03 July 2022
• Arab Parliament to Hold 1st Parliamentary Summit of Arab Women MPs in Tashkent
• Six Weeks And Three Days Pregnant 10-Year-Old Ohio Girl Denied Abortion After Abortion Ruling
• Kourtney Kardashian, an American Media Personality, Thanks God For Healing Travis Barker
• South African Constitutional Court Judgment Which Recognises Muslim Marriages Seen As A Victory For Muslim Women
• Afghan Clerics Vow Loyalty To Taliban, But No Word On Girls' Schooling
• Pakistan’s Entrepreneurship And Startup Sector Still Has Clear Gender Gap
Arab Parliament to Hold 1st Parliamentary Summit of Arab Women MPs in Tashkent
Speaker of the Arab Parliament (AP) Adel Al Assomi discussed with Tanzila Narbaeva, Speaker of the Senate of Uzbekistan, the procedures for organizing the First Parliamentary Summit of Arab and Muslim Women Parliamentarians in Tashkent.
by Omnia Ahmed
July 2, 2022
The summit aims to support the empowerment of women MPs in the Arab and Islamic worlds in order to promote communication with influential Arab and Muslim women MPs in non-Arab and non-Islamic countries.
Al Assomi and Narbaeva discussed the summit on the side-lines of their participation in the First Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement Parliamentary Network, hosted by Azerbaijan from 30 June to 1 July 2022, which was inaugurated by the Head of State.
During the meeting, Al Assomi emphasized the AP‘s keenness to strengthen parliamentary relations with Uzbekistan at the parliamentary level and with the Islamic world in general, to serve Arab and Islamic issues in various regional and international fora.
In this context, the two sides agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the coming period, thereby contributing to the institutionalization of relations between the two sides, and regulating their areas of cooperation and coordination with respect to issues of mutual concern.
On her side, Narbaeva stressed her keenness to enhance relations with the AP and joint coordination on issues of common interest through the MoU to be signed.
Six Weeks And Three Days Pregnant 10-Year-Old Ohio Girl Denied Abortion After Abortion Ruling
Abortion rights demonstrators protest outside the US Supreme Court after overturning the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
03 July, 2022
A 10-year-old girl six weeks and three days pregnant in Ohio was denied an abortion in the state after the Supreme Court of US overturned the Roe vs Wade decision last week.
The patient is now travelling to Indiana for an abortion, the Hill reported on Saturday. A child abuse doctor in Ohio contacted Dr Caitlin Bernard, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Indiana, after receiving a 10-year-old patient who was six weeks and three days pregnant, the Indianapolis Star reported.
That patient is now heading west to Indiana given that an abortion ban in Ohio, which prohibits the medical procedure when fetal cardiac activity begins, around six weeks, had become effective quickly after the court issued its decision, reported The Hill.
While several groups filed a lawsuit seeking to block the state law from taking effect on Wednesday, an emergency stay of the abortion ban was rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court on Friday, meaning that the ban can be upheld as the case is reviewed, Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Ohio is among a number of states that have rolled back abortion access since the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion. Some laws have been paused pending legal challenges.
But Indiana could soon find itself passing its own abortion law later this month given that a special session has been scheduled for later in July and the legislature is expected to touch on a ban on the medical procedure, WFYI reported.
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the US abolished abortion rights while overturning the constitutional right granted to women in a historical 1973 ruling called Roe vs Wade. Through this abortion was legalized across the states.
The Supreme Court has struck down Roe vs Wade, eliminating the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion and ruled that states may regulate the practice of it, according to a media report.
“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives” the ruling said.
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court in an order passed on June 27, 2022, granted liberty to a minor girl to undergo medical termination of her pregnancy.
Bombay High Court allowed the termination of a 16 weeks’ pregnancy of a minor who was a victim of sexual abuse and noted that the Apex Court in its order in 2009, has observed that reproductive choice is an insegragable part of a woman’s personal liberty as envisaged under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The Bombay High Court bench of Justice Urmila Joshi Phalke and Justice AS Chandurkar in an order noted, “She contended that said pregnancy is unwanted. Admittedly, she cannot be forced to give birth to a child. As observed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that it is the right of a woman to have a reproductive choice. She has a choice to give birth to the child or not.”
The Court noted that the Medical Board opined that the pregnancy could be terminated if the petitioner is a minor girl. She is subjected for sexual assault. It is difficult for her to carry said unwanted pregnancy.
Source: Eastern Eye
Kourtney Kardashian, an American Media Personality, Thanks God For Healing Travis Barker
Jul 03 2022
Kourtney Kardashian on Saturday shared a update on her husband Travis Barker's health.
The reality TV star took to Instagram stories to share a statement.
"What a scary and emotional week it has been. Our health is everything and sometimes we take for granted how quickly it can change," she said.
She then revealed how her husband ended up with a life threatening disease.
