New Age Islam
Tue Aug 11 2020, 05:33 PM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 11 Dec 2018, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Indonesian Women Blame Govt for Rise in Sexual Harassment
















A Muslim student, left, helps Sarah Pooley, 14, of Albuquerque, try on the traditional head covering known as a hijab on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Students took part in "World Hijab Day" on Wednesday, an event created in 2013 in reaction to Muslim women being harassed for wearing the head covering used by some women who practice Islam. (Photo: Russell Contreras/The Associated Press)

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Murfreesboro College Expelled Muslim Woman for Wearing the Hijab

Arab Women Take To the ‘Death Boats’ Of Illegal Migration

Voters Elect First Woman to Local Council in Aleppo, Syria

Omani Gets Arab Woman Award 2018 for Social Development

Microfinance Empowers 33,000 Turkish Women

‘Fyonka’ All-Female Ride Hailing Service Seeks Empowering Egyptian Women

Anti-Islam Blogger Misses the Mark on University Education for Women

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/indonesian-women-blame-govt-for-rise-in-sexual-harassment/d/117138

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Indonesian Women Blame Govt for Rise in Sexual Harassment

December 11, 2018

Sexual harassment has reached epidemic proportions in Indonesia because government and parliament have failed to provide any legal protection, women's rights activists say.

This failure to provide protection was emboldening men to become sexual predators, they say.

Incidents of sexual predators preying on women are becoming rampant in public places, offices, schools and even in the home, they said during a protest march at the weekend and another on Dec. 10 that saw thousands of women march through Jakarta to mark International Human Rights Day.

One of their demands was for the immediate passing of an Eradication of Sexual Violence Bill that was first put before parliament in 2014.

Under the proposed law, rapists could face up to 20 years in prison, attempted rape could see someone sentenced to 15 years, while incidents of sexual harassment could see someone receive 6 years.

According to the National Commission on Violence against Women the number of rape and sexual harassment cases rose sharply from 259,150 cases in 2016 to 348,446 in 2017.

Many perpetrators were people close to the victims and included teachers, family members, boyfriends, work colleagues and also employers.

"We want the government to pay attention because these cases increase each year," commission chairwoman Azriana Manalu, told ucanews.com during the protest.

Sexual violence prevalence is high in Indonesia and the figures given are likely the tip of the iceberg, said Manalu, who was also spokeswoman for the more than 200 groups taking part in the rallies.

"Unfortunately, this is not being balanced with adequate legal protection for victims," she said.

According to her, Indonesia's criminal code in general is not geared toward dealing with perpetrators effectively.

"Many sexual abuse cases aren't handled well. Hence, there is need for a special law to protect women and prosecute perpetrators in court," she said.

Presently the commission helps provide legal assistance to victims, as well as offer physical and psychological help to aid recovery.

According to Elly Rosita Silaban, a labor activist in Jakarta, women often face sexual harassment and abuse from their bosses or co-workers.

There is nowhere for victims to turn, they either have to endure it or quit.

She said labor law or company regulations are not sufficient tools to protect women at work, because perpetrators are often left unpunished because any such rule is not enforced adequately.

Men know they can get away with it, said Vera, 21, (not her real name) an office worker.

Vera said she had been sexually assaulted while heading to work on public transportation and has been the target of harassment by male "friends" and colleagues on social media such as WhatsApp and Facebook.

"They keep sending me pictures and messages of a sexual nature despite me asking them to stop," she said.

If they won't respect my dignity then maybe they might respect the law if it's passed, she said.

https://www.ucanews.com/news/indonesian-women-blame-govt-for-rise-in-sexual-harassment/84083

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Murfreesboro College Expelled Muslim Woman for Wearing the Hijab

Dec. 11, 2018

A Murfreesboro college expelled a Muslim woman from its campus earlier this year because she covered her hair for religious reasons, a national civil rights organization says.

Muslim Advocates along with a New York law firm sent a letter to Georgia Career Institute on Tuesday demanding they refund Linde McAvoy the thousands of dollars she paid to participate in the school’s esthetics program.

"GCI’s conduct is completely unjustified. No person should be forced to choose between receiving an education and complying with their sincerely held religious beliefs," the letter states. "The GCI must take immediate steps to remedy this discriminatory situation."

On behalf of McAvoy, Muslim Advocates and Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP also demanded GCI compensate her for the discrimination she has experienced, amend its dress code to allow religious clothing and provide its staff with anti-discrimination training.

