Mohammed al-Qunun says she was stopped by Saudi and Kuwaiti officials while in
transit at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
Rigid Cultural Norms; A Serious Challenge for Girls’ Education
Divorce Cases on a Sidewalk in Niger, as Women Assert Their Power
Women to Fly High as A Cabin Crew In A New First
in Iranian Cities and Active Role of Women in Them
in Iran Number One-Fourth of the World Standard
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Mohammed Al-Qunun, A Saudi Woman, Says She Will Be Killed If Forced To Return
To Abusive Family
18-year-old Saudi woman being detained in Bangkok having fled from her family
after renouncing Islam fears she will be killed if she is repatriated,
according to a close friend who said the threats to her life are real.
Mohammed al-Qunun has barricaded herself in her hotel room for fear that Thai
immigration officials, who have gathered outside her door, would force her on
to a plane to leave the country. Thai immigration officials have confirmed she
has been denied entry to the country.
Guardian has confirmed Qunun had a three-month multiple-entry tourist visa for
Australia, where she said she was intending to seek asylum.
maintains she will be killed if she is returned to Saudi Arabia and has said
she will not leave until she can see the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, according to Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s Asia deputy
said that in an “important victory” for Qunun, Kuwait Airlines flight KU412 to
Kuwait, which she feared she would be forced to board, left Bangkok without
her. In a video posted after the plane departed, she said: “I am Rahaf, the
plane has departed, I am in the hotel, I need a country to protect me as soon
as possible. I am seeking asylum.”
said she was trying to escape from her family because they subjected her to
physical and psychological abuse. She has appealed for help from Europe, the
US, Canada and Australia.
family is strict and locked me in a room for six months just for cutting my
hair,” she said, adding that she was certain she would be imprisoned if sent
back. “I’m sure, 100%, they will kill me as soon as I get out of the Saudi
jail,” she said, adding that she was scared and losing hope.
20-year-old friend of Qunun, whom the Guardian has chosen not to name and who
recently moved from Saudi Arabia to Australia, said the threats to her were
real. “She’s ex-Muslim and has a very strict family, they’re using violence
with her and she faced sexual harassment,” she said. “She received a threat
from her cousin – he said he wants to see her blood, he wants to kill her.”
they didn’t kill her they couldn’t go [around in] public after this [Qunun
renouncing the Muslim faith], so they have to do it,” the friend said. “It’s
like: If you’re a man you should prove it. If they don’t kill her they can’t go
outside and see other men.”
friend has lived in Australia for three months, and said she was seeking asylum
there after being abused in Saudi Arabia. She said she had known Qunun for a
year, after connecting with her online. “She’s an activist, she’s a feminist,”
she said. “There are lots of feminist groups [in Saudi Arabia].
gather online to protect each other, help each other. [For example] I saw a
woman giving money to shelters, food, donations. Even buying tickets for women
Schmidt, Germany’s ambassador to Thailand, tweeted his support for Qunun,
saying: “We share the great concern for Rahaf Mohammed and are in touch with
the Thai side and the embassies of the countries she approached.”
Hanson-Young, a senator from South Australia, called on Australia to issue her
with emergency travel documents.
said there was no doubt Qunun needed refugee protection and that the UNHCR had
to be given immediate access to the hotel.
faces grave harm is she is forced back to Saudi Arabia so she should be allowed
to see UNHCR and apply for asylum, and Thailand should agree to follow whatever
the UN refugee agency decides,” Robertson told the Guardian.
desperately fearful of her family, including her father who is a senior
government official, and given Saudi Arabia’s long track record of looking the
other way in so-called honour violence incidents, her worry that she could be
killed if returned cannot be discounted,” he said.
has clearly stated that she has renounced Islam which also puts her at serious
risk of prosecution by the Saudi Arabian government.”
