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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 12 Jun 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Uzbek Woman Sentenced For Human Trafficking for Forced Prostitution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Tunisian feminist activist Amina Sboui leaves the courthouse in Kairouan, Tunisia, on June 5

 

Muslim Women Group Demands Ban on Divorce Via Skype, Facebook

Jeddah Airport to Hire 500 Saudi Women

Foreign Husband Needs Saudi Wife’s Nod to Travel with Kids

Pakistan Fighter Pilot Wins Battle of Sexes, Now She’s Ready for War

Tunisian Court Gives 4 Months Prison Time to 3 Who Protested Topless

Extravagant Weddings Becoming a Norm in Pakistani Society

Pakistani Women Society to Spread Awareness on Legalisation Process

Woman Sought Over Slur on Agong to Turn Self In, Police Say

Curbing of Violence Top Demand of Female Voters in Khulna, Bangladesh

Media Can Empower Women: Plan Bangladesh Conference

Women’s Exodus from the Work Force in Malaysia, Not Just Brain

US-Islamic World Forum Calls to Boost Women’s Rights

National Council of Egypt Signs Off On Draft Law on Violence against Women

No female minister in KP as cabinet takes oath

Babson College, Dar Al-Hekma Join Forces For Women Empowerment

Pandya’s widow to seek fresh probe into her husband’s murder

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/uzbek-woman-sentenced-for-human-trafficking-for-forced-prostitution/d/12043

 

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Uzbek Woman Sentenced For Human Trafficking for Forced Prostitution

13 June 2013

An Uzbek woman has been sentenced to 14 1/2 years in prison for human trafficking.

Uzbek Interior Ministry officials said that Khursand Akhadova was found guilty of leading a criminal group involved in trafficking women from Central Asia to the United Arab Emirates and Thailand for forced prostitution.

The court in Tashkent also ruled that all Akhadova's possessions, estimated at almost $600,000, will be confiscated.

Investigators say they found Akhadova had four forged passports from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.

Akhadova, 51, was added to Interpol's wanted list in 2003.

She was arrested in Thailand and extradited to Uzbekistan last year.

http://www.rferl.org/content/uzbekistan-human-trafficking/25012404.html

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Muslim Women Group Demands Ban on Divorce Via Skype, Facebook

Mugdha Variyar, Hindustan Times

 June 13, 2013

Protesting against divorces being given by uttering talaq thrice using mediums such as Skype or Facebook, more than 200 Muslim women participated in a rally organised by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) at Azad Maidan on Wednesday.

While the core committee meeting held on Monday finalised several provisions for the state’s policy for women, the panel did not include provisions or codification of Muslim laws and ban on oral divorce, as they were ‘sensitive’.

The group, on Wednesday, organised rallies across 10 cities to demand a ban on unilateral divorce. The group claimed that the absence of provisions to ban unilateral divorce and codification of family laws are being used to exploit women from the community.

“The committee members had told us that they will not be able to incorporate these demands, as it comes under the Muslim Personal Law which is a sensitive matter,” said Noorjehan Safia, founder of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA).

Farida Lambay, a committee member, said, “It is best to let the community take the first step on these matters. We have included provisions for education of Muslim women, including scholarships, technical education, and freeships.”

http://www.hindustantimes.com/technology/socialmedia-updates/Muslim-group-demands-ban-on-divorce-via-Skype-Facebook/SP-Article1-1075466.aspx

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Jeddah Airport to hire 500 Saudi women

June 13, 2013

Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport is to hire between 300 and 500 Saudi Arabian women, it was reported, in the latest indication of increasing opportunities for female employment in the austere Gulf kingdom.

English language newspaper Arab News said that the Red Sea hub would provide jobs for women in the departments of passenger services over the next few months.

The airport’s director general Abdul Hamid Aba Al-Auri was quoted as saying that female staff’s work would see them interact with families only, as per the country’s customs on inter-gender mingling, and they will be required to wear an Islamic headdress at all times.

The positions will be posted on the airport’s website, the newspaper said.

