women wearing face veil, niqab, make Santa-themed Christmas toys in the
northern Gaza Strip December 29, 2019. Picture taken December 29, 2019.
Women Spread Christmas Cheer In Gaza
Women Entrepreneurs Urged To Register With Companies Commission Of Malaysia,
Launches Health Campaign for Pregnant Women
cover up at Bangladesh's first women's bodybuilding competition
Are 15 Accomplishments For Arab Women In 2019
Jabeur, Rababe Arafi And Zahra Lari: 10 Arab Sportswomen To Watch Out For In
Does Not Shut Up': Hip-Hop Women Of Senegal
Vanuatu women invited to play in Malaysian cricket tournament
Malaysian Expedition To Reach South Pole Station Tomorrow
Compiled By New
Age Islam News Bureau
women spread Christmas cheer in Gaza
women in the Palestinian Gaza Strip have been hand-crafting gifts for the
approaching Orthodox Christmas as part of a project to empower a traditional
Santa Claus dolls, toy Christmas trees and red-and-white puppets come into high
demand over the holiday season in Gaza, Bethlehem and Italy.
most of Gaza's 2 million population are Muslim, around 1,000 are Christian,
mostly Greek Orthodox, who celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7.
prophet encouraged us to respect all religions and we like to join with them in
celebrating their day," said the group's product designer Laila Tayeh.
and colleagues are part of the Zaina Cooperative Association, working in a Gaza
community that often restricts women's movement outside the home.
Alsammak, the association's executive manager, said the project had given women
training in carpentry and tailoring, and enabled them to leave their homes to
work and spread some Christmas cheer.
is a message of love towards Christians inside and outside Gaza," she
is run by the Islamist Hamas movement, which is designated a terrorist group by
the West and neighbouring Israel against which it has fought three wars in the
security reasons, Israel restricts movement in and out of Gaza and maintains a
naval blockade of the coastal strip where the economy suffers from high
unemployment and poverty.
2018, only 26% of Gaza women participated in the workforce, according to the
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
women entrepreneurs urged to register with Companies Commission of Malaysia,
29 Dec 2019
Dec 29 — The Rural Development Ministry is aiming for 50 per cent of women
entrepreneurs to be registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM)
next year compared to 24 per cent so far.
Datuk Seri Rina Harun said nearly 84,000 women entrepreneurs were registered
with the ministry and only 24 per cent with SSM.
entrepreneurs who are not registered with SSM for fear of not receiving aids
such as living expenses, should open their minds and register to take their
business further,” she said after launching the ‘Wacana Ilmu Wanita Inspirasiku
(WINS)’ at the Selangor Community Development Department (KEMAS) level, here today.
said awareness should be raised among women in order to become successful
entrepreneurs and that millionaires don’t focus on RM100 a month.
said encouraging female entrepreneurs to register with SSM was part of the
ministry’s initiative, so it had teamed up with SSM to register this group for
said for example in Perak, almost 400 women entrepreneurs had registered free
with SSM and the overall registered nationwide was 3,000 women.
said the number of women entrepreneurs was expected to reach 100,000 by 2020,
therefore efforts should be continued to improve the socioeconomic status of
the rural community so that infrastructure and human capital development can be
she said next year the ministry would be promoting new products in the form of
woven and embroidery handicrafts, which have existed in Malaysia for a long
time but was not developed.
is because the handicraft art was gaining popularity especially on the
e-commerce platform, calling for more women to be trained in promoting
handicrafts, she said. — Bernama
Launches Health Campaign For Pregnant Women
new health campaign focusing on pregnant women in Egypt will be launched next
January, which aims to detect and treat diseases in pregnant mothers to prevent
their transmission to unborn babies, according to a statement by the spokesman
of the Egyptian presidency.
light of the strategies adopted by the Ministry of Health and Population,
particularly in regards to the current steps in improving the health insurance
system, advance professional medical education and train cadres, the initiative
will be part of the new phase of the comprehensive health insurance system to
ensure that services and healthcare to citizens is provided in accordance with
new initiative, focused on the “health of pregnant women” during January, will
detect and treat diseases of the mother and prevent its transmission to the
fetus, taking into account the health and safety of both lives.
