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Women In UAE May Not Work After 10 Pm, Except When...

New Age Islam News Bureau

14 Nov 2017 

Women in UAE may not work after 10 pm, except when... Alamy Stock Photo



 Hotels’ Headscarf Ban Sparks Uproar in Malaysia

 US Company Unveils First Hijab-Wearing Barbie

 Triple-Talaq Row May Not Translate Into Deluge of Muslim Votes for BJP

 Twelve Percent of Women in Pakistan Contract Diabetes during Pregnancy Due To Obesity

 Iran: Girl Students of a Whole District Had To Quit School

 Iran: Protest of Girl Students to Extortion by School Officials

 Flying Girl of Iran Hopes to Increase Female Skydivers

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Women In UAE May Not Work After 10 Pm, Except When...

Ashish Mehta

November 12, 2017

Here are the norms for women working on night shift

I work for a free zone company and have completed a year out of a 2-year unlimited contract. At this point, the employer is trying to force us to sign a paper on which we agree to work on night shifts. This request was not included in our contract or offer letter.

My question is, can the company change the terms of contract midway? And, does the labour law apply here where it is stated that women cannot work after 10pm?


You have not stated in which free zone you are located in. Certain free zones have their own regulations pertaining to employees and others follow the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 of UAE (the "Employment Law). It is assumed that you fall within the authority of the Employment Law.

Article 27 and Article 28 of the Employment Law deals with employment of women and night shifts, which reads as:

"Women may not be required to work at night. The term 'night' means a period of not less than 11 consecutive hours from 10pm to 7am."

However, Article 28 provides for an exception to the forgoing

"The following cases shall be excepted from the clause prohibiting women to work at night.

a)    In the event where the work in the establishment is stopped due to force majeure.

b)    Work in responsible managerial and technical jobs.

c)    Work in medical and other services as may be decided by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs if the working woman does not normally carry out a manual job."

On perusal of the forgoing, it can be stated that unless you fall within the aforementioned exception or in the event that you sign the amendment to your labour contract you may not work in the night shift. It is recommended that, if you are being forced/coerced into signing an amended terms employment contract you should contact the relevant authority at the free zone for the purposes of a resolution between you and the employer.

Visa renewal and criminal case

A criminal case has been filed against me, a case in which my boss is also involved. As of now my passport is in police custody in Dubai, and my residence visa is expiring next month. What should I do now? What are the options open to me?

It appears that you are released on bail by the public prosecution which has, in turn, retained your passport. Your passport will be in custody of the public prosecution at least until investigations are complete and you are found not guilty of a crime. In that case, the public prosecution will acquit you from the said complaint and will release your passport through the police station concerned. However, if your passport continues to be held, you could file an application with the public prosecution to arrange for presentation of your passport at the office of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, for renewal of your visa.



Hotels’ headscarf ban sparks uproar in Malaysia

13 NOVEMBER, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR — A policy by some Malaysian hotels barring Muslim female frontline staff from wearing headscarves has sparked an uproar in the country.

Islamic groups and political parties on Monday (Nov 13) accused these international hotels of “Islamophobia”, while a deputy minister has demanded an explanation for the adoption of such a practice.

Describing the hotels’ policy — which is believed to have been in place for years — as “primitive”, the opposition Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) claimed that the relative silence on this issue previously was a form of Islamophobia.

“When the laundrettes placed a sign that says ‘Muslim only’, that triggered a furious response all over the country,” information chief Nasrudin Hassan said in reference to two laundromats in Johor and Perlis that adopted a Muslim-only business practice.

Both outlets reversed their restrictions in September following decrees by their respective Rulers.

“Just recently, the issue of the headscarf ban in international hotels for Muslim women workers had surfaced… but unfortunately, these women failed to get support nor did anyone speak up against the hotels for such discrimination,” said Mr Nasrudin.

“Not only does this show double standards but it also exposed their deeply ingrained Islamophobia, no matter how hard they try to mask it.”

Ms Nurul Izzah Anwar, the vice president of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), went a step further in calling on the government to revoke the operating licences of the hotels.

“The government also has to give an answer how they have allowed international hotels to discriminate against female Muslim employees,” said Ms Nurul Izzah, who wears the tudung, or headscarf in Malay.

Her call was echoed by Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.

“Companies which discriminate women with headscarves should have their business licences revoked, while responsible Muslims and anyone who value human rights must boycott these companies and their products,” he said in a posting on Facebook, adding that a list of such companies must be made public.

