Ilhan Omar speaks at a news conference after Democrats in the U.S. Congress
moved to formally condemn President Donald Trump's attacks on the four minority
congresswomen on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 15, 2019.
All Women’ Makes the ‘Pence Rule’ Just Common Sense
British Women Refuse to Board Plane with Muslim Passengers, Get Kicked Off
Trump Falsely Claims Rep. Omar Praised Al Qaeda
Mother Loses Saudi Arabian Custody Battle for Her Daughter
450 Foreign Women Drivers Hired By March-End
Seek Clarity on New Sponsorship Rule in UAE
National Council for Women Visit Women’s Prisons to Ensure Quality of Care
Women Rev Up Volkswagen Sales in the Kingdom after a Year on the Road
Behind Quebec's Ban on Religious Symbols?
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Soccer Star’s Sister Wants Women to Be Allowed at His Matches
is the highest-ranked soccer team in Asia, a position that underlines the
Middle Eastern country’s status as a regional favourite to qualify for the 2022
World Cup, to be held in nearby Qatar.
of Iranians are expected to make the short journey to cheer on their team, just
as they did when the tournament was held in Brazil in 2014, and in Russia last
year. Many were women who live in Iran, yet are prohibited from attending men’s
soccer matches in their home country.
biggest obstacle to qualifying for the World Cup may be off the field, because
a campaign to change that prohibition is getting louder. The campaign’s
leaders, including the sister of Iran’s team captain, are asking FIFA to ban
Iran from World Cup qualifying unless the country changes the law.
women leading the movement say they share the same passion as male fans for
Team Melli, as the men’s national team is known, yet believe only a serious
threat of exclusion from the World Cup by FIFA will lead to the end of a
prohibition that has lasted for four decades.
Infantino, the president of FIFA, wrote a letter last month to Mehdi Taj, the
president of Iran’s soccer federation, asking him to provide an answer no later
than July 15 about what “concrete steps” the federation would take to ensure
that Iranian women could attend World Cup qualification games, which start in
September. The deadline passed Monday without a response.
ask FIFA to put more pressure, and by pressure it means sanctions, right?” said
Maryam Shojaei, who has campaigned the past five years by brandishing banners
protesting the men-only rule when Iran plays outside the country, including at
the World Cup in Russia last summer. “There has to be a consequence for the
Iranian federation, that could be suspension of Iranian football.”
far, FIFA has shown little appetite for penalizing Iran for a violation the
organization describes as against its “most basic principles.” Should it
finally act, the consequences could be personal for Shojaei. Her brother Masoud
Soleimani Shojaei is the team’s captain, a national hero who has appeared in
three World Cup tournaments for Iran.
Shojaei, center, wore sunglasses and a hat while demonstrating at the World Cup
herself publicly for the first time as the Iranian captain’s sister, Shojaei, a
Canadian citizen, said she began her campaign after she saw the popularity of
the Iranian national team among women at the 2014 World Cup. She said her
protests have nothing to do with her brother. She did not tell him that she had
traveled to Russia, where she protested at the 2018 World Cup as the founder of
My Fundamental Right. Separately, Masoud Shojaei has spoken out about the issue
to the ban comes at a time when the Women’s World Cup has given soccer a
worldwide spotlight for players, fans and others to speak out about several
gender issues, including pay equity and investments in women’s teams by
national federations. (Iran has a women’s national team, which plays its games
in head scarves and in front of only female fans when at home, with male fans
prohibited from attending.)
lack of progress is embarrassing for Infantino, who attended a game in Tehran
in November 2018 with senior Iranian officials. For that game, Iran lifted the
prohibition, allowing a few hundred women to attend. Infantino described the
event as a momentous sign of progress, while activists described it as a stunt,
no more than an exercise designed to fool a credulous foreign dignitary.
said she told FIFA’s secretary general, Fatma Samoura, ahead of the game that
the Iranians would use Infantino’s appearance at the game at Tehran’s Azadi
Stadium to put on a “show.” She also presented Samoura with a petition that had
more than 200,000 signatures.
getting guarantees that women could buy tickets and by sitting there with women
who were placed there for him to see, he took part in a charade that was a
terrible betrayal of Iranian women who have been begging him in writing for
years to act,” said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human
Rights Watch. “Every Iranian woman knew that this was a charade and they
wouldn’t be allowed in.”
declined to comment.
letter expressed alarm at incidents surrounding an exhibition game between Iran
and Syria on June 6, just a day before the start of the Women’s World Cup.
