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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 22 Feb 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Nepali Girls Sold As Housemaids in UAE

French Couple 'Pay €4,500 for African Slave Girl'

NGO to Rescue Drunken Girls at Purim Festivities in Jerusalem

The Rise of ‘Bride Snatching’ in Kazakhstan

Man in Qatif Imprisoned For Distributing Private Photos of Ex-Wife

Kyrgyzstan Discourages Illegal Marriage to Minors by Educating the Public

Moroccan Woman in Dubai Jailed For Impersonation

First female Hai’a group formed in Al-Khobar

'Seven' Famous Documentary Play on Women Comes To Delhi

Afia Aslam of the Desi Writers Lounge in Pakistan on LLF and aspiring writers

UN Ambassador to Tell Anglicans - 'Ensure Women's Equality'

Leaders from BMC Speak of Women’s Contribution to Libyan Revolution

Pink Ribbon Campaign initiating healthy life campaign for women in Pakistan

Saudi Moh Confirms Death of Woman from Rare Form of Corona Virus

Visually Impaired Women Hold First Exhibition in Riyadh

Uganda: 14-Year-Old Abwin Raising Her Siblings

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/nepali-girls-sold-as-housemaids-in-uae/d/10533

 

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Nepali Girls Sold As Housemaids in UAE

February 23, 2013

KATHMANDU: Nepali girls are being sold in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as housemaids for between Emirati Dirham 7‚000 (Rs 165‚000) and 9‚000 (Rs 212‚000) ‚ The News reported‚ quoting Dipak Adhikari‚ counsellor and deputy chief of the Nepali embassy.

“Some agencies bring women here and keep them until they find good buyers. They sell the girls against their will‚” he said‚ adding that selling women is human trafficking. According to him‚ employers in the UAE preferred to hire housemaids without fulfilling basic requirements set by the Nepali government.

The government had made it mandatory for employers to submit personal documents to be attested at the Nepali embassy‚ put up a guarantee of Emirati Dirham 5‚000 (Rs 118‚000)‚ and ensure wages of Emirati Dirham 900 (Rs 21‚000) per month‚ and a separate room for housemaids to hire Nepali women migrants last year. The government has also banned women below 30 years to join jobs as housemaids in Qatar‚ Saudi Arabia‚ UAE‚ Kuwait‚ Oman and Bahrain.

However‚ recruitment of women below 30 years has not stopped. “Clandestine agents exploit them with big promises. When they arrive in the UAE an unscrupulous agency receives them and sells them to willing residents‚” he said. The embassy receives three to four women below 30 years every week‚ who have run away from their employers due to exploitation and abuse. The embassy repatriated about 100 such housemaids last year. It is currently sheltering 11 women‚ all between the ages of 22 and 26‚ with the aim of repatriating them.

About 17‚567 Nepali women have joined foreign jobs in the last seven months — mostly in Gulf countries — and they were working as housemaids‚ according to Department of Foreign Employment. Number of undocumented women migrants is also expected to be at the same level. However‚ there is no study on it.

http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Nepali+girls+sold+as+housemaids+in+UAE&NewsID=366712

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French Couple 'Pay €4,500 for African Slave Girl'

February 23, 2013

Slavery may have been abolished in France over 160 years ago but word has clearly taken a while to get around after reports emerged on Thursday that a couple living in France had allegedly paid €4,500 for a 14-year-old girl from the Ivory Coast to be a maid at their home.

The couple, both in their twenties, allegedly bought the girl on a recent trip to Africa and brought her back in September, when she began working as a housemaid in the couple’s home in the Vaucluse region of France, French regional La Depeche reported on Thursday.

The girl, who had no official papers, was barred from going to school, worked without being paid and was even punished by being whipped with a belt when her cleaning was judged to be not up to scratch, reported La Depeche.

“This is a case of slavery in the true sense of the word,” Sylvie O’dy, president of the Committee against Modern Slavery told French daily Le Parisien.

