New Age Islam
Mon Nov 23 2020, 11:45 AM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 22 Nov 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

E-Tracking: New Constraint for Saudi Women



















Syrian Young Girls Face Rape, Sexual Violence

Girls Are Key to Solving the Gender Gap in Electoral Politics

Adopted Girl Fills 26/11-Hit Couple's Void

400 Child Trafficking Victims Freed In Burkina Faso

Early Pregnancies Are Killing Africa’s Girls

Inquiry Sought in Savita’s Death in Ireland after Abortion Was Denied

Kim Kardashian's Mercy Mission to the Middle East

Fighting, and Kicking, For Women's Rights in Afghanistan

Dubai Sex-In-Taxi Couple Sentenced To Three Months in Jail

UK Charity on Widow Enabling India Mission

Police Probe Illegal Abortion Attempt by Woman in Sharjah

In-Laws Torture Her for Dowry; Police Refuse To Take Case without Bribe

Jakarta: 'Discriminatory' Bylaws Actually Protect Women

UAE Government Empowering Women

Life in Gaza’s Courtyards: Displays of Pride and Sacrifice

Three-Day Programme against Violence on Women

Arrest Warrant Issued for Wife of Ivory Coast’s Ex-President for Planned Murders

Tunisian Woman Qualifies For 2012 World Karate Final

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: E-Tracking: New Constraint for Saudi Women





E-Tracking: New Constraint for Saudi Women

 Nov 22 2012

Riyadh: Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women's male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.

The husband, who was travelling with his wife, received a text message from the immigration authorities informing him that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh.

"The authorities are using technology to monitor women," said columnist Badriya al-Bishr, who criticised the "state of slavery under which women is held" in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Women are not allowed to leave the kingdom without permission from their male guardian, who must give his consent by signing what is known as the "yellow sheet" at the airport or border.

The move by the Saudi authorities was swiftly condemned on social network Twitter -- a rare bubble of freedom for millions in the kingdom -- with critics mocking the decision.

"Hello Taliban, herewith some tips from the Saudi e-government!" read one post.

"Why don't you cuff your women with tracking ankle bracelets too?" wrote Israa.

"Why don't we just install a microchip into our women to track them around?" joked another.

"If I need an SMS to let me know my wife is leaving Saudi Arabia, then I'm either married to the wrong woman or need a psychiatrist," tweeted Hisham.



Syrian young girls face rape, sexual violence

Joseph Mayton | 22 November 2012

CAIRO: Syria is a country facing continued violence, with activists reporting massive bombings on Wednesday as the world’s attention turned to Gaza, where a ceasefire was agreed upon by Israel and Hamas.

But for women and children in Syria, they are continuing to be targeted and reports of rape and execution of women in the country are quickly becoming daily.

According to one female activist, speaking to on condition of anonymity from inside Syria, the media coverage of violence against women in the country is “less than the reality.”

She added that “women in Syria are being raped, often in front of their husbands, tortured and murdered by the government. It is a horrible thing to be a woman in this country.”

The United Nations has called on the government to allow women and children to leave cities under siege, but soldiers appear unwilling to acquiesce, instead raping and murdering women in the city and other areas of the country.

One of the most gruesome events was reported at the end of May by the United Nations observer mission in the country, reporting that most of some 108 people massacred in Houla in the country were shot, execution style. Among those killed were women, children and entire families; killed in their own homes.

The massacre in Houla drew massive international outrage.

“We are at a tipping point,” special envoy at the time Kofi Annan told reporters in Damascus. “The Syrian people do not want the future to be one of bloodshed and division.”

The UN report said most of the dead were killed execution-style, with fewer than 20 cut down by shelling. The UN cited survivors blaming the house-to-house killings on pro-government thugs known as shabiha, who often operate as hired muscle for the regime.

“What is very clear is this was an absolutely abominable event that took place in Houla, and at least a substantial part of it was summary executions of civilians, women and children,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High commissioner for Human Rights.

“At this point, it looks like entire families were shot in their houses.”

Worse still are the reports being published online, on social-media website Facebook, of soldiers capturing and kidnapping women, often teenagers, and locking them in detention centers, where they are raped repeatedly by soldiers.