to Unicef, Egypt went through important achievements in improving child and
maternal survival, as in 2014, around 90 percent of mothers underwent antenatal
care checks during pregnancy, and 83 percent of them had antenatal care on a
regular basis. Ninety-two percent were attended by a skilled birth attendant,
while 87 per cent took place in a health facility.
regional disparities continue to exist as in the same year, the under-5
mortality rate ranged between 42 deaths per 1,000 live births in rural Upper
Egypt compared to 20 deaths per 1,000 live births in urban areas.
maternal health plays a significant role in saving the lives of more than half
a million women who die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth each year.
majority of these deaths could have been prevented if women access to adequate
diets, safe water and sanitation facilities, basic literacy and health services
during pregnancy and childbirth.
cover up at Bangladesh's first women's bodybuilding competition
Bangladesh’s first women’s bodybuilding championship was won by a 19-year-old
student in a contest where most of her muscle was covered up to prevent
controversy in the Muslim-majority nation.
skimpy bikinis are the norm at international body-building contests, Awhona
Rahman and her 29 rivals kept their brawn under wraps in front of the crowd of
and the other competitors struck poses on stage wearing tight leggings and
body-hugging outfits during the three-day event that finished on Sunday and was
held in the capital Dhaka.
am really happy, I really worked hard for this,” Rahman told AFP.
never entered my mind that someone might criticise me for showing my body. My
brother, who runs a fitness centre, has always encouraged me,” she added.
were told there would be proper dress code and the outfit provided was perfect
from a Bangladeshi perspective.”
Bodybuilding Federation general secretary Nazrul Islam said there had been a
huge response to the landmark women’s competition which aimed to encourage
health and fitness.
were very careful about the dress code because of our religious and social
culture. We selected long sleeve crop tops and leggings for the girls,” he
predicted the competition would help create jobs for women in the growing
number of gymnasiums in Bangladesh where women now have memberships.
90 per cent of Bangladesh’s population is Muslim and women are making a growing
impact in sport including cricket, football and archery. - AFP
are 15 accomplishments for Arab women in 2019
women dominated 2019
year has been a roller-coaster, one that brought so much change to the region.
From politics and sport, to the fashion and beauty industries, we have seen
Arab women work their way to the top.
lets take a look back at the accomplishments that Arab women achieved this year
to remind ourselves that 2019 was actually groundbreaking, and will likely pave
the way for many more advancements to come.
2019, the Lebanese director represented the region at every major and
prestigious film award show. From the BAFTA’s to the Oscars, her and her
groundbreaking film Capernaum, were nominated for Best Foreign Language film.
To this day, the director is financially supporting the children from her film,
as well as their families and future education.
Ganoiati is an International Tunisian football referee, who made history in
2019 by becoming the first Arab and African woman to referee a men’s first
division match. The 33-year-old’s achievement will help more women from the
region to break into the male-dominated field of football.
mountaineer Dolores Shelleh had a lot to celebrate this year. She turned 29,
marked Jordan independence day and become the first Arab woman to scale Mt.
Everest from its toughest North Col terrain. It is one of most challenging and
dangerous routes to take due to altitude issues, and it has the highest
recorded fatality numbers due to the elevation of the camps and lack of
helicopter rescue options.
Reema Bint Bandar
appointment of Princess Reema Bint Bandar, as Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic
representative to Washington DC was a historic moment for women in the Kingdom.
This position made the Princess the first female ambassador in the country’s
historic moment for Saudi women was when Yasmeen Al Maimani made history as the
country’s first female commercial pilot. Six years after obtaining her license
from the Saudi Civil Aviation Authority, she accomplished her dream of flying a
plane in the Kingdom.
the festival season, Tunisian-Egyptian actress, Hend Sabry joined the
prestigious jury panel of the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film, at
the 76th Venice Film Festival. The award-winning actress appointment makes her
the first female Arab filmmaker to fill this post.
the first time in the publication’s history, the Financial Times will have a
female editor-in-chief, Roula Khalaf.