The girl, named as Charlotte, finally managed to escape the clutches of her captors this week and fled to a nearby police station, where she is being cared for.

After hearing the girl’s recount of what happened, police arrested the couple. The woman, who is French, has been released but her partner, who is originally from the Ivory Coast has been kept in custody. They both face trial in March on charges of human trafficking and violence.

“This is a classic case. It is very common for people of foreign origin living in France to go back to their country, where they are connected and where it is easy to find someone poor to exploit,” said O’dy.

“The fact that they purchased her, however, is extremely rare,” she said, adding that it was more common to make deals over travel expenses or schooling than to exchange cash.

According to O’dy, 76 percent of the victims dealt with by her association are from Africa.

http://www.thelocal.fr/page/view/french-couple-pay-4500-for-african-slave-girl#.USiPbx3Itm4

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NGO to Rescue Drunken Girls at Purim Festivities in Jerusalem

By DANIELLE ZIRI

02/20/2013

Volunteers will patrol J'lem streets to offer help to inebriated young girls who are "at risk of being abused by men who lure them away."

Volunteers at the NGO Learn and Live, which aims at keeping at risk Jewish girls in Israel out of abusive situations, will be patrolling in downtown Jerusalem as Purim festivities take place in the city’s main squares this weekend.

Some 25 trained volunteers divided into small groups will be in the streets offering assistance and guidance to young girls celebrating, drinking heavily and even taking drugs.

The organization’s staff will be driving girls who are at risk of getting into problematic situations to two tents set up for the occasion: one downtown Jerusalem where they will be offered a safe place to rest and have a warm drink, and a second one in the Baka neighbourhood where they will be able to spend the night before receiving a breakfast and bus fare home in the morning.

Patty Kupfer, who has been organizing the project for the past two years at Learn and Live explained that drunk female teenagers are sometimes lured away by men who later abuse them. In some of these cases, Kupfer said, the girls follow men to Arab villages where they are then trapped. Learn and Live has rescued girls from these situations many times in the past.

“They are not capable of making a conscious decision, and they follow strange men. They don’t even know who they are with,” she explained, “I can't tell you how painful it is, when you go down to Ben Yehuda street or King George in Jerusalem and you see 14 year olds falling over their feet. All teenagers make mistakes but we don’t want them to do something stupid that would affect them for rest of their lives.”

“They don't realize what they are getting themselves into. You think you're going out to have a good time on Purim and party with a bunch of kids and it turns into a disaster when you lose your free will because of drugs or alcohol,” Kupfer added, “And the wolves are out there, Jewish or Arab, they are out there."

Learn and Live operates in 32 cities across the country in three areas of activity: prevention, rescue and rehabilitation. The organization provides the girls with shelters they can stay in as well as meetings with counselors who help them get their lives back on track after having suffered abuse. The NGO also runs a hotline they can call for emergency help.

“Saving a girl from a horrific situation, it feels like you've saved the world,” Kupfer said, “I'm a mother and that's someone's daughter. It makes you think, if this were my daughter, I'd thank god someone is helping.”

“Our job on Purim is to make sure that no abuse is happening and no girl is getting hurt,” she continued, “Some of them we literally pick off the ground.”

Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, explained that there will be a rise in security on Purim. Police forces will be patrolling the streets in different cities in order to prevent crime.

“There is definitely alcohol in the teenage world, so we have to be prepared,” he said, “we are trying to respond as quickly as possible if something happens.”

Rosenfeld added that in general, there has been no increase in the number of incidents recorded on such celebratory nights over the years.

“There is a lot of talk in the different communities and also at schools,” he explained, “The youngsters are fully aware of problematic situations that can develop as a result of alcohol use.”

“I don’t think there are people who are specifically looking to target young women but a small percentage get drunk and it is the responsibility of social services and police to try to prevent crime from taking place,” Rosenfeld explained.

