viral picture showing Munira Abdullah hugging a giant portrait of Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman. (Supplied photo)
Woman In The Frame For A Photo That Went Viral Summed Up Exactly How Saudi
Women Feel Because Of Amendments To The Saudi Kingdom’s Laws
at Centre of Violin Playing Controversy in Iraq Holy City
Islamic Community Recommends Men Hit 'Unruly' Women
Dutch ‘Burqa Ban’ Collides With Reality, And Should Make Governments Think
Again About Policing Dress
Yazidi Women Must Abandon Kids Born in IS Captivity
At Post-Qaddafi Libya through The Eyes Of Female Footballers
Women Lawyers Occupy Pride Of Place In Legal Profession
Expands Women Entrepreneurship Program In Pakistan
And Teachers, Rural Women Hold Protests To Demand Their Rights
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Female and LGBTQ Prayer Leaders, Chicago Mosque Works To Broaden Norms In
story of Rabia al-Basri is one that Muslim kids learn early.
ran through her hometown of Basra, Iraq, with a torch in one hand and a bucket
of water in the other. When townspeople asked her why, she said she wanted to
burn down heaven with the torch and put out hellfire with the water so that
people could worship without fear of punishment or desire for reward, for the
sake of God alone.
story defines this space,” said Mahdia Lynn, who co-founded the mosque in 2016
in the Loop that bears the name of Rabia, and, more importantly, she said, the
responsibility that comes with it.
Masjid al-Rabia, the difference from mainstream mosques is immediately
apparent. Every Friday, a handful of men and women pray shoulder to shoulder.
The khutbah, or sermon, is a discussion, and congregants participate in a group
circle. There is no consistent imam, or leader in prayer; rather, anyone can
volunteer to stand in the front to lead. It is one of very few public mosques
in the world that allows and encourages women to lead prayer in a mixed-gender
approach says that wanting to lead a prayer in that moment, that is what makes
a person equipped to lead," Lynn said.
mainstream mosques where men lead the prayer, men pray in the front and women
pray behind them, or in some cases, behind a barrier. Sometimes, women pray in
a separate room with an audiovisual setup.
women-only mosques have existed for hundreds of years in China, it is only in
the past several years that imams and scholars have begun to organize more
inclusive mosques in Indonesia, Europe and the United States — all with varying
styles and levels of success. In 2015, the first women’s-only mosque in the
U.S. opened in Los Angeles, according to news reports.
men and women often attend private prayer groups together, it is difficult to
find any mosques in the world that publicly advertise having a prayer space
with no barriers to gender, like Masjid al-Rabia.
of the places it is happening, people are organizing based on who wants to
worship and not because they want to publicize it,” said Amina Wadud, an
Islamic scholar who has worked for decades at the intersection of Islamic
theology and women-centric movements. “Sometimes you do a thing because you
feel the thing is good and you don’t need any attention for it. Sometimes you
have to combine that intention with some advertisement because how else do you
open people up to the story?”
Chicago, Lynn said the group is moving to a larger space that, in addition to
hosting prayers, will serve as a hub for the social justice work the mosque
began several years ago. The most important work the mosque does, Lynn said, is
its prison ministry, which has grown to more than 600 participants in the past
Muslims who are queer and trans, (incarcerated people) are our family members
who are forgotten. And the fact that they are forgotten is both unacceptable
and changeable,” said Lynn, who is transgender. “In the faith tradition, there
is a strong idea of freeing prisoners and serving those who are oppressed. You
are ultimately helping the oppressor by preventing them from oppressing
work is only the latest in a long tradition of global attempts to broaden
mainstream prayer norms.
years ago in Cape Town, South Africa, Wadud, who is retired and lives in
Indonesia, for the first time led a part of the Friday prayer, which is
generally performed by a male leader.
waited more than 10 years to do anything as public as that again, though she
was asked. She said she took time in the interim for "spiritual reflection
and intellectual research,” to figure out her own intentions. The next time she
led a Friday prayer service, it was in New York in 2005 and it made headlines
because of the size of the congregation — more than 100 people participated —
and a protest was held outside.
said it was important to take a public step at that time.
was about embodied ethics, where it’s not enough to say, ‘I believe women are
equal to men.’ I have to demonstrate it with my body," Wadud said.