Joyce Meadows, the president and CEO of GCI, said the school permits people to wear religious head coverings if they bring a letter from a religious leader explaining why they need to wear it. Meadows said the school asked McAvoy to do so.

"She never produced that. End of story," said Meadows, who on Tuesday morning had not yet seen the demand letter. "We're not discriminating against anybody. We would be delighted to have her to come in with her headdress. It’s no problem."

The institute, with a location at 1691 Memorial Boulevard in Murfreesboro, trains people for careers in cosmetology, esthetics, nail technology and massage therapy.

McAvoy enrolled in GCI’s esthetics program in December 2017 and took out federal student loans to help her pay for it, the letter states. At that time, McAvoy did not wear a religious head covering. But, she converted to Islam at the end of January 2018 and started wearing a hijab in public in accordance with her religious beliefs. 

"The hostility started the moment I started wearing my hijab," McAvoy said in a news release. "I thought GCI would be a place where I could learn a trade but instead, they took my money, openly discriminated against me and kicked me out for being a Muslim. It’s not right and it’s not fair."

The letter says Meadows insisted McAvoy stop wearing her hijab because it violated the school’s dress code although the dress code does not prohibit religious head coverings. McAvoy kept wearing it and was repeatedly ejected from her classes as a result, the letter says. She also declined to provide proof that she wore the hijab for religious reasons after the school requested it.

"Ms. Meadows informed her that if she wanted to continue attending GCI she would have to remove her hijab while on campus or provide external confirmation that she wore the hijab for religious reasons," the letter states. "Ms. Meadows, however, failed to support or justify this demand for external confirmation, and GCI’s Student Catalog imposes no such obligation."

GCI expelled McAvoy on or around Feb. 23, 2018, the letter states.

"GCI deprived Ms. McAvoy of the opportunity to complete her esthetics coursework simply because, as a Muslim woman, Ms. McAvoy wore the hijab," the letter states. "Moreover, GCI’s actions violate federal civil rights law. As an institution that receives federal financial assistance, GCI is obligated to comply with federal anti-discrimination mandates."

Meadows said GCI’s dress code requires students to have their hair and makeup done. In the past, students who did not have time or did not want to do their hair would cover it with a hat or other item, which is not allowed. The policy was created to prevent that behavior, not for discriminatory reasons, she said.

Other students who wore religious head coverings have followed the rule, including Muslim students, Meadows said.

"We’ve had people that have religions that require the headdress and they have acknowledged or abide by the policy to bring in from a religious leader a statement that they are required to wear the headdress and we allow that," Meadows said. "If they abide by the policy, then there’s no issue."

https://www.dnj.com/story/news/2018/12/11/national-advocates-say-murfreesboro-college-expelled-muslim-woman-wearing-hijab/2271747002/

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Arab Women Take To the ‘Death Boats’ Of Illegal Migration

06/12/2018

CAIRO - Illegal migration is widespread but the migrants are generally male. Despite the perilous experience, however, some women in Tunisia were not deterred from getting on the boats. They were fleeing tough living conditions that have become even harder since the 2011 revolution.

Due to lax security, illegal migration became endemic in Tunisia but it was brought under check when authorities clamped down on traffickers. Still, the “death boats” of illegal migration entice young Tunisians, including women.

In 2018, there were at least two sinking incidents off the Tunisian coast. In June, more than 80 migrants drowned near the coast of the Tunisian island of Kerkennah and eight drowned off the coast of the island of Djerba last August.

Among the victims in the Kerkennah tragedy were quite a few women, some of whom were pregnant. Experts said desperation in their home countries led some of them to seek to have their babies born in Europe so they can more easily obtain residence documents and give their children a chance at a better life.

During the first nine months of 2017, Tunisian authorities foiled 164 immigration attempts, 1,300 Tunisians were among them.

In October 2017, the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior said the number of women attempting to illegally cross to Europe had risen to 5% of the total from just 1% in 2016. The Tunisian Forum on Economic and Social Rights said Tunisian women make up 4% of irregular migration from the country.

Forum President Messaoud Romdhani pointed out that “Tunisian females suffer twice as much than males from unemployment. More than 30% of women complain from the lack of job opportunities and that leads them to risk a dangerous adventure.”

Tunisian sociologist Taieb Touili said a Tunisian woman “would not dare to get on board a ‘death boat’ unless she is experiencing a real economic or social threat or in case her family fabric is torn apart by the absence of her husband. There are significant numbers of women who migrate to join their husbands.”

