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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 22 Jul 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Women Fall Prey to Flawed System of Oral Triple Talaq

 

 

 

 

  

Kalpona was 12 when her parents arranged for her to marry a man more than twice her age. Photo: unicef/bana2014-00451/mawa

 

 

 

 

 

Women to Take Part in Saudi Municipal Polls

Women’s Clubs for Marriage in Saudi Arabia

Women Terrorising Women for ISIS, Syria's Female Jihad

Child Beggars Multiply On the Streets of Damascus

A Syrian Mother Talks about Her Son, Sold Into Battle

11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die

'Girls Have the Right to Determine Their Destiny': UK's Girl Summit

New UNICEF Data Show Need for Urgent Action on FGM and Child Marriage

100 Days after Nigeria Girls' Kidnap, Boko Haram Won't Relent

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/women-fall-prey-to-flawed-system-of-oral-triple-talaq/d/98265

 

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Women Fall Prey to Flawed System of Oral Triple Talaq

Jul 23, 2014

HYDERABAD: The system of oral triple Talaq, which scholars assert has no juridical validity, continues to haunt women across varied social strata.

"Ending the marriage by uttering 'Talaq' thrice in one sitting is incorrect. Talaq must be given in three different sittings with at least a month between each sitting. All efforts of reconciliation must be made in the interim period," according to scholar Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani.

The scholar believes oral triple Talaq is akin to an endemic in the community, one that needs to be combated ferociously. "Awareness within the community is lacking. People should be told that this system is inherently flawed," says the scholar.

Cases recorded at Darul Quaza (DZ), an arbitration centre established in Panjeshah with the objective of rekindling matrimonial bliss and settling property disputes based on Islamic principles, narrate tales of women's suffering by the hands of their abusive spouses. Wives who have been denied divorces for years together also are a major cause for concern, it underscores.

Sources from DZ say that of an estimated 300 cases recorded every year; around 240 are those of women who have been left "hanging" by their estranged husbands. Not agreeing to a divorce and rejecting all conciliatory efforts, these husbands continue to torment their wives. And with a success rate of roughly 50 per cent, the Darul Quaza, though present notionally, has dismally failed to achieve its objective.

The picture is grim. Activists and scholars point out that vexed with harassment, women demanding a divorce have even offered to forgo maintenance and the Meher (dower), usually between Rs 10,000 and Rs one lakh "gifted" at the time of Nikah, by asking for khula. But this "incentive" too has failed.

One such case is that of 38-year old Amina Ahmed (name changed to protect identity), a post graduate in science and resident of Masab Tank, who has been fighting a long drawn battle to divorce her husband for the past 14 years.

Amina's son was only six years old, when she was forced out of the house. And when she sought a divorce, the husband flatly refused. "I had all reasons which society and Islam hold valid, and yet neither the Darul Quaza nor the courts of law were able to help me get talaq or even a Khula. My direct family was supportive, but most of the efforts are mine," she says.

While Amina's family was supportive, many others are abandoned by their families, forced to fend for themselves and their children. Asiya Khatoon, CEO, Mahila Sanatkar, an NGO working for women's empowerment, says, "Many families abandon such women. They claim that they were "fated" to struggle their whole lives. This is a destructive approach."

Khatoon observes that such women eventually become victims of low self-esteem and must be counselled at the earliest. Only self-reliance can help combat this problem, she argues. "We do our best to identify opportunities and methods of generating income for them. Cash in hand is very important," she says.

Unfortunately, rehabilitation too is fraught with challenges. There have been many occasions, Khatoon claims, when bigots have misinterpreted religion and have discouraged such programmes. "This is a harsh reality which should be confronted," she says.

But there could be a silver lining to the dark clouds of oppression. Women like Amina have begun taking charge of their own lives, rejecting to dwell on their past which conjures images of despair and distress. "I have raised my two children on my own. My daughter is now studying computer science engineering and my son is in Intermediate first year. My self-respect is intact and I would refuse any maintenance from my husband," she says.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Women-fall-prey-to-flawed-system/articleshow/38823656.cms

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Women to take part in Saudi municipal polls

Jul 23, 2014

The Council of Ministers has approved legislation that would allow Saudi women to vote and stand as candidates in upcoming municipal council elections.

