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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 9 Apr 2020, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Waleed Aly's Wife, Dr Susan Carland, Has Spoken About Being on The Receiving End of Hate-Filled Tweets

New Age Islam News Bureau

9 Apr 2020

Waleed Aly's wife Dr Susan Carland


• Waleed Aly's Wife, Dr Susan Carland, Has Spoken About Being on The Receiving End of Hate-Filled Tweets

• Muslim Woman Sues Police in Yonkers, New York, For Forced Hijab Removal

• Still Recovering from Islamic State Rule, Mosul's Women Lead The Fight Against Coronavirus

• Haifaa Al Mansour Hopeful About Future Of Saudi Film And Keen To Break Stereotypes About Arab Men

• Dubai Introduces 24-Hour Hotline To Report Child Abuse

• Two Pakistani Women Demanded Rights — One Irked The Mullahs, Other Was Killed

• Pakistani Women Leading Relief Activities In US

• Women Prisoners Should Be Allowed To Keep Their Children Until Attaining 6 Years Age

• University programme for Afghan women in Kazakhstan

• Women In Turkey ‘Weaving Networks Of Solidarity’ As Gender-Based Violence Rises

• Egypt's National Council Of Women Issues Women Policy Tracker During Covid-19 Pandemic

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau 



Waleed Aly's wife Dr Susan Carland posts hilarious and classy response to a vile racist troll who called her a 'traitor to white people' because she converted to Islam


9 April 2020

She's spoken openly about being on the receiving end of hate-filled Tweets and being the target of vile trolls.

And Waleed Aly's wife, Dr Susan Carland, delivered a hilarious and classy response to a racist troll on Wednesday, when she was sent a disgusting message over Instagram.

The truly shocking note branded the 40-year-old academic and TV host a 'traitor to white people' and slammed her for converting to Islam.

She's spoken openly about being on the receiving end of hate-filled Tweets and being the target of vile trolls. And Waleed Aly's wife, Dr Susan Carland, delivered a hilarious and classy response to a racist troll on Wednesday, when she was sent a disgusting message over Instagram

Dr Carland posted her epic response to Instagram not long after she received the nasty message. 'Mail's in!' she sarcastically wrote alongside a heart emoji. She then posted with a photo of WALL-E, a character from 2008 animated Disney film WALL-E

In November, the academic told The Huff Post she believes that children are not born racist, but instead learn hateful attitudes from the people around them.

She told the publication that while hosting her SBS quiz show, Child Genius, a contestant had a younger sister who would perform impressions of her, complete with a headscarf while playing dress-up.

Dr Carland said: 'Apparently his little sister, who is four or five, whenever she would take on the role of me, she would put on a headscarf. It was the cutest thing that I ever could have heard.

'I think it shows how kids, if something is portrayed to them as "it's not a big deal" or "this is just who someone is", kids can really just accept that.' 

The highly coveted award will allow Susan to travel the world in 2020, meeting and working with global experts involved in the fight against bigotry.

Speaking at Monash University, Susan said: 'Islamophobia, like any form of prejudice, is dangerous to everyone in our society.'


Muslim Woman Sues Police In Yonkers, New York, For Forced Hijab Removal


By Rowaida Abdelaziz

When Yonkers, New York, police demanded Ihsan Malkawi remove her hijab for her booking photograph, the 42-year-old Muslim woman became distraught.

She tried through tears to explain to the officers that she wore her hijab for religious reasons and it was not a fashion accessory. She explained to them that she does not take it off for photographs or be seen without it by any male members that aren’t her family.

The officers didn’t budge. They told Malkawi that the law required her to remove her hijab and be photographed without it. That’s not true, according to Malkawi’s attorneys. But at the time, Malkawi didn’t feel as if she had a choice. She took her hijab off only to have it taken away for photos, a night in jail and a court appearance.

“I just wanted them to respect my rights, but I felt like they didn’t care,” Malkawi told HuffPost. “From the first minute, I felt discriminated against.” 

