Saudi Arabia to set
minimum marriage age following surge in such weddings
Oman Best GCC Country for Women to Live In: Survey
Malala Figures among Washington Post’s 15 Top Women
Canada Should Condemn Efforts to Roll Back Afghan
Dubai Bomb Threat Woman Pleads Not Guilty
HEC Paris Organizes Leadership and Entrepreneurship
Workshop for Women in Qatar
EU Parliamentarians Visiting Iran Meet Female MPs
Off-Broadway Play on Iraq's War Women Comes To City
Malaysian women team wins karate's seventh gold
British Women Support Thalassaemia Patients through
Compiled by New
Age Islam News Bureau
New Law to Set Marital Age Of Consent in Saudi Arabia
December 16, 2013
RIYADH — A long-awaited personal affairs law that
regulates family relationships and decides the rights of women and children
will include an article setting the minimum age of marital consent at 18,
Al-Hayat newspaper reported Sunday.
Legal sources said under the new law, a girl under
this age will not be allowed to marry without a court decision even if her male
guardian has given his consent.
They said the Shoura Council would soon discuss the
law before it is sent to the Council of Ministers for final approval.
The law will be based on the 282-item Muscat Document
on personal affairs adopted by the GCC ministers of justice in 1998.
The sources said the law, which will be issued in the
coming few weeks, includes chapters on marriage, separation between husbands
and wives, maturity of men and women and inheritance.
The new law aims to achieve parity between men and
women in all aspects of life.
The sources said the law would cancel the right of
guardianship for men over women except in marriages, where Islamic Shariah
gives them this right.
They said the wife could ask to include a stipulation
in the marriage contract indicating her right to divorce if the husband marries
another woman and she has the right to stay in the marital home if a divorce
between them has not been made final.
According to the sources, the new law has described
the relationship between married couples to be a partnership, not qiwamah
(supremacy of men over women) as it used to be.
By Swapna Tarafdar
December 15, 2013
MUSCAT - Oman is the best country in GCC and second
overall for women to live in, a survey conducted among 22 member states of the
Arab League including suspended member Syria has revealed.
The next best GCC country for women to live in was
Kuwait followed by Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
According to the survey, Comoros is the best country
for women to live in the entire Arab League while Egypt was the worst.
The overall ranking was based on six categories -
women in politics, society, economy, family, their reproductive rights and
violence against them.
Titled, ‘Women’s Rights in the Arab World’, the survey
was conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation.
During the survey, which was carried out in August and
September, 336 gender experts spoke on the issue in different categories.
To express their views on any issue, experts answered
by selecting from among options such as strongly agree, agree, neither agree
nor disagree, disagree and strongly disagree.
Answers were converted into scores and higher the
score, the worst the country was.
In the overall survey, the sultanate was ranked third
on the issue of ‘Women in Politics’, second on ‘Women in the Economy’, fifth in
‘Women in Society’ and ‘Reproductive rights for Women’ categories, tenth in
‘Violence against Women’ and ranked 12 in ‘Women in the Family’.
WASHINGTON - Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, who was shot
in the head by a Taliban gunman for speaking out in support of the girls right
to education, was on Sunday named by the Washington Post, the leading American
newspaper, among the 15 “Women who made a difference in 2013.”
“From the mighty to the humble, these women made a
mark on the world this year,” according to Post’s “She the People” blog, that
referred to Malala and 14 other distinguished women from various walks of life.
The Post’s citation said, “As she recovered last year,
she collected awards from the United Nations and the European Union (and was
mentioned as a possible Nobel Peace Prize winner).
“Everywhere she went, from Harvard to the World Bank,
her poise and unrelenting passion impressed.“ The citation was placed under
Malala’s photograph with US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle and
their 15-year-old daughter, Malia, when she visited them at the White House in
Canada should condemn efforts to roll back Afghan
Dec 14 2013
Is this what Canadian troops fought for in
So that President Hamid Karzai’s government could
reduce the clout Afghan women have in the country’s provincial councils? So
that some benighted lawmakers could muse about bringing back the barbaric
practice of stoning people for adultery? And so authorities could turn a blind
eye to violence against women?
