Saudi women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul has been nominated for this
year's Nobel Peace Prize
• Charter Launched In Abu Dhabi
To Ensure Rights Of Arab Women
• Salam Stars Challenge
Stereotypes In Female Athletics
• Kuwait Backs Women Empowerment
At UN, Globally
• Burqa Ban ‘Has No Place In A
Society That Promotes Equality’, Says UN
• Rescued From Sex Slavery, Red
Tape Traps Bangladeshi Girls In India
• Matron Allegedly Beaten To
Death By Russian Female Inmates At Gadani Central Jail
• Turkey's first lady reopens
• UK Boss Fined $27K for Racially
Abusing Muslim Female Employee
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Women’s Rights Activist Loujain Al-Hathloul Contender For Nobel Peace Prize
Saudi women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul has been nominated for this
year's Nobel Peace Prize after being put forward by group of Norwegian and
along with at least a dozen other women's rights activists, were arrested over
a year ago as Saudi Arabia ended a ban on women driving cars, which many of the
detainees had long campaigned for. Local media tarred them as traitors.
case has drawn global criticism and provoked anger in European capitals and the
US Congress following last year's murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi
agents inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.
groups say at least three of the women, including Hathloul, were held in
solitary confinement for months and subjected to abuse including electric
shocks, flogging, and sexual assault.
officials have denied torture allegations and said the arrests were made on
suspicion of harming Saudi interests and offering support to hostile elements
Launched In Abu Dhabi To Ensure Rights Of Arab Women
aims to secure their rights and ensure their active participation in attaining
their country's goals.
Arab Charter on Women's Rights has been launched in Abu Dhabi. During a special
ceremony on Tuesday, the Federal National Council (FNC), in cooperation with
the Arab Parliament, launched the charter that is said to be an
"exceptional and qualitative move towards the advancement and empowerment
of Arab women".
aims to secure their rights and ensure their active participation in attaining
their country's development goals and objectives. The ceremony was held under
the patronage of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's
Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and
Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.
Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance; Dr. Meshaal Al Salmi, Arab
Parliament President; Fawzia Zainal, Bahrain's Speaker of the Council of
Representatives; Dr. Alia Hatog-Buran, President of the Parliamentary Assembly
of the Mediterranean; and Maya Morsy, Egypt's National Council for Women
President, were among the top officials present for the launch.
a speech delivered on behalf of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Sheikh Nahyan
said: "The Arab Charter on Women's Rights is a historical document,
predicated on the noble and moral principles and teachings of the Islamic
charter is a source of pride that highlights the principles of equality, equal
opportunity, and joint action among all elements within a nation to attain
progress and prosperity in Arab society."
Stars Challenge Stereotypes In Female Athletics
topic of hijab, a headscarf worn by Muslim women, has always resulted in a
variety of opinions. If we add wearing a hijab while competing in a sport, the
focus becomes on the attire of the athlete rather than the skillset.
Salam High School, Coach Martie Budnowski says the high school varsity
volleyball team is currently in the works of changing the perception around
Muslim female athletes that wear a hijab.
are right in the middle of changing culture when it comes to female athletics
here at Salam,” said Budnowski. “Salam is just starting to get into the ‘It’s
okay to win and we can fight to win to win’ mentality, which still needs to
grow as opposed to ‘we’re just so glad we get to play.’”
the first season with Coach Budnowski, and with her addition on the team, Salam
Stars had a significant victory against Tenor High School with a five-set
girls on the team expressed that having a win under their belt gave them
confidence and ignited a spark to continue giving it their all, even when
sometimes facing bias for wearing a headscarf.
can’t lie and say I never felt discrimination because I wear hijab,” said
Ameera Jaber, student-athlete.
some students recognize that facing prejudice on and off the court is
prevalent, another student-athlete Phareda Be says that’s not always the case.
would go to parks and practice there,” said Phareda Be. “Some girls, I have no
idea who they are, they just see me play volleyball and are like, ‘can I join?’