On Wednesday, Malkawi and her attorneys filed a civil rights suit against Yonkers, arguing that the Yonkers Police Department violated her religious rights and that the department’s removal policy –– an obscure protocol that forces arrestees to remove religious head coverings while in custody –– violates the Constitution and should be abolished.

“It is unacceptable that the City of Yonkers would cling to a policy that degrades and humiliates Muslim women, and others, by forcing them to remove their head covering against their sincerely held religious beliefs. This policy is illegal,” said Ahmed Mohamed, litigation director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations - New York, which is representing Malkawi along with the law firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady. 

The lawsuit is one of several across the country and at least the third in New York state over police forcing Muslim women to remove their hijabs, which are often donned by observant Muslim women and cover their hair and neck. Like Sikh turbans or Jewish yarmulkes, such religious headwear does not obscure the face and is accepted in other legal documents, such as a U.S. passport and driver’s license. But Muslim women in multiple states have reported that they, like Malkawi, were told by police to take off their hijabs. Muslim women have been forced to turn to the courts for reprieve.

“There is no legitimate need for law enforcement to remove religious head coverings for mug shots or any other purpose,” said attorney Emma L. Freeman of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady. “In 2020, the state should not be coercing people in its custody to violate their religious beliefs.”

Other Muslim women have experienced similar treatment from police, both in New York and around the country. Lawyers from CAIR - NY and Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady filed a lawsuit against New York City in March 2018 after two incidents in which police officers forced Muslim women to remove their hijabs to be photographed while in custody. That lawsuit is ongoing. New York City is also facing a second complaint, filed in 2018, over its police department requiring two Muslim women to remove their hijabs and be photographed without them as well.

In Minnesota, a Muslim woman who says she was forced to remove her hijab in front of male jailers while taking a booking photo won her six-year legal battle in December. She ultimately received a $120,000 settlement from Ramsey County, Minnesota, which also agreed to change its correctional system procedures for female Muslim inmates and retrain its staff. In 2016, the same Minnesota county allegedly photographed another Muslim woman after forcing her to remove her hijab while in custody.

In California, a male police officer pulled a hijab off of a Muslim woman while she was in custody. She settled her lawsuit in August 2017. As of a result of the lawsuit, the Long Beach Police Department reversed its policy on religious head coverings.

Police in Portland, Maine, apologized for releasing photos of two Muslim women without their hijab in 2016 after promising the women the photos would be stored privately.

Last August, Malkawi met with Yonkers police officers at the local precinct alongside her husband and New York Child Protective Services to settle a family dispute with their adolescent child, who had raised allegations of physical abuse.

After the interview, police officers arrested Malkawi and her husband and demanded she remove her hijab for a booking photograph. Fearful of aggravating the officers who could escalate charges against her, Malkawi complied after her protests were ignored. According to the complaint, she was photographed twice without her hijab. 

After taking the photos, the officers confiscated her hijab and left her exposed for the duration of her arrest, including her overnight stay in the holding cell while multiple men walked by.

The next day, Malkawi was ordered to appear in City Court, still without her hijab. Law enforcement didn’t return her hijab until her release nearly 36 hours later. “With her head and hair exposed against her will, Ms. Malkawi felt terrified, helpless, and violated,” according to the complaint.

New York Child Protective Services deemed the allegations against the parents unfounded, but the YPD still maintained at least two photographs of Malkawi without her hijab, according to the lawsuit. The existence of the photos is distressing for Malkawi, who is worried that other men can look at her uncovered photo, the lawsuit says.

Nearly a year later, Malkawi said she hasn’t recovered from the incident. She said she feels traumatized and suffers from uncontrollable flashbacks and nightmares. In the first month after the incident, she started seeing a psychiatrist for depression and anxiety.

“My whole life was no longer normal,” she said. “I’ve been through a lot of stress and anxiety and nightmares. I’m still suffering, to be honest.”

The lawyers asked that the YPD follow the precedent set in California, Minnesota, Michigan, Maine and elsewhere to reverse its policy in what “reflects a growing national consensus that there is no basis to require the removal of religious head coverings of arrestees while they are in police custody,” and to bring the department in alignment with Muslim women’s constitutional rights.

