Saudi Arabia's mission in the UN has stressed that women’s participation in the
development of the Kingdom is a key aspect of Saudi Vision 2030. (Twitter
attacked by women’s group for supporting Haitham al-Haddad
Muslim hubby hid his religion to rape me, alleges woman
reserves verdict in Asia Bibi blasphemy case
SME Bank join hands to develop women entrepreneurship
hosts technical workshop for women
not second-class citizens in UAE'
women learning to join the kingdom's tech revolution
female bank manager denied marriage of choice
rise in number of cases attended by women notaries
women still jailed alongside murderers for 'failing' virginity test
the death penalty, stop execution of women in Iran
women political prisoners deprived from family visitations
women killed by men across Turkey in September
by New Age Islam News Bureau
of women key to Saudi Arabia’s progress, UN forum told
Saudi Arabia took part in deliberations of the Social, Human and Cultural
Committee of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, reported
the audience, the Kingdom’s mission said women participation in the development
of Saudi Arabia is a key aspect of Saudi Vision 2030.
Saudi representatives said the Kingdom is also making continuous efforts to
prevent and combat human trafficking.
the Kingdom also lifted a ban on women driving, which will help boost women’s
financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social
diversification in line with Vision 2030.
Saudi women’s participation in the labor market will help in achieving one of
the most important goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which is to increase
Saudi women’s participation in the market to 30 percent, up from 22 percent in
2016. It will also help reduce the unemployment rate among Saudi women, which
has reached a record high of 33 percent.
number of sectors in the Kingdom will also benefit from women being allowed to
drive, such as car sales, which are expected to increase by about 145 percent
to reach SR108 billion by 2022 from SR44 billion in 2017, according to one
was condemned last night for supporting a hardline Islamic charity whose
founder supports female genital mutilation.
Times revealed yesterday that the internet giant had agreed to fund the Muslim
Research and Development Foundation (MRDF). Counterextremism experts say it is
Britain’s leading Salafist organisation. Haitham al-Haddad, its founder,
approves of FGM, child marriage and stoning to death for adultery.
decision to include MRDF in its Amazon Smile programme was criticised yesterday
by Forward, a charity that campaigns against FGM and child marriage and seeks
“to safeguard the rights of African women and girls”.
an MRDF video published in 2010, Mr Haddad said it was the “consensus of all
the scholars” that female circumcision was “better for the husband” and “a
24-year-old woman has alleged that a “Muslim man who revealed his religious
identity and posed as Hindu befriended and raped her”. The victim said she
married the same man after the accused convinced her for marriage. The woman
came to Gurugram about eight months ago after completing her graduation.
case in this regard has been registered under relevant sections of the Indian
Penal Code (IPC) at Sector-14 police station. Police have detained one of the
accused for interrogation.
to police, the victim is a 24-year-old woman, a native of Alwar in Rajasthan
and presently living with her father at Arjun Nagar in Gurugram “She was doing
job with one Vikas Sharma, who befriended her and later developed a physical
relationship forcibly. When she told him she will approach police. The accused
convinced her with marriage. Later the couple tied the knot earlier in February
at a temple in Jaipur and were residing as husband and wife,” a police
she got pregnant she told Vikas that we should register our marriage in a
court. The accused told him that he could not do this as he belonged to Muslim community and his name was Bilal
Ahmed. He beat me up on September 11 and fled somewhere without telling her,”
she alleged in her complaint.
the victim approached her younger brother Mohit Kumar aka Dildaar, who resides
in Gurugram but he too thrashed her and threatened to kill her. “The culprits
had assumed Hindu names but were from the Muslim community,” the woman alleged.
Supreme Court said on Oct. 8 it has reserved its verdict in the final appeal by
Catholic mother "Asia" Bibi to escape capital punishment in a
blasphemy case that began with a dispute with field workers a decade ago.
Justice Saqib Nisar headed the three-member court bench that heard her
long-awaited appeal after she was handed the death sentenced in 2010 under the
country's draconian blasphemy laws.
Asif Saeed Khosa and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan made up the rest of the bench.
asked if Asia Bibi was a Christian preacher, her lawyer Saiful Mulook
responded, "She has never been a preacher."
hearing the arguments from both sides the court reserved judgment and said it
would announce its verdict later. No date was given.