from Ha’il, in north-west Saudi Arabia, said she was stopped by Saudi and
Kuwaiti officials when she arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on Sunday and her
travel document was forcibly taken from her, a claim backed by Human Rights
Saudi embassy in Bangkok said Qunun was being held for not having a return
ticket, and that she still had her passport, a claim denied by Qunun.
took my passport,” she said, adding that her male guardian had reported her for
travelling “without his permission”.
spent Sunday night in an airport hotel and tweeted that officials were posted
outside her door to stop her leaving. On Monday morning she said she was trying
to claim asylum in Thailand.
immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, said Qunun had no money or return ticket
when she arrived at the airport.
ran away from her family to avoid marriage and she is concerned she may be in
trouble returning to Saudi Arabia.”
officials had been sent to take care of her and were coordinating with the
Saudi embassy, he said.
would be sent back to Saudi Arabia on Monday, he said. “It’s a family problem.”
Saudi embassy in Thailand and officials in Riyadh could not be reached for
Afghan government, headed by Hamid Karzai, the first elected president of
Afghanistan after the collapse of Taliban’s government in 2001 and its
international donors with millions of dollars and other resources embarked a
new era in Afghanistan. Since then the governmental and non-governmental
organizations funded by international donors built many schools, recruited and
educated teachers and instructors, and families started sending their progenies
including girls to school. There is not an accurate statistic regarding the
number of girls who went to schools during this period, but there is a
widespread consensus that, since 2001, millions of girls who were deprived
ofgaining education during the Taliban’s rule, found access to education.
that almost eighteen years have passed since the collapse of the Taliban’s
regime, the status of education particularly girls’ education is not as good as
it was expected. Roughly two-thirds of Afghan girls do not go to school
according to the recent report published by the USAID. As the security
situation worsens in Afghanistan, the progress that has been made towards
girls’ education may result in a reversal. Despite the infusion of millions of
dollars by foreign countries and other international independent institutions,
the Afghan government could not fight with rampant challenges especially rigid
cultural norms that ban girls’ education in Afghanistan. Girls are often kept
at home because of harmful gender measures and these issues impede their
education. Even on the basis of highly optimistic figures about the
participation of girls in education, there are millions of girls in the country
who have never been to school, and many more have just gone to school for a
short time.When it comes to obstacles to girls’ education in Afghanistan, the
government and other relevant institutions often mention insecurity the main
reasons for the exclusion of girls from schools. They rarely touch the issue of
cultural norms that deprive girls from education more than insecurity.
the Taliban government collapsed in late 2001, the new Afghan government and
its supporters, the countries that participated in the United States-led
coalition in Afghanistan, faced with two major challenges: how to re-establish
the educational system for half of the school-age population in a country with
a high poverty rate and how to help girls who were excluded from education
during the Taliban’s era to go back to school.To achieve this goal, the Afghan
government, international donors, and foreign countries invested hugely in
girl’s education in Afghanistan.They taught that by building schools, providing
educational materials such as textbooks and other educational resources would
help Afghan girls obtain education. There is no doubt that these aids paved the
way for Afghan girls to find access to their basic rights – education. But
unfortunately, neither the Afghan government nor the international
organizations working on developing educational programs paid serious attention
to one of the key challenges to girl’s education – the prevailing rigid
cultural norms among the communities and families that ban hundreds and
thousands of girls from going to school in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, there are still a large number of tribes and communities who
assume women as home keepers and believe that they don’t’ have any kind of
responsibilities outside the home. Given that they are not interested too much
in sending their daughters to school. They still consider some of the common
social norms as taboos such as schooling girls. Regardless of the fact that
housekeeping and home affairs should be done well and appropriately, girls need
to gain education. Some communities in Afghanistan think that schooling girls
are a disgrace and for justifying their reasons, they refer to religion that
actually, there is not any religious justification for halting girls from
obtaining education. Among the number of Afghans who consider girls’ education
as taboo and forbidden, it is believed that women should raise their children
and not spend their time in school. Being ignorant of the fact that raising
children can be done better if a mother acquires education. However, these and
dozens of other traditional beliefs in Afghanistan have caused a large number
of girls to be deprived of going to school.
