Friday Links | June 29, 2012

A group of Syrian women from the city of Homs have announced the formation of an all-female armed organization, the first of its kind in Syria. The group is not affiliated with any existing organization and will be fighting against the current Syrian regime.

The victory of Algerian women during the election concerns some Algerians; the quota system, which was just introduced last year, is under increasing scrutiny.

The abortion-debate in Turkey is getting very heated and complex, with the opposing camps not necessarily divided along secular-versus-religious lines.

Intisar Sharif Abdullah, the Sudanese woman who was charged with adultery, has been released unconditionally and her sentence of stoning has been dropped.

In southern Israel, a mosque doubles as a call center in an attempt to create a safe place for local Bedouin women to work, while physically remaining within their own community. Unemployment is high among Bedouin women, and to find them employment would result in better living standards in the south and less pressure on the already strained welfare system.

An article on Al Jazeera focuses on the crimininalisation of forced marriages in the UK, and whether that is a solution to the problem.

Despite the opposition of religious conservatives, Saudi Arabia is to allow the participation of its female athletes during the Olympics.

According to a research by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, the greatest challenge for Arab women on the road to acquire equality is not religion, but the lack of social and economic development, and also the issue of security.

Women in western Niger have started market gardens together, in order to fight the recurring hunger and gain independence.

Women’s activists in Iraqi Kurdistan find that women’s rights are currently at a “transformative” stage, in which Islam often plays a very complex role.

A Jordanian man who kidnapped a 14-year-old girl, while she was shopping and raped her for three consecutive days in the desert, wants to avoid jail sentence by marrying the girl, using the so-called “rape law”, which infuriates many Jordanians.

The Jakarta Post published an article on the relatively recent phenomenon of Indonesian women, who are well-known by the public, suddenly donning the headscarf when they face court for criminal charges.

Being lesbian in Morocco is still something many women have to hide for the outside world, but an increase in organizations and fora that help LGBT men and women could be a sign that things might change in the future.

In Saudi Arabia, changes are taking place slowly but surely, and this can be seen in the clothing of the women too.

The wife of new Egyptian President Morsi, refuses to use the title of “first lady”. As little is known of her, it will be interesting to see what role she will play while her husband is in office. In the mean time, her husband promises that Egypt will have both a female and a Christian VP.

Women’s News Network asks the question whether or not Chilean banks should force “no hijab” on female customers, after a Chilean Muslim woman was asked in 2010 to remove her headscarf when she wanted to cash a check.

A fatwa issued by the Islamic Center of Tajikistan just after the Tajik civil war ended in 1997 has made it easier for widows and wives of missing husbands to continue their lives and to remarry, after a relatively short period has passed, as they please, often defying the rules of tradition.

Five women from Gaza have been denied a visa to travel to the West Bank to continue their studies there. According to a 2007 Israeli High Court decision, students whose studies could have “positive human implications” should be granted a visa.

India Today profiles successful tennis player Sania Mirza, who is all geared up for the upcoming Olympics.


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