Justice Nisar said the delay was "for reasons to be recorded later"
and warned the media to refrain from commenting on or discussing the case until
the verdict has been delivered.
her appeal is rejected, her final recourse will be to seek clemency from
Pakistan President Arif Alvi who has risen to power along with newly elected
Prime Minister Imran Khan.
mother of five from a small village in central Pakistan has spent nine years
behind bars after a fight broke out after with her Muslim co-workers over a cup
of water while picking berries on June 14, 2009.
Bibi claims one of the women attacked her for "dirtying" the drinking
water because she was not a Muslim, to which she reportedly fired back,
"What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind?" This
sparked another confrontation a few days later that saw her beaten and dragged
before a village imam who gave her an ultimatum: Convert to Islam or die.
case has made headlines around the world and even led Pope Benedict XVI to urge
Pakistan to drop the charges against her.
to yesterday's announcement, Mulook pleaded to the judges to set aside her
conviction on the basis that the complaint against her was not filed until five
days after the alleged altercation, and was filed the imam of a mosque who had
not even been present when it reportedly occurred.
were contradictions regarding how the notice of the incident was taken.
Moreover, no permission was sought from district officials or police to legally
register the complaint," he said.
the day the news of the verdict being delayed was released, a petition surfaced
online seeking 500 signatures to push for Asia Bibi's immediate release.
Shortly after it was uploaded it had received three times this target. Another
petition started by a British woman in 2015 on social action website change.org
garnered over half a million signatures.
of Oct. 8, the defendant's name was among the top trending words on Twitter in
Pakistan as support continued to pour in for the jailed Catholic woman.
71 years since Independence it's time for Pakistan to move on from its
contentious blasphemy laws introduced by Britain during the British Raj and
inherited by Pakistan at the time of partition. Praying that humanity and
compassion prevail at the SC tomorrow," tweeted Sayeed Warsi, a British
lawyer and former co-chair of the Conservative Party.
activist Kashif Chaudhry also threw his two cents into the debate raging
through the Twittersphere.
a few hours, Asia Bibi's final appeal will be heard by Supreme Court. Let's
hope sanity prevails and the poor Christian mother of five is reunited with
family. The real blasphemy here is the pain through which Asia has been put
through. Prayers are with her," he wrote.
chance for Pakistan to right the wrong it did," tweeted Naila Inayat, a
female rights activist.
a statement shortly after the hearing, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, head of the
hard-line Sunni group Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, said no blasphemer could
escape punishment regardless of the verdict.
who attempts to save a blasphemer would face the wraith of the public, he said,
implying vigilante justice could supplant the court's decision if the appeal
goes in Asia Bibi's favor.
lobbyists encourage blasphemers in Pakistan," he added.
Lumpur: The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and its
agencies will be working together with the Small Medium Enterprise Development
Bank (SME Bank) to help boost women's participation in business.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pic), who is also Women,
Family and Community Development Minister said according to the Economic Census
2016, the number of women businesswomen was still small, accounting for only
20.6 per cent of the total number SME entrepreneurs in the country.
believe that the effective empowerment of the SME sector can alleviate the
this regard, the government has the responsibility in providing appropriate
policies, while government agencies provide the right products and services, as
well as advisory services as basic facilities for people's development via
SMEs," she said at the launch SME Bank XCESS 2018 here on Monday.
this end, she said a clear guideline was needed to identify and coordinate the
roles and initiatives undertaken by each agency to avoid overlapping functions.
about 700 participants took part in SME Bank XCESS 2018, a national level SME
outreach programme aimed at addressing the issue of access to financing for SME
the event, SME Bank introduced two new products, namely 'MySMELady' and
'MySMExport', to enable entrepreneurs to expand their business and penetrate
the global market.
Chief Executive Officer, Aria Putera Ismail said the products were initiatives
under the Pushing the Boundaries 1.0 project, which targeted to increase the
SME's contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product through the creation
of new products. "Through MySMELady, women entrepreneurs who qualify can
apply for financing of up to RM1 million with minimum collateral and successful
applicants are given the option to withdraw up to 30 per cent of the total
working capital through the Bank Islam debit card.
MySMExport, entrepreneurs are offered financing of up to RM5 million without
requiring any collateral, in addition to access to facilities and trade
programmes with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation and Bank
Muamalat," he said.