The Malaysian Labour Centre of the Union Network International had recently claimed that some Muslim hotel employees had complained about being told to remove their headscarves. It claimed this was also happening to hospitality and tourism students applying for internships.

In a letter to the media, the centre called on Human Resource Minister Richard Riot to address the issue quickly.

Another non-governmental organisation known as International Women’s Alliance for Family Institution and Quality Education also claimed that it has received dozens of similar complaints from Muslim women.

Weighing in on the matter, an influential non-government group the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement said the hotels’ policy violated Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, which protects personal liberty.

It also “clearly denies one’s right to freedom of religious practice”, said its women affairs’ deputy chief Nor Azura Kamarudin Sohaimi.

Amid the outcry, the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) has defended the hotels' policy, saying that it is in accordance to international practice and is no way discriminatory.

“We should not call it discrimination because these hotels, especially international chains, have international policies to follow,” MAH president Cheah Swee Hee told The Malaysian Insight.

“It is a matter of policy and SOP (standard operating procedure) which is used worldwide by all hotels. It is not about Islamophobia because this has been done from the beginning. They have their SOPs.”

He said the issue should not be blown out of proportion, pointing out that the hospitality industry offers many other positions.

“I’ve told students to find the type of work that allows you to wear the ‘tudung’. There are also hotels that accepts workers who wear the ‘tudung’ in frontline roles,” he said.

But MAH’s explanation failed to satisfy deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, who demanded that association explain its ban.

Ms Mas Ermieyati — who also wears the headscarf — wanted MAH to specify which international policy was used to justify the ban, claiming that there is no such law.

“This policy is not fair to the women who want to work in the sector,” Malay daily Utusan Malaysia quoted her as saying on Monday.

“Malaysian employers should know about our Federal Constitution which is based on freedom of religion and this must be respected.”

To resolve such issue, Mr Rafizi Ramli, a PKR Member of Parliament, on Monday proposed that a legislation be enacted to address discrimination in workplaces.

“This issue can be stopped effectively if there is a law that bars any policies, rules or practices that can discriminate any individuals or groups based on gender, ethnicity, religion or ability,” he said.

Malaysian Employers Federation director Shamsuddin Bardan suggested that a dress code be adopted, taking into account Muslim women’s right to wear the headscarf.

“If a company wants the headscarf to match its uniform, for example, then the management can ask the Muslim women to do so,” he told news portal Free Malaysia Today.

“Or perhaps the management can come up with an acceptable design for the headscarf. It would then be more like a win-win situation.”

A hotel banquet manager in Kuala Lumpur who only wanted to be known as Mr Syukri said the tudung policy had been in place for at least 10 years.

“At a five-star hotel in KL where I once worked, Muslim female staff were not allowed to wear the headscarf in order to attract customers,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

“If a woman wanted a job as a waitress, she could not wear a scarf. It was considered unfashionable and unattractive.”

As he was in charge of hiring temporary workers for big functions, he had to tell recruits that they could not wear the headscarf too.

He said the policy applied to those working in food and beverage section, such as servers, and in frontline positions, such as receptionists.

Another hotel employee who wanted to be known as Ms Farisha, said she removed her headscarf whenever she went to work at a five-star hotel in Putrajaya.

“To be a receptionist at this hotel, you can’t wear the ‘tudung’. They say that this is in line with the image of an international hotel,” she said.

“So after I finish work, I will put it back on. I just don’t wear it at work. What else can I do? It is not easy to find a job now,” the 29-year-old added.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) said that Muslim women working in Penang are not barred from wearing the tudung.

Mr Khoo Boo Lim, the president of MAH's Penang chapter, stressed that there are no such policies barring tudung-clad women from working in hotels on the island.

“There are no hotels in Penang that practises such a ruling barring their female hotel staff from wearing the tudung,” he told a press conference on Monday.

He said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has expressed his concern over a statement made by MAH president Cheah Swee Hee, who reportedly said that it is international practice to ban female front-line workers like receptionists and wait staff from wearing the tudung.

“We share the chief minister’s concerns that Muslim women should be allowed to wear the tudung and should be judged strictly on their performance,” Mr Khoo stressed. AGENCIES



US company unveils first hijab-wearing Barbie

Nov 14, 2017

American group Mattel unveiled its first ever hijab-wearing Barbie doll Monday in honor of US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who in 2016 became the first American Olympian to wear a headscarf while competing.

The doll, part of the toymaker’s “Sheroes” collection, is dressed in fencing gear as well as the hijab.