“This is important for me and for every Muslim. I want our voice to be heard,” said Malkawi. “I hope this will never happen to any sister.”


Still recovering from Islamic State rule, Mosul's women lead the fight against coronavirus

6 April, 2020

Women in Mosul have been leading the response to the deadly coronavirus as it sweeps across northern Iraq, aiding the country's fragile health system as it struggles to cope with the pandemic.

Mosul was liberated from the Islamic State (IS) in July 2017 after a hard-fought nine-month battle waged by Iraqi forces and a US-led coalition devastated the city's infrastructure and medical facilities, which IS had previously used as military bases and weapons factories.

A lack of support from the central government has forced local organisations in Mosul to take responsibility for rebuilding what has been destroyed since 2014.

Iraq's economy depends on foreign countries for imports - largely from China - but since the coronavirus pandemic that trade has partially stopped, putting Iraqis in the challenging position of both fighting the pandemic and finding alternative means to replenish medical supplies.

Aseel Subhi, in her mid-50s, works at the Jud Humanitarian Organization for Development and Construction, a local NGO based in Mosul which focuses on empowering women.

She spends up to eight hours a day sitting behind sewing machines to produce disposal masks and medical gowns to equip local markets and pharmacies.

Subhi is not just a worker, but also trains the new female employees to teach them the art of sewing. "I have been working in the organisation for a year, and empower women to improve themselves to be 'productive women'," she told The New Arab.

"To continue our work, we want the government to provide us with enough electricity to help us in doing our jobs and produce enough quantities of masks for people in need," Subhi said.

Providing electricity was also a key demand of the recent protest movement in the country, along with fundamental rights, jobs, an end to corruption, and freedom of speech.

But after Iraqi security forces responded with brutal violence, many felt it was time for a wholesale change of the current government.

"Despite the difficult situation we work under, at least women are allowed to work and go out, as it was forbidden under the rule of Daesh".

Layla al-Barazanchi, the head of the organisation where Subhi works, said her NGO had responded quickly to the pandemic to produce disposable masks and other critical items.

"Luckily, we have enough raw materials to sew masks and other necessary items to contain the virus infection. We are doing our best to cover the city's demands. We sell masks at a price so that individuals can buy them easily," she told TNA.

Barazanchi founded the NGO after Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, was officially freed from IS on 10 July, 2017. It specialises in supporting widows and divorced women by teaching a trade that will benefit them in their lives and help support their families.

"Since Iraq announced its first coronavirus case, our NGO has only produced face masks and medical bedsheets," Barazanchi said.

Aseel and other workers are paid a monthly salary of around 500,000 Iraqi dinars ($420) to support their families. On average, they produce more than 500 masks a day, which they sell for 250 dinars ($0.20) per mask.

"We never fear as long as we are following the precautionary measures: wearing protective masks, gloves, and avoiding shaking hands," workers told The New Arab.

Iraq's total confirmed coronavirus cases stand at 1,031 with 64 reported deaths. In Mosul, only five confirmed cases have been reported.

Like other Iraqi provinces, Mosul's authorities have imposed widespread measures to contain the virus. Schools and universities are suspended, public places and coffee shops are closed, parties have been cancelled, and security authorities have announced curfews for the foreseeable future.

"I am so happy to see local NGOs and youth initiatives unifying to contain the deadly Covid-19. Women have done such an incredible job in making masks which meet medical standards and requirements," Bashar al-Taie, a doctor specialised in family and community medicine, told TNA.

Mother of three Ruqaya Rasheed, another worker in the NGO, said that she joined after losing her husband during the battle to liberate Mosul from IS. 

"After the government abandoned us, this NGO welcomed us to work and help us stand. My colleagues and I work like a beehive to produce disposable masks. Containing coronavirus is the responsibility of everyone".

Mohammed Salim, 35, a local resident from Mosul told The New Arab that while the masks are vital in protecting people, local businessmen have hiked up the prices due to high demand, with not all citizens able to afford them.

"I am worried about coronavirus due to the fragility of medical services in the state's hospitals, which have been devastated since the city was liberated from the old virus, IS," Salim said. 