While Afghan women have chalked up major achievements
in the 12 years since the Taliban’s dark five-year reign was toppled, their
precious gains in schooling, politics, jobs and legal rights are fragile and
are under ugly pressure as the country nears a critical turning point.
That’s something that should concern Prime Minister
Stephen Harper’s government, given the sacrifices our troops have made and the
$2 billion in aid we have provided. Our current contribution, $227 million
between 2014 and 2017, aims specifically to help empower women and girls in the
areas of education, human rights and humanitarian assistance.
Yet conservative pressures in Afghanistan are
gathering strength as the country heads into a turbulent political year. In
elections scheduled for April 5, Karzai will be replaced as president. He has
served two terms and cannot run again. Provincial councils will be elected at
the same time. Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama is pressing Karzai to
sign a security deal that would see 12,000 to 14,000 mostly American troops
stay in the country for a decade, while Canadian and other foreign troops pull
And the Afghan government is hoping to receive at
least $10 billion annually in continuing American and other foreign aid — money
that is critical to establishing a functioning state.
Yet obtaining that aid won’t be a given if the Afghan
government’s shaky commitment to women’s rights unravels. Canada and other
major donors can’t be expected to underwrite conservative efforts to
revictimize women. And that’s just what appears to be happening.
Earlier this year Karzai approved a new electoral law
that cut from 25 per cent to 20 the number of seats reserved for women on 34
provincial councils, in what Human Rights Watch warned was part of a
“broad-based attack on women’s rights.”
Meanwhile, some Afghan lawmakers drawing up a new law
code reportedly favour bringing back the appalling Taliban-era practice of
public stoning for adultery, although the government says no such proposal has
been formally put forward. At the same time, the number of women and girls
jailed for “moral crimes” has doubled in the past year, Human Rights Watch
reports. Many so-called “criminals” are in fact victims of domestic violence
and forced marriages.
And the United Nations has just pointed out that
Afghan efforts are stalling in bringing to justice men who abuse women. While
official reports by police and prosecutors on violence against women —
including rape, child marriage and physical abuse — jumped by 28 per cent this
past year, prosecutions rose just 2 per cent. That doesn’t encourage women to
assert their rights by reporting crimes.
This is an ominous spate of backsliding as Afghanistan
prepares at long last to take its political destiny, and its security, into its
own hands. The Canadian government and its allies should remind Afghanistan’s
power brokers, forcefully, that rolling back women’s gains will only embolden
the Taliban, discourage foreign donors and drag the country back to darker
Dubai bomb threat woman pleads not guilty
Dubai: A woman who threatened to detonate an explosive
belt at the Dubai Public Prosecution has pleaded not guilty to the charges
The 33-year-old Uzbek woman, Z.H., had taken hold of
the Dubai Public Prosecution building and demanded a family house, Dh3 million,
an Emirati passport for her 10-year-old son and a DNA test to confirm that an
Emirati soldier, J.S., fathered her child, according to prosecution records.
Dressed in a pink prison outfit and a veil covering
her face, Z.H. repeatedly denied the accusations against her when she appeared
before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Sunday.
The incident took place on September 1 at the Dubai
Public Prosecution’s building near the Dubai Creek.
According to the charges filed, prosecutors accused
the Uzbek woman of threatening to harm J.S. and DPP’s visitors and employees by
detonating an explosive belt that turned out to be fake.
Z.H. was charged with threatening to blow herself up
inside the DPP’s building over a dispute involving a paternity test for her
ten-year-old child. Prosecutors said the woman caused public disorder, hampered
general safety and security, frightened the public and endangered people’s
An Emirati military man, M.Y., was charged with aiding
and abetting Z.H. to commit the aforementioned incident by providing her with
the belt, which he prepared, and encouraging her to carry out the threat to
force the authorities to yield to her demands. The Uzbek was heard repeatedly
saying no in Russian when she entered a not-guilty plea before presiding judge
Maher Salama Al Mahdi.