The editor who was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon made history as
the publication’s first female editor since it was founded in 1888.
year, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has confirmed that women can now travel
independently. Previously female family members were required to seek
permission from a male guardian. Now thanks to a decree signed by King Salman
bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, they can hold
passports and explore the world freely.
year, the Egyptian swimmer won numerous medals, representing Egypt on the
global stage. She specialises in butterfly and freestyle events. She has broken
several records throughout her career, holding the senior national records for
all the butterfly, freestyle and backstroke events, as well as African records
in the 50m and 100m butterfly. She is currently working towards winning a medal
at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
is a research and women’s rights activists, who founded the Abolish 153
campaign, calling for the end of Kuwait’s “honour-killing” law. Not only that,
but she works with institutions to help improve gender equality in the Middle
East. Furthermore, she was also the first Kuwaiti to receive France’s National
Order of Merit, for her activism.
is a Lebanese entrepreneur who founded littleBits, a company which makes kits
of electronic blocks that snap together with magnets, allowing anyone to
“build, prototype, and invent”. Her invention is now used in thousands of
schools across the United States. Moreover, she launched a $4m value initiative
with Disney in an effort to close the gender gap in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics, (STEM), supplying 15,000 10-year-old girls in
California with free littleBits kits.
past year was a big one for Jordanian-Romanian shoe designer Amina Muaddi. The
creative behind exaggerated heels and dazzling boots has been winning fans all
over the world, including Rihanna, the Hadid sisters and the Jenners. Moreover,
she was recently hired by Riri to help design shoes for the Fenty collection.
seems like 2019 has been a great year for shoe designers from the region, as
Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen and her shoe label have had their moment in the lime
light. From Katy Perry to Kylie Jenner to Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, the
designer is quickly becoming a Hollywood favourite.
Nourah bint Saad
Saudi Princess became the first Saudi woman to be President of a sports club.
She acquired the Italian football club, Umbrian football club Spoleto and
outlined her ambitions for the team’s future saying: “Football is a family
passion, and Italian football is followed all over the world. This is why I
chose to invest in Umbria,” she said.
is a computer scientist, who turned from academia to entrepreneurial
innovation. After watching her mother’s fight against cancer, she was inspired
to bring her skills in Artificial Intelligence to the medical world. This
resulted in a ground-breaking technique, which uses AI to design new medicines faster
Jabeur, Rababe Arafi and Zahra Lari: 10 Arab sportswomen to watch out for in
women have made great strides on the international sports stage in recent
years, and 2020 promises to be another year when women from the region continue
to make their mark. As we enter a new year - and indeed a new decade - Reem
Abulleil selects 10 Arab sportswomen to keep an eye on.
Jabeur (Tunisia) – Tennis
Tunisian tennis star became the highest ranked Arab woman in history in 2019,
when she peaked at No 51 in the world in September. The former Roland Garros
junior champion boasts a unique and entertaining game style that has made her
an instant fan favourite on the WTA Tour. Jabeur, 25, is the first and only
Arab woman to reach the third round of a grand slam (French Open 2017, US Open
2019) and will be looking to go even further in 2020. If you like crafty drop
shots and unexpected tennis, then keep an eye out for Jabeur this new season.
Arafi (Morocco) – Athletics
28-year-old Moroccan will be one to watch on the track at the Tokyo 2020
Olympics. Ranked fifth in the world this year in the 1500m and 13th in the
800m, the middle distance runner is building up momentum towards the Games next
summer. She won the 1500m at the Diamond League event in Shanghai last May with
a world-leading time of 4:01.15 and set a new national record with a 3:58.84 in
Morocco two months later. Arafi scooped two golds at the Mediterranean Games
last year in Tarragona, and was seventh in the 800m and ninth in the 1500m at
the World Championships in Qatar a couple of months ago.
El Welily (Egypt) – Squash
Egyptian squash star has just completed a full calendar year as world No 1 – a
position she first reached in September 2015 to become the first woman from her
nation to do so – and has a string of fierce competitors chasing her at the
top. El Welily recently lost in the World Championship final to her friend,
rival and fellow Alexandrian Nour El Sherbini, who is back to No 2 in the
rankings. Their battle for dominance will continue in 2020 and will no doubt
provide some thrilling viewing for fans throughout the season.
Lari (UAE) – Figure skating
Zahra Lari competed internationally for the first time wearing the hijab in
2012, she received point deductions because of her outfit. Now, seven years
later, the UAE’s ‘Ice Princess’ can comfortably compete around the world
wearing her headscarf after she campaigned for the rules to change. A figure
skating pioneer in the Emirates, 24-year-old Lari was the first from her
country to compete at the Winter Universiade in Russia in 2019. The two-time
UAE national champion dreams of qualifying for the next Winter Olympic Games in
Beijing in 2022. Hers is a unique journey worth following in 2020.
Boubakri (Tunisia) – Fencing
31-year-old Tunisian is set to compete in her third Olympic Games in Tokyo this
summer. At Rio 2016, Boubakri became the first fencer from her nation to win an
Olympic medal when she clinched bronze in the women’s individual foil event.
She qualified for Tokyo as one of the world’s top 16 fencers, and top-ranked
African. She is a two-time bronze medallist at the World Championships and is
now targeting the top of the podium in Japan in 2020.
Essam (Egypt) – Football
first Arab female to play football professionally in a European league, Essam
continues her journey with Stoke City Ladies’ Development team in 2020, after
winning her side’s Golden Boot last season. The 20-year-old Egyptian got her
first call up for the national team when she was just 16, and has made
headlines back home thanks to her exploits at Stoke. With more eyes on her, and
a mission to inspire other Egyptian girls to venture into football, Essam is
poised to have an even greater impact moving forward.
Bassil (Lebanon) – Shooting
Lebanese trap shooter will be making her third Olympics appearance at Tokyo
2020. She qualified for the Games by winning the women’s trap gold medal at the
Asian Shooting Championships in Doha last month. “I think you have to see the
big picture. It's not about winning and losing; it's about every day hard work
and about thriving on a challenge to put Lebanon on top,” Bassil posted on her
Instagram after topping the podium. “It's about embracing the pain that you'll
experience at the end of a race and not being afraid.”
Malhas (Saudi Arabia) – Equestrian
Malhas won a bronze medal in individual showjumping at the Youth Olympic Games
in Singapore in 2010, she was the first ever female to represent Saudi Arabia
at an Olympic event. Now, nearly a decade later, Malhas continues to blaze a
trail for women in her country by competing at shows around the globe. She
became the first Saudi woman to participate in the World Equestrian Games in
2018 in Tryon, North Carolina. The 27-year-old recently competed on home soil
for the first time during Saudi’s Diriyah Equestrian Festival, fulfilling a
Malak (Egypt) – Taekwondo
bronze medallist in the -57kg category at the Rio 2016 Olympics – the first
Egyptian woman to win a medal in taekwondo in Games history – Malak has since
moved up a weight class and is now competing in the -67kg. It is a change that
has required some adjustment but she has started to recapture her mojo, winning
gold at the All Africa Games in August, and taking bronze at the World Military
Games in October. Seeking a third consecutive appearance at the Olympics, the
26-year-old now has gold on her mind for Tokyo 2020.
Haddioui (Morocco) – Golf
first Arab woman to earn a playing card on the Ladies European Tour, Haddioui
represented Morocco in golf’s long-awaited return to the Olympics in Rio 2016.
The 31-year-old Agadir-based golfer dreams of making a second appearance at the
Games in Tokyo, but is yet to secure a spot. She has had two top-20 finishes
this season and is ranked No 66 on the LET Order of Merit. Haddioui has played
a big role in promoting golf among Arab women, especially back home in Morocco,
and has called for more playing opportunities for female golfers in the region
so the game can develop even further.
does not shut up': hip-hop women of Senegal
Shryock in Dakar
31 Dec 2019
Genji Hip Hop collective use rhymes and art to fight cultural stereotypes and
Gaye picks up a grey scarf and stretches it into a T shape. She ducks under the
fabric, wraps it around her neck and crisscrosses it over the crown of her
is almost dusk outside, but in this windowless room there is no indication of
time as Gaye gets dressed for a concert starting at 9pm. Her veil in position,
the 27-year-old old is transformed into Mina la voilée (Mina the veiled one),
her stage name as a rapper in Dakar, Senegal.
I sing, I am someone else,” she says. “I don’t feel anything anymore. I’m
unwound. It’s like I’m another person when I’m on stage.”
she first began rapping as a veiled Muslim woman, Mina endured a backlash on
social media. Knowing that she was not alone was what helped her endure it.
is a member of Genji Hip Hop – a collective of about 70 female Senegalese
rappers, singers, DJs and graffiti artists. Starting life as a WhatsApp group
in 2017, it has since blossomed into a civil society organisation that puts on
concerts, holds workshops for women and speaks up about women’s issues in the west
women have fun and support each other as they address social taboos surrounding
women’s rights. Their movement is both global and local: recently participants
in the WhatsApp group discussed viral videos of women in Colombia fighting
against rape, promoted Genji rappers’ music videos and shared inside jokes.
stage, the performers rap and sing about relationships, society’s searing gaze
on women, incest, family pressure and rape.
la voilée and fellow Genji members in Dakar, Senegal.
has proven it can change things in Senegal, whether its social or political,
it’s very engaged,” says Genji’s secretary general, Wasso Tankoura.
lags far behind other countries in the region when it comes to legally
protecting women against domestic violence and rape, says Hawa Ba, Senegal
director for the Open Society Initiative of West Africa. Ba attributes this
partly to conservative religious forces in the 95% Muslim country, where
leaders of religious brotherhoods often wield enormous power on policymaking.
fight currently being waged by Genji is against Senegal’s rape law. Currently,
rape is treated as a misdemeanour crime and the women want it upgraded to
is not a family in Senegal where someone does not see a case of rape, but no
one discusses it because often the perpetrator is a family member,” says
Tankoura. “It is very difficult to speak about it because the person who is
raped is the one who is judged.”
of Genji are not keeping quiet. They are currently in the studio producing an
ensemble song about rape and the changes that are needed. So far they’ve
recorded the refrain:
more questions! We’ve had enough!
reclaim justice! It’s a right!
is a crime
support of fellow members helps the women stand up to the often overwhelming
pressure they feel to conform.
you are a woman, normally in our country, they tell you how you must be,” says
Mina. “You must, you must, you must. When they are always telling you what you
should do, you won’t have confidence in who you really are, but when you are a
rapper you have confidence.”
example of the pressure on women to conform is in their marriages, says Mina.
member Sister LB, whose real name is Selbe Diouf, performs in Dakar.
wives are expected to stay home most of the time, do the cooking and cleaning,
and not come home late – a problem that arises if a rapper marries, as concerts
go into the night. Newly married, Mina splits her time between her family’s
home and her husband’s. Her husband, Mamadou Sagne, is also a rapper, and she
says marrying someone within the profession has made her life easier.
others are not so lucky. The rapper and Genji member Eve Crazy recently
divorced her husband after pressure from her in-laws to end her career became
too much, she says.
say we don’t have limits,
if someone calls me a woman,
they have already put up barriers
what they think I can do.
Crazy gave up two jobs to stay at home, and cook and clean for the family she
married into, but the pressure to dress and act a certain way continued. “I
didn’t have any freedom,” she says, describing how subtle, daily pressures
often weigh the heaviest on the women.
to Wasso, the cultural concept of muñ is a thread that runs through the issues
facing women in Senegal. The Wolof language word embodies the complex idea of
societal expectations that dictate a woman must have “patience” and “silently
endure” any harsh realities – even rape – for fear that speaking out will upset
the social fabric of the family and community.
hold onto everything,” says Mina. “The woman must put up with everything.
