New Age Islam News Bureau
22 September 2022
• Saudi National Day: Kingdom's Women Celebrate Drive towards Equal Opportunities
• Syrian Jihadist Group Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham Accused of Blocking Married Women from Studying
• US Launches Alliance for Afghan Women’s Economic Resilience
• Joe Biden Vows Solidarity with Iran Women amid "Anti-Hijab" Protests
• National Council for Women Thanks Sisi for Appointment of Female Judges With Courts
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
First Batch Female Officers to Assume Duties at Dubai Police Command Centre
21 Sep 2022
After completing an integrated training program for six months, Dubai Police General Command has recently qualified the first batch of female officers to join the Command and Control Centre.
The female officers, Al Lt. Mira Mohammad Madani; Lt. Samar Abdulaziz Jashouh, Lt. Kholoud Ahmed Al Abdullah, and Lt. Bakhita Khalifa Al Ghafli; successfully demonstrated their efficiency in completing the course and undertook several field assessments to evaluate and measure their readiness and knowledge.
The training programme featured 24 specialised courses and practical training in several divisions, including the Emergency Response Division to receive communications, the Guidance and Control Division, and the Duty Officer's Office.
Major General Dr Mohammad Nasser Al Razooqi, Director of the General Department of Operations, said that the Dubai Police proud itself to have a remarkable cadre who shine and excel in all fields. The Force always seeks and harnesses all its capabilities to invest in young cadres and quality them with the necessary skills.
"Female personnel plays a significant role in ensuring safety and security for all and proactively take on missions and duties that were exclusively carried out by their male counterparts in the past", he explained.
Maj Gen Al Razooqi reaffirmed the keenness of Dubai on empowering and enhancing the role of women in various police fields, specializations and positions. "The Force spares no effort when it comes to increasing the level of women's involvement in the policing work and ensuring they develop and show their potential to serve their community," he added.
Meanwhile, Brigadier Turki bin Faris, confirmed that the female officers had shown a great dedication and capabilities that met the high criteria of cognitive and organizational skills and intellect and security-awareness that their duties as command and control officers required.
The four-female officers expressed gratitude to have joined the Command and Control Centre, which never ceases to motivate them with new challenges. "Dubai Police has created a motivating environment for the youth in general and women, in particular, to ensure we strive for nothing but excellence," they explained.
Source: Khaleej Times
Saudi National Day: Kingdom's Women Celebrate Drive Towards Equal Opportunities
Dr. Manar Al Moneef, Chief Investment Officer, NEOM. photo: NEOM
Sep 22, 2022
As they prepare for the 92nd Saudi National Day on Friday, Saudi women are celebrating the nation's progress and their rise to leadership positions across different sectors.
Saudi women have always coveted more visible and pertinent roles in society, and the kingdom's Vision 2030 is the catalyst that has made them possible.
Saudi Arabia has developed a diversified economy thanks to its “progressive leadership”, Dr Manar Al Moneef, chief investment officer at the kingdom's $500 billion city of the future Neom, told The National.
“We are proud of the incredible accomplishments that have ignited the pride of our people all over the kingdom and we continue to strive for greatness,” she said.
Neom will "continue to be a powerful enabler” of the Saudi Vision 2030, she said.
Dr Manar believes Saudi Arabia is committed to women’s empowerment and has enabled women to obtain the “highest levels” of education.
It has encouraged them to participate in various aspects of “economic, political, and social life”.
“As part of Vision 2030, I am grateful for the major reforms and the continuation of the leadership’s efforts to empower women to occupy leadership positions in various sectors," she said.
She said Neom was committed to creating a work environment that "supports, develops and promotes equality and diversity”.
Vision 2030 aims to boost female participation in the workforce to 30 per cent by 2030.
Saudi women make up more than a third of the country's workforce, statistics released in March this year by the General Authority for Statistics show. That marks a 17.4 per cent increase from five years ago.
The female unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 20 years in the first quarter of 2022.
Many female leaders attribute this achievement to the kingdom's ambitious programme to reshape its economy to become self-sufficient, progressive and diversified.
Saudi women have always demonstrated resolve and “Vision 2030 catalysed this determination into action”, said Dr May Taibah, board member and corporate financial controller at Community Jameel Saudi Foundation.
She has been working in social enterprises for more than a decade, including Bab Rizq Jameel Services and Nafisa Shams Academy for Arts and Crafts.
Vision 2030 caters to the diverse needs of Saudi citizens because it enables every member of society, and especially women, to contribute to socio-economic growth in the kingdom, she said.
“This gives me a front-row seat to witness first-hand the impact of collaboration between the public, private and governmental sectors in fuelling human capability,” she told The National.
“It is truly inspirational what can be achieved through the right support framework.”