Last year, Learn and Live rescued 21 girls from problematic situations on the night of Purim and are preparing for at least the same number this weekend.

http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=303961

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The Rise of ‘Bride Snatching’ in Kazakhstan

23 February 2013

 Imrana Mohammed

A prominent international policy group, the Wilson Centre has reported on the rise of forced marriages in Kazakhstan. There are specific historical and cultural attitudes that distinguish the abuse of women’s rights in this region that set it apart from other nations. In the southern areas of Kazakhstan, many men who want to get married will simply ‘hunt’ out a possible bride through social links or personal investigation and bypass the normal Islamic discussion process of seeking permission from the woman’s male guardians and the potential bride herself. They will then arrange to kidnap the unsuspecting woman or girl and organise other unscrupulous accomplices to perform a marriage ceremony with or without the consent of the unfortunate bride to be.

It is known as kelisimsiz alyp qashu ("to take and run without agreement"). The dangerous state of affairs is not helped by the fact that consensual kidnapping known as kelissimmen alyp qashu ("to take and run with agreement"), is at present widely practiced and socially acceptable. This occurs when a girl may explicitly or even implicitly indicate interest in a relationship and may even agree to get married and as a consequence she may be suddenly taken from her home and placed immediately into a marriage setting with formal consent gained in symbolic items of clothing worn by the new ‘bride’ and a letter written to her family indicating her change of circumstances.

The phenomenon has come to be known as ‘bride snatching’ and often ends up with women and girls permanently trapped in often violent and abusive relationships with no recourse for justice available to them. The problem has existed unchallenged for so long by the Kazakh government and international community such that incidents have risen sharply in recent years. Victims of this crime not only suffer the violation of their rights in terms of being married without their consent, but they often stay in the undesired relationship due to the social stigma of leaving the marital home and the shame divorce brings upon the family as well as the fact that they have a clear understanding that there are no authorities that will aid them in their plight.

Organisations such as the Wilson Centre have attributed the underlying causes of this illegitimate means of marriage as being linked to the post-Soviet transition period where access to women employment and education as well as social policies that facilitated child care were more available to women, as shown by the following Wilson centre quote; “Kidnap marriages, as well as arranged marriages, became illegal shortly after the Soviet state incorporated Central Asia in the early 1920s…..Marxist ideals that promoted gender equality are being replaced with new nationalist ideals that emphasize more "traditional" gender roles.” The implication here, is that with the ending of communist influence, the predominantly Muslim population of Kazakhstan, have reverted back to the values of the Ottoman Khilafah that ended in 1924 and as such, have been placed in a social time warp where Shariah influence is setting the women of the region back in terms of their political rights and public service mobilisation.

Other significant reasons for men preferring to kidnap a bride include speeding up the costly process of marriage that can overburden the average man who is of low income. In some cases the potential bride may already be expecting the prospective groom’s child or it may simply be that the man did not respect the family’s right to refuse a proposal of marriage.

In light of the perceived reasons for the alarming increase in bride snatching, which some NGO’s estimate to be as high as 60-75% of all marriages, secular institutions such as the Wilson Centre have put forward a number of proposed solutions to address the problem. Unsurprisingly, the promotion of gender equality policies and selective legal reforms are considered top of the agenda.

Social support centres for victims and greater means for women to enter the workplace and earn an independent income are also highlighted as proposed strategies as indicated in a report by the Wilson Centre; “Kazakh nationalism is stressed more than gender equality……Encourage changes in the legal process……Local NGOs could establish local crises centres…….young men are more likely to kidnap women against their will if they feel insecure about their own economic situation….”

With all of these oft repeated options given to the Kazakh government, there is a blinding oversight in the political appraisal of the problem of bride snatching that will make any attempt to solve it completely futile.

