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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 2 Dec 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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French Town Reeling After Muslim Girl Flees To Join Jihadists

New Age Islam News Bureau

2 Dec 2014

 Women dressed in traditional Burqa garments in Berlin. (Photo credit:REUTERS)


 Wife of Islamic State Leader Al-Baghdadi 'Detained In Lebanon'

 German MPs Call For a Ban on the Muslim Burqa

 ICC Puts 'Rape Campaign' In CAR on Trial

 Saudi Woman 'Arrested' For Driving

 ‘I Am HIV Positive, Please Accept Me’: Bangladesh Teenage Girl

 Australia Probes Shock Mideast ‘Child Bride’ Claims

 Bangladesh Women Lack Capacity: Ahead Of Only Pakistan in South Asia

 Fate of Canadian-Israeli woman in Syria unclear

 Child Rights Laws Yet To Be Implemented In Fata

 Islamic State Ponder Fate of Kidnapped Canadian Woman

 Society in Need for Women's Voluntary, Charitable Efforts - Al-Maatouq

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





French Town Reeling After Muslim Girl Flees To Join Jihadists

Dec 2, 2014

BETHONCOURT, France - French intelligence officials got in touch with the parents of a shy, 15-year-old Muslim girl in this depressed town in eastern France in May to convey some shocking news: Their daughter had become a frequent visitor to websites preaching jihad.

The parents asked the French authorities to take steps to block their child from leaving the country and took possession of her passport, according to local officials. In the months that followed, the girl showed no sign that she intended to head for Syria or Iraq. She took off her veil to go to school, as French law requires, and she spent her days close to her mother.

Then last month, she disappeared. The surveillance cameras in the Mulhouse airport, 50 miles from her home, showed her moving confidently and alone as she used her older sister's passport to fly to Istanbul and then on to Gaziantep, a Turkish city known as the gateway to Syria for jihadists.

Government officials say they believe that the girl, whose first name is Soukaïna but whose last name cannot be published under French law, became one of the small but growing number of adolescent girls who, seduced by Internet recruiters, have shown amazing determination in their efforts to join Islamic jihadists.

Jihadists have been masterful at recruiting adolescents on the Internet, experts say, reaching them first through exchanges over hair, makeup or even something as banal as the best chocolate bar, before drawing them into political discussions. They then show the girls heartbreaking videos of violence against Muslims - before eventually targeting them with offers of marriage or the chance to do humanitarian work in support of an ideal, religious society.

Soukaïna's departure has left many in this struggling town stunned, questioning how they could have been so blind to what was happening to a timid, quiet young woman who liked to braid her friends' hair and draw ornate henna tattoos on their hands.

"You see these things on television and you say, 'Well, that could never happen here,'" said Samia Messaoudi, a longtime family friend. "I know this girl very well. ... I never would have believed it possible."



Wife of Islamic State Leader Al-Baghdadi 'Detained In Lebanon'

Dec 2, 2014

(Reuters) - The Lebanese army detained a wife and a son of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as they crossed from Syria in recent days, security officials said on Tuesday.

The officials declined to give the name or nationality of the woman whom they described as one of his wives. The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported the army had detained her in coordination with "foreign intelligence apparatus".

It said she had been travelling with a fake passport accompanied by one of her sons. Islamic State has seized wide areas of Iraq and Syria, Lebanon's neighbour to the east, declaring a "caliphate" over the territory it controls.

Investigators were questioning her at the headquarters of the Lebanese defence ministry, As-Safir reported.

The Lebanese security forces have waged a crackdown on Islamic State sympathizers in Lebanon and the intelligence services have been extra vigilant on the border crossings.

They have arrested over the past few months a number of Islamic militants suspected of staging attacks to expand Islamic State influence in the country neighbouring Syria.

A U.S.-led alliance is seeking to roll back Islamic State's territorial gains in Iraq and Syria. U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed to "degrade and ultimately destroy" Baghdadi's group, which is seeking to reshape the Middle East according to its radical vision of Islam.

