unveiled Iranian women mark International Women's Day on Tehran's Valiasr
Street, March 8, 2019, holding a red sign that says the occasion brings hope
for a just world for all humanity.
Court to Decide On Freedom to Wear Burqas In Schools
of Prominent Saudi Woman Activist, Loujain Al-Hathloul, To Start This Week
Accuses Women’s March of Disrespecting Islam
Muslim Malaysia, Uproar over LGBT Groups at Women's Day March
Mother, Like Daughters: Saudi Family Share A Passion For Music
News Rebukes Its Star Host After She Questioned Ilhan Omar's Hijab
Of Govt Jobs Set Aside For Women: Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission
How Afghan Women Are Trying To Empower Others in Society
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Appear Unveiled in Tehran on Women's Day
groups of Iranian women celebrated International Women's Day by appearing
publicly unveiled in Tehran and calling on Iranians to support their defiance
of mandatory veiling in the Islamist nation.
Persian received and verified a video clip showing two unveiled women marking
Friday's occasion by holding a red sign and speaking to a camera on Valiasr
Street, one of the Iranian capital's main thoroughfares. Their sign said
International Women's Day is a promise of a just world for all humanity.
the video, the women call for an end to what they see as systematic injustice
against women in Iran. "Separation of the sexes doesn't bring security to
women, it brings violence," says one of the activists. "The scale of
freedom in society should be measured by the freedom of women," says the
another video clip sent to Masih Alinejad, the freelance host of VOA Persian's
Tablet program, and shared by her on social media, several unveiled women hand
out flowers to conservatively dressed women wearing black chadors in a
women's-only Tehran Metro train car.
of the unveiled activists says the date is March 8 and praises Iranian women as
strong and resilient, before wishing them a happy International Women's Day.
unveiled activist and a seated woman in a chador exchange kisses on the cheeks,
with the activist saying she hopes that one day, women who want to wear a hijab
and those who do not will come together and not judge each other. Several other
women in chadors appear uncomfortable with the Metro encounter, which the
activists recorded on a phone.
another development, Alinejad reported that two Iranian women who shared with
her a video of themselves walking unveiled on a street in the western city of
Kangavar last week have been arrested.
told VOA Persian that a relative of one of the two women sent her a message
confirming that the pair were detained after their unveiled walk on Feb. 27.
the video, a narrator who identifies himself as the husband of one of the two
women says they are filming the walk as part of a "White Wednesdays"
campaign, backed by Alinejad, in which women in Iran appear unveiled in public.
Telegram channel of a Kangavar news site posted a March 3 message from a group
of conservative women in the city, condemning what they called the ugly act of
the unveiled walk and calling on authorities to deal with the perpetrators.
has been no word on the fate of the two women in Kangavar in Iranian state
writ was filed in response to students being harassed over wearing Burqas to
classroom, petitioners say
High Court will dispose of a rule on ensuring female students’ right to wear
burka in schools on March 14.
bench of Justice Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal will hear
arguments from the state’s attorneys on that day and rule on the writ petition.
lawyer, Sheikh Omar Sharif, presented his case in front of the bench on Sunday.
and Advocate Md Ahsan filed the writ on January 17 on behalf of Daily Al Ehsan
and Al Bayinat magazine Editor Allama Md Mahbub Alam, and Allama Abur Khayer Md
Azizullah, the khatib of Taj Jama Mosque in Dhaka.
lawyer says the writ is a response to incidents of harassment of schoolgirls
who wore Burqas to class. It seeks an order on effective measures to ensure the
right of female students to wear Burqas in the classroom. It has also sought a
rule as to why action will not be taken against schools and headmasters who
prevented students from wearing Burqas. The education secretary, home secretary
and director general of Directorate of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education
were made respondents to the writ.
have been harassed over wearing the burkha. We previously sent a legal notice
to the education secretary, home secretary and director general of Directorate
of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education to take necessary measures against
this,” Omar told Bangla Tribune.
there was no response to the notice, we filed a writ with the High Court,” he
writ says the petitioners are aggrieved by the harassment of female students
over wearing burkha.
claimed that a teacher of Chittagong city’s Maijpara Mahmudunnabi Chowdhury
High School scolded a student and threw her out of the class for wearing
next day the headmaster insulted the girl’s mother when she went to lodge an
appeal, it said.
writ claimed that all Muslims are obligated to wear religious attire, and as
such anyone has the right to wear their religious clothing over their uniforms.
