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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 18 March 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Saudi Arabian Head of Pak Islamic Varsity Sacks Staff for Speaking To Women

New Age Islam News Bureau

18 March 2013

 Photo: Female members of the Shoura Council. The council accepted a petition of 3,000 names requesting a review of the issue of women driving in the Kingdom


 Child Rape in Indonesia a 'National Emergency'

 Spotlight on Petition to Lift Driving Ban on Saudi Women

 When Women Prostitute Their Integrity

 Free Turkish Women on TV 'Inspire Oppressed Neighbours’

 Women to Be ‘Eyes and Ears of Government’, Says Najib

 Indonesian Maid Gets Death for Killing a Four-Year-Old Girl in Saudi Arabia

 ‘Women Need Courage, Bravery to Bring Change’

 Uganda: Girls Trafficked to South Sudan

 Woman, Daughter Strangulated In Pakistan

 Uganda: Hope Alive Turns Around Lives of Kamuli Women

 Women’s Rights in Afghanistan, “A Justification for War”

 Women’s Week 2013 Concludes at FJWU, Rawalpindi

 Malaysian Women Celebrate Purple Walk

 Assad’s Wife, Children Make Rare Damascus Appearance

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Saudi Arabian Head of Pak Islamic Varsity Sacks Staff for Speaking To Women

Perumal Thambidurai

 Mar 18 2013

Islamabad: The Saudi Arabian head of Pakistan's International Islamic University has stirred up a controversy by firing employees who spoke to women colleagues and taking action against an official for allegedly watching a movie on the internet.

Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh, the president of the prestigious varsity, can neither speak Urdu nor English and is unable to communicate with students or members of the faculty without a battery of interpreters.

He recently issued instructions to fire a member of the Urdu faculty for delivering a lecture in Urdu but was subsequently forced to reconsider the decision.

Draiweesh's tenure "has been marked by language problems, cultural differences and irregularities that have increased mistrust and suspicion" between the university's management and faculty, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The president began termination proceedings against the director of the university's finance wing, a male, because he spoke to a female employee.

Action was also taken against the director of human resources, who has been working at the varsity for 30 years, for talking to a female employee.

A hostel provost was removed after a group of students accused him of "watching a movie on the Internet", an unnamed official told the daily.

Such a matter is "a minor crime in Pakistan" and the provost should have received a warning but Draiweesh removed him as the "crime is more serious in Saudi Arabia", the official contended.

Referring to the problems under Draiweesh, an unnamed official said: "There are around 23,000 students in the university, most of whom cannot communicate with the president at all."

Faculty members too claimed they had been affected, as those who speak Arabic have "managed to get close" to Draiweesh, a position from which they can influence policy. The state-run International Islamic University was once considered one of the world's leading centres for the study of Islamic thought, law and history.

Nine persons were killed when two suicide bombers targeted the varsity in October 2009. It was then widely reported that the institution was targeted because of the liberal stance of teachers.

University spokesman Hairan Khattak confirmed Draiweesh's language difficulties but claimed they had caused no problems. However, one official recounted a disturbing situation that occurred two weeks ago due to the language barrier.

Draiweesh attended a lecture and began to suspect that the professor was speaking in Urdu, a fact that was later confirmed.

"Because (the university's) policy is that teachers must lecture in either English or Arabic, Dr Draiweesh issued instructions to terminate the teacher," the official said.

It later emerged that the professor was a member of the Urdu faculty and was giving a lecture on that subject, which cannot be taught in any other language.

After what the official described as "a long discussion", the professor was allowed to keep his position. But Draiweesh's lack of fluency in English and Urdu has required the presence of "at least five" interpreters or translators, who translate every letter written to him and communicate on his behalf.

According to Mohammad Iqbal, a former vice chancellor of Punjab University, effective administration requires communication.

"If the president can't understand his teachers and students, how can he convey instructions to them, how can he guide them?" he said. Draiweesh was appointed president of the varsity in October last year.



Child Rape in Indonesia a 'National Emergency'

Dessy Sagita | March 18, 2013

Indah Kristina, a working mother with a 5-year-old daughter, is deeply concerned about the string of media reports on sexual abuse of children in Indonesia over the past few months.

