Major General Nigar Johar Khan has become the
third woman in Pakistan’s history to hold the rank of a major general in the
Muslim Woman Says She Was Attacked In Coffee Shop
Beats London, Silicon Valley on Ratio Of Female Startup Founders
Muslim Father Faces Jail for Mental Abuse of His Daughters
Some Canadian Muslims Celebrated the Quebec Hijab Ban
Johar Khan Becomes Third Woman in Pak History To Hold Major General Rank
Women’s Rights Activists Summoned To Evin Prosecutor’s Office
The Mother Of Three Who Is Egypt's First Female Maestro
Hosts Regional Conference on Child Marriage, FGM
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Arabia's Permanent Representative At UN: 2018 Was The Year Of Women Empowerment
In Saudi Arabia
YORK – Saudi Arabia on Tuesday confirmed that the year 2018 had witnessed many
decisions that contributed to women empowerment in the Kingdom, paving way for
their entry into many new areas, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
a speech to the Executive Council of the United Nations Women's Authority in
New York, Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative to the UN Abdullah Bin Yahya
Al-Muallimi said 2018 marked the year of transformation and excellence for
thanked the UN Commission on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women for its
outstanding performance in achieving most of the goals set for implementation
in the first year of the Strategic Plan for 2018-2021.
Kingdom appreciated the contribution of the United Nations Women's Fund to the
promotion of women's rights in leadership and government as well as to their
economic empowerment by encouraging legislation to promote women's rights, in
addition to supporting the development of government entities, partnerships,
international organizations and policies to enable women to have better access
to services, finance and utilization of productive resources, Al-Muallimi said
in his speech.
Saudi experience in women empowerment became evident in terms of the results in
two UN performance indicators this year. They include enabling women to play
leading roles in government and participate in it on an equal footing with men,
pointed out that the Saudi leadership continued to issue successive orders to
get rid of all discriminatory practices against women in the country.
important among these was the royal order No. 33322 dated 17/4/2017 that
stressed to all pertinent government authorities not to demand of women to
obtain approval from any person when they need government services for
completion of procedures for their benefit.
also referred to the royal order appointing Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin
Sultan as the Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States. Princess Reema became
the first woman to be appointed as an ambassador in the history of Saudi
the decision allowing women to drive cars came into effect in different parts
of the Kingdom after the Traffic Department had fulfilled all the requirements
and made all preparations to enable women to drive in the country, he pointed
mentioned the “Wusool” program for supporting working women to travel to and
from work and the “Qurrah” program that aims to build licensed child care
centers near work places to raise the percentage of women’s participation in
the labor market while ensuring job and family stability at the same time.
part of the decisions taken to enhance women’s rights pertaining to the
judiciary, the number of women lawyers was increased by 120 percent, and
special centers for implementing verdicts on child custody were set up with the
objective of providing a model environment in which a secure, healthy and
recreational family atmosphere prevails.
setting up of an alimony fund project (Nafaqah) for divorcees and their
children ensured timely support for divorced women and their children. The fund
helped avoid waiting for payment by procrastinating ex-husbands and fathers
during divorce or litigation by making the payment binding, he said.
said the Kingdom had taken many continuous steps to reform the laws and
regulations to meet the Kingdom’s aspirations to achieve the advancement of
expressed the Kingdom’s desire for more international partnership programs to
enhance cooperation between UN organizations for women and the Gulf Cooperation
Council countries including Saudi Arabia.
Muslim civil rights group is demanding an investigation after a woman in the
state of Texas claims she was attacked for wearing a hijab at a Starbucks
Ashour said she was verbally and physically attacked by a woman, and no one in
the store came to help.
I got harassed by a woman for wearing a hijab. The sad part was it was
@Starbucks and not a single employee or bystander said a word to her. She threw
things in my face and said horrific things. Had the roles been reversed, I
guarantee the reactions would have differed," Ashour said in a series of
tweets that went viral, reaching almost 200,000 likes and 60,000 retweets.
mentioned how she was with her 3-year-old and an 8-month-old children when the
attack occurred. Afterwards, she ran out and found a security guard. But the
woman who assaulted Ashour told the officer, "I don't know what her
problem is, she threw stuff at my face."
called the other woman "a liar" and said she "was terrified and
nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization called for state and federal
authorities to launch an investigation and urged anyone with knowledge of what
occurred to contact police.
crimes are on the rise throughout the United States, including here in Dallas,”
Council of American Islamic Relations' Dallas/Forth Worth (CAIR- DFW) chapter
head, Ekram Haque, said in a statement.
spokesperson for Starbucks told Newsweek the company reached out to Ashour
since she tweeted, however, could not confirm the specifics of what happened.
type of discriminatory behavior is obviously not acceptable in our stores and
not welcome. When our partners [employees] see something, they move quickly to
address it," the spokesperson said.
