New Age Islam News Bureau
30 Aug 2015
Rapes in India have stirred up protests across the nation in recent years [File: AFP]
• Girl Raped in Revenge for Her Brother’s Crime in Kapisa, Afghanistan
• Two Indian Sisters Ordered To Be Raped By Village Council Beg Supreme Court For Help
• Politically Emancipated Saudi Women Are Socially Constrained
• Female Employees Rate Labour Inspectors Higher Than Haia Staff
• You Will Never Guess What This Brother in MP Gifted To His Young Sister For Rakshabandhan
• Rakhsha Bandhan Festival Celebrated In Karachi, Pakistan
• First The Rohtak Sisters And Now Jasleen Kaur; Are We Judging Men Too Harshly?
• Women More Likely To Die After Heart Attack Treatment, Say Researchers
Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau
Girl Raped in Revenge for Her Brother’s Crime in Kapisa, Afghanistan
By ZABIHULLAH MOOSAKHAIL - Sun Aug 30 2015
A young girl has been raped by a boy whose sister was allegedly raped by the girl’s brother a while back in north-eastern Afghanistan.
Saifoorah Kohistani, director of the directorate of women affairs in Kapisa province says that the rapist has been detained and introduced to judiciary for legal processes.
According to Khohistani, the sister of the accused who is now behind the bars was sexually abused several years ago.
She said, to take the revenge of her sister, the boy recently kidnapped and raped sister of the man who was allegedly behind the rape.
The incident took place in Farkhshah area of Nijrab District.
Meanwhile, Police Chief of Kapisa province says that the case has been registered and the accused is under further investigation.
Brigadier General Abdul Karim Fayeq said that initial investigation reveals the involvement of more people in this case.
Two Indian Sisters Ordered to Be Raped by Village Council Beg Supreme Court for Help
Rishi Iyengar @OfficeOfRI Aug. 28, 2015
They are being punished by the unelected council because their brother eloped with a married woman from a higher caste
A petition to save two sisters in India from being raped and publicly humiliated for their brother’s actions, a punishment handed down by an unofficial village council, has gathered considerable support for its demand that authorities intervene and stop the “disgusting ruling” from being enforced.
The petition by human-rights organization Amnesty International has garnered over 16,000 signatures thus far, and calls for law enforcement to stop the council-sanctioned rape of 23-year-old Meenakshi Kumari and her 15-year-old sister in Baghpat village in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
The unelected council of elders ordered that Kumari and her sister — both members of the low Dalit caste — be raped and paraded naked with blackened faces, after their brother eloped with a married woman of a higher caste. He and the woman, who belongs to the dominant Jat caste, were in love and eloped after she was forced to marry someone from her own caste, according to reports.
Kumari also approached India’s Supreme Court herself last week, saying that police have been harassing her and her family instead of protecting them.
In a plea to the court Kumari said she and her family “cannot return back to her village and have been rendered homeless.”
The court has asked for a response from the Uttar Pradesh government.
“Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment,” the Amnesty petition reads. “It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law. Demand that the local authorities intervene immediately.”
Village councils in northern India, known as khap Panchayats, are generally comprised of senior male members of the community’s high castes. Although the councils have been declared illegal by the courts, their edicts are still observed in many parts of rural India.
Politically Emancipated Saudi Women Are Socially Constrained
MOLOUK Y. BA-ISA
Municipal elections will be held throughout Saudi Arabia on Dec. 12. In a historic first, Saudi women have been invited to participate as voters and candidates. This Arab News journalist went to register as a voter and discovered that for many Saudi women, making it to the polls won’t be easy.
The first voter registration centre visited was No. 1061, located in a girls’ school on the outskirts of the Thuqbah District, Alkhobar. With the registration timing from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., a police car was parked at the door to the registration center, its vehicle lights on to illuminate the entrance. Inside the school there was an enthusiastic greeting from the centre’s registration manager, Abeer Al Owirdi, and her team of three women.
“Would you like to register as a voter? Come, please sit down. Would you like Arabic coffee, American coffee or tea? We’re so happy you’ve come here,” said registration official Huda Al Sabt. There was a party atmosphere as documents were produced and checked, but registering to vote was impossible.
