Age Islam News Bureau
• Chand Bibi, From Swat on A Mission To Educate Pakhtun Children In Rawalpindi
Kuwaitis Wonder Why Even the Women Voted For Men
8 Pakistani Women among World’s 100 Outstanding Nurses and Midwives
J&K Waqf Board to Have 2 Woman Members, As Mandated By the Central Waqf Act
Lebanon's Interior Minister, Mohammed Fahmi, Says Women Unable To Do Interior
Acquittal In Assault Of Christian Woman Casts Pall Over Christmas For Egypt's
Yemen: Anger As Newly Sworn-In Cabinet Excludes Women For First Time In 20
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Congratulate Improvement of Iranian Women: Rita Subowo, First-Ever Woman to
Lead Asian Volleyball Confederation
President of Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC)
made history in late October after she was elected as the first-ever woman to
key figure in the Olympic Movement in Asia and an Honorary Life Vice-President
of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the Indonesian lady praised the Iranian
girls pursuing the sport in an exclusive interview with Tehran Times.
Times: You are the first woman in history to lead the AVC. It shows that the
continent’s associations have bestowed upon you. I think it will be a
challenging job for you since volleyball has been always headed by men in Asia.
have worked with AVC more than 30 years with the five AVC Presidents and also
worked with three FIVB Presidents until now. It is a greatest honour for me to
be elected as AVC President by 65 AVC affiliated federations and my greatest
challenge to lead volleyball in Asia to compete with the other four continents.
As my long experience as FIVB and AVC Vice Presidents as well as IOC Member, I
will try my utmost effort together with all the members of AVC Board of
Administration to develop and promote volleyball in Asia.
volleyball in Asia has progressed over the past years and some teams such as
Thailand and South Korea have joined China and Japan. Do you have any plan to
support the teams to strengthen more?
volleyball in Asia is now one of the most popular sports and are among the top
teams of the world. I am very pleased to see that not only China, Japan and
Korea are the top teams of Asia but also Thailand, Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei
and Iran have joined them. The gap among top eight women teams of Asia is
closer, the fans are more excited with the matches of the mentioned teams. I
expect to support more Asian women teams like Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia and
Philippines to improve their teams close to the top eight teams of Asia by
organizing more women’s events in order for them to have more opportunity to
get more experience with the top teams of Asia. I also expect to have more
Asian women teams among the top 10 of the World Ranking.
is a gender balanced sport by nature but the men’s competitions are being held
at a higher level. Do you have any plan to narrow the gap?
is not true that the men competitions are being held at a higher level than women
competitions. It depends upon the countries like in Iran, the level of men
competition is higher than women. But women competitions are higher than men in
many countries like in China, Japan and Thailand. Each federation has to try to
balance if the gap of men and women is much different.
women have started to make their way to the forefront of Asian volleyball. Do
you have a message for the Iranian girls pursuing the sport?
sincerely congratulate the improvement of Iran women teams, the women teams of
Iran at all levels have been improving very fast and now are among the top
eight of Asia. I am confident that the Iran Women Team could be among the top
teams of the world like the Men soon.
men’s team have established themselves as one of international volleyball's
leading powers. The Persians are looking forward for podium in Tokyo Olympic
Games. As a person who has served as the Executive Vice President of the
International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), what’s the secret behind their success?
secret behind the success of Iran Men Team is the greatest contribution and
very hard work of the key persons of Iran Volleyball Federation together with
very well-supported and excellent cooperation of all concerned, the government
authority, sponsors, especially Iran volleyball’s fans.
Iranian players including Amir Ghafour, Shahram Mahmoudi, Saeid Marouf,
Mohammad Mousavi and Milad Ebadipour have stolen the show in the past decade.