Women trying to attend the game were detained by security for several hours,
including some who claimed they were beaten.
campaigns to lift the ban on women predate the efforts by Shojaei, who in April
put her name to a complaint against the Iranian federation that was submitted
to FIFA’s ethics committee. The committee is notorious for operating with
longtime campaigner, who has fought against the restrictions on women for 15
years, managed to watch Iran for the first time by traveling to the World Cup
in Russia. The woman, who uses the name Sara to conceal her real identity for
fear of arrest, said she, too, believed FIFA must act decisively rather than
merely speak out.
Shojaei, center, training at the World Cup last year. His sister has brandished
banners protesting the men-only rule at overseas stadiums where Iran’s team
the more than 20 women who started the campaign, now called Open Stadiums, Sara
is the only one to remain in Iran. The rest, she said, fled the country.
should be based on statute that they suspend the federation,” Sara said.
March, while Infantino was in the company of Iranian officials, Sara protested
with three dozen female soccer fans and activists by trying to enter the Azadi
— some while dressed as men — for the biggest match in the country, a showdown
between the clubs Persepolis and Esteghlal that was watched by as many as
100,000 men. The protesters were arrested and detained for several hours.
movement to lift the stadium ban has gained a nationwide following, becoming
part of the larger conversation about women’s rights in the conservative Muslim
country. In its earliest days, even many Iranian feminists dismissed the
someone asked me, ‘What’s your biggest achievement, what gives you the most
satisfaction?’ I would say this: ‘The ayatollahs when they’re talking about
women’s rights, they are always talking about women attending stadiums,’” Sara
who moved to Canada in 2007 and became a citizen in 2012, has had her banners
confiscated while overseas, including in Russia, where FIFA, which has adopted
a new human rights guidelines, had provided express permission for her to
attend with its delegation.
talked to two well-respected clergy, and they said it’s nothing to do with
Islam,” she said.
ban, which has been extended to volleyball and basketball, provides a stark
contrast with other cultural arenas in Iran, including theaters, where people
of different genders freely mix.
in a country hobbled by sanctions, the successful soccer team has unmatched
popularity, with millions of fans tuning in when Team Melli takes the field.
popularity, said Shojaei, means the threat of a ban from World Cup qualifiers
would most likely lead to the lifting of a ban that went into effect not long
after the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
million Iranian women are fans, and they’ve been banned for four decades. If
the football team is banned for one World Cup, I think that’s worth it,” she
said. “I’m sure at the end — in 10 years, 20 years — people will appreciate
the wake of the #MeToo movement, is it crazy that men would try to avoid being
alone with women they don’t know?
Foster, a state representative in Mississippi who is running for governor, got
into hot water last week after he denied journalist Larrison Campbell’s request
for a 15-hour “ride along” with his campaign.
was blunt about his reasoning. He tweeted: “Before our decision to run, my wife
and I made a commitment to follow the ‘Billy Graham Rule,’ which is to avoid
any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise of our marriage. I am
sorry Ms. Campbell doesn’t share these views, but my decision was out of
respect of my wife.”
isn’t alone in following such guidelines. The media made hay of Vice President Mike
Pence’s admission that he doesn’t dine alone with women other than his wife.
the Washington Post, writer Monica Hesse went after Foster’s marriage, positing
that his “marriage vows are so flimsy” that he couldn’t be “trusted to uphold
them unless a babysitter monitors” the lawmaker. Hesse continued that the rule
“keeps women out of the room” and asked her readers: “Can you imagine if a
Muslim male candidate refused to be shadowed by a female reporter?”
actually easy to imagine, and the fact that we only hear about this in relation
to white, Christian men is telling. Orthodox Judaism has similar rules. An
Orthodox Jewish man may refuse to shake hands with a woman, and the same rule
holds for Orthodox women. And neither is permitted to spend extended time alone
with members of the opposite sex.
Muslim faith likewise tightly regulates relations between the sexes, and its
norms and requirements extend far beyond the workplace.
2010, the New York Times reported on the “dilemmas confronting health-care
workers in hospitals serving observant Muslim patients,” since female Muslim
patients refuse to be seen by male doctors, even in emergency situations.