fight with the abovementioned challenges, the Islamic Republic Government of
Afghanistan passed the Law on the Prohibition of Violence Against Women in
August 2009. This law for the first time in Afghanistan considers child
marriage, forced marriage, compulsory self-immolation and other 19 types of
violence against women, including rape as a crime, and for those who commit
imposed a penalty.Although the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women
is an essential step in the eradication of violence against women and girls, it
does not help girls have access to education. In other words, the above law
does not help girls and women in the fight against the rigid traditional norms
and values that ban them from gaining education.
to the Constitutional Law of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, education is
the right of all citizens and is provided free of charge by the state.To this
end, the government is required to design and implement effective programs in
order to promote the balanced distribution of education throughout Afghanistan,
to provide compulsory secondary education. This constitutional principle
stipulates the need for access to quality and balanced education services for
all citizens of the country, regardless of cultural, linguistic, ethnic, gender
and physical status. Article 44 of the 2004 Constitutional Law of the Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan specifically deals with the education of women.
According to this principle, the government is obligated to plan and implement
effective programs for the balancing and development of women’s education.
Another part of the government’s obligation is to comply with a number of
international treaties. These treaties include Third Millennium Development
Goals and Education for All. Under the two treaties, the Afghan government is
required to provide all children with access to primary education.
Prevailing Challenges towards Girls’ Education
and Child Marriage:More than half of the girls in Afghanistan aregetting
married before reaching the age of 19, of which 40% are between the ages of 10
and 13, 32% at age 14 and 27% at the age of 15. The United Nations holds that
seven million and 300,000 girls are getting married before reaching the legal
age around the world every year, of which 12 percent are Afghan girls.According
to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, the main reasons for the
rise of forced and underage marriages in Afghanistan are poverty, unfair
socialization, insecurity, and the continuing impunity culture. But researchers
argue that illiteracy is the main reason for child marriage in Afghanistan.So,
as girls get married, they do not continue their education. When they are kept
ill treated as their parents, their daughters encounter the same fate as they
faced after getting married.
a country where a third of the girls marry before age 18, the marriage of
children leaves many girls out of education. The minimum age for marriage for
girls is in accordance with Afghanistan’s Constitutional Law is 16. In
practice, the law is less enforced, which is why most girls are married before
the age stipulated in the law. The consequences of marriage for children are
very detrimental and lead to the exclusion from education. Other losses due to
child marriage include serious health hazards, including the deaths of girls
and their children due to early pregnancy. Girls who are married at an early
age may also be more likely to be victims of domestic violence than girls who are
married at a later age.
anti-Teaching Girls by Male Instructors: In Afghanistan, many families are not
willing to accept male teachers for their daughters. When the first girl school
in Kabul was established in the early twentieth century, it was faced with a
shortage of female teachers, and the government inevitably appointed male
teachers to teach at girl schools, and this is still a problem for girl’s
education in Afghanistan. With increasing female students, girls encountered
more problems. In Afghanistan, in the remote areas still, families disagree
with the presence of male teachers in girl schools. Despite this traditional
belief, in many regions of Afghanistan, male teachers teach at girl schools.
