women started to work as baristas and waitresses in the coffee shop and
restaurants. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Booked For Giving Triple Talaq Asks HC for Pre-Arrest Bail
Passport Directorate Now Accepting Female Applicants
To Jinwar, A Women-Only Village In Syria That Wants To Smash The Patriarchy
Woman Leaves Syria after Two Year ‘Kidnap’ Ordeal
Opposition Warns About Abuse of Female Activists
Changes Encouraging Women to Flourish
Women Shine as Branch Managers of Car Rental Firms
Women Disregarded Under Inhumane Policies in Iran
by New Age Islam News Bureau
From 20th Century 'Path-Breaking' Muslim Women On View
of conviction and contribution of Indian Muslim women, who "gave up the
Purdah" and were at "the forefront of the nationalist and feminist
discourse" in the past century are on display here.
exhibition on 21 "Pathbreakers" opened for public view on Saturday.
by Muslim Women's Forum at the India International Centre (IIC), the show
"Pathbreakers: The Twentieth Century Muslim Women of India" features
women who remain largely unheard of and unsung in the mainstream narrative.
and after the freedom movement, a note on the exhibition said, many Muslim
women shed the 'Purdah' and became partners in the project to build a new
went on to become writers, teachers, artists, scientists, lawyers, educators,
political workers, trade unions, MPs, and MLAs.
a few exceptions, most of them have been forgotten in time."
show, inaugurated by author-filmmaker Syeda Imam (granddaughter of early 20th
century writer-educator Tyaba Khedive Jung), embodies the spirit of the active
contribution of these women, and as Imam said, “was not in the recesses of home
and kitchen". Far from the commonly-held impression of silenced,
cloistered and acquiescent women, 'Pathbreakers' narrates the stories of
strong, determined and engaged women, the note said.
of these women include Qudsia Aizaz Rasul, the only Muslim woman member of the
Constituent Assembly and author of "From Purdah to Parliament: A Muslim
Woman in Indian Politics"; Assam's first woman MP Mofida Ahmed, elected
from Jorhat in 1957; and Aziza Fatima Imam, who served in the Rajya Sabha for
13 years starting 1973.
exhibition of photographs, text and video installations, points to their
significant contribution towards the building of the nation, along with their
sisters of other communities, through its freedom struggle, independence and
multiplicity of stereotypes are constructed by diverse actors regarding Muslim
women. But the fact is there is no undifferentiated amass' of Muslim women.
Like women of all socio-cultural groups, they too are a divergent, shifting
composition of individuals, often dumped in popular parlance into one single
heap. This homogenisation has to be rejected," the note read.
show also projects video recordings of readings from writings of some of the
organisers, however, said while the participating women might seem elite, it is
only the first step in identifying and recognising pathbreakers from all
are Anis Kidwai, Atiya Fyzee, Atia Hossain, Aziza Imam, Fatima Ishmael, Hamida
Habibullah, Hajira Begum, Mofida Ahmed, Masuma Begum, Mumtaz Jahan Haider,
Qudsia Aizaz Rasul, Qudsia Zaidi, Razia Sajjad Zaheer, Saleha Abid Hussain,
Sharifa Hamid Ali, Saeeda Khurshid, Safia Jan Nisar Akhtar, Siddiqa Kidwai, Surayya
Tyabji, Zehra Ali Yavar Jung and Tyaba Khedive Jung.
exhibition was first held here in May, and was supported by the UN Women. The
current show is open till December 8.
In perhaps the first application seeking anticipatory bail under the new triple
Talaq ordinance, a Vasai resident has approached the Bombay high court after
his wife lodged a case against him for trying to divorce her by resorting to
the now-banned "instant talaq" method. Justice Prakash Naik will
decide on Intekhab Alam Munshi's anticipatory bail application on Monday.
