Fatima, A Pakistani female Station House Officer (SHO) has investigated 200
cases of rape and sexual abuse following her appointment two months ago
Only Remaining GCC Country Restricting Travel for Women
Jubilation of Women in Saudi Arabia Was Real – And Understandable
Money Decision Advances Women’s Rights in Iran
Women Lead the Force for Change in Iran
of Acid Throwing On Women Dropped To 50 Per Cent in Pakistan
Republic’s New Line Of Hijabs Targeting Muslim Women Welcomed And Criticized
Rules for Women Workers In Saudi Arabia
Work on Women’s Driving School: Emir Of Asir
Comments on Life In Syria's Idlib Through Cartoons
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Woman Police Officer Probes 200 Rapes, Sexual Abuse Cases in 60 Days
A Pakistani female Station House Officer (SHO) has investigated 200 cases of
rape and sexual abuse following her appointment two months ago, a media report
Fatima was appointed the first female SHO of Pakpattan district in Punjab
province and she gave an exceptional performance in this small period, The News
International reported on Saturday.
a recent interview to the BBC, Fatima said that the incidents of sexual abuse
of minor girls made her angry, but she was not able to do anything at that
hoped to be on a position one day so I could do something for the little girls.
I got the opportunity when I was appointed a sub-inspector in Punjab Police
after passing the competitive exams," she said.
said that she was happy to be assigned the same duty which she had always
wanted to do.
female SHO was handed over the cases that were related to women and minor
Police Officer (DPO) Pakpattan Ibadat Nisar, who appointed Fatima, said that
the appointment of female police officers in Pakpattan Police will help in
dispensing justice to the people.
is the only GCC country that continues to implement male guardianship laws for
female travel after Saudi Arabia lifted restrictions on Friday.
Arabia announced on Friday breakthrough changes to the Kingdom’s guardianship
laws, allowing all citizens over the age of 21 – male and female – to travel
freely without a guardian’s approval.
Qatar, guardianship rules still limit women’s ability to travel. According to
the Qatari Ministry of Interior’s website, single women under 25 years of age
require a male guardian’s consent to travel outside the country.
men can also apply to the courts to prohibit their wives from travelling.
“Married women are entitled to travel without permission irrespective of their
age. In case the husband doesn’t want her to travel, he has to approach the
competent court to prevent her journey,” the ministry lists as another
condition on its website.
Qatari males, the Qatari interior ministry says that “no permission is required
for those who are 18 years old or more as they have reached the legal age of
Qatar official e-Government Portal Hukoomi, instructions for citizens to renew
their passports only specifies that Qatari male citizens over the age of 18 can
apply for it themselves and their dependents. The website also states that they
may apply on behalf of unmarried daughters and sisters, as well as for
Saudi Arabia, Friday’s decree gives women the right to apply for and obtain a
passport independently. Other changes allow women to register a marriage,
divorce, or child’s birth and to be issued official family documents. The
decree also stipulates that a father or mother can be legal guardians of
Bahrain nor the UAE operates guardian systems for adult female travelers.
Kuwaiti women gained the right to travel without a guardian’s permission in
2009. Omani women are free to travel, but married Omani women need approval
from their husband to receive a passport.
jubilation of women in Saudi Arabia was real – and understandable. Last Friday,
the kingdom announced that it is allowing women to apply for passports, to
travel without permission and to have more control over family matters –
registering a marriage, divorce or child’s birth, and being issued official
family documents. These changes to the guardianship system should be genuinely
transformative. But celebration can only be partial when women’s rights remain
so tightly constricted and the activists who have fought hard for such changes
are paying so high a price.
will still need permission from a male relative to marry or divorce, or to
leave prison or domestic violence refuges. The system needs not reform but
abolition. Other laws still hold women back. And as Ms Saffaa, an
Australia-based Saudi artist and activist, warned: “When women become equal to
men, Saudi Arabia is still going to remain an authoritarian dictatorship that
violates countless human rights.”