41 of the constitution guarantees the right of all citizens to accept and
observe any religion, and therefore preventing students from wearing the burkha
infringes on their constitutional right, the writ said.
bans around the world
are 12 countries in the world that have instituted a regional or national ban
on the wearing of Burqas by women, including eight European nations.
is the leading proponent of this ban. The country banned the display of any religious
symbol in public schools in 2004. In 2010 it introduced a law that banned the
covering of face in public places, touting security concerns.
African nations banned the burkha after terrorists used them to carry out
suicide bombing attacks.
only Muslim majority country to have such a ban in place is Turkey, which
prohibits wearing the veil for women working in public institutions.
trial of Loujain al-Hathloul, one of nearly a dozen prominent Saudi Arabian
women's rights activists jailed since last year, will begin on Wednesday, her
family has said.
of other activists, intellectuals and clerics have been arrested separately in
the past two years in an apparent bid to stamp out opposition to Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman, who has consolidated power, including through a sweeping
sister @LoujainHathloul will be having her first trial session next Wednesday
at 8am at the specialised court in Riyadh. This is the court [that] deals with
terrorism cases," her brother Walid wrote on Sunday on Twitter.
said she was not allowed to have a lawyer and had not been provided with a list
public prosecutor said last June that five men and four women had been arrested
and held on suspicion of harming the country's interests and offering support
to hostile elements abroad. Saudi media widely denounced them as traitors.
was unclear if the other detainees will also stand trial this week.
claim some detainees, including 29-year-old Hathloul, were held in solitary
confinement and subjected to mistreatment and torture, including electric
shocks, flogging, and sexual assault. Saudi officials have denied those
allegations as "false". The arrests have intensified international
criticism of Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last
October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul sparked global outrage.
dozen countries, including all 28 European Union members, called on Riyadh last
week to release the activists, the first rebuke of the kingdom at the United
Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) since it was set up in 2006.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his British counterpart have also said they
raised the issue with the Saudi authorities during recent visits.
Saudi government communications office did not immediately respond to a request
for comment, but the public prosecutor's office said earlier this month it had
completed its investigations of the detainees and was preparing their trials.
who advocated an end to a ban on women driving and the kingdom's male
guardianship system, was previously jailed for 73 days in 2014 after she
attempted to drive into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates.
driving ban was lifted in June, weeks after she was rearrested. The
guardianship system, which requires women to obtain the consent of a male
relative for major decisions, remains intact.
thousand women had gathered in central Istanbul on Friday evening for a march
to celebrate International Women's Day but police fired tear gas to disperse
President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday accused a women's march in central Istanbul
on Friday of disrespecting Islam by booing the Islamic call to prayer.
an election rally broadcast on television on Sunday, Mr. Erdogan showed a video
taken during the protest, showing women chanting while a nearby mosque was
reciting the call to prayer.
disrepected the Azan [call to prayer] by slogans, booing and whistling,” Mr.
Erdogan told the crowd.
who took part in the march said on Twitter the chanting and whistling was part
of the demonstration and was not aimed at the call to prayer, which began
during their protest.
police regularly prevent protests in central Istanbul and elsewhere. Ankara
tightened restrictions after the imposition of emergency rule following an
attempted coup in 2016. The state of emergency was lifted last July.
Erdogan's rally was ahead of local elections on March 31 for mayors and
LUMPUR (REUTERS) - A Malaysian minister has decried the presence of lesbian,
gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups at a march celebrating
International Women's Day on Saturday (March 9), calling it "a misuse of
statement comes amid concerns over growing persecution of the LGBT community in
the Muslim-majority country, where sodomy and other same-sex acts are outlawed.
Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in September last year that Malaysia could not
accept same-sex marriage or LGBT rights.
Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the minister in charge of religious affairs, said the
government did not recognise LGBT practices as lawful.
am very shocked with the actions of certain parties... that misused democratic
space in order to defend things that are wrong from the point of view of
Islam," he said in a statement posted on his Facebook account on Saturday
groups condemning the presence of LGBT activists at the march include Parti
Se-Islam Malaysia (PAS), a conservative Islamic party, and the United Malay
National Organisation (UMNO), which ruled Malaysia for six decades before being
toppled by Tun Dr Mahathir's coalition last year.
of people marched through the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Saturday calling for
greater women's rights, media reported.
rally's organisers, led by women's rights groups, said the focus on the LGBT
community was a distraction from key demands, such as calls for a dignified
minimum wage, a ban on child marriage, and an end to patriarchy and violence
based on gender and sexual orientation.
attention was made to single out and target the presence of LGBT
participants," the march's organising committee said in a statement
borders on incitement to hatred and violence towards a section of Malaysian
society who are already at risk and facing multiple forms of
attack on the LGBT community is the latest in a series of incidents in the past
few months that civil rights groups say illustrate growing hostility against
gay and transgender people in Malaysia.