Touili said the fluctuation of the proportion of females among illegal immigrants “should be considered as a real indicator of the gravity of the security, economic and social conditions in the country.”

Tunisia is not the only country experiencing a rise in the illegal migration of women. Morocco has seen the same phenomenon.

Unemployment and marginalisation that characterise the lives of some young men and women are not the only reasons behind a growing clandestine immigration in Morocco. Many young women are fascinated with Europe and believe it to be the land of their dreams and happiness.

Hossam Hab, deputy head of the Moroccan Centre for Youth and Democratic Transitions, said illegal “migration of Moroccan women to Europe via ‘death boats’ is not a new phenomenon in Morocco. The new phenomenon, however, is the wide media coverage it is getting because of the popularity of social media networks in Morocco.”

Hab pointed out the country’s growing youth population will inevitably lead to increased demand for services to meet their social, economic and psychological needs. So, there should be an expected increase in the number of female migrants from Morocco if they see few opportunities at home.

In Egypt, too, women are taking to the “death boats.” Some are fleeing male domination and attempt the passage alone. Others cross with their husbands. There are women with young children in their arms or babies in their wombs.

Female illegal migration first came to light in Egypt in September 2016 when the ship Rasheed sank off the coast of Beheira governorate and more than 200 people died. The bodies of women in their 20s were recovered. Ten women survived.

A similar incident occurred three months earlier when the Egyptian Navy found nine decomposing bodies, including the body of an Egyptian woman. Also, a boat bound for the coast of Europe sunk and the navy rescued 12 people, including three women.

Amal Wajih, a 30-year-old Egyptian woman, lives with her 47-year-old husband in Italy after arriving there via illegal immigration channels. The passage to Europe had cost her about $2,250. Amal said by phone that she chose to get on a “death boat” rather than to live the bitterness of the conditions in Egypt.

Wajih said she was comforted by the presence of other women on the boat. There were women with their husbands. There was a woman who was running away from an “obedience” sentence and another who had served a prison sentence and could no longer stand the mean looks of society and what she said was her husband’s treachery.

Wajih said she could not remember how many days she spent on the boat because of pain and dizziness she suffered during the journey. She said she remembered howling winds and roaring waves that pounded the boat, knocking those on board to the deck.

For many women, the journey must have seemed a “ticket to death.”

Egyptian government efforts to stem illegal migration have significantly reduced “death boat” incidents. Still, illegal migration of females is expected to continue due to economic decline, the reluctance of young women to marry and their resentment of male dominance.

Hana Ashmawi, an Egyptian sociologist, said, despite tough measures provided by Egypt’s Law 82 of 2016 against illegal migration and human trafficking and the toughening of security measures, women would continue to risk their lives on the vessels. This will hold true even though clerics place attempts to cross on “death boat” on a par with suicide, which is considered a sin in Islam, Ashmawi said.

His view was confirmed by a young woman from the village of Borg Mghizel in Kafar Sheikh District in northern Egypt. She said: “My ardent desire to get to the shores of Greece and join my sweetheart as soon as the chance presents itself will not be deterred by the dangers ahead at sea.”

He had been in Greece for four years but could not save enough to afford a proper wedding. “Sailing into the unknown with a death ticket is not as painful as feeling estranged in a society that looks at a female only as a body for sexual satisfaction and for making babies,” the woman said.

What these experiences reveal is that more Arab women are willing to take great risks to achieve their ambitions and the migration of women from countries that fail to provide decent lives for them to more developed countries is inevitable.

https://middle-east-online.com/en/arab-women-take-%E2%80%98death-boats%E2%80%99-illegal-migration

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Voters Elect First Woman to Local Council in Aleppo, Syria

Khaled al-Khateb

December 11, 2018

ALEPPO, Syria — Dec. 1 was Kenana Abdul Razzaq’s first day of work on the local council of Ain Jara in western Aleppo province. Her election Nov. 24 marked the first time women have been allowed to run — or vote — in this area held by the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Out of four female candidates, Abdul Razzaq was the only one elected to the 15-member council, which represents the town and surrounding rural areas. At the council's first meeting, the members elected a president, vice president and members of the executive bureau.

“I will be running the women's affairs office in the local council, and I will be focusing my efforts on supporting and empowering women at the educational, social and health levels during this one-year term," Abdul Razzaq told Al-Monitor.

She said her ambition is to see women assume a greater role on the local council.