In the first quarter of 2022, the percentage of women in middle management and senior positions rose from 28.6 per cent compared with 39 per cent in first quarter of 2017, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said.
But the value added by the growth of the female workforce in the kingdom is not limited to statistics and numbers, said Deema Al Bashrawi, head of operations at Tanmiah, a manufacturer and distributor of food and agricultural products.
She attributed her professional success to a culmination of factors including the strength of the kingdom’s educational framework, which enabled her to earn a degree in economics, and the support of her family.
She said “Tanmiah continues to support my sustained growth” since she joined in 2012 as a manager.
“Today, I look forward to continuing to serve my country, customers, partners, and investors as we continue to support the achievement of Saudi Arabia’s goals towards improving food security, reducing waste, and achieving self-sufficiency,” Ms Al Bashrawi said.
Dr Taibah believes an entrepreneurial mindset is vital to prosperity and extends beyond entrepreneurship.
“The value extends beyond that, to the personal stories of lives, businesses and industries transformed through supportive socio-economic empowerment across the entire framework,” she said.
The World Bank’s Women, Business and Law report for 2020 and 2021 found that Saudi Arabia was among the top countries when it came to implementing reforms and rights related to women.
“Vision 2030 was developed to extend equal support, whether a person is a craft worker, start-up CEO or employee,” Dr Taibah said.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development introduced policies that promote inclusivity, and diversity in the labour market.
These were “to enhance the positive image of women in the workplace, and to create a supportive and inclusive environment to facilitate women’s entry into the labour market”, a ministry representative said this year.
“Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been a champion for women's progress and has helped empower women in the labour market by giving us ease of running businesses and authority which does not require a man,” said Ghalia Abdul, who runs a retail store in Jeddah.
Women's right to drive, travel and run their own businesses had helped her to hire more female workers in the last four years, she said.
The Arab Institute for Women’s Empowerment has said that investing in targeted training for Saudi women would have a return on investment of $400 billion by 2030.
“Most young Saudis have an entrepreneurial spirit and the new changes have helped people like me not just run my own business, but also contribute to the economy and create jobs for women,” Ms Abdul said.
Source: The National News
Syrian Jihadist Group Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham Accused of Blocking Married Women from Studying
September 3, 2022
Women in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib face daily violations of their rights at the hands of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which controls the province. The group’s members have been repeatedly accused of violations and restrictions against the people of Idlib.
Most recently, married women have been deprived of their right to education, sources from Idlib schools told Al-Monitor. Multiple principals in Idlib said that on Aug. 15, the Education Directorate of the Salvation Government, HTS’ civilian arm, informed them orally of a decision to ban married female students from attending public schools and universities.
The move deprives dozens of married women of their basic rights to education and to continue their studies, as part of HTS’ systematic policy of tightening the noose on residents of Idlib province.
All attempts by Rawan al-Atrash, from Binnish city in the countryside of Idlib, to be admitted to school and fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher in the future were unsuccessful.
Atrash, 16, told Al-Monitor, “I am one of dozens of married students who were deprived of education in Syria because of the decisions of the Education Directorate of the Salvation Government to prevent married female students from pursuing their studies.”
On a more personal level, she said that her father forced her to drop out of school when she was in sixth grade because she was his eldest daughter and had to help her mother and learn sewing, cooking and housework in order to get married.
When she turned 14, she was coerced by her family into marrying her cousin. After two years of marriage and a child and another on the way, her husband agreed to her completing her education in ninth grade. However, she was surprised by the refusal of the school administration in Binnish to admit her. She did not disclose the name of the school out of fear for her personal safety.
Shortly after, her married friend Aisha told her that several married students had been rejected at the same school, and they had been given the same reason by the school principal — that there were no spots available.
Atrash said that denying her the possibility of completing her education deeply affected her, especially as the first rejection came from her family at a young age. Once she had convinced her husband to allow her to pursue her studies, since the school was nearby and all her married friends would be in the same class, she was rejected by the Education Directorate.
In 2019 statements, Mahmoud al-Maarawi, the first Sharia judge in Damascus, who heads the religious court that oversees personal status issues in Syria, said that the percentage of underage marriage during the Syrian war rose to 13%, compared to 3% before the war. Most marriages were concluded as per customary contracts, according to Maarawi.
Speaking to Al-Monitor, Raghad al-Jassem, a 19-year-old woman from Idlib, said she was deprived of her right to education, which would have helped her become more independent and self-sufficient.
She was unable to continue her studies after her husband was killed two years ago during battles with HTS in Idlib’s countryside, as she was forced to drop out of school and tend to her family.
This year, she decided to go back to school. But although she is not technically married, but rather a widow, she is trying to hide her status at the Education Directorate through her inside contacts to circumvent the recent decision, and be able to finish her high school studies and achieve her dream of becoming a nurse.
