the Google Community Space in San Francisco, two companies joined forces on
Tuesday to encourage women-led start-ups from Saudi Arabia to Silicon Valley.
Tops Afghan's Varsity Entry Test Results, Vows to Fight for Gender Equity
NGO Seeks Hostel for Muslim Girls
Valley Sets Out a Path for Saudi Women High-Flyers
Triple Talaq Outlawed But Triple Talaq Still Valid, Here Is the Difference
Khan, Farhat Naqvi Are Filing Fake Cases of Talaq and Halala, Using Muslim
Women for Political Gains
Talaq Crusader Nida Khan to Join BJP
Women Face Heat, Harassment While Picking Jordan's Crops
by New Age Islam News Bureau
100 Muslim Women Seek Johnson's Ouster from Tories
Muhammad Mussa I Anadolu
LONDON: 100 Muslim women who wear the niqab or burqa
have written to Brandon Lewis, chairman of the Conservative Party, demanding
that Boris Johnson be kicked out of the party.
letter, revealed by Sky News, says that an apology by the former foreign
secretary would be insufficient and that more should be done to prevent others
in the party from following suit.
speak as free women who are able to speak for ourselves and make our own
choices,” the signers said.
decision to wear the niqab or burqa is not an easy one, especially given the
hate that many of us experience on a regular basis. Nevertheless we do so
because we believe it is a means to get closer to God,” it added.
women also stressed that "contrary to what you may have been told by
sections of the media and columnists who profess to know what is best for us,”
Muslim women are not forced to wear the niqab or burqa, nor are they oppressed.
letter also said that Johnson’s choice of Islamophobic words was deliberate and
"was made to inflame tensions in a way that makes it easier for bigots to
justify hate crime against us,” adding further support to Tory peer Lord
Sheik’s request that Johnson lose the party whip, meaning he would no longer
represent the party.
women said that although their rights as "equal citizens” may be debated
in society, the vile language used by Johnson has lasting consequences and is
letter mentioned the women’s willingness to speak to members of parliament to
share their experiences of what it is like for a Muslim woman to wear the niqab
or burqa and debunk the lies that have been spread about them.
came under fire after writing a newspaper op-ed comparing Muslim women who wear
the niqab to bank robbers and letterboxes.
now faces an investigation by an independent panel that his comments breached
the Tory party’s code of conduct.
figures such as Chairman Lewis and Prime Minister Theresa May have called on
Johnson to apologize, and Muslim advocacy groups such as the Muslim Council of
Britain have called for more action to be taken against Islamophobia in the
Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- "No doubt, achieving success for a woman in a
patriarchal society is difficult but not impossible. I believe in the goal of
gender equity and I am sure that the hard work of talented girls would ensure
achieving this goal one day in Afghanistan," Tahmina Payenda told Xinhua.
talented girl from Kabul, Tahmina Payenda, who secured the first position from
among the 158,000 students at the university entrance exam this year, said
proudly, "Girls can be more talented than boys and securing the high score
by me at the varsity entrance test is proof of this fact."
total of 165,698 hopeful Afghans had registered to pass the university entry
test early this year and out of the 158,589 who took the exam a couple of
months ago, more than 60,000 hopefuls qualified to enroll in state-run
universities and higher education institutions.
a great sense of achievement, Tahmina, who graduated from Afghan-Turk High
School, a private educational center, early this year, said "her hard work
combined with the support of her parents" paved the way for her success to
top all the contesters at the varsity entry test this year.
a scarf to show her respect to Islamic values and Afghan traditions, and believing
in gender equity, Payenda said softly that she never regards women as
second-class citizens in the patriarchal Afghan society where misogyny is
have never believed that the girls have less intelligence than boys," said
the brave girl.
girls can become more talented than the boys if the environment allows them to
get an education," she added.
the insurgency-plagued Afghanistan many parents believe in old traditions that
are against women's education and don't send their girls to school.
Payenda's achievement in the Afghan varsity's entry exam has been widely
welcomed and appreciated by her fellow Afghans.