They can be the role model for the grassroots in the continent and the world.
the volleyball stars of Iran and other distinguished players of Asia shall be
the Idols and the sample for the young generations of our continent. I will try
to recommend them through our media as soon as possible.
the last question. Iran was chosen to host FIVB Volleyball Boys’ Under 19 World
Championship by the FIVB and it’s an opportunity for the county to show the
world how strong Asia is. Do you intend to travel to Iran for the competition?
I have no important activity during FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World
Championship in Iran, I will join this important championship.
Bibi, From Swat on A Mission To Educate Pakhtun Children In Rawalpindi
Chand Bibi, who belongs to Mingora city in Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,
works as a social activist for the last 10 years and runs a trust named ‘Chand
Bibi Trust' which runs several schools on self-help basis.
only wish is to teach young girls the skills and basic education,' Chand Bibi
said in an interview with TNN.
Bibi said she went through hard times and passed grade 8 from a non-traditional
school, then grade 10 and FSc, and started an open air school on her home
terrace with a mission to fight illiteracy of girls in Swat.
we were displaced by the militancy and subsequent military operation in Swat in
2009 and we shifted to Rawalpindi,' she said.
Rawalpindi slums, I found those Pakhtun children and young girls who were
deprived of education. I took an initiative and our school was opened in just a
one-room house,' she said.
was hard but we kept our work flow up and now we have about 300 students, both
male and female,' she said.
Bibi said the government has still not recognised any of her activity. 'Mostly
we arrange our funding by making schoolbags, pouches and shirts through our
students. I also get funds from my family members who have government jobs,'
Chand Bibi said.
we are a bit stable and our school system is going well, and we have two to
three rooms rented for our teachers who teach in our school. Our teachers are
very enthusiastic and they don't get any salary for teaching with us,' she
Bibi appealed to the Pakhtun mothers and sisters to get education at least up
to matriculation and also learn home jobs like handicrafts, as with educated
women, our children will also have easy choices about their education choices
and society will develop with a rapid pace. She said no one can deny importance
about education, and girls' education is even more important. She said the
dream of educated girls can be realised if everyone play their part. She said
she is confident she will accomplish her mission and others will follow her.
Wonder Why Even The Women Voted For Men
– The curtain has fallen on the legislative elections in Kuwait. Preliminary
results show that women gained no new seats in the new parliament and that the
only female incumbent, Safa al-Hashem, failed to win re-election.
29 women ran for office in Saturday’s race, none were elected — a blow to the
status of women who have fought hard in recent years for more representation in
the oil-rich emirate after winning the right to vote just 15 years ago.
leaves the National Assembly without any female representation, although women
constitute 52% of eligible voters.
2005, the National Assembly gave women the right to vote and to run for office.
Out of 15 women who ran in the 2016 election, only one, Safa al-Hashem, won a
seat (she was first elected in 2012).
turned out to vote in large numbers in Kuwait’s parliamentary elections in many
electoral districts. News websites and media covering the polling documented
high female turnout in five districts.
have been striking videos circulating on social media accounts, including by
some accounts reputed to be close to the Muslim Brotherhood. There was praise
for the strong participation of fully-veiled women who some described as
“invading the polling stations at the last minute, in an attempt to change the
outcome of the vote.” One reporter described the niqab-clad women as “the black army.”
people on Twitter celebrated the participation of conservative women. “Those
who will alter the balance in the election game have just arrived,” said Bassam
Al-Shatti, a professor in the Department of Faith and Da’wa at Kuwait
University. He tweeted: “#National Assembly elections 2020.. A heart-warming
view of the women of Kuwait. They have voted in the elections… Theirs was a
demonstration of chastity, concealment and decency of Kuwaiti women …”
from individuals affiliated with religious ultraconservatives used emotional
rhetoric and lachrymose nostalgia describing “Islam that has been lost” and
repeated improbable fatwas by some so-called scholars.
said that the fact that no woman was elected despite strong female
participation was “evidence that women themselves are not convinced of the role
said the matter was due to customs and traditions and that most female voters
were obeying the orders of their husbands, fathers or male relatives on how to
vote, stressing that “the true enemy of women is the social upbringing that has
transformed their own feelings towards themselves.”