and stuff like that, so I have a positive view when playing volleyball.”
that choose to wear a hijab and also participate in a sport shouldn’t be seen
as something out of the norm yet the act is treated as such.
instance, if we take Ibtihaj Muhammad, a 2016 Olympics bronze medalist for
fencing, she’s notably known for being the first Muslim American to wear a
hijab while competing for the Olympics. Najma Abdi, student-athlete, says that
what one decides to wear shouldn’t be a relevant factor when playing volleyball.
don’t understand that there is a difference between my skills and what I
represent,” said Abdi. “I represent
Islam and my skills have nothing to do on whether I’m wearing a scarf or not.”
every practice and every game, Salam Stars are dismantling the idea that
wearing a hijab can be limit one’s ability. The team symbolizes self-acceptance
and resilience. At the end of the day, this is a story about a high school
volleyball team learning to be better teammates, making friends and practicing
to win matches. Just like any other sports team.
Backs Women Empowerment At UN, Globally
YORK, Oct 8, (KUNA): The State of Kuwait continues to work intensively to boost
cooperation with international institutes and the UN to empower women and
bolster their rights, said a Kuwaiti diplomat Tuesday.
UN had played a great role in better women’s representation at high-ranking
jobs and position, Kuwaiti diplomatic Attache Hala Al-Garabally in a UN
committee meeting dedicated to empowering women and supporting their rights.
commended the role played by the General Secretariat in achieving equality
between genders by 2021. She added that her country had viewed UN data and
reports regarding women empowerment and representation, stressing that the
State of Kuwait will do its best to implement recommendations to enable more
rights for women.
women’s rights is an integral component of Kuwait development vision 2035 and
it is an essential goal within the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs),
she said, affirming that Kuwait was willing to provide support to both
the State of Kuwait called on Tuesday for the bolstering of UN Security
Council’s preventive diplomacy role in armed confl cts, especially in Africa.
During a UNSC meeting on “Peace and Security in Africa: The Centrality of
Preventive Diplomacy, Conflict Prevention”, Kuwait’s Permanent Representative
to the UN headquarters in New York Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi said that his
country was keen on supporting the important role played by preventive
diplomacy in areas of conflict.
State of Kuwait had highlighted the issue during its June presidency of the
UNSC in the name of safekeeping international peace and security, indicated
Al-Otaibi. Mediation is a civilized means to bring on a resolution to any
conflict of international proportion and this should be advocated by all countries,
added the Kuwaiti diplomat who called on the UNSC to use articles within the UN
statute to end conflicts peacefully.
stressed that negotiations, talks and legal procedures were all better than war
and therefore, all countries as well as regional and international entities
should aspire for peace and security whether in Africa or elsewhere.
Ambassador Al-Otaibi commended the role played by Ethiopia and the African
Union in aiding parties in Sudan to reach a peaceful resolution to their dispute.
Ban ‘Has No Place In A Society That Promotes Equality’, Says UN
Netherlands’ partial ban on face coverings – widely known as the Burqa ban –
discriminates against Muslim women, the United Nations special rapporteur on
racism has said in a damning report. Tendayi Achiume said the measure, which
came into force on August 1, had ‘no place in a country that promotes equality
between men and women’. While the legislation was carefully worded to include
all face coverings so as to be ostensibly neutral, Achiume said it was shaped
by a political climate of hostility to Islamic forms of dress such as the
niqab. ‘The political debate surrounding the adoption of this law makes plain
its intended targeting of Muslim women, and even if this targeting was not the
intent, it has certainly been the effect,’ she said in a preliminary report
presented in The Hague on Monday. People who wear face-covering headgear in
schools, hospitals and public buildings, or on public transport, are liable to
receive a €150 fine if they refuse to remove it. Only around 150 women in the
Netherlands are estimated to wear a niqab or Burqa. Achiume said the law
reflected a contradictory situation in which the Dutch tradition of hostility
was being subverted to impose western cultural norms on migrant populations.