It will be on sale online from 2018, a spokeswoman told AFP.

“We are so excited to honor @IbtihajMuhammad with a one-of-a-kind #Barbie doll! Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries,” Mattel wrote on its social media accounts, accompanied by a photo of Muhammad holding the doll.

On its website, Mattel said the new Barbie is “inspiration for countless little girls who never saw themselves represented in sports and culture,” adding it hopes the doll “shows girls they can be anything.”

Meanwhile, 31-year-old Muhammad described the doll created in her image as a “childhood dream come true.”

“Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie #Shero family! I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab!” she wrote on Twitter.

It is not the first time Mattel, which is currently facing financial difficulties, has honored an American Olympian with a doll.

In 2016, the group released a Barbie created in the image of gymnast Gabby Douglas, the individual all-around champion at the London 2012 Games.

Mattel’s latest announcement comes as The Wall Street Journal reports rival Hasbro plans to buy the toy manufacturer.



Triple-Talaq Row May Not Translate Into Deluge Of Muslim Votes For BJP

Nov 14, 2017

Electoral issues usually mean little to Zakia Ahmed*, an anaesthetist, and Zainab*, an engineer. The sisters, who struggled to finance their education, are more concerned about everyday challenges faced by working women in metropolitan cities.

However, with the assembly elections coming up, conversations at home are bound to be peppered with politics and nuggets on the race between various parties to bag the Muslim vote.

Though the two are tight-lipped about their choices for the upcoming electoral contest, they seem willing to compare notes on what various political parties have to offer them. High on their list of topics is the BJP’s campaign to end triple talaq, the controversial Islamic practice of immediate divorce, and both are unanimous in the opinion that the party has done well in appropriating the issue.

“It is a very good step,” Zainab says laughingly, catching her husband’s eye.

The sisters, however, are far from swayed by the campaign. Zakia, who was able to pay for her medical college fee through a private Jeddha bank’s philanthropy programme, says they would be more impressed if the BJP were to offer financial aid to the community – so women like her could pursue their dreams.

“My grandfather decided to educate us although even men don’t aspire for educational degrees in the place we hail from,” says Zainab, who holds a government job.

In Gujarat, the issue of triple talaq may not yield political dividends for the incumbent party in the Muslim community. The party’s efforts are appreciated, but not spoken of in superlatives. While many admit that triple talaq could pave the way for the community to bring in similar reforms, such as ending discrimination against women, there is little evidence to show that the unease and distrust towards the saffron party (which emerged as a consequence of the 2002 riots) have dissipated.

“The campaign to fight for the rights of Muslim women was well-received within the community, but it is no game changer. While a small section of the Muslims has always voted for the BJP, there is no indication that more would join in because of the triple-talaq issue,” said an Ahmedabad-based educationist on the condition of anonymity.

She said Gujarati Muslims are progressive when compared to their counterparts in other states, which is why they have welcomed the BJP’s campaign to end the practice.

However, Rashida Ben – who works with non-government organisation Adhikar Prapti Kendra in Ahmedabad – differs on the matter. She dismisses triple talaq as an issue where the BJP has “interfered with the community’s faith”.

“We are not interested (in triple talaq); there are courts for that (to provide justice to women). We are more interested in knowing why the party did not fulfil its promises of providing jobs and depositing money in our accounts,” Rashida Ben says.

After winning the Uttar Pradesh elections with a brute majority, the BJP claimed that it had bagged many votes from the Muslim community – especially women – as well. The party, which had until then made no bones about coalescing the Hindu vote, found a chance to build bridges with the Muslim community with the anti-triple talaq campaign.

The 2011 Census report shows that Muslims constitute 9.67% of Gujarat’s total population, dominating as many as 20 assembly constituencies in mostly urban areas. However, there are no overt signs of the community being impressed with the incumbent government, although certain sections such as the Bohras and the Khojas are not averse to voting for the BJP. The saffron party is also too busy trying to prevent the Patidar community from drifting away and retaining the votes of traders miffed with the demonetisation and GST initiatives to aggressively pursue the Muslim vote.

“It is a myth that Muslims vote as a monolith. However, the difference is that unlike 2012, when there seemed to be little option but to vote for the seemingly invincible BJP, they now see a viable alternative in the Congress. Also, given that even other communities such as the Patidars are also extending their support to the Congress, Muslims are not apprehensive of sticking out like a sore thumb in this regard,” says Afroz Alam, head of the political science department at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad.