Muslim woman was attacked in Dallas earlier this year, because of her identity
as a Muslim, according to CAIR-DFW.
— Bahrain is one of the top 10 startup ecosystems with the largest share of
female founders, according to the 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER),
launched at the recent TNW conference in Amsterdam. Described as ‘the world’s
most comprehensive and widely-read research on startups’, the report is produced
by StartUp Genome in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.
18% of its startups founded by women, Bahrain topped even internationally
recognized startup hubs such as Silicon Valley (16%) and London (15%). The
report also lauded Bahrain as:
one of the top 10 ecosystems to watch in FinTech in Europe and the Middle East
a top 15 Global Ecosystem for affordability of qualified talent.
Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board said:
report draws on the views of the people who know best – entrepreneurs and
founders. In a very short time, Bahrain has emerged as a leading ecosystem with
particular strength in FinTech. With both female founders and women taking
leadership roles throughout the ecosystem, Bahrain is a dynamic and diverse
market at the head of new trends that are shaping the way society and business
Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi, Chief Executive of Tamkeen (Bahrain’s Labour Fund)
the past decade, Bahrain’s startup ecosystem has made significant progress
where startups can access a global network of partners to scale up and capture
opportunities in Bahrain and the region.
Janahi pointed out one of Bahrain’s key competitive advantages in the region,
which lies in its firm belief in the importance of women as an active player in
shaping Bahrain’s economic future.
line with these national objectives, Tamkeen has launched a number of ad-hoc
programmes to foster the development of female-owned businesses in addition to
Tamkeen’s flagship programmes supporting individuals and enterprises.” he
to Dr Janahi, to date, more than 59% of women have been served as part of
Tamkeen’s micro finance support, while more than 50% were served within the
business development program, which offers a co-financing service to cover 50%
of business equipment.
Kingdom has a long history of women in senior leadership positions. Currently,
a group of female leaders in FinTech is helping to steer the country’s FinTech
strategy. Leading female Bahraini startup founders include Hala Sulaiman and
Ameera AlQubaiti - co-founders of Alrawi, a successful audiobook startup and
Pitch@Palace Global 3.0 People's Choice 2018 Winner. Furthermore, Bahrain’s Al
Waha Fund of Funds, a $100 million fund set up by the Bahrain Development Bank,
has an all-female leadership.
for FinTech, in 2018 Bahrain launched FinTech Bay, the Middle East’s leading
FinTech hub. The Kingdom is rapidly gaining international recognition as a
FinTech leader thanks to forward-thinking regulation introduced by the Central
Bank of Bahrain, including the region’s first regulatory sandbox and advanced
rules for next generation technologies such as cryptocurrencies and open
banking. Just last month, Visa became the latest financial services company to
partner with FinTech Bay.
report also recognized Bahrain as a Top 15 Global Ecosystem for affordable
talent. Bahrain boasts one of the most skilled and entrepreneurial workforces
in the region, over 60% of which work in the private sector. Meanwhile, Amazon
Web Services’ AWS Educate training scheme is providing Bahrainis with the
necessary skills for cloud-based jobs. Interestingly, it’s estimated that more
than 60% of computer science students at the University of Bahrain in 2018 were
tax regime – the most liberal in the Gulf – and wage subsidies for new
employers emerged as real differentiators among the key draws highlighted in
the report. The report reflects the views of more than 10,000 founders and draws
on data from over one million companies. It ranks the highest-performing
startup ecosystems, cities and regions by assessing performance against the
• Performance • Connectedness • Funding • Knowledge • Market Research •Infrastructure
• Talent • Policy — SG
Muslim father faces jail for psychologically abusing his daughters in the first
case of its kind.
Khan, 63, exerted such domineering control over his household that his children
felt like they were “living in a prison”.
father-of-nine had already married off three of his daughters to selected
husbands, but “cast out” two of his daughters, when they married men that he
did not “approve of”.
a result, Khan claimed the sisters were “dead to the family” and tried to stop
two other unmarried daughters leading a Westernised lifestyle.
Manchester magistrates’ court he was found guilty of engaging in coercive
behaviour towards two of his daughters, as well as his wife, between December
2015 and June 2018. He will be sentenced at Crown Court next month where he
faces up to five years in prison.
prosecution was only enabled following a new law which came into force in
December 2015 following years of campaigning from women’s rights groups.