Women were not allowed to participate in the 2011 elections but Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques had ordered shortly before the polls that they should be allowed to do so from the 2015 elections onwards.

The law allows councils to approve and implement municipal plans and programs approved in the budget. They would also oversee maintenance, operating, development and investment projects, the law states.

The Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs would determine the size and make-up of councils. They should not exceed 30 members, with two-thirds elected and a third appointed by the minister.

The law gives men and women the right to stand as candidates, vote and nominate others. It grants independent, non-governmental and non-profit establishments and charities the right to observe election procedures.

These decisions were taken at the council's meeting on Monday, chaired by Crown Prince Salman.

At the beginning of the session, the council considered the details of the talks between King Abdullah and King Mohammad VI of Morocco, and his telephone conversation with Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi, Egypt's president. The council also reviewed the Crown Prince’s talks with Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, prime minister of Bahrain.

Minister of Culture and Information Abdul Aziz Khoja said the Council of Ministers reviewed several reports on international and regional developments. He slammed the Israeli government for its aggression against the Palestinians and repeated requests from the Kingdom for the international community to take action against the Zionist state.

Khoja said the Ministry of Interior has issued regulations around the Haj and Umrah, which includes a ban on non-Saudis being involved in the provision of accommodation for pilgrims. A representative of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities should be appointed to the permanent committees in Makkah and Madinah, he said.

The Council of Ministers also reviewed a report of the Minister of Finance, and approved several procedures including issuing licenses to the General Investment Fund to set up single or joint companies inside and outside the Kingdom, in the public and private sectors.

After reviewing the remarks of the Minister of Transport, the council gave Saher the authority to issue fines for drivers and vehicles at fixed and mobile weight stations and elsewhere. The council stated that the majority of Saher employees should be Saudi nationals, and committees set up should be approved by the Ministries of Interior, Transport and Finance.

The Council of Ministers, after reviewing remarks from the president of the Financial Market Authority, and recommendations of the economic council permanent committee, granted the authority the power to allow foreign financial institutions to buy and sell shares listed in the Saudi financial sector.

http://www.arabnews.com/news/saudi-arabia/606111

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Women’s clubs for marriage in Saudi Arabia

Mansour Ibrahim Al-Dakhil

Jul 23, 2014

The number of unmarried women in Saudi Arabia is increasing at an alarming level. The number has now reaching about 1.5 million. As the media is focusing on this issue, it occurred to me that I suggest the establishment of clubs for marriage in all the regions and governorates of the Kingdom.

This is due to a lack of interaction between neighbors and relatives and what has been imposed by the modern culture on the Saudi family, including jobs that take most of the time of heads of families. This also includes the other negative aspects, like addiction to modern technology like the Internet, social media, electronic games and other technologies that attract the attention of family members. Hence, interaction between members of society has weakened. Friendship and bonhomie between neighbors and relatives has now become a thing of the past. 

Today, when I propose the establishment of Saudi women’s clubs for marriage it is not meant to belittle Saudi young women, but it is meant to honor them and get rid of the growing number of unmarried women. Setting up clubs for marriage comes amid our social heritage. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), married Sayyidah Khadijah Bint Khuwailid following a request from her when she heard about his honesty and conduct. Also, the Prophet’s companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to look for men for their daughters. They used to look for men of good conduct and good deeds. The clubs will inculcate these experiences and lead with them to search for alternatives that serve the right path for marital life. This will be especially beneficial when establishing these clubs on scientific bases by specialist academics in sociology, psychology and the environment with supervision by scholars and sheikhs. The proposed clubs will provide programs related to the paths leading to stability and marital happiness. They will be a meeting place for young women and families looking for wives for their sons. The young women will be right before the families and their CVs will be available. They can speak to them directly without interference from anyone except the female officials in the clubs whose roles will be to provide available services.

The clubs will break the barrier of fear and lack of self-confidence in Saudi young women, the trait largely present in our society because of traditions and customs. This causes the young woman to be shy when some young man comes to ask her hand in marriage. Some families tell their daughters to keep silent as if she is a wooden pole without any soul.

