New Age Islam News Bureau
01 August 2022
• Iraqi Woman Acting Like Legislator In Parliament Sit-In Triggers Reactions
• Elderly Muslim Woman Attends Self-Defense Class in UK
• More Kuwaiti Women to Join In Security Field; Thirteen Years Ago, It Was A Taboo
• UN Urges Turkey to Return to Women's Rights Accord
• Turkish Opposition Leader Vows to Reinstate Women’s Rights Accord
• Taliban Policies Risk De Facto University Ban for Afghan Women, Say Officials
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Muslim Women's Rights Day Marks the Criminalisation Of Triple Talaq Through Enactment Of New Law In India
Photo: The Quint/ For Representational Purpose
August 01, 2022
Muslim Women's Rights Day is celebrated all over the country on 1 August to mark the enactment of the triple talaq law. This law, which made the practice of triple talaq a criminal offence, came into force on 1 August 2019.
The practice of triple talaq had allowed Indian Muslim husbands to instantly divorce their wives by saying the word "talaq" three times continuously, without considering her consent on the matter.
The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937 had given Indian Muslim husbands special privileges over their wives, which included the practice of triple talaq. Also known as Talaq-a-Biddat, triple talaq was practiced by many. On 1 August 2019, after the Rajya Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 on 31 July, the law came into force. This Act made the practice of triple talaq illegal.
The law was deemed controversial by some sections of society, who protested against it. But the government stood firm on its objective to enact the law. To commemorate the day, the government announced in 2021 that Muslim Women's Rights Day will be observed across the country on 1 August.
The law against triple talaq was successful in making the practice a cognizable criminal offense punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine. The Bill passed by the Narendra Modi-led government also allowed that “a married Muslim woman shall be entitled to custody of her minor children in the event of pronouncement of talaq by her husband, in such manner as may be determined by the magistrate”.
The law against the Triple Talaq helps to safeguard gender equality. It also strengthens the fundamental, constitutional, and democratic rights of millions of women across India. The bill also promotes the self-reliance, self-respect and self-esteem of millions on Muslim women. The law has been successful in reducing cases of triple talaq by 80 per cent since it was passed, as per reports.
Iraqi Woman Acting Like Legislator in Parliament Sit-In Triggers Reactions
A viral video showing an Iraqi woman sitting inside the parliament and acting like a legislator by signing papers
August 01, 2022
DUBAI: A viral video showing an Iraqi woman sitting inside the parliament and acting like a legislator by signing papers has triggered a wave of reactions on social media.
The video is from a sit-in held since Saturday by supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who stormed the parliament and held an open sit-in inside the House of Representatives.
The woman appearing in the clip, who is being referred to as “Um Hussein,” can be seen signing what looked like “decisions” being passed on to her by the protesters, in an act that mimics the role of legislators.
The video sparked varied reactions, as some saw it funny and called the Iraqi woman the “Nancy Pelosi of Iraq.”
However, others saw the incident as a serious example of the current chaotic scene in the country, with one Twitter user asking “what is this farce?”.
“I don’t know, shall we laugh? I don't know if we shall cry! Um Hussein has the appointments at the Iraqi Parliament,” wrote another Twitter user on the video.
Source: Arab News
Elderly Muslim Woman Attends Self-Defense Class in UK
August 01, 2022
The Muslim woman left her comfort zone to join six-week self-defense course provided by Z’s Defense Academy for Blackburn Carers service and the carers they support.
“I joined the self-defenfe course because I think it’s better to know some tricks and moves to protect and defend myself,” she told Lancashire Telegraph.
“This is completely different for me. It’s really nice meeting people and the tutor is really good, excellent – she knows what she’s doing.”
Aisha believes elderly people should push boundaries and learn self-defense techniques.
“I think (older) people should have a basic idea about it and what to do to defend themselves rather than being in that situation and doing nothing,” she said.
Self-defense classes for Muslim women in the west, especially for those wearing a hijab, are becoming needed more than ever.
Due to concerns about Islamophobia, many women are making their mission to empower Muslim women to defend themselves against anti-Muslim terrorism and harassment — on the street and in the workplace.
These classes help fill an important need for Muslim women who may feel especially vulnerable in the current political and social climate.
A local mosque in Edmonton announced a series of self-defense classes in August 2021 to empower Muslim women and give them a sense of safety.
In 2018, Rana Abdelhamid, a young Muslim business woman, created a new self-defense technique against attacks involving grabbing the hijab.
Chicago-based self-defense instructor Zaineb Abdulla also, in 2016, published videos teaching Muslim women how to respond to hate attacks and trials to grab their hijab.
More Kuwaiti Women to Join In Security Field; Thirteen Years Ago, It Was A Taboo
August 01, 2022
KUWAIT CITY, July 31: The entry of women into the police force in 2009 stemmed from a firm belief in the ability and competence of Kuwaiti women, and benefiting from half of the society, leading to national sufficiency in the police force that compensates for any deficiency that may result from the reluctance of young men to join this institution, reports Al- Qabas daily. Thirteen years ago, it was a taboo to talk about the woman component in the military, and today there are 585 female officers in the Ministry of Interior, including non-commissioned officers and female police personnel working in various security sectors – 230 of them officers and the rest are non-commissioned officers and other positions.
Moreover, the Women’s Police Institute of the Sa’ad Al-Abdullah Academy for Security Sciences has graduated 18 preventive inspectors in the rank of sergeant in the General Fire Force, and graduated 3 batches to work as the National Assembly Guard, 45 of who are women (20 of them officers). Although Kuwaiti women’s demand for work in the police corps is not great, they were able to record another achievement in addition to their previous achievements, to brush aside all obstacles they were facing, starting with some of them who were unable to deal with the nature of work.
The security forces that are characterized by roughness, as well as facing the view of society, which rejected the work of women in the military at the time, history will record the Kuwaiti woman that she was always the winner in those difficult times, and that she was able, within a short period, to establish her foothold in this work, and gain the respect of society and appreciation of all kinds.
The security sources confirmed that since the beginning of women joining the military, the number is increasing, as Kuwaiti women have proven their ability to work side by side their male counterparts in various locations and different circumstances, and the female police officers have played a heroic role during the Covid-19 pandemic, both in security work or awareness or humanitarian work, as they are fully prepared to perform their role efficiently and proficiently.
Women police are present in all security, service, and administrative sectors of the Ministry of Interior, and they are trained as students at the headquarters of the Women’s Police Institute, but after they join their workplace, the training is either through the General Administration of Training or the specialized training centers of each sector, and female officers and policewomen work in several security sectors including forensic evidence, drug control, traffic, passports, and others with the change in society’s view for the better, many fathers now encourage their daughters to join the women’s police force.
The sources said that there is currently the rank of lieutenant colonel from the women’s police, and some female officers will join the colonel promotion course next August, noting that the promotion courses are continuing and according to the rules and regulations followed for promotions in the Ministry of Interior.
The sources emphasized that the role entrusted to the women police requires caution and discipline to deal with any developments, and that they must assume their role in serving citizens and residents alike, and be a watchful eye on the security and safety of the country, and that respect and appreciation are among the foundations of dealing with citizens and residents. Conditions circulated by the Interior Ministry to the policewomen include compliance with the rules of military appearance, no use of powders and toiletries, coloring hair and growing and painting nails forbidden and no use of social media without permission.
Source: Arab Times Online
UN urges Turkey to return to women's rights accord
July 28, 2022
ISTANBUL — The United Nations’ leading figure on violence against women has called on Turkey to re-join the Istanbul Convention following a 10-day visit to the country.
Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe agreement to prevent and combat violence against women, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decree in March last year.
“I profoundly regret Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention,” said Reem Alsalem, the UN’s special rapporteur on violence against women and girls.
The decision — confirmed by Turkey’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, last week — “was made against a background of strong and sustained support for the convention, particularly by women’s rights groups in the country," she said. “In adopting this decision, the State Council does not appear to be in sync with the sentiments of the majority of Turkey’s citizens.”
Alsalem added, “Given the prevalence of violence against women and girls, I urge the government of Turkey to reconsider its decision to pull out of the convention and re-join the 37 countries that have ratified it in recognition of its value and comprehensiveness.”
Leaving the convention came as the rate of femicide was on the rise in Turkey and was widely protested by civil society groups.
Turkey was the first country to ratify the convention in 2012 but reversed the decision following pressure from conservative circles that claimed it undermined “Turkish values” centered on women’s roles as wives and mothers.
They also argued that it promoted non-heterosexual relationships and “immoral lifestyles.” One pro-government commentator referred to women defending the convention as “prostitutes” and said that “families are falling apart because of the Istanbul Convention.”
However, Alsalem said that those she had met during her trip “unequivocally recognize the value” of the convention in providing “significant impetus” to tackling violence against women and girls.
“In many ways, the bearing that the Istanbul Convention has had on the human rights framework of the country cannot be overstated,” she added at a news conference on her initial findings in Ankara on Wednesday.
Alsalem, an independent consultant who previously worked with several UN agencies, argued that the convention had not been properly explained to the public, allowing some groups to “deliberately misinterpret [its] objective and scope.”
Withdrawal from the convention had “not only hindered advancements but also created confusion as to the legality and continued applicability of key provisions” to protect women under Turkish laws.
By giving way to the demands of a “small minority,” she added that the government “may have set the stage for calling into question the country’s adherence to other key international human rights treaties and obligations that govern the protection of women and children.”
While recognizing the “considerable strides” made by Turkey over the last 15 years, Alsalem said, “Considerable implementation gaps exist in almost all social policies related to women’s rights, ranging from sexual violence and domestic violence to trafficking and continue to pose a considerable challenge.”
She noted that Turkish law does not specifically criminalize forced marriage or psychological violence.
“Turkey has made important legal and policy reforms to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls, but these fall short of its full capacity, potential and responsibilities to protect women and girls living on Turkish soil and do not correspond to the gravity of the situation,” Alsalem said.
Her report, to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council next June, examined Turkey’s policies and practices in combating violence against women and girls.
According to the We Will Stop Femicides platform, 280 women were killed by men last year and a further 217 were found dead in suspicious circumstances. Most of those murdered were killed by their husbands at home.
“The persistence of crimes, including killings, committed in the name of so-called ‘honor,’ as well as reports of forced suicides or disguised murders of women is particularly concerning,” Alsalem said.
The use of “custom” as a mitigating factor in sentencing those convicted of violence against women is against international law, she noted, while the lack of a specific law against domestic violence will “embolden the culprits and create a significant barrier for women in reporting their abuser.”
Alsalem cited Interior Ministry figures from 2016 to 2021 that showed around 8.5% of the murdered women had been granted a protection order against their abuser at the time of their deaths.
Police attitudes that domestic violence is a private matter led to claims being dismissed and victims discouraged from reporting abuse.
“In many ways, Turkey is at an important junction in its history. It can either consciously and deliberately choose to protect the gains made in advancing the rights of women and girls or risk backtracking on this important progress and leaving its women and girls behind,” Alsalem said.
Source: Al Monitor
Turkish opposition leader vows to reinstate women’s rights accord
Aug 01 2022
Meral Akşener, the leader of the nationalist opposition Good Party, vowed to reinstate a key women’s rights agreement abolished by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Diken news website reported.
Akşener said she would ensure that the accord re-entered Turkey’s statute books as the first act under her premiership following presidential and parliamentary elections, which are scheduled to be held by June next year. Akşener says she plans to become prime minister under an opposition bloc deal to abolish Turkey’s presidential system of government, introduced in 2018.
The politician made the pledge in answering questions posed by her followers on Instagram, Diken said on Monday.
Last week, the United Nations urged Turkey to reverse a decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty aimed at preventing violence against women. The government withdrew from the convention in July last year, acting on concerns that it promoted homosexuality and undermined family values.
Perpetrators had been emboldened by the decision, effectively leaving victims at increased risk of violence, Reem Alsalem, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said on Wednesday after a visit to Turkey.
The Good Party is Turkey's third-most popular political group, according to most opinion polls. Akşener also vowed to crack down on corruption to help bring Turkish people out of poverty.
“We will prevent theft, we will prevent waste. We will not steal, you will live in wealth,” she said, according to Diken. She also repeated a pledge to send Syrian refugees back to their homeland should the opposition gain power.
Source: Ahval News
Taliban policies risk de facto university ban for Afghan women, say officials
Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul
Mon 1 Aug 2022
The Taliban’s ban on girls studying at high schools will become a de facto ban on university degrees for women if it stays in place, a Taliban spokesperson and university officials have said.
Girls will not have the documents needed to enrol in higher education, or the academic capacity to start university courses after nearly a year out of school.
“Automatically if we do not have high school graduates, we won’t have new female university students any more,” said Maulawi Ahmed Taqi, a spokesperson for the Taliban’s ministry of higher education.
“But I am hopeful that the ministry of education will come up with a policy and soon reopen the schools. Because we have realised that it is important, and the ban on girls’ education is temporary.”
Even if practical barriers to women entering higher education are removed in the coming months, authorities are also considering limiting them to degrees in healthcare and education, said a source with Taliban leadership ties.
Without a high school graduation certificate, Afghan students cannot take the kankor national university entrance exam, which is required to enrol even at private colleges.
Last year, the Taliban automatically “graduated” female twelfth grade students, making them eligible for the exam, should they want to attempt it when the new government holds one.
But Afghanistan’s new rulers have not yet scheduled a session of the kankor since they took control of the country.
In the growing pool of would-be university students, women are already at a disadvantage competing against men who have been allowed to finish school. In the final weeks of 2022, when the Afghan school year ends, another class of boys will take their final 12th-grade exams.
It is not clear whether the Taliban will once again issue otherwise meaningless “high school graduation certificates” to girls who should be finishing with them. Afghan law bars them from taking the entrance exam without one.
Even if they are allowed to take part, university officials who handle admissions say they are worried how far girls will be falling behind, after nearly a year barred from education.
Extra classes can help make up for a few missed months, but girls who did not even finish 11th grade cannot be expected to move on to university classes, said Dr Azizullah Amir, president and founder of the all-female Moraa university.
He set up the university to educate female medics, after his own mother died from septic shock having refused to see a male doctor about an infection on her thigh. “A beautiful life was ruined by the loss of my mum to a highly preventable infection,” he said. “How could I sit quiet when I could prevent other children becoming orphaned early for a silly reason.”
Students, teachers, administrative staff and even gardeners are all women, helping draw in students from Afghanistan’s most conservative regions. It offers a stricter segregation than the Taliban has required of government universities, Amir points out, yet it is now at risk of being unable to enrol new students.
“Even now we have time, if they restart classes, in the remaining months of the year we can graduate students, with more effort and support including intensive classes,” he said. “But if it continues, then next year you won’t have students in the university, apart from those who graduated in previous years, which will be small numbers.”
Online classes and illegal underground schools have allowed some girls to keep studying, including in parts of the Taliban’s deeply conservative southern heartland, but these efforts only reach a tiny minority.
Because secret schools are private initiatives, most have to charge fees to at least cover their costs, and the economic catastrophe that engulfed Afghanistan means few families can afford them.
Streaming or downloading classes requires at least a smartphone and a generous data package, again out of reach for many of the girls who were the first in their family to reach high school.
Afghanistan’s new leaders have repeatedly claimed that they support women’s education, as long as it complies with their definition of Islamic regulations.
This includes near total separation of the sexes, although male professors still teach some women’s classes due to a shortage of specialists.
Taqi pointed to the ministry’s efforts to shift schedules and reallocate buildings, so that women can attend single-sex classes, as a concrete demonstration of that support.
Some universities, including the leading Kabul University, now teach men and women on alternate days. Others have morning and afternoon shifts.
“Our ministry is committed, we have plans, policies, procedures and as you see education in university is going on for both girls and boys,” he said.
But without a pathway to enrol new students, or should the Taliban bring in plans to limit what women can study, those changes will be little more than a temporary accommodation for the last classes of female students in many subjects.
“They want to restructure the universities, to streamline girls’ education to specific faculties,” said the source with Taliban links. “They [ask]: ‘Why should girls study engineering?’
“They will be restricted to specific faculties, medicine, education, sharia. I don’t even believe they are going to be that progressive to allow them to be doctors.”
Source: The Guardian
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