Xcess 2018, Aria Putera said 20 credit officers were tasked with guiding the
participants in a face-to-face programme through 'Biz Clinic', and the event
also included a business-matching session with seven vendors from the retail,
telecommunications, information technology and manufacturing sectors. – Bernama
Automotive Company, the exclusive dealer for Audi cars in Saudi Arabia, has
launched a series of technical workshops for its female customers. The
workshops not only aim to teach the basics of car maintenance but also raise
awareness on the importance of regular vehicle service.
recent workshop in Jeddah, which was supervised by after-sales service experts
and professionals, consisted of a six-station tour. Each station outlined one
topic/aspect about which the guests were informed about. The tour started with
the direct reception station, moving on to Audi’s twin service station, then to
the tires check-up station, the under-hood check-up station, the genuine vs.
non-genuine parts station, and finally the car main features and options
station. After the tour, the guests were shuttled to the Audi terminal, where
they attended a demonstration of the entire range of Audi cars, as well as
watched documentary about each model.
some participants proceeded to demonstrate a practical application of the
skills they had learned, like tire changing. Theoretical and physical tests
validated their service skills learned from the workshop.
Shaaban, a workshop participant, said: “It is a unique experience for the
ladies. We would like to thank Samaco Automotive Company for this initiative
and for inviting us to be a part of this one-of-a-kind event. We will, for sure
utilize what we have theoretically and practically learned.”
Amer, owner of the new Audi Q5 car, was all praise for the Samaco-Audi
initiative, and thanked the company for giving women a chance to attend the
workshop. She said the initiative enhanced her awareness about car services, as
well as her confidence to apply the appropriate steps in case of a car
Tas, general manager of Audi brand at Samaco Automotive Company, said the
initiative will strengthen the company’s relationship with its customers. “We
are keen to support the independence of our female Audi customers, so we have
launched this initiative to strengthen their confidence as well as emphasize
our commitment to provide the highest standards of services, in general, and
after-sales services, in particular,” he said.
the success of this initiative, we will now offer this opportunity at all our
branches in the Kingdom to further the awareness of our female customers on the
importance of regular car services,” Tas added.
UAE is trying to change the stereotyping of women - that a woman in the Arab or
Muslim world is a second-class citizen.
a world that assumes Arab and Muslim nations demean women and give them
little-to-no authority, the UAE has made it a major mission to prove them wrong
and turn such a mind-set around, a cabinet official told a 2500-strong crowd of
Emirati students and military servicemen.
empowerment is one of the greatest achievements in the UAE," said Dr Anwar
Mohammed Gargash, Minister for Federal National Council Affairs (FNCA) and the
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
UAE is trying to change the stereotyping of women - that a woman in the Arab or
Muslim world is a second-class citizen. But women here are the first and they
are just as powerful as men," he said on the first day of the Mohamed Bin
Zayed Majlis for Future Generations 2018 event, held on October 8-9 at the Abu
Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), under the patronage of His Highness
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the
Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
his message, Dr Gargash said that the UAE's vision has inspired the society to
enhance the opportunities provided for all women, an achievement that had been
driven by the Mother of the Nation, Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak.
women of the UAE have been worthy of this responsibility," Gargash told
the crowd, adding that ladies would have a crucial role to play in
are already achieving incredible milestones, he said, with one as young as 22
appointed as the world's youngest minister, Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui,
Minister of State for Youth. Others have been long serving the country, helping
its leaders make critical decisions, including Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, President of
the Federal National Council (FNC) and the first female leader of a national
assembly, not only in the UAE, but also in the Arab world.
a doubt, the UAE has already overcome the stereotype of what an Arab and Muslim
woman appears to be "in the eyes of the world," Gargash said.
"We have proven that women are just as capable of climbing the ladder as
men, no matter their age or background."
told the students that they must represent what the UAE is all about, staying
humble and holding its values close to their hearts.
is with you, CP assures youth
youth will always have the support of the government and the country, His
Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the
Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said in a tweet he posted
during the majlis event.
the launch of the second session of the MBZ Majlis for Future Generations, we
resume the journey of creating the future of the UAE and its leadership
globally," Sheikh Mohamed said.
country's leaders trust that the future generations will make the nation proud,
the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said. "We strongly believe that young people
have the greatest potential strength among us."
values, be ready to face challenges: Minister tells youth
students studying abroad must always carry their values and traditions and set
an unprecedented example of the UAE, even when faced with racism or challenges,
said the youngest minister in the UAE.