Centre on September 19 approved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of
Marriage) Ordinance, 2018 that makes "triple Talaq" a criminal offence
punishable with a jail term of up to three years and a fine.
to the FIR lodged by Munshi's wife, he pronounced instant divorce or
"Talaq-e-Biddat" just days later on September 22, by sending her a
notice through his lawyer.
and his wife got married in December 1998 and have three children. This May, he
dropped her off at her parents' place and in July, filed a civil suit in Vasai
court seeking divorce. But on September 22, the woman received a notice
claiming that her husband had divorced her through 'talaq-e-ahsan,' the legal
marriage annulment option for Muslims which leaves room for reconciliation.
then lodged a dowry harassment case against her husband and in-laws and on
October 23, lodged a second FIR under the new law. She claimed her husband had
not divorced her as per 'talaq-e-ahsan' and he had, actually, pronounced the
notice sent to her said that she was earlier served two notices, however, she
denied having received any. Munshi claimed that two prior notices had returned
with the remark "left" or "not found".
wife further said that the divorce notice had not specified a reasonable cause
and nor was she given an opportunity for compromise and reconciliation with her
husband-two crucial ingredients of 'talaq-e-ahsan'. She also questioned the
propriety of the divorce notice as Munshi had already filed a civil suit.
month, a sessions court in Palghar refused Munshi pre-arrest bail, following
which he approached the high court through his lawyer Vincent Dsilva. Advocate
Amin Solkar, counsel for the wife, opposed grant of anticipatory bail.
sessions court said that Munshi had failed to justify that he was entitled to
protection from arrest. "(Munshi) prima facie failed to demonstrate that
the talaq given by him is 'talaq-e-ahsan'. On the contrary, it appears that it
is a talaq prohibited under the 2018 ordinance," said the sessions court.
"It is pertinent to note that even after return of the two unserved
notices, (Munshi) has not informed his wife on social media or her mobile about
notice of talaq," the sessions court added.
sessions judge had pointed out that Munshi had also breached the conditions of
the anticipatory bail given to him in the dowry harassment case, where he was
asked to present himself before the Manor police for investigation purposes.
The court had concluded that the investigation officer would have to
investigate the type of talaq given by Munshi as well as the issue of the
The Saudi Ministry of Interior has announced the opening of registration for
female jobs at the Passports Directorate. The new recruits will be given soldier
ranks and will be assigned to serve at airports and land ports.
ministry said interested candidates can apply through the www.jobs.sa website
starting 10 a.m. on Sunday until 10 a.m. on Thursday.
stressed that application fields are to be filled with precision, noting that
it would not consider an application that does not comply to requirements. It
also reaffirmed that registration does not imply the acceptance of the
to the ministry, female applicants must be Saudi nationals who have grown up in
the kingdom, except for those who lived were raised outside the Kingdom while
their parents served overseas.
will need to be physically fit, aged between 25 and 35.
the end of a long dusty road in the plains of northern Syria, a young woman
with a rifle over her shoulder guards the entrance to the isolated village of
brick houses lie beyond the gate, decorated with splashes of purple and blue.
They surround a large plot of agricultural land where rows of vegetables are
war zone perhaps isn’t the most obvious setting for a feminist utopia. But
here, in a far corner of a country that has been devastated by ongoing
conflict, a group of women have created an escape from the chaos around them.
Built over the past two years, this small hamlet is a self-sustaining,
ecological idyll where women rule and men cannot stay.
no need for men here, our lives are good,” says Zainab Gavary, a 28-year-old
resident. “This place is just for women who want to stand on their feet.”
is a women-only commune a few miles from Qamishli, a city in the mainly Kurdish
region of northeast Syria. It was set up by local women’s groups and
international volunteers to create a space for women to live “free of the
constraints of the oppressive power structures of patriarchy and capitalism”.
homes here were built by the women who are now living in them. Murals and
statues of women at work are scattered around the site, in the centre of which
is a garden of meadow flowers. It’s a jarring contrast to the villages that
it was built in northern Syria is no coincidence. Just a few years ago, the
entire area lived under the shadow of the Isis caliphate. The jihadist group
captured large swathes of territory when it made lightning advances to the
south and to the east of the Kurdish region, and across the border into Iraq.
made its capital in Raqqa, just a few hours away by car, and carried out one of
its most heinous atrocities in the town of Sinjar, less than a hundred miles
east. Thousands of Yazidis were massacred, and still thousands more women were
kidnapped by the group to be used as sex slaves.