“I’m scared to think that it could have been my child. I don’t even want to take my eyes off of her because I noticed many victims were raped or sexually abused by people they knew and trusted,” the 31-year-old event organizer told the Jakarta Globe.

However, as a single mother, Indah must work and leave her daughter in the care of teachers or a nanny from time to time. Indah said she started giving her young daughter lessons about her own body in very simple ways that she could easily understand.

“I can’t watch her 24 hours a day, so I told her that not everybody can touch her private parts. My daughter also knows she’s not allowed to let any man enter her room without supervision,” she said.

In the past few months, Indonesia has been rocked by shocking cases of children being sexually abused.

In January, an 11-year-old girl fell into coma for six days and later died of infection. Doctors confirmed she had been sexually abused and contracted sexually transmitted diseases from her rapist.

It was later learned that the girl was raped several times by her own father.

In late February, the family of a 5-year-old boy filed a report to the police after he was allegedly sodomized by his neighbors, a police officer and a construction worker.

The boy was severely traumatized, and medical examination revealed he had been sexually abused.

Shortly after the case went public, the family had to evacuate after being intimidated by neighbors who did not believe the boy’s claim and thought the family was trying to stir up trouble.

“We have already declared 2013 as a year of national emergency over child sexual abuse. This is totally unacceptable,” said Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas PA), a nongovernmental organization advocating children’s issues.

Arist said there had been a worrying escalation in the number of child sex abuse cases. In 2010, Komnas PA received 2,046 reports of violence against children, 42 percent of which were sexual.

In 2012, the figure had risen to 2,637 cases, 62 percent of them sexual abuse.

“Remember this is just the tip of the iceberg, many more cases go unreported,” Arist added.

Maria Advianti, secretary of the Indonesian Commission on Child Protection (KPAI), said the most worrying part was that most rape or sexual abuses were committed by family members.

“In such cases, the probability of the victim filing a report is even lower.”

Maria said rape committed by family members usually went unreported because the family could not bear the shame if it was publicly known.

“We have heard cases where daughters were raped by their own fathers for years, in such cases where it would be impossible for the mothers to be totally ignorant, she said.

“I believe the mothers knew but were too afraid to say anything out of shame, or because the fathers were the bread-winner, and if the fathers went to jail the family would not have any means to survive.”

Community’s role

“We need to change society’s mindset. People must know that there is nothing private when it comes to rape or domestic violence,” Arist said.

“The neighborhood has a shared responsibility to be aware of what’s happening in their surroundings, and if the neighbor knows something but doesn’t say anything about it because they believe it’s none of their business then they too must be held accountable.”

Gregorius Pandu Setiawan, a prominent psychiatrist and former director of mental health at the Ministry of Health, echoed that sentiment, saying communities must be alert all the time.

“Children are the easiest prey for sexual predators because they are completely powerless against adults, physically and psychologically, not to mention most abuses come with a threat, so terrified children do not say anything. It’s society’s job to notice if something is wrong,” he said.

Pandu said that in urban areas there was a growing trend of people gradually stopping to care about what’s going on in their surroundings.

“It has happened in a densely populated city like Jakarta: with so many stress triggers in their life, people simply do not care about what’s going on,” he said.

Arist said children would continue to be victimized by sexual predators as long as Indonesians did not perceive sex abuse as a serious crime.

“Sadly it has been deeply ingrained in our permissive society that women and children are sex objects, and we need to re-educate our people so that nobody should be subjected to such atrocities. We need to speak up,” he said.

In late 2012, a 14-year-old student in Depok was expelled from her school after she was kidnapped and raped by a man she met online.

The growing use of the Internet and social media in Indonesia has also played a role in the escalating number of cases of sexual abuse against children.

Last week, a 15-year-old junior high school student was raped by several men after she agreed to meet someone she befriended on Facebook.

“In the social media era, even 10-year-olds have started using Facebook or Twitter. Parents must take control before it’s too late,” Arist warned.