This culture is still existent. Even the young man does not have a chance to talk to the young woman. She offers him a glass of juice or some tea, and he sees her in a quick glance. When I say that this culture is still existent I do not deny that some families have surpassed this stage. They give their daughter and the suitors freedom to speak freely. For this reason, I ask the Ministry of Social Affairs to establish these clubs. Their programs should include a training workshop to enable young women to gain skills in marital dealings.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140722212311

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Women Terrorizing Women for ISIS, Syria's Female Jihad

Jul 23, 2014

RAQQA — Shortly after the Sunni militant group the Islamic State Iraq and Syria (ISIS)  retook control of this northern Syrian city earlier this year, it created the al-Khansaa' Brigade, an all-female unit operating in the city. Its purpose is to apprehend civilian women in Raqqa who do not follow the organization's strict brand of Sharia law, including a mandate that all women be fully covered in public and that they be accompanied by a male chaperone.

“We have established the brigade to raise awareness of our religion among women, and to punish women who do not abide by the law,” says Abu Ahmad, an ISIS official in Raqqa. “There are only women in this brigade and we have given them their own facilities to prevent the mixture of men and women.”

The organization, which has been pushing further into eastern Syria after taking control of the Iraqi city of Mosul and key points on the Iraq-Syria border last month, needs a female brigade to “raise awareness among women, and arrest and punish women who do not follow the religion correctly,” says Ahmad. “Jihad is not a man-only duty. Women must do their part as well.”

The women who join the brigade are either from Raqqa and want to take part in ISIS activities there, or, often, the wives of mujahideen who have come to fight from other parts of Syria or the region.

Though women are assuming new, more powerful roles across Syria — the UN now estimates that one in four displaced families in Syria has a female head — residents here say that any “girl power” wrought by the brigade is mitigated by the harsher restrictions they have been tasked with imposing on Raqqa women.

“ISIS created it to terrorize women,” says Abu al-Hamza, a local media activist. He says the brigade raided the city’s Hamida Taher Girls School and arrested ten students, two teachers and a secretary on the grounds that some of them were wearing veils that were too thin. Others were accused of wearing hair clips under the veil, pinning them in a way that showed too much of their faces.

Hamza says that the women subsequently spent six hours in an ISIS detention center, where they were whipped. “After arresting those women and girls,” continues Hamza, “they took them to ISIS prisons and locked them in for six hours and punished some of them with 30 whips each.”

Criminalizing a walking teen

Zainab, a local teen, was arrested by female members of ISIS four months ago. “I was walking down the street when a car suddenly stopped and a group of armed women got out,” she says. “They insulted me and yelled at me. They took me to one of their centers and kept me locked in a room. Nobody talked to me or told me the reason for my detention. One of the women in the brigade came over, pointing her firearm at me. She then tested my knowledge of prayer, fasting and hijab.”

The fighter told Zainab she had been arrested because she had been walking alone, without an escort and because her hijab was not worn properly. “You should be punished for taking your religion lightly,” Zainab recalls the women saying before threatening harsher punishment should the teenager be arrested again.

Two hours later, she was released. But for Zainab — and other women here — the message was clear.

“The brigade has created fear among the women and girls of Raqqa,” she says. “We've seen how they move, always watching women on the street, raiding schools, arresting students and locking them in for hours.”

http://www.worldcrunch.com/syria-crisis/women-terrorizing-women-for-isis-syria-039-s-female-jihad/jihad-raqqa-hijab-isis-sharia-law-women-brigade/c13s16528/#.U86Xo-NdU4U

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Child Beggars Multiply On The Streets Of Damascus

Jul 23, 2014

DAMASCUS — At first, 10-year-old Rania was too ashamed to tell her story. She spends her days begging for change on the streets of Damascus. “I never imagined myself as a beggar,” she says. “I’m so ashamed when I ask for money.”