Baghdadi, an Iraqi, called for attacks against the rulers of Saudi Arabia in a speech purported to be in his name last month.

He said his self-declared caliphate was expanding in Saudi Arabia and four other Arab countries and called for "volcanoes of jihad" the world over in the speech released on Nov. 13.



German MPs Call For A Ban On The Muslim Burqa

Dec 2, 2014

France, home to about five million Muslims, was the first European country to ban the public use of veils

Julia Klockner, a deputy chief of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), on Monday called for a public ban on the Burqa.

She told the German newspaper Rheinische Post that, for her, Burqas "did not stand for religious diversity, but for a degrading image of women." She said that the German constitution emphasized that women and men were of equal value and that "looking at people's faces" also belonged to the culture of an open society.

According to Klockner, Burqas suggest that women needed to be under the veil because they would otherwise cause offense. Klockner asserted that the "male observer" was the problem in this case and not the woman.

Klockner’s colleague, CDU deputy Jens Spahn, had also called for a prohibition of the Burqa. He told Die Zeit, “I cannot accept that women are completely covered and allowed to move in public spaces.”

Wearing Muslim veils is not nationally outlawed in Germany but in 2003 the federal constitutional court ruled that state governments could impose such restrictions on school teachers.

As a result half of Germany’s 16 state governments have since banned teachers from wearing Islamic veils and headscarves. The state of Hesse banned all civil servants from wearing headscarves or veils in 2011.

In 2007 The Netherlands prohibited the full veil in schools and on public transport.

Covering the face in public has been illegal in Italy since the 1970s due to security concerns. Islamic veils have also been banned in several towns in Italy such as Novara.

The city of Barcelona is among more than a dozen cities to ban Muslim full-face coverings in some public spaces such as council buildings, markets and libraries since 2010. But Spain’s Supreme Court threw out the ordinances in 2013.

France, home to about five million Muslims, was the first European country to ban the public use of veils, both face-covering niqabs and full-body burqas, in 2011.

The Belgian government introduced a similar ban in 2011 when it banned the Islamic full-face veil and any clothing that obscured a person’s identity in a public place.



ICC Puts 'Rape Campaign' In CAR On Trial

Dec 2, 2014

The Hague, Netherlands - The International Criminal Court (ICC) recently heard closing arguments against former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes in the Central African Republic more than a decade ago.

The trial - the first time the ICC has focused on rape as a weapon of war - is seen as an important step for the recognition of sexual crimes and a breakthrough for the prosecution of high-ranking military and political leaders worldwide.

Bemba, who became vice president of the DR Congo in 2003, deployed his militia - the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC) - to neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR), where his troops assisted then-president Ange-Félix Patassé in quashing a coup.

According to the ICC prosecution, as Bemba and his troops moved deeper into the country, they left a grim trail of rapes, murders, and pillaging and were responsible for hundreds of sexual assaults in just a few days.

"MLC troops committed widespread rapes with complete impunity during the conflict," a prosecutor said earlier this month in closing statements. "MLC raped victims in front of their family members. They sometimes forced one family member to rape another ... This was how Jean-Pierre Bemba's MLC troops carried their rape campaign in the Central African Republic."

Targeting CAR civilians was a main focus of Bemba's soldiers during the conflict, according to the prosecution.

"Anyone you encounter in the combat zone will be an enemy because I received information that the enemy is wearing civilian clothing," Bemba allegedly told his troops.

When they entered the country, smaller platoons were organised and groups of three or four soldiers would enter houses to rape and rob the women, girls and elders.

"The massive rapes were not just sexually motivated," then prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo said when the trial opened in November 2010.  "Women were raped systematically to assert dominance and to shatter resistance. Men were raped in public to destroy their authority, their capacity to lead."

Command responsibility

Bemba has pleaded not guilty to all charges, saying MLC fighters were not under his direct command when they entered Central African Republic.

If Bemba is found guilty, it would be the first conviction for rape since the ICC began its work in 2002. The prosecutor has charged sexual violence crimes in an earlier case but failed to secure a conviction.