"Sometimes you have to do that.”
Ibrahim Khader of the Muslim Community Center organization, which has three
locations in the Chicago area, said the separation of men and women in a prayer
space is based on hadith, or sayings, of the Prophet Muhammad, one of which
states that, in a congregation, the best place for a man during prayer is the
front row, and the best place for a woman during prayer is the back row. He
also pointed to the requirement of Muslim men to attend Friday prayers, which,
according to hadith, does not exist for Muslim women.
the end of the day, these are narrations,” Khader said. “We can try and reason
with these and understand the context, but we still follow them.”
particularly those who say they prioritize inclusion over other ideas, lean on
the Quran, which they say has higher authority than either the words or the
actions of the Prophet Muhammad, to make their case.
Muslim patriarchies, men’s authority is underwritten by specific
interpretations of ‘Islam.’ I put ‘Islam’ in quotes because, if we are speaking
about the Qur’an, then there is nothing in it — not a single verse — that says
women cannot lead a prayer and only men can,” Ithaca College professor Asma
Barlas, who studies patriarchal interpretations of the Quran, said in an email.
“Nor is there a single statement to the effect that men are morally or
religiously or ontologically superior to women. Not one.”
activist Hind Makki runs a blog called Side Entrance, through which she encourages
Muslim women to document women’s prayer spaces in mosques around the world:
“the beautiful, the adequate and the pathetic.”
prayer spaces can be spiritually abusive, and we need to collectively create
our own spaces,” Makki said.
some Muslim communities struggle with inclusion, Makki encourages people to
create third spaces, away from mainstream mosques and the secular world, where
they can follow their faith without some of the cultural baggage.
the here and now, people have shown that they need to create their own spaces
that are healthy and welcoming for spiritual sustenance, which you can’t get at
mosques where your spirituality is not part of the picture,” she said. “Whether
that’s creating a mosque like Masjid al-Rabia, or just gathering in someone’s
living room, it’s so important for your spiritual health.”
31, who is from southeast Michigan, said she has always had an instinct toward
community organizing, and she found Islam in her early 20s, at a time when she
was living a very different kind of life than now.
was not good at being a human being. I was just not understanding what my place
in the world was. Who to be, how to live, what to do,” she said. “Islam gave me
an understanding and an order.”
said the first year of being Muslim was a journey she took alone, but in 2014,
she attended an LGBT Muslim retreat in Philadelphia.
felt like I was among people who knew the importance of the tradition, what it
meant to be a transgender woman practicing Islam, what it means to be someone
on the outside looking in,” she said. “That got me back into the community
organizing and activism, back to troublemaking.”
year, Lynn conducted her first nikkah, or wedding ceremony, and the masjid’s
(mosque’s) first one — for two queer Muslim men in a prison hundreds of miles
away. It was a wedding, she said, that ended up being a stack of papers an inch
or two thick mailed to Lynn that contained some of the essentials for an
Islamic wedding: written statements from witnesses, an exchange of vows, a mahr
statement (a financial agreement in the case of separation). Later, she and
others from the mosque threw a party that doubled as a proxy wedding with
stand-ins for the grooms.
week, the masjid, which is run by Lynn, who is a part-time employee, and a few
other volunteers, moved into a space at GracePlace in the South Loop, sharing a
prayer hall with Christian congregations, and hosted its first Friday prayer.
At the final prayer before the move, congregants discussed their new home.
they also progressive?” asked one attendee.
we had to make sure they were OK letting all the gay Muslims in,” said Hannah
Fidler, a volunteer program coordinator at the mosque. The group laughed, even
though for a community like this, security can be a real concern.
move to a more public forum is a big change for the community, and Lynn said
she hopes it will allow Masjid al-Rabia to become more established in Chicago.