“Internet use is inevitable in this age, and we can’t stop our children from using it, but we can teach them how to use the Internet healthily.”

Arist said many children spend excessive amounts of time in front of computers or gadgets because their family was dysfunctional and did not provide them with security or a sense of protection. He said unhappy children would resort to the Internet to seek attention and could easily fall prey to seduction by strangers.

“Many of those children who agreed to meet their captors were loners who did not get the affection they wanted from their family. Strengthening family values and spending more quality time with our children might change this, he added.

Maria proposed that parents monitor what their children were doing on the Internet carefully.

“Don’t give them limited access to the Internet but assist and guide them. Parents must also check what the children have been browsing,” she said.

Tougher laws, or better enforcement?

Arist said the growing prevalence of child sexual abuse indicated a failure in the Indonesian legal system.

“Clearly our current law isn’t working, it doesn’t provide any deterrent for the perpetrator,” he said.

Under the 2002 Law on Child Protection, anyone who has intercourse with a minor can face up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of Rp 60 million ($6,200).

“We need to revise the law; the minimum punishment for child sex abuse should be at least 15 years while the maximum sanction should be a life sentence,” Arist said.

“There should be additional punishments if the perpetrators were the parents, teachers, or police officers of the children, and supposed to protect them.”

But Maria said Indonesia did not need to revise the law, just make sure law enforcement was upheld.

“I think the current law is sufficient, it’s the enforcement that concerns me; many times prosecutors only demand seven to eight years for the perpetrators, so they could walk free in a few years,” she said.

University of Indonesia criminologist Erlangga Masdiana said harsher punishments alone would not be enough to reduce the rate of sexual violence in Indonesia.

“The problem is much more complex than that. There’s the demoralization problem and the poverty issue [for example]. The government must address these issues individually, and we need to strengthen our fading spiritual values, be it religion or anything else,” he said.

For victims of sexual abuse, serious counseling sessions are needed to help their psychological recovery.

Maria said there were several counseling or trauma centers run by the government or private organizations that provided assistance to rape victims.

“But the number is nowhere near enough compared to the number of children being victimized by sexual predators, that’s why we need to empower our society so everyone can take part in healing traumatized children,” she said.

Pandu added that victims of sex abuse must be handled very carefully to properly heal their trauma, with the counseling done in a very private and safe environment.

“It really angers me to see children who have been sexually victimized interviewed on TV with their faces covered by a mask, it’s really dangerous for their mental health,” he said.

Pandu said it was very unlikely for victims to forget what happened, but with proper care their pain could be eased.

“The counselors must have the capacity to handle these vulnerable children, and all of society must ensure they can return to a safe environment without any stigma and without any worry that the horrible experience could happen again,” he said.



Spotlight on petition to lift driving ban on Saudi women

By Habib Toum

March 17, 2013

Manama: The Saudi Committee for Human Rights and Petition has pressed the Shura (Consultative) Council to launch a debate on the right of Saudi women to drive. The move by the committee is based on a study supported by 3,000 Saudi men and women from various parts of the country and calling for an open debate that should allow women to sit behind the steering wheel “in accordance with religious and social norms.”

Under the bylaws, the Shura Council has to respond to all questions, queries and petition.

“Debating the issue of allowing women to drive gives the Council greater credibility and promotes trust among the people who will view them as their representatives who are ready to engage in the debates they suggest,” Sulaiman Al Zayadi, the former head of the rights and petition committee that submitted the petition and requested a date to debate it, said in remarks published by Saudi news site Sabq on Saturday.

The petition was handed before the end of the last session to the committee that approved it and suggested its debate by the Shura Council members.

The new Shura Council formed in January and which includes 30 women for the first time in its history has not yet looked into the petition.

The study argued that local social and economic developments in Saudi Arabia and the international covenants endorsed by the Saudi kingdom require that Riyadh allow women to drive cars.

An advisory and executive committee should be set up by Saudi Arabia to draw the religious, social and security regulations to allow women to drive as a prelude for social changes that will make the society more recipient to the idea of women driving, the study said.

The committee should be made up of moderate religious scholars and representatives from the foreign, interior, culture and information ministries, human rights watchdogs, the Shura Council human rights committee and other members to be appointed by the king, it said.