guardianship changes, like the lifting of the ban on women’s driving last year,
form part of the crown prince’s promise to modernise the kingdom. Mohammed bin
Salman’s “Vision 2030” plan calls for a rise in women’s participation in the
workplace, from 22% to 30%; the new laws also bar discrimination in the
more pertinent is surely that Riyadh wants to change the conversation and
persuade the rest of the world (and especially potential investors) to see
dynamic, progressive leadership – rather than the autocratic regime that led
the charge into the pointless and terrible war in Yemen, is responsible for the
murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and is still holding around a dozen
courageous female campaigners, including Lujain al-Hathloul, Samar Badawi and
Nassima al-Sadah. Other activists have been banned from travel, or are now in
exile. It was no doubt keen too to end the embarrassment of Saudi women
pleading for asylum after fleeing abroad, saying they had no other way to
is not a coincidence that the female activists were detained shortly before the
driving ban was lifted. Their seizure – and the torture some are believed to
have experienced in custody – sent a clear message to Saudi women and men too:
liberties are not to be demanded as a right, but are to be received gratefully
when those in charge decide to hand them out.
one of the few countries to press for the women’s release, got little backing
when the kingdom lashed out in retaliation. The silence is shaming, as is the
complicity of the UK and others in other regards: a UN special rapporteur
recently called for a moratorium on the sale of surveillance tools used to
target dissidents and activists.
crown prince deserves no gratitude for these changes. The credit goes to the
Saudi women who are still suffering for their battle. Everything possible
should be done to free them.
early June, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld a law deciding that blood
money—compensation paid to relatives for the death or injury of a family
member—would be equal between men and women and no longer would a woman’s
compensation be worth half of a man's. According to this law, a fund for
physical damages will make up the difference in all incidents, not just those
involving car accidents.
law was structured so as not to contradict Sharia law, which is the basis of
the distinction between men and women, but it does effectively circumvent
Sharia. Under Sharia law, a woman’s dieh or blood money is declared to be half
of that of a man’s. Mandating the fund to provide the other half is a positive
step toward equality for women’s rights in Iran and ending discrimination based
call for equality of dieh has been raised and argued in Iran’s parliament for
more than a decade. In 2008, the Iranian Judiciary ruled that blood money would
be equal but only in the case of car accidents. The ruling read: “Iranian women
who suffer injury or death in a car accident will be entitled to the same
insurance company compensation as men under legislation passed by parliament.”
law did not address other deaths—through murder for example—or injury from
other causes. The reasoning was that, “Since a person’s agreement with an
insurance company has contractual basis and both sexes pay equal premiums, the
compensation should also be equal and the law is not in contravention of the
Sharia.” Thus, prior to this, the Fund for the Provision of Physical
Damages—which is a government-affiliated but a legally independent insurance
company—made up the difference for women only in car accidents.
public pressure has been building for equality of compensation in all
incidents. Rights advocates have pointed to cases such as fires and to a spate
of crimes in which women have had acid thrown in their faces.
one incident in the village of Shin Abad in western Iran in 2012, a fire broke
out due to a faulty heater. Twenty-eight female students were severely burned
and two lost their lives. According to the law then, compensation for those who
had severe injuries or died was half the amount payable for men. Eighteen
students’ families agreed to accept the limited compensation while others
resisted. After a massive legal campaign, the families that held out were
successful and their insurance companies agreed to pay the difference.
case that raised controversy was that of Negar Ghorbani, an undergraduate
majoring in graphic design, who had gone to Eram Amusement Park near Tehran in
2014 with two of her friends. There Ghorbani fell off a ride and became
paralyzed. Her family received half the compensation that would have been
provided to a man.
the decision to extend equal compensation to women in all cases of bodily harm
or death was not easy given resistance from traditional clerics who interpreted
the action as undermining Sharia law. Grand Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, a lecturer
and member of the Qom Seminary, criticized parliament for even debating a law
to equalize the amount of blood money paid to male and female victims and their
families. He stated at a religious ceremony in Qom on March 7: "Parliament
has no right to debate the question of equating male and female dieh.” Yet
those activists and MPs advocating the law since 2009 finally managed to pass
it. The Guardian Council, which vets laws so they do not contravene Islam, and
the Supreme Court both upheld it despite opposition from a number of top
activists and lawyers who supported equality between men and women regarding
blood money argued that it does not go against Sharia law. Peyman Haj Mahmoud
Attar, a legal expert who campaigned for passing the law, said that when Islam
was revealed 1,400 years ago authorities merely maintained tribal laws that
were practiced prior to Islam. Blood money was one of them.
explanations noted that men were regarded in previous times as breadwinners who
had to provide for an entire household, but women now often serve as single
heads of households or make more money than their husbands. Women’s rights
activists who advocate for equality argue that the role women play in Iranian
society these days is not at all comparable to 1,400 years ago. Hence, without
rejecting Sharia law, rights activists have found ways to get around it to
obtain equal rights with men.
strategy applied in equalizing the blood money of a man and a woman without
challenging Sharia law will open the door for change of other discriminatory
laws involving inheritance, child custody and the right to divorce. It is thus
a welcome precedent for Iranian women.