Mujahid had previously come under fire for ordering the removal of portraits of
two LGBT activists from an art exhibition.
September, two lesbians were caned for "attempting lesbian sex" in
Terengganu, a conservative state in Malaysia's east. Dr Mahathir later
denounced the punishment, saying it "did not reflect the justice or
compassion of Islam".
describes oral and anal sex as against the order of nature. Civil law
stipulates jail for up to 20 years, caning and fines for offenders, although
enforcement of the law is rare.
are also governed by state-level Islamic laws, most of which carry provisions
outlawing cross-dressing and same-sex acts.
Nada and Carine Hamzah grew up in a family that appreciates music and beauty.
Their parents exposed them to music at a young age and were keen to provide
them with music education from professionals.
mother, Dania Gazzaz, an art instructor, told Arab News: “All my family members
played some music instrument somehow; we’ve always been around music
is essential because it helps children “develop all areas of the brain, and
also expresses mood and the personality of the individual,” she said.
remember when I was younger that if I was upset, I used to release those
emotions through the piano,” she added.
believes that learning music and playing musical instruments enhance children’s
cognitive and academic skills.
made my three children mindful, alert and focused on what they put their minds
to. Music is a plus for kids.”
have shown that music can significantly improve a child’s pattern recognition
and mental representation scores, which means that children with musical
backgrounds excel in school.
25, enjoys playing Arabic music on the piano “because I really like the tunes.”
family, in general, enjoyed music. My dad really enjoyed it, and my mom played
the piano well,” she said.
did her undergraduate studies in neuroscience in the US and is a co-host of
Direction Podcast. She views music as a hobby that she enjoys with friends and
think it is important to learn music — it requires another level of
concentration and it works on the different parts of your brain.”
musical journey began at Jeddah private school. “I used to enjoy singing along
with the teacher, who used to play the piano, and then I began learning the
piano,” she said.
journey has had some ups and downs. “I used to take classes, but I stopped many
times, and I had a few issues with instructors,” she said.
was frustrating because I had to learn the basics all over again, and that made
me not take the tests. I do take classes from time to time.”
15, is a high school student who plays piano and guitar, takes theory lessons,
and is a talented singer, too. She has been performing in plays at her school
for the past three years and has also performed at public events.
it comes to singing, I enjoy musical theater and modern pop songs,” she said.
“I like the classical and romantic periods the most, and I appreciate 20th
century composers much more now because before I didn’t really understand
parents are eager to develop her talent and provide her with the best musical
joined the renowned Juilliard School summer camp in Switzerland last year, and
has been invited to join the school again because of her impressive
her parents struggle to find professional music tutors for their daughters in
the Kingdom. “One of the obstacles we have is it is always difficult to find
teachers in the first place. When we find them, they are usually teachers from
abroad. It is so hard to find local professional or Middle Eastern teachers,”
said the family had tried for years to find professional tutors to teach their
daughters Arabic music and singing. “For the past two years, we have been
searching for teachers to teach her professional Arabic singing, and couldn’t
find anybody. Now we have found two teachers — one in Lebanon and the other in
to learn professional Arabic singing, we have to go next vacation to Egypt in
April for two weeks,” she said.
the new changes in Saudi Arabia, the family hope to see more professional music
education institutions opening “where we can learn our old songs and authentic
need to learn music in a proper and educational manner, rather than the current
randomness. We have seen super-talented people, but they do not have the
teacher’s attitude. I’ve also seen so many talented girls who are trying to
learn musical instruments and finding it hard to get professional teachers.”
said: “Because music wasn’t regulated in any sense, often you would find
yourself mixing with an unregulated crowd that could be dangerous. One thing
that I’m hopeful for is that now that music is regulated, you feel kind of safe
for getting involved.”
believes music can be an agent for positive change if it is properly
appreciated because “it brings charm and happiness to people.”
government is aiming to encourage young talent in the Saudi entertainment
industry as part of the Vision 2030 program.
a rare rebuke of one of its star hosts, Fox News condemned Jeanine Pirro late
Sunday for questioning whether Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's Islamic religious
beliefs stand in opposition to the US Constitution.
strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro's comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar," Fox News
said in a statement. "They do not reflect those of the network and we have
addressed the matter with her directly."
statements about Israel by Omar, a freshman Democratic lawmaker, have landed
her in hot water with members of both parties.
suggested on her Saturday show that Omar's beliefs about Israel stem from her
religion. Omar is Somali-American and a practicing Muslim who wears a religious
head-covering called a hijab.
about it: Omar wears a hijab," Pirro said on her "Justice" show
on Fox News. "Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her
adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States
was denounced by figures on both the left and the right on Sunday.
