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Tue Oct 20 2020, 02:07 AM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 6 Apr 2019, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Women Activists Protest Torture and Imprisonment under Repressive Regimes in Predominantly Muslim Countries

















UNITED NATIONS, Apr 4 2019 (IPS) - Faced with an uneven battle  against right wing nationalist governments, repressive regimes and extremist groups, scores of civil society organizations (CSOs) are gearing themselves to fight back.

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Govt Should Not Interfere In Triple Talaq, Say Muslim Women Of UP's Deoband

Saudi Women Who Left University 25 Years Ago Still Can’t Find Jobs

SANS Celebrates First Batch of Women ATCs

25 Years Later, Saudi Women Graduates Still Struggle to Find Employment

Women In Iraq Push To Criminalise Domestic Violence

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/women-activists-protest-torture-and-imprisonment-under-repressive-regimes-in-predominantly-muslim-countries/d/118251

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Women Activists Protest Torture and Imprisonment under Repressive Regimes in Predominantly Muslim Countries

April 07, 2019

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) – Faced with an uneven battle against right wing nationalist governments, repressive regimes and extremist groups, scores of civil society organisations (CSOs) are gearing themselves to fight back.

Expressing grave concern over a widespread crackdown on activists, 118 leading CSOs, scholars and women’s groups – focusing largely on the rights of women in predominantly Muslim countries — joined hands last week to co-sign a letter of protest to 48 leaders of Muslim-majority countries.

The letter seeks support for equality of women, condemns the torture of women human rights defenders and calls for the immediate release of those detained in Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Spearheaded by Equality Now and Musawah, the letter says they are particularly alarmed at the imprisonment in Saudi Arabia of numerous women’s rights activists, including Loujain Al-Hathloul, Hatoon Al-Fassi, Aziza Al-Yousef, Eman Al-Nafjan, Nouf Abdelaziz, Samar Badawi, Nassima Al-Sadah, Amal Al-Harbi, and Shadan Al-Anezi.

The Saudi government has accused the women of “coordinated activities to undermine the security, stability and natural unity of the kingdom.”

According to Saudi law, the women could face up to 20 years in prison or sentenced to death.

The recipients of the letter include 48 presidents, reigning monarchs and heads of government of Iraq, Chad, Kuwait, Bahrain, Nigeria, Sudan, Iran, the Maldives, Niger, Tunisia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, among others.

The letter says: “We write as over 100 women’s rights and human rights organisations and activists from the Muslim world, who is deeply concerned over the crackdown on women’s rights activists in some countries”.

“We respectfully request leaders of the Muslim world to raise their voices to support equality for women, to recognise the critical role that women’s rights defenders play in this regard, and to condemn the imprisonment and torture of women human rights defenders.”

The activists say they are also “extremely troubled by the egregious treatment of women’s rights activists in Iran, including internationally renowned lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has reportedly been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes, and Narges Mohammadi, sentenced in 2016 to 16 years in prison”.

The 118 activists who signed the letter are from CSOs in Algeria, Afghanistan, Egypt, Indonesia, India, Canada, Pakistan, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Mali and Somalia, among others.

The role of CSOs in fighting back repression and human rights violations will be one of the primary issues on the agenda of the International Civil Society Week (ICSW) event scheduled to take place in Belgrade from April 8 to 12.

The theme of this year’s ICSW is “The Power of Togetherness” focusing on harnessing collective action to respond to rights restrictions and rightwing globalism.

Yasmeen Hassan, Global Director of Equality Now, a CSO which advocates the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls worldwide, said: “It is disheartening to see how low down the rank Muslim countries come in the UN’s global Gender Inequality Index”

She said the arrests, imprisonment and alleged torture of women’s rights activists in Iran and Saudi Arabia should be condemned by all Muslim States.

“We cannot achieve peace, prosperity, and progress without committing to equality for women and girls, and taking active steps to make this a reality,” declared Hassan.

Zainah Anwar, Executive Director of Musawah, a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim world, said: “It is high time Muslim leaders speak out about equality and justice being Islamic values, support women’s rights groups in their countries, and take action to end laws, policies and practices made in the name of Islam that continue to discriminate against women until today.”

If Muslim countries had been true to the teachings of Islam that granted women rights considered revolutionary 1,400 years ago, she said, the Muslim world today would be at the forefront of the women’s movement, instead of at the bottom of all gender equality surveys.

Asked for an update, Tara Carey of Equality Now, told IPS: “It is extremely disappointing that the women’s rights activists still detained in Saudi Arabia have not been freed from prison following Wednesday’s court hearing”

“We call for their immediate, unconditional release, with all charges against them dropped, and for the Saudi authorities to ensure an impartial and independent investigation into allegations of torture.

She said defending women’s rights is not a crime and these women should never have been imprisoned in the first place.

Meanwhile, addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva last September, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said the recent crackdown on peaceful human rights defenders, especially defenders of women’s equality and women’s rights, in Saudi Arabia was “deeply disturbing”.