Human Rights Watch interviewed 10 former detainees, including two women, who described being sexually abused or witnessing sexual abuse in detention, including rape, penetration with objects, sexual groping, prolonged forced nudity, and electroshock and beatings to genitalia. Many of the former detainees told Human Rights Watch that they were imprisoned because of their political activism, including for attending protests. In other cases, the reason for the detention was unclear but detainees suffered the same abusive tactics.

“Syrian security forces have used sexual violence to humiliate and degrade detainees with complete impunity,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

“The assaults are not limited to detention facilities – government forces and pro-government shabiha militia members have also sexually assaulted women and girls during home raids and residential sweeps.”

The reports have outraged women’s activists in the region, who are now blaming the West for doing so little to help the Syrian people.

“Who are we, as a global community, to sit by and allow my friends to be raped and murdered on a daily basis,” one Syrian activist told on Tuesday from northern Syria.

“I have had people tell me how they were stripped, forced to a chair, handcuffed and repeatedly raped by soldiers in a room. They can’t sleep at night, they can’t look at themselves and they wish they were dead. And so many others are just killed after the soldiers rape and mutilate them,” she added.

“What is the world doing for us women?” she asked.

A report by McClatchy newspapers last summer showed that the military is systematically using sexual violence in a way that strikes absolute fear in the population.

“What I have seen with my own eyes, it was indescribable,” said Rolat Azad, 21, who said he’d served as a master sergeant in Idlib province in the northeast of Syria.

There, he commanded 10 men who’d break into houses seeking to arrest men whose names they’d been given by the country’s intelligence agencies, the report continued.

“They gave us orders: ‘You are free to do what you like’,” he recalled.

Starting last July, he said, his unit arrested and tortured five to 10 people daily.

“We had a torture room on our base,” he said. “There was physical torture — beatings — and psychological tortures,” said Azad, a Syrian Kurd who deserted and fled in March to the Kurdistan region of Iraq. “They also brought women and girls through. They put them in the closed room and called soldiers to rape them.”

The women often were killed, he said.

And with it the hope many have for a positive outcome to the horrors that have become the Syrian uprising.



Girls Are Key to Solving the Gender Gap in Electoral Politics

By Anne Moses


Last year, 15-year-old Jasmine ran for student body president of her Bay Area school -- and won. That experience sparked an important ambition in the 10th-grader: Jasmine now aspires to run for elected office.

Jasmine and other young women and girls who hope to lead -- be it in school hallways, on college campuses, at city hall, or in Congress -- are the key to solving the massive gender gap among our elected representatives.

The 2012 elections were groundbreaking, as voters ushered a record number of women into Congress. The new Congress that meets in January will have 20 women in the Senate and 78 in the House, both records. As we celebrate this tremendous victory for women and our country as a whole, let's not forget that we have more work to do. The wins at the federal level were not reflected at the state level. In fact, women gained less than 1 percent of seats in state legislatures. In California, women actually lost three seats in the Assembly and Senate.

We can't stop until women's voices, perspectives and leadership are reflected at all levels. The gender gap in politics is not just a women's issue; it is a national one.

According to the White House, women's political empowerment is crucial to fostering international peace and security, and supporting open and accountable governance. That is why, when we helped write the constitutions in Iraq and Afghanistan, we required at least 25 percent of their legislative

Most efforts to increase the number of women in office focus on women in adulthood. That is too late. To permanently solve the gender problem, we have to plant and nourish the seeds of political ambition in girls. That's why, in 2009, I founded a nonpartisan organization called IGNITE, a program that builds interest in active citizenship and running for political office among girls and young women, with a special effort to reach low-income young women.

Working in high schools and colleges in Oakland, San Francisco and the Peninsula, as well as in Texas, our goal is to galvanize young women to seek elected office. Girls get hands-on training in civic education, leadership and public speaking; exposure to women who can serve as role models; and a peer network that supports and nurtures each other's aspirations. Young women like Jasmine are learning to speak up and to lead, to understand how policy and politics play a role in shaping their lives.

