Bashir had to battle to follow her passion for video games
Number of 171 Women in the Run for NA General Seats in Pakistan
Marriages of Girl Children in Iran Have Dire Consequences
Women Football Referees Push for League Promotion
ISNA-Canada's 1st Female Chair Hopes To Overcome a Major Scandal
Today Busts Fake News Linking Muslims To 96 Per Cent Rapes In India
Women Driving Toward Progress
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Female Game Designer on a Mission for Change
roles are becoming more fluid than ever in Pakistan - but 29-year-old Sadia
Bashir still stands out.
women have become more visible in sports and other areas in Pakistan, video
gaming is still overwhelmingly for the boys.
was not put off, however. She started not just playing video games, but
developing them as well - from the age of 13.
interest in computers began with video gaming, so I just continued to develop
it," she told BBC Urdu.
one point, she even persuaded her parents to change her school so she could
whether to continue her studies at university was also hard, as she knew her
family might find it difficult to support her.
a female in our society, people generally invest less in girls' education as
compared to boys," she says.
the university decided to offer her a scholarship because of her ability and
she completed her graduation.
was mesmerised by the beauty of computer graphics.
started making video games from there. My final-year project was to make a game
that helps with cancer treatment by mimicking the action of treatments
attacking cancer cells in an affected person's body."
idea was to visualise for cancer patients the therapy they are having to help
them cope with their illness.
that the video game was just a source of fun for me. But after this research
project, I saw a different aspect to gaming and decided to further work in this
field," she said.
worked in the gaming industry for a year and a half, but felt she wasn't able
to achieve what she wanted to do.
are no real centres specialising in video game-making in Pakistan, she says.
realised my dream was to learn how to make my own games. That's why I started
my master's thesis and tried to know what mistakes are made and what is useful
in making video games."
a housewife can make games'
realised that whatever she had learned from education and research was not
available to many young people.
abandoned her job and started an institution named Pixel Art Academy, where she
trains young people in how to make video games.
is no game design concept in the gaming industry in Pakistan. People have great
ideas - but how to turn those into good games is the skill they lack. This is
what we teach our students."
is not down to special education or skill, she believes.
tell people that this can be done by anyone. Whatever your education, even a
school student or a housewife can make games."
In what is the highest number of women candidates in Pakistan’s electoral
history, as many as 171 women candidates will be in the run against 272 general
seats of the National Assembly across the country.
to an analysis of the complete list of candidates for the coming general
elections slated to be held on July 25, 105 women have been awarded party
tickets while another 66 will be contesting as independent candidates.
number of women candidates in 2013 elections was 135 with the number of
independent candidates higher than those of party ticket holders — 74 and 61,
respectively. In 2008 elections the number of women candidates was as low as
72, including 41 party ticket holders and 31 independents.
time the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has awarded the maximum number of tickets
(19) to women candidates — 11 in Punjab, five in Sindh and three in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa. The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) has awarded 14 tickets to women
candidates — eight in Punjab and six in Sindh. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf
(PTI) has fielded 11 women candidates — seven in Punjab and four in Sindh. The
Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) has given tickets to 11 women — five in
Punjab, three in Sindh, two in KP and one in Balochistan.
a look: Women politicians angry at being passed over for male candidates
number of women candidates fielded by the Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek (AAT) and the
National Party (NP) in Punjab is three each. The All Pakistan Muslim League
(APML) has two women candidates. The Awami National Party, the PTI- Gulalai,
the PML-Q and nine little known parties have also fielded one candidate each.
number of independent women candidates in Punjab is 44.
among those contesting for general seats are Maryam Nawaz, daughter of former
prime minister Nawaz Sharif (NA-127), Sumaira Malik (NA-93) and Begum Tehmina
Daultana (NA-164) of the PML-N, Asma Alamgir ((NA-27), Mehreen Anwar Raja
(NA-57) and Samina Khalid Ghurki (NA-132) of the PPP and Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan
(NA-72) and Dr Yasmeen Rashid (NA-125) of the PTI.
