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Islam, Women and Feminism (07 Feb 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Parents in Egypt Say ‘No’ To Female Genital Mutilation














Representational Photo of Child Marriage

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Bohra Muslim Women Want FGM Issue in Poll Manifestos of Parties

What Is Female Genital Mutilation And Where Does It Happen?

Saudi Arabia Grants Women Right To Serve as Privates at Security Institute

Under-15 Marriages In Ilam Amounted To 94 In Nine Months

Labour Child Girls Are Physically And Sexually Abused By City Agents

KAUST Hosts Female-Led ‘Hackathon’ To Create Mobile Apps for Smart Cities

A New Chapter Has Begun For Female Arab Writers

Over 40,000 Women Die Of Breast Cancer Annually In Pakistan

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/parents-in-egypt-say-‘no’-to-female-genital-mutilation/d/117678

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Parents in Egypt Say ‘No’ To Female Genital Mutilation

February 06, 2019

BEIRUT: Doctors at two Cairo hospitals will pin blue ribbon badges to the clothing of newborn baby girls on Wednesday as they launch a campaign to persuade parents in Egypt to “say no to female genital mutilation (FGM).”

The country has the highest number of women affected by FGM in the world, with nearly nine in 10 having been cut, according to UN data.

Parents will receive the badges — which resemble the Arabic word “no” and look like an upside down version of awareness ribbons for HIV/AIDS and breast cancer — after signing a pledge that they will not have their daughters cut.

Activists hope more hospitals will join the campaign, which launches on International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM.

FGM was banned in Egypt in 2008 and criminalized in 2016, but the practice persists, with most procedures now carried out by health professionals.

Many families see FGM as a religious obligation and a way to preserve their daughter’s virginity.

“It is a wrong and ugly belief. We have to make clear that FGM (does not stop) sexual desire,” said pediatric doctor Amira Edris who works at one of the Cairo hospitals.

“I have a veil on my head and I respect religious rules ... but this is not a religious rule — it is a false belief,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

FGM, which commonly involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, is practiced in a swathe of African countries and parts of Asia and the Middle East.

It is often done by traditional cutters with unsterilized blades, but there is an increasing trend for FGM to be carried out by health professionals — particularly in Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria and Sudan.

Global anti-FGM group 28 Too Many, which is working with the Egyptian hospitals, said the “medicalization of FGM” was hindering efforts to end the practice.

“By having the backing of hospitals in the campaign, we are showing that FGM is wrong, wherever it is carried out,” said 28 Too Many founder Ann-Marie Wilson.

FGM can cause a host of serious health problems including infections and infertility.

There has been mounting concern over the practice in Egypt following the deaths of several girls during botched procedures.

Edris said she had been particularly affected by the death of a 7-year-old girl from FGM.

“We couldn’t save her ... she bled to death. I remember she started to hallucinate ... and she knew she was going to die — this really traumatized me,” she said.

Amel Fahmy, director of women’s advocacy group Tadwein which is backing the campaign, said doctors were ideally placed to spread awareness of FGM.

“We can’t be shy about this. It’s time to talk about this as a harmful practice, and for doctors to tell parents you shouldn’t do this to your daughter,” she said.

What is female genital mutilation and where does it happen?

World leaders have pledged to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030, but campaigners say the ancient ritual remains deeply entrenched in many places.

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on Wednesday will highlight efforts to end the widely condemned practice thought to affect at least 200 million girls and women globally. Here are some facts:

• FGM dates back over 2,000 years and is practiced across many cultures and religions.

• It is practiced in at least 30 countries, mostly in Africa but also in pockets of the Middle East and Asia.

• FGM typically involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia. In some cases the vaginal opening is sewn up. Other procedures, more common in parts of Asia, include nicking or pricking the clitoris.

• FGM can cause longlasting mental and physical health problems including chronic infections, menstrual problems, infertility, pregnancy and childbirth complications.

• Somalia has the world’s highest FGM prevalence (98 percent of women have been cut), followed by Guinea, Djibouti, Mali and Sierra Leone.

• Of the 28 countries in Africa where FGM is endemic, 22 have legislation criminalizing FGM, although enforcement is generally weak and prosecutions rare.

• Half of all girls who have undergone FGM or are at risk live in three countries — Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria — all of which have laws against FGM.

• Chad, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan, which are home to 16 million girls, have no law.

• There is an increasing trend for FGM to be carried out by health professionals rather than traditional cutters, particularly in Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria and Sudan.

• The ritual, often justified for cultural or religious reasons, is underpinned by the desire to control female sexuality.