Minister for Higher Education Najibullah Khawja Omari, while announcing the
varsity entry test results on Wednesday, said "I declare with pride that a
girl Tahmina Payenda by securing 353 out of 360 marks has topped all
students" this year.
Payenda over her success and commending her talent for securing first position
at the varsity entrance exam to enroll in the Kabul medical academy, Omari also
called upon other girls to follow suit.
praised Payenda's success as a stride towards enhancing women's education in
the male-dominated country where many families especially in the countryside
oppose education for girls, and wished a bright future for Payenda and her
fellow girls by extending his congratulations.
Payenda's success today, is the result of her hard work in the past. Besides
congratulating her, I wish her more success in the future and hope she can play
a proactive role for ensuring gender equity in future," Payenda's
classmate Hadia told Xinhua.
education for girls, Payenda's father Abdul Sabour who is an engineer by
profession commended his daughter for her hard work and advocated for girls'
education, stressing that all barriers should be removed to facilitate girls
going to school.
my opinion all boys and girls are equally talented and therefore gender
discrimination should be removed in Afghanistan to ensure equity," Payenda
Days after a Muslim group demanded a plot on Waqf land for an Islamic Culture
Centre in the city, another Muslim NGO has written to the collector demanding a
hostel for Muslim girls.
his letter to Mumbai collector Shivaji Jandhale, the All India Milli Council (Maharashtra)
general secretary M A Khalid has said many talented Muslim girl students are
unable to compete in competitive exams like NEET, AIIMS and the civil services
because they don't have a proper place to stay.
a report on July 31 (Fewer girls pursuing MBBS. Blame NEET), TOI had highlighted
the gender gap in medical colleges across the state this year.
report attributed it to the rigorous training required for NEET and the
reluctance of parents to send their girls coaching hubs away from their homes
at the reason.
talented Muslim girl students in Maharashtra want to come to Mumbai, join
coaching institutes and prepare for entrance exams for IIT, NEET (Medical) and
other professional courses, but are discouraged by the lack of accomodation.
Most parents are reluctant to send their daughters to private residential
coaching centres as they cannot afford the high fees," reads Khalid's letter.
and former MLA Sohail Lokhandwala who also met the collector suggested a vacant
government plot at Agripada where the Urdu Bhavan is proposed to be built.
"The plot is big enough to accommodate both the Urdu Bhavan and girls'
hostel," said Lokhandwala. "The collector has promised to look into
it," said Khalid.
Valley sets out a path for Saudi women high-flyers
At the Google Community Space in San Francisco, two companies joined forces on
Tuesday to encourage women-led start-ups from Saudi Arabia to Silicon Valley.
a women and business empowerment event to inspire and equip the next generation
of female leaders, was co-organized by Spark, the Bay Area’s largest community
of young philanthropists working for gender equality, and Blossom, the first
Jeddah-based accelerator to focus on women-led technology startups in Saudi
founders received only 2 percent of venture capital (VC) dollars in 2017, and
only 9 percent of US VCs are women” said Amanda Brock, Spark’s executive
set out to give Saudi students across California access to the tools, networks
and resources that would help them succeed with their big ideas.
remember one of the first and best ways I learned about entrepreneurship was
through an event in California. It was the best event of my life. It changed
everything for me.” said Emon Shakoor, CEO and founder of Blossom.
at Invested met and heard directly from women who have been changing
had dynamic, educational and confidence-boosting TED-style talks, mentorship
from leaders in the field, and strategic networking activities with founders,
funders, tech giants, leading accelerators and incubators from Silicon Valley
and the Arab world,” Shakoor said.
included Caitlin Crosby, founder and CEO of the Giving Keys; Shannon Spanhake,
founder and CEO of Cleo; Brittany Davis, director of Deal Flow at Backstage
Capital; Abdulrahman Al-Turjuman, section head of marketing at Sedco Holding;
and Tasneem Sabri, co-founder of Vela and senior program manager at TechWadi.