Aug 4, 2019
5, 1993, marks a milestone in the struggles of Iranian women, and the Iranian
opposition, the PMOI/MEK which forms the backbone of the democratic alternative
to the clerical regime, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
this day, 24 women were unanimously voted to the PMOI’s all-female Leadership
Council to hold the helms of affairs in the organization.
years after the beginning of the Iranian Resistance when Iranian women remained
steadfast despite enduring tremendous suffering and torture in their struggle
for freedom and democracy; and four years after Maryam Rajavi became the PMOI’s
Secretary General in 1989, this long line of battle-tested women were
recognized as best qualified to rise to the movement’s leadership.
landmark event drew a clear distinction between the Iranian opposition and its
foe; the former striving for gender equality and women’s participation in
leadership and the latter thriving on subjugation of women as a main pillar of
PMOI was convinced that if it were to overcome Tehran’s religious dictatorship,
it would have to cast aside all remnants of fundamentalist ideology and
culture, including male-domination.
women’s leadership in the PMOI/MEK was not about some women replacing men to
continue in their footsteps with the same values and methods. Rather, women’s
participation in the leadership inspired a major cultural transformation in the
ranks of the Resistance and among women all across the country who faced gender
apartheid in all realms of their lives.
a result of the struggle of these pioneering women and their valuable
achievements, the world witnessed the hegemonic role of Iranian women in the
course of the 2009 uprising. In fact, three major elements steered women in
that path: years of struggle for freedom and equality; the misogynist nature of
the ruling regime; and the presence of an organized resistance with gender
equality as its ideal.
impact of women’s leadership and equal participation could also be seen in the
14-year steadfast perseverance of the PMOI/MEK in Iraq, beginning in 2003 when
US invaded Iraq.
blockaded by an inhuman siege, and subjected to numerous military and rocket
attacks by Iraqi troops at the behest of Tehran’s regime, the PMOI’s leading
women had the task of defeating the Iranian regime’s conspiracies on the one
hand and tapping into the strengths of the organization while avoiding any
deviation from the movement’s sole focus on the mullahs’ regime in Iran.
was a time when the prospects for victory looked grim. The balance of power in
Iraq and the region was clearly not in their favor. Still, they led the
movement at such volatile times with no past lessons or precedents to draw on.
Through their own vigilance, correct decision-making, risk taking and
self-sacrifice, they led the movement at every turn.
leadership, put to test 14 years in camps Ashraf and Liberty, succeeded in the
face of great adversity with courage, endurance and respect for moral values.
The men in this movement, who in their struggle against the male-dominated
culture have reached great peaks of their own, also played a significant role
in the campaign of perseverance owing to their progress in the realm of
Leadership Council has now grown to become a 1,000-strong Central Council.
women’s leadership could not become a lasting institution and tradition without
the support of PMOI/MEK men who have faith in, and are committed to, the ideal
as the social conditions in our homeland, Iran, is simmering with strong
discontent, the message to Iran’s valiant young men is to rise up in defense of
freedom and equality if they want to realize the Iranian people’s freedom.
fact that women bear the brunt of repression in Iran, reveals the regime’s
defensive tactic against the existential threat it feels from women. The
imposition of the mandatory veil on women and flagrant discriminations against
them in educational and vocational arenas are only efforts to enchain women.
women have proven their effective and growing role in the struggle against the
mullahs’ religious tyranny, in the scenes of confrontation with the
Revolutionary Guards, in their unprecedented resistance in the regime’s torture
chambers and dungeons, through their presence in the first ranks of anti-regime
demonstrations, in organizing the teachers and workers’ protests and protests
by other social strata, in organizing and leading an international social and
political movement against the religious fascism ruling Iran, and in their
active assumption of responsibilities in the organized movement of the Iranian
Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) on Sunday claimed that the reported cases of
acid throwing on women have dropped by around 50 per cent as compared to the
past five years.
to ASF’s data, the drop is a major success for acid violence and countering
Violence Against Women and girls (VAWG) in the country.