“I deny sir. I did not prepare the belt. I did not do
all of that...,” argued M.Y. when he defended himself in courtroom seven.
Advocates Mona Saif and Hamed Al Menhali, who are
defending Z.H. and M.Y. respectively, asked the court to adjourn the hearing
until they photocopy the case file and prepare their defence arguments.
Prosecutors have asked for the implementation of the
toughest punishment, a maximum of seven years in jail, against the defendants.
The solider testified during prosecution questioning
that he first met Z.H. in 2003.
“Ten days after we started our relationship, she
started causing me trouble and claiming that I impregnated her. An Ajman court
acquitted me and jailed her for a month for adultery.
“Three years later she lodged a case against me before
the Sharjah Sharia Court to confirm that I am the boy’s father. The case was
dismissed. She lost all the lawsuits that she lodged against me...that all
caused for me family problems. Few months prior to this incident [explosive
belt] she called me repeatedly. As of August 20, she sent me several SMSs in which
she threatened me.
“She forwarded me photos of the supposed explosive
belt...and sent me a voice message claiming that I would see the blast. I did
not take her seriously until I was summoned for interrogation by law
enforcement officers who informed what happened,” J.S. claimed to prosecutors.
The Emirati soldier was cited admitting: “She demanded
me to pay her Dh3 million and get her villa and prove that I fathered the boy.
She also asked me to issue a passport for her son. I cannot confirm that I am
the father and asked her to take the required legal action.”
An Iranian man testified that he was present at a DPP
counter when the incident took place.
“I heard [loud] clapping and when I turned to look
what was happening, I spotted the woman with a bulgy belt surrounding her waist
when she stood near the reception. She was also holding a remote control in her
hand and threatened to blow the place. A state of panic and chaos hit the
place...people dashed out of DPP’s building and I injured my legs and toe while
rushing out. I suffered nightmares and still do from what happened,” he
An Emirati law enforcement officer testified that Z.H.
demanded to see rulers, sheikhs, the Uzbek Consul General and her lawyer when
the incident took place.
Presiding judge Al Mahdi adjourned the case until
HEC Paris organizes leadership and entrepreneurship
workshop for women in Qatar
15 December, 2013
HEC Paris School of Management - a leading global
business school - held an interactive plenary session and workshop for ladies
in Qatar that focused on the theme of leadership and entrepreneurship.
The workshop entitled 'Facing Your Leadership
Challenges' was implemented by Prof. Valérie Gauthier, a full-time faculty
member of HEC Paris.
As part of a global project launched this year by HEC
Paris aimed at creating learning and development programs for women, the
workshop is also considered an integral part of the core mission of HEC Paris
as a leading global business school and member of Qatar Foundation -
specifically in terms of contributing to the realization of the 2030 Qatar
National Vision. Additionally, this event is also seen as a launch pad for more
workshops in the future exclusively for women.
"The objective of the workshop is to further
develop the leadership and entrepreneurial capabilities of women in
Qatar," said Professor Laoucine Kerbache, Chief Executive Officer and
Academic Dean of HEC Paris in Qatar. "This is in line with our fundamental
role of developing managerial skills and unlocking talent which contributes to
greater economic diversification and sustainability, and an improved global
corporate competiveness for Qatar.
"Within this context, we plan to organize more of
such workshops. In the long-term, we aim at developing recurrent management
development programs designed for women in Qatar," he added. "Based
on the active involvement and positive feedback of participants, we are to
pursue this goal intensively."
During the interactive plenary session and workshop,
participants learned about their sense relational leadership skills that could
be developed further and was also able to share and discuss ideas on
"Undoubtedly, the women of Qatar today have a lot
to offer in the ongoing and continued development of the country," said
Prof. Gauthier. "Through the right programs and courses, especially
through HEC Paris, such abundance of talent and skill can even be further
enhanced and utilized in its maximum potential.
