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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 5 Oct 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Taliban Cracks Down on Afghan Women Protesting for Their Rights

New Age Islam News Bureau

06 October 2021

 • Malala Praises Imran Khan for Standing Up For Girls’ Education

• Egypt: Awqaf Minister Lauds Arab Parliament’s Support for Empowerment of Arab Women

• Violation of Women Journalists’ Rights Continues In Turkey

• Egypt’s Women Council, UN launch new phase of Family Camps on Gender-Transformative Parenting

• Malaysian Deputy Women’s Minister under Fire in Parliament for Suggesting She Will Answer Policy Questions in Canteen

• UN Women Concludes 8-Year Programme For Combating Violence Against Women In Egypt

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:    https://www.newageislam.com/islam-women-feminism/taliban-afghan-women-rights/d/125520

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Taliban Cracks Down on Afghan Women Protesting for Their Rights

By Leah Rodriguez

October 6, 2021

 

Marius Arnesen / Flickr

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Women in Afghanistan are encountering more barriers to protesting the Taliban’s restrictions on their rights in recent weeks, according to Reuters.

Spontaneous demonstrations have been banned and the group is using violence to stop rallies. Women’s families are also discouraging them from protesting and there are growing concerns over the safety of being identified via social media, women protesters across Afghanistan told Reuters.

Afghan women were promised more freedom to pursue education and employment under the Taliban’s interpretation of Islamic law, but the group has failed to deliver.

The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August for the first time since 2001 and has since worked to strip away women’s hard-earned freedoms over the past 20 years. The Sunni Islamic militant group believes educating women goes against Islam and girls have not been able to attend school past the sixth grade. Women and girls are now also required to wear a burqa, only go outside with a male companion, and have been banned from going to work.

Protests are not currently prohibited but rally organizers need to seek permission first from the Taliban and provide details, including what they plan on chanting.

Reuters’ reporting revealed that a group of women who protested on Aug. 15 when the Taliban’s rule first went into effect stopped showing up to demonstrations in early September.

Seven women-led protests occurred between Aug. 15 and Sept. 8, according to Reuters. Since the Taliban set the new rules for protesting, however, there was only one demonstration held in front of Kabul’s women’s ministry after it was closed on Sept. 19.

A protester who formerly worked in Kabul told Reuters she and others have plans to protest but are holding back due to safety issues and to avoid harassment. Another woman told Reuters that she and a small group of others tried to stage a protest on Sept. 30 but the Taliban shut it down.

Earlier in September, women gathered in Kabul to protest against the announcement of an all-male government in Kabul and were met with beatings and whippings. What’s more, posted images of women’s faces were vandalized in the city’s Kahir Khana neighborhood. Meanwhile, a different group of women protestors had their signs advocating for girls' education ripped out of their hands by the Taliban. 

The Taliban has also used guns and have beaten and killed protesters in large demonstrations in general opposition of the militant group.

Kabul-based women’s rights activist Taranom Seyedi told Reuters that after organizing protests in the city, she received letters from the Taliban claiming they had made a list of all the women involved and would search their houses for them. The threat led Seyedi and others to remove protest-related content from social media accounts as a safety precaution.

"Since my participation in the protest, I've had to relocate twice ... My family is terrified, and even my neighbors are concerned and urging me not to join,” Seyedi said.

Source: Global Citizen

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/taliban-restricts-women-from-protesting-for-rights/

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Malala Praises Imran Khan For Standing Up For Girls’ Education

6 October 2021

  

Pakistani ‘activist’ Malala Yousafzai,

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Pakistani ‘activist’ Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by a Pakistani Taliban terrorist in 2012, has heaped praises on Taliban supporter Prime Minister Imran Khan in a Twitter post. Khan who in a BBC interview called the Taliban’s ban on girl education ‘un-Islamic’ received applause from the Noble Laureate for his statement. 

“The idea that women should not be educated is just not Islamic. Appreciate ⁦@ImranKhanPTI⁩ standing up for girls’ education. I hope more world leaders will support Afghan women’s rights and tell the Taliban to let girls return to school,” Tweeted Malala, sharing the BBC News report.