"We hope this case will change that record and usher in a new era of accountability for sexual violence before the ICC," said Brigid Inder, executive director of the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice, an international women's human rights organisation that advocates for gender justice through the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Bemba is not being prosecuted because he ordered his troops to commit the crimes - but because he did not stop them. "A commander that lets his troops carry out such criminal tactics is hundreds of times more dangerous than a single rapist," Moreno-Ocampo said.

Under international criminal law a person can be held accountable for omission - the failure to prevent crimes. International crimes such as genocide or systematic attacks on civilians are often committed by armed forces, militias or other organised groups. The concept of command responsibility is a tool to hold the leaders of those groups liable.

According to international law, the prosecutor has to prove three elements are met: the commander had effective control over his troops; he knew or should have known that they were committing crimes; and he did not take steps to prevent the crimes or punish his soldiers.

It is the first time that the ICC applied the concept of command responsibility. "The decision might have relevance around the world because the ICC could very well set a precedent for other situations," said Guenael Mettraux, a scholar and international lawyer.

Benchmark ruling

A verdict in Bemba's trial is expected sometime in 2015. The decision could set out the standards and thresholds by which political or military leaders could be held responsible for crimes committed by their subordinates, Mettraux told Al Jazeera.

It could also be used as a benchmark by national courts, he added. Judges could refer to the Bemba decision in the future when prosecuting commanders.

Bemba's defence lawyers demanded an acquittal and denied all three elements the prosecution must prove. His lawyers argued he did not receive information that crimes were being committed; that Bemba did not have control over his soldiers since the troops fought under the command of CAR's national armed forces; and that he tried to prevent the crimes.

"It was simply military chaos," defence lawyer Peter Haynes said. "I don't think Mr Bemba himself would have gone into [the CAR capital] Bangui and identified his own soldiers."

Bemba's lawyers claim when he learned of rapes and pillaging in the media, he sent letters and deployed a team to investigate the allegations. Several of his own soldiers have been arrested.

Bemba did not speak during the court sessions.

During the trial, four men were arrested, including two of Bemba's lawyers, accused of presenting false evidence and bribing witnesses. The ICC has decided to open a separate trial against Bemba and the others.

Observers doubt, however, the trials will have an impact on the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic.

"One positive impact may be to show that perpetrators of mass violence are ultimately brought to justice," said Patrick Vinck, a researcher at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. "Unfortunately, the current situation in CAR undermines that argument."

The same areas affected by the atrocities of Bemba's troops 10 years ago have now experienced new violence, Vinck told Al Jazeera.

"The failure of the international community to assist the country achieving peace is also seen as the failure of the ICC, with a trial 10 years after the event," he added.



Saudi Woman 'Arrested' For Driving

Dec 2, 2014

A woman who tried to drive in defiance of a ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia has been arrested after being blocked at the border with the United Arab Emirates for a day, activists said along with many users on social media.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow women to drive.

"I have been at the Saudi border for 24 hours. They don't want to give me my passport nor will they let me pass," Loujain Hathloul said in a tweet at around midday, before tweets from @LoujainHathloul stopped.

Activists said she was arrested on Monday afternoon, but the interior ministry could not immediately comment on her case.

Another woman, UAE-based Saudi journalist Maysaa Alamoudi, who went to support her, was also arrested, an activist told the AFP news agency.

"They transferred her and Maysaa... to the bureau of investigation" at a Saudi police station, said the activist who asked for anonymity.

Both women's phones rang unanswered. Border officers blocked Hathloul because she was driving, activists said.

She said her driving licence "is valid in all GCC countries", a reference to the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council which includes Saudi Arabia.

Hathloul also posted details about her long confinement in her car.

Social media reaction

Once her tweets stopped, users and activists took to Twitter to express worry and gather information.

Journalists like Ahmed Al Omran tweeted that the October 26 driving campaign had said the women were at a prison while Mohammed Jamjoom said he was trying to reach officials for a confirmation.

Meanwhile Al al-Ahmed, a Saudi Arabia analyst, tweeted that he had confirmation that Hathloul's arrest had been ordered.