Gulalai, who has her own faction of the PTI, will be contesting election from
four constituencies in KP, Punjab, Islamabad and Sindh — NA-25, NA-53, NA-161
total number of women candidates in Sindh is 46, including 16 independents. In
the province, the MMA has awarded tickets to six women candidates, PPP to five,
PTI to four, PML-N, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) and Grand Democratic Alliance to
three each and ANP to two women candidates.
KP, the total number of women candidates is 15, including three independents.
The PPP has awarded tickets to three women candidates, followed by two each by
PML-N and ANP and one each by PML-Q, PTI-G, Tehrik-i-Labbiak Pakistan (TLP),
PSP and Pakistan Justice and Democratic Party led by former chief justice
Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.
PTI has not awarded a single party ticket to a woman candidate in KP. Ali Begum
Khan is the only woman contesting election from the tribal districts.
Balochistan, as many as seven women candidates will be contesting election for
National Assembly’s general seats. They include two independents, two from the
NP and one each from the Balochistan National Party-Mengal, BNP-Awami and
are many constituencies where the number of women candidates is more than one.
In NA-54 (Islamabad) four women candidates — Fatima Malik, Saima Sheraz,
Maimoonah and Nousheen Gul Kharal — are in the run. Likewise, four candidates –
Allah Rakhi (PPP), Saira Tarar (PML-N), Fahmida Kausar (MMA) and Sadia Liaquat
Abbasi (independent) — are face to face in NA-87 (Hafizabad). There are four
women candidates contesting elections from NA-90 as well.
marriages of girl children in Iran have dire consequences for them. Zahra
Mirzaii, a social researcher said this in an interview on the outcome of her
research into early marriages of girl children in Iran. She added, "Many
social harms related to women is due to early and forced marriages." (The
state-run pana.ir website - July 4, 2018)
one of the first consequences of early marriages of girl children in Iran,
Mirzaii said these girls do not have any knowledge of family planning, so they
face consecutive pregnancies with short intervals and without proper medical
care, all of which jeopardize their health.
for other consequences of early marriages of girl children in Iran, Mirzaii
explained, "Chances of death during delivery is twice as much for women
between 15 and 19 years of age compared to women above 20. Chances of unwanted
pregnancies is twice as much for women under 16. Chances of pregnancy poisoning
is six times greater in young mothers.
of contracting cervical cancer is 2.5 times greater. 84 per cent of women
contracting cancer of the cervix have gotten married under 18 years of age. And
the number of underweight infants delivered by young mothers is three times
show 18,000 divorces in marriages taking place under 19 years of age. In
reviewing this data, it should be considered that not all early marriages are
registered and the actual figures are certainly higher.
30% of women who prostitute say they got married when they were under 15 years
added that economic consequences such as poverty, divorce, prostitution,
addiction and others are among the consequences of early marriages of girl
children in Iran.
year, too, Amir Taghizadeh, deputy for cultural and youth affairs in the
General Department of Sports and Youth in East Azerbaijan Province, announced
that the number of forced marriages of young girls had increased in this
province. Taghizadeh said, girl children between 10 and 15 years of age are
forced to get married. He said, "In 2015, some 4,000 girls between 10 and
15 years old got married but this year, this number increased to
4,164." (The state-run Kayhan
newspaper, September 3, 2017)
the sidelines of a small football pitch at a university in Cairo, Hanan Hassan
remembers starting out as a referee and the response she got from one female
a loud voice she yelled as she was looking towards me: 'god bless you my
daughter and I hope that my own daughter becomes like you'," Hassan
years, women referees in Egypt have officiated at lower-level football matches
but now have their sights set on the premier league.
colleagues abroad have already presided over the men's tournaments in their
countries, so why not in Egypt?" asked fellow referee Mona Atalla.