response to this wave of brutality, many Kurdish women took up arms to fight
the extremist group. The story of these women facing off against a murderous
cult that aimed to enslave them captured the attention of the world.
founders of Jinwar see their project as a continuation of the “women’s
revolution” that led those women to leave their families and go to war. But
while the world may know the Kurds through images of women fighting on the
frontline, Kurdish society is still deeply conservative. Jinwar was built as a
place for women to escape the family-orientated roles that a patriarchal
society has assigned to them. Gavary is one of them. She married when she was
young, but her husband died not long after.
mother begged me not to come, but I still came,” she says. “I brought up my son
alone for 10 years, I suffered a lot.”
women there is no freedom,” she says, repeating a mantra that is written on the
walls in Jinwar. “Until women educate and empower themselves, there won’t be
message here is deeply political. In addition to arguing for a greater role for
women in society, Jinwar also promotes ecological and communal living as an
alternative to modern life.
Jinwar is also something much simpler: it is a refuge for women in need of
support – particularly those who have lost loved ones in war.
Muhammad, 33, is one of a number of widows who have made Jinwar home. Her
husband was killed fighting Isis more than a year ago. She was forced to move
back in with her parents and became entirely dependent on them.
came here because I have five kids and I didn’t have an income or a house to
live in,” she says. “Here they provide a lot of benefits like education for the
kids, their living expenses. It is a nice village, most importantly, my kids
do our own farming, we plant trees. Every woman farms her own lot for her kids.
We sell the harvest, and use the revenue to support our expenses,” she adds.
residents of Jinwar are kept busy by the work required to be self-sustainable.
The group take turns cooking and eat all their meals together in a large
communal kitchen. There are animals to tend to and a school for the children.
The village regularly receives visitors from the local area, who come to learn
about the ideas behind the project.
the widows, there are divorcees, and others who have simply chosen to live a
life away from men. Seventeen-year-old Nisreen Qadir came with her sister. She
says there are downsides to living an isolated life.
life alone is sometimes boring,” she says. “But it’s a life of self-reliance,
it is the life of free women.”
AL-HAWA: A 54-year-old Argentinian woman who was lured into war-wracked Syria
two years ago on a marriage promise was finally on her way home on Saturday, a
Syrian rebel official said.
teacher Nancy Roxana Papa had accepted the invitation of a Syrian man she had
met online three years earlier and traveled to Turkey in 2016, before entering
returned to Turkey on Saturday after the required legal documents... were
completed” for her entry into Turkish territory, said Bassam Sahiouni, an
official from the local rebel authority in Idlib province.
October 30, the “Salvation Government” — set up in rebel-held Idlib by the
Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) jihadist group — handed Papa over to the
Humanitarian Relief Foundation, a Turkish non-governmental organization, at the
Bab Al-Hawa border post.
then had to remain in Syria for over a month to await completion of administrative
and legal procedures for her repatriation.
Argentinian teacher had appeared on October 30 at a news conference organized
by HTS at the border, where she thanked her country’s diplomatic services, the
Turkish authorities and the “Salvation Government.”
saved my life,” she said that day, drying her tears after Sahiouni explained
the circumstances of her misadventure.
had given an account of the teacher’s apparent ordeal at the news conference.
met the man posing as her future husband in a hotel in Turkey and “he told her
they would go to Syria to greet his parents,” the rebel official said.
entered Syria illegally in 2016 and was immediately kidnapped by a gang that
was waiting for her on the other side of the border and contacted her daughter
to demand a ransom, Sahiouni said.
added that she managed to escape from her captors after a year and survived in
the war-torn area by staying with residents and moving from home to home.
“Salvation Government” sought to address the case earlier this year and tried
without success to contact Argentina’s foreign ministry, before the
Humanitarian Relief Foundation eventually dealt with her situation, Sahiouni
year, HTS reunited a Belgian girl with her mother, after the death of the
four-year-old’s father, a radicalized criminal who had entered Syria with the
child in May 2017.
February 2018, the same authorities handed over to Turkish officials two
Canadian nationals who were held for several weeks after entering Syria for
obscure family reasons.
largest opposition group has warned about the ruling regime’s sweeping arrest
and abuse campaign against female activists throughout the course of a campaign
of suppression that has already taken the lives of scores of dissidents.
has rounded up as many as 994 women for demanding “freedom and democracy” since
the start of anti-regime rallies on the island in 2011, al-Wefaq tweeted on
al-Wefaq said in its tweet message that Bahrain's ruling regime was subjecting
women to all types of inhumane treatment, such as imprisonment, torture, and
intimidation. The females were becoming “increasingly vulnerable” to the
draconian methods, the movement added.
cited the security forces’ arrest earlier in the week of three sisters, named
Fatimah, Iman, and Amal, from the Diraz Village in northern Bahrain, which is
under a siege imposed by the government.
described the arrests as “violation of all of the Bahraini women’s values.”
also said the regime had separately detained a mother of two, leaving her
Bahraini woman is a very amazing and advanced model of high understanding and
an active and a great person who has sacrificed herself for her homeland,” the
of the most high-profile arrested female activists was Zainab Al-Khawaja who
was detained in December 2014 and sentenced to three years in prison for
tearing up a picture of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. She was freed during a
visit by then US secretary of state John Kerry in April 2016, but her case has
not been shuttered.
mid-October, three female prisoners started a hunger strike against their
insufferable incarceration conditions.
high-profile activists, Hajer Mansoor Hassan, 49, 41-year-old Najah Ahmed
Yusef, and Medina Ali, asked for the glass barriers between them to be removed
and they be allowed visits by family members as well as more access to the
prison’s courtyard and three phone calls per week.
ruling Al Khalifah family has been cracking down on peaceful protests which
activists say are meant to promote the people’s legitimate right to equality
and freedom of expression.
has banned all opposition groupings, including al-Wefaq, and handed down a life
sentence to its leader Sheikh Ali Salman.
regime has been leveling charges of “terrorism” and subversion against
political dissidents, and has been stripping key opposition figures of their
March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s Parliament approved the trial of civilians at military
tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount
to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
would like to sum up some of the reforms that have changed Saudi society with
regards to women. These changes have been positive — although some would say
slow to take place — and should be, if not celebrated, at least acknowledged.
backbone of any country is education. In 1962, King Faisal opened public education to girls, which was optional
at the time. In 1970, the first higher education institution for girls — the
Riyadh College of Education — was established. In the space of a decade,
education for women across the country leapt to achieve international
standards. The King Abdullah Scholarship Program has also sent thousands of men
and women across the globe and women have proven they do better than men in
other reforms were implemented to help women gain more independence and, in
2001, personal ID cards for women were introduced, although it wasn’t until
2006 that they could obtain one without permission.
an unprecedented move in 2009, King Abdullah appointed the first female
minister, Dr. Noura Al-Fayez, who became Deputy Minister of Education for
Women’s Affairs. This was followed in 2012 by female athletes competing in the
Olympics for the first time, with Sarah Attar proudly running the women’s
800-meter race in London while wearing a hijab.
February 2013, 30 women were appointed and sworn in to the Shoura Council by
King Abdullah, placing women in decision-making positions with exactly the same
rights as their male counterparts. This was followed in 2015 by the municipal
elections, where women won 22 seats.
2017 saw the appointment of the first female chairperson at the Saudi Stock
Exchange, Sarah Al-Suhaimi. And, in September of the same year, a royal order
was passed allowing women to drive, which became a reality in June 2018.
Additionally, sports were introduced in girls’ schools, women were allowed in
stadiums, Raha Moharrak climbed Mount Everest, and Princess Reema bint Bandar
took up a key role at the General Sports Authority. Ministries have been told
to facilitate women’s queries and resolve their requests, as well as create
more jobs for women.
of successful milestones and women are too numerous to mention. Suffice it to
say that, as a result of a forward-thinking leadership and through Vision 2030,
the participation of women in society through a clear strategic policy can only
bring economic growth to the country both in the public and private sectors.
The developmental changes of the last few years will lead Saudi women to
greater leadership positions in public domains.
parity is still far off, but this is the case worldwide. Women are not better
than men, they are their partners and have rights. We must promote our
achievements and emphasize the fact that they are part of the natural process
of social evolutionary change.
Al-Helaissi has been a member of the Shoura Council since 2013 and is also a
member of its foreign affairs committee.
— Two young Saudi women have crossed the barriers and entered into fields that
were long dominated by men. They became branch managers of two car rental
to the Arabic daily Al-Madina on Sunday, the two women have opened the way for
Saudi women to enter a new field of work.
their new jobs, the two women decide the brand and model of the car to be
rented, prepare the rent contract, decide the duration of the rental and
negotiate prices with a view to providing the customer with easy payment
Al-Harbe, 25, said her colleagues were keen to teach her the nitty-gritty of
the job until she became the manager of the branch where she worked.
customers also encouraged me and supported my work,” she said adding that she
was dreaming of having her own private local and international car rental
is a secondary school graduate but she did a number of courses in designing and
secretariat work. She has also worked in marketing.
advised working Saudi women to be modest in dressing, highly ethical,
understand their limits with the customers and talk eloquently.
Saudi woman should be equipped with the skills necessary for selling and
marketing so as to attract the largest possible number of customers,” she said.
Al-Huwaiti, branch manager of another car rental company, said she began her
job as an assistant until she became a manager.
to my excellence in work, I was promoted to become a manager. I will not
continue for long in this job so as not to feel bored,” she said.
25, is a graduate of the media college at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah.
about the most difficult moments in her job, she said once a customer came to
her office to rent a car.
said she explained all the features of the car to him when he suddenly said it
was good for drifting.
refused to rent the car to him, canceled the contract and asked him to go away
because she is against joy riding,” she said.
of cars is a big responsibility and the choice of the customer is equally
important,” she said.
asked Saudi women to be brave and not to shy away from jobs that are dominated
Saudi woman should have self-confidence and should dedicate all her efforts to
doing her job properly,” she said.
women’s rights is institutionalized under the clerical regime in Iran.
Likewise, disabled women in Iran face additional indifference when it comes to
administrative promotion of their rights and well-being.
annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was
proclaimed on December 3, 1992, by the United Nations. The purpose of this day
is to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all
spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation
of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and
2004, the Iranian regime passed a law entitled 'Disabled Persons’ Rights' that
remained unimplemented. In 2017, a general bill on this issue was again passed
by the mullahs’ parliament, the implementation of which was conditional on the
adequacy of the government budget and, therefore, was not executed.
to statistics released by the mullahs’ parliament in 2017, more than 11 million
disabled people live in Iran, with women accounting for 35% of the figure. The
number of disabled women who have to earn their living was 39,372 and almost
twice as much as disabled men in the same situation. Annually, 100,000 people
are added to the number of disabled persons in Iran.
the field of employment, disabled people make
up about 3-5% of the unemployment in each region. The number of
unemployed disabled women is twice the number of men. That is, only one-sixth
of women with disabilities might have an opportunity in the job market. While
others cannot even afford to pay for their own transportation. This situation
also makes them incapacitated for their medical and healthcare expenses which
is an immediate basic necessity for any person with disabilities.
addition to the economic problems, women with disabilities are 1.5 times more
likely to suffer violence, harassment, abuse and discrimination than men with
disabilities. Disabled women are forced to accept and tolerate cruel behavior
and relationships because of their physical and social limits.
poverty, lack of decent homes, lack of urban services and appropriate
transportation services for the disabled, and the neglect of educational
facilities required for the disabled are all the more causes of disregarding
people with disabilities and excluding them from the society.
remains is the release of videos and images of the disabled women and girls who
have been forced to sell goods on the streets and rummage through waste. This
is just another aching agony added to all the other plights of the plundered
nation of Iran. As with other deprived sectors of the society in Iran, people
with disabilities have raised their voices in protest to their conditions.
Between October 6 to 10, 2018, during a series of protests by employees of the
Edalat Stocks Cooperative, women with disabilities and head of households
gathered in protest to the cooperative’s failure to pay 43 months of their
salaries. On November 2, 2017, a number of people with disabilities gathered at
the Iranian Press Exhibition in Tehran to protest against the Iranian
parliament for not passing the bill on the rights of disabled people, the
rights that will not be achieved except through the establishment of a
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