Nevin Abdel Wahid Marafie said: “I have advocated for the women’s cause, the
stability of the Kuwaiti family, and the provision of safe housing for women
when I saw how they were evicted from their homes with their children.
Unfortunately, women did not support their own cause and instead supported the
men who abused them.”
writer Abdul Aziz Alqenaei said that the absence of women from the National
Assembly is “reason for great disappointment, and a reflection of utter
intellectual and cultural decline.” He wrote on Twitter that women had not won
seats in parliament because of “the persistence
of the view of women as inferior to men, and a direct failure to support the
efforts to empower Kuwaiti women, at the level of education, society, political
and civil currents, and associations of public interest.”
added: “Democracy without secularism does not necessarily mean the separation
of religion from the state, but rather depends on the choices of the majority
of the people, which may support the integration of religion into the state,
and thus keep the problems of citizenship, identity. This is bound to keep
religion growing in Arab societies with deficient democracies.”
her part, Professor of Literature and Psychoanalysis at Kuwait University Haifa
Al-Sanousi said: “What is striking is that the Kuwaiti people decided to
exclude women from Parliament in 2020. Kuwaiti women played a major role in the
elections. It is clear that women — and not only men — have decided to exclude
women from the assembly. This is a psychological indicator that greatly
reflects the confidence of women in men as representing them in the assembly.”
2006, only 6 women have won seats in parliament: Massouma al-Mubarak, Aseel
Al-Awadhi, Rola Dashti, Thekra al-Rashidi, Salwa Al-Jassar, and Safa al-Hashem,
despite the large number of female voters.
pointed out on Twitter that the time has come to implement a quota system.
Kuwaiti writer Dalaa al-Mufti said “Congratulations to those who won … and
better luck in the upcoming assemblies to those who lost …Our regret and sorrow
is that we have delivered an assembly without Kuwaiti women. I think the
‘quota’ system has become necessary.”
some welcomed the election results, others criticised them. One tweet read: “A
National assembly … half of which is not represented! A parliament without
women … it is a parliament that cannot represent the nation even if its members
claim otherwise! National Assembly elections 2020.”
writer Abdullah Al-Alami wrote on Twitter that the “fear of the success of
women in the Arab world is an intractable pathological condition.”
users said that women’s lack of success is due to women’s previous experiences
in the National Assembly.
pointed to the alleged failure of Hashem, which sparked a wave of mixed
was prominent for her populist, anti-expatriate rhetoric, demanding that
expatriates not be granted licenses to drive cars and be compelled to pay taxes
for walking on the streets.
ranked 30th, receiving only 430 votes, placing her behind new female candidate
Sheikha Al-Jassim, who lost her bid as she ranked 25th.
Pakistani women among world’s 100 outstanding nurses and midwives
Eight Pakistani nurses and midwives have been honoured in the global list of
“100 Outstanding Women Nurse and Midwife Leaders” in 2020.
recognition marks the end of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) year-long
campaign to celebrate the incredible work of nurses and midwives, highlight the
challenging conditions they face, and advocate for enhanced investments in the
nursing and midwifery workforce. The list recognised 100 nurses and midwives
from 43 countries for their contribution to raising healthcare standards,
especially during the difficult times of the coronavirus pandemic.
nurses and midwives acknowledged
the eight nurses and midwives from Pakistan are either faculty members or
alumni of the Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery
(AKU-SONAM). The School’s Dean Dr Rozina Karmaliani has been honoured under the
Board and Management category in appreciation of her efforts to improve
adolescent health, strengthen research capacities and integrate research into
education and practice. Dr Rozina, who received her doctorate degree from the
University of Minnesota, has spent decades in the field of nursing, empowering
others not only in Pakistan but also in Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt and East
of nurses critical in healthcare systems
is an honour to be acknowledged by the international public health and nursing
fraternity,” said Dr Rozina. “This year has been particularly challenging for
healthcare providers, all of whom have showed incredible commitment in
responding to the coronavirus crisis.” Appreciating the government and
healthcare organisations’ support for nursing and midwifery education, practice
and research, she said: “There is no better time than now to acknowledge the
critical role of nurses in creating resilient healthcare systems.”