But, generally, a shortage of female teachers prohibits girls from going to
schools. This problem gets more serious and severe, when girls grow older
because traditional families in Afghanistan don’t let their daughters continue
their education in presence of male teachers.
there are not enough schools for girls in Afghanistan. Girls have two options
either go to boy schools which are far away from their vicinity or leave
education. Hence, some families prevent their daughters from traveling to
another area for long periods of time. On the other hand, in some provinces of
Afghanistan due to lack of facilities, girls and boys are allowed to study in
the co-ed classroom, which is not acceptable for many families due to the
dominant traditions and the culture governing in Afghanistan. Thus, many Afghan
girls are left out of school in areas where the government cannot provide
separate classrooms for boys and girls and schools don’t have adequate
educational resources such as instructors, classrooms, and other supporting
materials for teaching. And, families are not allowing their daughters to study
together with boys in the one class.
against girls being taught by male instructors is not the same in every
province of Afghanistan. This problem has been solved in the areas where the
cultural barriers to girls’ education have been reduced, where households,
school administrators and community elders have supported girls to complete
their schooling even with male teachers. Those girls who are completing their
schooling either with female teachers or male ones can enter higher education
institutions and will be hired as teachers in girl schools after graduation.
This has led to a minimization of female teachers in girl schools in some
regions of Afghanistan particularly in the central provinces of Afghanistan.
This achievement has strengthened both the presence of women in the community
and the cultural sensitivity of preventing girls from entering school and
university. This cultural and public awareness provides the ground for a new tradition
in which families try to encourage their daughters to complete their education
to become teachers to support other girls in their communities.
change in attitudes towards the education of girls is more rampant in the
central regions of Afghanistan such Ghazni, Bamiyan, and Daykundi provinces.
Also, this attitude to helping girls go to school as boys have been developed
in some ways in Badakhshan Province and some northern provinces of the country.
But in other provinces, with the exception of the cities of the country, girls
continue to be educated with serious cultural limitations. Even with
educational facilities, families do not allow their daughters to go to school
and families that allow their girls to go to primary school but ban them from
going to secondary school.
of Sexual Abused Girls from School: Besides war and conflicts that lead to
girls’ exclusion from education, girls on their way to school also face
unwanted crimes and abusive practices, including abduction and sexual
harassment in Afghanistan. There are many reports of kidnapping of girls on the
ways to schools by criminal gangs. Abduction is similar to acid attacks that
have widespread effects on girls’ deprivation of gaining education. Kidnapping
and sexual harassment cause many Afghan families in their communities to keep
their children, especially girls, at home because sexual harassment and
kidnapping can harm the honor of a family. So, it can have devastating
consequences for girls ‘reputation and personality in their communities. That
is why it is difficult for parents to bear it. Therefore, sexual harassment and
kidnapping is also a key obstacle toward girls’ education.
stigmatization and social taboos related to rape lead to many girls being
abandoned by their families. Victims are penalized doubly over: they become
social outcasts, whereas their violators go free. Several of these victims are
schoolgirls. The weakening effects of sexual violence among the communities and
families inevitably spill over into education systems. Girls subjected to rape
typically experience grave physical injury – with long consequences for school
attendance. The psychological effects, together with depression, trauma, shame,
and withdrawal, have devastating consequences for girls’ education. Many girls
drop out of school after rape pregnancy. Moreover, concern and terror of sexual
attacks will lead families to prevent their daughters from going to schools.
Fear of social stigmatization from sexual abuses is an important factor in
household decisions on whether to send their children to school or not.
question is here that Afghan families instead of fighting with stigmatization
sexual harassment and kidnapping, they succumb to it. And most importantly,
girls who been sexually abused are both the victim of sexual harassment and
social stigmatization that it carries thereafter. Again, this social
stigmatization depends that how families and communities interpret the
consequences of sexual harassment and abuses. Since many families and
communities still are in this believe that girls who have been abused sexually
should be kept at home, and leave pursuing their education, hundreds and
thousands of Afghan girls are deprived of education, as a result. This approach
of families toward sexually abused girls that they should not go to school is
rooted in the rigid cultural norms among communities. While studies indicate
that one of the best ways to help the victims of child sexual abuse is
Stereotype and Cultural Discrimination Against Girls’ Education: Gender
stereotypingis the practice of ascribing to an individual woman or man specific
attributes, characteristics, or roles by reason only of her or his membership
in the social group of women or men. A gender stereotype is, at its core, that
belief may cause its holder to make assumptions about members of the subject
group, women and/or men.But a large body of literature demonstrates that
stereotyping often results in violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms
of individuals.An example of this can be the incapability of the justice system
to hold perpetrator of sexual violence accountable on the basis of
stereotypical views about women’s appropriate sexual behaviour.
discrimination against women includes those differences of treatment that exist
because of stereotypical expectations, attitudes, and behaviors towards women.