Another Saudi writer and activist, Hala Al-Dosari tweeted that the two women had been transferred to the general bureau of interrogation.

The other activist who spoke to AFP said Hathloul was trying to make a point in her unusual attempt to drive through the border.

"She knew that they wouldn't let her pass," the activist said.

During October dozens of women drove in Saudi Arabia and posted images of themselves doing so as part of an online campaign supporting the right to drive.

In response, the interior ministry said it would "strictly implement" measures against anyone undermining "the social cohesion".

Women drivers have previously been arrested and cars have been confiscated, activists say.



‘I Am HIV Positive, Please Accept Me’: Bangladesh Teenage Girl

Dec 2, 2014

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Bangladeshi HIV positive baby, who has now grown into adulthood, dreams of the day she can show her face and say her name in dignity.

“I am HIV positive. Please accept me,” an 18 year-old teenage girl from Chittagong said to this reporter.

She shared her story and her hopes with the Dhaka Tribune on Saturday morning, two days ahead of World AIDS Day.

Alo – not her real name – passed her Higher Secondary Certificate exam this year from the Arts group and is now waiting to start her tertiary level education.

She was infected with HIV in the womb. Her father, who infected her mother, died from AIDS in 2002 when she was 6.

As far as she can remember, her father died from a severe sickness. No one then knew that he had AIDS.

“We learned that my father was HIV positive when my mother fell severely ill the year after he died. We took my mother to many hospitals. Later we found out that she had AIDS too,” Alo said.

In 2003, Alo lost her mother and she, together with her two elder sisters, were asked to be tested for HIV.

The test revealed that Alo was HIV positive but her two sisters were not. Since then, Alo has been taking anti-retroviral medicines twice a day, every day.

“I did not know anything about HIV at the time. But I can remember that my bitter life started with that test result.

“Even my two sisters did not keep me with them on the bed. They placed me on the floor while they slept on the bed,” Alo recalled as tears filled her eyes.

“I can still remember that my utensils, clothes and other personal belongings were a different colour so as to be easily recognisable,” she said.

“Everyone told me to stay away because I had a disease that could kill them.

“I cried by myself. I have learnt how to cry alone and how to remain alone,” she said, her voice growing heavy.

Her family told her she had a disease that could kill them, without a care for the fact that the disease could kill her.

After slow exposure to the facts about HIV/AIDS, her sisters and relatives came to understand that it is not a contagious disease in the typical sense. They now understand how it is transmitted.

Alo herself says she now understands that she need not bear any stigma for her HIV positive status.

Alo has hidden her HIV status all of these years. Her sisters, all that survives of her nuclear family, and a handful of relatives know her condition.

To the rest of the world, this part of her is invisible, she says, because of intolerance.

She knows she would not be accepted by society, her school or her peers if they knew the truth.

Her neighbours, relatives, friends and teachers do not know about her HIV status.

I could never tell anyone about my disease because no one would understand me. They would misjudge me. Our society is not friendly towards us, she said.

“I do not become too close to my sister’s child. I never kiss the child although I love the child very much and the child likes me as well,” she said.

When asked why she doesn’t express her affection for the child, Alo replied: “Yes, I know it will not harm the child but I do not want to take a chance. I do not want to be the reason for anyone getting sick.”

“I treat the child as my own,” she said.

Alo shared her one great hope with the Dhaka Tribune and prays to God that her wish comes true.

She wants a job of her own and a worthy husband who is also HIV positive.

“It is very tough to remain unmarried. I want a husband who is also living with HIV. Only he will be able to understand me.”

Alo hopes one day she can reveal her identity, when there will be no social stigma or discrimination.

“I want to come out of my dark and lonely world.”



Australia Probes Shock Mideast ‘Child Bride’ Claims

2 December 2014

The Australian government is investigating claims a nine-year-old girl from Sydney has been taken out of the country to be married in the Middle East, officials said Tuesday.

The Immigrant Women's Health Service said it received a tip-off about the case, adding that the issue of child brides was going largely unreported.

