Friday Links | December 21, 2012

This week was the second anniversary of the Arab Spring. Several articles were dedicated to the relationship between women and the Arab Spring movement. One article by the BBC focuses on the fact that women still are waiting for their benefits from the revolution and an article by WeNews mentions the increasing conservative Islamist influence in post-revolutionary countries.

Last Tuesday 6 polio vaccination volunteers were killed in Pakistan, 5 of whom were female. On Wednesday another female polio worker and her driver were killed, and on Thursday another man died, adding to a total of 9 dead, of whom 6 women. Two female polio workers speak out against the attacks and the anti-polio campaign in Pakistan has been suspended, for now.

With an increasing number of Tajik women migrating to find work outside the country, an increasing number of children are being left behind too. More often than not the burden of looking after these children falls on their grandmothers.

Gender activists on the islands of Zanzibar, Tanzania, claim that gender based violence is a major hurdle on the road to development in the region.

An Egyptian court sentenced an Islamic preacher to a year in prison for publicly defaming prominent actress Elham Shaheen.

This interesting picture with the title Unfaithful Kiss has been chosen as the picture to launch the Naples’ student calendar for 2013. The picture is supposed to portray an Israeli and a Palestinian woman and convey a message of hope, peace and freedom for the whole planet. Image via

According to reports and accounts by local doctors, the health of Kashmiri women is deteriorating and it is said that there might be a link to the conflict.

A new film in Morocco called Maouchouma or Tattooed, features the story of a tattoo on a (often nude) female body, has therefore caused a lot of controversy in the country.

This month Sudani folk singer Hawa al Tagtaga passed away; she was considered a nationalist activist and even, I quote, a “feminist”. May she rest in peace.

More underage Muslim girls in Malaysia are getting married.

UNHCR shares the story of Muslim widow Misho, who has fled her home in Burma’s Rakhine state about six months ago and who is since praying to return to her home.

An explosion in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province killed at least 10 girls, who were gathering firewood.

In the 17 years since the war ended in Bosnia, only 40 rape cases have been prosecuted, it is estimated that about 35,000 (predominantly Muslim) women have been raped during the war and without these women receiving justice, the peace process is considered to be incomplete.

On December 19, Tajik parliament passed the first Tajik law on domestic violence.

The Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University for women in Saudi Arabia has banned female students from wearing trousers, skirts made of mesh and clothing that is not black or grey.

Palestinian female journalists, who choose to wear the (wrong kind of) hijab, find it difficult to pursue a career in television.

Kenya’s Chief Justice has called on Muslim leaders to allow women to serve in Islamic (kadhi) courts.

Yemeni Khadija al-Salami has made a documentary called The Scream on the important role Yemeni women played in the year-long revolt.

Once female Afghan police was a sign of new and better times to come, but the difficult reality for female police officers in the country makes it hard to believe in a future for the female cop in Afghanistan.

In Iraqi Kurdistan, women’s rights activists endure death threats and attacks, but their ordeals are not covered in the local media.

After studying the repercussions of oral and unilateral talaqs (divorce by the husband in Islamic law) in India for months, Muslim women groups demand a ban on both the oral and the unilateral talaq.

The Canadian Supreme Court decided yesterday whether or not a witness can testify in a case while wearing niqab. The woman in question is testifying against two men, who allegedly sexually assaulted her when she was a child. On Thursday the Supreme Court came to a rare split decision on the fate of niqabs in court, allowing the face veil in some cases.

Nassima Akhtar is a Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh, who loves to surf, defying the norms of her conservative community.

During a press conference in Moscow, Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that he is opposed to the hijab, saying it is not part of Russian Islam and therefore an alien tradition.

Nusrat Bano Seher Abbasi is to become the first female opposition leader in the Pakistan’s Sindh Assembly.

Rumors are spreading that the Syrian opposition groups that have taken charge of the countryside of Aleppo are deploying a religious police force to enforce new laws that make prayer obligatory and ban women from driving.

Many Afghan couples still get married by giving each other verbal consent, something that makes divorce, especially when initiated by a woman, more difficult.

According to Saudi activist Tahani al-Juhni, Saudi women will be safer if they are allowed to drive.

  • Jay

    Muslim feminist? And what actually is that? If you believe in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PbuH) you have to keep yourselves contained within the tenets presecribed and detailed in it. As far as you are complying, no problem, come out act for the sake of woman.

    But if you are seeking liberation from all the tenets in the books and to live and act as the West dictates you are free to do so. Just adimit it, nobody comes to your way. But you do not have the right to claim “Muslimah”, because you are not subimitting to the WILL OF ALLAH (SWT).


    • Krista

      We’re not going to get into a big debate here, but just to be clear, principles of gender equality are not alien to Islam, and we are certainly not looking for your approval or judgement as to whether we are submitting to God – that is between us and God alone.