as when the person summoned resides only with female family members or when the only person available at the time of service of summons is a woman.
The aforesaid section and Rule are hence unconstitutional by creating a gender bias and discrimination between males and females. Under British law, Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 Rule 4.3 to 4.4 discuss the provision and delivery of summons but nowhere are they restricted or limited to an “Adult Male”.
Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for the United States District Courts, summons is described in Rule 4 Summons, including details about the method and process of serving summons. However, nowhere in the entire Rule has the word “male” been used.
The petitioners requested the court to direct the concerned quarters to legislate or amend laws in accordance with the Constitution.
They further prayed the court to direct taking urgent initiative towards this ongoing issue regarding gender discrimination and look over the unconstitutional aspect of Section 70 and Rule 15.
Source: Pakistan Today
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