Alam believes the BJP’s pitch to end triple talaq is not so much an initiative to woo Muslims as an image-changing exercise aimed at pitching itself as a secular and centrist party before those who view it as a divisive force. “Muslims are as fractured in voting choices as any other community. Voting patterns depend on region, gender and even caste. Take Uttar Pradesh, for instance, where the BJP won even in Muslim-dominated constituencies,” he says.

Meanwhile, news that the Maulana Aamir Rashadi Madni-founded Rashtriya Ulema Council (RUC) would be contesting at least 10 seats in the assembly polls has barely created a flutter in the community. Most Muslims do not see the RUC turning into a veritable political force at least this time round.



Twelve percent of women in Pakistan contract diabetes during pregnancy due to obesity

Nov 14, 2017


Pakistan is celebrating World Diabetes Day 2017 on Tuesday with the theme Diabetes and Women amidst an incidence rate of 12% gestational diabetes (ailment contracted during pregnancy) with associated risks for both mothers and babies born to them, in a scenario when 26.3% population, above 20 years of age, are already inflicted with diabetes type two. Professor of Medicine and Diabetology, Baqai Medical University, Dr. Abdul Basit sharing details of the 2nd National Diabetes Survey of Pakistan (NDSP), during a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Monday, said the year long exercise conducted between August 2016 to 2017 in four provinces of the country,identified 76.2% of the population to be over weight (BMI above 23) and 62.1% obese (with BMI above 25), a major contributory factor for diabetes among the concerned patients.

Babies born to diabetic mothers, he warned can turn new borns all the more vulnerable to diabetes due to decline in breast feeding culture and growing reliance on infant formulae followed by milk powder enhancing their sugar level to higher proportions.



Iran: Girl students of a whole district had to quit school

13 November 2017

Girl students of Zilaii district in the city of Boyer Ahmad, southwestern Iran, left school in the absence of segregated schools for girls and because of not affording transportation to the city.

As the district lacks separate schools for girls, high school girls either left the school on their own or were forced to do so due to their families’ opposition. 

They do not have access to any vehicle nor do they afford the cost of transportation to schools in the city.

Many villages across Iran do have similar conditions. (Iran Wire website – November 12, 2017)



Iran: Protest of girl students to extortion by school officials

13 November 2017

A group of girl students of the now-dissolved Tiba Applied Sciences University staged a protest gathering outside the school’s building in Tehran on Sunday, November 12, 2017. They had objection to the extortion of their tuition fees, saying their money had been deposited in the personal accounts of school authorities. 

The students started their protest on October 31, 2017, because their courses began with one-month delay, with limited units and low quality, and were subsequently called off without prior notice.

The regime’s officials had founded this university under the pretext of promoting skills of economic sector’s employees. However, they plundered the students’ tuitions and did not pay them back after the school was shut down, just like the IRGC-backed credit institutes.



Flying girl of Iran hopes to increase female skydivers

November 13, 2017

“My goal is to become a skydiving instructor for Iranian girls,” Akrami, 24, said in an interview with the Tehran Times.

“I am an Iranian girl and my responsibility is to boost the number of female skydivers in the country”, she stated.

Akrami went on to say that if she lived abroad, she would prefer to fulfill her own wishes, but, in her homeland, she has another duty.

“There is no female skydiving instructor in Iran and there are many interested women who do not have the chance to learn skydiving abroad as I did”, she noted.

“I began skydiving in 2012; at that time I was the only Iranian female skydiver,” said the former member of national gymnastics team, adding, “I burdened many troubles during these 5 years, especially for skydiving in Iran. As a girl, I should join many skydivers who were military personnel and they were all men, however, I was neither a military personnel nor a man.”

“The male skydivers guarded against me, looking at me as the weak gender who may make mistakes and mistake has no place in this field of sport,” Akrami said.

“I was not disappointed but I tried to be the best and to make the least mistake and observe my hijab”, she added.

My insistence on skydiving gave encouragement to some other women to do skydiving and today there are about five female skydivers,” said Akrami.

They all began skydiving after me. One of the Iranian female skydivers is a 15-year-old daughter of one of the male military skydivers who have learnt skydiving in Iran; the other 4 have been trained in other countries, she added.

“I will become a skydiving instructor during the coming 6 months. There are many Iranian girl who are interested in skydiving and send me messages about how they can learn skydiving,” the flying girl of Iran said.

There is variety in gymnastics and doing gymnastics since I was five lead me to seek for variety in other sports which I did not find in many sports I tried.