Times interviewed a University of Chicago physician, Dr. Aasim Padela, author
of a paper titled “Muslim patients and cross-gender interactions in medicine:
an Islamic bioethical perspective.” He told the Times: “People who are
non-mahram” — that is, unrelated — “adults of the opposite sex are prohibited
from being alone together in a closed place where sexual intercourse could
occur or where even such an accusation could be made.”
to tradition, the Prophet Muhammad taught that when a non-mahram woman and man
are alone together, Satan is the “third among them.” Thus, Padela notes, Islamic
law prohibits not only adultery but “proximity to adultery.”
one “canceled” Padela for asserting his religious beliefs. There isn’t a
movement to force faithful Muslim women to spend time alone with strange men,
even though their religion prohibits it.
important, no one is asking observant Jews or Muslims in government what they
would do in Foster’s situation.
the religious-liberty implications, men’s reticence about being alone with
women shouldn’t surprise anyone. The #MeToo movement of the last few years has
brought a chorus of voices urging us to “Believe all women” making assault or
“Believe all women” is the party line, it’s only prudent for men to take
themselves out of situations where they risk being accused of anything. #MeToo
began with a serious mission of exposing powerful men who had sexually
harassed, and in some cases assaulted, women and gotten away with it.
thanks to “Believe all women,” it spiraled to a place where accusations went
unchecked and were instantly believed. Some websites maintain running lists of
accused men, even if accusations are anonymous and/or largely uncorroborated.
some cases, the accusation didn’t even make any sense. The comedian Aziz Ansari
is clawing his way out of a reputational black hole after a woman accused him
of being a bad date. He didn’t harass or assault anyone; he was simply bad at
hooking up, and his date wrote a scathing piece about it.
have seen that they are guilty until proved innocent, and sometimes not even
then. They have now — wisely — retreated from women.
men afraid to be alone with women? Of course they are. Robert Foster is just
one of the few to admit it.
– On Friday, July 12, two British women were removed by police from a Thomas
Cook flight from Turkey to London’s Gatwick Airport after they had a racist
two women were objecting to three Muslim men wearing traditional white robes
being on board. The women called the Muslim passengers “terrorists“,
“disgusting,” and a “threat” to the plane, according to other passengers.
passenger, Mario Van Poppel, said all the passengers were “united in anger
against this crazy racist woman.”
passenger on our Thomas Cook flight #MT105 from Dalaman to Gatwick refuses to
board the plane because three bearded men in white prayer robes are on board.
All passengers are united in anger against this crazy #racist woman. It's 2am
- 12 juil. 2019
sur les Publicités Twitter et confidentialité
personnes parlent à ce sujet
she was saying was appalling. She was screaming saying they were a ‘threat.’
Kids were crying. An elderly woman behind me was reduced to tears. The Muslim
men were offended but they kept their cool,” Van Poppel later said.
passenger, Shanea Kerry, said when she leapt to the defense of the three men,
the woman called her “a fat bitch.”
: SHANEA KERRY 🎥
today my flight was delayed 2/3 hours cause 2 racist white women refused to fly
with 3 Asian Muslim men. When confronted
for their disgusting behaviour 1 went on to scream abuse & call me a ‘fat
thread&footage is coming
get ready to do your thing🤬
- 12 juil. 2019
personnes parlent à ce sujet
called her out for her racism & highlighted her stupidity in flying to a
country rooted in Islamic values then discriminating against Muslims. She then
responded with verbal abuse? calling me a ‘fat bitch‘ as mentioned above,” Kerry
said on Twitter.
also complained of Thomas Cook’s handling of the situation, saying the three
men who were subjected to racial abuse were not given enough support by the
12 juil. 2019
réponse à @shaneakerry
then responded with verbal abuse ? calling me a ‘ fat bitch ‘ as mentioned
above, when I tried to respond to this I was told by the cabin crew to calm
down loool sorry???
they left the plane or were apparently removed, @TCAirlinesUK apologised only
for the delay of the flight & the ‘ scene ‘ & failed to apologise to
the victims of the racist abuse.
- 12 juil. 2019
personnes parlent à ce sujet
• 12 juil. 2019
don’t believe there was any support offered to the distressed victims of her
racist abuse or any sanctions given to her. One air hostess was even laughing
& joking about the situation.
