New Age Islam
Tue Oct 27 2020, 02:17 PM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 9 Apr 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

East African Women on F G M: ‘We Were Not Meant To Enjoy Sex’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: France’s Muslim Women Fearful as Govt Seeks to Widen Hijab Ban

 

 

600 Saudi Women Contracted AIDS after Marriage

France’s Muslim Women Fearful as Govt Seeks to Widen Hijab Ban

We Reject Femens Islamophobic and Neo-Colonialist Crusade to Save Us

Miscreants gouge-out Bangladeshi woman's eyes in India

Breaking Bajaur's boundaries, Badam Zari vows to strive for women emancipation

3m Female Workers to Lose Jobs If Hefazat’s Demands Met: Bangladesh I M

Remembering Thatcher: Arab Journalists Recall Encounters With ‘Iron Lady’

Liberia: Rape and Sexual Violence 'Endemic'

Saudi Women’s Role In Family Businesses Still Limited

First Female Saudi Lawyer Trainee Becomes a Reality

Resolution 1325 and the Need to Empower Malian Women

Colleagues Recall Steady Rise of a Young Diplomat Killed in Afghanistan

Saudi woman refuses to leave her maid’s side at Arar hospital

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/east-african-women-on-f-g-m--‘we-were-not-meant-to-enjoy-sex’/d/11083

 

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East African Women on F G M: ‘We Were Not Meant To Enjoy Sex’

By Musa Okwonga

 9 April 2013

On the last day of my Easter holidays, Dr. Phoebe Abe (or, as I know her, my mother) sat down in her living room with me and several women from Somalia, Egypt and Sudan. My mother, a GP, had for some time been looking at the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) with Dr Comfort Momoh MBE. However, this was the first time that I had ever met people with whom she worked. Each of these women had undergone FGM early in their lives, and now, encouraged by her, they were talking frankly about how they felt. One of them spoke of the agony that the procedure still caused her three decades later. Frequently, when bent over with pain, she would receive little understanding from those in her community who did not know what she had experienced. “Sometimes they just call you lazy,” she explained. “Most Somali women are very big,” she said, swiftly outlining the curves of her hips with her outstretched arms. “‘You need to exercise, you need to lose weight,’ they tell you.”

When going to see doctors, she had met with an attitude that was no less frustrating. “Sometimes you feel like maybe they don’t care,” she said. On several occasions when she went for an appointment, complaining of severe backache, she was prescribed painkillers without further examination, which merely led to complications elsewhere: most notably, the ibuprofen that she was given led to stomach pains, only compounding her discomfort.

The true problem lay deeper, and was only diagnosed after she fainted on one of her weekly visits to her GP. As a result of the removal of her clitoris as a child, she now has incessant trouble with her back, and found it very difficult to hold her urine, which she found “very embarrassing”, as a result of which “we have isolated ourselves”, she said looking round at each of her friends in the room. They nodded in agreement.

She said this is how FGM typically happens. When you’re six years old, girls in the year above at the local school, or madrasa, go and have the procedure done; after that, they return to school and they tell you that you’re dirty for not having gone through it until you’ve had it done yourself. “We look up to them like they’re big girls,” she said. At that point, the young girls will go to their mothers and ask when they can have it done too. Then they go and have and it done; and, she says with a wry laugh, “then you get disabled”.

Having gone through this, their male agemates will look at them with renewed respect, telling each of them that “you’re a good girl, you’re clean now, eh?” By the age of 14, most if not all of the girls will each have been paired off with a man, “and you’re expected to have your first baby at 16”.  One of the women got married at 16 to a 36-year-old man, and one of the others recalled that, when she got married, “I was 18, he was 43”.

“Back home, men can have wives in another country”, one of them noted, revealing that “when my father died, we [found that] we had Indian sisters, [and] sisters in Norway”. Having said that, due to the extreme discomfort that is the legacy of FGM, they took a very pragmatic approach to these affairs. They would rather that they fulfilled their needs elsewhere. “Why don’t you just have another wife?  “Go and get yourself a minyire [a second wife, pronounced min-year-ray]”, one of them told her husband.  “Sex for me is like a chore…We were not meant to enjoy sex. We were supposed to be machines to have babies.”