"The more I see what is going on in our political situation, the more convinced I become that I cannot afford not to run for office," one participant says.

We, too, can't afford to continue having young women and girls shut out of political leadership, and we all have a role to play in helping them overcome the barriers that prevent them from aspiring to office.

Women routinely undervalue their qualifications, so let's dispel the myth that they need multiple degrees before they can run. And let's inform girls and young women that they don't have to wait -- they can start now by getting involved in their communities, building their networks and being explicit about their goals.

Of the half-million elective offices in the U.S., only about 22 percent are held by women. To reach parity, we need to elect around 140,000 more women into office. That's an ambitious goal, but the 2012 elections and the inspiring young women I work with every day make me hopeful that we can soon reach it.

Anne Moses is founder and president of IGNITE and an adjunct faculty at Mills College in Oakland. She wrote this for this newspaper.



Adopted girl fills 26/11-hit couple's void

By Neha Miglani

 Nov 23, 2012

MOHALI: Life's vicissitudes are sometimes rude and ruthless. Major general (Retd) Jagtar Singh Kang and his wife seem to have realized this and are trying to fill the void that the 26/11 terror attack left in them.

The elderly couple lost their daughter-in-law, Neeti, and two grandsons - Uday and Samarveer Singh - in the Mumbai bloodbath four years ago. The loss was irreparable. But the Kangs found a way to seek solace by adopting eight-year-old Jeevan, daughter of their domestic cook Surinder Kumar, who has been serving them for the past 22 years at their farmhouse in Kandala, near Jagatpura village in Punjab, along with his family.

"We have nurtured Jeevan as our grand-daughter and take care of her," says 70-year-old Kang.

For Kang and his 66-year-old wife Kawaljit, life has moved on since 26/11 even though they are yet to come to terms with the tragedy.

"Around one year ago, I made my will and have left Rs 11 lakh public provident funds in her (Jeevan's) name. She will also get 5% of the share in this (Kandala) farm house once it is sold after my death," adds Kang, who is suffering from multiple myeloma cancer.

Jeevan is a Class III student at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Air force high grounds, and is fluent in English. Piling praise on the girl, Kawaljit adds, "I take keen interest in her studies and she has been an excellent student. She is our lifeline. Jeevan eats with us, even if guests visit. Her clothing, diet, schooling, everything is taken care of by us."

Narrating how emotionally attached she is to her "dada-dadi", as the girl fondly calls the Kangs, Kawaljit says Jeevan hugs them the first thing in the morning and doesn't stop crying when the couple leaves for an outstation trip.

"My children, son in the US and daughter in Bahrain, supported my decision to adopt her. My son has even promised that he will take care of Jeevan after my death," says Kang. Jeevan's mother Shalu Devi has been the domestic maid with the Kangs since she married Surinder 10 years ago, and Shalu's brother Ranjit Singh is their driver.

Putting up a brave front, the couple says "nothing can bring back our loved ones, not even Kasab's hanging".

"One has to move on and both of us have. We have found our own way to get out of the tragedy through Jeevan," says Kawaljit. She adds, "My son does not even want to talk about 26/11."

Kang's son Karambir was the general manager of Taj Mahal Palace and Towers, which was targeted by the terrorists on 26/11. His wife and sons were found asphyxiated in the bathroom of the hotel's sixth floor suite which served as their residence.

Karambir is now settled in the US and remarried Priya Nagrani. The couple now has a two-year-old daughter - Aura.



400 Child Trafficking Victims Freed In Burkina Faso

By ANGELA CHARLTON, Associated Press  

PARIS (AP) — Police found the children, some as young as 6, working deep in gold mines and cotton fields around Burkina Faso. They were unpaid and unschooled. Some were being sexually abused.

An international police operation has freed nearly 400 children from forced labour in the West African country and arrested 73 people suspected of child trafficking or forced labour, Interpol announced Thursday.

It was a rare victory against forced child labour in West Africa, which has some of the world's highest poverty rates. Young boys are often sent to work as hired hands in other people's fields or are employed in the numerous mines that dot the countryside. Young girls are frequently sent to work as maids in the homes of the urban elite.