Rania and her younger brother were forced onto the streets after their father died during clashes in Hajjar al-Aswad,...

http://www.worldcrunch.com/rss/syria-crisis/child-beggars-multiply-on-the-streets-of-damascus/poverty-war-money-child-rights-education-begging/c13s16482/#.U89DKeNdU4U

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A Syrian Mother Talks About Her Son, Sold Into Battle

Jul 23, 2014

The trafficking of young men as soldiers is on the rise in Syria. One mother thought her 16-year-old was being taken to find medical treatment, until she saw a photo of him in uniform.

Human trafficking rings have flourished since the start of the Syrian conflict, with children and other victims being sold across borders into Lebanon, Egypt and other Arab countries. Some children are trafficked for sex or labor — and others, namely young men, are driven into battle.

In 2010, the year before the conflict began, Lebanon's Inter...

http://www.worldcrunch.com/syria-crisis/a-syrian-mother-talks-about-her-son-sold-into-battle/child-soldier-trafficking-syria/c13s16297/#.U89CpONdU4U

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11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die

Jul 23, 2014 - MICHELLE FAUL

About a dozen parents of the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls will never see their daughters again.

Since the mass abduction of the schoolgirls by Islamic extremists three months ago, at least 11 of their parents have died and their hometown, Chibok, is under siege from the militants, residents report.

Seven fathers of kidnapped girls were among 51 bodies brought to Chibok hospital after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari in July, said a health worker who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals by the extremists.

At least four more parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses that the community blames on trauma due to the mass abduction 100 days ago, said community leader Pogu Bitrus, who provided their names. “One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him,” said Mr Bitrus. Chibok is cut off because of frequent attacks on the roads that are studded with burned out vehicles. Commercial flights no longer go into the troubled area and the government has halted charter flights.

Boko Haram is closing in on Chibok, attacking villages ever closer to the town.

http://www.asianage.com/international/11-parents-nigeria-s-abducted-girls-die-460

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'Girls Have The Right To Determine Their Destiny': UK's Girl Summit

Jul 23, 2014

The UK Government and UNICEF are hosting the first-ever Girl Summit to rally support for a campaign to accelerate efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage – two practices currently affecting millions of girls across the globe.

UNICEF data released today show that rates of progress need to be scaled up dramatically in the countries where the practices are most common.

‘FGM and child marriage profoundly and permanently harm girls, denying them their right to make their own decisions and to reach their full potential. They are detriments to the girls themselves, their families, and their societies,’ said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.

‘Girls are not property; they have the right to determine their destiny. When they do so, everyone benefits,’ he added.

More than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of FGM in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common. Beyond extreme physical and psychological pain, girls who undergo FGM are at risk of prolonged bleeding, infection, infertility and death.

Child marriage is even more widespread and can lead to a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation. Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children. More than one in three – or some 250 million – were married before 15.

A  host of celebrities including Jennifer Hudson, Cat Deeley, Stephen Fry, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Melinda Gates and Dawn O’Porter have all shown their support for the campaign.

Girls who marry before they turn 18 are less likely to remain in school and more likely to experience domestic violence. Young teenage girls are more likely to die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s; their infants are more likely to be stillborn or die in the first month of life.

‘The numbers tell us we must accelerate our efforts. And let’s not forget that these numbers represent real lives. While these are problems of a global scale, the solutions must be local, driven by communities, families and girls themselves to change mindsets and break the cycles that perpetuate FGM and child marriage,’ Lake said. ‘We can’t let the staggering numbers numb us – they must compel us to act.’

Ahead of the summit the world’s first Insta-documentary, created from Instagram footage, was unveiled in honour of girls affected by child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).

The 2:20 minute Insta-film, ‘Freedom Is…’ is calling for an end to these harmful practices and was created from Instagram submissions from across the world, including contributions from UK, USA, Italy, Greece, Armenia, Ethiopia and Zambia, submitted in response to a social media campaign asking the question ‘Freedom is…?’

The film explores the impact of restricting freedom, especially for girls who are subjected to forced marriage and FGM, and encourages viewers to sign the Girl Summit Pledge (www.girlsummitpledge.com) to help end these harmful practices within a generation.

The moving film sees people describing their own freedom as 'riding a scooter through Rome', 'swimming with my son', the freedom to be myself', and 'being free of hate greed and ignorance' before looking at those who have their freedom taken from them through FGM or forced marriage.