Often the women would just pretend to enjoy sex, so as to get it over with. “You don’t want to disappoint him, so you lie,” one of them said. “You say, yes, yes, yes,” she panted, rolling her eyes theatrically as the others laughed. It was after sex that the complications always arrived. “I have been married for 10 years and have only had sex seven times,” said another woman.  “[After sex], I cry for two hours and then have paracetamol. You can use hot water, to soothe yourself [between the legs] with a shower. The first time is the worst, because the skin [which has been sewn back up] gets ripped.”

The dearth of resources in this area had dangerous consequences, said my mother, who saw one or two cases of FGM in her local surgery each week. GPs throughout the UK needed training so that they were aware of this problem. “These women might die from renal failure without anyone knowing that they are suffering,” she said. Moreover the numbers were sobering, in the UK there are 20,000 girls at risk of this procedure every year; in Africa alone, that figure is 3 million. An estimated 66,000 young girls and women in the UK have gone through it; in Africa, the number is thought to be more than 90 million.

My mother recommended that several centres or “pain clinics” should be set up across the UK, whose staff should include a gynaecologist and urologist who each specialised in FGM. That way, she said, “we can make their lives a little bit better and see if there is any way they can have a more enjoyable and comfortable sex life.” She said that local MPs and Mayors should be made aware of this problem; and, noting the Government’s recent announcement of £35 million to address FGM in 10 countries, she also proposed arranging FGM conferences in Africa, where women who had undergone this procedure could talk openly about their experiences.

None of these women saw any basis in Islam for FGM, which originated in Egypt from the times of the Pharaohs. “It’s Haram – it is prohibited – in our religion to do anything to your daughter,” one of them said. “It’s completely unnecessary. There’s no medical evidence that it helps. [After FGM] you’re physically disabled, in a way, but you’re also mentally traumatised, hating yourself. Every time you go to the toilet and you look down there, you know that there is another woman out there who is normal.”

However, though they had endured this, the women were clear that this was not an exercise in recrimination. “I would not blame my parents for this,” said one of them. “They didn’t do this because they wanted to torture us. It’s time to educate our people. [And] what we want is not sympathy. What we want is to be heard. As we are sitting here talking, this minute there is a child who is being taken to the mountains to be done… It is a crime against humanity. We have daughters: are we going to do exactly the same to our daughters?”

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/04/09/east-african-muslim-women-on-female-genital-mutilation-we-were-not-meant-to-enjoy-sex-we-were-supposed-to-be-machines-to-have-babies/

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600 Saudi Women Contracted AIDS after Marriage

April 10, 2013

JEDDAH — The Chairman of the Saudi Charity Association for AIDS Patients (SACA), Dr. Sanaa Felimban, said more than 600 Saudi women were infected with AIDS after their marriage.

Out of total 850 Saudi women infected with AIDS, about 80 percent have acquired the disease from their husbands.

However, the ratio of female and male AIDS patients is approximately one to five.

The majority of the women patients discovered that they were infected after they had a number of children. Only a few of the women asked for divorce, as their family's situation allows them that route.

Felimban said women should test themselves for AIDS before they get pregnant, and even during the first months of pregnancy. The early detection of the disease allows doctors to successfully intervene and provide the necessary treatment.

The early detection has allowed for a 98 percent success rate in the treatment of AIDS in the Kingdom, she added.

Felimban recommends that all citizens and residents should visit the test and guidance centers, where complete privacy and confidentiality is practiced. Visitors are not even asked for their names, and those infected will be referred to the treatment centers and will receive 100 percent free treatment.

She said in 2012, there were 431 newly infected Saudis and 802 non-Saudis of both sexes. About 74 percent of the cases are between the age of 15-49 years, and 96 percent of the infections were sexually transmitted.

The Kingdom is still one of the least AIDS-infected countries and it should benefit from the experiences of others, Felimban said.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130410160768

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France’s Muslim Women Fearful as Govt Seeks to Widen Hijab Ban

 10 April 2013

The controversy surrounding the Islamic headscarf, or Hijab, has been rekindled in France this week after the French Court of Cassation annulled the 2008 dismissal of a Muslim nurse from a private daycares centre because she refused to stop wearing the Hijab.

The court’s decision created a fire storm in France, prompting President Francois Hollande to seek a law that would extend restrictions on wearing “prominent religious symbols” to private schools.

Politicians agreeing with the president have spoken out.

“The Muslims here are French too, and we are proud of their presence, but I agree with the president on the importance of issuing a law that will block the right wing from promoting a complete ban on headscarves,” Socialist Party MP Olivier Four told Al Arabiya.

