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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 22 Apr 2018, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Iran's President Slams Morality Police's Tactics with Women

New Age Islam News Bureau

22 Apr 2018

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)


 More Women Register as Voters than Men in Khyber Agency

 “STEMinism” on spotlight at women’s forum in Dubai

 The Extension of Legal Jurisdiction to FATA Must First Extend To Its Women

 The Scene: The National Museum of Women in The Arts Annual Gala

 Conference Celebrates 100 Years of Women In Nova Scotia Politics

 UBD to Hold Seminar on Women Empowerment

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Iran's president slams morality police's tactics with women

by Associated PressSunday, April 22nd 2018

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state TV is reporting that the country's president has criticized the morality police's use of violence against women failing to observe the national Islamic dress code.

Hassan Rouhani's condemnation came after such an incident in Tehran was caught on video and went viral on social media channels.

Rouhani said Saturday that "promoting virtue and preventing vice" — the morality police's stated mandate — through violence is impractical. "Grabbing people's collars (to) promote virtue will not work," he said.

Iran's interior minister, AbdolrezaRahmaniFazli, had ordered authorities on Thursday to investigate the incident.

Lawmaker TayebehSiavoshi said Saturday that the female agent involved has been suspended from her job.

In December, Tehran's police said they will no longer arrest women not observing the Islamic dress code imposed in 1979.



More women register as voters than men in Khyber Agency

Ibrahim ShinwariUpdated April 22, 2018

LANDI KOTAL: More women registered as voters than men during the registration campaign in the two National Assembly constituencies of Khyber Agency for the forthcoming general elections.

Eligible female voters from NA-45 (Bara) showed more keenness to exercise their democratic right of voting by registering themselves in a larger number than male voters in the same constituency.

According to official record obtained from the Election Commission of Pakistan, Khyber Agency offices, 52,585 new female voters were registered in the voter registration campaign which started in June 2016 compared to 32,087 newly-registered male voters in Bara.

The total number of women voters in Bara, NA-45 constituency, for 2013 general elections was 53,373 which had now soared to 105,958. The male voters increased from 108,354 in 2013 to 140,441 till the end of March this year.

52,585 female, 32,087 male voters registered in Bara since June 2016

In NA-44 (Jamrud-cum-LandiKotal) constituency the women again surpassed the male voters in the new registration campaign by a margin of 2,911. The record showed that 31,871 women had registered themselves as new voters compared to their total number of 71,911 prior to 2013 general elections. In the same constituency, the number of male voters has increased from 103,125 in 2013 to 132,085 till March this year.

The ECP has in the meantime arranged a total of 18 voters display centres in Khyber Agency with 11 in Bara and Tirah, three each in Jamrud and LandiKotal and one at the commission’s main office in Jamrud.

Officials of the ECP in Jamrud told this scribe that the role of local tribal elders, representatives of political parties and civil society organisations in the voter registration had not been very encouraging. They said that despite holding awareness campaigns in Bara, Jamrud and LandiKotal response of all the stakeholders was lukewarm.

The officials said that they had provided all possible facilities to the interested men and women for registration of their names in the new voters list, but a considerable number of potential voters were yet to be registered. They said that it had been made mandatory for every eligible voter to acquire and submit the vote form as per the new registration policy.

“We have refused a number of people who demanded vote forms in bulk as every individual is required to personally get the form,” they said.

The officials, however, acknowledged that the number of voters aspiring for revision of his or her vote registration both at the display centres and main office in Jamrud had increased.



“STEMinism” on spotlight at women’s forum in Dubai


Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, is set to extend its support as Dubai Government Partner to the 4th edition of the Arab Women in Leadership & Business Summit.

Organised in association with The UAE Genetic Diseases Association and under the Patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Tolerance UAE and President of UAE Genetic Disease Foundation, the summit will be held in Dubai on April 25-26, 2018. By supporting the event, Dubai SME seeks to further expand its outreach in the SME segment, as well as reinforce its commitment to empowering budding entrepreneurs and women leaders, in line with its SME 2021 plan, which is aligned with the Dubai 2021 Plan.

In its three previous editions, the Summit had attracted 700 attendees from more than 20 countries, including 90 senior speakers and over 80 media partners. Dubai SME has been an official partner of the Summit since the inaugural edition along with the Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC), CEO Clubs Network, American Chamber of Commerce Abu Dhabi (AMCHAM Abu Dhabi) and Young Arab Leaders (YAL). Boeing keeps its vision and dedication to addressing the need for more women to pursue careers in (STEM) by supporting this conference as a silver sponsor.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, said, “As part of our mandate to support and develop UAE-based small and medium enterprises – and the entrepreneurship sector, in general – Dubai SME is committed to empowering all segments of society to come forward with their projects and ideas, and to providing them with the assistance they need to implement them. As a major and highly capable component of society, women have always had the full support of the UAE leadership. Supporting the 4th edition of the Arab Women in Leadership & Business Summit reflects our dedication to upholding the UAE’s tradition of empowering women and engaging them in public and professional life.”