2016 and 2017, there were a total of 71 acid attack victims whereas in 2018 and
2019, 62 cases related to acid throwing were reported, besides 11 cases of fire
burns and four of multiple burns.
conviction rate has significantly increased from 17.3 per cent of total
registered cases from 2014 to 2019.
cases of acid throwing were reported from South Punjab, 11 cases were from
Central Punjab, one case was from Islamabad, one was from Sindh, eight were
related to Balochistan and three cases were of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
54 FIRs were registered from 2018 to 2019 whereas 13 cases were prosecuted.
has been a leading organisation working for the promulgation and implementation
of Acid and Burn Crimes Criminal Amendment 2011.
has supported not only robust monitoring of the implementation of the acid and
burn crime legislation but also evidence-based programming and advocacy for
acid and burn crime survivors.
Eid-ul-Adha just around the corner, the time was just right for Banana Republic
to launch a collection of hijabs, head scarves worn by many Muslim women as an
article of their faith. The small collection comprising four different hijab
styles and colors to choose from, was immediately seen as a mark of inclusion
to a large Muslim population in the United States.
becomes especially significant at a time, when discussions on “us,” “ and “you”
and rhetoric like “go back to your country” have been in the news directed
towards those who may be dressing “different,” or belonging to “another” faith
brand also featured a model of color, Fatuma Yusuf, to showcase its newest
offerings. While Muslim women and many inclusion activists were elated at the
move, there were others who also saw cultural appropriation.
observers of hijab pointed out that in one shot the model was wearing a short
sleeved t-shirt along with a hijab and in another she is wearing a slit skirt
while covering her head with a hijab. Some have pointed out that the head
covering should also be accompanied with modest dressing, blaming the blooper
on cultural misappropriation, a blame that has often been leveled against
western brands for their limited or lack of understanding of other faiths and
many hijabis are celebrating the new choices that they can now opt from. Among
the designs offered are a turban wrap hijab, popularized by Congresswoman Ilhan
Omar. Another one is a pale pink more traditional headscarf style wrap. There
are also prints such as floral and leopard style to choose from to suit those
who may be looking for some fun twist to their hijabs.
hijabs are retailed at $20 and $25. The move is largely being seen as a sign of
inclusion and is being hailed as an example for other brands to follow.
rules would also extend to hiring people for jobs and advertising vacancies for
the news of Saudi Arabia allowing women to travel abroad without approval from
a male guardian, a few other momentous decisions regarding women have come
about in the kingdom.
to a report in the Saudi Gazette, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development
in Saudi Arabia has made a decision to treat the male and female workers in the
country at an equal level.
the men and the women will now be considered as workers/people working for an
employer and under his or her management and supervision in return for a wage,
even if they are not within sight.
particular amendment in the labour regulation will not allow the employers and
the entities to discriminate between workers on the basis of their age,
disability and gender. This rule would also extend to hiring people for jobs
and advertising vacancies for employment.
from this the authorities in Saudi Arabia have also nullified the retirement
age rule- 60 years for men and 55 years for women. The authority has delegated
that the retirement of the workers would be in tandem with the requirements of
the social insurance rules and regulations.
regulations also forbid the employers from terminating the services of the
female employees or issuing them the notices of dismissal from the jobs, while
they are on their maternity leaves. They also cannot be issued any kind of
warning letters or get terminated in case they fall ill due to
pregnancy-induced ailment or a health concern at the time of delivery. However
their illness must be attested, by means of an authentic medical report and the
employee's absence from work should not be over a 180 days- whether continuous
Arabia will now allow women to travel abroad without approval from a male
guardian, the government said on Thursday (August 1).
passport will be granted to any Saudi national who submits an
application," said a government ruling published in the official gazette
Umm Al Qura.
regulation effectively allows women over the age of 21 to obtain passports and
leave the country without their guardian's permission, the pro-government Okaz
newspaper and other local media reported, citing senior authorities.
women have long required permission from their male guardians to marry, renew
their passports or exit the country.
reform grants women greater autonomy and mobility, the Saudi Gazette newspaper
said, hailing the decision as "one giant leap for Saudi women".
decision was met with jubilation on social media, with the hashtag "No
guardianship over women travel" gaining traction.