Kourtney Kardashian shares Muslim scholars quote, thanks God for healing Travis Barker
"I am so grateful to God for healing my husband," she added.
After thanking doctors and hospital staff for taking care of Travis Barker, Kourtney shared a quote by 13th-century poet and Islamic scholar Jalaluddin Al-Rumi.
"I love Rumi's quote, 'I close my eyes and spoke with you in a thousand silent ways," she wrote.
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South African Constitutional Court Judgment Which Recognises Muslim Marriages Seen As A Victory For Muslim Women
Cape Town - Much more work is needed following a watershed Constitutional Court judgment which has compelled the president and the Cabinet to amend legislation or pass new legislation that would effectively recognise and regulate Muslim marriages.
The WLC had approached the Constitutional Court seeking relief in order to empower Muslim women after they go through an Islamic divorce known as “Talaq”.
“We said there was an obligation on the state to enact legislation or to amend existing legislation to be able to protect the rights of Muslim spouses, but in particular Muslim women because we know that it’s Muslim women who are disproportionately impacted by this lack of regulation,” Samaai said.
She said that while they welcomed the judgment, it was a bittersweet moment considering the length and breadth of what they had gone through since 2014 when they first approached the Western Cape High Court.
“I’m ecstatic and sad because there were many women that we couldn’t directly assist because of this non-recognition, but it’s off the backs of these women that we are carrying this particular case. It’s a bitter pill to swallow that the state allowed us to go 14 years whereas with the Constitutional Court they conceded. There was discrimination – from the high court up until the Constitutional Court when this concession was made,” Samaai said.
Ayesha Royker, 47, is a mother of three who was inspired by her own experience to educate Muslim women on their rights after she was almost left destitute when her 19-year marriage ended. She said if the provision already existed, her situation would have been different.
“Since there was no legislation governing Muslim marriages, I was at the mercy of my ex-husband and the legal process which took almost six years before we finally reached a settlement agreement.
“Had there been adequate protection for women while I was married, or even at the time of my divorce, then I would have been entitled to claim a share of the assets we accumulated together over the duration of our marriage,” Royker said.
Imrah Mallick, 28, an attorney who has also been through an Islamic divorce said: “I think previously Muslim men took advantage of the fact that they knew Muslim women had no remedy to approach courts in order to challenge any decision but these women now have the power to make the decision for themselves if they choose to approach court in order to safeguard their financial stability as well as the stability for their minor children.”
“I was extremely sceptical that the judiciary can actually compel the legislature to pass legislation so it came as a very pleasant surprise that the court has put the legislature to terms, so they have 24 months for them to get their act together and that bodes very well for not only Muslim women but for Muslims generally.
“It’s an embarrassment and it’s even worse when your child is regarded as extramarital and it’s terrible when you die and you’ve been married for however long and your death certificate says that you are not married, so hopefully this will change the situation,” he said.
Afghan clerics vow loyalty to Taliban, but no word on girls' schooling
JULY 02, 2022
Thousands of Afghan clerics pledged loyalty to the Taliban on July 2, but ended a three-day meeting without recommendations on how the hardline Islamist group should govern the crisis-hit country.
The men-only gathering was called to rubber-stamp the Taliban's rule, and ahead of the meeting officials said criticism would be tolerated and they could also discuss thorny issues such as secondary school education for girls.
Media was barred from the event, although speeches were broadcast on state radio - including a rare appearance by the Taliban's reclusive supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada.
Taliban officials presented the gathering as an opportunity for clerics to independently say how they wanted the country to be governed, but the meeting's final declaration was mostly a regurgitation of their own doctrine.
It called for allegiance to Akhundzada, loyalty to the Taliban, and the complete acceptance of sharia law as the basic principle of rule.
"We not only strongly support it, but will also defend it. We consider this to be the national and religious duty of the entire nation."
Since returning to power in August, the Taliban's harsh interpretation of sharia law has imposed severe restrictions on Afghans - particularly women.
Secondary school girls have been barred from education and women dismissed from government jobs, forbidden from travelling alone, and ordered to dress in clothing that covers everything but their faces.
The Taliban have also outlawed playing non-religious music, banned human figures in advertising, ordered TV channels to stop showing movies and soaps featuring uncovered women, and told men they should dress in traditional garb and grow their beards.
The final declaration made no mention of girls' schooling, but called on the government to pay "special attention" to modern education, as well as justice and the rights of minorities "in the light of Islamic law".
It said the new government had brought security to the nation - despite an attack on the meeting on June 30 by two gunmen that was claimed by the Islamic State group, which has regularly carried out bomb blasts and ambushes since the Taliban's return.
"We call on the countries of the region and the world... to recognise the Islamic Emirate as a legitimate system," the declaration read.
Afghanistan, long dependent on international funding for survival, has been in the grip of an economic crisis since the United States froze nearly $7 billion in assets held abroad - earmarking half for the families of victims of the 9/11 attacks.