• Somalia and Somaliland are drafting laws against FGM.

• Despite not yet having a law, Somalia announced its first FGM prosecution last year after a 10-year-old girl died.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1448201/middle-east

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Bohra Muslim Women Want FGM Issue in Poll Manifestos of Parties

06th February 2019

MUMBAI: A group of Bohra Muslim women on Wednesday urged political parties to take steps to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) prevalent in their community and make the issue part of their poll manifestos.

The women gave the call on the 'International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation', which is observed on February 6.

The United Nations has dubbed the practice as a violation of human rights.

"A lot of political parties talk about women's rights and saving the girl child. We want to ask them what is their take on FGM? Will they end it? Will they support a ban on it? If yes, they deserve our vote," WeSpeakOut, a private organisation led by an FGM survivor, said in a statement.

Since the Lok Sabha elections are going to be held this year, the issue needs to part of the poll manifesto of the parties, it said.

Masooma Ranalvi, a member of WeSpeakOut who herself has been a victim of the FGM, said this year when the country goes to polls, they want all Indian political leaders to hear appeals of the Bohra women and take a stand to end FGM, the practice of removal of the clitoral hood of minor girls.

She said political parties need to be more sensible and accountable to save a girl child's dignity, and that the FGM issue should be a part of their agenda.

"FGM eradication should be a part of manifestos of the parties which call themselves progressive. Those (parties) who come forward and eliminate this barbaric practice would certainly get our votes," Ranalvi told PTI.

Referring to a report of WeSpeakOut, she said many women respondents reported feelings of fear, anxiety, shame, anger, depression, low-self-esteem and betrayal of trust as some of the fallouts of FGM.

The Supreme Court had in September 2018 referred to a five-judge constitution bench the plea challenging practice of female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohra Muslims.

The apex court had in July last year questioned the prevalent practice of FGM, saying women cannot be "subjugated" to the level where they have to "please" their husbands only.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2019/feb/06/bohra-muslim-women-want-fgm-issue-in-poll-manifestos-of-parties-1935213.html

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What Is Female Genital Mutilation And Where Does It Happen?

February 07, 2019

LONDON: World leaders have pledged to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030, but campaigners say the ancient ritual remains deeply entrenched in many places.

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on Wednesday will highlight efforts to end the widely condemned practice thought to affect at least 200 million girls and women globally. Here are some facts:

• FGM dates back over 2,000 years and is practiced across many cultures and religions.

• It is practiced in at least 30 countries, mostly in Africa but also in pockets of the Middle East and Asia.

• FGM typically involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia. In some cases the vaginal opening is sewn up. Other procedures, more common in parts of Asia, include nicking or pricking the clitoris.

• FGM can cause long lasting mental and physical health problems including chronic infections, menstrual problems, infertility, pregnancy and childbirth complications.

• Somalia has the world's highest FGM prevalence (98 percent of women have been cut), followed by Guinea, Djibouti, Mali and Sierra Leone.

• Of the 28 countries in Africa where FGM is endemic, 22 have legislation criminalizing FGM, although enforcement is generally weak and prosecutions rare.

• Half of all girls who have undergone FGM or are at risk live in three countries — Egypt, Ethiopia and Nigeria — all of which have laws against FGM.

• Chad, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan, which are home to 16 million girls, have no law.

• There is an increasing trend for FGM to be carried out by health professionals rather than traditional cutters, particularly in Egypt, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria and Sudan.

• The ritual, often justified for cultural or religious reasons, is underpinned by the desire to control female sexuality.

Recent developments

• Somalia and Somaliland are drafting laws against FGM.

• Despite not yet having a law, Somalia announced its first FGM prosecution last year after a 10-year-old girl died.

• Britain secured its first successful FGM prosecution this month — more than 30 years after outlawing FGM.

• Sierra Leone banned FGM last month as part of a clamp down on the secret societies that practice it, but there are doubts over how it will be enforced.

• A one-year ban on FGM in Liberia expired last month. Campaigners continue to push for a law.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1448386/world

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Saudi Arabia Grants Women Right To Serve as Privates at Security Institute

Mina Aldroubi

February 6, 2019

Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday that women are eligible for admission to rank of private, in a move that is seen to boost female empowerment in the kingdom.

Directives issued by the Interior Ministry said that applications must be born, raised and bred in Saudi Arabia, except for those women who grew up abroad while their family members served the country in international roles.

The applicants are required to undertake a medical exam, an interview and a written test which will be administered by the institute.

A list of requirements says the women must be aged between 25 and 35, have no criminal convictions and should not be less than 160cm in height.