in trousers and a pink shirt carrying the FIFA logo, Hassan and Atalla, both
37, presided over the evening all-women friendly game at Ain Shams University
in the Egyptian capital. While Hassan started her career as a professional
referee in 2006, Atalla was part of the first group of female referees
registered in Egypt in 1998 who were allowed to oversee all-women and junior
years on the pitch, Atalla and her female colleague Pousy Said were finally
allowed in April to officiate a match in the men's second and third division
leagues. The decision by the Egyptian Football Association's referee committee
raised hopes that women referees will soon be holding the red and yellow cards
in the top-tier premier league. Atalla has already worked at international
women's tournaments, including the under-20s World Cup.
expertise is not inferior to that of the male referees, and the law (on
football refereeing) is the same and should be implemented," she added.
who also holds an international referee licence, argued women may actually have
an advantage on the pitch.
the men's game does include some violence, the presence of a female referee
could push some players to be more appropriate," she said. There are just
15 women working as referees in Egypt, out of 60 registered with the country's
FA, according to referee committee head Azab Haggag.
Katherine Bullock converted to Islam 24 years ago, the political science
professor and mother of two teenage boys says she wouldn't have believed it was
now, she's the first woman to lead one of Canada's largest Muslim organizations
— the Islamic Society of North America -
Canada (ISNA-Canada) — at a time in its
50-year history when it needs to regain the trust of the community after a
of her first acts: encouraging seniors in the GTA to become more active and
socially connected. It's a small step, but Bullock says it's a crucial part of
the effort to reconnect with Muslim Canadians.
are really looking for an organization that can be their voice in the wider
Canadian public. They feel like ISNA has the potential to be that voice, but
it's not," Bullock told CBC Toronto.
has some of the nation's most diverse mosques, attracting Muslims from around
the world. It offers a private school, runs a Halal meat certification agency,
hosts marriages and funerals and even provides services for Syrian refugees.
in 2013, its members were shocked when a Toronto Star investigation revealed
that the Canada Revenue Agency had revoked the organization's charitable status
after discovering it had sent some $280,000 worth of donations to the Hizbul
Mujahideen — a Pakistani group with connections to violent militants in
people that made those decisions are not ISNA. They don't speak for us,"
Bullock told CBC Toronto.
brand has been damaged."
who teaches the politics of Islam at the University of Toronto, became
ISNA-Canada's chair in January.
the election of Khajida Saidi and Burhana Bello-Ayorinde, the board is also the
first gender-balanced, most ethnically diverse and youthful board the
organization has ever had.
forum aims to forge connections
revival of a seniors' group that was disbanded after the scandal hit is just
one of several initiatives the organization is leading to earn back the
Muslim Senior Forum, which launches Friday, aims to create a space where
seniors can participate in physical activities and an educational program that
focuses on topics relevant to them, such as health and changes in technology.
along with Bullock, are gathering at ISNA-Canada's headquarters, located near
2200 South Sheridan Way in Mississauga, to kickstart the program with a
discussion on how seniors can be positive contributors to society and to the
from the revival of a seniors forum, community members say other changes are
has participated in various focus groups as a part of a campaign called ISNA
Listens, which has heard from women's groups, social service groups, imams,
youths, civic activists, and think tanks in the Islamic community, according to
is incredibly important. The ISNA brand has suffered for the last few years, so
this is a way to ask the community what is important to you, what challenges do
you face, what solutions do you want to see," Bullock said.
Lakhani, 25, a marketing adviser for Islamic Relief Canada and a long-time
member of the ISNA-Canada community, says Bullock's election has made her
confident that the organization can address these concerns in its mosques.
remember going there for prayers with my mom during Ramadan and she would force
me to sit quietly while we prayed. There was never any programs for women
during Ramadan," Lakhani said.
were often seen around the mosque, but never in leadership positions. They were
doing the grunt work, the babysitting program, the clean up, but never
says Bullock's election means that the needs of the community in the mosque
will be more adequately heard and met.
represents what Islam means to me, what being a Muslim woman means, and it
shatters all stereotypes of women in leadership," and Islam, Lakhani said.
Bullock, the Muslim Senior Forum is just the beginning for ISNA-Canada.