bint Sohail Al Mazrouei Al Mazrouei, Minister of State for Youth Affairs,
addressed 2,500 students on Monday about the importance of remaining faithful
to one's values and shared some personal obstacles that she faced during her
will never forget the day that I was questioned by one teacher about my
hijab," the 24-year-old minister told the crowd at the kick-off of the
Mohamed Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations, held under the patronage of
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and
Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
teacher asked me: Why are you wearing a hijab, when your parents are not even
here?" recalled Shamma Al Mazrouei.
told her: My parents may not be here, but my values are still with me."
the UAE's future generation of leaders to pursue their own professional goals,
she said: "Study not to fulfil the desires of those around you, but to
fulfil the goals and aspirations you set for yourself. Follow your own ideals
and values on the path to success."
world's youngest appointed minister told the students to be ready to face
challenges in life, and without challenges, one cannot learn to better
himself. She added: "I'm very lucky
to be a student within the UAE Cabinet, and I see myself in that way because
I'm surrounded by leaders and ministers that I learn from each day."
minister highlighted the value of hard work as she offered examples of
self-growth and development from her experiences. Al Mazrouei described how
when deciding which study option she should pursue, her parents encouraged her
to choose sciences, rather than the arts. "I realised the true advantages
of my father's advice only later in life," she added.
gaining a bachelor's degree in Economics from New York University Abu Dhabi,
she earned her master's degree in Public Policy at the University of Oxford.
was tough. I was one of the youngest students, most of the students were 40-50
years old, but it was a pleasure to gain knowledge. I realised that I had a
responsibility as an Emirati to represent my country, and that's why I worked
women learning to join the kingom's tech revolution
in Saudi are becoming more involved in the kingdom’s tech revolution, according
to Hisham Elaraby, the regional director for MENA at online education platform
to Arabian Business, Elaraby said Saudi women are particularly interested in
four tech areas, including android development.
marketing is one of Saudi women’s preferred topics. There is also front end web
development, data in all its forms, and android development. We see a lot of
women learning to be android developers,” he said.
to data science
65% of the students taking part if Udacity’s programme in Saudi Arabia, which
runs in partnership with the MiSK foundation, are female.
Silicon Valley-based education technology company offers nanodegrees that cover
an array of subjects ranging from self-driving cars and AI to data science and
digital marketing. Its aim is to upskilling students for jobs of the future,
but also update current skills of older workforce.
for their programs are created in partnership with leading organisations
including Google, Facebook, Amazon and IBM. In Saudi, Udacity also offers the
MISK Program scholarship for nearly 3,000 Saudi students interested in mobile
and web development, machine learning, business analysis and programming.
said it is important to integrate the topics into the region’s overall
extremely important to include AI and machine learning into the region’s
educational systems. Is the region ready for that? We may not have many large
tech start ups that are coming into the scene, with which you would typically
associate AI and machine learning, but we have a few.
have the Souqs and the Careems of this world who are definitely using machine
learning to deliver their services. But the demand is much wider than that,” he
said, referring to other traditional businesses such as telecom operators or
retailers, [they] are coming to grips with the idea that they are sitting on a
lot of data and that the future will be about how they use this data to deliver
a better customer experience. So people who are hiring machine learning experts
are not only the start ups, but also the government.
Dubai specifically, government service providers such as DEWA or RTA have a
strong mandate to digitise and adopt technology. The demand is more far
reaching than one would expect,” he said.
Udacity does not aim to compete with existing universities, it urges
educational organisations to update their curriculums with tech topics,
according to Elaraby.
Saudi court of appeals this week ruled that a 38-year-old woman who manages a
bank cannot marry the man of her choice against her brother’s wishes, a stark
reminder of the enduring male guardianship system in a country implementing
major social and economic changes.
court upheld a ruling made two years ago in favor of her brother’s argument:
“The man is not equally faithful.” The woman has vowed to keep fighting against
her family’s objections.