"The curfew has brought me back to the IS period, but we can contain the virus if people follow the medical instructions".

Azhar Al-Rubaie is a freelance journalist based in Iraq. His writing focuses on a variety of issues, including politics, health, society, wars, and human rights. Follow him on Twitter: @AzherRubaie


Haifaa Al Mansour hopeful about future of Saudi film and keen to break stereotypes about Arab men

Samia Badih

April 9, 2020

When asked about the state of filmmaking in Saudi Arabia in a digital talk on Wednesday night, filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour said she was very hopeful.

"Saudi has a lot of stories to tell," The Perfect Candidate director said, adding that filmmaking in Saudi Arabia is still an industry finding its roots, but that the opening of cinemas and film production will see things progress.

"We don't really have casting agents or location scouters, so the elements that make the industry smoother are still missing, but it will eventually come," she said.

After its festival run was cut short due to the coronavirus outbreak, her latest filmThe Perfect Candidate has been released digitally.

The film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year, was scheduled to show in the Arab world for the first time at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia, but the festival was cancelled due to concerns around Covid-19.

he Perfect Candidate captures a society that is in transformation through the story of Miriam, a female Saudi doctor who challenges the patriarchal system by running for municipal office in order to fix the road leading up to her clinic.

Speaking during an online Q&A held by the Arab British Centre, Al Mansour said the film will still see a Middle East release. "Our plans changed, but we will definitely release in April or May in the Middle East, depending on how the situation develops."

he Perfect Candidate captures a society that is in transformation through the story of Miriam, a female Saudi doctor who challenges the patriarchal system by running for municipal office in order to fix the road leading up to her clinic.

Speaking during an online Q&A held by the Arab British Centre, Al Mansour said the film will still see a Middle East release. "Our plans changed, but we will definitely release in April or May in the Middle East, depending on how the situation develops."

Al Mansour thinks it's important to move beyond stereotypes in film, giving an example of how the father figure in Middle Eastern literature is often depicted as abusive.

"Not all fathers are like that; there are people who are soft spoken and kind and not shy to show some emotions and cry, and that is my father and I think it's very important to celebrate images like that because hopefully Middle Eastern men see themselves in that."

As Saudi's first major female film director, Al Mansour currently works and lives in the United States with her family.

"I'll be working in Hollywood after making a film in Saudi Arabia, so maybe after a couple of films here I'll go back home and do something again in Saudi."

Al Mansour has helmed English-language films such as Mary Shelley and Nappily Ever After, while her Arabic film Wadjda, set in Saudi, received much critical acclaim.


Dubai introduces 24-hour hotline to report child abuse

April 08, 2020

Dubai:Following the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, to enhance child protection programmes, the Community Development Authority (CDA) announced a unified hotline to provide community members with a 24-hour channel to report cases of abuse, neglect and violence against children.

The hotline will help ensure immediate follow-up of cases with clear procedures and reporting of abuse. The initiative assumes significance in light of the prevailing distance education policy and the current circumstances keeping children away from educational and health institutions.

CDA explained that the decision to unify the hotline was made after several meetings with stakeholders in Dubai aimed at improving child protection efforts in the emirate. During the meetings, stakeholders discussed the current reporting procedures that help in decreasing child abuse cases, the efficiency of systems being used and the responsibilities of concerned entities in handling the reports. Following the discussions, a new plan of action for child protection was adopted.

Through the new system, CDA will receive all reports through its 24/7 hotline (800988). Subsequently, a CDA official will evaluate the cases according to their severity. Each case will be assigned to one of its child protection specialists who would then conduct field visits and take appropriate action in coordination with the concerned entities.

CDA will handle the cases in coordination with the Dubai Police GHQ, Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, Personal Status Court, Disciplinary Court, Public Prosecution and Juvenile Prosecution based on the nature and level of abuse.

CDA cited Article 42 of the UAE Child Rights Law ‘Wadeema’ which stipulates that teachers, physicians, social care specialists, or those required to protect, educate or take care of children, are obligated to report any case of child abuse. Furthermore, Article 44 of the law protects the identity of informants, witnesses and involved parties, unless given with consent. CDA added that this provision enhances child rights protection and encourages community members to report any case of abuse.