When Women Prostitute Their Integrity

MAR 18, 2013

Today is International Women’s Day and no doubt women’s organisations in Malaysia have planned various events to educate the public on women’s rights and issues. I think, however, that they, and in fact, the whole social justice movement, should devote this day to reflecting on their own abuses of power, hypocrisy and failures to practice what they preach.

In the past year, the media, especially FMT, carried several pieces about how the All Women’s Action Society (Awam), at its elections in March 2012, installed as office-bearer a woman who had sexually assaulted another woman. The act in question involved the perpetrator grabbing the victim’s breast; and Awam itself had conducted an inquiry that found that the sexual assault happened as alleged by the victim.

Yet it allowed the perpetrator, a highly influential member of Awam and of the women’s movement, to take a key position in Awam (it did not disclose the perpetrator’s sexual assault before she stood for elections, thus deceiving its members as to her fitness for office).

Right-minded people would find this shocking enough, given that Awam calls itself a ‘feminist’ organisation and claims to oppose violence against women. However, worse was to follow; when challenged, Awam lied on its FB by stating that the victim’s ‘allegations are unfounded,’ deleted posts questioning its stand, and told concerned people who wrote in that the long-standing friendship between the victim and perpetrator mitigated the sexual assault.

It also argued that the breast-grabbing was only misconduct, not sexual harassment or sexual assault. It has also not responded to calls to explain how it arrived at this conclusion, which contravenes its own educational material on sexual harassment, as well as Malaysian law.

So far so atrocious, but it gets worse. On Sept 9, 2012, the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG), a nationwide coalition of women’s organisations of which Awam is a member, declared that it was satisfied that Awam’s inquiry had been conducted with ‘due process’ and agreed that the breast-grabbing was ‘misconduct’ but not ‘sexual harassment.’

Astoundingly, it arrived at this conclusion without contacting the victim; and it has not contacted her till today. JAG also did not explain its rationale for claiming the sexual assault was merely ‘misconduct.’

By now, most readers would be totally appalled. First, an established ‘feminist’ organisation installs a woman it found guilty of grabbing another woman’s breast in a key position. Then it lies, and comes up with all sorts of egregious excuses for doing so.

Its statement released in February and published by Malaysiakini and on its own website, is a masterpiece of deceit and obfuscation. For instance, it mentions an incident the victim found offensive, but did not mention that the incident involved the perpetrator grabbing the victim’s breast, which anyone would find offensive; and it includes irrelevant details such as how long the inquiry took, but never explains why it lied on FB, or finds it acceptable as a feminist organisation to have a sex offender on its board.

To make matters worse, Awam is supported in its morally indefensible position by JAG, whose appraisal of the inquiry was clearly one-sided. So now we have the entire Malaysian women’s movement protecting the perpetrator of sexual assault and turning their backs on the victim. Let us not forget that these are the very people who have declared themselves to be the defenders of women’s rights in this country, and who often chastise politicians and public figures for sexist attitudes.

On top of that, the social justice movement on the whole has also chosen to remain silent, thus being complicit with this atrocity. Malaysia is fortunate to have a whole array of organisations working on many different aspects of civil and human rights, but not one has publicly called for accountability. Prominent activists who are known for speaking out fearlessly against injustice such as Marina Mahathir, Maria Chin, Pang Khee Teik and Ivy Josiah have remained resolutely silent.

The obvious question, of course, is why? Ignorance of the issue cannot be a reason, as it has been widely publicised. Could the silence be due to an unwillingness to speak up against a friend and a fellow activist, no matter what she has done? Or an ingrained habit of closing ranks against anyone who dares to point out failures in the movement?

Whatever the reason, the silence is utterly shameful. It is all too easy to point fingers at those outside the movement and call attention to their deficiencies, as JAG did in its ‘Aiyo What Lah Awards’ show last year when it presented awards to public figures for discriminatory and sexist remarks.