They must also have an independent valid national identification card.

Applications for the Women’s Security Training Institute will be open from February 10 to February 14.

The Riyadh-based college specialises in training and educating students in security and military fields. Many of its graduates typically find jobs in government ministries such as the interior, civil defense, immigration and the police forces.

In February 2018, the Kingdom granted women the right to apply to join the country’s military service.

Women were told to apply for position with the rank of solider in the provinces of Riyadh, Mecca, Al Qassim and Medina.

It gave women the opportunity to work in the kingdom’s security sector.

Saudi Arabia has launched various campaigns to empower its female population as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030" plan to modernise the country and accelerate economic development.

The crown prince has spoken repeatedly of giving women greater rights and protections.

Women's participation in the country's private and public sector jobs has been a key aspect of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 diversification plans, with ambitions to increase women’s participation in the workforce from 22 per cent to 30 per cent.

Last June, the kingdom lifted a ban on women driving, giving them greater mobility and independence. More than 120,000 Saudi women applied for driving licences in the first month after the ban was lifted, according to the Interior Ministry.

The government has also allowed women to attend football matches and has given them the right to manage their pregnancy without permission from a male guardian.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/saudi-arabia-grants-women-right-to-serve-as-privates-at-security-institute-1.822746

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Under-15 Marriages In Ilam Amounted To 94 In Nine Months

Feb 6, 2019

General director of the Welfare Organization of Ilam Province said the number of under-15 marriages of girl children in Ilam amounted to 94 in first nine months of the current year.

In an interview with the official IRNA news agency on February 6, 2019, Zahra Hemmati announced that a total of 98 under-15 marriages took place in Ilam 94 of which were girl children and four were boys under 15 years of age.

On the statistics of the previous year, Hemmati said, “There were 188 under-15 marriages of girl children in Ilam in 2017 registered in various cities and counties. There were five cases of under-15 boys getting married. So, there were a total of 193 under-15 marriages in 2017.”

The official acknowledged that under-15 marriages needed to be rectified. She said, “The phenomenon of child marriages is a new social ailment we face in this province. The number of child marriages in this province which are considered forcible marriages, is particularly noteworthy in one of the cities.” (The official IRNA news agency – February 5, 2019)

Shahnaz Sajjadi, special assistant for citizens’ rights in the directorate for Women and Family Affairs, commented on the rejection of the bill proposing to ban child marriages of under-13 girl children by the Legal and Judiciary Commission of the Majlis (the mullahs’ parliament).

Sajjadi said, “When a 12-year girl is forced by her father to get married, the validity of this marriage is under question both legally and religiously because of the girl’s lack of consent. Unfortunately, the bills are examined based on prevalent taste (of the MPs) instead of expert work and statistics. Everyone makes his/her decision based on his/her own taste…

“I am sure that members of the Legal and Judiciary Commission who opposed this bill, none of them are willing to have their children quit school and get married in young age.” (The state-run ILNA news agency – December 29, 2018)

https://women.ncr-iran.org/2019/02/06/under-15-marriages-ilam-amounted-to-94/

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Labour Child Girls Are Physically And Sexually Abused By City Agents

Feb 6, 2019

Based on the reports and video clips disseminated in the social media, labor child girls who are forced to work in the streets to earn meager amounts of money, are abused physically and sexually by municipality agents.

One of the labor child girls said, “Me and my two brothers were doing our homework and at the same time selling walnuts when municipal agents came and caught my two brothers. I told them, ‘what do you want to do with them?’ Then they caught me, too… They took off my older brother’s clothes and started beating him by sticks. My younger brother started crying. Simultaneously, they told me to polish their shoes, I said I won’t. Then they rubbed black polish on my face.”

A social worker said the labor child girls are also sexually abused in addition to being brutalized. “Two of the labor child girls who work on the intersection, were forced into a car by municipal agents. One of the agents told one of the girls to unbutton her clothes. This girl even told us that when she was taken to the police station, she was separated from other kids and forced to take off her clothes.”

Another one of the labor child girls talked about sexual abuse of her friend by municipal agents. She said, “One day, when I saw Sara, I asked her, ‘Why are you upset?’ She said municipal agents caught me and mistreated me… They pulled my scarf, and touched me. When I screamed, he stepped away. But when I went to the office of the municipality and told my story, they did not believe me. They said I was making up the story so that they would let me go.”