Muslims are so talked about in the media and in public spaces, and because
we're the subject for so much hatred, there needs to be a voice that addresses
the needs of the community and the perspective of the community."
communalising crime, beware! India Today's Viral Test has exposed attempts to
fuel communal hatred by linking Muslims with incidents of rape.
co-founder of right-wing propaganda portal Postcard News, Mahesh Hegde made a
sensationalist claim on Twitter on July 3.
came out with data that suggested most rapes were committed by Muslims.
who had been earlier arrested in Karnataka for spreading fake news, issued some
figures on his Twitter handle.
to him, Muslims accounted for 96 per cent of rapes in the 2016-18 period.
2016-2018, total 84374 rapes happened in the country 81000 rapists were Musl*ms
96 % of the women and the children targeted by the rapists were Hindus In
nation it's not Musl*ms Who are in danger but HINDUS," he wrote in the
post that has generated more than 1,200 retweets.
84374 rapes happened in the country
rapists were Musl*ms
% of the women and the children targeted by the rapists were Hindus
nation it's not Musl*ms
are in danger but HINDUS
Vikram Hegde (@mvmeet) July 3, 2018
cited no official source for the figures he circulated. "I have the data
backing this message but I am not sharing it with anybody at this point of
time," he told India Today when asked about the source.
our fact check busted his claims.
Viral Test team examined the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and found it
had published no data beyond 2016.
next checked the NCRB thoroughly to look for any religion-based statistics. But
there was none segregating criminal cases community wise
NCRB, the Viral Test found, categorises rape data on the basis of the victims'
age and caste if SC/ST and offenders' relation with the victims.
Today's Viral Test debunked the malicious attempts to give a communal colour to
women still have some way to go before they can claim equality, but they have
every reason to celebrate their new-found right to drive. This is not their
only new right, but in recent years driving has been their most public and most
also brings practical and economic benefits to a car-centred nation poorly
served by public transport. Women have had to make complex and expensive arrangements
to make sure they get where they or their children need to go.
women are hardly the world’s most oppressed. More women than men graduate from
university, and since 2015 they have had voting rights. Yet Saudi laws and
customs still underpin male guardianship and treat women as children. They
can’t open a bank account, gain employment, obtain a passport or marry without
a male guardian’s permission. One man’s legal testimony carries the weight of
two women, and after a divorce, it is hard for women to get custody of their
children. The Hai’a, the religious police, can no longer arrest women for
infringing tribal rules of attire, but they still have influence. Although
women are not compelled to cover their faces, the religious police still hound
them if they do not wear the abaya in public.
of the credit for the recent change must be handed to the young crown prince,
Mohammed bin Salman, a man with the influence and the power to frogmarch the
nation into the twentieth century. He has challenged the formerly all-powerful
clerics, even arresting them if they oppose progress.
change cannot be attributed to one man. A broad appetite for progress has been
apparent throughout Saudi society, partly because of simple demographics: too
many of Saudi Arabia’s predominantly young population are no longer willing to
adhere to the conservative ideas of a decrepit and out-of-touch elite.
in this vast country varies by region, and even among women themselves, not all
are comfortable with the changes. For example, the Washington Post reports that
in the forward-thinking western coastal city of Jeddah, many women do not don
their headscarves in public. However, in the more traditional capital, Riyadh,
most still wear all-covering niqabs even though they are not required to.
change will happen, but at a pace that Saudi citizens find comfortable. While
they wait for more, Saudi women can at least hit the road, and they are doing
so. Some have suggested that having women drivers may soften Saudi Arabia’s
notoriously macho road culture: around 20 people die on the roads every day in
a country with around the same population as Canada. That remains to be seen.
In the meantime, smiling women can be seen at the wheel on their way to have
coffee with friends. That in itself is progress, but the real test will be
dismantling the pervasive male guardianship.
can lead to counter-push, but if the change is gradual and moderate enough,
hopefully, the extreme conservatives can be sidelined, a backlash can be
avoided and in a few years, Saudi women will be free to go wherever their
aspirations lead them.
month at the French Grand Prix, Saudi woman Aseel Al Hamad took a Formula 1
Renault for a demo lap. What greater symbol can there be of a woman breaking
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