"This country has indeed a bright future ahead
and every stakeholder, especially women, have an important role to play,"
she added. "As the country then moves forward into realizing its
aspirations, I am therefore eager to participate and lead more formal programs
for women in Qatar in the near future."
At the end of the workshop, a panel discussion about
its outcome was also moderated by Prof. Gauthier. Among the panelists were
Michelle Wu, Business Solutions IT Leader at General Electric's Growth &
Operations in Middle East, North Africa and Turkey; Diana Al Dajani, Founder of
eduTechnoz, a curriculum-based gaming platform that aims to entertain and
engage children while teaching them Arabic.
Prof. Gauthier is an Associate Professor at HEC Paris.
She launched the Entrepreneurship Track Program with Tsinghua School of
Management in 2008 which supports training of women entrepreneurs in China.
Drawing on her vast expertise in leadership and cross-cultural relationships,
she taught various relational leadership and business communication courses.
She was a Visiting Professor at MIT Sloan Management
and NYU Stern and is currently finishing her book 'Sense Leadership' to be
published in 2014 by Stanford University Press. Elected best HEC Paris
Professor a few years ago, Prof. Gauthier was selected as one of eight Fortune
Global Forum Visionaries.
Account Manager, Action Qatar
Tel: 00974 44361499
HEC Paris in Qatar
HEC Paris joined Qatar Foundation in June 2010,
bringing world-class Executive Education programs and research activity to Doha
and the region. Qatar's first international EMBA was launched by HEC Paris in
February 2011. The HEC Executive MBA (EMBA) is a part-time program which
provides executives with a set of fundamental skills to expand their knowledge
and leadership capabilities. In addition to the EMBA, HEC Paris provides in
Qatar a Specialized Master Degree in Strategic Business Unit Management. The
institution also offers non-degree management programs for executives, in the
form of open enrolment programs as well as custom-designed programs for
individual companies. The programs and research activities of HEC Paris in
Qatar build corporate competitiveness within the global economy and are fully
aligned with Qatar National Vision 2030 to support the transformation of Qatar
into an advanced, competitive and knowledge-based economy. HEC Paris was ranked
number one in the world for Executive Education in 2013 by the influential
UK-based Financial Times media group.
A leader in Europe, HEC Paris specializes in
management education and research. HEC Paris offers a full, unique range of
courses to the leaders of tomorrow: Masters Degrees, MBA, PhD, Executive MBA
and Trium Global Executive MBA. Founded in 1881, HEC Paris has a permanent
faculty of 109 professors, 4000 students on its campus (40% of whom are
foreign) and over 8500 managers and executives trained in executive education
programs each year. HEC Paris was ranked number one in the world for Executive
Education in 2013 by the influential UK-based Financial Times media group.
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community
Development is a private, non-profit organization that serves the people of
Qatar by supporting and operating programs in three core mission areas:
education, science and research, and community development. The Foundation
strives to nurture the future leaders of Qatar. By example and by sharing its
experience, the Foundation also contributes to human development nationally,
regionally, and internationally. In all of its activities, the Foundation
promotes a culture of excellence in Qatar and furthers its role in supporting
an innovative and open society that aspires to develop sustainable human
capacity, social, and economic prosperity for a knowledge-based economy. http://www.qf.org.qa/
EU parliamentarians visiting Iran meet female MPs
Dec 15 2013
For the first time in over five years a delegation
from the European parliament has travelled to Tehran to meet with Iranian
lawmakers and officials including a group of female MPs, representatives of
nongovernmental organisations, and human rights activists. The aim of the week
long visit, which began on Thursday, is to strengthen relations.
Fatmeh Rahmar, leader of the women and family group
said “there are clear differences between the two parties, but that is mostly
cultural, which is very important. In Iran, every measure that we pursue has to
be in accordance with the culture and religion of the country .”
Just nine of the 290 members of the Iranian parliament
are women, another visible reminder of the cultural differences.