“Running in the elections has been a distinguished experience. For the first time, women were able to run and vote in the FSA-held areas in the Aleppo countryside," she added. "I really hope that the same applies to the other cities and towns in order for women to be actively involved in the political, social and economic spheres.”

Turnout for the area was strong, especially among women, according to Asma Mohamad al-Mahmoud, who acted as an election monitor for the local administration councils unit of the Free Aleppo Governorate Council. Of the 11,000 people eligible to vote in the council race, 5,000 actually cast ballots.

“Voter turnout ... was unexpectedly high, particularly among women. The turnout of women voters exceeded 50% of the overall voters, which means that they outnumbered men," Mahmoud told Al-Monitor.

“One can say that the electoral process has been a success, with great transparency and impartiality. Such an experiment is the first of its kind in the FSA-held areas in the Aleppo countryside,” she added. “The upcoming local councils’ elections in Aleppo [province] scheduled for early 2019 will witness improvements, and we will have a major role in training candidates and raising awareness in towns and cities where local elections will take place.”

Although the election monitoring organizations pointed out some violations at some polling stations, and organizational mistakes in the electoral process, such as when the ballot boxes could be opened, this first experiment has been fruitful for local councils and civil organizations in the area. Police were part of the monitoring process, securing the polling stations and imposing tight measures to avoid any security incident.

Before the elections, the Free Aleppo Governorate Council, the Local Development and Small Projects Support Office and the Syrian Feminist Society held workshops to raise awareness among candidates of the electoral process and platforms, and educated them about how elections are monitored in Ain Jara.

Hasna Barakat, a representative of the Syrian Feminist Society, told Al-Monitor that the organizations helped the candidates with their campaigns, "with posters and banners filling the streets of the town and surrounding villages.”

Barakat said, "An electoral committee consisting the Free Aleppo Governorate Council, as well as representatives of the candidates and organizations in every polling station, was set up. ... All 35 candidates attended multiple training sessions the election support organizations gave in the town. [The sessions] provided an explanation of the electoral mechanism, electoral laws, violations, electoral fraud, and voting eligibility. [Candidates] were also trained on how to put in place electoral and working programs,” she noted. “As for the Syrian Feminist Society ... we focused on supporting the four female candidates and marketing their candidacy via posters in the streets.”

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/12/first-female-candidate-wins-local-election-fsa-ain-jara-town.html

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Omani Gets Arab Woman Award 2018 for Social Development

December 8, 2018

London: Dr. Sharifa bint Khalfan Al Yahyaei has been bestowed with the Arab Woman Award 2018 by the London Arabia Organisation and Regent’s University, at an event held in the United Kingdom capital.

Dr. Sharifa has been given the award for her work in the field of social development, mainly efforts relating to empowerment of women and families in the Sultanate.

In a statement to Oman News Agency, Dr. Sharifa said that during the Blessed Era of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said all doors have opened for Omani women to participate in the various fields with the laws which guaranteed their rights. Education and training have been made available to women which contributed to their assuming higher positions in the State, thanks to the Royal Vision of His Majesty the Sultan who accorded due care to contribution of women in sustainable development, she added.

She pointed out that the number of women working in the government sector represented 41.5 per cent in 2016, while the percentage in the private civil service sector stood at 47 per cent.

https://timesofoman.com/article/563660

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Microfinance Empowers 33,000 Turkish Women

December 11, 2018

The Turkey branch of Grameen Bank, a microcredit or microfinance organization conceived by Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, has reached out to thousands of women since 2003 and currently supplies loans to 33,000 female entrepreneurs.

Aziz Akgül, head of the Turkish Foundation for Waste Reduction (TİSVA), which oversees the program in Turkey, said they have provided about TL 800 million ($149 million) to female entrepreneurs since 2003 and aim to reach more people next year.

Grameen is focused on helping poor, disadvantaged communities around the world and the program's Turkey branch concentrates on women from low-income families. In the 15 years since it started in the country, it has reached out to more than 180,000 women.

Women's participation in the workforce and a stable employment market are key to sustainable development and the elimination of poverty, the main purpose of Grameen, which was launched in Bangladesh in 1983.

Striving to break male domination in the country's workforce, Turkey has managed to significantly boost its female employment rate to 34.7 percent, a substantial increase compared to figures from more than a decade ago. The Turkish government offers loans up to TL 50,000 to female entrepreneurs seeking to set up their own business.

