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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 9 Nov 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Mumbai SBI Branch Goes Back on Decision to Prohibit Burqa, Scarves after Outrage

New Age Islam News Bureau

09 November 2021

• US University to Provide Demand-Driven Training to 50 Saudi Women

• Three Bangladeshi Women Arrested in India Are Trafficking Victims but Being Treated Like Criminals, Says Bengal-Based Rights Organisation

• Women Protesters Stage Sit-In outside Balochistan CM House

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Mumbai SBI Branch Goes Back on Decision to Prohibit Burqa, Scarves After Outrage

November 9, 2021


Burqa Ban (File Photo)


New Delhi: A branch of the State Bank of India in Mumbai has drawn criticism after a notice was seen on its premises, prohibiting customers from wearing the burqa on its premises.

The notice was later removed after social media outrage.

The SBI branch in question is located at Nehru Nagar in Kurla East, a Muslim-dominated locality.

The Burqa is worn by a section of Muslim women.

The notice, in Hindi, Marathi, and English, reads, “Burkha, scarf prohibited inside branch premises”.

Local resident Sheikh Sajeed Akbar told the news website that the notice came up a few days ago. “Several of us tweeted this and raised this concern with bank officials…We still do not know why such a notice was put up,” he said.

After the issue was raised by local activists on social media, the bank withdrew the notice from the branch, and tweeted an apology on November 3.

SBI’s official Twitter account said that the notice was “placed earlier for safety during cash withdrawal and other financial transactions only,” and that “there was no other intention” behind the notice.

Some tweeted as to how burqas or scarves alone caused problems during cash transactions when all customers had to cover their faces with masks, which are a COVID-19 precautionary measure. One ‘Bait Khan’, who had tweeted a photo of the notice and asked why masks were also not prohibited, was ‘reminded’ by another tweet from the SBI’s official Twitter handle – this time in Hindi – that photography inside SBI premises was not allowed. SBI also asked for the photo of the notice to be removed immediately.

Discrimination against women in burqas is not new and comes amidst a push in the West to ban the garment. Several European countries have controversially banned some version of veils worn by Muslim women, claiming they go against women’s freedom.

In 2019, a week after blasts hit Sri Lanka killing over 250 people then President Maithripala Sirisena made it illegal for Muslim women to wear any form of face veils in public.

In India, Shreya Parikh noted in her 2019 article on The Wire, women were stopped from travelling on Lucknow Metro because they refused to remove their ‘veil’ and the SRK College in Firozabad denied entry to some students because they were wearing burqas. During the Lok Sabha election that year Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sanjeev Balyan, had alleged that burqa-clad voters were responsible for false voting – an allegation the Election Commission eventually brushed aside.

Source: The Wire


US University to Provide Demand-Driven Training To 50 Saudi Women


US University to train Saudi women from the western region on entrepreneurship skills. (Photo: Arab News)


November 08, 2021

JEDDAH: The US Consulate General in Jeddah, the University of Iowa, and Education For Employment have launched a one-year project to train Saudi women from the western region on entrepreneurship skills in new emerging sectors like IT, real estate and e-commerce.

The project will provide 50 young women with professional training and connections to local and international mentors that are necessary to start their businesses in line with Saudi Vision 2030. 

The project is an initiative that provides demand-driven training linked to mentorship by successful Saudi and US businesswomen. 

The Western Saudi Arabia Venture School for Women project is designed to “put new entrepreneurial tools into the hands of Saudi women,” said Dimy Doresca, director of the Institute for International Business at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business.

“We will nurture and empower women in Saudi Arabia to become examples of social and economic success in their communities.”

The women will participate in Venture School International, an entrepreneurial educational program that guides students through the startup process by teaching them how to identify a market need and build a business to meet it. The university is partnering with the non-profit Education For Employment to teach the Venture School International training, which will be complimented by contacts at local financing organizations, government officials, and business support services. 

“The skills that these young women will acquire are based on a proven model that has enabled EFE in Saudi to connect over 5,000 people to the world of work, 52 percent of which are young Saudi women. We look forward to a continuous partnership between EFE-Saudi, the University of Iowa, and the US Consulate General in Jeddah,” said Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, CEO of EFE in Saudi Arabia.

Source: Arab News


Three Bangladeshi Women Arrested in India Are Trafficking Victims but Being Treated Like Criminals, Says Bengal-Based Rights Organisation


Express illustration


November 8th, 2021

The women are trafficking victims but being treated like criminals, MASUM says

The West Bengal-based rights organization Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) has demanded the immediate release of three Bangladeshi women illegally arrested under the Foreigners Act, 1946 in India.

The arrests violate Indian government guidelines that require an investigation to determine whether arrested foreign nationals are human trafficking victims, MASUM said in an email to India’s National Human Rights Commission.

“This complaint is similar in nature and in continuation with my several previous complaints before the Commission but till date no proper action has been taken by the commission on my earlier complaints,” the email signed by an official of the organisation said.

“With respect to our complaints, your Commission has asked for a police report and the police in a heartless and routine procedure have shared the reports with us, but these reports are inadequate and have not addressed the issue that we have been trying to raise,” the email added.

According to the MASUM fact-finding team, the women are Nasima Begum, 24, wife of Nur Islam Sikdar from Choto Benedpur, Sariatpur; Lima Sheikh, 29, daughter of Hasan Sheikh from Sadipore, Benapole; and Sriti Sarkar, 34, daughter of the late Ruhi Das Mondal from Bahadarpur, Jessore.

One child was also detained.


The Bangladeshi women came to India in search of jobs, MASUM said.

“Poor Bangladeshis are promised better job opportunities in India by the traffickers. I hope that the victims in these two cases will be provided with adequate legal support and the Commission shall consider the following demands of justice for the victims,” the email added.

MASUM called for all charges against the women to be dropped.

Nasima Begum was arrested by BSF in connection with a case filed with Bagdah police station dated September 1. The other three women and the child were apprehended by BSF in connection with a case filed with Swarupnagar police station dated September 30

All the women are being kept at correctional homes.

Source: Dhaka Tribune


Women protesters stage sit-in outside Balochistan CM House

November 9, 2021

QUETTA: A number of women from Zhob staged a sit-in outside the Chief Minister House here on Monday to protest against the torture of a woman allegedly by police in their hometown.

The women, carrying placards and banners inscribed with their demands, managed to reach the Chief Minister House which is located in Red Zone where holding of protest or sit-in is not allowed.

The participants of the sit-in shouted slogans against the police and alleged that police had tortured a woman, Rozi Bibi, at the behest of an influential political leader in Zhob.

“We are protesting against the inhuman attitude of police who have registered an FIR against the woman and some members of her tribe just to please the political leader and local administration,” said Sara Mandokhail, who was leading the sit-in.

She claimed that the condition of the tortured woman was not good. She called upon the chief minister of Balochistan and officials concerned to take notice of the police torture of a woman and take action against those who were involved in it.

Source: Dawn



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