But the real test of integrity is whether one is able to be as exacting on those within one’s circle as those without. Without doubt, Malaysian feminists and activists have failed miserably on this score, to the point that the public should think seriously about granting them an Aiyo What Lah Award for Hypocrisy.

The heroism that has come out of this sorry episode has not come from the established activists and organisations that Malaysians should have been able to rely on in such instances. It has come from individuals outside the movement who came to know of the issue and wanted to redress an injustice. As members of a citizens’ initiative called Hold Awam Accountable, they have written letters, gathered signatures for a petition and publicised the issue among their networks.

It has come from certain members of the media who helped to keep the issue alive. And it has come from young activists who had the courage to press for accountability such as some members of the Writers for Women’s Rights Programme (WWRP), a programme that Awam used to run. Several WWRP members wrote to Awam questioning its stand, and, when this failed to elicit satisfactory replies, also wrote to the media expressing their concerns.

These young women will, of course, pay the price for speaking out. They will not be getting the scholarships or opportunities to attend conferences abroad that the leading activists have in their power to bestow. These spoils will go to the activists who toed the line and prostituted their integrity.

For one thing that this issue has highlighted is that the activist circle is not so different from the government or political parties after all. There are people you are not supposed to challenge, whatever their wrongs; questioning those in power will be penalised and compliance will be rewarded.

If there is hope for a better Malaysia, therefore, it does not lie in our established feminists and activists. It lies in the individuals, men as well as women, who saw clearly that an appalling injustice had been perpetrated against a victim of sexual violence by the very people who should have supported her, and took a stand against it.

It is because of them that this issue is still alive one year later. It is because of them that future victims of sexual violence can have hope that however powerful their attacker, it is possible to obtain support and justice. It is they – not our deeply compromised women’s movement – that I will be honouring today, on International Women’s Day.



Free Turkish Women on TV 'Inspire Oppressed Neighbours’

MAR 18, 2013

The independent women portrayed in Turkish TV programs who live freely and have a say in their lives are an inspiration that is attracting an international audience, particularly in countries where women are facing oppression, CNNTürk Program Coordinator Aslı Öymen says of the popularity of Turkish TV series

Turkish TV series have been making waves domestically and overseas in recent years as their global popularity increases. CNNTürk Program Coordinator Aslı Öymen attributes this rapid success to improvements in the Turkish film and television industry, in addition to the social climate portrayed.

“I believe we depict an image of women who are free, who have a say in their lives. The women they see in the series are in a much different position than the ones in [some other] countries,” she said.

Is the interest in TV series still high in Turkey?

It is still high. Actually, it is a phenomenon of the past five, six years.

How do you explain this interest?

Quality-wise they have become much better. The issues are interesting, the acting is better, the technique has improved and of course much bigger budgets are being used.

So does it carry a parallel with Turkey’s economic growth?

Actually, it comes also in parallel with the progress of the Turkish film industry. Turkish movies have been on the rise for the past five, six years; they receive several awards in foreign film festivals like Toronto, Cannes and Berlin. Turkish films received 10 awards just last year, for example. Turks became fond of Turkish movies in recent years, which was not the case in the past, when foreign movies were more popular. The [Turkish] film “Recep İvedik” reached 4 million [viewers] at the box office, while James Bond, the one before the very last one, remained at 365,000.

When you look at the substance of the series, what does it tell us about Turkey?

They are so diverse. It’s segmented. Some are about big cities, life in slums, about youth; others talk about life in the local neighbourhood. While some are about the spectacular life of the rich, there are also others that talk about rural life. The common point in almost all is that there is love, betrayal, happiness and tears. They are about emotions and everybody finds something in it.

Isn’t there a trend toward the true realities of life, as some are saying series depicting the flamboyant lifestyles of Istanbul are being replaced by series that depict the not-so-flamboyant life in the slums.

Both are there. There are series about flamboyant lives that many would wish to have as well as those depicting the other face of the city. I personally find them very realistic. In addition, they are very professional with their music and acting. They are being exported to 50 countries including Latin America.

So would you say they portray a correct picture of Turkey?

I believe they explain Turkey. Look at the series about history, like “Magnificent Century.” It talks about our past.

What do you think about their popularity abroad?