The focus for the past couple of years has been mission-based activities, like
the prison ministry, a joint Eid and Pride celebration, and Quran study groups,
she said. But with a larger space, it’s possible to intentionally grow Friday
attendance and make sure it’s accessible to everyone.
the Islamic scholar, said this kind of space marks an evolution.
are seeing, what does it take to start a movement? What does it take to spread
a movement?” she said. “What does it take for it to no longer be a movement
because it’s just par for the course?”
Munira Abdullah went to bed on Thursday night she was just another one of many
Saudi women newly empowered and independent because of a raft of amendments to
the Kingdom’s laws.
the time she woke up on Friday morning she was an internet sensation — thanks
to a photo snapped on the spur of the moment in a Riyadh cinema foyer.
picture shows Munira hugging a giant portrait of Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman, and perfectly captured the emotions of many Saudi women in the wake of
the new legal amendments.
drove me to have this picture taken is my admiration and deep gratitude toward
the crown prince,” Munira, 30, an education technology resources specialist
from Taif, told Arab News.
was no planning,” she said. “I went to watch a movie at the cinema in Al-Qasr
Mall for the first time in my life, and I was very happy and grateful.
my way out, I saw the portrait and rushed to hug it, and my sister took the
picture and documented these beautiful emotions.”
photo not only took Twitter by storm, it also made the front page of Arab News
on Saturday. Now Munira is fielding a barrage of comments on social media from
other women who say she has summed up exactly how they feel.
all say, ‘Thank you for conveying our emotions about the crown prince’,” she
feel gratitude and joy for their joy too and I continue to reply to them to
legal changes, announced by royal decree, strengthen women’s rights in the areas
of labor, travel, social insurance and civil status, and reduce the role of
Seth J. Frantzman
woman playing a violin and other women and men dancing at the opening events of
the West Asia Football Federation in Karbala, Iraq has caused controversy as
religious far-right conservatives condemned the “unethical behavior” and others
rallied to the women’s defense.
controversy began on July 30 when several women and dancers took to the field
of a stadium in Karbala in Iraq before Iraq played Lebanon. One woman played a
violin. But Shi’ite religious leaders, who care deeply for the city’s sacred shrines
and holy history said they received the “sad news” of the violations of the
sanctity of the city. The battle of Karbala in the seventh century between
supporters of Imam Husayn and the Ummayad Caliph led to the death or martyrdom
of Husayn in battle and a shrine in Karbala today is a major center of
pilgrimage. The shrine also contains sites of 72 other men Shi’ites revere for
being martyred alongside Husayn. As such the city is important for religious
figures, and some saw the opening ceremony for the games as offending the
religious nature of the city.
days after the woman played the violin and others danced, the controversy has
roiled Twitter in Iraq and abroad, with hashtags in Arabic relating to the
stadium. One hashtag refers to the “sanctity of Karbala” and the other to the
stadium. The outpouring of anger and support shows the divisions in Iraq and
also raises other issues. One man wondered why urban planners had allowed a
stadium to be built near shrines in the city in the first place. One cleric has
called for the stadium to be closed. Another twitter user going by the name
Mahmoud Darwish posted a photo of the Iraqi woman with the violin and noted
“with four strings she shook the sanctity and the turban-wearing men with their
obscurantist beliefs.” Another man posted photos of women dancers at the
opening of games in Malaysia to show that other Muslim countries have women
doing similar activities.