‘The paradox in the Netherlands is that insistence that equality and tolerance
already exist actually operates as a barrier to achieving this equality and
tolerance in fact,’ she noted. Zwarte Piet Achiume visited the Netherlands last
week to observe its progress on tackling racism and discrimination. All nations
that sign the UN’s International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Racial Discrimination undergo an inspection every four years. Her final report
will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in July. Five years ago the
head of the UN’s human rights committee, Verene Shepherd, pitched in to the
debate on the character of Zwarte Piet when she said the practice of wearing
blackface for the Sinterklaas festivities ‘should stop’. Her remarks were
interpreted in Dutch media as a demand to abolish the Sinterklaas tradition
altogether and were angrily denounced by ‘pro-Piet’ campaigners. Achiume
praised the progress made since then to remove the ‘dehumanising and
stereotype’ aspects of Zwarte Piet. Blackface Piets have been dropped from the
children’s TV show Sinterklaasjournaal and St Nicholas’s ceremonial parade in
November. She also expressed concern about recent reports of racial and ethnic
discrimination within The Hague’s police department and called for better
protection for whistleblowers within the force. ‘The government must take
urgent steps to deal decisively with structures and individuals that promote or
even tolerate racism and discrimination within police forces, and the
government must at the same time provide strong protections for whistleblowers
brave enough to come forward with the truth,’ she said.
From Sex Slavery, Red Tape Traps Bangladeshi Girls In India
Srivastava, Naimul Karim
24 PARGANAS, India/DHAKA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Priya was 15 when a
relative in Bangladesh tricked her with the promise of a dream job as a singer,
drugged her, and trafficked her across the border into the sex trade in India.
several failed attempts to escape the brothel in the eastern state of West Bengal
where she was trapped for six years, Priya was rescued along with other girls
from Bangladesh and India in a raid by police and anti-trafficking campaigners.
home and pursuing her musical ambitions beckoned, or so she thought. But three
years after her rescue, the prospects of making it back to her family appeared
ever more distant.
Priya, now 24, was one of about 180 Bangladeshi sex trafficking survivors stuck
in shelters in West Bengal - with many having waited years for official
clearance to go home due to complex and lengthy bureaucracy across the two
long can I wait?”, said Priya, using her ‘brothel name’ to hide her identity
for fear of being shamed in Bangladesh.
I won’t go now even if they ask me to,” she said last month at a shelter,
sitting in a room adorned with paper roses.
wishing to return home must first gain approval from police, social workers,
judges, border forces and bureaucrats at both state and federal level, a
process that involves about 15 steps, analysis by the Thomson Reuters
Foundation has revealed.
the two nations are working towards faster returns, the long waits facing
dozens of survivors could stymie their efforts to start life afresh back home
and leave them vulnerable to being trafficked again, according to activists.
in a shelter ... can be traumatic,” said Tariqul Islam of Justice and Care, a
charity that reintegrates victims in Bangladesh. “When they return after two
years or more, it becomes hard for them to adjust to the changes and recover.”
often keep track of their victims even after they return home. When they notice
that the girl does not have a job, or is finding it hard to adjust, they target
of Bangladeshis are trafficked to India each year - many of whom are sold into
prostitution or domestic servitude - anti-slavery activists say, although
official data is lacking.
the last eight years, Bangladesh has brought home about 1,750 trafficking
survivors from India, predominantly women and girls in West Bengal and the
western state of Maharashtra.
anti-slavery charities that help victims in India say most are kept in shelters
for years - first awaiting the conclusion of court proceedings, then the
is often slow and convictions are rare. One in four trafficking cases in India
leads to conviction, while in Bangladesh, only 30 convictions have been secured
under a 2012 law, with more than 4,000 cases still awaiting trial.
and Bangladesh signed a partnership in 2015 to speed up repatriations, but how
a victim is treated - whether it is their experience with the judiciary or the
wait to go home - varies from one Indian state to another, according to
long-awaited deal aimed at streamlining the system is to be finalised soon,
officials from the two governments said.
the moment it sometimes takes 18 to 22 months,” said Ferdousi Akhter, joint
secretary with Bangladesh’s interior ministry. Yet charities say it can drag on
for up to six years.
victim has to go through many layers to be repatriated from India,” Akhter
added. “We are in talks to cut down these layers ... victims can surely make
a small house on the outskirts of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, mother-of-two
Basiron remembered the call to say her missing daughters had been found in a
brothel in India a year after they disappeared.