healthcare workers recognised in the list
members Yasmin Parpio and Samina Vertejee have been named in the Community Hero
category for their services in community health nursing. During the COVID-19
pandemic, Samina took up the challenge to improve the welfare of Pakistan’s
aging population. Yasmin Nadeem Parpio is working to strengthen nursing
curricula and is actively involved in chapters in Pakistan, Jordan and Lebanon
as South Asia coordinator for world’s second-largest nursing organisation, Sigma
Theta Tau International.
Marina Baig has been praised for leveraging mobile health technology to improve
maternal health outcomes. Her work to improve antenatal care coverage and
skilled delivery in rural settings “is exemplary and could serve as an
innovative strategy in improving maternal health outcomes.” Saima Sachwani’s
contributions in developing an impactful nursing curriculum have been
acknowledged under the Human Capital Development category. Saima says her
“mission is to enrich students with all the necessary knowledge, skills and
competencies that improve the quality of life of the people at national and an
other Pakistani healthcare workers also recognised under the Community Hero
category include Dr Shela Hirani for her efforts to promote, protect and
support breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, Neelam Punjani for her work
in improving access to sexual and reproductive health rights and Sadaf Saleem
Murad for her contributions in the field of gerontology (aging) and nursing
Waqf Board to Have 2 Woman Members, As Mandated By the Central Waqf Act
new J&K Waqf Board shall be having at least two woman members, as mandated
by the Central Waqf Act which has been implemented here after the abrogation of
the special Constitutional position of J&K.
leader and Chairperson of the Central Waqf Development Committee, Darakhshan
Andrabi, said the process to implement the Central Act has been initiated. “At
least two members appointed on the Board shall be women,” the Act reads.
legislation provides that the Board shall consist of a Chairperson and not more
than two members to be elected by each of the electoral colleges.
electoral colleges consist Muslim members of Parliament from the concerned
State or Union Territory, Muslim members of the State Legislature, Muslim
members of the Bar Council of the concerned State or Union Territory.
of the members shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional
representation by means of a single transferable vote.
legislation itself clarifies that in case there is no Muslim member of the Bar
Council of a State or a Union Territory, the State Government or the Union
Territory administration, as the case may be, may nominate any senior Muslim
advocate from that State or the Union Territory.
the number of Muslim Members of Parliament, the State Legislature or the State
Bar Council, as the case may be, is only one, such Muslim member shall be
declared to have been elected on the Board.
case there are no Muslim members in Parliament, State Legislature or Bar
Council, the ex-Muslim members of these institutions shall constitute the
Minister of the Central Government or State Government shall be elected or
nominated as a member of the Board.
Act provides that in case of a Union Territory, the Board shall consist of not
less than five and not more than seven members to be appointed by the Central
Interior Minister, Mohammed Fahmi, Says Women Unable To Do Interior Ministerial
minister of interior, Mohammed Fahmi, said women cannot succeed in his job
because they would need to stoop low in order to deal with certain parts of
predecessor, Raya al-Hassan, was the Arab world’s first woman interior
minister, and her appointment was praised as a step forward for women in
in an interview on Al-Hurra TV channel, said he does not consider the
experience of women in the interior ministry in Lebanon to have been
asked if he thought Hassan failed as interior minister, Fahmi said: "She
did not fail, but we live in a jungle."
to expand on his reasoning, Fahmi said that the "culture" in Lebanon
means women cannot lower themselves to some levels of society, including
dealing with drug users and dealers, and others.
man can stoop to low degrees in society, a woman cannot," he told his
has previously come under fire on social media when in November he suggested
that women should cook under coronavirus lockdown on Sundays, when delivery
services are suspended.
women cook a little bit,” he said, in a response denounced as offensive and
of addressing the backlash against his sexist comments, Fahmi doubled down in
another interview that week, saying women could not be prime ministers because
they are "too timid".