Arabia, one of the world’s most conservative countries, has over the past year
lifted a ban on women driving, allowed mixed-gender concerts and re-opened
cinemas after a decades-long ban. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in his
early thirties, is widely viewed as the architect behind those sweeping
latest court ruling caused a wave of criticism and mockery on social media
among many Saudis who less than one year ago witnessed the crown prince pledge
a “moderate, open” Saudi Arabia.
per cent of the Saudi population is under 30, and we will not spend the next 30
years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas. We will destroy them today
and at once,” he told foreign investors at a Riyadh conference in October 2017,
in an apparent challenge to hardliners.
woman, whose name has not been revealed in the press, has been dubbed the
“Onaiza girl” after her home city in the central province of Al-Qassim. In an
interview with the Saudi newspaper Okaz, she said: “I will not keep quiet. I
will apply for mercy.” Seven years ago, her uncle had approved the marriage,
but the union was halted when a brother refused to approve it. The woman’s
brother alleged that the man, a teacher, was not equally religious to his
general court in Onaiza sided with the immediate family member, agreeing that
the marriage lacked “equivalence.”
teacher recently proposed again, but her brothers said no, and one of them told
the court the would-be groom was seen playing oud, a traditional Arabic musical
woman challenged the initial ruling at a court of appeals, submitting two
pieces evidence: one asserting that one of the eyewitnesses to the oud playing
was lying, and the other, a written endorsement from the mosque preacher and
the teacher’s colleagues affirming his commitment to prayer and honesty.
week, the court upheld the initial ruling that “the man who plays music is not
ruling comes as Crown Prince Mohammed works to project a moderate image of the
kingdom, long associated with a fundamentalist strain of Wahhabi Islam.
woman has pointed out the irony of her situation: she holds a leading post in a
bank supervising more than 300 employees, and at the same time is considered
unqualified to deal with her personal issues. Now she faces the prospect she
will never marry and remain under the control of her brothers.
social media, many Saudis expressed discontent with the ruling.
a video aired on Saudi Arabia’s Khalejia TV, with more than 1 million Twitter
followers, a presenter asked: “Where did this new ‘inequality’ concept come
Shabanat, a Saudi Twitter user, mocked the court ruling, asking if the teacher
“was seen holding a bomb, not an oud?”
women over the past year have gained significant rights, including the ability
to open their own businesses without the consent of a male relative.
many restrictions remain, and the modernization drive has been accompanied by a
crackdown on political activity.
June, the government arrested 17 citizens who had campaigned for the rights of
women to drive and for the end of the male guardianship system.
women like the bank manager from Onaiza, the battle for personal freedoms
— There has been a 60% increase in the number of cases attended by women
notaries after the Ministry of Justice started issuing notary licenses to them
in July this year.
to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, a number of women notaries said that they successfully
carried out various notary services such as handling transactions involving
real estates and transfer of ownership of deeds worth millions of riyals.
Adawi, a notary, said she used to receive several cases including those related
to the issuance and cancellation of power-of-attorneys and providing opinions
on queries on legal and judicial matters.
started handling cases of real estate deals, including purchase and sale of
houses and villas and transfer of ownership of properties,” she said.
said the ministry’s decision to grant licenses to women notaries has benefitted
a large number of women, especially employees, the elderly and the sick.
Hindi, another notary, said that a large number of women started taking
advantage of notary services after they entered the field.
services included the issuance or cancelation of power of attorney for
individuals and firms, document certification, the transfer of real estate
rights, she said, adding that more women are expected to enter this field.
July, the Ministry of Justice issued licenses for 12 female lawyers allowing
them to do some notary services.
include five lawyers in Jeddah, four in Riyadh, two in Makkah and one in
months ago, 18-year-old Bahara* was imprisoned for failing a test that she
should never have had to undergo.
had run away from home to meet a man she had been in a relationship with. They
had never met, but were in contact through calls and messages. That night, when
they met for the first time, he raped her. But when she reported the rape to
the police, instead of support, she was taken to hospital to undergo a virginity
test – a practice that was banned in Afghanistan in 2016.
was on my period that day, too, and I pleaded for them not to send me. They
wouldn’t listen,” Bahara says.
thought the doctors would at least take me to a private place for the test. But
it was done in a room full of people – doctors, nurses, and even prying
visitors and other patients who wanted a closer look at my naked body. At that
moment, I would have preferred to die,” she says.
female doctor performed the test using her two fingers, checking if the hymen
was intact. After enduring the physical and emotional ordeal, Bahara was told
she needed to undergo another test. “Because I was on my period they couldn’t
gather accurate results,” she says.
is now an inmate at Mazar-i-Sharif high security prison in Balkh province. Many
women have been imprisoned here for what are considered “moral crimes”, which
include running away from home and having sex before marriage. Most will have
had to undergo virginity tests and many women will spend months in jail because
they failed them.
imprisoned for running away have usually fled dire circumstances, from domestic
violence to forced sex work, and women categorised as “moral criminals” are
jailed alongside convicted murderers.
campaigners hope that the passing of a public health policy to ban virginity
testing in hospitals and clinics will bring significant change. The testing,
which has been condemned as degrading and discriminatory, was officially banned
in 2016, but that hasn’t stopped police taking women and girls for testing or
stopped hospitals and clinics performing tests.