Women’s rights in the Gulf’s most populous country, which practises an austere version of Sharia Law, are a frequent topic of discussion in the world’s media.

Females in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from taking up employment or leaving the country without a male guardian’s permission. According to official data, the unemployment rate among Saudi women stood at 35.7 percent at the end of last year.

In recent years though there have been indications that absolute monarch King Abdullah has pursued a reformist agenda in terms of women’s rights.

In 2011, it was announced that women would be permitted to vote and stand in municipal elections from 2015, while in January 2013 30 women were appointed to the country’s legislative Shoura Council.

Some female members of the Shoura Council have said they will lobby for the driving ban to be lifted, although there is not yet a timeframe for when the issue will be discussed.

It was also recently announced that women would be allowed to practice law in a professional environment for the first time.

http://www.arabnews.com/news/454860

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Foreign husband needs Saudi wife’s nod to travel with kids

 13 June 2013

The Shoura Council will consider a draft bill that will prohibit foreign husbands of Saudi wives to leave the country with their children without the wife’s permission.

Although non-Saudi husband is not entitled to travel outside the Kingdom with his underage children without his wife’s consent, the children can travel without permission if they are over 18 years of age.

Government and official employees are allowed in the new draft to marry non-Saudis, but not students on scholarships abroad.

The regulation was approved by the council two year ago, but a panel of experts sent it back for some amendments.

In addition, the experts panel had agreed that “any Saudi citizen is allowed to marry a non-Saudi who was born on Saudi soil, on condition that a residency card and birth certificate be issued according to the Saudi social status system, and the person had lived in the Kingdom for five successive years when the application was filed.”

http://www.arabnews.com/news/454894

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Pakistan fighter pilot wins battle of sexes, now she’s ready for war

(Reuters) / 13 June 2013

With an olive green head scarf poking out from her helmet, Ayesha Farooq flashes a cheeky grin when asked if it is lonely being the only war-ready female fighter pilot in Pakistan.

Farooq, from Punjab province’s historic city of Bahawalpur, is one of 19 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force over the last decade - there are five other female fighter pilots, but they have yet to take the final tests to qualify for combat.

“I don’t feel any different. We do the same activities, the same precision bombing,” the soft-spoken 26-year-old said of her male colleagues at Mushaf base in north Pakistan, where neatly piled warheads sit in sweltering 50 degree Celsius heat (122 F).

A growing number of women have joined Pakistan’s defence forces in recent years as attitudes towards women change.

“Because of terrorism and our geographical location it’s very important that we stay on our toes,” said Farooq, referring to Taliban militancy and a sharp rise in sectarian violence.

Deteriorating security in neighbouring Afghanistan, where US-led troops are preparing to leave by the end of next year, and an uneasy relationship with arch rival India to the east add to the mix.

Farooq, whose slim frame offers a study in contrast with her burly male colleagues, was at loggerheads with her widowed and uneducated mother seven years ago when she said she wanted to join the air force.

“In our society most girls don’t even think about doing such things as flying an aircraft,” she said.

Family pressure against the traditionally male domain of the armed forces dissuaded other women from taking the next step to become combat ready, air force officials said. They fly slower aircraft instead, ferrying troops and equipment around the nuclear-armed country of 180 million.

“Less of a taboo”

Centuries-old rule in the tribal belt area along the border with Afghanistan, where rape, mutilation and the killing of women are ordered to mete out justice, underlines conservative Pakistan’s failures in protecting women’s rights.

But women are becoming more aware of those rights and signing up with the air force is about as empowering as it gets.

“More and more ladies are joining now,” said Nasim Abbas, Wing Commander of Squadron 20, made up of 25 pilots, including Farooq, who fly Chinese-made F-7PG fighter jets.

“It’s seen as less of a taboo. There’s been a shift in the nation’s, the society’s, way of thinking,” Abbas told Reuters on the base in Punjab’s Sargodha district, about 280 km (175 miles) east of the capital Islamabad, home base to many jets in the 1965 and 1971 wars with India.

There are now about 4,000 women in Pakistan’s armed forces, largely confined to desk jobs and medical work.