October, Lebanese marked the first anniversary of Lebanon’s mass uprising
against the corruption of the country’s ruling class.
have stalled as Lebanese struggle with the pandemic, a devastating economic
crisis, and the traumatic explosion in Beirut's port in August, which killed
around 200 and left the city devastated.
a stalemate in forming a government have only added to the country's growing
in assault of Christian woman casts pall over Christmas for Egypt's Coptic
controversial court ruling acquitting three defendants — a father and his two
sons — who had stripped naked and dragged an elderly Coptic Christian woman
through the streets of an Upper Egyptian village four years ago, has sparked an
outcry from rights groups and the country's Christian community.
three men who had been sentenced to 10 years each in absentia by the Minya
Criminal Court in January were acquitted Dec. 17 after turning themselves in.
Over the course of the last 11 months, several judges had recused themselves
from the case for unclear reasons.
hearing the revised verdict pronounced by the judge, Soad Thabet, the
70-year-old Coptic Christian woman who had been assaulted at the hands of the
extremists, burst out sobbing. “God will avenge me,” she cried.
acquittal comes as Copts prepare for the Christmas holiday, which they
celebrate in early January in accordance with the Julian Calendar.
brutal assault, reminiscent of violent scenes from medieval times, occurred
amid sectarian strife in the village of al-Karm in the southern governorate of
Minya in May 2016 after a rumor had surfaced of a love affair between Thabet's
son, who is Christian, and a Muslim housewife. Despite the latter's denial she
had committed adultery, the gossip about her alleged extramarital affair with a
Christian man provoked a violent backlash from Muslim residents in the
mobs looted and torched at least 10 homes belonging to Coptic Christian
families in the neighborhood, including Thabet's home, calling on them to leave
the village. Three Muslim men tore off Thabet's clothes before parading her
through the village streets with the intent of humiliating her.
located 130 miles south of Cairo, is a hotbed for sectarian violence with
sporadic unrest breaking out between Muslims and Egypt's minority Christian
population. The tensions are part of a wider continuing crisis for Egypt's
Christians — the Middle East's largest Christian community — whose members
often face persecution at the hands of extremists.
attacks against Orthodox Christians who make up an estimated 10% of Egypt's
population have reportedly surged in recent years with increased instances of
violence and threats from Muslim neighbors forcing local churches to shut down,
according to an April 2019 article published in The Wall Street Journal.
attacks on Coptic Christians similar to the assault on Christians in al-Karm
have prompted members of the Christian community to flee their villages — and
sometimes, the entire country — seeking refuge elsewhere.
is not uncommon for perpetrators of such crimes to escape punishment nor for
Christian victims of such assaults to be arrested alongside their attackers.
verdict is a clear example of the discrimination against Christians in Egypt;
it demonstrates the deep-rooted bias within the judicial system against
Christians,” Mina Thabet, a rights defender who works for the Egyptian Commission
for Rights and Freedoms, told Al-Monitor. “Christians who for long have fallen
victim to sectarian violence often fail to attain justice because of the bias
of the judiciary.”
between Muslims and Christians in Upper Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula are
customarily referred to so-called reconciliation councils — informal
alternatives to the judiciary, overseen by members of the security service and
comprising village elders and Muslim and Christian religious leaders who act as
arbitrators between the disputing parties. While reconciliation sessions at
times do succeed in easing tensions, critics such as criminal defense lawyer
Nabil Ghabrial insist they “undermine the rights of Christians.”
arbitrators are usually more concerned about restoring calm than seeking
justice for those whose rights have been usurped,” he told Al-Monitor. “It is a
crime that reconciliation sessions similar to the community-based sessions that
predated the judiciary are still being held in this day and age."