I find it very interesting. I have been going regularly to Cannes, where MIPTV, the broadcasters’ fair, is held each year. When I went last year, you could see Turkish series on billboards.

In the past Turkey did not even have a stand in the fair; the TRT [Turkish state broadcasting company] had a very small, modest stand. This time Turkish series were everywhere in Cannes.

What makes them popular?

I think those [geographically close to us] find a world they are longing for. Istanbul, with the Bosporus, its houses on the shores of the sea, and Turkey with its landscapes like Capadoccia and Mardin provide a unique setting. When you shoot a movie, one of the first concerns is the [physical] background. In addition, I believe we depict an image of women who are free, who have a say in their lives. The women they see in the series are in a much different position than the ones in those countries.

What do you think about the fact that Turkish series appeal to the Arab world, which is predominantly Muslim, as well as the Balkans and Central Europe, which is predominantly Christian?

I believe the formula is the fact that it appeals to emotions like love, revenge.

Has Turkey caught a universal language?

Latin America used to export its series and now we are in this position; this means that we have deciphered cultural codes and appeal to universal emotions. Scripts are good, dialogues are good and the shooting is professional.

This is an integrated whole. Just one aspect does not explain [the popularity].

If you were to put yourself in the shoes of a foreigner, what kind of a Turkey would you have seen in these series?

It depends on where you come from. Looking from the West, you will see stuff that belongs to the East and looking from the East, you will see stuff from the West. We really are in the middle.

Does the Turkish series have a mission of creating awareness on certain issues within Turkey?

The historic series have triggered a curiosity in Turkey’s past.

What are your reflections on Turkish movies?

We can separate them into two: festival movies and those that are more popular, like the comedies. But there are other movies that do not fall in these two categories as well. I think the Turkish movie industry is making good progress.

How about documentaries?

Unfortunately, we don’t have good documentaries. But this is also due to budgets. The cost of just one part of a BBC landmark documentary is one million pounds and above. But we also do not really know how to make documentaries.

Do Turks like documentaries?

They do when they are of good quality. We have been broadcasting documentaries [at CNN Turk] for the past two years and we observed that they do attract attention.

What are your reflections on the rest of the culture and arts world?

Istanbul has become a centre of attraction in culture and arts. This has happened in the last decade.

Look at the names that came last year, like Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Leonard Cohen, Sting; this year the New York Philharmonic Orchestra will come.

IKSV (the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Art) made a big contribution to the art world of Turkey. Institutions like the Istanbul Modern, the Pera Museum, the Sabancı Museum and Borusan are making international contributions to the art world in Turkey.

Take a look at the Istanbul Film Festival. It brings [to the city] films that received awards from the major film festivals throughout the year, throughout the world.

Contemporary Istanbul has been taking place for the past five years. Previously, it was called Art Istanbul. This year, the participation of foreign galleries was higher than Turkish ones; 47 Turkish and 57 foreign galleries participated. This creates a tremendous possibility to see and purchase [art].

Are there efforts to spread the diversity and dynamism of the culture and art activities in Istanbul to the rest of the country?

There are efforts but they remain very weak.



Women to be ‘eyes and ears of government’, says Najib

MAR 18, 2013

PUTRAJAYA, March 17 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched a women community group programme today to enable women to report crime and threats to national security.

The 1 Malaysia Perwani Community programme, which aims to set up 100,000 Perwani groups throughout Malaysia comprising 10 to 20 women each, will be linked to organisations like the Police Families Association (Perkep), the Malaysian Armed Forces Family Welfare Association (Bakat) and the Wives of Civil Servants and Women Civil Servants Association (Puspanita).

“The role of the Perwani group is to be the eyes and ears of the government in fighting crime and threats to national security,” said Najib in a speech at the One Million Women Purple Walk event at Dataran Putrajaya here today.

Full report at:



Indonesian Maid Gets Death for Killing a Four-Year-Old Girl in Saudi Arabia

March 18, 2013 

YANBU – The Yanbu General Court sentenced Sunday the Indonesian housemaid who was found guilty of murdering Tala Al-Shehri, a four-year-old girl, in Yanbu last September.