- 12 juil. 2019
personnes parlent à ce sujet
plane was reportedly delayed for 70 minutes before the women were escorted off
the plane. The moment was captured on film by a passenger, who uploaded it to
video shows one of the women removing her bags from overhead lockers while
swearing and calling staff “disgusting,” before being taken off the plane by
a statement to British paper the Daily Mirror, a Thomas Cook spokesperson said:
“Two passengers on flight MT105 from Dalaman to London Gatwick were removed
from the aircraft by police following offensive behavior onboard.”
safety of our customers and crew is always our first priority and we do not
accept this kind of behavior on our aircraft. We are sorry to our customers for
the delay this caused to their flight,” the statement added.
Donald Trump on Monday continued taking aim at a group of House Democratic
lawmakers of color after his incendiary tweets telling them to "go
back" to their countries over the weekend, falsely accusing Rep. Ilhan
Omar, D-Minn., of praising terrorist group al Qaeda.
who was misrepresenting comments Omar made in a 2013 interview, has repeatedly
criticized Omar, one of two Muslim women serving in Congress, and used her
words to attack her and other Democrats.
the context around his comments today, and what the Minnesota Democrat has said
in the past.
TRUMP SAID: On Monday, Trump continued to criticize Omar and the other
look at Omar. I don't know, I never met her. I hear the way she talks about al
Qaeda. Al Qaeda has killed many Americans. She said you can hold your chest
out, you can, 'when I think of al Qaeda I can hold my chest out.'
REP. OMAR SAID ABOUT AL QAEDA: In 2013, Omar, then a political activist,
appeared on a local Twin Cities current affairs program, "BelAhdan,"
after the bombing of a Kenyan shopping mall by terror group al-Shabab.
conversations about how American Muslim communities navigate responding to
terror attacks committed by Muslim extremists, the host, Ahmed Tharwat, noted
how Arabic names for groups like al Qaeda, Hezbollah and al-Shabab are commonly
used in the U.S.
very interesting that we keep the Arabic name to such a violent, or negative
entity," he said.
don't mean anything evil," Omar replied, calling their usage "a
product of the sensationalized media"
have these soundbites and you have these words and everybody says it with such
intensity that it must hold meaning," she said.
an example, she described how one of her professors in a college course on
terrorism used to pronounce al Qaeda.
interesting thing about the class was that every time the professor said 'al
Qaeda,' his shoulders went up," she said.
clip of Omar's comments has circulated on conservative media and social media,
which likely prompted the president's comments.
to respond to Trump’s comments about her previous remarks on Monday, Omar said
it was "beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists."
Sept. 11 attacks
TRUMP SAID: Trump also took aim at comments Omar made earlier this year about
the September 11th attacks.
she talked about the World Trade Center being knocked down, 'some people,' you
remember the famous 'some people.' These are people who in my opinion hate our
country," Trump said.
OMAR SAID ABOUT 9/11: Speaking at a Council on American-Islamic Relations event
in March, Omar said the advocacy group "was founded after 9/11, because
they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting
to lose access to our civil liberties."
president and Republicans have accused her of trivializing the Sept. 11 attacks
with her remarks. Omar has said she was taken out of context.
her speech after the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand, Omar urged
Muslims to stand up for themselves and advocate for their rights as the
advocacy group has done.
people expect our community to feel like it needs to hide every time something
happens," she said in the speech. "But repeatedly, we have shown them
that we are not to be bullied, not to be threatened, we are not to be
terrorized, we are strong and resilient, and we will always show up to be
ourselves because we know we have a right to a dignified existence and a
TRUMP SAID: On Monday, Trump also said Omar "says horrible things about
Israel, hates Israel, hates Jews, it's very simple."
along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., the only other Muslim woman in
Congress, have been criticized by Republicans and Democrats for comments about
the Israeli government and the influence of pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington,
and accused them of evoking anti-Semitic tropes.
has used their comments to claim that Democrats hate Jews, a conflation critics
and some Democrats consider to be anti-Semitic, given that American Jews have
increasingly criticized the Israeli government in recent years.
has apologized for some of her comments, but defended her criticism of the
OMAR SAID: In January, Omar was criticized for a (deleted) 2012 tweet where she
said Israel "has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and
help them see the evil doings of Israel," after the 2012 conflict with
Hamas in Gaza. She defended the comments, saying she was criticizing the
military action by Israel.