Mazar-i-Sharif prison, in a small courtyard smelling heavily of cigarettes,
women talk on phones, pace up and down, wash clothes and eat fruit. Inside, a
female psychologist leads a group therapy session, organised by Marie Stopes
the announcement of the new policy, Marie Stopes, with funding from the Swedish
government, will work with healthcare professionals in every Afghan province to
ensure they know about the ban, and implement it.
twice-weekly sessions at the prison are a chance for women to share their
feelings about how they came to be in the prison, to build trust and discuss
their hopes and fears for the future. The room is decorated with drawings that
reflect their aspirations for life after jail.
even though they will eventually leave the prison, the stigma of their “crime”
will remain. Bahara longs to be released, but she is fearful of what awaits on
not sure I can rejoin society and go back to living a normal life. My being
here has damaged my family’s reputation, and I truly fear my father might kill
me once I’m out,” she says. “Even if a person is a criminal, they’re still a
human. Human beings don’t deserve to go through what I went through.”
fear of being accused of not being a virgin permeates society.
a beauty parlour in Kabul, Hosnia is worried about her wedding night. Staring
down at her shaking hands, decorated with intricate henna patterns in
preparation for her wedding the next day, she says a female relative didn’t
bleed on her wedding night, and was punished for it.
if they’re virgins, some girls just don’t bleed after their first time. But
here, it’s widely believed that if you don’t bleed, you’re not pure.”
Hosnia was a virgin, she was terrified that she might not bleed – a concern
shared by many women in Afghanistan. In most cases, a bride who doesn’t bleed
is “returned” to her father by her husband, divorced immediately, or in some
cases even killed. “I’ve never talked about virginity with my fiancé before,”
the national public health policy was passed, progress was slowly being made in
parts of the capital to stop virginity testing and arrests for “moral crimes”.
Colonel Bismillah Taban, police commander for District 9 in Kabul, banned
police from sending women for testing, paving the way for further progress.
Before he took up his post, he said, women who were seen by police in public
places with other men were immediately suspected of having sexual intercourse,
and sent for testing.
Afghanistan Forensic Science Organisation, an NGO, says: “Hymen examination
doesn’t only have a negative psychological impact on girls and women. It is a
dangerous test, which in some cases causes physical pain, damage to the hymen,
bleeding and infections.”
organisation’s director, Mohammad Ashraf Bakhteyari, says that not only does
virginity testing violate human rights, “bleeding is not a sign of a hymen’s
existence or absence”. But this information is not widely known, as too few
Afghan school students receive any kind of sex education.
Sepehr, director of the organisation Development and Support of Afghan Women
and Children, says the school curriculum needs to change. “If sex education
isn’t taught in an academic environment, our children will learn about it
through porn or other unreliable sources,” she says. “Schools have to conduct
meetings with parents and teachers to encourage discussion about adultery, sex
education and hormone changes. These discussions will then raise enlightened,
educated students who are aware of their bodies. This will also go a long way
to discouraging boys from inflicting violence or unwanted attention on women.”
at Mazar-i-Sharif, Bahara is trying to remain positive. “I want to be hopeful
and really wait for the day to see my family happy again and hug my mother, as
I miss her a lot. In the future, I would love to continue my education and
become a teacher to educate my students, especially girls, so they do not face
what I experienced in my life.”
10, marks the World Day against the Death Penalty. The death penalty violates
the most fundamental human rights, the right to life and the right to freedom
from torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
death penalty is also considered discriminatory as it is often used against the
most vulnerable in society, including the poor, ethnic and religious
minorities, and people with mental disabilities. It is also used by some
governments to silence their opponents.
is the world’s leading per capita executioner. It also holds the record in the
execution of women and minors.
Iranian regime is among those governments that execute their opponents. 120,000
people have been executed in Iran since 1981 for their opposition to the
government, at-least one-third of whom have been women.
to the international laws, pregnant women must not be executed, whereas in
Iran, at least 50 pregnant women have been executed in the 1980s. Women were
also executed en masse in 1988, during the massacre of 30,000 political
prisoners in Iran.