In #Iraq , this woman is getting slammed by religious conservatives for playing
National Anthem on violin at West Asia Championship Opening in Karbalaa.
don’t know her name but she plays beautifully:
AM - Aug 2, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
al-Maliki, former Prime Minister of Iraq and a Dawa party leader, has
reportedly called for an investigation. Local authorities in Karbala said they
had nothing to do with the opening ceremony and condemned it. According to
Rudaw, the public relations department of the Ministry of Youth and Sport said
the comments reflected hypocrisy. “There are politicians who first need to go
close all the bars and nightclubs in Baghdad before attacking the ministry of
youth and sport.”
women, especially the violinist who was identified as Lebanon’s Joelle Saade,
seem to have received more support on social media, as Iraqis pushback against
the conservatives, some have contrasted the women with the rituals that take
place at Karbala, such as men cutting and whipping themselves during the
mourning for Husayn on Ashura every year. One man posted photos of the three
dancers at the ceremony, and a child’s face covered in blood during a religious
procession. “Welcome to Karbala, the holy art and beauty of the sanctity of the
rituals of ignorance and violence,” wrote Rasaha Alazawe, a writer, on Twitter.
Other commenters simply put a heart symbol with photos of the women playing
violin and dancing.
underlying issue that caused #قدسية_كربلاء to erupt on this scale should have nothing to
do with religion, Iraqis just love controversy afterall. The real issue is the
ignore of urban planning in the first place, WHO ON earth would allowed a
stadium to be built right next to
PM - Aug 3, 2019
name is big in the news again because certain politicians and clergy are upset
a woman was playing the violin,” noted Amin Karaji, a commenter on Iraqi
issues. “My God, who cares? If you loved Karbala so much then what did you do
for it in your office? No projects, no airport.”
controversy over the violin in Karbala therefore goes deeper than just an
incident of women and religious conservatives, it is symbolic of problems
across Iraq where many are angry that religious issues or parochial politics of
families and clans seem to trump the need for better infrastructure. There is a
feeling that these controversies are grabbed by politicians to increase anger,
not really over the violin, but to score minor political points at the expense
of average people who suffer electrical outages and lack of decent roads or
sewers or education. This comes at a time as Iraq is seeking to move on and
rebuild after the war against ISIS and also faces challenges of security
threats as well as the dominance of many religious or ethnic-based parties in
Islamic community in Munich issued guidelines on its website that encourage men
to assault their wives or female partners if they are “unruly.”
Bavarian Broadcasting 24 outlet published the shocking report on Saturday,
writing, “In the case of a marriage in great difficulty or when the partner is
‘unruly,’ the Islamic Center Munich [IZM] invokes the Koran. Accordingly, the
husband should comply with three steps: First, reprimand. Second, separation in
the marriage bed. And third, beating.”
of IZM’s website have been informed about the permissible beating of women for
15 years, according to the Bavarian Broadcasting 24 journalists Sabina Wolf and
Joseph Röhmel, who first reported the story.
Islamic community’s alleged advocacy of anti-woman violence is under the
website category “Woman and Family in Islam.” The classification states that
the beating “has a more symbolic character.”
Munich prosecutor’s office told Bavarian Broadcasting 24 that the incitement to
violence against women on the website is not a crime.
Islamic Center Munich has ties to the Islamic Community of Germany association.
German authorities say the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood plays a role in
the Islamic Community of Germany organization. Egypt classifies the Muslim
Brotherhood as a terrorist entity.
Islamic Center Munich told Bavarian Broadcasting 24 that it plans to modify its
website within two weeks.
I stood as an independent candidate in the Tower Hamlets’ mayoral elections of
2015, a white man asked me what colour my hair was under my veil. I said it was
pink. He smiled, so then I added, “Not really, it’s green.” It was a small
moment, but it got me thinking. I wrote an article – My Hair is Pink Under This
Veil – and delivered a talk at Cambridge University.
women have endured all manner of law makers, politicians, and the public,
giving them fashion tips. They think they’re trying to empower us. The former
leader of the Commons, Jack Straw, claimed that community relations would be
improved if they ditched the veil; former prime minister David Cameron
commented that Muslim women were “traditionally submissive”.
white male politicians faced a backlash from the very Muslim women they thought
they were liberating from enslavement.