The findings of the Special Rapporteur demonstrate that stereotype about
women’s role within the family leads to a division of labor within households
that often result in poverty for women and lower levels of education. A
stereotype is harmful when it limits women’s capacity to enhance their personal
abilities, pursue their professional careers and make decisions about their lives.
The view that rearing children is women’s responsibility, is a negative gender
stereotype among the families and communities. Likewise, in Afghanistan,
because of the predominant cultural and gender norms among the families and
communities, boys’ education in the majority of families is given priority to
girls’ education, or girls’ education is not generally of interest or is
acceptable merely for a limited period.
in Afghanistan are discriminated because of dominant beliefs of patriarchy from
childhood, even before birth. And part of the reason that Afghan girls are
experiencing severe gender discrimination is pertaining to the dominant
discriminatory cultural norms among the communities in Afghanistan. They are
born with discrimination and die with discrimination. Lack of public awareness
of human rights standards, low levels of literacy, poverty, incorrect
traditions, lack of laws that support the presence and participation of women
in society are among the factors that increase discrimination and, as a result,
deprive women of their rights and freedoms.According to Kristensen (2016), 70 %
of the women whom the author interviewed said that they experienced
discrimination in different manners.Many of the women whom the author
interviewed had unique stories about their lives – how their brother was free
to choose the education he wanted, while they were not permitted, either for
economic reasons or because they had to get married instead.One of the stories
that Kristensen cites from her interviewees is extremely shocking – “When I was
little my parents had a bad financial situation. So, they just sent my brother
to school, said you’re a girl. Girls do not need to go to school, because,
finally they do marry, and they don’t need to learn.”In a traditional country
like Afghanistan, women and girls are suffering from gender discriminations
against them that are mainly rooted in the cultural norms of their communities
and the gender stereotypes of men toward women.
Education and the Dominated Patriarchal Codes: Social scientists define
patriarchy as the power of man over women. They argue that patriarchy refers to
males’ ideology, privileges, and other principles are perceived for subjugating
the females’ roles and functions in the societies. Patriarchal societies are
known for marginalizing the feminine.They typically ignore or trivialize what
is concerned with feminine characteristics.
the above definition, a country like Afghanistan that has a strong patriarchal
attitude toward womanhood. In Afghanistan, because of the predominance of
patriarchal attitudes and behaviour in families and communities, the power of
patriarchy regulates all relationships by means of education, and it serves the
interests of the patriarchal society. Therefore, equal opportunities for women
and men are not provided in the social, political, economic, and educational
spheres. Men can easily implement their projects in different areas, but women
will face a lot of problems in the same arena. In the patriarchal society like
Afghanistan, the cultural norms do not provide women with equal opportunities
for gaining education and working outside the home. Thus, women are left
education as an important tool in the relationship of power, it can be the root
stone of gender inequality in traditional society, and women are the main
victims of this gender inequality. Afghanistan, as the country with the most
patriotic power in the political, economic and social spheres, some prevents
and communities either by cultural means or on the basis of the patriarchal
principles deprive girls from their basic human right – gaining education.