Iranian regime uses the death penalty as a tool to suppress and silence a
disgruntled public the majority of whom live under the poverty line, are
unemployed and deprived of freedom of expression.
is a tool which helps the mullahs’ regime hold its grab on power. Over 3,600
people have been executed over the past five years under Hassan Rouhani. In the
same period, 84 women have been executed.
the reasons that lead to the execution of women are early forced marriages,
being deprived of the right to divorce, domestic violence against women, and
international law recommends alternative punishments for imprisonment of women
who are mothers and have to take care of their children. In Iran, however,
mothers are not only imprisoned but handed death sentences.
women do not report violence and rape because judicial authorities might hold
the woman, the victim, guilty and accuse her of illicit relations which is
punishable by death.
of the infamous cases of execution of women has been the case of Reyhaneh
Jabbari. Reyhaneh was an interior designer, 19 years old, when she was
assaulted by one of her clients, a senior official of the Intelligence Ministry.
Reyhaneh killed the man in self-defense, however, the court convicted and
executed her after seven years of torture and imprisonment, on October 25,
2014. The Intelligence Ministry and prison officials wanted Reyhaneh to make
false confessions to justify the crime of their official in exchange for her
the World Day Against the Death Penalty, we draw attention to the plight of
women in Iran who are victims of execution and urge the international community
to pressure the Iranian regime to stop the death penalty, especially against
Iraee, Atena Daemi and Maryam Akbari Monfared, three women political prisoners
in the women's ward of Evin Prison have been deprived of their family
visitations for three weeks since Tuesday, October 2, 2018.
agents have argued that the illegal verdict has been handed down because of the
three women political prisoners’ verbal argument with prison guards at the
visitation hall where they chanted slogans.
three women political prisoners, Golrokh Iraee, Atena Daemi and Maryam Akbari
Monfared, demanded to see the verdict, however, the head of the women's ward
said it had been verbally communicated to them by Charmahali, the Prison
Administrator, and the Prosecutor's Office.
Saturday, September 9, 2018, the day after the executions of Ramin Hossein
Panahi and Loghman and Zaniar Moradi, three political prisoners detained in
Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, the three women political prisoners encountered an
unannounced inspection inside the visitation hall. They resisted and refused to
Prison Disciplinary Council formed a meeting in the absence of the three women
political prisoners and decided to ban family visits for them for three weeks.
They were not shown any written papers but just verbally informed of the order.
up on the issue, the three women political prisoners found out that the order
had been arbitrarily issued by the Prison Administrator. Vaziri, the Deputy
Prosecutor, has promised the prisoners to see into the issue and resolve it.
the meantime, Maryam Akbari Monfared who is a mother of three, was supposed to
have her weekly visitation day changed since the beginning of the school year
because two of her daughters are university students and her youngest daughter
goes to elementary school.
change had to take place according to the prison’s regular procedures but it
has not taken effect due to hindrances by the Prosecutor's Office
Akbari Monfared has been imprisoned for nine years without a single day of
leave. During this time, she has been seeing
her daughters in the visitation hall, and if the procedure of weekly
visitations is not implemented for her, she would not be able to see them.
women were killed by men across Turkey in September, according to a report by
online news outlet Bianet, which compiled data from local and national
newspapers, news sites and news agencies.
to the report, men killed at least 23 women and two girls in September.
Twenty-two percent of the women were killed for seeking a divorce and 22
percent of the murders occurred in public places.
report also showed that men raped four women; forced 24 women into sex work;
harassed 22 women; sexually abused 19 girls; and inflicted violence on 36 women
across Turkey in September.
Bianet’s “Male Violence Monitoring Report” only covers women who lost their
lives as a result of violence perpetrated by men. They do not include any
violence cases or crimes that are not gender-based.
than these murders, the perpetrator of the murder of a woman who is a citizen
of Georgia is yet to be found, and another woman was found dead in suspicious
circumstances in Antalya. It was determined that the murderer of Moldovan
Tatiana A., who was killed in İstanbul in February, was the son of her friend.
killed at least 183 women and 10 children in Turkey, raped 50 women, harassed
162 women, forced 375 women into sex work, sexually abused 279 girls and
injured 316 women to date in 2018.
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