Sidhom, editor-in-chief of Watani, a Christian news site, also criticized the
customary reconciliation sessions. “In secular societies, all citizens enjoy
equal constitutional rights and the rule of law is prevalent; reconciliation
sessions undermine the hegemony of the judiciary as they put criminals on equal
footing with the victims,” he told Al-Monitor.
to resort to reconciliation sessions to settle the conflict with her attackers,
Thabet had filed a legal complaint against them, a rare move by a Christian
woman in the conservative rural south.
defense lawyer Ihab Ramzy, who is also a former member of parliament, denounced
the decision to release the defendants as “shocking” and “totally unexpected.”
In a video published on the Cairo 24 news site, he said, “Nothing has changed
since the defendants were sentenced to 10 years in prison; no new evidence has
emerged since, so the court's turnabout is a complete mystery.”
to the privately owned Youm7 news site on the situation of Coptic Christians in
Egypt, Ramzy said, “It is unacceptable that private citizens are playing the
role of the state by preventing the building of new churches.” He noted that
recent unrest in several villages in Minya, such as Kom El Loufi and Abu
Ya'acub, had been prompted by rumors that churches were being built in those
construction of churches has for decades been a contentious issue, sparking
sectarian violence, particularly in the south of the country. Rumors that a
church is being built often ignite sectarian clashes that in some cases result
in fatalities on both sides. Due to the difficulty of obtaining permits to
build churches, some Christians open their homes to worshippers to use them as
prayer areas, a move that further fuels sectarian tensions.
on the building of churches date back to the Ottoman era. In recent decades, it
was necessary to obtain a presidential permit to build or restore churches.
Amendments to the law on building churches introduced in August 2016 have done
little to improve the situation and have been met with stiff opposition from
the Coptic Orthodox Church that described them as a "threat to national
article in the law stipulating that the size of a new church must correspond to
the number of Christians in the vicinity has stirred controversy with critics
like Emad Gad, a member of parliament, calling it “restrictive.” The condition
does not apply to Muslims who can build mosques anywhere, irrespective of the
size of the Muslim community in the vicinity.
Christians, the majority of whom had backed Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in successive
presidential elections since 2014, had hoped the military strongman would
protect them from extremist attacks. But multiple church attacks in recent
years and recurring incidents of assault on Christians have left many of them
in fear for their lives.
Sisi lambasted the brutal assault on Thabet shortly after it happened, calling
it “unacceptable,” he has yet to comment on the latest verdict.
rights organizations such as the Virginia-based Coptic Solidarity, which seeks
to help minorities, particularly the Copts of Egypt, have strongly condemned
the ruling, calling it an “egregious miscarriage of justice.”
semi-official Al-Ahram website meanwhile reported that the Public Prosecutor
has asked prosecutors to review the court proceedings, a move that rights
advocates hope may pave the way for an appeal.
comments published via her official Twitter account, Maya Morsy,
secretary-general of the National Council of Women, the state agency entrusted
with protecting the rights of women, expressed her gratitude to the Public
Prosecutor for his decision to review the case and offered to provide Thabet
with the necessary legal support.
dismayed Christians have turned to social media to vent their anger at the
ruling. Some directed their anger at the Coptic Orthodox Church for its
“silence” in the face of such atrocities. Others like Khaled Montasser, a
liberal thinker and writer, were bemused, seeing obvious contradictions in
society's attitude toward women.
to Al-Monitor over the phone, Montasser said that Egypt's intellectuals should
put secularism before democracy.
main challenge facing Egyptian society today is the growing religiosity;
instead of calling for democracy, intellectuals should first lead the battle
for a secular society. There can be no democracy without the separation of
religion from politics.”
Anger as newly sworn-in cabinet excludes women for first time in 20 years
swearing in of a new government in Yemen on Saturday has caused controversy and
protests after no women were included in the 24-member cabinet, a situation
that has not arisen for 20 years.
Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi swore in the new government, which was formed following
a power-sharing deal brokered by Saudi Arabia last year, in Riyadh, where he is
government is the first cabinet in which ministries are divided between the
separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) and Yemen's internationally
has been mired in conflict since a Saudi-led coalition intervened there in
March 2015 to restore the government removed from power in the capital Sanaa by
Houthi rebels in late 2014.
STC, formed in 2017, is backed by the United Arab Emirates, while Hadi's
government is backed by Riyadh. Both are part of the Saudi-led coalition.
cabinet, which was first announced on 18 December, includes five members of the
STC as part of a bid to end a power struggle between Hadi loyalists and the
sides appeared happy with their representation in the cabinet, considering it
an important development towards resolving their differences.
women activists and their supporters have denounced the lack of female
representation, describing the exclusion as illegitimate.
new government said the cabinet was formed on the basis of the Outcomes of the
National Dialogue Conference (NDC), a document drawn up in 2014, and the 2019
United Nations facilitated talks towards the Outcomes document, which included
various Yemeni parties. They were concluded on 25 January 2014 and stipulated a
roadmap towards the full transition of Yemen into a state that upholds
democracy, freedom, rule of law, human rights and good governance.
of the new government have pointed out that the Outcomes document states that
women should represent 30 percent of the cabinet.
activists, former ministers and some serving MPs have expressed their anger at
the lack of representation of women in a social media campaign, the issuing of
statements and letters, and protests which took place on Tuesday.
social media campaign highlighting the exclusion of women was launched on 11
December, seven days before the announcement of the new cabinet, under the
women's movement, which includes several women associations, forums and groups,
also released a statement reading: "Although we support the creation of a
government as a step towards a full implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, we
strongly denounce the exclusion of women.
is a clear violation of the National Dialogue Conference's outcomes, the very
outcomes claimed in the prologue of the cabinet decree, as one of its main
is regretful that such a political decision is taken, discarding the demands of
the women's movement and its supporters from civil society pioneers.
will continue our movement demanding fair representation of women and youth in
positions of power.
statement held Hadi, the new prime minister, Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed, the
leaders of all political parties and entities, and parliament as fully
responsible for "this historic letdown".
against the NDC
of female activists protested on Tuesday morning in Taiz city demanding women
be given positions in the cabinet and pointing out that the cabinet was illegal
without such representation.
Mohammed, a social activist in Taiz city who took to the streets on Tuesday,
told Middle East Eye: "We can't accept the exclusion of women, and we
demand 30 percent representation of women in the cabinet as per the Outcomes of
protest was organised by the Ma'akum Foundation for Development and was the
result of a workshop for women supervised by the foundation.
are the cornerstone of the legitimacy, and we are victims of this war, and we
sacrifice ourselves for the sake of the legitimacy and the country," said
exclusion of women from the cabinet is a coup by the government against the
outcomes of the NDC, and it is a similar coup to what the Houthis did against
the outcomes of the NDC."
said she believed there were women qualified to work in any position in the
cabinet, so she hoped to see such representation based on the outcomes of the
will continue to demand our rights, and women are stronger nowadays and we can
get our rights," she said
held the president Hadi and the political parties fully responsible for this
exclusion as they nominated the ministers and no party had proposed a woman
message is that countries can't be built without women, and the war proved that
women are always there to support the community. So we demand representation in
the cabinet based on the outcomes of the NDC," Mohammed added.
of regional representation
Monday, former information minister Nadia Al-Sakkaf tweeted : "Despite our
strong campaign #NoWomenNoGovernment the government was formed without women.