February, Omar responded on Twitter to a report that Republicans wanted her
punished for criticism of Israel, tweeting "It's all about the Benjamin's
baby," appearing to be using a common way of referring to $100 bills –
which feature Benjamin Franklin – or even playing off a line from “It’s All
About the Benjamins,” a 1997 song from rapper Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs
that critics said also evoked stereotypes about Jews and money.
followed up with another tweet mentioned the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee, the prominent pro-Israel advocacy group that wields significant
influence in Washington among both political parties.
eventually apologized for touching on the "painful history of anti-Semitic
few weeks later, Omar was at a progressive event in Washington where she said
pro-Israel activists pushed "allegiance to a foreign country," in an
effort to clarify her initial comments.
want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK
for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country," Omar said,
immediately prompting criticism that she was evoking stereotypes about
"dual loyalty," a trope seen as anti-Semitic but also associated
historically with other immigrant groups.
March, the House passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, racism and
bigotry in response to Omar's comments, though some Democrats were angry that
it didn't mention the congresswoman by name.
American woman living in Saudi Arabia lost custody of her four-year-old
daughter after a judge ruled that the mother was “new to Islam” and might
expose the daughter to foreign traditions.
Vierra asked her ex-husband for a divorce in 2017, describing him as abusive.
But when she attempted to secure custody of her four-year-old daughter, Zeina,
the Saudi government ultimately gave custody of Zeina to the child’s
grandmother — Vierra’s ex-husband’s mother, according to the New York Times.
the mother is new to Islam and a foreigner in this country and embraces customs
and traditions in the way she was raised, we must avoid exposing Zeina to these
traditions,” the judge wrote in his ruling. The New York Times reported that he
decided the custody decision Sunday.
judge also cited reasons supplied by Vierra’s ex-husband, such as the fact that
she was not suitable to raise Zeina because she is a Westerner and teaches
yoga, which her ex-husband reportedly said did not leave her time to care for
ex-husband also gave the court pictures of Vierra in a bikini, in yoga pants,
and with her hair uncovered, all of which are forbidden in Saudi Arabia.
(RELATED: ISIS Bride Spills Info In Murder Case Of 5-Year-Old Girl To
Undercover Security Services Driver, Prosecutors Say)
like 10,000 times worse here because so much is at risk for women when they go
to court,” the almost tearful Vierra said in a Sunday interview, according to
the Times. “I genuinely thought that there would still be justice served here,
and I kind of put everything on that.”
also supplied the courts with video evidence of her husband using drugs and
verbally abusing her in front of Zeina. Vierra’s ex-husband claims, however,
that she gave him the drugs and that she forced him to say that he was an
atheist. Vierra denied both of these claims.
court, which accepted her husband’s evidence, found her evidence “legally
worthless” unless she could bring forth male witnesses to corroborate her
videos versus male witnesses,” Vierra said. “They wouldn’t in some cases even
look at the evidence that I had. It was just completely disregarded because he
‘swore to God.’ It’s all been infuriating.”
said that Zeina was both confused and scared at the decision and that Vierra
promised Zeina she would fight the decision.
also worries about the fate of her daughter in the hands of her
ex-mother-in-law, saying that her ex-husband’s sister told Vierra that her
mother verbally and emotionally abused Vierra’s ex-husband and ex-husband’s
sister when they were children.
law usually allows mothers to have “day-to-day” custody of sons until they turn
nine and daughters until they turn seven, according to the Times. Fathers are
considered legal guardians past these ages, and Vierra’s ex-husband is legally
both her and Zeina’s guardian.
Arabia announced only last year that mothers can keep custody of their children
after a divorce and that mothers would not have to file a lawsuit unless the
father contested custody.
— Though women were allowed to drive since June 2018, several Saudi families
have recruited as many as 459 foreign women drivers during the first quarter of
the year, Makkah daily said on Monday quoting a report by the General Authority
for Statistics (GaStat).
to the report, by the end of March 2019, there were 1.54 million foreign home
drivers compared to 1.36 million in 2018 with a rise of 12.8 percent.
at women schools to teach driving believe that some Saudi families prefer women
drivers over men out of fear that male drivers may harass and ill-treat their
also said the families opt for recruiting women drivers because they can do
more than one job such as doing grocery, cleaning the house and ironing
instructors said even when a Saudi woman obtains a driving license, this is not
a guarantee that she will drive her children to the school.
said over the years, when women become expert drivers, there will be a drop in
the recruitment of foreign drivers.
local recruitment offices said many Saudi families were asking for housemaids
with driving licenses so that they can do home chores and at the same time
drive their children to schools.
said this is not possible because the housemaids are recruited only to perform
home chores not to drive cars.
residents who are planning to sponsor their family said Amer centres seem
unaware of the new rule.
female residents who are planning to sponsor their husbands have expressed
confusion following the federal government's announcement on Sunday that salary
and not job title will be used as the basis for residence visa applications.