Stephens, a conservative columnist for The New York Times, said Pirro "is
a disgrace." He said "every healthy democracy needs a healthy
conservative movement," but "Fox News has become the chief driver in
making that movement intemperate, idiotic, and illiberal."
Fox News staffer pushed back on Pirro's statements. Hufsa Kamal, a producer on
Fox's "Special Report with Bret Baier," tweeted: "@JudgeJeanine
can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America
or women who wear a hijab aren't American enough? You have Muslims working at
the same network you do, including myself."
her own statement on Sunday night, Pirro didn't apologize, saying the intention
of her comments "was to ask a question and start a debate."
course because one is Muslim does not mean you don't support the
Constitution," she said. "I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any
time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today."
is a longtime critic of Israel's Palestinian policies and a proponent of the
Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement in the United States to condemn Israel's
stances are not anti-Semitic. But Omar has made several statements about Israel
over the past few months that echo common anti-Semitic expressions about dual
allegiances, Jewish money and power.
example, she questioned why it is acceptable for supporters of Israel "to
push for allegiance to a foreign country." In response to journalist Glenn
Greenwald's tweet about politicians' support of Israel, Omar replied,
"It's all about the Benjamins baby." And in response to a question
about who she believes pays American politicians to be pro-Israel, Omar
responded "AIPAC!" refering to the pro-Israel lobby group.
Omar's latest controversial statement about Israel supporters, the House of
Representatives on Thursday passed a resolution broadly condemning hate and
intolerance, including anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination.
are tremendously proud to be part of a body that has put forth a condemnation
of all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism, and white
supremacy," said Omar in a joint statement with fellow Democratic
Congressmen Rashida Tlaib and Andre Carson -- all three of the Muslim members
of the US Congress.
a time when extremism is on the rise, we must explicitly denounce religious
intolerance of all kinds and acknowledge the pain felt by all
communities," they said. "Our nation is having a difficult
conversation and we believe this is great progress."
question about Omar's allegiances are similar to Omar's questions about Israel
supporters' allegiances: As Omar asked why it is acceptable for Americans to be
pro-Israel, Pirro questioned how a Muslim could follow Islamic religious law
and American constitutional law at the same time.
law refers to a set of principles that govern the moral and religious lives of
Muslims. Muslims' adherence to Sharia varies in the United States and around
the world. As with all major religions, scholars have interpreted the Quran and
other religious texts in myriad ways, and Muslims from different sects, regions
and countries practice differently and with varying degrees of observance.
garb, including hijabs, habits, yarmulkes and other adornments, are protected
speech in the United States. Pirro's comments echo a common anti-Islamic belief
that Muslims have allegiances to Sharia law over American law.
— Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission (HRC) has said that one third of all
government jobs in the country are set aside for Saudi women.
Justice Ministry and the Public Prosecution alone employed 4,495 women,
Al-Madina Arabic newspaper said quoting an HRC report.
report said all the government ministries and departments were making efforts
to empower women, consolidate their rights and ensure their participation in
the development process.
said as many as 220 Saudi women have joined the Ministry of Justice since it
opened the door for them last year.
commission said women worked as social, Shariah and legal researchers,
administrative assistants and computer program developers.
said 418 Saudi women lawyers have obtained licenses to practice, adding that
the number of licenses issued to women lawyers rose by 240 percent.
commission said as many as 3,140 women lawyers were currently under training to
many as 200 Saudi women work as lawyers in the Public Prosecution and about 300
work as administrators while 150 others are under training in various departments,
commission said, within efforts to empower women, a number of colleges and
departments were opened for them at various universities offering programs in
media studies, politics, engineering, law, among others.
said the Ministry of Education has launched a number of initiatives to
eradicate illiteracy among women in addition to introducing sports and cultural
activities in schools and universities.
commission said a large number of Saudi women were currently doing higher studies
in international universities under the Scholarship Program of the Custodian of
the Two Holy Mosques.