The Arab Women in Leadership & Business Summit aims at inspiring women to seek the highest levels of professional development by providing them with information, strategies, insights and perspectives on leadership and development. The two-day Summit is packed with powerful sessions, including a one-hour masterclass workshop on breakthrough to excellence, panel discussions, networking groups, and interactive Q&A concourses. The Summit is carefully designed to enhance innovation and business performance through Game Changers like “LEGO Serious Play” – Structured Leadership and Entrepreneurship activities using LEGO BRICKS. The discussions would have a specific focus on STEMinism, Feminisation and Entrepreneurism under the theme “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”.

The Summit will bring together a distinguished line-up of speakers and panellists, including some of the 50 Most Powerful Arab Women in the Forbes list. Some of the speakers are: H.E. Dr Maryam Matar, Chairman & Founder, UAE Genetic Diseases Association; H.E. Khawla Al Serkal, Director General, Sharjah Ladies Club; H.E. Maryam Eid Al Mheiri, Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi’s Media Zone Authority & twofour54; H.E. Amna Al-Nakhi, Director General, Government of Sharjah; Fatima Alkaabi, Youngest Emirati Inventor; Rana GhandourSalhab, Executive Committee Member, Talent & Communications Partner Deloitte Middle East; Suaad Al Shamsi, First Female Emirati Aircraft Engineer, Etihad Airways & Chief Executive Officer, L2L Consultation Company; Najla Al Midfa, General Manager Sheraa; and RoulaDroubi, Regional Director, Boeing Middle East& North Africa, Government, Industry and Community Engagement, President, Boeing Women in Leadership Middle East, Saudi Arabia & Turkey.



The extension of legal jurisdiction to FATA must first extend to its women

April 22, 2018

It’s hard to believe, but there is actually something worse than being a woman in Pakistan. Being a woman in The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is worse — absolute rock bottom.

FATA is the notorious tribal belt designed to be outside the fold of legal justice, sitting forgotten near Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. All FATA citizens suffer but the women suffer first and the most. They have been used like human shields against a backdrop of deliberate neglect from the state for decades. It is all built conveniently upon British colonial-era laws called Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), created for the ruling power to subjugate what it considered a hostile race.

Women who are thought to be badly behaved are killed in FATA before they can say “mercy.” Any woman who shows an interest in self expression falls into that category. In the absence of any data from the FATA secretariat, estimates based on KP’s data on violence against women suggests about 500 are victims each year. Even more perhaps go unreported.

In addition, women who fall sick are left to die because local customs do not allow them to be treated by male doctors, and there are few female medics. Those who do make it to public hospitals are left languishing in putrid conditions.

Girls are not educated because there are few schools for females, and after a certain age they are not allowed to attend schools with boys.

There is no sign of political activity for or by women. Tradition and decorum means they are not allowed to be in public spaces — they do, however, spend hours each day traveling to springs to gather water, because it is completely acceptable to pass on the drudge work to them.

The president of Pakistan recently signed a bill extending the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Peshawar High Court to the once-ungovernable FATA. This progressive step, proposed by the prime minister, is now finally a law that will lead to a mainstreaming of the citizens of FATA. It is also an end to the draconian legitimization of older colonial powers putting the natives in their place.

As the sun rises on a new dawn for FATA, the era of what locals call “no appeal, no lawyer, no logic” will hopefully end.

Aisha Sarwari

The ultimate shame comes from the fact that this return to a respectable status for FATA has come from the state seven decades late. This is more than a failure of the sense of responsibility to the people living there, and especially to the women. Sadly, it is also a decades-long breach of fundamental human rights guaranteed in the constitution under Articles 8-28: The right to equality before the law, to due process, to life and to non-slavery, among other things. The people of FATA existed outside the bounds of human dignity. Until now.

One would think the bill would only have admirers. Instead, FATA Senator Taj Afridi and senators from JamiatUlema-e-Islam (F) and The PashtunkhwaMilliAwami Party staged a walkout in protest after the bill was presented to the House for approval.

Intellectual corruption of the ideals that senators have taken an oath to protect finds generous forgiveness in Pakistan. It helps an anti-poor policy in FATA to persist —making it easier to control people in terms of both unlawful trade and religious militancy. More than ­50 percent of households in FATA fall below the poverty line, according to the United Nations Development Program, one of the few organizations that dares to work in the region.