They said Amer centres seem unaware of the new rule.
to Khaleej Times on Monday, Indian expat Nitasha PK said she was initially
elated after reading the report that any "UAE resident, male or female,
can sponsor family members (spouse, under-18 sons and unmarried daughters),
provided he/she earns a monthly salary of Dh4,000 or at least Dh3,000 plus
accommodation from the company".
Khaleej Times report was based on an announcement by the Federal Authority for
Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) on July 14.
FAIC announced that it is adopting Cabinet Resolution No.30 for 2019 changing
the main condition of acquiring residency from employment to income.
General Saeed Al Rashidi, director-general of foreigners affairs and ports at
the FAIC, explained in a Press release: "The sponsor, whether male or
female, must present a certified marriage certificate and their children's
birth certificates translated into Arabic, as well as proof of their monthly
income. A wife wishing to sponsor their children must attach a certified
written agreement from her husband."
reading the news, Nitasha called an Amer call centre, a one-stop facility for
visa and immigration-related services in Dubai, on Monday to inquire about
sponsoring her husband, who recently lost his job.
said an Amer agent explained that she cannot sponsor her husband because her
monthly income is less than the required amount. It was explained to Nitasha,
who works as a communications specialist, that a female resident can sponsor
her husband and children if she holds a residence permit and her monthly salary
is Dh10,000 or Dh9,000 plus free accommodation.
Amer agent added that only an engineer, teacher, doctor, nurse or any other
profession related to the medical sector can sponsor a family member even
though her salary is Dh4,000 or at least Dh3,000 plus accommodation provided by
who is now the sole bread winner in a family of four, earns around Dh8,500,
inclusive of transportation and housing allowances. She said the visa of her
husband and two children will expire next month.
expat Maureen Arevalo, a Dubai resident of eight years who works as an
accountant at a trading firm, said there has to be some exemptions.
earning a little less than Dh10,000 a month but I think I can make both ends
meet to support my kids and allow them to live with me here in Dubai,"
said Arevalo, adding: "In the past eight years, I only see my kids once
every year when I go on a my month-long holiday.
have grown big now and I miss those years that they were not with me. I hope
someday I can bring them here," she added.
Times is awaiting response from the FAIC for clarifications it has sought in
an effort to strengthen its collaboration with Egypt’s Ministry of Interior, a
delegation from the National Council for Women (NCW) in Egypt visited women’s
prisons in Al Qanater in the presence of Dr. Ahlam Hanafi, a member of the
Council, and a group of human rights officers, according to a statement by the
National Council for Women.
a statement, NCW said that Dr. Ahlam Hanafi provided important advice on the
significance of treating women with care and taking into account the social,
humanitarian and health factors, ensuring that the women will be rehabilitated
to return back to society as healthy citizens.
delegation also observed the various aspects of care provided to the women in
prisons, as NCW noted in the statement.
Health Organization (WHO) published a report in 2009 on women’s health in
prison, which raised issues of gender inequality and insensitivity towards the
treatment of women in prisons, and its general neglect by the public.
their foundation, prisons were built to cope with the needs of the male
majority, yet with the recent rise of women in prisons, there has been lack of
attention to the more complex health needs of women at key moments of their
lives. For instance, WHO reports that many women in prisons suffer more from
mental health problems to a higher degree than male prisoners, with a higher
percentage of self harm, depression and suicide,
many imprisoned women are mothers and the primary or sole carers for their
children, meaning that an imprisoned mother often leads to family break up,
resulting in many children ending up homeless with no sufficient care provided
for Feminist Studies in Egypt published a paper in 2017 on the situation of
women prisoners in Egypt, highlighting the violence, discrimination and
exploitation they face and the stigmatization they suffer from inside and
outside prison, even by their own families.