Additionally, women are not counted as members of society as their men
counterparts, and it has been embodied in some communities due to the control
of education by patriarchal society. So, as education is an important tool that
can question the values and norms of patriarchal society over the long term,
communities’ elders and family’s decision makers (males) knowingly ignore
barriers are one of the main obstacles to the growth and spread of girls’
education in Afghanistan. A large part of these cultural norms is learned
through the process of socialization that shapes our lives. In this context,
one of the most important ways of development and transformation in each
society is to challenge and ignore the norms that for various reasons are no
longer responsive and meaningful for a group or stratum. Without breaking the
norms of the old, the divine, the one-sided, the unequal and the incompatible
with the style and the modern conditions of life in the contemporary world, the
society is dying and ruining. The key to the dynamism and transformation of a
society and culture is based on the critical and challenging approach toward
the value systems and norms of that society. This process starts with the
breakdown of the norm and ends with the transformation of values.
and researches demonstrate that educating people can play a significant role in
the transformation of cultural norms and rigid cultural values.Since in
Afghanistan mostly girls are the victims of these rigid cultural norms,
educating them can be one of the best and most effective ways to eliminate
discrimination and gender inequalities. Because when girls gain education,
skills, and, the capabilities required for their presence in the society, they
can fight with the political, economic, social, gender, and educational
inequalities in their living communities. The Afghan Ministry of Education as a
responsible entity in providing education should pay close attention to the
education and training of girls and women and provide special programs in this
regard. These actions require that certain mechanisms should be created by the
Ministry of Education and other relevant entities for fighting with the
predominant rigid cultural norms that impede girls from gaining education. In
addition to government responsible entities, educating girls is one of the best
investments that families and communities themselves can make it happen because
educated girls, for example, marry later, will have healthier children, earn
more money that they invest back into their families and communities, and play
more active roles in leading their communities and families.
in all, the findings of the current research indicate that preventing girls
from going to school on the basis of cultural norms prevailing in communities,
been a major cause of child marriage, violence against women, discrimination
against women and girls, and gender inequality in Afghanistan. Therefore, I
would argue that Afghan families instead of halting their girls from going to
school and keeping them at home, should fight with the predominant cultural
norms that underlie their interpretation of girl’s education. They should help
their daughters obtain education so that they can help the other girls who may
encounter the same fate in the future. Escaping from the problems either social
problems, cultural problems, or economic is not a rational solution, instead,
facing and fighting with them can help the entire communities to secure their
well-being and development in the societies. Therefore, families should help
their daughters gain education and provide them with equal opportunities as
reporting in the West African nation of Niger when the Unicef workers I was
traveling with suggested we make a side trip to a clinic that treats women
suffering from fistula.
occurs when the lining between the bladder and the vagina is punctured. It
happens often to girls when they experience tears while delivering babies
before their bodies are fully developed. The New York Times columnist Nicholas
Kristof has written extensively about the condition, which often leaves the
girls unable to control their bladders, viewed as dirty and ejected from their
was steady demand for treatment of fistula in Niger, a poverty-stricken nation
with high rates of child marriage. The fistula facility we toured was near a
leprosy clinic, a sign of just how stigmatized these patients are by society.
It also treated girls who had been subjected to genital cutting, a practice
that has been outlawed but still occurs in some places.
was there to learn about girls whose parents had forced them into marriage.
Niger has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, but there
were signs that the practice had been slowing, at least a little. I went to
villages where girls had bravely resisted marriage, sometimes enduring beatings
for doing so. They had been helped by aid workers and government employees who
were trying to stop the practice.
reporting took me in an unexpected direction after I met with a judge who
oversaw a street-side Islamic court.
judge, Alkali Laouali Ismaël, told me he had noticed that in his city, Maradi,
women and girls were taking control of their relationships in new and positive
and more, he said, they were leaving husbands who didn’t meet their
expectations. Some were angry over being denied the right to work by their
husbands, even though the region is suffering economically. Some were unhappy
with their sex lives. Many were asking for a divorce.
wasn’t always a positive outcome, he explained, but it was a sign that women
knew their rights and were demanding respect, and happiness, in their
marriages. He invited me to sit in on his court sessions.