Grameen operates with 93 branches in 63 provinces of Turkey and the indirect beneficiaries of loans - the immediate families of women who received loans - reached about 700,000 in 15 years. The loans are mostly used by women to set up handicraft businesses since these types of businesses tend to take up less time, allowing them to spend more time with their families. TİSVA says that after handicrafts and similar businesses, women receive loans mostly for setting up shops in various fields of commerce. Some 6.1 percent of the loans were given to entrepreneurs engaged in livestock breeding.

"We handed out TL 150 million in loans last year and it will likely reach TL 200 million by the end of this month. We plan to help more than 3 million impoverished women benefit from microfinance," Akgül said.

Grameen offers unconditional loans to women based on mutual trust. Women can access up to TL 1,000 per year once they sign up for the program and this amount can increase to up to TL 5,000 in subsequent years. Though the loans may be regarded as low, Grameen allows women to create groups of five, with each individual receiving up to TL 1,000, to help them pool their resources and maintain solidarity.

https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/2018/12/12/microfinance-empowers-33000-turkish-women

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‘Fyonka’ All-Female Ride Hailing Service Seeks Empowering Egyptian Women

DECEMBER 11, 2018

Amidst the 150 startups that are exhibited in the 2018 RiseUp summit, a new ride-hailing service, Fyonka, has stood apart, sparking discussion and appreciation.

Egyptian Streets spoke to Fyonka (Ribbon or bow, in Arabic), Egypt’s newest all female-riding service, rivaling Uber and Careem giants for safety and premium service however distinguishing itself through its eco-system of female riders and drivers solely. Set officially to be launched on the 23rd of December, the startup was co-founded by Abdallah Hussein and Mostafa El Kholy; it has already been downloaded by 500 users and has made over 400 rides since its soft launch a week ago.

”We aim to be so much more than just a transportation service. we aim to build and initiate a woman empowerment movement that helps women, here in Egypt, have more have more of a positive output through three different channels.” explains Abdallah Hussein, Fyonka co-founder.

The service aims to provide not only a safe riding experience for women, it also prides itself in being a secure job outlet as well. Taking into consideration safety and cultural barriers, Egyptian female drivers are not prone to feeling comfortable in settings where they are secluded with multiple male riders, raising alarm bells for safety concerns. Hence the service is a solution to various concerns women might have with transportation and a lack of opportunities for women in this profession.

Both Hussein and El Kholy were shocked to discover that although Uber and Careem have around 400,000 drivers in Egypt with approximately 15,000 are females. Noticing a gap in the market, Fyonka leaped in for the bridge.

Why this service as opposed to any other?

Ride-hailing services are known to be safer than the alternative governmental taxis. However, in the last recent years, both Careem and Uber have been at the center of attacks and criticism pertaining to harassment and mistreatment of female clients.

Fyonka’s focus on safety is thus, understandably so, heavy on the safety of both rider and ‘partner’, the latter being the preferred terminology for Fyonka’s female drivers as they’re perceived as partners in the company without any condescension.

The Fyonka team – photo courtesy of Fyonka

Amidst the 150 startups that are exhibited in the 2018 RiseUp summit, a new ride-hailing service, Fyonka, has stood apart, sparking discussion and appreciation.

Egyptian Streets spoke to Fyonka (Ribbon or bow, in Arabic), Egypt’s newest all female-riding service, rivaling Uber and Careem giants for safety and premium service however distinguishing itself through its eco-system of female riders and drivers solely. Set officially to be launched on the 23rd of December, the startup was co-founded by Abdallah Hussein and Mostafa El Kholy; it has already been downloaded by 500 users and has made over 400 rides since its soft launch a week ago.

”We aim to be so much more than just a transportation service. we aim to build and initiate a woman empowerment movement that helps women, here in Egypt, have more have more of a positive output through three different channels.” explains Abdallah Hussein, Fyonka co-founder.

The service aims to provide not only a safe riding experience for women, it also prides itself in being a secure job outlet as well. Taking into consideration safety and cultural barriers, Egyptian female drivers are not prone to feeling comfortable in settings where they are secluded with multiple male riders, raising alarm bells for safety concerns. Hence the service is a solution to various concerns women might have with transportation and a lack of opportunities for women in this profession.

Both Hussein and El Kholy were shocked to discover that although Uber and Careem have around 400,000 drivers in Egypt with approximately 15,000 are females. Noticing a gap in the market, Fyonka leaped in for the bridge.

Why this service as opposed to any other?

Ride-hailing services are known to be safer than the alternative governmental taxis. However, in the last recent years, both Careem and Uber have been at the center of attacks and criticism pertaining to harassment and mistreatment of female clients.