But over the last decade, women have became sky marshals, defending Pakistan’s commercial liners against insurgent attacks, and a select few are serving in the elite anti-terrorist force. Like most female soldiers in the world, Pakistani women are still banned from ground combat.

Pakistan now has 316 women in the air force compared to around 100 five years ago, Abbas said.

“In Pakistan, it’s very important to defend our front lines because of terrorism and it’s very important for everyone to be part of it,” said avionics engineer Anam Hassan, 24, as she set out for work on an F-16 fighter aircraft, her thick black hair tucked under a baseball cap.

“It just took a while for the air force to accept this.”

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?section=newsmakers&xfile=data/newsmakers/2013/June/newsmakers_June15.xml

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Tunisian Court Gives 4 Months Prison Time to 3 Who Protested Topless

The Associated Press, Bouazza Ben Bouazza

June 13, 2013

TUNIS, Tunisia – A Tunisian court on Wednesday convicted three European feminist activists who staged a topless courthouse protest last month, sentencing them to four months and a day in prison, a court official said. The defence called the sentence far too harsh.

The two French and a German member of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen maintained during the trial that there was nothing sexual or offensive about their protest and that it was only to support their imprisoned Tunisian colleague. A group leader has pledged further topless protests in Tunisia and the Middle East.

The three women were convicted of public indecency, offending public morals and threatening public order after they demonstrated topless in front of the court building on May 29, said court registrar Habib Derbal.

The protest was the first of its kind in the Middle East for Femen, which has used nudity to push for greater rights for women across Europe. During the trial, the women wore traditional white Tunisian cloaks, but their heads were uncovered.

The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “since we were hoping for a degree of clemency, we could only regret the severity of the penalty.”

Defence lawyer Souhaib Bahri expressed shock, questioning why trials against suspects in more serious crimes seem to result in lighter sentences. On May 28, a Tunisian court gave 20 suspects in a Sept. 14 mob attack on the U.S. embassy suspended sentences, prompting the U.S. to respond that it was “deeply troubled” by the decision. Four demonstrators died in the attack sparked by anger over an American film considered insulting to Islam.

“The sentence is very severe and not proportional to the actions of the women,” Bahri said, adding that the sentence would be appealed. “When we think of the trial for those suspected of the attack on the U.S. embassy where there was dead and major property damage and the defendants received just suspended sentences, we have to ask if there hasn’t been a failure of justice.”

An Islamist lawyer, who was part of a group of religious associations that had attempted to join the case as aggrieved parties, expressed satisfaction at the verdict.

“This was the least penalty that could have been given to the three defendants,” said Anwar Ouled Ali. “I hope this is a lesson to Femen and anyone else who seeks to attack the values of Islam.”

Inna Shevchenko, a leading member of the group based in Paris, said the verdict will have the opposite effect.

“If they think they can stop women’s liberation by throwing us in jail, this is one of the biggest reasons to come back to Tunisia with more topless demonstrations and go to other Muslim countries,” she told The Associated Press by telephone. “I think this decision shows in which direction Tunisia is moving, we can definitely say now Tunisia is an Islamic state that throws women in jail for peaceful protest.”

On the opening day of the trial June 5, three other Femen activists were discovered by authorities and deported on suspicions they planned another protest.

Long a favoured tourist destination for Europeans, Tunisians overthrew their secular dictator in 2011, kicking off uprisings across the region. In the ensuing years, however, there has been a rise in conservative Islamist movements at odds with the country’s longstanding image as secular and progressive – especially in regard to women’s rights.

The Femen activists were calling for the release of Sboui, a Tunisian member of Femen who scandalized the country in March by posting topless photos of herself as a protest for women’s rights. She later attempted another protest May 19 in the religious centre of Kairouan, where she was arrested.

“We came to Tunisia to express our support for Amina who is a symbol during this political phase that Tunisia is going through,” defendant Pauline Hilliers from France said through an interpreter during the trial. “My passion is politics and not inciting debauchery.”