“Samar Badawi and Nassima Al-Sadah were, according to our sources, arrested on July 30, 2018 and have been held incommunicado since then.”

The prosecutor’s recommendation of the death penalty for Israa al-Ghomgham, reportedly on charges related to participation in protests, is of serious concern.

“These and other arbitrary arrests of peaceful activists for the collective good sharply contradict the spirit of the country’s proclaimed new reforms. We call on the authorities to release all individuals detained for exercising their fundamental freedoms,” she said, as she singled out more than 45 countries for human rights violations.

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/190407/sunday-times-2/women-activists-protest-torture-and-imprisonment-under-repressive-regimes-343806.html

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Govt Should Not Interfere In Triple Talaq, Say Muslim Women Of UP's Deoband

Apr 07, 2019

Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Apr 7 (ANI): Muslim women in Deoband (/search?query=Deoband), the land of biggest madrasa Darul Uloom, advocate that government should not interfere in the matter of "Triple Talaq (/search? query=Triple Talaq)", a religious matter.

"Whatever is mentioned in the holy Quran is absolutely correct. Why does the government need to interfere in the personal matter concerning husband and wife? I think there are a lot of other things for the government to do," said Shamila Ahmed a resident of Deoband (/search?query=Deoband).

"The issues of education of Muslim girl are a big issue. Even those Muslim girls who are well educated and have done their BA, MA and have even qualified NET are jobless. Due to which all their qualities and qualifications remain of no use," she added.

Another woman said that there are several issues that should be considered.

"There are numerous issues in front of us, the roads are not developed, there is the issue of education of Muslim women, the issue of employment of Muslim women amongst many others," said the woman.

"Those who do get job only get jobs in private schools," she added.

On the issue of "Triple Talaq (/search?query=Triple Talaq)", she said: "It is our personal matter and no government needs to interfere. It is as per our Shariat and we cannot go against it and even do not want any improvement in it".

'Triple talaq' is a customary practice, prevalent among Muslims, that dissolves a marriage when the husband says the word 'Talaq' thrice. The custom is criticized for being unilateral and biased against women.

Locals in Deoband (/search?query=Deoband) said that "Muslim community should not be used as a political tool during polls."

"It is a peace-loving city. Politicians should provide better education and more employment opportunities for Muslims in the country. Everyone should be treated equally. Muslim community should not be used as a political tool during polls," said Mohammad Tariq.

"We don't want reservation but want that condition of those in Muslim community who are downtrodden and marginalized should improve" he added.

While a shopkeeper Mohammad Saleem Ansari said that Muslim youth are not given jobs in Police and Army and unemployment is large among them.

"Nobody gives jobs to Muslim youth. They are not given a job in the Army or police. Unless there are jobs for us, our condition is not going to improve," said Ansari.

The Union Cabinet in February approved "Triple Talaq (/search?query=Triple Talaq)" ordinance.

The Triple Talaq (/search?query=Triple Talaq) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 27 last year with 245 votes in favour and 11 against the Bill.

The opposition parties want the Bill to be sent to the Select Committee of Parliament for further vetting, a demand which was rejected by the Centre.

However, an ordinance was re-promulgated in January this year as the revised Bill could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha where the government lacks a majority.

The Bill criminalises the practice of instant 'triple talaq' with a provision of three years imprisonment to the erring husband.

The issue of triple talaq was taken up in the Parliament in August last year after a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled "unconstitutional" a practice that allows Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering "talaq" three times in quick succession. (ANI) https://www.aninews.in/news/national/general-news/govt-should-not-interfere-in-triple-talaq-say-muslim-women-of-ups-deoband20190407133057/

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Saudi Women Who Left University 25 Years Ago Still Can’t Find Jobs

2019-04-06

MAKKAH — A number of Saudi women who have graduated from university many years ago have described their recent meeting with the minister of education as totally disappointing. They said the meeting did not last more than 60 seconds.

Many of the old graduates have been waiting to be appointed as schoolteachers for up to 25 years.

They said the extremely short meeting had dispelled their hopes and dreams, adding that they did not get a chance to present their predicament before the minister.

“We were not shocked by the silence of the minister nor his lack of sympathy with our case but by the people in his office who asked us not to talk or annoy the minister,” one of them said, requesting anonymity.

She said the officials in the minister’s office gave us clear instructions to keep silent and not disturb the minister who they said was extremely busy and had no time for them.

Fatima Al-Ghamdi, an elderly graduate, said great injustice had befallen the women graduates who did not obtain degrees in education.

“We were asked to obtain a diploma in education and then a master’s degree to be employed by the ministry. This is totally unjust because the graduates of the intermediate teachers’ colleges have been employed as teachers while we were absolutely ignored,” she said.

Ghamdi said the graduates of the intermediate colleges who were less qualified than them were appointed as teachers while many obstacles were put in front of them preventing them from finding jobs under the ministry.