bench was nothing more than a double sheepskin rug on a sidewalk, where he
plops down with his bare calloused feet poking out from under a shiny gown. Two
associates flanked him, wearing dark sunglasses and whispering in his ear. I
heard cases on land disputes, inheritance spats and, one morning, a case
between two squabbling prostitutes.
go, you’re wasting my time,” he told them, accusing one of being high on
marijuana and the other of being drunk.
testimony in the divorce cases I listened to could have been aired by annoyed
wives in courtrooms, or living rooms, anywhere in the world: complaints about
deadbeat dads; husbands who forgot to run errands on the way home from work.
the hearings, cars, motorbikes and sheep passed, all of them sometimes drowning
out Mr. Ismaël’s soft but firm counsel.
wasn’t the one who rejected her,” a man at one hearing pleaded, contending that
he deserved more than half of the divorcing couple’s belongings.
are a good man,” the judge told him. “But you are not realistic.”
of the petitioners was Saadia Halidou, 27, who had expected to fold her married
life into her active social life, a busy calendar of weddings, other
celebrations and selling cakes at the local market. But her husband insisted
she stay home when he wasn’t around.
someone was sick, he didn’t even let me go visit them,” she said. “If it were a
tree he’d take better care of it, but I’m a human being.”
knew asking for a divorce wasn’t going to please her parents, but she had to
get out of her marriage.
no, no, I wasn’t used to this life,” Ms. Halidou said.
went to a religious center across town called Dynamic Women, where women took
cooking and sewing classes — and sought advice about unfulfilled sex lives.
photographer Laura Boushnak and I followed some of the women home. I
interviewed them and their parents into the night, taking notes with the help
of someone holding the light from her phone over my notebook. There was no
electricity in the evenings.
were taking control of their relationships across the region, I learned through
more reporting, even in places like Niger, one of the poorest countries in the
world, with high rates of illiteracy. The women I met were so inspiring, I plan
to include more of their stories in a book I’m writing that will be out in
his sidewalk court, Mr. Ismaël was helping to make things better for women.
grants women their rights,” he said, “and they know their rights.”
knew the divorcing women would face economic struggles in the future without
added income from their husbands. Almost all of them told me they wanted to
marry again eventually, when they found a man who would treat them right.
is still lagging when it comes to quality of life for women, but I was happy to
find a bit of brightness there for some young women who were part of a quiet
— Flynas said it would start recruiting Saudi women to work as air hostesses by
this month, in a new first while creating new job opportunities for women. It
will be the first among Saudi carriers to recruit women in senior positions.
airlines, which was established in 2007, said in a statement that the first
flight with a Saudi female flight attendant would be during this month, after
finishing a comprehensive practical program.
said that the program of male and female flight attendants has attracted about
300 Saudis during the past two years, stressing the observance of working hours
and the allocation of uniforms for Saudi female hosts in line with the customs
and traditions of the Kingdom.
first group graduating from the Saudi flight program is a continuation of
programs to localize aviation and empower women,” the company added.
are the first Saudi national carrier to hire Saudi women in the Air Hospitality
Program and the Future Flyers Program,” Flynas said. The airline requires a
minimum of a secondary school certificate in the requirements for a “host”
qualification. The height and weight should match the international aviation
standards, proficiency in English and the applicant must be a Saudi national.
September the Riyadh-based airline said it would soon start recruiting Saudi
women to work as co-pilots. The move aims to enable Saudi women to have a
greater role in supporting the Kingdom’s economy, CEO Bandar Almohanna said. —
In Iranian Cities And Active Role Of Women In Them
played active role in all Iran protests including in Tehran, Ahvaz, Behbahan
and Sabsevar during the weekend, Saturday, January 5, and Sunday, January 6,
of the Agriculture Insurance Fund converged in Tehran on Sunday, January 6,
2019, from all across the country and held a protest gathering outside the
National Employment Organization. Several thousand employees of the Agriculture
Insurance Fund are working without any form of job security or insurance. They
demand that the government expedites its recruitment and determine their
employment status. (The state-run ILNA news agency – January 6, 2019)
another one of the protests on Sunday, a group of people protesting employment
examination at Bid-Boland Refinery in Behbahan, gathered outside the city’s
great mosque, expressing their demands.