Jassem described HTS’ recent efforts as unjust and arbitrary, adding that there is no article or clause preventing married women from education in the Syrian Constitution, Syrian laws or even in Islam.
For years, the education sector in Idlib and its countryside has been suffering from great difficulties that have encumbered thousands of male and female students from education.
On the other hand, a school principal in Maarrat Misrin, in the north of Idlib, told Al-Monitor that she was recently asked by the Education Directorate of the Salvation Government not to enroll married female students in public schools that are affiliated with the directorate.
The source, who asked that her name and the name of the school not be published due to safety concerns, said that the decision was not in writing, but it was verbally mentioned to her.
She said that she was told she would be held accountable if any married student is enrolled at her school, and she would be punished.
She noted that the decision applies to all schools in Idlib and its countryside that are affiliated with the Education Directorate.
The school principal said she was also asked to tell married women seeking education that there are no available spots.
The source said she is personally implementing this mandatory decision, as she believes the most suitable place for a woman is her husband's house and raising her children. She noted that a married woman would take the place of another student because she would have to suspend education during pregnancy and childbearing for an extended period, and that would deprive an unmarried student of the spot.
She said that the way unmarried and married female students think is totally different, especially when it comes to marital conversations in school. This might affect other girls’ thinking.
She concluded by saying that, as a school principal, she believes the decision is correct, and any married woman should abide by it and by her husband’s opinion completely.
An Idlib-based activist who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said that banning married women from enrolling in public schools is arbitrary and unjust, amid lack of justifications, except for HTS’ control of the area and its systematic crackdown on citizens and education of women, married or unmarried, but mainly the married ones.
Women have bigger responsibilities and burdens, and education can boost their self-confidence and empower them to interact with others and with society, she said, adding that depriving women of education negatively affects their lives, weakens their character and robs them of economic independence.
HTS is trying to completely control the education sector in Idlib and indoctrinate students with its ideas and beliefs by luring them to its religious schools and offering them benefits.
There are several religious schools affiliated with HTS in Idlib, like Dar al-Wahi al-Sharif, which is one of the largest in Idlib. HTS funds its religious schools from its own resources.
In February, teachers who volunteer at schools affiliated with Idlib and Hama education directorates closed schools until they have paid their outstanding wages, as part of a general strike. Teachers in Idlib, who were forced to work as volunteers after years of unpaid salaries, had been protesting in recent years the deteriorating conditions of schools in Idlib. But their demands continue to fall on deaf ears.
Source: Al Monitor
US Launches Alliance for Afghan Women’s Economic Resilience
September 22, 2022
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken launched the Alliance for Afghan Women’s Economic Resilience (AWER) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
“AWER is a new public-private partnership between the Department of State and Boston University that aims to catalyze business, philanthropic, and civil society commitments to advance Afghan women’s entrepreneurship, employment, and educational opportunities in Afghanistan and third countries,” the US Department of State said in a press release.
This comes as some women's rights activists said that many women have become jobless.
The event was attended by Afghan women entrepreneurs, business leaders and civil society members, as well as representatives of the US and other foreign governments, including US special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West and US special envoy for Afghanistan Women and Human Rights Rina Amiri.
“This is a public-private partnership that will help improve access to education training, expand job opportunity, support women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan as well as in other countries. Now I don’t want to sugarcoat it. This is going to be hard, given the severe restraint imposed by the Taliban. But we are determined to safely deliver this support to women in Afghanistan,” Blinken said at the event.
Speaking at the event, Blinken noted Deloitte’s commitment to work with the Alliance’s first member Pod in mentoring 2,000 Afghan women under MWMA as an example of how AWER aims to foster economic opportunity for Afghan women and girls, the statement reads.
The announcement of the Alliance for Afghan Women’s Economic Resilience by the Afghan women comes as many women became jobless after the Islamic Emirate swept into power.
“If such programs are launched for girls, they will surely improve. As you and I know that women are contributing half of the society,” said Manizha Nasiri, a women’s rights activist.
“We see that girls have been affected recently. They are deprived of the right to education. They lost their jobs. They are facing a lot of economic challenges,” said Husna Rasuli, a civil rights activist.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Chamber Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said that more than 4,000 women entrepreneurs have invested in the country.
“The girls who live in Afghanistan have faced restrictions after the changes happened in the country. Especially considering the situation that many women cannot go to their jobs in government departments,” said Roya Hafizi, acting head of the ACCI. ‘
Source: Tolo News
Joe Biden Vows Solidarity With Iran Women Amid "Anti-Hijab" Protests
September 21, 2022
United Nations: US President Joe Biden vowed solidarity with Iranian women Wednesday as eight people were reported killed in growing protests over the death of a young woman arrested by morality police.