She said some of the jobless women have graduated from the universities more than 25 years ago but they were still idling at home.

Ghamdi said the obstacles in the way of their appointment include the passing of the qualification test, which was introduced many years after their graduation.

“We should have priority in employment because we have graduated from Saudi universities many years ago. They cannot insist now that we should have obtained degrees in education,” she said.

Amal Al-Harithy said their demand from the ministry was to find jobs for them whether they were graduates from the teachers’ colleges or have master’s degree in education.

She said the ministry did not stop at the diploma of education as a prelude for the employment of the old women graduates as teachers but went further to ask them for a master’s degree.

“This is totally against the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Civil Service, which do not differentiate between the graduates in this manner,” she said.

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/562866/SAUDI-ARABIA/Saudi-women-who-left-university-25-years-ago-still-cant-find-jobs

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SANS Celebrates First Batch of Women ATCs

2019-04-06

JEDDAH — The Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) celebrated in March the appointment of 11 women as air traffic controllers at the air control centre in Jeddah.

All 11 women took part in a one-year program, which SANS executed in cooperation with the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation (SACA). This is the first program that prepares women to work in air traffic control in the Kingdom.

The company held an introductory event for the new employees, which was attended by SANS CEO Ryyan Tarabzoni, SACA President Fahad Al-Harbi, and other SANS officials.

After welcoming and congratulating the newly-appointed women, the officials gave them a tour of the SANS headquarters, introducing them to the company’s rules and policies.

The officials also explained the company’s incentives and benefits and answered the women’s questions.

“The company hired women in different fields out of its concern to contribute to Vision 2030, and in order to support and empower Saudi women in different jobs and increase their participation in different fields in the Saudi labor market,” Tarabzoni said.

“We are thrilled that Saudi women will work in the field of air control for the first time. We are confident of their capabilities, as they’ve proven their competence in different specialties. They’ve demonstrated their seriousness and perseverance since [day one] of joining the qualifying educational program,” Tarabzoni also said. He added that there is a second batch consisting of 15 women currently enrolled in the program, and they will be hired by the company after successfully completing it.

The qualifying program involves studying 13 subjects including physics, mathematics, and aviation language, in addition to basic air traffic control training courses. — Al-Arabiya English

http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/562863

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25 Years Later, Saudi Women Graduates Still Struggle to Find Employment

April 7th, 2019

A number of Saudi women who have graduated from university many years ago have described their recent meeting with the minister of education as totally disappointing. They said the meeting did not last more than 60 seconds.

Many of the old graduates have been waiting to be appointed as schoolteachers for up to 25 years.

They said the extremely short meeting had dispelled their hopes and dreams, adding that they did not get a chance to present their predicament before the minister.

“We were not shocked by the silence of the minister nor his lack of sympathy with our case but by the people in his office who asked us not to talk or annoy the minister,” one of them said, requesting anonymity.

She said the officials in the minister’s office gave us clear instructions to keep silent and not disturb the minister who they said was extremely busy and had no time for them.

Fatima Al-Ghamdi, an elderly graduate, said great injustice had befallen the women graduates who did not obtain degrees in education.

“We were asked to obtain a diploma in education and then a master’s degree to be employed by the ministry. This is totally unjust because the graduates of the intermediate teachers’ colleges have been employed as teachers while we were absolutely ignored,” she said.

Ghamdi said the graduates of the intermediate colleges who were less qualified than them were appointed as teachers while many obstacles were put in front of them preventing them from finding jobs under the ministry.

She said some of the jobless women have graduated from the universities more than 25 years ago but they were still idling at home.

Ghamdi said the obstacles in the way of their appointment include the passing of the qualification test, which was introduced many years after their graduation.

“We should have priority in employment because we have graduated from Saudi universities many years ago. They cannot insist now that we should have obtained degrees in education,” she said.

Amal Al-Harithy said their demand from the ministry was to find jobs for them whether they were graduates from the teachers’ colleges or have master’s degree in education.

She said the ministry did not stop at the diploma of education as a prelude for the employment of the old women graduates as teachers but went further to ask them for a master’s degree.

“This is totally against the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Civil Service, which do not differentiate between the graduates in this manner,” she said.

https://www.albawaba.com/business/25-years-later-saudi-women-graduates-still-struggle-find-employment-1276900

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Women In Iraq Push To Criminalise Domestic Violence

by Natasha Ghoneim

21 Mar 2019

Domestic violence has been on the rise in Iraq, with women's groups blaming instability and the break down of law and order.

However, there has been a growing awareness of the issue at the highest levels of government and the women's rights groups are hopeful that the legislature will finally pass a law criminalising what they see as a "national crisis".

The penal code currently has a provision allowing husbands to discipline their wives and does not criminalise domestic violence.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/women-iraq-push-criminalise-domestic-violence-190321175540021.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/women-activists-protest-torture-and-imprisonment-under-repressive-regimes-in-predominantly-muslim-countries/d/118251

 

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