I wanted every Saudi student studying abroad to know is that working hard and
studying in college is not enough,” Shakoor said. “Your network is your empire.
Invest in your mind because no one can take that away from you.”
also launched a promotional campaign for the event with dozens of women
interviewed across Saudi Arabia sharing their stories of success and
encouraging other Saudi women to push for job creation in the Kingdom.
for the event included Silicon Valley Bank, Nour Nouf, Sedco Holding’s Rowad
Riyali, Beauti, Saudis in USA and Destination Jeddah.
70 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population is under the age of 34. There are more
Saudi women graduating from college, more Saudi women starting businesses, and
research shows that the most successful companies have at least one woman
founder on the team,” Shakoor said.
this year Saudi women are not only driving cars, they are also driving
economies and paving the way for Saudi Arabia’s future.
one of the youngest Saudi entrepreneurs in the Kingdom, my advice to the youth
is to start now, start young.”
Supreme Court in August 2017 declared Talaq-e-Biddat unconstitutional and not
an essential part of Islam. But triple Talaq was not banned. It is still legal
and valid. The Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill is a follow
up by the government of the Supreme Court judgment.
what is the difference?
triple talaq is supposed to have been pronounced by a Muslim man upon his wife
if he spells out the word 'talaq' (meaning divorce) three times in one
instance. The pronouncement has to come in one sitting. It was in practice for
long in India. With the advent of telecom technology, many Muslim men took
advantage and uttered talaq three times in one go over phone to divorce their
mobile phones came in, some went a step further and simply typed word 'talaq'
three times, sent the text message to their wives and claimed to have divorced
the women they had been married to.
Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp messages also became the media for willing Muslim
men to divorce their wives without facing them.
practice of instant triple talaq got justification from some Islamic clerics
and jurists, who declared it as a valid form of divorce with immediate effect.
They called it irrevocable.
Islamic jurists made instant triple talaq so rigid that even if a man regretted
uttering the word 'talaq' three times in one go and wished to go back to his
wife, he was not allowed to do so. They insisted on going through nikah halala.
halaka translates into the woman first marrying another man, consummate the
marriage and then secure divorce from her husband. Her new husband has to be
securing divorce from her new husband, the woman is required to wait for a
period of three months, called iddat. Only after expiry of the period of iddat
can woman become "pure" and thus eligible for remarriage.
many other Islamic jurists have condemned instant triple talaq saying that the
practice does not have sanction of Quran and Hadith (sayings of Prophet
Mohammad). Instant triple is banned in a number of Islamic countries.
is triple talaq then?
talaq is called talaq-ul sunnat under Islamic law. It has the sanction of Islam
and is more accepted non-statutory form of divorce among Muslims.
valid divorce through triple talaq follows an elaborate process of separation
of man and wife under Islam. The word 'talaq' is uttered three times but not in
one sitting. If a man willing to divorce his wife spells talaq once, he cannot
spell it again to his wife until the next lunar cycle starts.
woman has, meanwhile, to prepare herself for the three-month 'iddat' period -
technically three menstrual cycles or roughly three months.
this period of iddat, the man has the right to change his mind or reconciliate
with his wife. At the expiry of the period of iddat the man pronounces the word
talaq third time and divorce is complete.
is considered complete even if the man does not spell the word 'talaq' for the
third time provided he does not revoke talaq after iddat expressly or by
consummation. Now duly pronounced triple talaq is final and irrevocable.
too can divorce their husbands.
difference between instant triple talaq and triple talaq lies in the right
available to women. As per the illegal practice of instant triple talaq, a
Muslim woman does not have the right to divorce her husband.
as per valid laws of divorce under Islam, a woman has the option of asking for
woman is allowed to ask for 'khula' if she feels that the marriage has broken
beyond redemption. Using this option, she can divorce her husband by returning
the mehr (dower) that she received from her husband.