“Women must register to vote in the centre designated for the district where they live,” explained registration official Aysha Hlawy. With her smartphone, she opened the website, www.intekhab.gov.sa, to show the location map.
When registering to vote at their designated center, women must provide a national Identity card or other recognized government or organization ID, or an attested copy of the family identity document. They also must produce a document proving residence location. Since most women in the Kingdom live as part of a family unit, it is unusual to have a house deed or lease in a woman’s name. This causes complications for voter registration since the prospective registrant must show not only her own ID, but also an ID linking her to the individual owning or renting the property where she lives — as well as the property deed or lease. She will need a male relative to cooperate in making such documents available.
“We are doing our best to help women meet the requirements,” said Al Owirdi. “From the Alkhobar municipality, Essam Al Mulla and Hussain Al Bloushi have set up mobile app communication groups linking all the registration staff so that we can ask questions and get clarifications quickly about documents or other issues. In some cases, the chamber of commerce is attesting documents to make them valid for voter registration.”
When asked about the turnout for voter registration, Al Owirdi stated that at Center 1061, it had been “as expected for the first week of the process,” and that women old and young had registered — although she wouldn’t give specific numbers. Registration official Fatmah Shamasan believed that voter registration would pick up in the remaining two weeks of the process, since the start of the registration period had coincided with the first week of school, and many women had been too busy to come. She also hoped that to reach women at home, there would be awareness efforts about voter registration through schools and social media.
But not everyone is as optimistic. Saudi consultant physician Dr. Solaiman A.M. Solaiman, who unsuccessfully ran for a place in the municipal council, thought it would be a challenge to convince many women to register.
“It’s a very positive move that Saudi women can vote and run as candidates,” said Solaiman. “Whether they will, is something else. Many people are disappointed from the previous elections. They didn’t see any results from the men who were elected to the municipal councils. In the last elections, what mattered was tribe, sect, family and money — not the merits of the candidates. The society here is not educated about voting and what it means.”
He added: “Ladies are clever. They don’t want to follow in men’s footsteps. They will ask, ‘What will we accomplish by voting?’ Then they will look at the broken roads and overflowing trash bins. The municipalities still have a lot of problems that haven’t been solved.”
It’s clear that the Kingdom has a long way to go in taking voting from a name to a practice. Nevertheless, we have to start somewhere. Thursday night it cost another SR30 to take a taxi to Voter Registration Centre 1070. The reception there was cordial. The registration staff scrutinized the presented documents. There were smiles all around. The complete address of my home was found through http://locator.com.sa and the registration form was filled out and signed. The pink carbon copy of the form was provided as a registration receipt. It will need to be presented at the same polling station on election day. Mine was the seventh registration received there.
“Come back next week,” the registration centre manager encouraged. “We’d love for you to register as a candidate.”
Female Employees Rate Labour Inspectors Higher Than Haia Staff
ARAB NEWS, 30 August 2015
JEDDAH: A recent survey found out that the majority of Saudi saleswomen in shops prefer the inspectors of the Ministry of Labor rather than those from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia), a local publication reported.
About 26 percent of the respondents in the survey described the behavior of Haia members during inspections of shops as unsatisfactory.
The survey, conducted by the Khadija bint Khuwailid Centre for Businesswomen at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCCI), showed disparity in the viewpoints of Saudi women toward the Labor Ministry inspectors and the Haia members. Both perform similar roles in the supervision of labor markets and the ethics and behavior of clients and salespeople.
The Qassim region ranked worst in terms of evaluating the behavior of Haia members toward saleswomen with about 26 percent giving them the lowest ranking.
The responses of only 2 percent of the women in Najran and Jazan were negative toward Haia members.
The survey involved about 1,000 female employees in the retail sector in 11 governorates of the Kingdom. It showed a high proportion of female employees who did not deal with Haia inspectors.
In Qassim, about 49 percent of the respondents said they did not deal with Haia members, followed by Madinah with 38 percent, Jeddah 30 percent and Tabuk, with the lowest proportion, only 1 percent.