CDA emphasised that the integrated hotline will contribute to the establishment of a centralised database in Dubai for monitoring and following up on cases of abuse. Prior to the new hotline, reports were received from various authorities in Dubai, either through the CDA, the Dubai Police or the Women and Children Care Foundation, making it difficult to monitor the situation of the children.

CDA also stated that it began monitoring incoming communications early this year, which will be followed up periodically until the situation in the family stabilises and the best protection for the child is ensured in an environment that supports proper growth and development.

In addition to adequately monitoring the situation that ensures the best interests of the child, an integrated database for monitoring cases of abuse contributes to identifying new measures and procedures to reduce child abuse cases, exploitation and neglect, enhancing the child’s health and psychological and physical integrity. It also facilitates the appropriate follow up required for some cases of abuse.

Several qualified and trained employees of the Authority are working 24/7 to receive reports of abuse. The staff have knowledge of the Child Rights Law and are trained on how to receive the reports and maintain the confidentiality of the person who reported the case. They are also responsible for evaluating incoming reports based on an assessment form to determine the severity of the situation and the procedures that must be followed immediately to deal with the communication as well as monitor the communication based on consolidated data. The employees speak fluent Arabic and English and have emotional intelligence skills to deal with the psychological state of the person who reported the case in the best possible way.

After receiving the report, social workers in the Authority and those who have obtained judicial authority to work in the field and intervene in cases of abuse are asked to go to directly study the case in the field. They are given instructions to verify the accuracy of the communication and address it accordingly in cooperation with concerned authorities such as Dubai Police, the Prosecution or the Women and Children Care Foundation, according to the nature of each situation.

Ahmed Julfar, Director General of the CDA, said: “The unified hotline comes at a stage that requires simplifying the procedures and unifying the channels to ensure children’s protection in the current circumstances. It provides greater ease in the procedures for reporting cases of abuse and neglect. The hotline also guarantees confidentiality of the person reporting the incident and speeds up action on the abuse cases. It also encourages the detection of all cases of abuse and neglect. Additionally, the hotline will facilitate the monitoring of these cases in order to establish preventive measures and programmes to enhance the protection of children and ensure their development in an environment that supports their development.


Two Pakistani women demanded rights — one irked the mullahs, other was killed


9 April, 2020


By the time Asma Jahangir was 18 years old, her father, a retired bureaucrat turned politician, had been imprisoned several times for public protest. And while she learned to stand up for what was right from her parents, being fearless came naturally to her. As a young student at a conventrun school in Lahore, she rallied to change how the head girl was selected. Asma demanded there be ‘at least a semblance of an election’, instead of a girl being chosen by the nuns, as was tradition. The school administration eventually agreed, while retaining veto power.

It was the year 1971, however, that marked her formal entry into a lifetime of public struggle and activism. Her father had been imprisoned yet again, this time by the then President, General Yahya Khan. Asma filed a petition for his release in the Lahore High Court, which was dismissed. She later said, ‘Courts were not new to me. Even before his detention, my father remained in jail . . . we were not allowed to go see him there. We always saw him in courts. So for me, the courts were a place where you dressed up to see your father.’ Unfazed, young Asma appealed to the Supreme Court. When Yahya Khan’s rule ended in 1972, the courts declared the imprisonment illegal and Asma won her very first case. The young girl had found her calling and she was off to law school!

However, she was forced to drop out when she fell in love and got married; the college had a strict policy disallowing married women from attending. Asma persevered, unstoppable in her goal to become a lawyer, and managed to complete her degree. She went on to set up the very first female law firm in the country, specializing in divorce and custody, with her sister and two friends.

Asma was known for her immense courage and her unwavering strength and capacity to stand against forces that would crush the oppressed. Even when placed under house arrest for fighting a law that discriminated against women and religious minorities under the pretext of Islamization, she persisted. She risked life and limb when she stepped out on the streets and spoke out on public television and later, on her spirited twitter account. She never stopped calling out those in power who perpetuated misogyny in the name of religion, and spread violence and intolerance.