Muslim women wearing the Hijab have voiced concerns over their future in France.

Algerian graduate student Souad, fears any new restriction might affect her chances of finding a suitable job in the future.

“I can't work in public institutions, and now I can't work in private institutions. What is my future? In my opinion, this is a disastrous law,” she said.

Mohammed Moussaoui, the president of the French Council of Muslim Faith, warns from the repercussions of a new law, but asks Muslims to remain calm.

“The balance is living our religious life in freedom and dignity and at the same time avoiding anything that may provoke the other,” Moussaoui said.

Observers say any new law banning headscarves in private institutions would bring back the tension that gripped France eight years ago.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2013/04/10/France-s-Muslim-women-fearful-as-govt-seeks-to-widen-hijab-ban.html

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We Reject Femens Islamophobic and Neo-Colonialist Crusade to Save Us

Posted: 10/04/2013

Sofia Ahmed

I have been following the exploits of Femen for a while now and have become increasingly frustrated with the way in which they carry out their campaigns. What Femen are doing is highly counterproductive and detrimental to Muslim women across the world. For me and hundreds of other women who have got in touch with me over the past few days, their tactics are a part of the ideological war that is going on between neo-colonial elements in the West and Islamic societies. Their aim is not to emancipate us from our presumed slavery, but instead reinforce Western imperialism and generate consent for the ongoing wars against Muslim countries.

Despite my personal views about the effectiveness of Amina Tyler's actions, I hope that she is safe and well. However, I fail to see how declaring 'Topless Jihad Day' in 'support of her' will have any positive effect on her fate. A policy based on "Muslim women, let's get naked" is counterproductive and bordering on insane. This is what prompted me to launch 'Muslimah Pride Day'.

It seemed that many other Muslim women across the world agreed with my stance and what followed was a defiant and vocal rejection of Femen's invitation. Instead of 'getting naked' Muslim women from across the world tweeted and uploaded pictures of themselves to Facebook in their hijabs, niqabs, and western attire. They held up signs telling the world why they were proud of their identities and did not need racist Islamophobic women to dictate to them on how they should dress. The sheer number of participants and support was indicative of the level of anger and frustration that Muslim women feel toward being perpetually infantilised and patronised by Femen and other such groups.

In our open letter to Femen we referred to them as 'colonial feminists' to describe Femen's activities. I believe it is the most apt term to describe their particular brand of feminism. From Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships, to the pretext of female liberation surrounding the invasion of Afghanistan, women have always been used as pawns by men as an excuse to wage war. Femen are just the latest chapter in the long history of gender imperialists that manufacture consent and provide ideological foregrounding to justify going to war. By dismissing the role of western countries in the oppression of Muslim women and focusing solely on Muslim men they are only working to demonise Islam, not liberate Muslim women.

In her latest piece in the Huffington Post UK, Inna Shevchenko suggests that we have "bearded men with knives" behind us that have pushed us to launch this campaign. In doing so she is dismissing our right to self-expression as impossible.

What she is implying is that Muslim women are incapable of speaking for themselves. It is a blatant attempt at denying that we have agency in our own lives. This kind of inferiorising is symbolic of why so many Muslim women are so angry with Femen.

The lead up to the Afghanistan war is a prime example of how feminism is used to construct and disseminate negative stereotypes about Muslim women to whip up support for warmongers. Former First Lady Laura Bush provided the speech act on the so-called plight of the women in Afghanistan, which turned a referent object like the Burqua into an obstacle to freedom. The reported plight of Afghan women was used to manipulate the public in to believing that this war was a well-intentioned feminist crusade to free them. The crude/sick reality that the chosen method of liberation for these women was by bombing, killing and raping them was cynically eclipsed by the fervour to save them from their own 'evil' Muslim men.

In a climate where we are constantly warned about a 'clash of civilisations' and the West's state of perpetual war with Muslim countries, there is a fundamental need to dehumanise the 'enemy'. The overemphasis on the Muslim man's perceived misogyny overshadows the complete lack of scrutiny of the West's oppression against Muslim women. Femen's reliance on the overused media tropes of the modern western values versus traditional Muslim values is creating a dichotomous representation of the 'self' (West) and 'other' (Muslims).