Among those ranking the treatment of Haia members as excellent, Najran and Jazan were at the top with 70 percent, followed by Tabuk with 63 percent and Riyadh 52. Qassim came last with only 11 percent.
Despite the disparity in the views on the treatment of Haia members, the overall rates of the evaluation were in their favor. The average rate of the women who said their treatment was excellent amounted to 45 percent, against 24 who said they had never dealt with Haia members during their employment. About 18 percent said their treatment was negative while the remaining 13 percent were neutral.
The results concerning the inspectors of the Labor Ministry in comparison were in their favor, with 64 percent saying it was excellent.
Only 6 percent of the total respondents said their treatment was bad, with 20 percent saying they never dealt with the ministry’s inspectors and 10 percent expressing neutral viewpoints.
You Will Never Guess What This Brother in MP Gifted To His Young Sister For Rakshabandhan
By Vasundara R, Team iDivaAug 28th 2015
We girls have the easier job during Rakshabandhan. All we have to do is buy a gaily coloured rakhi, while our brothers have to hunt for the perfect gift for us that year - and we sure aren't easy to please, are we?
When their minds aren't able to focus on a brilliant idea for a gift, these guys just throw in the towel and buy the regular stuff - clothes, jewellery, sweets or just plain money (and lots of it!). But one brother in Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh went beyond the regular run-of-the-mill gifts to give his sister something unforgettable, something she'll cherish forever - a toilet.
Sure, this is something you will never find on sale at Zara, but if you have ever lived or camped out in a rural area with no toilet facilities and you were forced to visit the fields everyday at night to relieve yourself, then you will understand just how precious this gift is. And this was his cousin, to whom he gifted a toilet.
Mahendra Rawat spent about Rs.35,000 on the construction of a toilet for his cousin, Rani in Bhatoa village of MP, which has about 225 women and not even a single toilet.
Rani, who lives near Mahendra's house, is a class VIII student and was scared to go out in the night to relieve herself. Open defecation for women in villages is fraught with danger; there is the risk of snake bites in the dark, animal attacks, rape, molestation and even murder.
Mahendra thought it would be easier for her if she had a toilet just next to her house, and he began the construction. But that's easier said than done, because this village doesn't even have running water in pipelines yet.
So Mahendra started by drawing water through an electric pump from the well which is located about 600 meters from the location of the toilet. He spent about Rs.20,000 on bringing water to the toilet. The thoughtful brother that he is, he built an overhead tank there and even a washbasin outside the bathroom.
We women love to own things and have gifts that stand out from everybody else's. Well, this one truly does. Rani today can proudly claim that she is the only girl in the village with a toilet in her house. Are diamonds still a girl's best friend? I think not.
Rakhsha Bandhan Festival Celebrated In Karachi, Pakistan
SHAZIA HASAN — 30 08 15
KARACHI: “It is not just a festival where you tie a thread around someone’s wrist and he’ll forget about it the next instant. No, the thread binds and protects. He will look out for you for the rest of his life. It’s a serious responsibility,” said a sister at the Shri Laxmi Narayan Temple at the Native’s Jetty here on Saturday.
The occasion was Rakhsha Bandhan and several sisters were present at the temple to buy a Rakhi of their choice and perform pooja before tying the sacred thread around their brothers’ wrists. “It isn’t necessary to tie the rakhi at the temple. We can also take it from here and do it at home,” said Kesar Devi, who had her own rakhi in her bag as she volunteered peeling vegetables at the temple for parsad distribution later.
“I will leave here with a thaali that will have not just the rakhi but also a coconut, some incense sticks or a little clay diya, mithai, some fruit or special parsad from here along with kumkum for the tilak, or red mark on the forehead, for my brother. I’m sure he’ll have a gift or some money to present to me in return but really what matters is his looking out for me. That’s what brothers do, don’t they?” she smiled.
Vishaka Devi, a first-year intermediate student, said that after performing pooja at the temple she first tied the thread to Bhagwan, her god. My brother’s turn comes later,” she said while tying a rakhi around her brother Rajinder Kumar’s wrist.