Khan was quoted by BBC as saying, “I think they (Taliban) will allow women to go to schools. The idea that women should not be educated is just not Islamic. It has nothing to do with religion.”

However, Malala’s vocal appreciation of Khan, whose government has provided tacit support to the Taliban to regain control over Afghanistan, has not gone down well with many Afghans and others.

A Twitter user said, “Malala, you are not an Afghan woman, you are Pakistani. Stop speaking on behalf of Afghans & thanking a Taliban supporter. Just because white westerners think all “brown” Muslims are the same and will use any as a token doesn’t mean that the SWANA world doesn’t know and care.”

Mujtaba Naqib who has an Afghan flag in his Twitter profile remarked, “Absolute hypocrite. The person that you are praising also claimed that the “Holy War” that was declared by the Taliban was justified. Since when was the killing of innocent men, women, and children justified in Islam? Its better to keep silent than tweet nonsense.”

Reminding Malala of the gun attack, Nazia Nasrat of Kabul University Tweeted, “Well, I didn’t get it. You know that your PM represents and lobbying for the #Taliban and I’m sure you also know who the Taliban are.”

Upset with Malala’s hypocrisy ‘Pashtun Bhoy’ said, “The fact that @Malala can actually endorse serial #misogynist @ImranKhanPTI is illustrative that sadly her credibility is no longer worthy. I’m ashamed to be of the same ethnic lineage as her.”

Interestingly, Khan who claims to support girls’ education in Afghanistan does not seem to be perturbed by the low percentage of women literacy in Pakistan. As per a Statista report, the literacy rate amongst women in Pakistan from 2006 to 2017 remains low at 46.47 per cent.

Textbooks showing Malala Yousafzai as ‘important personality’ seized

Ironically, Pakistani authorities in July this year had seized textbooks that listed Malala Yousafzai as an ‘important personality’, apparently for her ‘controversial views’ on Islam.

The All-Pakistan Private Schools Federation had even decided to launch a documentary to ‘expose’ her before the youth. The president of the organisation, Kashif Mirza, said, “Through this documentary film ‘I am not Malala’, we will tell 20 million students in 200,000 private schools across the country about her controversial views on Islam, marriage, pursuing of Western agenda.”

“The idea behind this is we want to expose Malala among the youth so they do not get impressed by her so-called story of struggle for women rights,” he had said at a press conference.

Malala criticized for ignoring atrocities by Taliban

The Pakistani activist was criticized heavily for staying mum after the Taliban had taken over Afghanistan and had stepped up atrocities against women.

Till August, there was not a single post by Malala on Afghanistan and the Taliban. Though the so-called ‘activist,’ who enjoys a comfortable life in the UK at the expense of the UK government, has been very vocal on myriad issues and often criticises India, she had been quite silent on actual atrocities meted out against women in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Source: Opindia

https://www.opindia.com/2021/10/malala-praises-imran-khan-taliban-girls-education-afghanistan/

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Egypt: Awqaf Minister Lauds Arab Parliament’s Support for Empowerment of Arab Women

6 OCTOBER 2021

Awqaf Minister Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa has praised the great support provided by the Arab Parliament (AP), under Speaker Adel Al Asoumi, to empower women and back their issues and causes.

The minister made his remarks on Tuesday 5/10/2021 at an event organized by the AP's Center for Arab Parliamentary Diplomacy in the presence of a host of Arab female lawmakers, among others.

He highlighted the Awqaf Ministry's initiative on boosting the participation of Egyptian female preachers to play more vital roles in spreading moderate thought and teachings of Islam.

The participants in the event lauded the Ministry of Awqaf's great efforts to empower women and protect their rights.

Source: All Africa

https://allafrica.com/stories/202110060340.html

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Violation of women journalists’ rights continues in Turkey

October 4, 2021

The violation of women journalists’ rights in Turkey continued in September, according to a monthly reportreleased by the Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ).