Firstly, all of the reasons given to explain the phenomenon of bride snatching are symptomatic of an underlying social culture that devalues and objectifies women. This is something that existed under the Soviet political ideology that dominated the region and also exists in the current secular political culture of Kazakhstan. The only difference that one should acknowledge is that under the iron control of Marxist policies, people may have found it more difficult to practice bride snatching at levels that we see today. However gross violations and abuse of women’s rights were a regular part of Soviet life as slavery, imprisonment, execution and poverty are well documented. Economic independence does not and has not ever changed the status of women or given them greater respect in any society that has adopted this policy. This is proven in the high rates of harassment, unequal pay practices and limited promotional prospects that exist in all established democratic nations.

Secondly, fundamental flaws in the analysis also exist in the way the Kazakh national identity is dealt with. Whilst it cannot be denied that cultural practices can be a great obstacle to women’s rights, such as the un-Islamic and unnecessary high costs involved in getting married, it should not be assumed that it is the Islamic culture that is the great threat here. In fact the exact opposite is true. In Islam, women are regarded in the highest terms of respect and are guarded from being used, abused and objectified in any social or political context, be it in the advertising industry or in the work that is allowed for women who may want to use their physical attributes to earn money.

This includes the invalidity of any marriage without the woman or girl giving her explicit consent to marry. In addition, Islam bestows great respect for the role of women as mothers and wives, a role traditionally undermined and punished by the social and economic structure of Capitalism. Under the Islamic social system of the Khilafah, taken from the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad (saw), specified policies exist to regulate the relationship between males and females both in public and private. Islam forbids the liberal culture of men and women mixing freely and as such, misunderstandings of the intent to marry or women giving birth outside of consensual marriage would be very difficult to arise.

Sayyiduna Abd Allah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

“A woman must not travel except with a Mahram and a man must not enter upon her except if she has a Mahram.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 1763)

The Islamic judicial system of the Khilafah creates a society where women feel safe to engage on their social roles knowing that there are strict and enforceable laws that severely punish anyone that denies them their rights.

These rights do not only encompass issues linked to kidnap or physical assault, but even extend as far as to punish anyone who dares slander or circulate false rumours about women, which, as we know, can clearly harm the lives of women directly and indirectly. Allah (swt) says,

“Verily, those who accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching their chastity, and are good believers — are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter, and for them will be a great torment” [TMQ al-Noor 23].

The importance of God consciousness (Taqwa) or the keen awareness Muslims have for the accountability they have - not to the State but to the Creator Himself - is a factor that would be deeply rooted in a personality educated and raised in the Islamic society of the Khilafah. As such self-discipline and respect for women are considered to be the social norms for citizens under this Islamic System.

In light of these clear Islamic principles and laws, which are only a hint of the great state of protection that Islam affords women, we can now understand how the Khilafah of the past did not share the sordid reality that exists for all women today, be it the global proliferation of domestic violence, bride snatching in Kazakhstan, forced marriages in Africa or Asia, infanticide of female foetuses in India or the sickening international slave trade in women who are exploited by individuals or groups affected by the capitalist mentality of maximising profits regardless of the consequences. Islam never had a women’s rights movement as women had their rights under its rule. Under the Khilafah, women knew that they were not obliged to work as the male members of their family or the State were responsible for their economic maintenance and they also knew that they were entitled to free education and could engage in paid work or political activities in a manner that agreed with Islam and in a manner where they never felt guilty or degraded if they chose to pursue the noble task of nurturing their families and teaching the next generation the high Islamic values that breeds personalities that see no benefit in harming or abusing others. It is only the Khilafah State that can secure human rights in a manner that is not merely theoretical but in a manner that exists in reality. The debate over a modern Kazakh national identity versus a traditional Kazakh identity should be abandoned and replaced by a clear Islamic agenda reflected in this quote from the Quran.

