Friday Links | October 5, 2012

Swedish furniture giant IKEA erased almost all the women from its Saudi catalogue. This has been going on since the 1980s, when IKEA franchises opened in the Kingdom. Swedes are furious, and IKEA says that they will make sure this won’t happen again.

Demonstrators in Tunis have expressed their disgust about the fact that a Tunisian rape victim, who was raped by police in front of her fiance, is now accused of public indecency. According to activists, this is just one example to show that the gender equality in the country is in danger.

The Swiss government says no to the burqa ban.

Thanks to The Grandmother Project, grandmothers in 20 villages in southeastern Senegal have facilitated their communities’ decision to abandon female genital cutting and have encouraged positive practices such as traditional dancing. Image by Paola Gianturco from her book Grandmother Power, published by powerHouse Books.

After a maid decapitated a young girl in Saudi Arabia, Saudi career women are urging the government to establish daycare centres in the country, where professionals can look after their children.

Many Lebanese couples of different religious backgrounds escape to Cyprus in order to get a civil marriage there. In Lebanon, neither Christian nor Muslim authorities will conduct marriages between couples of mixed faith.

In Kyrgyzstan, both livestock theft and bride kidnapping are illegal, but the punishment, and chance of punishment, of sheep theft is much greater. In the first eight months of this year, Kyrgyz courts have seen only 10 cases of bride kidnapping, even though the estimated number of kidnapped brides annually runs in the thousands.

A German court ordered that a Muslim girl cannot skip her mixed gender swimming class because she feels uncomfortable being around bare chested boys. She, like other girls in her school, is allowed to wear a full body swim suit, also known as a burkini.

An Iranian jury has found Reuters guilty of “propaganda against the regime” for publishing an article on female ninja students, characterising them as female assassins.

A private detective agency in Pakistan has specialized in marital infidelity, and is earning big bucks doing so. An increasing number of women are using the services of the agency.

Nigeria has resumed hajj flights after a row following the deportation of hundreds of female pilgrims from Saudi Arabia, as they were unaccompanied by men. The women speak of humiliating conditions during their detention in Saudi Arabia. May Allah soon grant them with an opportunity to do hajj!

A club for elderly women in southern Lebanon provides entertainment, educational and health services to the seniors, and has changed numerous lives doing so.

FIFA is set to decide on a hijab design that would be the best fit for women’s soccer/football.

TrustLaw profiles the documentary Banaz – A Love Story, about the honor killing of Banaz Mahmod, a young woman of Kurdish descent back in 2005.

A Dutch “abortion boat” set sail to Morocco earlier this week, equipped with medication to provide women with the means to have safe medical abortions. The Moroccan government said that it would ban the boat and at time of writing the boat has been denied entry to the harbour of Smir, a town in the country’s north.

Recently French rapper Mélanie Georgiades, also known as Diam’s, made her first TV appearance wearing a headscarf, and speaking about her conversion to Islam.

A Pakistani woman accused of owning a brothel has been ordered to attend classes in a local mosque in order to “improve herself”.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is a proud father; he has announced that his 14-year-old daughter Aishat Kadyrova has memorized all of the Quran and can call herself a hafiz now.

Bikya Masr features two stories about Muslim women facing harassment in their respective home countries. One about Dutch Muslim girl Fatima, who says she gets harrassed on her way to university, just because she is Moroccan, Muslim, and she likes to dress up. The other story features two Arab Muslim girls in Brazil, who despite their “Brazilian ways” are still singled out and harassed over the fact that they are Muslim.

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