October 2018, the UN criticised France for violating women’s rights, stating
that rather than protecting women with the country’s ban on clothing that concealed
faces, its consequence would be to confine them to their homes and marginalise
just two days ago, the Partial Ban on Face-Covering Clothing Act, or burqa ban,
came into force in the Netherlands. This law not only prohibits women from wearing
face coverings such as burqas and niqabs on public transportation, in
government buildings or at health and education institutions, but also outlaws
anyone wearing full-face helmets, ski masks and balaclavas in the same places.
women wear a burqa as a symbol of their religious belief and religious freedom,
in the same way that a Sikh would wear a turban. Veils (mantillas) are worn by
some devout Catholic women in the UK and are a common sight in Spain and other
Catholic countries in Europe.
problem is that the burqa ban is unworkable.
police and transport companies have expressed a reluctance to enforce it. The
police have stated that the ban is not a priority, so will not be able to
respond within the usual half hour timeframe. The Dutch government now insists
that the “partial ban doesn’t target any religion and that people are free to
dress how they want”.
reality of trying to impose a ban on what women wear proves that without the
common will of the people, prejudicial laws such as the burqa ban are
ineffectual. To restrict what people can wear based on their religious beliefs
is a violation of human rights. Liberal western democracies cannot promote
freedom of choice and expression on the one hand if they try and restrict what clothes
people wear with the other.
main question frequently asked about my veil (or hijab) is, “Is the veil really
a choice, or is it a symbol of oppression?” People have every right to ask and
as Muslim women we should respond in a way that helps others understand, not
see questions as a challenge.
us not fool ourselves; without doubt, there are women who live in family units
where they are forced to wear the veil. But there are people of all colours,
cultures and religions who have husbands or wives who dictate what they should
wear, what they should do and to whom they may speak.
relationships are not just a Muslim issue.
primary school, a teacher decided to both impose the burden of representation
on my young shoulders and question my Britishness when she informed my class
that they should feel “privileged to have me as a classmate” because it would
“widen their horizons”.
are many powerful Muslim women in prominent positions who have overcome
societal preconceptions to pursue their goals, which is testament to their
fortitude. And there are tens of thousands of hijab-wearing Muslim women who
will never have power but also challenge preconceptions when they walk out of
their front door in the morning.
women are more than able to fight for their equality but need to be supported
and celebrated to achieve that – just like women all over the world.
common prejudice in law achieves nothing apart from exposing the lack of common
sense of those who draft them.
Iraq — Yazidi women and girls who were enslaved and raped by Islamic State
militants have few choices. They may have been freed, but they can’t bring home
the children they had with the extremists.
years ago Saturday, IS militants launched attacks on Yazidi villages in
northern Iraq, kidnapping, enslaving and massacring thousands. The attacks were
labelled genocide by the United Nations.
attacks traumatized the Yazidis, an ancient religious minority who are no
strangers to persecution throughout the ages. But the brutality of the IS
onslaught posed major challenges to the community. Although the Yazidis are a
monotheistic faith, IS viewed them as heretics and sought to annihilate both
the people and their religious sites.
a month after the final military defeat of IS, Yazidi religious leaders made an
apparent bid to protect the insular and still-grieving community by decreeing
that they will embrace survivors of militant attacks. It was a move aimed at
erasing the social stigma associated with rape.
in what appeared to be a response to backlash from conservative community
members, the spiritual council put out a statement days later saying its
decision had been distorted. The council affirmed that children born to IS
fathers would not be accepted back into the community.
mothers put their kids for adoption. A few refused to return home.
woman, a 20-year-old resident of a village south of the town of Sinjar,
recounted how she sobbed and yelled as her baby boy was peeled from her arms by
the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, who administer eastern Syria and lead
the military fight against the militants there. The child was seven months old
when her family paid ransom to free her from IS in October last year.
cried and screamed with all my might, but it didn’t help anything,” said the
woman, who hailed from Tal Qasab village and who agreed to speak on the
condition her name be withheld because of social stigma. She lives in a tent in
a displaced persons’ camp in Dohuk, miles from her village, which still lies in
said, ‘You can’t take him with you. He is a Daesh child.’ My family also didn’t
accept that I bring him back with me,” she said, using the Arabic acronym for
militants attacked the Yazidi areas in Nineveh province on Aug. 3, 2014. They
killed hundreds of Yazidi men, sometimes identifying them as adults only by the
hair under their armpits. IS kidnapped the women, girls and boys, transporting
most of them into Syria.
hundreds are still missing. Some of the children who were raised under IS and
indoctrinated in jihadi ideology have refused to go home and some still live in
camps in Syria.
to the Kurdistan region’s Office for Yazidi Abductees, based in Dohuk, an estimated
3,425 Yazidis have been freed from a total of 6,417 abducted. The office said
1,921 children were saved out of 2,992 children.
IS was finally defeated in March, a number of Yazidi women and children emerged
from the last militant-held sliver of land, a riverside village in southeast
Syria called Baghouz.
Nesiriya village in Iraq’s northern Mosul province, an 18-year old native of
Sinjar who was liberated five months ago from Syria said she wants to join her
mother and sisters who took refuge in Germany. Three of her brothers are still
from the last IS-held enclave on March 1, she didn’t look back when she left
behind her three children in Syria who were born to a Tunisian IS fighter.
are all in an orphanage run by the Kurdish-led Syrian forces, she said.
was only 13 when she was kidnapped. Tunisian militants bought and sold her,
then forced her to convert to Islam and marry one of them.
told him that I don’t want children, just give me pills or anything like that,”
she told The Associated Press. “He said no, I will make babies.”
young girl moved around with the IS militant and had three children in three
different towns. The last, a four-month-old toddler, was born as IS was making
its last stand.
leaving, she breastfed her baby and calmed the middle girl who was following
her around in tears. For her eldest, a 2-year old boy, she bought new clothes
ran to pick up his boots and told me: ‘Mommy; take me with you in the car.
Mommy, take me to the car.’ I told him: ‘Ok. OK. I will in a little bit,’” she
left him crying for me too. But they will forget me. They are still very young.
They will forget me.”
- “At times like this, it is really important to show alternative narratives from
places like Libya,” director Naziha Arebi said before the screening of her
documentary “Freedom Fields.”
95-minute film, a release stated, takes an intimate look at post-revolution
Libya through the eyes of an aspiring all-female football team whose struggle
to gain mainstream acceptance mirrors the broader challenges facing women in
lives of three friends — Fadwa, the amicable player; Halima, the ice
cream-loving goalkeeper; and the lean and determined Naama, an internally displaced
person from Tawergha — are portrayed on and off the field.
stories are told in three parts. The first in 2012, a year after the
revolution, a period marked by great hope for change, democracy and gender
equality. The second in 2014 when the spirit of hope has been replaced with a
sense of confusion and loss after the Islamic State established a presence in
Libya. The last part, in 2016, describes the sadness of the Libyan people as
they realise they are worst off.
three women refuse to be defeated. They set up an NGO that works in schools,
refugee camps and orphanages to promote sport and reconciliation. Fadwa said
she hoped to go to France during the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Naama qualified
for the Olympics. The film begins with an eerie nighttime scene as headlights
light a secret practice location during a power cut. The football pitch is like
Libya with shadowy characters lurking in semi-darkness and nothing is as it
an Islamist group sends the team a communique ordering them to stop playing, a
male supporter burns it.
struggles with the Libyan Football Federation, which prevents the women from
travelling to international competition because of security concerns, are
eloquently portrayed and the women speak of their desire to represent their
first, the players seem to have given up on their dreams; some have accepted
marriage, others concentrate on their studies but one last opportunity presents
itself and they pay their own way to travel to Egypt to compete as a private
the London screening, Arebi pointed out that in Libya for everyone who wants to
stop you there will be someone who wants to help you.
though there were a lot of people who wanted to stop me making the film and
prevent the women from playing soccer there were always people who wanted to
help and that is something I wanted to show,” she said.
of the most moving scenes shows a father, who has secured a safe training
ground for the team, telling his daughter: “A girl can be different. She does
not have to keep to the norm. When the family gives their daughter hope they
give her everything.”
women speak emotionally about their plight. In one outburst a player explains
how the revolution promised freedom but life for women has not improved and
religion has imposed greater limitations.
fly-on-the-wall style is very effective but some of the scenes lack context. In
the case of Naama, the viewer cannot fail to be impressed by her determination
and courage but there is no background to the tensions that led to the
destruction of Tawergha and forced her to flee.
describing how she came to make the film, said: “I am half Libyan, half
British. I grew up in the UK and felt quite robbed of my Libyan ties. I wanted
to find out about Libya and went there for the first time in 2010.
heard of the Libyan women’s football team and I wanted to explore their
stories. I thought this film would be finished in 2013. [It took seven years to
make.] As a result of sticking around in Libya, it became something more
nuanced and interesting, more reflective of Libya and these women’s lives
rather than just a neat kind of sports film.”
documentary can be summed up as a character-driven production that puts the
lives of three women under the microscope. It allows them to speak for
themselves and ends with a song of the powerful comments they made during the
years of filming.
love that song and when they saw the film they were amazed at some of the
things they had said,” Arebi said.
said she looks forward to a time when “Freedom Fields” can be publicly screened
in Libya. This is impossible at present because there are no functioning
cinemas but it will be shown at NGO and community screenings.
women have long been empowered and their practice of the law is yet another
achievement shaping their career path.
the many advocates who attend the Dubai Courts, about 20 per cent are Emirati
women lawyers. They take up and win cases just as professionally and
efficiently as their male peers.
Amal Al Subaei, an Emirati lawyer, female lawyers are more competitive and
accomplished and more keen to follow the procedures precisely (than men).
are very happy and content being Emirati lawyers under the wise leadership of
our country. We enjoy widespread respect," Al Subaei said.
there are some challenges and difficulties, according to Al Subaei. "There
are some intruders in our profession. They work in the field without any legal
justification. Typing centres, for example, unlawfully compete with us and
offer legal services."
her, a lawyer plays a key part in guiding the litigants towards the right path
of securing their rights rather than "using" their clients or squandering
Subaei pointed out that some clients prefer to hand over their case to a man
while others seek a female lawyer's legal assistance. However, some others
don't mind the gender. "It just depends on the nature of the case. There
is no competition among lawyers. Lawyers represent themselves and their
profession. We have mutual respect. We even help each other in some cases when
needed," she said.
said that in her long experience in the profession, she has realised that if it
is a personal status case then a female lawyer is most often preferred,
especially if the client is a woman. "In general, there is no
discrimination. It depends on the clients' decision, there is no criteria. We
can't force anyone."
Hawra Moosa, another Emirati lawyer, said that some clients think that the male
lawyer is "stronger" and more "rigorous" in handling cases.
"They think that the court room is sort of a battle field and that a
"boxing match" will take place between the lawyers."'
she highlighted the fact that some clients have a great deal of trust in the
female lawyer in the sense that she is more keen to take care of the case and
dedicate her personal time to follow it up. "All lawyers face challenges,
not just female ones," Dr Moosa pointed out.
Sudanese legal consultant Reem Abdullah Ahmad, the clients, whether women or
men, feel more at ease when a woman lawyer fights their legal case as "she
would be more likely willing to understand and listen".
the case is a personal status case (divorce, custody or alimony), the clients
usually prefer that it is taken up by a woman lawyer. Such cases usually have
very sensitive details and parties to it would feel somewhat embarrassed to
share what they may consider as their 'family secrets'."
challenges are always there, she added. "However, we have proved ourselves
in the field."
some clients, the gender of the lawyer matters, while for others it does not.
we approach their problem makes all the difference. Once we gain their trust,
the ice is broken. The language could well be a barrier. So, if we speak the
client's language, it is an advantage," Ahmad pointed out.