Min, Prosecution employ 4,495 females
ministries and government departments are making efforts to empower women,
consolidate their rights and ensure their participation in the development
February 20, WION held its first ever Global Summit, “Unleashing the Power of
South Asia” in Dubai, UAE. At the event, influencers from Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, UAE, USA and India, came together to provide
suggestions to improve regional relations. As a guest speaker, I was fortunate
to speak about ‘Women in South Asia: Are we caught between Tradition and
Modernity?’ Afghanistan plays a significant role in the success or failure of
women in South Asia, so I focused on Afghan women.
began my speech with a historical story that has resonated with me since
childhood: The July 1879 Second Afghan Anglo War. British forces of the 66th
regiment, equipped with modern machinery, encountered Afghan troops under the
command of Ghazi Ayub Khan at Maiwand region of Qandahar province. As the
fighting intensified, the Afghans were at the bottom of Maiwand mountain
holding on to their swords, as the British came down the mountain on high
morale assured by their modern weaponry advantage. As the British advanced to
the Afghan position, several Afghan fighters were killed and many others were
injured. At that moment, Commander Ayub Khan didn’t know what course of action
to take. Amongst the ranks of the Afghans were many women - to help the
wounded. Malalai, a daughter of a shepherd from a local tribe, watched as her
father and her fiancé battled on. As the situation dramatically worsened when
the Afghan flag bearer was killed, Malalai appeared on the battlefield,
removing her veil, shouting "Young love, if you do not fall in the battle
of Maiwand, someone is saving you as a symbol of shame." This battle cry
gave the Afghan warriors new resolve and their efforts redoubled. Her
leadership drove the Afghans to victory.
of Maiwand is a legendary icon of bravery. There are many Malalai amongst us in
the modern era, ready to be recognised. In my speech, I highlighted important
Afghan women in countering violent extremism and tech, noting that women are in
a constant process of modernisation. Afghan women have become change agents in
Afghanistan, modernising what it means to be an Afghan woman while maintaining
Afghan traditions. We believe that educating and strengthening a female
translates to building the family unit. That is why, in honour of Women’s
month, I wanted to shed light on a few influential Afghan women who deserve
four Afghan female figures have influenced not only Afghan women but women all
over the world. Mariam Atash is a member of the International Association of
Women; US-Afghan Women’s Council; American Women for International
Understanding; Virginia and California State Bar Association, entrepreneur,
mother and a mentor. She is passionate and outspoken about women’s empowerment.
From writing to advocating on major news stations, radio stations and speaking
events, she wants to help identify paths to better the lives of women and
ultimately improve society as a whole.
second is a television artist, Munaza Shaheed. Munaza is becoming a household name
in South Asia with her strong and confident Pashto literacy skills. Munaza’s
most indelible contribution to broadcasting has to be her interviews that bring
attention to the new issues and people, particularly stories of women.
Safi is an Afghan broadcast journalist, currently working for the BBC World
Service. Sana’s impact as a presenter for BBC Pashto’s TV show made local,
regional and international news. Aside from her journalistic skills, she is
known for her fictional writing, mainly short stories. Sana provides phenomenal
commentary on her Twitter platform, where she constantly encourages, highlights
and motivates women from all communities, races and ethnicities. Sana is a
global role model.
the Soviet invasion, the strong stories of Afghan women were rarely told as the
focus turned to war. The rise of the Afghan Mujahideen, a term for one engaged
in Jihad (literally, ‘struggle’), was coined by their spokeswoman, Fatima
Gailani, a living embodiment of empowerment. Fatima Gailani obtained her BA and
MA degree in Persian Literature and Sufism and another MA in Islamic Studies.
Intelligent and articulate, the Afghan aristocrat played a vital role in
drawing the world's attention to the events taking place in her country. She
attended the Bonne Conference on Afghanistan. After her return to Afghanistan,
she was chosen as a delegate to the Emergency Loya Jirga – Grand Council and
appointed as a constitution drafting and ratifying commissioner. Following her
decorated political career, she joined the Afghan Red Crescent to follow her
passion, making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable in her country
and around the world. Today, Fatima Gailani is the head of the Gulf Cooperation
Council Cluster on behalf of the International Federation of the Red Cross Red
Crescent and is a leading Afghan humanitarian.
find the below passage a fitting choice for the circumstances of Afghan women
much is taken, much abides; and though
are not now that strength which in old days
earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
equal temper of heroic hearts,
weak by time and fate, but strong in will
strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
passage demonstrates the past holds no bearing on the future. The women of
Afghanistan are strong in will and determination, and shall push past historic
barriers to redefine what it means to be an Afghan woman. These four women are
strong examples of female empowerment, as they seek to improve and strengthen
women in every society.
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