Darwish, who heads the gender and women’s rights department at the Egyptian
Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and is a researcher for the campaign
‘Periods in Prison’ told Mada Masr that “although the menstrual cycle is a
normal part of women’s health, there are no preparations for this inside
campaign is calling for changes in the law that would recognize the needs of
women’s bodies, and calls on the Interior Ministry to “disburse female sanitary
pads to last an average period length of seven days, on a monthly basis.”
have accounted for a quarter of total Volkswagen sales in Saudi Arabia so far
this year and are driving up sales, according to the exclusive dealer of the
German car brand in the country, one year after the kingdom lifted its ban on
Automotive Company, the exclusive dealer for Volkswagen in Saudi Arabia, said
it saw a boost in sales to women following the first anniversary of women
driving in the Kingdom.
are hugely proud to be a part of this exciting time for women across the
country," Mohammed Moussa, general manager for Volkswagen at Samaco, said.
"Our increase in sales speak for themselves and we are honoured to be the
preferred choice for so many women and their families."
the ban on women driving a year ago was a historic milestone for the kingdom
and was one of the major social reforms introduced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman. Allowing women to drive is expected to unlock vast business
opportunities for the kingdom, adding as much as $90 billion to economic output
by 2030, with the benefits extending beyond that date, according to Bloomberg
almost 50,000 driver licences issued so far, the German car dealer said
catering to female drivers resulted in an increase in sales specifically to
women, accounting for 25 per cent of total sales so far for 2019.
Volkswagen Tiguan was the top choice for women, followed by the 7-seater
Teramont family car, the dealer said.
kingdom’s decision to overturn a ban on female motorists in June 2018 follows a
target to increase women’s participation in the labour force from 22 per cent
to 30 per cent over the next 12 years, as part of the Vision 2030.
women driving licenses and better access into the workforce will improve
mobility and unlock an underutilised resource: more women will work, thereby
spurring productivity, incomes and economic growth.
women is expected to also help tackle the problem of youth unemployment rate of
31 per cent, of which young women account for 58 per cent.
rise in female Volkswagen owners in the Kingdom resulted in the first female
car club forming earlier this year. Central to the creation of the club, is
able to drive has transformed Ms Farahat’s career: she is Saudi’s first female
Careem captain and is also the creator of one of the kingdom’s first women’s
car clubs. In the space of a year, she has completed 100 Careem rides, and
organised plenty of car-related catch-ups.
were given the opportunity to drive a year ago and what a difference that year
has made for thousands of women across Saudi Arabia," Ms Farahat said.
that we can get behind the wheel, we feel more empowered and have a greater
sense of independence and control over our own lives."
Sarah Abou Bakr was in elementary school, an elderly woman mocked her mother’s
head scarf and shouted insults at her in a busy mall here. Abou Bakr shouted
right back. Her mother, who had moved to Quebec from her native Egypt and
didn’t know enough French to defend herself, pulled her away. The bystanders
did little to help. “That marks you,” Abou Bakr told me in a recent interview. “You
don’t forget it.”
Abou Bakr is 21, and that memory is more relevant than ever: Quebec, where she
was born and raised, and where she still lives, has become the first state or
province in North America to ban Muslim head scarves and other religious
symbols, including Jewish kippahs, Sikh turbans, and Christian crosses.
21, or its official name, “An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State,” was
passed last month, after Quebec’s center-right government held a marathon
parliamentary session—and curbed debate in the face of staunch opposition. Yet
polls nevertheless show the legislation is popular—63 percent of Quebecers
support a ban on judges, police officers, and prison guards wearing religious
symbols; 59 percent back such a restriction on teachers, too. The legislation,
which applies only to new hires or those who change jobs within an
organization, means workers in positions of authority in public schools,
courtrooms, law enforcement agencies and other places can no longer wear such
the law is specific to Quebec, it comes amid arguments elsewhere in the world
around restricting the display of religious symbols—though in most cases,
Muslim women are bearing the brunt. In 2011, France banned full-face veils,
such as the burka or niqab, in public, and has sought to restrict full-body
swimsuits (“burkinis”) on beaches as well. A ban of full-face veils is also on
the books in Belgium, Austria, and Denmark, while similar measures are being
considered by other European countries, or are being adopted on a more local
is quite similar to what we have in Belgium, in France, in Germany,” Quebec
Premier François Legault told CBC, the Canadian broadcaster, in defense of the
new law. “So when I hear some people saying that Quebec becomes racist, do they
mean that Germany, France, and Belgium are racist?”
this debate is happening in Quebec is no surprise, given its history and how it
views itself compared with the rest of Canada. Some Quebecers fear that the
broader Canadian policy of multiculturalism will erase their “distinct
identity” as a French-speaking province. These concerns have translated into
efforts such as Bill 21.