US officials, wary of releasing assets that could be used directly by the Taliban, are currently meeting with them in Qatar to see how they might be able to free up some funds to provide relief to tens of thousands affected by a deadly earthquake in the east of the country last week.
The highlight of the clerics' meeting was Friday's appearance by Akhundzada, who has not been filmed or photographed in public since the Taliban returned to power.
The "Commander of the Faithful", as he is known, rarely leaves the Taliban's birthplace and spiritual heartland of Kandahar and apart from one undated photograph and several audio recordings of speeches, has almost no digital footprint.
In Geneva on Friday, the United Nations human rights chief urged the Taliban to look to other Muslim countries for inspiration on improving the rights of women in a religious context.
Addressing an urgent council debate on the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, Michelle Bachelet said they were "experiencing the most significant and rapid roll-back in enjoyment of their rights across the board in decades".
"I strongly encourage the de facto authorities to engage with predominantly Muslim countries with experience in promoting women and girls' rights, as guaranteed in international law, in that religious context," she said.
Source: The Hindu
Pakistan’s Entrepreneurship And Startup Sector Still Has Clear Gender Gap
Jul 2, 2022
According to Global Gender Gap Index 2020, the gender gap in Pakistan stands at 153 out of 156 countries, that remains worst in the world. The deep-rooted patriarchal norms as well as limited economic opportunities available for women are some of the significant factors that have dampened the potential of women in Pakistan.
While, women across the world are advancing to open up their own businesses and some are making name in high profile business lines, Pakistan remains to be grappling with the dilemma of gender gap and women struggling to step out and make a name. The female participation in comparison to male participation in severe fields in the country is approximately negligible with many women working on unpaid jobs doing unskilled labor.
The reason of such low participation can be attributed to low female literacy rate that has reduced the size of opportunities available to women. In Pakistan, we do not emphasize on improving female literacy rate which has resulted in overall high illiteracy rate of women in the country against their male counterparts. Despite the introduction of regulatory methods, only half of the female population is literate, compared with 72.5 percent of male population. While on the other hand, the female labor force is mostly unskilled and untrained to perform technical jobs and stands at only 20 percent.
“More substantive gender responsive legislation will be critical… along with steps to further prohibit workplace discrimination and harassment, an increase in the women’s quota to at least 30%, legal assurances of pay equality, and the provision of workplace day-care facilities and safe and secure transportation back and forth to workplaces,” notes gender and adaption specialist Kosar Bano.
“Inspections by labour departments on adherence to workplace equality guidelines and the provision of legal action for their enforcement can go a long way in supporting gender transformative change.”
Women who participate in entrepreneurial activities form only a small piece of pie i.e. 1 percent as opposed to 21 percent of male that too working in informal sector(MSMEs). Most women who run their own business are operating in conventional business lines such as textiles, vocational training or food. The opportunities to explore other fields are limited for women in a male-dominated society who finds it uneasy to accept a female running and owning a business with male members working under her.
According to Invest2Innovate’s report, gender disparities are prevalent in startup ecosystem and only 1.4 percent of all investments raised during past seven years were based on women-run startups.
Much of the gender disparity in entrepreneurial setting might also be present due to the fact that married women have double responsibility of looking after their home and running a business. They find it convenient to drop out from work-force and avoid long working hour outside home that put a strain on their personal life. Most of the women complain about having negligible or no support from their family. Women who want to pursue business also lack sources of start-up capital, proper counselling, absence of separate bank accounts, finance for growth of business, and limited financial information associated with business lines. The gender-wise distribution about loan delivered by SBP shows that only 3 percent of small-medium business loans go to women and 97 percent are given to men. Similarly, only 19 percent of the microfinance loan is awarded to women while 87 percent of it goes to men.
A survey “Women entrepreneur in Pakistan” conducted on women in Pakistan revealed that 66 percent of women believed that their “sex” is the major constraint in obtaining finance for business start-ups.
The World Bank published its findings about the worsening status of female entrepreneurship in Pakistan and said, “the challenge is to help those self-employed or potential entrepreneurs who aspire to grow by helping then overcome the barriers to entry and subsequent growth,” it said.
“Some of the current self-employed could benefit from comprehensive entrepreneurship or personal initiative training as well as access to finance to improve the productivity of their activities and earnings”, it further stated.
Experts say the status of female participation in entrepreneurial activities can only be improved in Pakistan if they are given conducive environment to engage in mainstream economic activities. They insist it is important to remove the roadblocks that hinder them to advance their potential and be a professional businesswoman.
“Policy makers and regulators in Pakistan have an opportunity to make agent networks more accessible to women, but this can’t be done without addressing gendered social norms,” notes social entrepreneurship expert Naeha Rashid.
“By accounting for social norms and being gender-intentional, policy makers and regulators can make adjustments to policy and regulatory formulation to advance women’s digital financial inclusion,” Rashid adds.
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