Meanwhile, Ratan Kumar, who also made a new rakhi sister at the temple, said that he hailed from Lyari, where many Hindu females tie rakhi to Muslim males and many Muslim women tie rakhi to Hindu men. Touched at being honoured by a friend’s wife on Saturday, he put his hand over her head and promised to protect her for life.
“Though this festival has come to become more of a ceremony between real brothers and sisters, it really began as an honourable relationship between strangers. Twenty years ago, two girls to whom I was not related by blood made me their rakhi brother. Now they are married and live in India but never fail to send me a rakhi by post. It is a very special bond,” he added.
“It’s really a duty-bound obligation of protection that comes with the role of a brother, Dharam Ka Rishta. Rakhsha Bandhan literally means ‘bond of protection’.”
There are many myths and legends attributed to the festival. Some say that the rakhi thread was actually an amulet or Taveez to be tied around the arms of men who were going to war. According to another legend, Krishan hurt his hand and seeing this, Daupadi, who looked up to him as a brother, quickly tore a piece of her sari pallu to tie around his wound. Sometime later, when she was being harassed by some villains, who started pulling at her sari pallu, Krishan came to her rescue and made her sari pallu so long that they kept pulling it and pulling it and the cloth just kept unwinding without any end to it. There are many more such stories.
According to Arjun Maharaj, the poojariji of the Shri Laxmi Narayan Temple, Rakhsha Bandhan begins on the full moon in the Hindu month of Shravan but it could go on for seven days after that as some girls tie Rakhi later, too, when their brothers, who may be out of town or abroad, return home.
The Ravi Maharaj of the Shri Ratneswar Mahadev Temple in Clifton, Too, Said That The Shubh Mahurat, or designated time, for tying rakhi was between 1pm and 9pm on Saturday but the festival may last for a week.
Meanwhile, vendors outside all temples of the city, most of whom happened to be Muslims from Mirpurkhas, were selling a huge variety of Rakhi. They were available in several colours though red and yellow seemed to be most popular among the buyers. The cheapest Rakhi cost Rs5 and the most expensive ones were between Rs40 and Rs100. The Rs100 Rakhi was imported — from Hyderabad Deccan in India. “They have zircon, beads and Rudraksha seeds. The combination helps ward off the evil eye and brings good luck to the wearer,” said Murli Dass, the lone Hindu vendor outside the Shri Laxmi Narayan Temple. The vendors didn’t just sell Rakhi, but Bindi, key-chains and other little trinkets in case the brothers would want to buy their sisters a gift.
First The Rohtak Sisters And Now Jasleen Kaur; Are We Judging Men Too Harshly?
By Vasundara R, Team iDiva Aug 28th 2015
Four days ago, when Jasleen Kaur snapped a picture of the guy who was allegedly abusing her and got him arrested, quite a few of us felt proud. Here's a woman who knows to stand up for herself, who knows her rights. We even secretly wished most of us were like her - brave.
Her ‘courageous act' became a talking point on social media. She was appreciated and given a cash prize of Rs 50,000 by Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal.
But many others were also uneasy over the affair. There were all these accusations-
"She is an AAP supporter," said Sarvjeet Singh.
"She is doing it for political mileage; she just wants to be famous."
"If not me, she would have accused someone else, she just wants to be famous."
As the pile of accusations grew, her credibility dipped, as did her blustery demeanour. The clincher or better yet, the cringer was when an eyewitness at the scene backed the ‘harasser'. According to him, it was the girl who made the obscene gestures.
The Jasleen Kaur incident now feels like an embarrassing slip and a slap in the face of the feminists - we all know of it, but we can't meet each other in the eye and talk about it. I have even begun to wonder, have we been too harsh in judging men.
These days, every time an issue of eve-teasing or molestation emerges, we are all quick to condemn it, as we should. But we have stopped verifying the facts of the case, for that matter any case.
Our neo-feminist minds find it hard to embrace the idea that a woman may be in the wrong this one particular time. We are quick to jump in defense of the woman, in order to protect her from accusations like ‘this is all her fault'. And it is because each one of us probably see ourselves in the woman.