As the sun rises on a new dawn for FATA, the era of what locals call “no appeal, no lawyer, no logic” will hopefully end. It is not going to be a quick journey to empowerment. A region on the darkest side of modern civilization will not leap frog immediately into innovative ideas or development pursuits. The mindset of closed, patriarchal control is ingrained indelibly into their bones.

So essentially it is a transfer of masters in FATA — from the British to the Government of Pakistan and now to the hands of powerful men

Someone should let them know that the feminist movement happened, otherwise they will be the new masters of women and this law will simply be a transfer deed. They should be informed that there is a wild idea still germinating in Islamabad that women are equal to men. Someone tell them that, lo and behold, women can go and hurt a man though the courts if men hurt them first.

It took decades to reach this point. It will take more time, perhaps, to spread the word to women that the courts are there for them. And more time yet for them to read it and then finally believe it.

Citizens are only tribal because they feel that belonging to a tribe gives them more security than a system that provides an untimely execution of justice and order. They resort to violence only because it is swifter in the absence of a fair arbitrator. The courts, which are now deeply engrossed in finding new ways to muzzle free speech, are facing a tall order. It is hard to be optimistic. The women of FATA cannot wait much longer.

– Aisha Sarwari is a co-founder of the Women’s Advancement Hub, a grassroots platform for women to make their voices heard. She has worked on women’s rights for more than 15 years in Pakistan.

Twitter: @AishaFSarwari



The Scene: The National Museum of Women in the Arts annual gala

By Erin Schaff April 22 at 1:50 PM

Guests dine at the National Museum of Women in the Arts spring gala in Washington on April 21. (Erin Schaff for The Washington Post)

It was a packed house at the National Museum of Women in the Arts spring gala on Friday night as Washington’s well-heeled art lovers turned out to celebrate world-renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. The longtime Vanity Fair photographer received the museum’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Arts. CNN’s Dana Bash emceed the evening with boldfacers such as Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, French Ambassador Gérard Araud, United Arab Emirates Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba and Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter looking on from the crowd at the museum’s renaissance revival building downtown. After the seated dinner, guests showed off their dance moves late into the night.



Conference celebrates 100 years of women in Nova Scotia politics

By Alexander Quon

A conference at a university in Halifax on Sunday aimed to celebrate 100 years of women having the right to vote in Nova Scotia.

Women in Politics: 100 years of Progress saw young, politically engaged high-school and post-secondary students gather at Mount Saint Vincent University to explore how they will continue to make politics more inclusive for women and marginalized voices.

Organizers billed the conference as a first of its kind — with women from across the political spectrum and from every level of government presenting their views on the future of politics in the province and the country.

“What’s great about this event is that it brings together so many diverse leaders from so many political spaces,” said conference organizer Nikki Jamieson.

“It will be a great opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of women, while also simultaneously problematizing women’s participation in politics and leadership today.”

Lisa Raitt, deputy leader of the federal PC party, Patricia Arab, Nova Scotia’s minister of internal services, Jo-Ann Roberts, deputy leader of the federal Green party and Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard were some of the names in attendance for the conference.

Panels and workshops focusing on the importance of women’s involvement in political spaces and women’s representation in media were held during the day.

“We want this conference to encourage young delegates [to] engage politically and know that their voices and ideas do matter,” says Kenya Thompson, conference organizer and co-founder.

“Our goal is that each delegate will leave the day empowered and inspired, and excited to combat the barriers and challenges so many women face in political spaces.”



UBD to hold seminar on women empowerment

April 22, 2018

UNIVERSITI Brunei Darussalam (UBD), through Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS), is this year’s main organiser of the International Seminar on Socio-Educational Empowerment of Muslim Women in the New Century, which will be held from April 25-26 at the Senate Room, UBD.

With the theme ‘Towards Gender Equity through Islam’s Holistic Education’, the seminar is a collaboration between UBD, Women Graduates Association of Brunei Darussalam (PSW), Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) SunanGunungDjati, Bandung, Indonesia, and Fatoni University, Thailand.

The seminar aims to contribute towards a better understanding of Islamic concepts of gender equity and holistic education. Reviewing the socio-educational progress achieved by Muslim women since the turn of the 21st Century, the seminar hopes to study ways and means of how the socio-educational empowerment of Muslim women in this century can be further enhanced.

This is also to study the theory and practice of gender partnership in pursuit of gender equity.

The seminar will feature 17 speakers from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

About 200 participants have already registered for the seminar and registration is still open to both male and female participants until April 25.