The service's executive director Eman Sharobeem said staff immediately went to the girl's home to speak to her family, and they indicated she would return at some point.

"I have fears for her safety. I have fears for her wellbeing. If the suspicion came and we didn't attend to it, then it's our fault," she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"In cases like this, many girls disappear from the radar and we don't know anything about them, and then we are surprised with them coming back married or already pregnant."

"Forced marriage is an insidious and hidden crime," said Justice Minister Michael Keenan, adding that the government was checking the report about the nine-year-old.

"We're very keen to... make sure that if somebody is to come across this type of crime that they know how to go about helping that person to report it to authorities so we can do something about it."

The report of the girl's disappearance came on the day that the government launched a new action plan on combating human trafficking, slavery and forced marriage.

It included a Forced Marriage Community Pack, designed to raise awareness of the issue after feedback from community organizations, government agencies and vulnerable groups.

New South Wales State’s Minister for Women Pru Goward added that parents needed to know it was illegal to take their child overseas for a forced marriage.

"Certainly the person who 'married' the girl can be prosecuted and it is just an unacceptable part of life in Australia," she said.

According to Plan International, 39,000 girls under the age of 18, mostly in the developing world, are married globally every day. One in nine of them are under 15, but only a handful of cases are reported in Australia.

While welcoming the government focus on forced marriage, Sharobeem said the brochures would have little effect.

"Forced marriage and child brides happen among the culturally and linguistically diverse communities, those communities will not go to the website and will not share glossy papers to see what's written about legislation in the country," she said.



Bangladesh Women Lack Capacity: Ahead Of Only Pakistan in South Asia

Dec 2, 2014

Bangladesh is the second worst country after Pakistan in South Asia in terms of women's capacity for disaster risk reduction and recovery, according to an international report.

Low access to power, institutional resources, transportation, sanitation and technology as well as a huge gap between policies and implementation are the key reasons for women's poor capacity to deal with the challenges, says the report.

Among the South Asian nations, Bhutan is the best performer followed by Sri Lanka, Nepal, India and Maldives, according to South Asia Women's Resilience Index.

The Economist Intelligence Unit prepared the report with support of ActionAid on the basis of 68 indicators in four categories -- economic, infrastructure, institutional and social.

Officials of ActionAid Bangladesh yesterday shared the report at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity. Out of 100 marks in each indicator, Bangladesh got 48.6 in economic, 22.3 in infrastructure, 45.4 in institutional and 43.8 in social indicator.

The report says Bangladeshi women represent the majority of microfinance borrowers -- 90.1 percent -- but their access to credit at both formal and informal institutions are limited. Besides, women own only 34.9 percent of total bank accounts.

When it comes to infrastructure, Bangladesh “does have many aspects of an end-to-end early warning system, with improvements shown in the success of the response to more recent cyclones,” it says.

However, most infrastructures don't follow building code while the road infrastructure is vulnerable to disasters such as flood and cyclone.

The report also says women representation in different institutions is very poor in Bangladesh. For example, women make up just 3.9 percent of police force.

Women are disadvantaged by a lack of legal awareness or access to “institutional recourse” and they presently don't have inheritance rights to properties.

Moreover, socio-cultural norms restrict a large proportion of women to domestic responsibilities and limited access to education and health.

Bangladesh has suffered extensive human and financial losses in the past 20 years due to natural and man-made disasters that claimed around 15,719 lives and caused a loss of around $13 billion, it said.

The report was prepared between March and June this year by following a methodology that included review of documents and interview of persons concerned.

In the report, Japan was taken as the benchmark since the country succeeded in achieving significant progress in building women's capacity in disaster resilience.

At yesterday's press conference, ActionAid Bangladesh Country Director Farah Kabir said the government has per capita allocation of $5.3 for disaster relief. More government investments must be ensured to tackle the disaster risk management.

Necessary steps should be taken to ensure women empowerment and enhance their capacity in disaster resilience and gender-sensitive policy planning. It would help them take leadership to address the challenges, she said.