“At least two women journalists were physically assaulted by the police while following September 1 World Peace Day demonstration in İstanbul,” the report said, adding that “Seven women journalists were prevented from following the Kobani Trial which took place in Ankara.”

According to the report, an investigation has been launched into Jinnews reporter Öznur Değer regarding her posts and stories about the assassination of seven people from the same family in Konya.

The report also mentioned the case of writer, lawyer and human rights activist Nurcan Kaya, who has been handed down a suspended sentence of 15 months due to a tweet she posted in 2014 about resistance in the Syrian town of Kobani against the occupation of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Kaya was sentenced due to her tweet, which said: “Not only Kurds but all the people living in Kobani are resisting. Democratic Arabs are also resisting…” against the siege by ISIL.

The CFWIJ documented 61 cases of violations against women journalists including detentions, legal harassment and physical assault around the world last month, the report revealed.

According to the report, freelance journalist and activist Sophia Huang Xueqin has reportedly gone missing in China.

Turkey is ranked 153rd among 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in April.

According to the Stockholm Center for Freedom’s “Jailed and Wanted Journalists in Turkey” database, 174 journalists are behind bars in Turkey and 167 are wanted and either in exile or at large.

Source: STOCKHOLMCF

https://stockholmcf.org/violation-of-women-journalists-rights-continues-in-turkey/

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Egypt’s Women Council, UN launch new phase of Family Camps on Gender-Transformative Parenting

Nehal Samir 

October 5, 2021

The National Council for Women (NCW) and UN Women in Egypt have launched a new phase of family camps on “Gender-Transformative Parenting” in collaboration with WellSpring Egypt.

The camps will take place in several governorates, including Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta, and Minya over the coming weeks under the framework of “Men and Women for Gender Equality” programme implemented through the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

These camps target parents in the selected governorates to enhance the adoption of gender transformative practices to accomplish gender equality at home through challenging stereotypical gender norms and promoting more equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work between women and men and girls and boys. The activities included in the camps also emphasize the importance of good communication between spouses.

All activities conducted during the camps are based on the training manual that has been developed for use by individuals or organizations engaged in supporting parenting approaches including government entities, civil society, independent trainers, academia, and other professionals that deal with parents and believe in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in the home.

Source: Daily News Egypt

https://dailynewsegypt.com/2021/10/05/egypts-women-council-un-launch-new-phase-of-family-camps-on-gender-transformative-parenting/

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Malaysian Deputy Women’s Minister under Fire in Parliament for Suggesting She Will Answer Policy Questions in Canteen

06 Oct 2021

BY R. LOHESWAR

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 — The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) came under fire again for not providing details and progress updates on key policies, such as aid for the elderly, the Sexual Harassment Bill and gender equality.

Its deputy minister, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, came under fire for “reading from her script” and not giving proper answers on what the ministry has done with its large budget.

“The minister’s answers sound like I’ve heard them before. I want to know the steps you actually took. What steps did you take when the sexual offences Act was supposed to be implemented last year?

“You have been in a government with the biggest Cabinet for more than 24 months. You cannot still say ‘berusaha’ (trying). I want to know what your initiatives are to help working mothers return to work? What are your childcare policies? So far, you are speaking in generalities only,” said Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto.

In response, Siti Zailah said they can take the conversation to the canteen of the Dewan Rakyat as she had a lot of matters to go through.

However, Kasthuri rebuked her by stating that such an important discussion cannot be taken outside the House.

“RMK12 (12th Malaysian Plan), a five-year plan, and you want to discuss it in the canteen?” she asked.

At this point, Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon stepped in, asking the MPs to settle down and allow Siti Zailah to finish her speech.

However, after several minutes, Padang Serai MP Karupaiya Muthusami, Merbok MP Nor Azrina Surip and Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh pressed her for an explanation, but were ignored.

Rashid intervened again and said the minister or ministry will send her answers in written form.

At this point, Hannah Yeoh stood up to argue that debating in Parliament had no meaning when Rashid cut her mic off.