This encouraged Yemen's Women's movement to return to the drawing board and
examine our work. We now have more people involved, a long term strategy and
higher goals. Live and learn!"
day earlier, Sakkaf had also pointed out the lack of condemnation from the
international community over the absence of women in the cabinet.
a tweet, he said: "Surprised at the international community silence
towards the grave letdown of Yemeni women in the newly formed government. We
recognise the importance of political progress but not at the expense of women
and civil rights."
exclusion of women is not the only issue that has led to anger towards the new
Sunday, four members of Yemen's parliament warned that they would vote against
granting confidence in the new government both over its lack of female
representatives and of representatives from the western Tehama region.
a letter addressed to Hadi, lawmakers Sakhr al-Wajih, Abdul Karim al-Aslami,
Mufaddal al-Abara and Shawqi al-Qadhi said they had been surprised by the
marginalisation of the Tehama region and its exclusion from the new cabinet.
to the Outcomes document, Tehama consists of the four governorates of Hodeidah,
Hajjah, Raymah and Al-Mahwit, with the population making up 23 percent of
pointing out there were 13 ministers from the south and only 11 from the north
in the cabinet, Qadhi tweeted: "All that is against partnership and a
blatant violation to the Outcomes of the NDC that the decision [is] based
government keeps silent'
Al-Absi, a lawyer and human right activist, condemned the exclusion of women
from the new cabinet, blaming Hadi, Saeed and leaders of the political parties
for the move.
condemn the exclusion of women from participating in decision making and other
political issues as it is a right for women and it is one of the outcomes of
the NDC," Absi told MEE.
international agreements aim to fight any kind of discrimination against women.
can't say this cabinet is illegal as it was formed by a republican decision,
but I can say this cabinet has lost the confidence of the majority of women or
men who believe in the rights of women."
stressed that people had the right to express their demands in any legal way,
arguing the formation of the cabinet did not mean it was a final decision that
could not be changed.
decision of the formation of the cabinet can be changed and reformed as a
cabinet with women based on the outcomes if the NDC," Absi said.
said that she expected women and their supporters to escalate their opposition
in different ways until they achieved their purpose and lead some ministries.
women and men have expressed their anger against the exclusion of women in this
cabinet, the government keeps silent," she said.
are qualified women'
al-Mulaiki, a social activist and peace building consultant, told MEE that
women were excluded from the cabinet because the new government did not believe
that women should be included in the decision-making process.
is a clear exclusion of women from the cabinet. The political parties did not
adhere to the Outcomes of the NDC, and the parties who proposed the names of
ministers are responsible for this exclusion."
said he thought that a lack of ongoing pressure from women in different
provinces, and that only some activists were escalating their efforts, meant
that no real pressure had formed against the government.
a result, he believed that the government would keep silent on the issue and
ignore the women's demands.
some defenders of the lack of women have argued that qualifications are more
important than appointing men or women, Mulaiki pointed out that:
"Qualification should be the criteria, and I confirm that there are
qualified women who can lead ministries."
important issues to work on'
Shaibani, a resident of Aden, told MEE that he supported the new cabinet
because he believed it had solved the major disagreements between the STC and
should welcome the new cabinet as it is it comprised of different parties and
both the STC and the IRG welcome it. That was a major development Yemenis
waited a long time for," he said.
said that Yemenis were looking forward to seeing the cabinet back in Aden to
get back to their work and that should be the priority for now.
the lack of representation of women in the cabinet, he said it was a mistake
that should be taken into consideration in the future, but he did not believes
that it was a big problem.
was a mistake that women weren't included as ministers, but they can be
included in this cabinet as deputies or managers of offices in the
ministries," he said.
believe women should be represented, but I don't think that's a priority as the
cabinet has more important issues to work on."
stated that it was good that women activists had led a campaign to demand their
rights, but he believed that was enough, and any more protests or any
escalation might create obstacles for the cabinet to start its work.
women are educated, and I think they will stop any kind of escalation against
the cabinet as their message was sent, and I hope women will be included in
some high positions in the ministries.
and women, we are all Yemenis, and we need solution of major disagreements and
we need the cabinet to work on economic issues and some priorities that Yemenis
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