“Then We revealed the Book to you (O Muhammad!) with Truth, confirming whatever of the Book was revealed before, and protecting and guarding over it. Judge, then, in the affairs of men in accordance with the Law that Allah has revealed, and do not follow their desires in disregard of the Truth which has come to you. For each of you We have appointed a Law and a way of life. And had Allah so willed, He would surely have made you one single community; instead, (He gave each of you a Law and a way of life) in order to test you by what He gave you. Vie, then, one with another in good works. Unto Allah is the return of all of you; and He will then make you understand the truth concerning the matters on which you disagreed.” [Al-Maidah: 48]

It is not only Kazakh men that should be accounted for the correct implementation of these noble verses, but the leadership and entire government of Kazakhstan itself.

Imrana Mohammed

Member of The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1302/S00219/the-rise-of-bride-snatching-in-kazakhstan.htm

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Man in Qatif Imprisoned For Distributing Private Photos of Ex-Wife

 22 February 2013

A court sentenced a man and his accomplice to prison after he published his ex-wife’s photos on the mobile messaging app WhatsApp and via email, Al-Yaum daily reported.

The District Court in Qatif governorate sentenced the ex-husband to six months in jail, 80 lashes and fined him SR20, 000, whilst the accomplice was sentenced to four months in jail, 80 lashes and a SR10, 000 fine.

The income from the fines will go to the Ministry of Finance to spend it on programs to benefit the public.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/man-imprisoned-distributing-private-photos-ex-wife

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Kyrgyzstan Discourages Illegal Marriage to Minors through Education the Public

Advocacy groups are educating the public in a bid to save young girls from becoming victims of unlawful matrimony.

By Bakyt Ibraimov

2013-02-22

OSH – Karamat – a 15-year-old schoolgirl – disappeared in May 2011 without finishing the school year or taking her final exams, alarming her teachers.

"Only a few days later did we discover that [her] parents had married her off to a grown man from a neighbouring village," Abdykarim Saginbayev, who works in the education department of Karasuy District, Osh Oblast, told Central Asia Online.

Full report at:

http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/articles/caii/features/main/2013/02/22/feature-01

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Moroccan Woman in Dubai Jailed For Impersonation

By Bassam Za’za’, Legal

 February 22, 2013

Dubai: An expatriate woman has been jailed for three months for producing an Emirates ID card belonging to someone else when police asked to see her ID card at a nightclub.

Police took away the 31-year-old Moroccan woman, who was facing deportation in a separate case, from the nightclub at a five-star hotel in Jumeirah after she presented an Uzbek woman’s identification documents.

The Dubai Court of First Instance found the defendant, K.L, guilty of using an Uzbek woman’s identification card and impersonating her.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/crime/woman-jailed-for-impersonation-1.1149636

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First female Hai’a group formed in Al-Khobar

February 22, 2013

AL-KHOBAR — The 2nd Al-Khobar Girls Forum that recently started announced the formation of the first female members’ group of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Hai’a) that will give religious advice to forum visitors, said the executive director of the forum Soad Al-Darweesh.

The six female Hai’a members, who took a three-day course 10 days before the forum started, were all school teachers, according to Al-Hayat newspaper. They were trained on the best approaches to use when giving advice to female visitors and how to dispel negative images about the commission, Al-Darweesh noted.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130223154245

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'Seven' Famous documentary play on women comes to Delhi

 February 22, 2013

A documentary play based on the lives of seven women around the world, who have fought for women's rights and raised voices against violence and oppression is set to be staged here.

"SEVEN", is a play that has been performed throughout the globe since 2006, including the European Union Parliament in Brussels and in New York, where Hillary Clinton introduced the play and Oscar winning Actress Meryl Streep portrayed one of the seven characters.

The Delhi show is part of the celebrations to mark the chapter of the 'Women's International Networking (WIN)' conference, an independent global leadership organisation inspiring women, that began here today.