Coercive or controlling behaviour in intimate or family relationships has been
recognised as a criminal offence under section 76 of the Serious Crime Act ever
Vanessa Bettinson, of Leicester De Montfort Law School, who has researched
coercive control, said: “I believe it is the first reported case involving
family members as opposed to partners.”
of Khan’s daughters wed in Pakistan in arranged marriages, but two others
married Muslim men who were not “arranged” for them.
then refused to let his other two daughters – Madina, 21, and Maryha, 24 – go
out in the evenings, or meet their friends, and forced them to cook and clean
for him in their “traditional” Islamic household.
also demanded that properties in the names of female relatives be transferred
to him and his only son Abbas, 34, who insisted their two rebel sisters were
not welcome in the family home, saying: “They made their choices.”
were called to the Khan family home in Oldham, Greater Manchester, after a
violent argument erupted when Abbas Khan demanded one of the properties be
transferred to his name so he could facilitate his own wife emigrating to the
UK from her native Pakistan. During the row Salamat Khan’s wife of 50 years,
Zahida Begum, was pushed backwards by Abbas Khan with such force that it caused
a cabinet to fall off the wall.
evidence to the court, Madina Khan said that her role was “staying at home,
cooking and cleaning”, that she was forbidden from socialising with friends
outside of college and that she was “scared” of her father.
claimed that her “aggressive” brother had threatened to kill her more than once
and on the night the police were called “this time I thought he was going to do
something”. She added: “He was enraged. It’s been like living in a prison”.
mother added that Salamat Khan and her son “make the decisions” and she was
encouraged not to contact her rebel daughters.
husband doesn’t want me to keep in contact,” the housewife said, adding that he
“would accuse me of seeing other men when I went out to visit my daughters”.
Khan was also found guilty of coercive behaviour towards his sisters and common
assault on his mother. Both father and son denied wrongdoing but were ordered
to be sentenced at Crown Court next month.
Lee, prosecuting, said: “Instead of protecting his daughters as a father
should, Khan became their tormentor.”
Sunday night after a marathon session, Quebec legislators voted 73-35 to bring
into law Premier François Legault’s Bill 21 that bans some public servants from
wearing religious symbols.
Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government, which also had the backing of the
opposition Parti Québécois, brought closure to a 10-year struggle since
Quebec’s Bouchard-Taylor Commission recommended that all public officials who
embody the authority and the neutrality of the state and its institutions be
prohibited from wearing any visible religious symbols such as the hijab,
turbans, yarmulkes and the crucifix.
to Sunday’s historic vote, four consecutive Quebec governments had tried to
implement the Bouchard-Taylor recommendations as law but failed. The new law
requires a host of state employees, including police officers, judges,
government lawyers, jail guards and teachers, not to wear visible religious
symbols such as the Muslim hijab and burka, Sikh turbans, Jewish kippas, and
fact is that while the Sikh turban, Jewish yarmulkes and the Catholic crucifix
are definitely religious symbols, the Muslim hijab is not an Islamic
requirement. The truth is the hijab is a political symbol that until the late
1970s was unheard of in Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Turkey, Somalia
to one prominent exponent of the hijab — a hero to many Quebec and Canadian
hijabis and to the Islamist men who strive to manipulate them — the
newly-elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Somalia-born hijabi
Ilhan Omar, “the hijab means power, liberation, beauty, and resistance.”
the fact the English media gives space almost exclusively to Islamists who
support Sharia law, many Muslim leaders and activists in Quebec have supported
the new law.
activist Ferid Chikhi, reacting to the Quebec hijab, debate wrote: “Whether we
like it or not, what is most disturbing in Quebec is what I call malignant
entryism by Islamists who want to impose their ideology on the host society at
all costs while refusing to respect its laws.”
and 23 other Quebec Muslims, including political scientist Djemila Benhabib,
not only support the new CAQ bill for secularism in Quebec, they condemned New
Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arderm’s “banalisation of the veiling of women
province’s most prominent Muslim politician, Moroccan-born Fatima Houda-Pepin,
a former deputy speaker of the Quebec National Assembly, has been at the
forefront of the struggle against the hijab and burka for the better part of
early as 2013 she rebuked her then Liberal Party colleague Marc Tanguay, who
said he would welcome Liberal candidates wearing the chador (Iranian hijab) and
would be happy to sit with them in the legislature. Houda-Pepin responded: “I
refuse any drift toward cultural relativism under the guise of religion, to
legitimize a symbol like the chador, which is the ultimate expression of
oppression of women, in addition to being the symbol of radical [Islamic]
a letter to the Canadian Press, Fatima Houda-Pepin wrote back then that she is
“flabbergasted,” “hurt” and “shocked” by her colleagues’ comments supporting
the hijab, wondering if her Liberal Party’s views on equality between men and
women was modeled on those of countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Muslims who have been victims of Islamism and their flag bearers, Quebec has
become the first government in the West that has stood up to Islamist
blackmail. Its new law is a message to those who seek to destroy western
civilization, “No more: The Riyal stops here.”