Addressing the United Nations shortly after a defiant speech by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Biden saluted the protesters while renewing his support for reviving a nuclear accord with Tehran.
"Today we stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights," Biden told the General Assembly.
Public anger has flared in the Islamic republic since authorities on Friday announced the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been held for allegedly wearing a hijab headscarf in an "improper" way.
Activists said the woman, whose Kurdish first name is Jhina, had suffered a fatal blow to the head, a claim denied by officials, who have announced an investigation.
Some women demonstrators have defiantly taken off their hijabs and burned them in bonfires or symbolically cut their hair before cheering crowds, video footage spread on social media has shown.
"No to the headscarf, no to the turban, yes to freedom and equality!" protesters in Tehran were heard chanting in a rally that has been echoed by solidarity protests abroad.
Protests filled cities, especially in northern Iran, for a fifth straight night Wednesday, with activists reporting clashes in cities including Urmia and Sardasht.
In southern Iran, video footage purportedly from Wednesday showed demonstrators setting fire to a gigantic picture on the side of a building of general Qassem Soleimani, the Revolutionary Guards commander killed in a 2020 US strike in Iraq.
Iranian state media reported that street rallies had spread to 15 cities, with police using tear gas and making arrests to disperse crowds of up to 1,000 people.
London-based rights group Article 19 said it was "deeply concerned by reports of the unlawful use of force by Iranian police and security forces," including the use of live ammunition.
Demonstrators hurled stones at security forces, set fire to police vehicles and garbage bins and chanted anti-government slogans, the official IRNA news agency said.
"Death to the dictator" and "Woman, life, freedom," protesters could be heard shouting in video footage that spread beyond Iran, despite online restrictions reported by internet access monitor Netblocks.
In his UN address, Raisi pointed to the deaths of Indigenous women in Canada as well as Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories and the Islamic State group's "savagery" against women from religious minority groups.
"So long as we have this double standard, where attention is solely focused on one side and not all equally, we will not have true justice and fairness," Raisi said.
He also pushed back on Western terms to revive a 2015 nuclear accord, insisting that Iran "is not seeking to build or obtain nuclear weapons and such weapons have no place in our doctrine."
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that "the Iranian leadership should notice that the people are unhappy with the direction that they have taken."
"They could abandon their nuclear weapons aspirations. They could stop the repression of voices within their own country. They could stop their destabilizing activities," he told AFP at the United Nations.
"A different path is possible. That is the path that we want Iran to take and that is the path that will see them with a stronger economy, a more happy society and a more active part in the international community."
French President Emmanuel Macron said he asked Raisi in a meeting Tuesday to show "respect for women's rights."
The protests are among the most serious in Iran since November 2019 unrest over fuel price rises.
The wave of unrest over Amini's death "is a very significant shock, it is a societal crisis," said Iran expert David Rigoulet-Roze of the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs.
Demonstrations first erupted Friday in Amini's home province of Kurdistan, where governor Ismail Zarei Koosha said Tuesday three people had been killed in "a plot by the enemy."
Kurdistan police commander Ali Azadi on Wednesday announced the death of another person, according to Tasnim news agency.
Two more protesters "were killed during the riots" in Kermanshah province, the region's prosecutor Shahram Karami was quoted as saying by Fars news agency, blaming "counter-revolutionary agents."
Additionally, Norway-based Kurdish rights group Hengaw said two protesters, aged 16 and 23, had been killed overnight in West Azerbaijan province.
An additional 450 people had been wounded and 500 arrested, the group said -- figures that could not be independently verified.
Source: ND TV
National Council for Women thanks Sisi for appointment of female judges with courts
September 21, 2022
The National Council for Women, headed by Maya Morsy, prepared a statement thanking Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, President of the Republic and head of the Supreme Council of Judicial Bodies, for appointing 73 female judges to the courts of first instance.
The statement thanked also the Supreme Judicial Council, and Minister of Justice Omar Marawan.
“Congratulations to the fourth batch of Egypt’s female judges…73 female judges,” Morsy wrote, on her personal page on Facebook.
She continued: “On Sunday, the Abdel Aziz Pasha Fahmy Hall in the High Court of Justice witnessed the swearing-in ceremony for a new fourth batch of Egyptian female judges, which included 73 female judges, after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified their appointment as judges with courts of first instance.”
Morsy said the last batch of female judges was appointed in the courts in 2015, describing the era as “a golden age for Egyptian women.”
The Official Gazette published Sisi’s decree No. 338 of 2022, which stipulated the appointment of 73 female members of the Administrative Prosecution and the State Lawsuits Authority with the courts of first instance.
Source: Egypt Independent
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