Discourses based solely on the way women dress has historically been used to justify oppression against all dominated groups in history. The French colonialists would physically rip the veil of from women's heads during the Algerian Revolution. In his essay Algeria Unveiled, in which he examines the role of women in colonised societies, Frantz Fanon quotes the French colonial authorities in saying: "If we want to destroy the structure of Algerian society, its capacity for resistance, we must first of all conquer the woman; we must go and find them behind the veil where they hide themselves and in the houses where the men keep them out of sight". Neo-cons and Islamophobes use the same approach to keep the Muslim woman subjugated.

The hyper-sexualisation of Femen's campaign and the insistence on Muslim women to strip naked as a gesture of emancipation is a tell-tale symptom of Orientalist fantasies. When puritanical, prudish Christians from Europe first came across the Muslim world, Muslim women were off limits to the western man but that did not stop writers of harem literature fabricating their fantastical sexual encounters and present them as reality. Muslim women were depicted as the sex slaves lounging around in harems, there for the sexual pleasure of Muslim men. This has led to a construction of the 'Muslim Woman' as a submissive sexual object. Femen's tactics suggest that this mentality has not changed. Now that the West has become supposedly sexually liberated, the Muslim woman (the 'Other') represents covered up sex slaves trying desperately to clamber out of their stifling burkhas and forced marriages.

I am not dismissing the fact that there are problems in the Muslim world. However history has shown that the West has directly (through slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism) and indirectly (through the propping up of misogynistic and oppressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia) done far more damage to Muslim women than Muslim men have. That is why I vehemently oppose Femen's universal imposition of the neo-colonial agenda. If Femen really want to help Muslim women they should address the fact that for far too long now, Muslim women have been marginalised, bombed, raped, killed, and enslaved by men from the western world. They should work within their own countries to try and subvert future wars against Muslim countries and help break down barriers. Or perhaps they should stick to trying to liberate women in the west.

We have been overwhelmed and are extremely appreciative of the messages of support and encouragement we have been getting from non-Muslims around the world. A woman from the US sent us a picture in which she had fashioned a Hijab out of a piece of cloth and headband in solidarity of our right to wear it. Western feminists such as Those Pesky Dames have also come out in support of our campaign. This is indicative of the ability to look past historically ingrained attitudes and the willingness of none Muslims to try and understand this misrepresented religion.

Despite the popularity of our campaign and the strong message that it sent out, Femen have continued to display a flagrant disregard for our agency and have consistently tried to downplay the legitimacy of our collective voices. Femen have tried to dismiss our campaign using conspiracy and conjecture, and there has been no sign of intellectual debate or a constructive argument against the points that we have raised. They have made no attempt to approach us directly, nor have they provided a response to our open letter. Instead Inna Shevchenko has said that's she will see us on the "battle lines", but we do not wish to engage on those terms.

For us this is not about a spat with Femen. Rather we are concerned with the bigger picture, of changing attitudes and perceptions and to foster a better understanding between Muslims and the West. This is our opportunity to tell our stories, let our voices be heard and take control of our own narratives. Femen should hope for a warm summer, they can get naked every day for all we care, the vast majority of Muslim women have shown that we won't be joining them anytime soon.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sofia-ahmed/muslim-women-against-femen_b_3044015.html?ir=UK+Universities+%26+Education

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Miscreants gouge-out Bangladeshi woman's eyes in India

Apr 10 2013

Malda(WB) : A Bangladeshi woman with both her eyes gouged out was rescued from the Kotwali area of neighbouring English bazar today.

Malda superintendent of police Kalyan Mukherjee said the woman, aged about 30, was found writhing in pain in the morning by passers-by.

The police rushed her to the Malda Medical College Hospital, where her condition was stated to be critical by the authorities.

Mukherjee said the woman had told the police that she hailed from Bangladesh and her husband had sold her to a man at Gangarampur in South Dinajpur district. When she came to know of it, the woman had protested which led to her husband gouging out her eyes last night and deserting her. The couple had slipped into the country.

Investigation into the case in on, the SP added.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/miscreants-gougeout-bangladeshi-womans-eyes-in-india/1100410/

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Breaking Bajaur's boundaries, Badam Zari vows to strive for women emancipation

Apr 10 2013

KHAR: Had I received education, my life would be very different. I regret my past; so providing education to the children of Bajaur is on top of my priorities, said Badam Zari, the first woman from the tribal belt to contest elections.