General Nigar Johar Khan has become the third woman in Pakistan’s history to
hold the rank of a major general in the Pakistan Army, Human Rights Minister
Shireen Mazari announced via Twitter on Tuesday.
shared a picture of the newly appointed major general with the caption:
of National Assembly (MNA) Wajiha Qamar revealed that Maj Gen Nigar Johar Khan
hails “from a Pashtun family of Sawabi”.
is a two-star general in Pak Army’s Medical Corps. Apart from being a doc, she
is a sharp shooter too,” Qamar explained.
has shown that, it is committed to gender equality and women empowerment.
Gender specific jobs assigned by the ancient patriarchy are now adapting to the
realities of 21st century,” she added.
women’s rights activists, Maryam Mohammadi, Esrin Derkaleh and Nargess Khorrami
have been summoned to the Evin Prison’s Prosecutor’s Office.
agents broke into the residence of Maryam Mohammadi on Sunday, June 16, 2019.
After a thorough inspection of the house, they confiscated her two sets of
cellphones, and told her to report to the Prosecutor’s Office at Evin Prison on
Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Since Ms. Derkaleh was not home, they handed her
summons to Ms. Mohammadi.
Wednesday, June 12, 2019, intelligence agents referred to the residence of
women’s rights activist Nargess Khorrami, confiscating her cellphone, tablet,
and summoning her to Evin’s Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, as
three women’s rights activists are members of the Association of Neday-e
Zanan-e Iran. Akram Nasirian and Nahid Shaqaqi, also members of this group, had
already been arrested last month. Ms. Nasirian was freed on bail after 27 days
in Ward 209 of Evin. Nahid Shaqaqi is still incarcerated.
activist Neda Naji who had been arrested 40 days ago during the protests in
Tehran on the International Labor Day, was transferred from Evin to the
notorious Qarchak Prison in Varamin on Saturday, June 15, 2019. In a brief call
to her family, Ms. Naji informed them that she was being transferred from the
Intelligence Ministry Ward 209 at Evin Prison to Qarchak Prison.
least 15 female labor activists were arrested during the Labor Day protest on
May 1 in Tehran in front of the mullahs’ parliament among them Neda Naji,
Marzieh Amiri and Atefeh Rangriz.
another development, two Baha’i women were convicted to six months in prison.
According to the ruling of the First Branch of the Court of Tabriz, Monica
Alizadeh and Shabnam Eassakhani received prison sentences on the charge of
membership in the illegal organization of Baha’is.
orchestra conductors are rare in the world, let alone in the Middle East.
However, Eman Genedy has been making a 25-person orchestra play to her tune for
the last 13 years.
60, Egypt's first female maestro, hails from conservative Upper Egypt. A mother
of three, she has dark skin like much of the population of Upper Egypt and
wears a hijab, both on and off stage.
never imagined that I would be a conductor. As I loved music, I thought I would
sing or play an instrument, but to be a maestro — it was beyond my
imagination,” Genedy told Al-Monitor.
the house where she grew up in Beni Suef, a city 71 miles (115 kilometers)
north of Cairo, was filled with music and poetry. Her father, an engineer,
played the lute and the piano. All the children — her sister, brother and
herself — also played the piano.
ran into a problem when she decided to study music — the city had no musical
academy. So she went to study in the Egyptian capital and lived in a hostel
during her five years at the Faculty of Music Education at Helwan University.
lamented that there still is not a music faculty in her hometown. “Even the
number of music teachers in the governorate is very low compared to the
capital,” Genedy observed. “I do not know why it is this way — music is part of
the life of the people there.” Her first job after graduation was as a music
teacher at a secondary school in Beni Suef.
working as a teacher, she formed a group of talented students — both male and
female — and started organizing concerts with them. In the late 1980s and early
1990s, these concerts were rare and therefore popular, so the higher-ups in the
city, even the governor, would not miss them.
performed patriotic and religious songs that attracted the admiration of the
governorate officials,” she said. “When I saw the praise and admiration in the
audience, I dared ask myself whether I could become a successful conductor.”