Consequently, we have stopped viewing these cases objectively. We have stopped considering the fact that for every ten cases of molestation where the woman deserves justice, there may be a 11th one where she is really at fault (and this is not a misogynist society speaking). Social media seems to be the new court of justice where we hold the trials for the accused men condemn them and move on to the next episode that emerges.
We all felt very proud of ourselves when women marched and protested after the Nirbhaya rape episode. The next two years saw episodes of courage, bravery, determination and glory. We were standing up for our rights, we were finally moving ahead - progressing.
The first cracks in the ceiling came with the Rohtak sisters. We all crowned them as heroes, when we first saw the video of them beating up their alleged molesters, fighting back. When the video was traced back to its source and the girls failed a lie detector test, we were all left feeling red-faced, especially the Haryana government, which had even announced a bravery award. Nobody said anything after that. Not a word of apology tendered to the two boys whose careers in the army were permanently shelved.
And this is what makes us vulnerable to the kind of hate speech men spout at the feminist movement. It makes my blood boil every time men taunt women about feminism, make jokes about it, label us as aggressive, bitter and unmarried women who hate men.
I felt outraged when somebody recently posted a series of photo messages as a counter to feminism - they called it meninism. And it felt like a knee-jerk reaction by men, it felt like venom spewing forth as a response to our growing emancipation.
But when they bring up episodes like the Rohtak sisters and now the Jasleen Kaur incident, when they sneer at us about those fake dowry harassment cases where several good men were wrongly jailed, none of us have anything to say. I certainly don't.
At best, we can call it teething problems of a movement that is still in its nascent stages. As a movement, we Indian women are still so much on the defensive about ourselves, that admitting to an episode like this hurts our self-esteem.
Today this feminist movement, in whatever form it exists in India today, stands in real danger. And it's not from the men or the society we are trying to fight. It's cases like the Rohtak sisters and Jasleen Kaur, who crack our newborn shields. It's we who pose a danger to it every time we ignore or fail to objectively view situations in the society when the need arises for it.
Because then, we arm the society with even more reasons to hate us - like REALLY HATE us.
It's time we accepted that there are good men as there are bad and there are good women as there are bad. There is no one gender that may alone be favoured at any point in history. Or else we will be doing the same thing that men have been doing to us for centuries - discrimination.
Women More Likely To Die After Heart Attack Treatment, Say Researchers
Sunday 30 August 2015
Women are more likely to die following heart attack treatment than men, research has found.
They are also less likely to have an angioplasty procedure, a procedure to widen blocked or narrowed coronary arteries to get the blood back flowing to the heart, a study carried out by the Paris Cardiovascular Research Centre discovered.
Experts said this could be down to the fact that women tend to be older when they suffer heart attacks, and are also more likely to be diabetic. They suggested, however, that the fact that fewer women undergo angioplasties could be down to the “wrong attitude of physicians”.
The research, for presentation at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in London, involved analysing data on 11,420 people in the greater Paris area who suffered a cardiac arrest while not in hospital.
The survival rate for women was 18%, compared with 26% for men. Angioplasties were performed on 26% of women and 36% of men.
Prof Carlo Di Mario, a team leader for complex coronary heart disease at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust in London, said: “When they have a heart attack, women are usually older and tend to be diabetic more often, both of which are important factors that increase mortality risk.
“These are obviously pre-existing conditions that cannot be changed even with better treatment. These factors are, however, unlikely to be the only reason for their higher mortality.
“The medical community must still decide how much of this gender imbalance in angioplasty treatment is due to inherent characteristics within the female population or to the wrong attitude of physicians.”
Heart attacks are mainly triggered by coronary heart disease (CHD), which kills about 73,000 people in the UK a year and is the leading cause of death in both sexes.
CHD generally affects more men than women, but from the age of 50 the chances of developing the condition are similar for both.
About 850,000 British women are thought to be living with the condition, but many are unaware they have it. Di Mario said lack of awareness about the disease needed to be addressed, with men more likely to pick up on symptoms.
“A 45-year-old healthy woman checks her breasts when she showers, but may have never checked her cholesterol or measured her blood pressure because she will not think she is at risk of a heart attack,” he said.