Fate Of Canadian-Israeli Woman In Syria Unclear

2 December 2014

A Kurdish official in Syria denied on Monday previous reports that Canadian-Israeli Gill Rosenberg was captured by ISIS militants and a Facebook message on her page read “I’m totally safe and secure,” although the post could not be verified.

A 31-year-old a civil aviation pilot who was arrested in 2009, Rosenberg told Reuters in November she was in Syria.

A source linked to the YPG, the Kurds’ dominant fighting force in northern Syria, told Reuters that Rosenberg was their first female foreign recruit and had crossed into Syria to fight against ISIS militants.

Idris Nassan, a local official in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane, told Reuters that his people in the field reported that she had not been captured, dismissing it as propaganda.

“Guys, I’m totally safe and secure. I don’t have Internet access or any communication devices with me for my safety and security,” read the post on Rosenberg’s Facebook page on Monday.

“Ignore the reports I’ve been captured.”

Despite this, Israeli media reported on Sunday that Rosenberg had been captured, citing a website associated with ISIS.

Canada has said it is “pursuing all appropriate channels” to try to verify the reports of her kidnap.

“There are conflicting reports and whenever we get conflicting reports, I think the responsible thing to do is to get all the facts,” Foreign Minister John Baird told reporters in London.

“Obviously we have very limited capacity to do much in large swathes of this territory and that’s the reason why we’ve issued the travel advisories (against going to Iraq and Syria).”

(With Reuters)



Child Rights Laws Yet To Be Implemented In Fata

Dec 2, 2014

The recent recovery of 35 minor girls, most of them from Bajaur tribal region, from a house in Karachi has exposed the faulty policies adopted by successive governments, both civil and military, towards the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

This incident should be an eye-opener for the policymakers who have been keeping the people of Fata backward in terms of social and economic development.

As compared to rest of the country the status of these areas has still not been clear despite the creation of Pakistan over 67 years ago.

Ambiguity still persists regarding the rights extended to the inhabitants of Fata, especially women and children.

Following the recovery of these girls a hue and cry was raised by almost all political parties and their leaders have been trying to portray themselves as sympathisers of the people of Fata and their children.

Almost all the political parties have played their role while playing havoc with the tribal areas. It is evident from the fact that while drastic changes were made in the Constitution of Pakistan through the Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act, 2010, no amendment was introduced in that Act for improving the plight of tribal people.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land and no law could be enacted in conflict with it, has given the status of secondary citizens to the tribal people.

While 20 parliamentarians, 12 MNAs and eight senators, have now regularly been elected from tribal areas these lawmakers had no authority to legislate for their areas.

Article 246 and 247 of the Constitution made the status of Fata different from rest of the country. Under Article 247 (3) of the Constitution, no Act of the parliament is applicable to Fata unless the President issues directives in this regard. Similarly, Article 247 (5) empowers the President to make regulation for peace and good governance in Fata. The most oppressive provision is Article 247 (7) which bars the Supreme Court and high courts from exercising any jurisdiction in tribal areas.

The successive governments failed in extending some important laws related to rights of children to Fata. Even, if some of the laws were extended to Fata it proved to be a futile exercise as the government failed to put in place the required institutional framework for their implementation.

The Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000, introduced in rest of the country during the military government of General Pervez Musharraf, was extended to Fata after campaigning by civil society organisations in 2004.

However, that law has yet to be implemented there. Vital institutional framework required under this law has yet to be introduced, including the setting up of probation department, juvenile courts and borstal institutions, etc.

In Nov 1998, the President of Pakistan extended another important law, Employment of Children Act, 1991, to Fata, but without any homework. The law bars the working of children in hazardous occupations and also provides mechanism for their working in other occupations. Interestingly, labour department is not available in Fata for implementation of this law.

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas Compulsory Primary Education Regulation, 2002, was introduced in May 2002.

Like rest of the country where such laws have so far not been implemented, Fata is also not an exception.

This law provides for setting up of an agency or education authority with the responsibility of taking action against parents for not sending their children to acquire primary education. It also provides penalty for the employer who employs a child.