Fyonka’s focus on safety is thus, understandably so, heavy on the safety of both rider and ‘partner’, the latter being the preferred terminology for Fyonka’s female drivers as they’re perceived as partners in the company without any condescension.

”We introduced a feature called photo verification as a safety step. When the driver arrives to the customer pick-up point, the customer receives a template in the application with a picture of the driver, her name and her mobile number. You confirm that this is in fact your driver, and this goes vice-versa. She confirms you are the customer, for safety reasons. plus we have a partnership with MAYDAY, the first roadside assistance application, so that if anything happens to you, you get help from someone within 30 minutes,” explains Hussein.

The cofounders also explained that all partners, all of whom go through a scrutinized recruitment process, are first-aid certified.

Similarly, in 2015, Reem Fawzi launched “Pink Taxi” as a convenient and safe mean of transportation for women. Fyonka is thus an extension of the interest of women taking the rein in driving professions and services.

Giving back to the community

Fyonka’s aspiration to inspire a movement transcends the application’s success. It also aims at helping women in alternative means.

”Part of our profits go into projects that help women, so in the first six months, we have had two projects: fighting illiteracy classes in rural villages,” starts Hussein.

He adds that the second project includes partnering up with New Woman Foundation to provide business workshops for aspiring home-business makers. Taking advantage of the fact that many stay-at-home women produce clothing such as scarves and dresses or crafts, this collaboration gathers women from across Egypt to assist women in turning their home-run businesses to legally operational ones.

Having participated in RiseUp Summit 2017, the cofounders sought to validate and receive feedback on their startup idea. Noticing that the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, they started a two-month market research phase, followed by the creation of the mobile application which took three to four months, followed by testing, recruitment of partners through ‘agents’ and perfecting operations.

Currently, Fyonka is available both on iOs and android phones; it operates predominantly in Cairo so far.

Returning to RiseUp Summit once more

Fyonka was one of over 240 startups participating in this year’s Rise Up Summit, the MENA’s region’s leading and most anticipated entrepreneurship event. The three-day annual event consists of workshops, talks, exhibitions, competitions and panels about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Egypt and the Middle East region inviting international, regional and local speakers.

The summit helps rising entrepreneurs like Hussein and El Kholy not only learn about the ecosystem and the market, but also network with potential investors, mentors, partners, and many more giving them the opportunity to potentially leverage these relationships towards their ventures. The three-day event is optimal for receiving feedback and partnering up with up and coming startups.

For its sixth edition, Rise Up chose the theme ‘Stay Grounded’. Over 6,000 attendees from over 40 countries and 298 speakers participated to tackle how to face challenges and create meaningful impact.

https://egyptianstreets.com/2018/12/11/fyonka-all-female-ride-hailing-service-seeks-empowering-egyptian-women/

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Anti-Islam Blogger Misses the Mark on University Education for Women

11 DECEMBER 2018

There has been much debate about the sister blogger who proclaims that universities are not for Islamic women. It raises the question then of why they go through the rigours of secondary education. She portrays universities as a pothole of sin and a breeding ground for immorality.

I believe she is vain, self-centred and the focus of her own world. Her own experiences led to a terrible narcissistic injury and she now embarks on a quest to heal her own wounds and in doing so is dragging the entire Muslim womanhood into this debacle.

Islam is committed not only to tolerance and equality, but to the principles of democracy. The Qur’an states that Islamic society is contingent on “mutual advice through mutual discussions on equal footing”. Islam condones neither cruelty nor dictatorship. Beating, torturing and humiliating women are inconsistent with its principles. Denying education to girls violates the word of the holy book.

During the darkness of the Middle Ages in Northern Europe, when barbaric hordes raped and pillaged at will, Islam was building the great libraries and universities of the world, developing the arts, sciences and humanities.

When women were viewed as inferior members of the human family and treated as property belonging to men all over the globe, the Prophet Muhammad accepted women as equal partners in society, in business and even in war.

Islam codified the rights of women. The Qur’an elevates the rights of women to that of men. It guarantees women civil, economic and political rights.

Throughout the Holy Qur’an there is example after example of respect for women as leaders and acknowledgement of women as equals. So in this day and age, I cannot believe that we are still entertaining such warped thinking. This is nothing but the work of a mischief-maker with a skewed view of society.

https://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/opinion/anti-islam-blogger-misses-the-mark-on-university-education-for-women-18462804

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