Asma was a founding member of the Women’s Action Forum (read more about this on page 89), a feminist movement that started in the 1980s, and established the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She became the very first woman president of the Supreme Court Bar Association in 1983. Asma not only battled religious injustices, she also fought for the rights of women, minorities, for freedom to choose whom you marry, and opposed bonded labour and the controversial blasphemy law, managing to irk many—from the military to the mullahs. When she passed away in 2018, Pakistan mourned the loss of a great woman who did more for its democratic and inclusive future than any other person in recent history.

No one expected Qandeel Baloch to become a feminist icon for young women in the country. Known as Pakistan’s ‘Kim Kardashian’, she had been infamous for her racy social media content. Born as Fauzia Azeem in a conservative and patriarchal part of rural Punjab, she was raised where women had no voice and were expected to obey the men in their life. Fauzia was married when she was only 17 years of age, to a man she disliked. She walked out of the marriage, which was abusive—something many accused her of making up, and took refuge in a women’s shelter in Multan with her son. When the child fell ill, Fauzia was forced to give him up. But she continued to reclaim her life, completing her education and struggling to make ends meet through low-paying jobs until she finally broke into the entertainment industry as Qandeel Baloch.

She started small—cheap fashion shows, small shoots and even a failed audition for Pakistan Idol—but soon made a successful career out of dramatic and catty television appearances. She reconnected with her family, moving her parents to her house and financing her sister’s wedding and dowry. But she kept her two lives separate. No one outside her family knew that Qandeel and Fauzia were the same person.

As she grew her persona, Qandeel became bolder. She began using social media to push the envelope on how women are expected to behave in public, pouting and posing provocatively and asking followers unsettling questions like, ‘How am I looking?’. Pakistan was in equal parts intrigued and appalled. Some called her shameless, others admired her ability to do as she liked. Gradually and perhaps without design, Qandeel’s coy online familiarities took on a more serious agenda. She began to leverage her celebrity status to empower women, her voice resonating among progressive Pakistani society. ‘As a women [sic], we must stand up for ourselves . . . As a women [sic], we must stand up for justice. I am a modern day feminist . . . I am just a women [sic] with free thoughts, free mindset and I LOVE THE WAY I AM.’

While Qandeel remained unabashedly vocal about the patriarchy, the release of her music video mocking the limits placed on Pakistani women had her spooked. She had seen money and mobility come her way as Qandeel but continued to feel the lack of freedom and the effects of her patriarchal family as Fauzia. This controversial video became her last when the press uncovered the identity of the ‘real Baloch’. On 15 July 2016, eighteen days after this reveal, Qandeel was killed by her brother for actions that he felt ‘dishonoured’ the family.

Qandeel’s life has been revisited on television and most recently, in a book entitled The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch. Because sensational she was! This feisty woman, who came from nowhere and with nothing, had singlehandedly managed to grab the attention of an entire nation to make a name for herself. ‘I don’t know HOW many girls have felt support through my persona. I’m a girl power. So many girls tell me I’m a girl power, and yes, I am.’

This excerpt from Fearless written by Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui and illustrations by Aziza Ahmad has been published with permission from Penguin Random House India.


Pakistani women leading relief activities in US

Mohsin Raza

APRIL 9, 2020

Pakistani women in the US have taken the lead role regarding provision of relief activities against coronavirus both in the US and Pakistan.

Syma Nadeem, PTI MNA and Parliamentary secretary for interprovincial coordination, who is currently in USA told that women entrepreneurs and philanthropists who are Pakistani by birth and living in USA were united to save the efectees of corona virus. She told that the target is to collect donations of 5 million rupees and to send it to Pakistan to help the victims of coronavirus.

Fauzia Qasuri, famous politician and philanthropist said that US government has acknowledged the role of Pakistani Americans for serving various communities in United States. She was referring to the statement of US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells who has appreciated Pakistani Americans for provision of food and assistance both in Pakistan and United States.

Moona Shahab, Director NCWE (National Centre for Women Entrepreneurs) said “I have been living in USA for the past thirty years but our hearts beat with the people of Pakistan. Whenever we, the Pakistani Americans see that our people in Pakistan have been hit by any mishap, we put all possible efforts to support our country fellows. Women in USA have been collectively working for provision ration, healthcare facilities and guidance our communities living in USA.