A panel of three judges also awarded the maid an eight-month jail term and 200 lashes for attempted suicide after committing the horrific crime that shook the industrial city.

The housemaid’s lawyers said he would appeal the verdict.

Full report at:



‘Women need courage, bravery to bring change’

MAR 18, 2013

KARACHI: Women face hurdles in a male dominated society, and change was complicated, but not impossible.

These views were expressed by prominent personalities, including Muttahida Qaumi Movement former MNA Shugufta Sadiq, MNA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, Barrister Shahid Jamil, Kosar Asif, Dr Naila and others while addressing the event titled ‘Beauty with Brain’ organised by The Marketects Club (TMC), held here at National Museum of Pakistan, on Sunday.

Full report at:\03\18\story_18-3-2013_pg7_23



Uganda: Girls Trafficked to South Sudan


More than eight Ugandans thought to be victims of human traffickers have been unearthed in South Sudan, triggering a wide police investigation.

Ugandan security is investigating the circumstances under which eight people, including five juveniles, were trafficked to the South Sudan capital, Juba. The victims were rescued by concerned Ugandans in Juba last month and handed over to authorities in Kampala.

The juveniles were reportedly trafficked from several districts in Uganda, including Masaka, to work as hawkers and domestic labourers in South Sudan. Moses Binoga, the Coordinator for Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce at the ministry of Internal Affairs, exclusively said he individually travelled to Juba to receive the victims.

Full report at:



Woman, Daughter Strangulated In Pakistan

MAR 18, 2013

QUETTA: Police recovered dead bodies of two women from Usta Muhammad Tehsil of Jaffarabad district on Sunday. According to police, passersby had spotted the bodies lying in bushes of Gott Fida Hussain area. Police shifted them to hospital for medico-legal formalities. It said that the deceased, mother and daughter, had been strangulated by unidentified people. However, the motive behind the murders is yet to be ascertained. Police have registered a case and opened an investigation.\03\18\story_18-3-2013_pg7_4



Uganda: Hope Alive Turns Around Lives of Kamuli Women


Joy Mwesito lives with her eight children and husband in a small house in Bukyatifu, Kisozi village in the eastern district of Kamuli.

Their latrine used to be a little makeshift structure further down the path near their house. Hope Alive Uganda has built a new latrine and bathroom for the family. Mwesito's kids have also received clothes, shoes, mattresses, blankets and sheets.

Full report at:



Women’s Rights in Afghanistan, “A Justification for War”

International Women's Day and "The Mullahs of Whitehall": Pioneering Afghan Sportswomen Denied UK Entry

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Global Research, March 17, 2013

“The Tony Blair Faith Foundation is … honouring International Women’s Day …” (Tony Blair Faith Foundation, 5th March 2013.)

It was former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson who is attributed with the quote “a week is a long time in politics”, referring to the speedy shifting sands of political priorities.

If a week is a while, approaching twelve years is a millennium.

Full report at:



Women’s Week 2013 Concludes At FJWU, Rawalpindi

MAR 18, 2013

RAWALPINDI: The annual Women’s Week at Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) Rawalpindi has concluded in a festive manner.

The last day of three-day activities started with the Bilingual Declamation. The Chief Guest for the program was Dr. Shahzra Munawar. Nine teams from different educational institutions participated in the contest.

Full report at:



Malaysian women celebrate Purple Walk

The Star/Asia News Network

March 18, 2013

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia --Thousands of Malaysian women took to the streets Sunday for the 1Million Women Purple Walk in conjunction with International Women's Day.

Prime Minister Najib Razak launched the event at Putrajaya while mentris besar and chief ministers did the same at state-level.

Full report at:



Assad’s wife, children make rare Damascus appearance

17 March 2013

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife and his children have made a rare public appearance at a charity fund-raiser in Damascus for mothers of soldiers killed in the two-year conflict, his office said on Facebook Sunday.

The office said that Asma al-Assad, her three children as well as their cousins “took part Saturday in a charity event called... at the Damascus Opera House on the occasion of Mother’s Day.”

Full report at: