Friday Links | July 6, 2012

Six women from Gaza have appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court to grant them permission to pray at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. While Christian women from Gaza have been allowed to visit religious sites in Israel, Muslim women are generally denied to enter Israel for this reason.

Last Sunday voters in Senegal hit the polls, it is for the first time that the 2010 gender balance law comes into action, which ensures a larger participation of women in the government.

Approx. 60% of Emirati women over 30 unmarried and there are many theories on why this number of single women in the UAE is growing so fast and how to solve this “problem”.

Nepali Muslim women demand fair representation in the government, both on local and on national level.

The Guardian published an article on four Syrian widows from the city of Homs, who are currently refugees in Jordan, about what they have gone through and those they have left behind.

Not being allowed to drive and without a public transportation system that caters to women, many Saudi women (and families) opt to hire drivers, which is a huge strain on the household budget, especially during the upcoming month of Ramadan.

The conflict in Kashmir has resulted in many women-led households, but without many opportunities for women to earn money, some of the women turn to sex work, but even more are forced to do sex work by traffickers/pimps.

The FIFA has lifted the ban on the headscarf on the soccer field, and has approved of two different velcro designs that would not harm the players.

Despite the many recent attacks on Afghan schools, Afghan girls still attend school in, relatively, large numbers, but the fear for the mysterious poisioning attacks remains.

After the Islamists have left Mogadishu, two Somali athletes, Amal Mohamed Bashir and Mohamed Hassan Mohamed, dare to dream again of obtaining on of the two wildcards available for the upcoming Olympics in London.

Iraqi women face court-ordered virginity tests, often they are send to be tested after the first day of marriage, when the groom/family expresses doubts about her “status”.

Qantara.de sat down with some young Indonesian women, discussing the cancellation of Lady Gaga’s concert by Indonesian clerics last month, claiming that Indonesia is, in fact, a very tolerant country.

The U.S. Navy has said that it will remove the images of veiled Muslim women holding guns, used as targets in a training facility, after a request by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

An Afghan woman and two of her children have been beheaded in what appears to be a “honor killing”. Afghanistan has seen a rise in honor killings lately.

The focus on women’s education in Bangladesh has resulted in a more equal society, especially compared to other countries in the region, but still a lot has to be done.

July 5th was the anniversariy of the 2009 riots in Chinese province of Xinjiang capital of Urumqi, where Uyghur and Han Chinese clashed. Radio Free Asia features the story of 55-year-old Rabigul Yasin, who claims she is permanently disabled, because she was wrongfully shot by Chinese police that day and as she is now unable to provide for her family, she is looking for compensation from the Chinese government.

A women’s group in Morocco has launched a campaign against the veiling of young girls, claiming it is child abuse.

For many Afghan women committing a “moral crime” is the last resort in a dire situation, such as domestic violence, but by doing this, the victims suddenly become criminals.

Iraqi Kurds have crowned the first ever Miss Kurdistan, a beauty pagant without (too) revealing clothes and with a focus on culture.

Even though Saudi Arabia has said that has the intention to let female athletes compete in the upcoming Olynpics, it is very unlikely that there are any female athletes eligible to compete on an international level, with the only real option, showjumper Dalma Rushdi Malhas, unable to participate, as her horse is injured.

  • Duff

    I think it is unfortunate that FIFA has lifted the ban on headscarves in the field. This may be seen as acceptance by Iran of their policy to force women soccer players (who I last checked are NOT religious leaders of any kind) to wear religious garb on their heads, even if these Iranian women do not want to. When FIFA disqualified Iran from playing in 2011 against Jordan for their refusal to take off the headscarf (which is legally mandated by Iranian law, and is surely not a free choice by all the Iranian players), I am sure that many of those same Iranian players would have loved to have gotten onto the field and played de-hijabed. But of course they are never given that choice, because the cost would be expulsion from the team.

    I worry that in some ‘muslim’ national teams, this acceptance of soccer hijab by FIFA will increase the tacit pressure on the women players to play in hijab, even if hijab is not legally mandated in those countries as in Iran.

    The hijab should only be worn if the woman herself chooses to wear it, and FIFA should have stated that they accept hijab in soccer ONLY if it was the personal choice of women players (which it obviously isn’t in many cases).


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