law is a decade in the making; for years, lawmakers discussed legislating
secularism and tried to ban religious symbols in public. The Catholic Church
has long held sway here, which has left many Quebecers with the view that state
secularism should come above all else. Bill 21 states it clearly: “It is
important that the paramountcy of State laicity be enshrined in Québec’s legal
order.” The province’s version of laicity is not quite the laïcité most
commonly associated with France, which has a complete separation of religion
from the public space, but it’s not too far off either.
law’s supporters present the measure as being intrinsically part of the
province’s identity. Being a Quebecer, they say, means believing that religious
symbols might be fine in private, but that public servants shouldn’t be allowed
to wear them, lest they impede their decision making at work. This view has
some contradictions, most notably the fact that a large cross hung on the wall
of the provincial Parliament in Quebec City for decades. The government
initially argued that the cross was cultural, not religious, but finally took
it down this month, in an attempt to show that Bill 21 applies equally to all
civil-liberties groups say the law is an example of rising xenophobia in
Quebec. They argue that people who wear symbols of their religion in public
already feel ostracized in Quebec; the new law makes it legal to deny them
government jobs. The state’s job is to protect minority rights, not curb
them—and Bill 21 is doing precisely that, they contend.
the government has presented the law as striking a delicate balance between
personal and collective freedoms. “I think it’s important for social coherence,
for better living together that after 11 years we move on to other things,”
Premier Legault said earlier this year, referring to the 2008 government-appointed
commission that called for “reasonable accommodation” as a way to better
integrate immigrants into Quebec. In other words, with a majority in Quebec’s
Parliament to push the law through, the province can finally close this chapter
once and for all.
Abou Bakr, who works with the National Council of Canadian Muslims, an advocacy
group, and recently graduated from Montreal’s Concordia University with a
degree in political science, Bill 21’s passage is not the end of the story. She
said it has ushered in a bigger fight against a measure she said is akin to
“making Islamophobia legal”—something that she, a black Muslim woman who wears
a head scarf, knows the impact of firsthand.
Bakr listed recent incidents in which Muslim Quebecers say they have been victims
of racially motivated harassment and violence: an elderly Muslim couple heckled
by a neighbor; a family’s home, brightly decorated for the Eid holiday, fired
at with a BB gun; a passerby trying to yank a Muslim woman’s niqab off in broad
daylight; a woman denied a job by a private company because she wears a hijab.
Documenting all these wrongs can seem daunting, especially because their
frequency has been increasing over the past several years. In the most serious
of these, a gunman opened fire inside a Quebec City mosque in January 2017,
killing six people and wounding 19 others.
Bakr said she gets a report about a new Islamophobic incident every few days—
and she has encouraged, as well as accompanied, Muslim women to file harassment
reports with the police. Sitting in a café in a large, multicultural borough of
Montreal only days before Bill 21 was passed, she acknowledged that the debate
around the law had been painful. She fears it gives a green light to people to
publicly voice their anti-Muslim views, or worse.
I just stay silent to any kind of oppression, big or small … it’s as if I’m
saying it’s okay,” she told me. “And it’s not okay.”
than 24 hours after Bill 21 officially became law, NCCM and the Canadian Civil
Liberties Association filed a lawsuit against its application. On July 9, a
lawyer for the groups argued that the government is “legislating the practice
of religion.” The organizations are seeking a court injunction to keep the
province from applying the law; a judge is expected to rule on the stay
application this month. But Quebec has invoked a clause of Canada’s Charter of
Rights and Freedoms that bars anyone from challenging the law on constitutional
grounds for five years. The room for legal maneuvers is slim, and several
questions around Bill 21 remain unanswered, such as how Quebec intends to
enforce the legislation and whether the national government in Ottawa may step
hasn’t stopped people from voicing their anger. On June 17, hundreds rallied in
front of Legault’s Montreal office, the first major protest since the bill had been
signed, a day earlier. i teach i do not convert read one sign. this is not my
country read another. The mood was somber, as speaker after speaker described
how the law makes them feel not quite Canadian, or Quebecer, enough. They vowed
to keep fighting against the legislation.
Bakr, too, said it’s not time to give up.
are okay. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad. But when you’re being
oppressed and you actually live in a country where you get to speak up, being
sad and crying is not enough,” she said. “Even if you’re alone, you’ve still
got to do it. No one’s going to do it for you.”
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