Sboui has already been convicted of carrying pepper spray and assessed a small fine. An investigating judge in Kairouan is considering more serious charges that could result in jail time.

Post-uprising elections brought to power a moderate Islamist party that many say has been too lenient with ultraconservative groups seeking to instil greater piety in this country of 10 million.

During Wednesday’s session, defence lawyer Leila Ben Debba pushed for a lenient sentence for the three women.

“The whole world is watching Tunisian justice,” she said to the chief judge. “Tunisia is going through a period of transition and we have to give Tunisia an image of a tolerant country.”

http://www.news1130.com/2013/06/12/tunisian-court-imprisons-3-european-activists-who-did-topless-protest/

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Extravagant Weddings Becoming a Norm in Pakistani Society

By Muneeb Sheikh

 13 June 2013

The expensive wedding ceremonies, including several functions like Tail Mehndi, Mayon, Nikkah, Barat, Walima which are to be held on multiple days and wasteful expenditures are becoming a part of our cultural values and norms. An average middle class wedding costs at least Rs 2.5 million excluding the dowry which is another accepted social evil. With this huge amount one could educate his five deprived children and feed many poor homes. It is a harsh reality for those who cannot deal with it and their daughters could not marry all lifelong.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\06\12\story_12-6-2013_pg7_14

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Pakistani women society to spread awareness on legalization process

 12 June 2013

The members of Pakistan Ladies Club met in Jeddah recently and discussed rules and regulations concerning illegal Pakistani workers.

The club urged the workers to legalize their status by July 3.

The meeting was held at the residence of Pakistan Consul General Aftab Khokhar, under the auspices of his wife Afshan Khokhar.

Khokhar, who is also the chairperson of the club, said the group wants to spread awareness among distressed Pakistanis about the amnesty period.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/454759

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Woman Sought Over Slur on Agong to Turn Self In, Police Say

 13 June 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — An individual wanted by police on suspicion of insulting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, will surrender herself on Saturday upon returning from abroad.

Kuala Lumpur CID deputy chief ACP Abdul Aziz Zakaria said police investigation found the suspect will give her statement to the police upon her arrival home.

The case was investigated under Section 4(1) of the Seditions Act 1948, he told a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Contingent Police Headquarters, here today.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/woman-sought-over-slur-on-agong-to-turn-self-in-police-say/

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Curbing of Violence Top Demand of Female Voters in Khulna, Bangladesh

 13 June 2013

The female voters of Khulna city, who account for 48 percent of the total votes, demand a violence-free society as the two mayoral runners canvass for their votes.

They also want an end to water logging and mosquito menace, construction of more roads, and improvement of the drainage and waste management systems.

Farida Yasmin, a housewife of Tootpara, alleged that the ruling Awami League-backed student organisation often created violence at educational institutions, and her daughter, a third year student of a government college, had fallen victim to such violence recently. She demands an end to this violence.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/curbing-of-violence-top-demand-of-female-voters-in-khulna/

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Media Can Empower Women: Plan Bangladesh Conference

 13 June 2013

Media can play a vital role in empowering women and reducing violence against women and children through publishing reports on women’s successes and struggles, said speakers at a roundtable yesterday.

Plan Bangladesh, which runs Girl Power Projects to end gender-based violence, organised the roundtable on “Participation of Media in Preventing Violence through Empowering Children and Women” at a hotel in the capital.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/media-can-empower-women/

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Women’s Exodus from the Work Force in Malaysia, Not Just Brain

13 June 2013

 A recent BFM podcast episode, “The New Brain Drain,” discussed the relatively low rate of women’s participation in the Malaysian workforce, focusing specifically on the challenges faced by mothers working outside the home. The government is showing an interest in women’s contribution to the national economy: Prime Minister Najib Razak recently commented that women’s participation in the workforce should be improved to aid growth.