Tarja Cronberg, a Finnish Green MEP said “the fact
women in the Iranian parliament form their own fraction, have their own group,
discuss things and do research is an evolvement in the society. But you must
also acknowledge that Iran as a whole is a conservative society.’
The EU delegation is also set to meet the country’s
Foreign Minister, Mohammad- Javad Zarif, and the Honourary Chairman of the
Expediency Council, Hashemi Rafsanjani, during their visit.
Off-Broadway play on Iraq's war women comes to city
Dec 14, 2013
GURGAON: An award-winning off-Broadway play that
explores the impact of war on women will be staged in the city on Monday.
Heather Raffo's '9 Parts of Desire', with Ira Dubey playing the parts of nine
women who live within the siege of conflict in Iraq between the first and
second Gulf Wars, is at once a social commentary, a love story, a feminist act
and a freedom fight.
Directed by Lilllete Dubey, it's a portrait of the
extraordinary, and ordinary, lives of Iraqi women - an attractive painter, a
radical communist, a doctor, an exile and wives, mothers and lovers.
"There are nine different characters, from a nine-year-old child to a
70-year-old woman who c0ome from different classes and social set-ups," says
Lillete, who was initially apprehensive about daughter Ira pulling off the solo
It wasn't easy. Ira had to devote months of research
and reading to prepare herself for the roles. "She's put everything into
the act. Within five minutes of the play, you are transported to Iraq,"
says Lillete. With only one set of clothes - a simple gown which can be altered
with a scarf or a jacket - for the play, Lillete's brief to Ira was simple.
"You are one actor who has to make me believe that you are nine." So
it's Ira's show at the end of the day as she seamlessly dives in and out of
characters, becoming a kaleidoscope of Iraqi society.
Lillete said Raffo's phenomenal writing made her job
directing the play simpler. The half Iraqi, half American Raffo didn't let the
script become grim despite its war theme. "To give humour which is not
comic in a material like war can only be Raffo's work," Lillete said,
adding, "For me, the play goes beyond the political impact and horrors of
war. It's a feminist point of view of everyday women in a war-torn Iraq."
A line in the play sums up how women and largely
people are similar all over the world. It comes from an Iraqi woman to an
American woman as follows: "the only difference between us is the colour
of our passports".
The 75-minute play is brought by The Primetime Theatre
Co. It will be staged at Epicentre.
By Fadhli Ishak
15 December 2013
MYANMAR: The national karate team ended their Sea
Games campaign in style after bagging the women's team kumite event title with
a 2-0 win over Indonesia in the final this afternoon.
The gold is the seventh won by the team at the games.
The men's team had earlier taken silver in the team
They lost 3-1 to Thailand in the decider at the Wunna
Theikdi Indoor Stadium in Naypyitaw.
KARACHI: To support thalassaemia patients, British Women’s
Association (BWA) organised a grand charity bazaar at the Beach Luxury Hotel on
The organisation has been working to help thalassaemia
patients through the collection of funds at the fundraiser. The huge attendance
showed that many families intended to support the BWA team through the purchase
of different items, including clothing, artificial jewellery, decorating items,
packed vegetable items and other commodities.
“It is a real cause to help the needy and the
deserving people,” said Jean Scott, a member of the BWA. The 50-year-old member
Scott has been working for the association for the last five years. She
believes that the real satisfaction is when one is a helping hand for many. She
had also set up a stall and all her items were sold out within four hours.
Another elderly female volunteer said, “We support
those who work for humanity, which is a great work,” she said with smiling face
adding that the association has been supporting different projects across Sindh
“The situation in the city has reduced such
activities,” said a visitor, Ameen, who has been visiting such bazaars for the
last 15 years. He regretted that he could not directly help the organisation,
adding that he purchased many items from such charity bazaars feeling that it helps
the needy and the deserving. He further said that he would bring his relatives
and friends to visit and support the cause.
Maleeha, who set up her artificial jewellery stall,
said that she set up her stall to support the cause as well as introduce her products
to the market.