There are several important laws which have so far not been extended to Fata.

Some of these laws are: Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929; Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance 2000; Prisoners Act 1900; Probation of Offenders Ordinance 1960; Reformatory Schools Act 1897; Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1992; Shops and Establishment Ordinance 1969; Workers Children (Education) Ordinance 1972; Vaccination Ordinance 1958; Protection of Breast Feeding Ordinance 2002; Prohibition of Smoking Ordinance 2002; Guardians and Wards Act 1890; Birth, Death and Marriage Registration Act 1886; and, West Pakistan Control of Orphanage Act 1958.

“It is important that the government should introduce a law on the pattern of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act, in Fata so that a child protection commission should be set up there,” said Jehanzeb Khan, regional head of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child.

He said that the Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance should also be extended to Fata with certain amendments and the issue of internal trafficking in the country should also be included in it.

Mr Jehanzeb said that around 900 schools were fully or partially damaged during militancy in Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which had left over 100,000 girl students without schools.

He said that these schools should be reconstructed and the standard of education should also be improved in Fata so that children could be sent to schools instead of sending them to faraway places like Karachi.

“The jurisdiction of superior courts should be extended to Fata so that the rights available to people in rest of Pakistan could also be implemented for that of FATA,” he added.



Islamic State ponder fate of kidnapped Canadian woman

Dec 2, 2014

Islamist websites are claiming that Gill Rosenburg, a Canadian-Israeli woman who was reportedly fighting with Kurdish fighters in Syria has been captured by Islamic State extremists.

Websites close to the extremist group claim Rosenberg was taken hostage following a spate of suicide attacks on a Kurdish controlled area thought to be the key border town of Kobani. The Israeli and Canadian governments are said to be looking into the reports.

Rosenburg, 31, was born in Vancouver and holds Canadian and Israeli citizenship. She left Canada for Israel in 2006 and served in the Israeli Defence Forces before reportedly traveling to northern Iraq to train and fight with Kurdish fighters.

News of Rosenburg’s alleged capture surfaced yesterday with reports saying she was taken along with other Kurdish fighters following a series of suicide attacks on Kurdish held positions.

A US-based monitoring group said that jihadists were now discussing whether to execute Rosenberg or free her in exchange for Muslim prisoners.

Kurdish forces have denied the reports, saying that Rosenberg was not in the area around Kobani at the time of the attacks.



Society in Need for Women's Voluntary, Charitable Efforts - Al-Maatouq

Dec 2, 2014

(KUNA) -- The society is in dire need for women's voluntary and charitable efforts, particularly amid the wars and disasters that have afflicted the Muslim states, Chairman of the Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO), Amiri Diwan Advisor, Abdullah Al-Maatouq, said on Sunday.

The statement was made in a press conference organized by the IICO on arrangements for the world conference on the "Role of Women in Charitable Work" to be held here on December 15-17 under auspices of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Al-Maatouq, also UN Secretary-General's Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs, noted that women are regarded as "idol capacity" due to social and cultural background that has nothing to do with real Islam.

He urged abolishing the obstacles that do not allow activating women's role in charitable activities.

The Amiri Diwan Advisor noted that since the first days of Islam, women have been sharing men the responsibility of building the society, and have never been absent from the scene.

He underscored the role of women in voluntary and charitable work, calling for giving them the opportunity to fulfil it. He referred to nine female cadres form around the Muslim world in the IICO General Assembly, offering them the chance to run for the Organization's membership.

This is unprecedented in a world Islamic Organization, he stressed.

Meanwhile, the UN envoy said that he had discussed with Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdulatif Al-Zayani the need for a legislation to provide protection charitable workers.

The chief aim of the "Role of Women in Charitable Work" initiative taken by the IICO is to highlight the real and aspiring role of Muslim women in building the societies, as well as substantiation from the religion to this, Advisor to the IICO Chairman and member of the General Assembly Shatha Mishri.

Mishri, head of the conference preparatory committee, added that participants will focus on the obstacles, social or religious, impeding women's voluntary andcharitable efforts