Based on the reports of social experts, the population of labor children amounts to 7 million. (The state-run Tasnim news agency, September 27, 2017)

https://women.ncr-iran.org/2019/02/06/labor-child-girls-are-physically-and-sexually-abused-by-city-agents/

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KAUST Hosts Female-Led ‘Hackathon’ To Create Mobile Apps for Smart Cities

February 06, 2019

JEDDAH: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is set to host developers and designers, over half of whom will be female, at its first SAP Mobile Hackathon event, to create mobile apps for smart cities.

The Hackathon, which will run from Feb. 7 to 9, is part of a partnership between German software  firm SAP SE, and several university departments, including KAUST Innovation and Economic Development and the KAUST Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering division.

“KAUST is committed to being a hub for innovation, attracting talent to find solutions to shared global challenges,” said Dr. Kevin Cullen, vice president of KAUST Innovation and Economic Development. “The SAP Mobile Hackathon is a great way to collaborate and develop infrastructure for smart cities of the future.”

The first Hackathon will bring together 38 designers and developers, 55 percent of whom are women, to create mobile applications for iOS and Android devices, using SAP technology. An expert jury will select the best performing team and evaluate the benefits its mobile app will have.

“The Hackathon is a great opportunity, as it brings state-of-the-art technology in the context of fast-paced problem solving,” said Dr. Mootaz El-Nozahy, dean of the KAUST Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering division.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1448206/saudi-arabia

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A New Chapter Has Begun For Female Arab Writers

February 6, 2019

The six authors shortlisted for this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction must wait until April to learn which of them has won the coveted award. There is already one clearly emerging winner, however – the writing of women. This year the shortlist includes a record four female authors. This is no overnight revolution; two of the four writers have made the shortlist before and a third was longlisted previously. Nevertheless, this is a significant development, for these are writers with much to tell all of us. This year all six shortlisted novels are, in the words of judge Charafdin Majdolin, “about family, memory, disappointment, exile and migration”. These are themes that reflect the Arab experience, a reality to which female writers bring a unique perspective.

Take Iraqi author Shahad Al Rawi, shortlisted for the Ipaf award last year, whose novel The Baghdad Clock tells the story of her country’s horrors through the lives of two girls who meet in a bomb shelter in 1991. Syrian teacher Shahla Ujayli, one of the four women on this year’s shortlist, set Summer With The Enemy against the background of the conflict in her country.

Over the years, the prize has done much to provide a showcase for women from the Arab world writing about the region. Thanks to the award,, five women writers, from Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, have had their novels translated into a dozen different languages and read around the world.

Turkish-British novelist Elif Shafak once wrote: "Male writers are thought of as 'writers' first and then 'men'. As for female writers, they are first 'female' and only then 'writers'." With the odds firmly in favour of a woman winning the Ipaf prize this year, we have edged a step closer to male and female writers being appreciated on an equal footing. Until that happens, we can all benefit as readers whose horizons have been broadened by new insights, while a new generation of young Arab women have been inspired by their peers to find their own voice.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/editorial/a-new-chapter-has-begun-for-female-arab-writers-1.822744

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Over 40,000 Women Die Of Breast Cancer Annually In Pakistan

February 7, 2019

FAISALABAD: More than 40,000 women die of breast cancer every year in Pakistan, said Dr Omer Aftab, Chief Executive Officer Pink Ribbon.

Addressing an awareness session on breast cancer in Faisalabad Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FWCCI) on Wednesday, he said breast cancer was spreading at much faster pace in Asia.

In Pakistan, its prevalence is alarming as around 38.5 per cent women were infested with this disease, he said. He said no doubt, it was a deadly disease, but life could be saved by taking preventive and early diagnostic measures.

In Pakistan, unfortunately, patients with breast cancer are brought to oncologists when they have already touched the last stage of cancer and colonization of cancer cells have taken roots in other parts of body, he said.

He stressed the need for early diagnosis of breast cancer and in this connection teenage girls should be educated to be vigilant in case of any unusual change, they must consult their parents or doctors.

Similarly, women under 40 years should also ensure regular monthly checkup and annual Mammography. In his welcome address, FWCCI president Robeena Amjad appreciated the initiative of Pink Ribbon for holding awareness seminars about breast cancer and said it was the most common disease haunting women worldwide.

Rotary Club President Mrs Yasmeen Zahida appreciated the initiative of Pink Ribbon and said that it was a painful disease and immediate cure of the disease was very important. Dr Mehr-UN-Nisa, chairperson of the Food science Department of the Government College Women University gave a detailed presentation about dietary methods to check breast cancer.

Secretary General Abeera Matloob, Executives and Members of the FWCCI were also present. Former MPA Dr Najma Afzal thanked the FWCCI president.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/428745-over-40-000-women-die-of-breast-cancer-annually

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