— Emir Prince Turki Bin Talal has asked the company tasked with building a
school in the region to train women on driving to expedite the implementation
of the project.
told the company to come to him if it faced any hurdles delaying the execution
of the scheme.
Directorate General of Traffic in the region has offered the project to the
Holding Company for the Development of Education.
an audience, Prince Turki received the CEO of the company, Osama Al-Haizan, and
his accompanying delegation.
said soft opening of the school is scheduled for March while its full operation
will be in April after the electronic linkage with the traffic department is
completed, technical aspects finalized and the jobs Saudized.
explained that there will be advanced training courses for Saudi female
instructors to work in school to teach the women the techniques of safe and
project will be built on an area of 70,000 sq. meters on King Fahd Road linking
Abha and Khamis Mushayat.
will be trained according to the international standards and the school will
have theoretical and practical facilities, simulators and areas for field
Syria: Bent over a computer tablet in war-torn northwest Syria, cartoonist Amani
Al Ali takes her pen to the screen to sketch life in the embattled opposition
bastion of Idlib.
trying to get across what others struggle to say," said the 30-year-old
artist, dressed in a long red jacket and lacey white headscarf.
a region of three million people, has come under increasing bombardment by the
regime and its Russian ally since late April despite a months-old truce deal.
her cartoons, Ali has boldly challenged traditions to comment on life in the
anti-regime bastion, and to condemn seeming international indifference to
one, the world is depicted as an ostrich burying its head in a mound of
blood-drenched skulls as red missiles rain down all around.
another, titled "Eid in Idlib", a warplane drops candy wrappers
containing TNT, instead of the sweets usually distributed during the Muslim
sketches are etched out in black and white, with splashes of red, colours the
artist says are inspired by life in the opposition stronghold.
see nothing but blood, darkness and destruction," she said.
spike in violence over the past three months has killed more than 790
civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says, despite the truce deal
struck by Russia and rebel backer Turkey.
has sketched this accord too, as a blood-stained paper bearing the words
"the Idlib agreement".
Thursday, the Syrian government said it had agreed to a new truce, giving at
least a temporary reprieve for Idlib's residents.
her cartoons have now been exhibited as far away as the Netherlands and United
Kingdom, Ali had to study drawing on the sly growing up, because her father
consider myself to be a girl who broke with customs and tradition," Ali
confronted my parents and managed to impose the life I wanted for myself."
society, she said, frowned upon women who engaged in political satire through
cartoons or art.
civil war erupted in 2011, Ali worked as an art teacher at a private school in
Idlib so she could "be close to the field that I love".
after the region fell to rebel forces, she "started a new life" as a
cartoonist, often dabbling in satire to capture the reality of a war that has
cost more than 370,000 lives and displaced millions across Syria.
hope to convey even the smallest part of civilian suffering," she said.
beyond regime and Russian air strikes, Ali has also criticised rebels
controlling Syria's northwest - a daring move that has seen others detained or
November, fellow cartoonist, radio presenter and vocal activist Raed Fares was
shot dead by unknown gunmen.
January, Hayat Tahrir Al Sham - a group led by Syria's former Al Qaida
affiliate - took over full administrative control of Idlib.
said she does not criticise HTS itself, but rather its behaviour, especially
when it mirrors that of the regime.
eight years, we have been fighting to get rid of the habits and remnants of the
regime," she said.
even now Idlib is outside government control, "some mistakes are still
happening because of a lasting regime culture," she said.
one cartoon from last year, a bearded man in a short robe typical of
ultra-conservatives inserts a giant syringe into another's ear to stuff his
head with notions of what is "illicit", or religiously forbidden.
another, she criticises overpriced higher education.
work, she said, has earned her both fans and enemies.
people tell me I should be careful, that I don't know what I'm doing," she
thing I hear most is that I'm a girl and I shouldn't be drawing such
abroad, people are impressed.
my exhibition in the UK, lots of British academics were surprised there was a
girl doing drawings like this under HTS," she said.
new exhibition has opened in France and she may soon showcase her work in
she is unlikely to attend either without the necessary visa to travel, she
hopes both will help to bust stereotypes about women in northwest Syria.
in Idlib are not "voiceless people who are unable to leave their houses
and always clad in black", she said.
there are certain limits, but we're resisting."
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