group of disabled people held a gathering outside the mullahs’ parliament in
Tehran on Sunday, January 6, 2019, and demanded implementation of the law on
families of imprisoned workers of Ahvaz Steel Complex gathered again outside
the Governorate of Khuzestan in Ahvaz on Saturday, January 5, 2019. They have
been gathering repeatedly for consecutive days over the past two weeks to
demand freedom of their loved ones.
one of the protests, a group of customers of Iran Khodro, Saipa, Bahman Motor,
and Saipa Citroen companies gathered outside the General Prosecutor’s Office in
Tehran in protest of the high prices offered by these companies on Saturday,
January 5, 2019. Students of Hakim Sabzevari University in Sabzevar lined up
their food trays on the ground on Saturday, January 5, and held a gathering
outside the university’s cafeteria to protest the low quality of food and
conduct of the dean of students.
another act of protest, 34 student associations signed a letter addressed to
the Minister of Intelligence, declaring their support for Ismael Bakhshi and
his call on the Intelligence Minister to participate in a public debate on
television. Ismael Bakhshi is a labor activist representing workers of Haft
Tappeh who was imprisoned in November and tortured before being released to be
detained at home.
students wrote to the Intelligence Minister, Seyed Mahmoud Alavi, that they
expect the regime to provide the opportunity for a worker to criticize the
government and demand accountability as a citizen. The student associations
also declared their readiness to host the debate.
Friday, January 4, 2019, a group of graduate students of Zanjan University held
a gathering to observe the birthday of their fellow classmate, political
prisoner Payam Shakiba, and demand his freedom.
the same day, a group of residents of Sistan and Baluchestan Province performed
a symbolic act in protest to the water crisis in this province and expressed
In Iran Number One-Fourth Of The World Standard
number of nurses in Iran is one-fourth of the world standard.
remarks reported on Saturday, January 5, 2019, Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam,
deputy director of the National Nursing Organization, revealed parts of the
drastic situation of nurses in Iran and their difficult job. He said, “The
problems of nurses in Iran must be examined and mismanagements in this field
must be rectified.”
is considered as one of the most difficult and harmful jobs in the world. In
Iran, nurses do not enjoy any form of support due to mismanagement and plunder
of the public wealth by government officials.
are constantly subject to violence by patients and their companies. On the
other hand, they are exposed to tuberculosis, hepatitis, influenza, and AIDs.
They therefore need to receive support.
Moghaddam said, “In many countries, nurses possess safety equipment and they
have periodic full checkups, but this is not the case in our country. And
nurses in Iran experience incessant pressure. On the other hand, our workforce
is one-fourth of the world’s average and we face acute shortage of nursing
workforce. This while most of the services in hospitals and health centers are
offered by nurses. We have 1.5 nurses in Iran for every 1,000 people, while in
Georgia and Tajikestan, there are 6 nurses for every 1,000 patients.” (The
state-run Fars news agency – January 5, 2019)
in November, Sharifi Moghaddam had admitted that there are 30,000 unemployed
nurses who cannot be recruited due to limited funds and lack of employment
at least 30,000 unemployed nurses, “there are only 1.6 nurses attending to
every 1,000 patients in Iran,” Sharifi Moghaddam said, adding, “To receive
appropriate nursing services every nurse can attend to a maximum of four
patients. But the world’s average is six nurses for every 1,000 patients. If we
want to have the minimum number of nurses for Iran’s population of 80,000,000,
we must have at least 240,000 nurses working across the country while we have
only 160,000 nurses busy providing health services and care.” (The state-run
Young Journalists Club website – October 29, 2018)
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