Friday Links | June 1, 2012

The upcoming Olympics and the whole debate around the hijab in sports has resulted in numerous pieces featuring female Muslim athletes, such as Kuwaiti shooter Mariam Erzouqi and Qatari swimmer Nada Arkaji. An article in The Daily Star focuses on the legacy of female Muslim athletes during the Olympics and the fields yet to be conquered. RFERL features a photo gallery on female Muslim athletes and the hijab.

KV Rabiya is the subject of a documentary on her eventful life. Born handicapped in southern India, she has faced many challenges, but her love for God has been her inspiration for her social activism, and her source of happiness.

Yemen is one of the only countries in the world not to have a minimum age for marriage, and child brides are a very common phenomenon.

Al Jazeera features a film on its website on Fatima Kaabour, a Beirut matriarch, as she reflects on her life and her late husband.

Twenty years after the civil war in Tajikistan, 95% of the farmers in southern town of Toos are female, as they’ve lost the vast majority of their male relatives.

In Mauritania a group called “No to Pornography” is calling for a “morality police,” a ban on pornography, and stricter dress codes for women, among other things. There are currently no laws on female dress in the Maghreb country, and the group promises to prohibit indecent dress gradually.

A Swiss research has found that some Muslim women have more say in their communities than many Christian and Jewish women.

An estimated 66,000 girls have been genitally mutilated in the UK, but no one has been yet prosecuted for this practice, even though it is, obviously, illegal.

During an international trade fair in Iran, women and tie-sellers were targeted by a police crackdown on clothing deemed un-Islamic.

Amnesty International has called on the Sudanese government to stop the stoning of a young, possibly underage, Sudanese woman and to release her unconditionally. She is sentenced based on a testimony she gave to her brother, after being beaten by him, and she has not received representation in court. May God protect her and give her justice!

In fear of the return of the Taliban in the country, many young bright Afghan women are leaving Afghanistan in hope of a better future elsewhere.

Since March, at least five online videos have emerged in which Kyrgyz men beat up Kyrgyz women in Russia, for allegedly dating non-Kyrgyz men. While the men see themselves as patriotic heroes, it has sparked an outrage back in Kyrgyzstan.

Muslim women in the Central African nation of Malawi ask their new president Joyce Banda to allow Muslim women to wear the Islamic headscarf in public office.

Abortion is in most instances forbidden in Pakistan, but an estimated 900,000 women undergo unsafe abortions every year; approx. 800 women will die because of this procedure and around 200,000 will end up in hospital due to complications. Groups trying to provide safer procedures and calling for legalisation of abortion are met with resistance.

Dozens of Afghan schoolgirls were taken to hospital due to a poison attack at a school in Afghanistan’s Takhar province. Due to the frequency of the attacks on schools for girls, the government decided to close down about 500 schools for now.

After a Yemeni potential presidential candidate was quoted in interview with the New York Times insulting Yemeni female protestors, bloggers and activists alike have lashed out against him, one group even said that they plan to sue him.

Sex change operations have been allowed in Iran since the mid 1980s, but due to the costs the procedure was not available to everyone. Now Iran’s health insurers are obliged to cover all costs of the procedure.

The National features an article on Laila Alhussini, an Arab radio host based in Michigan, USA.

50-year-old grandmother Zarifa Qazizadeh is Afghanistan’s first female village chief and she hopes that she will set an example for other women in her community to follow in her footsteps.

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