Zari lives in Sultanabad, Bajaur Agency and feels her area has not made as much progress as other parts of the country. “One can see the terrible condition of roads and the communication system in Bajaur. Most localities are deprived of health facilities and where there are some health services, it is very substandard,” she said.

Sitting on a charpoy in her veranda, she confidently spoke with The Express Tribune and like any campaigning politician, breezed through the issues faced by her constituency. She talked about a heartfelt need for education in her area, dubbing education the “mother of all positive things”.

For Zari, change is a pivotal word. The journey from Bajaur to the parliament will be far easier than what she seeks to achieve and possibly the path she took to get where she is now. An example of this less-trodden path is the fact that her husband’s permission was sought for this interview.

How did a 40-year-old woman from Federally Administered Tribal Areas decide to push through deep-rooted social norms and contest elections? “I would often hear and watch women serving their nation [on television] then I realised I wanted to give practical shape to my longstanding desire to serve my country and the neglected people of my area,” she said.

Unlike many public figures, she has lived the problems of her area, the problems she seeks to change. In an earlier interview with The Express Tribune, Zari said “I used to carry water on my head from distant rocky areas; I want to redress all those problems.”

Perhaps an advantage of living sheltered from the unrelenting public eye and political maneuvering is her faith in the system, “I am optimistic of my success in the upcoming elections as I have broken all barriers and have stepped out for the service of my people,” she said.

However, Zari is about to check her privacy at the doorstep. At the time of this interview, Al Jazeera and other local TV networks were ready to take footage of how Zari went about her daily routine.

Zari lives with her husband, Sultan Mohammad, in a one-bed house with concrete walls and a mud and wood roof. Both seem content and confident about the new candidate’s success According to the Election Commission, the constituency has 186,000 registered voters, 67,000 of whom are women.

Mohammad is a school principal and is supportive of his wife’s political ambitions. They have been married for 25 years, and have no children.

When asked which quality he cherished most in Zari, he said, “She is very tolerant. Even when there is an argument, she remains calm.”

Though she feels that she has taken a bold step by contesting for NA-44, Bajaur II, she is not scared. “Why should I? I am not breaking the norms and traditions of my area. I will work inside our cultural framework and will fight for women’s rights.”

With the help of her husband and her relatives, Zari has already started her campaign. “We are conducting door-to-door campaign, the response has been very positive,” she said, adding “I will not be disappointed if I do not win. I will carry on my struggle for the betterment of my society.”

http://tribune.com.pk/story/533246/na-44-breaking-bajaurs-boundaries-badam-zari-vows-to-strives-to-emancipate-women/

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3m Female Workers to Lose Jobs If Hefazat’s Demands Met: Bangladesh I M

2013/04/10

Three million women who work in different garment factories of the country would have to leave their jobs if the demands of Hefazat-e Islam are met, said Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu yesterday.

“We have not come across incidents of rape or harassment of female garment workers at their workplace or on the way to their workplace from home and back,” he said.

Inu was addressing a meeting with 10 foreign journalists at the conference room of his ministry yesterday.

The journalists are visiting Bangladesh from April 8 to 14 under “Visit Bangladesh”, a programme of the foreign ministry that invites foreign journalists to the country to make them familiar with Bangladesh’s culture and society.

One of the 13-point demand of Hefajat-e Islam is banning all foreign culture including free-mixing of men and women and candlelight vigil.

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/3m-female-rmg-workers-to-lose-jobs-if-hefajats-demands-met-inu/

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Remembering Thatcher: Arab journalists recall encounters with ‘Iron Lady’

 9 April 2013

Do not go “wobbly,” former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died on Monday, reportedly told former U.S. President George Bush senior over plans to use military force against Iraq after it invaded Kuwait in 1990.

Often referred to as the ‘Iron Lady,’ she used a combination of “toughness” and feminine charm to lift Britain from economic recession and advance its geopolitical interests overseas, said veteran Arab journalists who had met, interviewed or traveled with her.

Reports of her seeking to profit from the Iran-Iraq war by selling “non-lethal” arms to late President Saddam Hussein, and oil driving her decision to participate in the second Gulf war, made her a target for criticism.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2013/04/09/Remembering-Thatcher-Arab-journalists-recall-encounters-with-Iron-Lady-.html

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Liberia: Rape and Sexual Violence 'Endemic'

10 April 2013

The G8 foreign ministers have an unusual and disturbing subject on their agenda today when they meet in London: sexual violence against children in war zones.