I heard the news, I screamed! I felt as though my heart was going to burst,”
the 47-year-old single parent said.
girls - now aged 16 and 17 - were rescued in 2017 from a brothel in West Bengal
where they were held in one room, beaten, plied with drink and drugs until
addicted, and repeatedly raped.
years on, they are still waiting to go home.
against the 16 people arrested in their trafficking case are yet to be filed in
court, which refused them permission to return and testify from Bangladesh.
a shelter for trafficking victims in a village in West Bengal, the two sisters
showed off sketches of huts surrounded by trees and a river - their way of
younger girl, Neela, said she wanted to take out a loan and set up a beauty
parlor when she finally returns home.
Indian girls who were rescued with us went back home in no time,” said Neela,
whose right arm was covered with scars - evidence of self-harm during her time
in the brothel.
feel happy for them. Maybe we too will go back one day.”
and her daughters stay in touch through occasional phone calls - they do not
discuss the case but talk about meals and movies they have enjoyed - yet the
mother is losing hope over their return and is increasingly worried for their
are times when I see reports on the news about children getting kidnapped or
killed ... those nights are the hardest to sleep,” said Basiron, who works as a
haven’t seen them in three years. Not even a photo. I don’t know what they look
Bengal has a 21-week deadline for a rescued victim to be sent back home but it
is rarely met, state officials said, due to lengthy court cases in India and
the time it takes Bangladesh to confirm that a survivor is one of its citizens.
is due to the high volume of cases, the fact that some victims do not share
their home addresses for fear of reprisals against their families, and because
relatives cannot always identify them easily after years apart.
ensure faster returns, India has started sharing photos of victims with
Bangladeshi officials over the past year, having previously just provided their
name, sex and age.
at her desk, state government anti-trafficking consultant Madhumita Haldar
showed two photos of a teenage Bangladeshi victim on her smartphone. In one she
was wearing a headscarf, in the other her face was covered in garish make-up.
how is a parent supposed to recognize their child from this?” she asked,
surrounded by victim case files stacked high.
than 80% of the 180 female trafficking victims in West Bengal waiting to go
home still have not had their nationality verified by Bangladesh and some have
been waiting for over a year, Haldar said.
Bangladeshi officer who declined to be named said police never took more than
six weeks to complete the process, despite some delays in verifying victims’ addresses.
in one case, a teenage girl died of acute abdominal pain that shelter officials
later linked to her withdrawal from alcohol and drugs as she waited for her
repatriation order to be completed by Bangladesh, according to activist Tapoti
a day and a half (of her death), all the paperwork was completed and the
clearances were in place,” said Bhowmick from Sanlaap, an anti-trafficking
charity in West Bengal.
these girls die to go back to their country?”
story ends more happily.
after speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the teenager returned to
Bangladesh, having spent nearly nine years in India.
is now in another shelter, being cared for by a charity, but is set to return
to her family home in the coming weeks.
feels really good to finally return,” Priya said by phone from the shelter. “I
have forgotten what my house looks like, but I know that I will be able to
recognize once I see it.
just want to go home and see my family.”