Supreme Court order was hailed by many to have restored the originality of
divorce law as sanctioned under Islam. The amended Muslim Women Protection of
Rights on Marriage Bill has flowed from the same Supreme Court judgment.
Bill is the second attempt of the government to legislate upon the Supreme
Court ruling on triple talaq. It had brought the Bill in the Lok Sabha in
December last year. It has enjoyed majority in the Lok Sabha and got the Bill
passed in the house.
Rajya Sabha, then dominated by Congress-led Opposition, proved to be too big a
stumbling block to jump over. Under Opposition's demand, the government
relented and brought three key amendments. Now, the Bill is likely to become
law making instant triple talaq a criminal offence.
President Sab Ka Haq Foundation Rafia Shabnam organised a press conference and
said that Nida Khan and Farhat Naqvi are filing fake cases of talaq and halala
for political gains. They are moving to the officers with false cases.
told that there are not more than 10 pc talaq cases in Muslim society. In other
words, 90 pc of Muslim women are not divorced and those 90 pc are happy in
their houses with shariah.
to Nida Khan and Farhat Naqvi, Rafia Shabnam said, such women can go to any
extent for cheap publicity. Rafia Shabnam appealed to Muslim women to keep a
distance from such women. If they are victimized they can take help of police
or court instead of getting prey to such people who use them for political
gain, suggested Shabnam.
press conference was also attended by Ravindra Sahara, Sartaj Alvi, Jagpal
Singh Yadav, Rina Khan, Asia, Patel etc.
Putting speculations to rest, Nida Khan on Thursday said that she will join the
BJP to seek justice for victims of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy.
Twenty four-year-old Khan grabbed national headlines recently after a cleric
associated with the influential Dargah Aala Hazrat issued a fatwa to socially
boycott her. A triple talaq victim herself, Khan has been running an NGO for
women who have been given instant divorce or made to undergo nikah halala.
have been fighting against triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy at the district
level and realised that every second family has a victim. After joining the
BJP, I will be able to raise these issues at the national level and fight to
get justice for victims like me. The party is yet to inform me when and where
my joining would take place,” she told TOI. The feisty woman had met Uttarakhand
women and child welfare minister Rekha Arya in Dehradun on Tuesday. Her meeting
had fuelled speculations about her joining the saffron party.
decided to join the BJP after a few leaders approached me. I will request the
government to give compensation to women victims so that they are able to raise
their children and fight legal battles in the court,” she further said.
minister Rekha Arya said, “My in-laws live in Bareilly and I am aware about her
fight against triple talaq and nikah halala. She had come to Dehradun and met
Uttarakhand BJP chief Ajay Bhatt and me. Khan wants to become part of BJP’s campaign
to help victims of instant divorce and seek justice for them. The party high
command will decide whether her joining will take place in New Delhi,
Uttarakhand or in Uttar Pradesh.”
was given triple talaq by Sheeran Raza, who belongs to the family of the head
of Aala Hazrat, in 2016. She had contested it in the civil court, which had
declared the instant divorce invalid. She had also alleged that she suffered a
miscarriage after being allegedly assaulted by her husband in 2015.
women face heat, harassment while picking Jordan's crops
Jordan — When her 12-year-old daughter Uala started bleeding, Siam thought it
was her period. But after 45 days, it was clear something was wrong with her.
It was August 2017, and Siam and her daughter were working in a greenhouse in
one of the hundreds of farms in the Mafraq area of northern Jordan. In summer,
temperatures reach 35 or 40 degrees Celsius (95 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit),
usually 10 more inside the greenhouse.
is from Aleppo. Five years ago she had no choice but to join her husband, who
had already been working in Mafraq since 2005. Over the past few years, Syrian
women picking tomatoes or cucumbers have become a common sight in the fields of
Badia Shmali, as this area is called.
pay for Syrians is the same anywhere: 1 Jordanian dinar ($1.41) per hour,
pushing entire families, children included, to work 10 to 12 hours a day,
depending on the weather.
first it was very hard. My husband and I cried when we had to send our
11-year-old daughter to work,” Siam told Al-Monitor. But going back to Syria
was not an option. Siam ended up marrying off her eldest daughter last year
when she turned 15 so that she could stop working in the fields. It was Uala's
turn to replace her, at least until last year.