As he called Deputy Communications Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin to deliver his speech, Yeoh remarked that Rashid was making a mockery of Parliament by not allowing MPs to post questions.

“Mr Speaker, you are making a mockery of Parliament. Cannot ask questions. Written answers are useless with no meaning and none of the MPs’ questions are being answered. If reading from scripts is the way to go, then anyone can be a minister,” Yeoh said.

“Additional questions are not attacks on the minister,” she said, as Zahidi could be heard reading his speech in the background loudly.

The KPWKM is helmed by Datuk Seri Rina Harun. It was given a RM2.584 billion allocation in Budget 2021.

Source: Malay Mail

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2021/10/06/womens-ministry-under-fire-in-parliament-after-deputy-minister-says-she-wil/2011251

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UN Women concludes 8-year programme for combating violence against women in Egypt

Nehal Samir 

October 2, 2021

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, has concluded its long-term programme for combating violence against women after eight years.

The programme, entitled “Safe Cities Free from Violence Against Women and Girls: Ending Violence Against Women Survivor-Centered Approach”, was carried out in partnership with the National Council for Women (NCW) and the Ministry of Social Solidarity in Egypt, with the generous support of United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The closing ceremony included high-profile speakers: Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation; Nivine El-Kabbaj, Minister of Social Solidarity; Maya Morsy, President of NCW; Amal Ammar, President of the Court of Appeal and Assistant Minister of Justice for Human Rights, Women, Children’s Affairs; Ahmed Elsaid, President of the Court of Appeal and Director of the Criminal Research and Training Center at the Public Prosecution Office; Nicole Shampaine, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Egypt; and Christine Arab, UN Women Country Representative.

An interactive panel discussion was also held on effective prevention and response measures to end violence against women and girls. Among the panelists were Amal Tawifk, Director of the Women’s Complaints Office at NCW; Amina Tarraf, Associate Professor for Social Policies at the Ministry of Social Solidarity; Nehad Abolkomsan, Senior Lawyer and Chairperson of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights;  Iqbal Elsamaloty, Chairperson of Future Eve Association; and Mariam Naoum; Award-winning scriptwriter and gender champion.

What is this programme about?

For 10 years, UN Women’s global initiative, Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces for Women and Girls, has worked with leading women’s organizations, local and national governments, UN agencies, and other partners to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive approaches to prevent and respond to sexual harassment against women and girls in public spaces in different settings.

Ending violence against women and girls (VAW&G) requires an integrated approach. For the provision of comprehensive and targeted services for victims of VAW&G, UN Women Egypt aimed through this programme to establish a survivor-centred referral system. Case management at the local level through shelters and specialized service providers assures that victims do not face solitude while recovering from experiencing violence. Innovative community mobilization and capacity building sessions for shelter staff and community leaders assure the social reintegration of survivors. The programme also collaborates with local and international civil society organizations to develop spaces free from all forms of violence against women and girls in areas within and beyond Cairo.

Christine Arab said, “Under Egypt’s National Strategy to End Violence Against Women, in partnership with the Government of Egypt, UN Women’s programme has worked with essential service providers nationally and locally in supporting a survivor-centred approach, which seeks to empower women and girls in need while providing the most immediate services required for them to move forward beyond the violence experienced. Through the long-term support of USAID, the programme has successfully partnered in nationally-led interventions contributing to breaking the silence around VAWG at the community and national level.”

Minister Al-Mashat stated that the international partnerships concluded by the Ministry of International Cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners bolstered the efforts undertaken by the Government of Egypt and stakeholders to empower women, protect them from different forms of violence, and engage them in economic activities.

She commended the collaboration between stakeholders as represented by the partnership between UN Women and USAID, and between NCW and the Ministry of Social Solidarity, to implement the program to end violence against women and girls, which fostered Egypt’s efforts with regards to the provision of a female-friendly environment that shall avert all sorts of violence.