Full report at:

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/seven-famous-documentary-play-on-women-comes-to-delhi-113022200455_1.html

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Afia Aslam of the Desi Writers Lounge in Pakistan on LLF and aspiring writers

By Aroosa Shaukat

 February 23, 2013

LAHORE: “There is a pseudo-elitist culture one witnesses at literary festivals…people like us, who are in the field [of literature] and publishing work, are often left out. So when the Lahore Literary Festival’s (LLF) organising committee reached out to us, we were excited,” Afia Aslam, co-founder of an online community and workshop for young writers, Desi Writers Lounge (DWL), said while speaking to The Express Tribune.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/511299/emerging-talent-afia-aslam-of-the-desi-writers-lounge-on-llf-and-aspiring-writers/

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UN Ambassador to Tell Anglicans - 'Ensure Women's Equality'

21 FEBRUARY 2013

Renowned Bangladeshi diplomat Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury will be telling Anglican women from around the world that the end of violence against women is only one step in ensuring gender equality.

The former Permanent Representative to the United Nations and United Nations Under-Secretary General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, will be the keynote speaker for an event held at the Episcopal Church Center chapel on March 5.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201302220678.html

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Leaders from BMC Speak of Women’s Contribution to Libyan Revolution

February 21, 2013

 Karina Mazhukhina

Women have played possibly the largest role in Libyan revolutionary events in the past two years, said Dr. Laila Taher Bugaighis.

Bugaighis, deputy director of the Benghazi Medical Center (BMC), spoke to UW students and faculty Feb. 15 to raise awareness of the contribution of Libyan women to the Libyan Revolution and the resurgence of the BMC.

The UW Department of Global Health sponsored the event for leaders from the BMC to come to UW and report on their experiences during the Libyan revolution.

Full report at:

http://dailyuw.com/archive/2013/02/21/diversity/leaders-benghazi-medical-center-speak-women%E2%80%99s-contribution-libyan-revol#.USiBux3Itm4

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Pink Ribbon Campaign initiating healthy life campaign for women in Pakistan

23 February 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Pink Ribbon Campaign (PRC) is initiating an awareness campaign to encourage a healthy lifestyle, as women in Pakistan are more prone to breast cancer due to their eating habits and high ratio of obesity. Healthy lifestyles are a key weapon against breast cancer as over-weight or under-nourished women are physically more prone to the disease than a healthy woman.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\02\23\story_23-2-2013_pg11_4

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Saudi Moh Confirms Death of Woman from Rare Form of Corona Virus

23 February 2013

A Riyadh resident has died from a rare form of a corona virus, according to the Saudi Ministry of Health (MoH).

Undersecretary to the Ministry of Health for Public Health, Dr. Ziad Al-Memish, told Arab News yesterday that the victim was a 61-year-old Saudi woman. The cause of death was confirmed by a laboratory test.

It is the third such fatality in the Kingdom and the constitutes the 13th confirmed case of a corona virus infection. It is the seventh death blamed on the virus worldwide.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/moh-confirms-death-woman-rare-form-coronavirus

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Visually Impaired Women Hold First Exhibition In Riyadh

 22 February 2013

The women's branch of the Blind Association Charity in Riyadh Region (Kafeef) held the first art exhibition for the blind women at the charity's headquarters in Riyadh. Under the title "Whispering Fingers", the exhibition was held with the support of Sheikh Mohammed bin Saleh bin Sultan Award for Scientific Excellence and Creativity in Special Education.

The exhibition included the work of 20 blind women. The exhibits showcase various artifacts including accessories, glass paintings and art models.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/visually-impaired-women-hold-first-exhibition

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Uganda: 14-Year-Old Abwin Raising Her Siblings

22 FEBRUARY 2013

After the death of their father and being abandoned by their mother, 14-year-old Jennifer Abwin has taken on the role of raising her siblings, writes Caroline Ariba

A little boy bundles at the entrance to an in-complete hut in Aputi-puti village, Bukedea district. His face is a tale of sorrow; his eyes weary as they stare into space in deep thought. He seems unaware of his surrounding, not even the flies that freely roam on his lips, nose and swollen cheeks bother him.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201302221323.html?viewall=1

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/nepali-girls-sold-as-housemaids-in-uae/d/10533

 

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