45 days of bleeding, Siam took her daughter Uala to the hospital in Mafraq. The
doctor told her she had probably gotten sick due to the heat in the greenhouse.
But Siam could not afford the tests the doctor recommended, so they still do
not know what's wrong. Siam lives with her family in a tent 10 minutes from the
farm where she works with her daughters and relatives. Fearing for her health,
she decided not to send Uala back to work this summer. She had no choice but to
send her younger sister, who is turning 12 this year, instead.
day at dawn, a car picks them all up from the makeshift camp where they live
and take them to Abu Hamza's farm. Their faces covered in scarves as protection
from the dust, the group of women aged 15 to 50 works bare-handed or in ripped
rubber gloves, hunched over in the sun.
summer, Abu Hamza employs around 100 workers. “All of them are Syrian, and 70%
of them are women. I prefer working with women because they complain less and
make less trouble,” he told Al-Monitor while supervising a group of workers
weeding a tomato field.
workers are also cheaper than Egyptians, he said. When Jordan’s Labor Ministry
began to grant Syrian refugees work permits at the end of 2016, it also
tightened restrictions on Egyptian workers that made it more convenient for
farmers to hire Syrians.
a result of the 2016 agreement between the European Union and Jordan – known as
the Jordan Compact — the Labor Ministry made it easier also for agricultural
workers to get permits. But despite those efforts, all the women Al-Monitor
spoke to were working without permits. Most of them claimed to have a good
relationship with their employer, but if problems arise they are unlikely to
file a complaint for fear of retaliation.
official data is available. The International Labor Organization (ILO)
estimates that around 4%-5% of the Syrians working in Jordan are employed in
agriculture. “Compared to construction or other sectors, it is not so many, but
conditions are particularly tough and concerning,” Maha Katta, ILO's
coordinator for response to the Syrian refugee crisis, told Al-Monitor.
of the Jordanian nongovernmental organization Tamkeen Linda al-Kalash told
Al-Monitor that around 20,000 Syrians, mainly women, work between Mafraq and
the Jordan Valley. The estimate falls far short of the 31,074 work permits
issued so far by the Ministry of Labor to Syrians in the agriculture sector.
The reason is simple: “Syrians got the agriculture permit because it was the
easiest to get, but then they work in different sectors,” Katta said.
recently conducted a survey among 1,400 Syrian agricultural workers, Katta
said. “Our main concern is child labor. Most of the families work as a group, 60%
of them live in tents and most of the children do not go to school.”
to Katta, the situation is a vicious cycle: The war in Syria and turmoil in
Iraq have made exporting produce uncertain, hitting farmers hard. At the moment
the sector attracts mainly unskilled workers. But it has a great potential.
“Investments are needed to make it more efficient and profitable, and to
preserve water. The problem is that international donors are not willing to
invest in a sector where labor exploitation is such a severe concern,” Katta
violence is also a problem. Jordan has the highest rate of female participation
in agriculture in the MENA region, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture
Organization. Tamkeen puts it around 75% and says it is likely to increase.
Tamkeen has been conducting focus groups with Syrians working in agriculture.
But women very rarely speak up. “During awareness sessions, sometimes women
noted, though vaguely, unwanted verbal attention or touching from the owner or
co-workers,” Hanan, a Syrian community facilitator working with Tamkeen in
Jerash, told Al-Monitor. But most of the time, they say nothing for fear of
shame or worse: honor killing, added Bader, a Jordanian facilitator.
asked if she was worried by men’s behavior toward her 13-year-old daughter,
Siam lowered her voice and said that yes she is, because her daughter is so
young. She had heard things elsewhere, she said, but believes there is no
problem on the farm where they work. Anyway, they have no choice.
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