Marriage is like that. Even if you speak to your own parents, they will say
that you have to endure it.”
allows the women to go against the grain. “It talks about everything,” says
Mina of their art. “Everything society does not want you to talk about. Rap
does not shut up, rap does not have muñ.”
Vanuatu women invited to play in Malaysian cricket tournament
members of the Vanuatu National Women's team are competing in the inaugural
Malaysian Super Women League as part of a bid to raise the standard of women's
team arrives in Malaysia.The team arrives in Malaysia. Photo: Facebook /
Malaysian Cricket Association
cricket captain Selina Solman, opener Valenta Langiatu and spin wizard Nasimana
Navaika were invited by the Malaysian Cricket Association to join local
Malaysian teams in their four-team Twenty20 league.
tournament was organised by the Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) to provide
elite-level competition for national women players to impress selectors ahead
of international assignments in 2020.
Cricket Association president Mark Stafford said they were happy to support the
tournament and were excited about the opportunities becoming available to
cricket players in Vanuatu.
fantastic for the individuals concerned but also for all our women in the
Vanuatu cricket women's programme."
was wonderful for players to see that if they worked hard and performed, that
such opportunties would come along from time to time, he said.
had to find the cost of fares to get the three women to Kuala Lumpur, but we
were pleased to do that to try and give our girls the greater experience and
greater depth and knowledge of the players that they will face in coming years
across the board in the ICC tournaments."
said the Vaunatu National women's team was also planning to travel to Kuala
Lumpur in March next year, where they will play an international series against
Malaysia and other countries.
a statement from the MCA, president Mahinda Vallipuram said it was a step
forward for Malaysian women's cricket and moving beyond to Australia and
tournament is intended to provide high-performance competition and opposition
for the top players in the country, while giving younger players the
opportunity to spar against higher-level players," said Vallipuram.
want to make this a premium event not only in this region but beyond and give
opportunities to women to play on an equal footing," he said.
Navaika has been playing in the Central Super Girls squad while teammates
Solman and Langiatu play for the Southern Jaguars.
four teams - Central Super Girls, Eastern Lioness, Northern Queens and Southern
Jaguars kicked off with round robin fixtures on Sunday at the Kinrara Oval,
with a final and a third-fourth place playoff to be played this Thursday, 2
trio will be travelling back through Queensland, where they will join the East
Asia Pacific women's team in the Australian Country Cricket Championships
played in Toowoomba from 3 - 11 January.
Malaysian expedition to reach South Pole Station tomorrow
30 Dec 2019
ALAM, Dec 30 — The ‘All Women Expedition to Antarctica (Aweta)’ team, is
expected to arrive at the South Pole Station, tomorrow.
head of the expedition, Dr Sharifah Mazlina Syed Abdul Kadir in a recent entry
on Aweta’s official Facebook page, said the three participants were on the
final stretch before arriving at the station about 2pm Antarctica time,
are now in the final stretch to reach the South Pole before starting the search
for the capsule that was buried in 2004.
of 10.02pm Antarctica time on Sunday (9.03am Malaysian time today), the
participants were in a state of exhaustion and they would be allowed to set up
tents and rest early before resuming their journey, tomorrow morning,” she
said although their health conditions did not allow them to continue their
journey due to extreme cold weather and the pressure of gravity, but they were
able to overcome the obstacles and challenges.
Mazlina said so far, the three participants had travelled over 33 kilometres to
conquer the South Pole with the purpose of finding and taking back a capsule
she had planted in the area in 2004.
group entered Antarctica about 2am (Malaysian time) on December 25.
mission scheduled until Friday comprises three women participants, namely Army
Corporal Siti Jumaidah Bensali, 34, Home Ministry administrative and diplomatic
officer, Salehah Abu Nor, 33, and pharmacist Nurul Atiqah Tamarun, 31. —
Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News,
South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic
Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in
West, Islam Women and Feminism