I did not find variety and excitement in running and Wushu, then I tried parkour and at the first session I found out that I can be good at it, said the former student of computer software engineering.

Parkour is a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training. Practitioners aim to get from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Parkour includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and other movements as deemed most suitable for the situation.

“Then I tried to join skydiving courses in Dubai which was the nearest country to Iran,” Akrami said.

There were training courses in Iran, but because of its delays I tried another country, she explained.

Skydiving is a kind of addiction, when you begin, you cannot leave it and you want more and more and reach upper stages, Akrami who has taken about 250 dives since 2012 noted.

There were two kinds of people who encouraged me to follow skydiving: first those people who believed that I, as a girl, am not able to do the job and it gave me more motivation to prove my capability.

From the beginning when I did gymnastics there were some who believed that women are weak. The same thing happened about parkour and then skydiving, the strong-minded girl said.

On the other hand, I’ve got the overall support of my family not caring about my sex and being the only child of the family, she stated.

The first time, I enrolled in a skydiving class in Dubai, I was late and I didn’t join the class. When my mother came to know about my hesitation she, herself, booked another ticket for me and pushed me to join the skydiving course, she explained.

“Off course, skydiving is a risky sport and you should never make a mistake in it, but I believe that gymnastics is more risky than skydiving.

However, any activities has its own risk, Akrami expressed.

Although it is a very risky sport, I have an optimistic view about it. I believe if someone doubts whether her parachute works or not, it will not work. I never think bad, therefore, I am not scared of skydiving.

The first time I experienced skydiving, there were many skydivers around me who gave me a very good feeling and told me the first dive is the best experience of skydiving. When I saw their positive viewpoint, and clam and joyful reaction about skydiving, I thought that I am someone like any of them and I enjoyed my diving; and it happened, said the flying girl.

Jumpsuits covers the entire body. For skydiving a scarf covers the hair and a helmet is used over the scarf, sometimes glasses are used, Akrami explained, adding, therefore, Iranian women can join skydiving world championships observing Islamic dress code.

Recently I began a wingsuit flying that is the sport of gliding through the air using a wingsuit which adds surface area to the human body to enable a significant increase in lift, Akrami added.

The most important barrier in front of me was the expenditures of skydiving. Currently, I am driving the car of my hopes with the fastest speed but a barrier always bans the road of my success, i.e. the expenditures, said the student of physical education.

There is no sponsorship for skydiving in Iran, she noted.

Public show very good reaction about my job and the sport of skydiving for women, she maintained.

Foreigners, too, received me very well as the first female Iranian skydiver and they were happy that I am spreading this sports in another place of the world.

Since skydiving was a sport merely done by military men, at the beginning Iranian male skydivers guarded against me, looking at me as the weak gender. They were not happy and helpful at my first dives in the sky of my country, she told in a self-confident manner.

Day by day, viewing my skill and talent in skydiving, great changes happened in the viewpoint of male Iranian skydivers about me, she expressed.

Akrami went on to explain that “now the same military men call me and invite me for skydiving events and I eagerly accept it.”

I love skydiving in the sky of Iran, she said, adding, my first skydiving in Iran was in the city of Kalaleh, Golestan Province, north of Iran. I saw the land of my country more colorful and more beautiful than the sceneries I had ever seen in the sky of Dubai, that was all desert.

Then I experienced another very beautiful skydiving in Gilan Province, north of Iran, watching beautiful landscapes I had never seen in Dubai, the brave skydiver of Iran explained.

Girls are not more scared of skydiving than men, said the lover of art of sewing, stating, when a skydiver, male or female board the plane, all presuppositions about the genders are vanished, equality is felt and everybody is thinking of doing the right performance, she exclaimed.

All world records of skydiving are for men and women together and never a women is considered less capable of men in skydiving, Akrami maintained.

Men’s physical power is more than women and in skydiving physical power is not a matter of importance, therefore, men and women are equal in skydiving, she continued.

There are many women who want many things but they do not try hard to gain it. If someone really wants something she should make her best to achieve it, Fatemeh told the Tehran Times.

I was not grown in a very rich family, but when I wanted to reach my goal I tried hard for it. I worked hard and collected money to reach my objective. I disregarded buying a better car, a good cell phone, even going to restaurants with my friends. I disregarded my small wishes in order to reach my great wish, she noted.

I deeply believe where there is a wish there should certainly be a will. Women should know that they should take steps themselves not waiting for others to help them, the determined girl concluded.




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