Allegedly Beaten To Death By Russian Female Inmates At Gadani Central Jail
matron who was deployed on duty at the women's barrack inside Central Jail,
Gadani in Balochistan's Lasbela district was beaten to death allegedly by
Russian female inmates, police said on Tuesday.
body of 23-year-old Zoya Naz, who was performing the night duty at the women's
barrack, was found in a pool of blood on Tuesday morning, according to a First
Information Report (FIR) of the incident registered on a complaint of the
deputy superintendent of the Gadani jail.
per the FIR, seen by Dawn.com, Zoya, who hailed from Gadani, had entered the
women's barrack at 5pm on Monday to begin her shift which was to end at 8am on
when the jail's head warden went to open the gate of the women's barrack at
6am, he was informed by an inmate that the Russian female prisoners at the
facility had "brutally" murdered Zoya overnight.
officials found the matron's body lying in a pool of blood by the gate of the
barrack. According to the FIR, prisoners told police that at around 12:30am, three
Russian female inmates strangled Zoya with a rope and repeatedly struck her
head with a cement block and her face with a stone. The victim reportedly died
on the spot.
three Russian inmates, who were nominated in the FIR registered under Sections
302 (premeditated murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code,
have been incarcerated in the Gadani jail for the past five months, according
to Shakeel Ahmed Baloch, the jail superintendent. They were arrested in Quetta
under the Foreign Act; although their jail sentence had ended, they were
shifted to Gadani jail until the legal procedure for their deportation was
completed at the Russian consulate in Karachi.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Naveed Alam told DawnNewsTV that police had
found in their initial probe that the Russain prisoners, who were Muslims, had
engaged in an argument with the deceased matron over a religious issue.
first lady reopens 441-year-old fountain
First Lady Emine Erdogan on Tuesday participated in the reopening ceremony of
Ottoman heritage fountain, in Serbian capital Belgrade.
fountain was built 441 years ago by famous Ottoman statesman Sokollu Mehmed
Pasha in the Belgrade's Kalemegdan fortress.
Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) carried out intense work to renovate
also visited the Little Stairs in Kalemegdan, built-in 1903 by Serbia's first
female architect Jelisaveta Nacic, which was also restored by TIKA.
other engagements included visiting Gobeklitepe Photography Exhibition, which
was exhibited as part of Turkish Week program.
Vucic, the wife of Serbian President Aleksandr Vucic accompanied Emine Erdogan.
Boss Fined $27K for Racially Abusing Muslim Female Employee
British Muslim woman of Pakistani origin has been granted a payout totalling
over £22,500 after enduring 3 and a half years of racist and Islamophobic abuse
from her company's director.
Noreen, of Pakistani origin, worked as a recruitment consultant for
Peterborough-based agency RecruitmentFinder Ltd. from 2013 until she was made
redundant in 2017, according to court documents from Bury St Edmunds employment
Noreen, 27, was at the brunt of regular derogatory and abusive comments over
both her race and religion from her boss, identified in the documents as Mr P
Clarke complained to Miss Noreen about "You P*kis", and called her
fasting during the holy month of Ramadan a "lot of bollocks to me".
more: World Hijab Day promotes visibility, not meaningful progress
the food she brought from home was remarked upon by Mr Clarke, who referred to
everything, including a pasta dish, as "curry".
Clarke said she looked like a "curry muncher" and also made
derogatory comments about her weight, according to the tribunal documents.
Noreen reported the comments became worse for the last 18 months of her
employment, after she pointed out to Mr
Clarke she had placed more staff in recruitment than he had.
this point he stopped paying her the bonuses and fuel allowance she was
Clarke also made comments about Miss Noreen's job security which made her fear
for her job to the point where she stopped taking the holiday leave she was
entitled to, taking only Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Easter Monday.
Clarke's threats made Miss Noreen too fearful to act on or report his abusive
she was made redundant, Mr Clarke did not pay her any of her entitled holiday
pay or redundancy pay, which along with the missed fuel and bonus payment
totalled around £15,000.
Noreen was also awarded £7,500 compensation for discrimination she suffered in
who wear headscarves face particular discrimination in the workplace, while
young Muslims feel forced to work "10 times as hard" as their white
counterparts to get on in their jobs, according to a report by The Guardian.
and lack of cultural awareness in the workplace means young British Muslims are
unable to reach their full potential at work, according to a 2017 report by the
Social Mobility Commission.
6 percent of Muslims are in higher managerial, administrative and professional
occupations, according to the UK's 2011 census.
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