However, the discussion in the episode is underscored by several problematic assumptions and generalisations about gender roles in parenting, as well as other work equity issues, that need to be corrected. Foundational inequities must be addressed with the aim of empowering women and challenging societal views of gender norms; otherwise, discussions on revamping the workforce and on measuring productivity and contributions by women would only lead to cosmetic changes.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/womens-exodus-from-the-work-force-not-just-brain-drain-alicia-izharuddin-clarissa-al-lee-dahlia-martin-and-fiona-lee/

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US-Islamic World Forum Calls to Boost Women’s Rights

12 June 2013

Doha: The 10th US-Islamic World Forum concluded here at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel with a declaration of a set of recommendations calling for enhancement of freedom of expression, freedom of religion, social change and prevention from economic collapse.

The Forum also called for promoting the overall growth in Egypt and Tunisia as well as enhancing the rights of women in Islamic countries that suffer conflict in addition to common interests and to participate in a dynamic world.

It also called for religious tolerance and encouraging governments to conduct reforms in a transparent manner and involve the public in decisions making to achieve development, justice and the establishment of a strong economy and the fight against corruption and the involvement of women in economic activities in the medium term. The recommendations also included the need to provide greater assistance to countries in transition period through increasing coordination and partnerships and the exchange of knowledge and expertise.

Full report at:

http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/241043-call-to-boost-women%E2%80%99s-rights.html

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National Council of Egypt Signs Off On Draft Law on Violence against Women

June 13, 2013

The National Council for Women has finished drafting its bill aimed at confronting violence towards women.

Copies of the draft will be sent to President Mohamed Morsy, Prime Minister Hesham Qandil and Justice Minister Ahmed Suleiman, the group announced on Wednesday.

The new bill, which has undergone a series of amendments after first being introduced months ago, has been produced following consultations with civil society and feminist organisations as well as criminal law experts, the NCW said in a statement.

Among the latest amendments to the bill, representatives have distinguished between classifications of sexual harassment and molestation which, the NCW argued, would help investigators provide evidence for relevant incidents.

Full report at:

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/council-signs-draft-law-violence-against-women

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No female minister in KP as cabinet takes oath

June 13, 2013

PESHAWAR: Twelve ministers of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet took oath at the Governor’s House here on Thursday, whereas no female minister was sworn in.

Governor Engineer Shaukatullah administered the oath to the new cabinet.

The decision to appoint additional ministers in the provincial government was taken after a meeting, which concluded at midnight on Wednesday.

Israrullah Gandapur has been assigned the portfolio of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Shaukat Yousufzai has Health and Information. Yousuf Ayub has been allotted the portfolio of Communication and Works whereas Shahram Khan Taraki has been handed over Agriculture.

Full report at:

http://beta.dawn.com/news/1017970/no-female-minister-in-kp-as-cabinet-takes-oath

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Babson College, Dar Al-Hekma Join Forces For Women Empowerment

 12 June 2013

Dar Al-Hekma has been described as “a paradise for women’s learning and empowerment.”

“Your graduates glow with ambition and talent,” said Kerry Healey, the first female president at Babson College in its 94-year history.

Healey recently visited Dar Al-Hekma to sign a cooperation agreement “to enhance mutual interest in advancing women’s leadership and entrepreneurship.”

“It is with pride and joy that I inform you of the recent signing of the cooperation agreement between Babson College and Dar Al-Hekma,” Suhair H. Al-Qurashi, president of Dar Al-Hekma, said.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/454758

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Pandya’s widow to seek fresh probe into her husband’s murder

Prashant Dayal, TNN | Jun 13, 2013

AHMEDABAD: Former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya's widow, Jagruti, has said she would seek a fresh probe into her husband's murder in 2003 after meeting a man acquitted in the case at a Vishakhapatnam jail.

"I have got some facts about this case which have been kept secret till date. I shall approach the concerned court and the CBI with these new facts to appeal for a reinvestigation of the case," Jagruti said after her return to Ahmedabad.

She had a two-and-a-half-hour meeting with Asghar Ali on Tuesday with the help of some police officers.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Pandyas-widow-to-seek-fresh-probe-into-her-husbands-murder/articleshow/20566344.cms

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/uzbek-woman-sentenced-for-human-trafficking-for-forced-prostitution/d/12043

 

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