2006, Genedy has worked as a conductor of the 25-member Beni Suef University
orchestra. The music teacher said that her leadership made a difference.
“Before I started working with them, they had little information on how to
perform with some instruments. But I trained them well. [Since then] we have
competed in and won various competitions with other universities,” she said.
there is no music department at the university, the students are from different
2005 and 2018, Genedy worked as a conductor for the National Arab Music
Ensemble in the Beni Suef Cultural Palace, affiliated with the Culture
Ministry. This was a prestigious posting but a tough one.
of the members of the orchestra are men older than me," she said. "It
was a difficult mission for me to lead men in this conservative society. Some
were obeying my instructions, others were not. But later, the situation changed
and they treated me as an experienced person in my work, not as a woman.”
Ramadan, the Culture Ministry organized a series of musical activities across
Egypt, and Genedy, along with her Beni Suef University Orchestra, toured the
governorates to give concerts.
was a [challenge] to get the female members in the orchestra to participate in
this tour because conservative families oppose their daughters traveling out of
the city,” she said. “I met their families and assured them that their
daughters will be safe as they accompany me — I would be their mother.”
agreed but some did not, so it was an incomplete band that gave the concerts.
own family allowed her to study in another city and also work abroad. In 1985
she traveled to Kuwait to teach music at a preparatory school for three years.
In 1995 Genedy traveled to Oman and spent five years teaching music to pupils
aged 18 through 35 at an art center.
believes that knowledge of other cultures' musical heritages enables her to
pick and choose among many works and tailor her program according to different
moods and audiences.
audiences who attend concerts at the Opera are absolutely different than those
in rural areas," she said. "My role is to select what pleases the
audience. For the performances in the opera, [I often choose] Arabic and
Western classical music. In rural areas, however, I prefer performing
also likes to mix oriental music with Western tunes.
she loves being a maestro, she said this career also has drawbacks that
discourage many women. “It demands huge time and effort. You need to train
groups, not just one or two musicians. On certain days, I rehearse for 10 hours
and I am so tired that I simply go to bed after I return home,” she said.
husband supports her at home and shares household tasks. “Thank God, my husband
knows very well the importance of music in my life. I breathe the music.
Without music I could die, literally,” Genedy said. “Music takes the first
place in my life and my husband encourages me.”
this year, Genedy formed her own orchestra and named it “The Maestro.” It
consists of 20 musicians hailing from different governorates, but most of them
study at Beni Suef.
of them is Hossam Magdy, a 20-year-old violinist from the Upper Egyptian
governorate of Minya.
is a first-year law student at Beni Suef University. He owns an instrument shop
in Minya and has played violin since he was a child. “It is amazing to be
working with Genedy,” he told Al-Monitor. "Frankly, Maestro Iman makes us
feel that she is our mother more than being a leader, compared to the male
conductors, who are quite stern.”
her strong but democratic leadership, he said that she consults them about what
songs they will perform. “For her, conducting is not a job but a passion,” he
hopes to tour the world and to become a famous conductor. “I am waiting for
this moment. I really hope so,” she said.
19 June 2019: Under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, a regional
conference on child marriage and Female genital mutilation (FGM) will be hosted
in Egypt on June 19 and June 20.
by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Council for Women (NCW)and the
National Council for Childhood & Motherhood, in cooperation with the
African Union and European Union, the conference will be discussing the African
challenges and efforts to counter FGM and child marriage as harmful practices
violating women’s rights.
June 14, the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Program on the FGM said in a statement that
Egypt is a pioneering leader in countering the FGM phenomenon.
part of the global response, success is determined by political will,
accountability (at national and sub-national levels) and creation of an enabling
environment that engages and coordinates actions from stakeholders across all
sectors and partners,” the statement read.
efforts come in light of the SDG 5.3 and the African Union’s Transformative
Agenda 2063, the statement added, commending Egypt’s’ leadership regionally and
National Committee of the Eradication of FGM has launched an awareness campaign
against female circumcision, on the occasion of the National Anti-FGM Day which
falls on June 14.
consider ourselves today more fortunate in facing all forms of violence and
discrimination against the female child and the woman, thanks to the continuous
support of the political leadership and President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to the
protection and empowerment of the Egyptian female child and woman, and the
government's commitment to enforce national legislations and international
commitments, in accordance with Egypt's strategic vision," said Maya
Morsy, head of the National Council for Women.
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