12 projects to empower women economically

Al-Mashat explained that the ongoing portfolio of the Ministry of International Cooperation includes 12 projects to achieve SDG 5: Gender Equality. These include: Promoting Gender-Responsive Workplaces in Egypt; Combating Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Egypt; Scaling up Safe Cities in Alexandria; Women’s Financial and Economic Inclusion in Rural Egypt; Women’s Empowerment and Financial and Economic Inclusion in Rural Egypt: COVID-19 Response; and other projects that promote women’s empowerment and open up prospects for economic and social opportunities for women and girls.

The development financing concluded by the Ministry of International Cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners to support women’s empowerment and their participation in development efforts amounts to about $3.3bn to implement 34 projects in various development sectors, with 20% dedicated to the health sector; 15% for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); 14% for education; 9% for agriculture; 6% each for irrigation and governance; and 3% each for trade, investment, social protection, transportation, water, and sanitation sectors.

Women issues are top priority for Social Solidarity Ministry

Minister El Kabbaj highlighted that women occupy a top priority in all of the ministry’s programmes, with a special focus on girls, rural women, women heads of household, women with disabilities, women at risk or survivors of all forms of violence and economic exploitation, in addition to elderly women.

The Minister also praised the support of the political leadership and the efforts of the Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, Interior and International Cooperation, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, NCW, and the National Council for Human Rights, in addition to the efforts of NGOs and youth in achieving unprecedented national progress in many milestones in recent years.

State agencies seek to empower Egyptian women

Maya Morsy expressed her gratitude for what Egyptian women are experiencing now in light of the current political will with regards to women’s empowerment, adding that the state agencies and institutions seek to empower Egyptian women in all fields through the implementation of the National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030, most importantly protecting women from all forms of violence against them. Morsy also noted that integrating women’s rights is an essential pillar for their empowerment and advancement, while thanking all who contributed to the implementation of this significant programme.

US invests $8m in Safe Cities programme

Nicole Shampaine said, “The United States invested $8m in the Safe Cities programme, which laid the foundation for policy reforms, service provision, and national advocacy efforts to criminalize sexual harassment for the first time in Egypt’s history. By working to advance women’s economic and social empowerment, the United States is committed to helping Egypt build an economically stable, sustainable future.”

The US government will continue to support women’s empowerment and economic growth in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030.  The Safe Cities project is part of the $30bn that the American people have invested in Egypt through USAID since 1978, Shampaine added.

Outcomes

With the support of USAID, “Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces” and “Prevention and Essential Services” interventions were implemented, under Egypt’s National Strategy to End Violence Against Women, in selected cities across five governorates: Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Minya, and Beni Suef.

A holistic approach was applied to reduce violence against women and girls while providing survivors with adequate legal and psychosocial support and access to safe spaces. Using this approach, the programme expanded access to affordable and quality psychosocial support services and enhanced case management capacities among local CSOs.

The most significant gains in recent years have been the strengthening of core essential response services for women and girls who have experienced violence. Through the strong commitment of NCW and the Ministry of Social Solidarity, national entities have deepened their capacities, and have improved the quality, accessibility, and coordination of provided services. Achievements include the physical upgrade of shelters in selected governorates. National data and knowledge products to enhance the prevention and response to violence against women and girls has also been supported, including up-to-date information on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women in the home.

The programme resulted in the development of a globally award-winning film “Between Two Seas” now streaming on Netflix. The programme worked with civil society at the community level to foster locally-shaped and owned behavioural change, raising awareness on prevention and response, and mobilising greater community-level support for those who come forward to report. Further, and using a unique participatory methodology where local women and community leaders work together, safe public spaces for women, hosting a myriad of activities have been established under the programme in partnership with the National Council for Women and local authorities in Imbaba and Ezbet el Hagganah. The programme also established the country’s first women-friendly market in Zenien creating a safe workplace for hundreds of women vendors and their children and a safe market for thousands of women customers.

Source: Daily News Egypt

https://dailynewsegypt.com/2021/10/02/un-women-concludes-8-year-programme-for-combating-violence-against-women-in-egypt/

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URL:    https://www.newageislam.com/islam-women-feminism/taliban-afghan-women-rights/d/125520


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