Full report at:



Early pregnancies are killing Africa’s girls

23 Nov 2012

 Alvine Kapitako

WINDHOEK – One factor which contributes greatly to the high levels of maternal and infant mortality is early or teenage pregnancies, says Madam Graça Machel.

She made the remark at a press conference held yesterday to conclude her three-day visit to Namibia. Machel, the wife of Nelson Mandela the iconic former president of South Africa, said at a tender age, girls’ bodies are not developed enough to become mothers.

“Then the girls get caught up in a situation where they do not know what to do and they try abortion,” said Machel.

If they do keep the babies and they go to hospital “because they cannot afford to get an abortion, they die at birth. And when they don’t die it’s a child who has another child,” Machel said.

Full report at:



Inquiry Sought in Savita’s Death in Ireland after Abortion Was Denied


November 23, 2012

DUBLIN — India’s ambassador here has agreed to ask Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland for an independent inquiry into the death of an Indian-born woman last month after doctors refused to perform an abortion when she was having a miscarriage, the lawyer representing the woman’s husband said Thursday.

The lawyer, Gerard O’Donnell, also said crucial information was missing from the files he had received from the Irish Health Service Executive about the death of the woman, Savita Halappanavar, including any mention of her requests for an abortion after she learned that the foetus would not survive.

Full report at:



Kim Kardashian's mercy mission to the Middle East


Having sent forth a prayer for 'everyone in Israel' on Twitter, the reality TV star is off a diplomatic mission (taking the opportunity to open a couple of branches of Millions of Milkshakes)

As Lost in Showbiz is sure you know, prayer takes many forms in many different religions. In Islam, it takes place five times a day, facing the Kaaba in Mecca. In Quakerism, it takes place in silence. In the UFO cult of Raelism, prayer involves first harmonisation with infinity, then contemplation of symbols of cosmology and finally – and perhaps a little unexpectedly – the massaging of your erogenous zones.

Full report at:



Fighting, and kicking, for women's rights in Afghanistan

November 22, 2012

(CBS News) KABUL - Zahra Mahmoodi is 21-years-old, wears heavy eyeliner and a headscarf, and is the captain of the newly-formed Afghan National Women's Soccer team: the country's first national soccer team for women.

Afghanistan is a country full of "firsts" and "only's". This month, I have been to the first and only bowling alley in Afghanistan, the first and only golf course, and to meet the first and only female governor.

Zahra has been playing soccer for six years. She wanted to join a team earlier, but as a young refugee in Iran and then as a teen in Afghanistan, her only option was to play behind closed doors with her brothers.

Full report at:



Dubai sex-in-taxi couple sentenced to three months in jail

British woman and Irish man deny breaking decency law by having intercourse in cab but admit charge of public drinking

James Meikle

22 November 2012

A British woman and an Irish man convicted under Dubai's indecency laws for having drunken sex in the back of a taxi have been sentenced to three months in jail, followed by deportation.

Rebecca Blake, a recruitment executive from Dorking who was suspended by her employers Manpower after the incident in May, and Conor McRedmond, a welder from Tullamore, Co Offaly, were found guilty of having consensual sex outside marriage. They will appeal, their lawyer told Reuters.

Full report at:



UK Charity on Widow Enabling India Mission

Nov 23 2012

London: A total of 10,000 widows in India will soon get a sewing machine and necessary training to stitch garments to make them self-reliant under a project launched by a London-based charity organisation.

"A total of 161,000 pounds was raised through auctions," Lord Raj Loomba, Founder chairman of Loomba Foundation said, at a dinner hosted at the Dorchester hotel last night to launch the International Widows Day 2013.

Besides the amount raised at the auction, several other donors have promised to donate liberally and the Government of Delhi and Punjab have promised to provide matching grant for the project, estimated to cost 500,000 pounds, Loomba said.

Full report at:



Police Probe Illegal Abortion Attempt by Woman in Sharjah

Illegal abortion attempts can threaten the lives of women, hospital official says

By Aghaddir Ali

 November 22, 2012

Sharjah An Asian woman, who was two months pregnant, was admitted to the intensive care unit of Al Qasimi Hospital after she allegedly tried to perform an abortion using a wooden stick at her home in Sharjah, an official at Sharjah police told Gulf News yesterday

The woman was identified S.M, 30-year-old, married to an Arab man and had three children.