Ayesha Khan, CEO CDC (Children Development Centre) said that coronavirus is a global challenge. It is the time that we all should get united to tackle with this challenge. She said that children and the elderly people have been hard hit by this pandemic because they have low immunity. She said that teams of the volunteers have been constituted for provision of relief services both in Karachi and the US. Commissioner for Women Affairs at Maryland Department of Human Services Ishrat Memon said that everyone should do whatever one can do to help the victims of covid-19. She said that women here have been providing free meals in Pakistani communities. Every little deed counts for something greater good, she added.


Women Prisoners Should Be Allowed To Keep Their Children Until Attaining 6 Years Age

Muhammad Irfan

08th April 2020

ISLAMABAD, Apr 8 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 8th Apr, 2020 ) :Women prisoners should be allowed to keep their children with them in prison at least until they attain the age of six, said Dr.Rania Ahsan Advisor Ombudsman in her report "Strengthening the Realization of the Rights of Children and Women Detainees in Pakistan" here on Wednesday.

She said the decision as to when a child from prison was to be separated from the mother was based on individual assessment and for the best interest of child, she added.

She hailed that the children in prison with their mothers were always treated with special food, milk and other healthy food items.

She added thatalthough proper facilities were provided to the children but the child should not be considered as prisoners with their mothers.

She said an environment similar to that of outside should be provided for such children's upbringing, adding after children's separation from their mothers they should be given maximum opportunities and facilities, she added in her report.


University programme for Afghan women in Kazakhstan

Apr 8, 2020

Kazakhstan, the UN, and the EU are working together on a programme to educate Afghan women.

Through this programme, a select number of students will study in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The UN and Kazakh government would like to expand the programme in the future, to give more women the chance to attend the two universities.

The initiative is expected to help create new opportunities for the women and their communities back in Afghanistan.


Women in Turkey ‘weaving networks of solidarity’ as gender-based violence rises

APRIL 8, 2020

WOMEN in Turkey are building a network of solidarity and resistance in a bid to “stay alive,” warning that the risk of violence has been increased by allowing abusers to return home under coronavirus measures.

Rights groups have said that a decision by the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) on March 20 undermines Law 6284, which is aimed at “protecting women and the family from violence.”

They say that the protection of women must be taken into consideration during the crisis, warning that in reality policy now means: “Let violent men return to their homes.”

As reported in the Morning Star, women’s shelters are in crisis, with many across Turkey forced to close their doors despite rising gender-based violence.

Women’s Defence Network spokeswoman Buse Ucer said that “women feel the threat of being killed,” but added: “We will not despair.”

She said that the network had been contacted by many women, including large numbers of nurses and health workers, during the crisis.

Interior minister Suleyman Soylu acknowledged that 73 percent of women murdered last year were killed in their own homes.

But the group lamented the lack of funding and support for women’s shelters, with a lack of capacity meaning that women have nowhere to turn to if they experience violence in the home.

“When we say ‘we want to live,’ we actually want all the beauties of life. We demand our right to be protected from violence,” she insisted.

“And we urgently want the hotline for violence against women to be operated 24/7. We want transparent information about shelters.”


Egypt's National Council of Women issues women policy tracker during Covid-19 pandemic

Apr. 7, 2020

CAIRO - 7 April 2020: The National Council for Women has issued its women policy tracker on responsive policies and programs during the new COVID-19 Pandemic.

The National Council for Women announced the issuance of the first edition of the women policy tracker that monitors the policies & measures responding to the needs of women, which were taken by the Egyptian government during the efforts to contain the spread of the covid-19 emerging from 14 March to 6 April, 2020; where the report included an analysis of the existing situation.

Dr. Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women, confirmed that this report comes with the aim of monitoring all policies & procedures taken by the government in response to the needs of Egyptian women; designing an easier tool that can be used as reference by decision makers for more collaborative vision on means of moving forward; as well as documenting the coordinated efforts of the government; & ref




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