The Girl Summit Pledge has received over 4,500 pledges and 34,000 social messages of support and has reached 286 million people to date, with support also secured from Mia Farrow, David Cameron, Bip Ling, Jon Snow and Sasha Wilkins,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2701095/The-UKs-Girl-Summit-aims-end-child-marriage-female-genital-mutilation.html

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New UNICEF Data Show Need for Urgent Action on FGM and Child Marriage

Jul 23, 2014

London/New York — The UK Government and UNICEF are hosting today a first-ever Girl Summit to rally support for much faster progress to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage - two practices that affect millions of girls across the globe.

UNICEF data released today show that while prevalence has decreased slightly over the past three decades, rates of progress need to be scaled up dramatically, simply to offset population growth in the countries where the practices are most common.

"FGM and child marriage profoundly and permanently harm girls, denying them their right to make their own decisions and to reach their full potential. They are detriments to the girls themselves, their families, and their societies," said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. "Girls are not property; they have the right to determine their destiny. When they do so, everyone benefits."

According to the newly-released data:

More than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of FGM in the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where the harmful practice is most common. Beyond extreme physical and psychological pain, girls who undergo FGM are at risk of prolonged bleeding, infection, infertility and death.

Child marriage is even more widespread and can lead to a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation. Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children. More than 1 in 3 - or some 250 million - were married before 15. Girls who marry before they turn 18 are less likely to remain in school and more likely to experience domestic violence. Young teenage girls are more likely to die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s; their infants are more likely to be stillborn or die in the first month of life.

Overall, an adolescent girl today is about a third less likely to be cut than 30 years ago. Kenya and Tanzania have seen rates drop to a third of their levels three decades ago through a combination of community activism and legislation. In the Central African Republic, Iraq, Liberia and Nigeria, prevalence has dropped by as much as half. Attitudes are also changing: recent data show that the majority of people in the countries where FGM is practiced believe it should end, but continue to compel their daughters to undergo the procedure because of strong social pressure.

But without far more intensive and sustained action now from all parts of society, hundreds of millions more girls will suffer profound, permanent, and utterly unnecessary harm.

- If rates of decline seen in the past three decades are sustained, the impact of population growth means the number of women married as children (more than 700 million) will remain flat through 2050; and up to 63 million more girls could be cut by 2050.

- Doubling the rate of decline would bring the number of women married as children down to 570 million by 2030 and 450 million by 2050. The number of girls and women affected by FGM/C (more than 130 million) would remain roughly at today's levels.

"The numbers tell us we must accelerate our efforts. And let's not forget that these numbers represent real lives. While these are problems of a global scale, the solutions must be local, driven by communities, families and girls themselves to change mindsets and break the cycles that perpetuate FGM/C and child marriage," Lake said. "We can't let the staggering numbers numb us - they must compel us to act."

http://allafrica.com/stories/201407220359.html

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100 Days After Nigeria Girls' Kidnap, Boko Haram Won't Relent

Jul 23, 2014

Nigeria marked a solemn milestone Tuesday in the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls. Exactly 100 days after the girls were kidnapped by by Islamic extremists Boko Haram, 219 of them were still missing, a presidential committee said. In the three months since they were taken, at least 11 of their parents have died, residents told The Associated Press.

The militants have been steadfast in their attacks throughout Nigeria and have balked at international pleas to release the girls. Nearly 60 students managed to escape from the thick jungle where most of them are still believed to be captive, but the AP has reported that at least 20 others are ill, and at least two have died of snake bites. Seven of the girls' fathers were killed in a militant attack this month near their hometown of Chibok, and at least four other parents have died from heart failure and other illnesses that the community attributes to trauma from the girls' abduction. A health worker offered the AP one ray of hope: The escapees, who at first refused to talk about their experience, are now participating in music and art therapy, though they are still gravely concerned about their missing classmates.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/missing-nigeria-schoolgirls/100-days-after-nigeria-girls-kidnap-boko-haram-wont-relent-n161871

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/women-fall-prey-to-flawed-system-of-oral-triple-talaq/d/98265

 

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