criminal cases that are, for instance, about sexual assault, rape or consensual
illicit sex, a client would feel more inclined to talk to a lawyer of the same
gender. In most cases, a client would feel embarrassed and hesitant, at first,
to share the full story. When they find how committed we are to help them, they
share all the minor details. Confidentiality is essential to preserve the
also stressed that lawyers need to be transparent. She underlined that at the
end whatever are the results, the client would be satisfied because they
handled their case in the best way possible.
has announced the expansion of its #SheMeansBusiness program in Pakistan, in partnership
with the Lahore Women’s Chamber of Commerce, to provide women entrepreneurs
with the tools, training and resources that can help them secure funding and
grow their businesses.
flexibility offered by digital technologies is enabling a new generation of
women entrepreneurs around the world to make positive contributions to their
families and communities. However, women still face a number of obstacles such
as a lack of funding and networks that can help them grow and scale. With this
partnership, we want to nurture current and future generations of Pakistani
women business leaders by providing access to a series of workshops and online
learning tools,” said Beth Ann Lim, Head of Community Affairs at Facebook, Asia
Pacific at the launch of the program in Lahore.
to the Future of Business Report - a collaboration between Facebook, the World
Bank and the OECD, women business owners on Facebook in Pakistan still face
significant funding challenges, with less than 1 in 5 stating that they currently
have a bank loan or a line of credit. Of those surveyed, over 3 in 4 Pakistani
women business owners on Facebook say that social media helps their business.
Faaiza Amjad, President, WCCI, said online platforms such as Facebook have
helped women entrepreneurs expand their businesses. “When women are successful
in business, it drives social growth too: more women are employed, more diverse
role models are created and there is stronger diversity. Successful female
entrepreneurs invest in their communities and in educating children.Through our
partnership with #shemeansbusiness, we will be able to help equip Pakistan’s
women entrepreneurs with the knowledge, connections, skills and technology
required to build and grow their businesses online,” she said.
range of studies including those carried out by the Global Entrepreneurship
Monitor, OECD, World Bank and International Finance Corporation in conjunction
with McKinsey reinforce the point that harnessing the economic potential of
women can lead to release substantial socioeconomic gains potential. According
to a recent study by the Clinton Global Initiative published on the United
Nations Economic and Social Council site, when women work they invest 90 per
cent of their income back into their families, compared with 35 per cent for
in collaboration with business leaders, civil society, NGOs and the public
sector, #SheMeansBusiness is active in 21 countries around the world, including
Pakistan, has trained more than 130,000 women in digital skills across Asia
Pacific, reached 130,000 online through the #SheMeansBusiness resource hub.
working in hospitals of Mashhad held a protest outside the Governor’s Office in
this capital of Khorasan Razavi province in northeastern Iran, on Saturday,
August 3, 2019. They demanded to receive their wages and overtime dues.
have held various protests in different cities across Iran because they do not
receive their salaries and wages despite working under harsh and harmful
and teachers, rural women hold protests to demand their rights
of Nasrabad village in Yazd, held a protest on Tuesday, July 30, 2019,
demanding release of protesters to confiscation of their lands. They demanded
freedom of the men who had stood up to the plunder and confiscation of their
lands. The women gathering outside the Governor’s Office in Taft, held a
placard which read, “Either stop confiscation of our lands or listen to our
grievances, or release those who have been imprisoned in this regard.”
protesting women said, “There are no one left in Nasrabad. They should arrest
the remaining few and pave the way for the confiscation of our lands.”
is a village located in the cool areas of Yazd in central Iran.
group of civil activists including a number of women activists went to the
Department of Education of Shahriar, to follow up on the situation of Mohammad
Habibi. They said the department had rejected the request for granting him paid
leave. The rejection is significant because the Department of Education can
subsequently lay off Mohammad Habibi since his imprisonment has become lengthy.
teacher Mohammad Habibi, was arrested for the second time on May 10, 2018, in
the teachers’ gathering on Teachers’ Day in Iran. He has been sentenced to a
total of 9 years in jail plus 74 lashes. He has also been deprived of having
activities with any political or social party or group and of leaving the
country for two years.
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