It's a subject that the Foreign Secretary William Hague, has chosen to highlight. The foreign ministers have a report showing that it is one of the most damaging and persistent legacies of conflict.

Today presenter James Naughtie spent last week in Liberia, the country that the Today programme has been visiting for the last year.

He travelled up-country to look at this problem: the prevalence of sexual assault on children, often under the cover of war, and the fact that one in three Liberian girls now gets pregnant before the age of 18.

Liberia spent 14 years in the grip of civil war until 2003 and this is one of the consequences that is often hidden, or not understood.

James visited an up-country health centre, in a poor rural area, to learn about a remarkable effort to bring it into the open

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22090120

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Saudi women’s role in family businesses still limited

10 April 2013

The number of Saudi women in leadership positions in family businesses is still very limited, said Josiane Srih, associate professor at the Lebanese American University.

Srih participated in a workshop entitled “Activating women’s role in family businesses,” as part of the event “Women’s Work … New Horizons” that the Eastern Province Chamber organized.

The Lebanese American University conducted a study recently, which showed that women constitute 49 percent of the employees in administrative and professional positions. The study showed also that only 6.2 percent of women hold senior jobs such as CEO, or vice CEO, out of the total number of employees at 500 large corporations in the US.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/447643

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First female Saudi lawyer trainee becomes a reality

 10 April 2013

Arwa Al-Hijeili received the first definition of a trainee lawyer as a start to obtaining a license to practice law.

A Justice Ministry source said the ministry has approved this definition when it started applying this law 12 years ago for lawyer trainees. This definition gives women the right to litigate in courts. Her permit is valid for one year and can be renewed for another year by sending a written and signed address to the lawyer-in-charge in the ministry.

“The road is now open for Saudi women to have a law license after the Ministry of Justice agreed to allow Arwa Al Hijeili to become the first trainee lawyer in the Kingdom,” said legal expert Waleed Abu Al Khair.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/447644

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Resolution 1325 and the Need to Empower Malian Women

Daily News Egypt  /   April 9, 2013

By: The Honourable Mobina Jaffer

A Brief Overview the Situation in Mali

Since the beginning of January 2012, an insurgent group has been fighting with the Mali government for the independence of northern Mali, an area known as Azawad. This group, formally known as National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and also referred to as Tuareg nationalists, joined forces with Islamist rebels.  By using their combined forces, they gained control of northern Mali in the spring 2012. Consequently, Toureg nationalists have gained independence of Azawad. However, due to conflicting visions with the Islamist rebels, Tuareg nationalists renounced their claim and left the rebels to rule over northern Mali.

Full report at:

http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/04/09/resolution-1325-and-the-need-to-empower-malian-women/

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Colleagues Recall Steady Rise of a Young Diplomat Killed in Afghanistan

By GRAHAM BOWLEY and MONICA DAVEY

2013/04/10

She was an unassuming young diplomat, only 25, who greeted journalists at the heavily fortified American Embassy gates in Kabul, escorting them to interviews and impressing them with her organization and her studied wish to build bridges between Afghan and American cultures.

Anne Smedinghoff arrived in Afghanistan in the middle of the summer heat last July. Tentative, even nervous about her relative inexperience in the war, she was nevertheless ambitious and eager to impress as a public diplomacy officer during her long hours fielding inquiries from journalists, chatting at parties around the city, and in trips to regions beyond Kabul.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/10/world/asia/young-us-diplomat-remembered-as-one-of-the-best.html?pagewanted=all

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Saudi Woman Refuses to Leave Her Maid’s Side at Arar Hospital

April 10, 2013

ARAR — A Saudi woman is refusing to leave her housemaid alone in an Arar hospital where she was admitted after she had a stroke due to a blood clot in her foot.

Umm Sadoun, 50, decided to stay by the side of her maid even at night. She slept in her room and vowed not to leave the hospital until she recovers.

Umm Sadoun recruited the housemaid eight months ago. She was devastated when the latter had a stroke.

Her son, Khalaf Al-Eneizi, said his mother has vowed to distribute meat to the poor in the city for her housemaid to get well and leave hospital.

The housemaid expressed her thanks and appreciation to Umm Sadoun for her noble stand, saying her employer has always treated her well since her arrival in the Kingdom.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130410160758

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/east-african-women-on-f-g-m--‘we-were-not-meant-to-enjoy-sex’/d/11083

 

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