An official at Al Qasimi Hospital said the woman was admitted in a critical condition. At the time of arrival she was bleeding in addition to other serious health complications due to her illegal abortion using the wooden implement which caused damage to her womb, the ovary and other areas.

Full report at:



In-Laws Torture Her for Dowry, Police Refuse To Take Case without Bribe

November 23, 2012

A housewife has been inhumanly tortured allegedly by her in-laws for failing to meet their dowry demand at Monohorkhali village under Kutubdia upazila.

Police refused to take any case in this connection as they were demanding Tk 10,000 as bribe, alleged the father to the victim.

Family members said, victim Rozina Akther, 23, mother of a two-month-old baby, was married off to Jamal Uddin four years ago.

Soon after the marriage, the in-laws started to torture her for dowry. Her father Mir Kashem gave a good sum in several phases but it failed to bring happiness to Rozina.

On December 15, 2009 Rozina filed a case with the judicial magistrate court, accusing six of her in-laws.

Full report at:



Jakarta: 'Discriminatory' Bylaws Actually Protect Women

Camelia Pasandaran | November 23, 2012

The National Commission on Violence Against Women says the number of bylaws in Indonesia that discriminate against women is increasing, but the Home Affairs Ministry spokesman said on Friday that it was all a matter of perspective.

The commission, known as Komnas Perempuan, said on Thursday that it found 282 bylaws that discriminate against women in 100 districts and cities in 28 provinces across Indonesia. Among them are bylaws that prohibit women from dressing in certain ways and going out late at night. Last year, the commission found 189 such discriminatory laws.

Full report at:



Life in Gaza’s Courtyards: Displays of Pride and Sacrifice


November 23, 2012

GAZA — The graffiti on the cinder-block walls deep in the Sijaya neighborhood of Gaza City chronicles the recent history of the Jabari family.

Inside a courtyard there are faded remnants of “Congratulations from the uncles,” from the April wedding of a son of Ahmed al-Jabari, the commander of the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, whose assassination last week was the start of the latest round of intense battle between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

On the wall outside, the colorful Arabic script reads “Welcome hajji, Abu Muhammad,” a reference to Mr. Jabari’s return from a pilgrimage to Mecca last month. Nearby, the freshest paint pronounces a message from the troops: “Rest in peace. The mission has been accomplished.”

Full report at:



Three-Day Programme against Violence on Women

November 23, 2012

Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a 3-day programme began at Jahangirnagar University yesterday.

The programme titled “Women's Right Movement Coincides with Anti-Corruption Movement” is organised by JU Debate Organisation (JUDO) and Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).

Full report at:



Arrest Warrant Issued for Wife of Ivory Coast’s Ex-President for Planned Murders


November 23, 2012

DAKAR, Senegal — Simone Gbagbo, the wife of Laurent Gbagbo, the former Ivory Coast strongman, played a central role in postelection violence that cost the lives of thousands of people in 2010 and 2011, the International Criminal Court said Thursday in a newly unsealed warrant for her arrest.

Like her husband, who has been imprisoned at The Hague since last November, Ms. Gbagbo is accused of crimes against humanity in the warrant, which cites her part in the planned murders “and other inhuman acts” that took place after Mr. Gbagbo’s defeat in a presidential election in November 2010.

Full report at:



Tunisian woman qualifies for 2012 world karate final


TUNIS, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Boutheina Hasnaoui, a 2007 world junior karate team champion, qualified on Thursday for the World Championship final after beating Australia's 2010 world champion, Kristina Mah, in Paris, Shems FM reported.

Following her victory over the Australian, Tunisia's coach, Mohamed Jomaa, said that Hasnaoui's qualification to the world championship final was "a historical feat", adding he was confident the Tunisian athlete was capable of winning the title. Hasnaoui, who competes in the 61kg category, will meet on Saturday France's Lolita Dona, the standing European champion.

12 Tunisian karate athletes are taking part in the event which runs from November 21 through 25 at Bercy in Paris.