Friday Links | January 18, 2013

A report by the International Rescue Committee tells of the sexual violence many Syrian women and girls cite as the main reason for fleeing the country.

The ethnic Hazara community in Pakistan, who are predominantly Shi’a, have been attacked for over two decades, but last week’s attack killed over a hundred Hazaras, leaving behind many women and families in desperate conditions.

Indonesia has reacted in outrage on the “joke” by high court judge Daming Sunusi, who stated that both victim and rapist enjoy the act, and therefore the rapist should not receive the death penalty ever. One article in the Jakarta Post claims that this is just an example of the weakened position of women in contemporary Indonesian society.

The BBC features an article on the relatively large role women play in the Kurdish paramilitary organisation, the PKK.

Extreme weather has caused flooding in several parts of the world. This week the Indonesian capital Jakarta was hit by torrential rain. This woman stands in front of her store in downtown Jakarta. Image by Al-Jazeera.

Halimah Yacob is elected to be the first woman speaker in Singapore’s parliament.

In an interview with IPS Hanaa Edwar, head of Iraqi Women Network and general secretary of Al Amal Association, speaks about the struggle for a (new) liberation for Iraqi women.

Doaa Abdallah, a secular Egyptian, shares her concerns about the new Egyptian constitution for the status Egyptian women in general.

According to figures by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, Jewish women are giving birth to more children now compared to 1995, but the number of births per Muslim woman has declined significantly.

Soccer associations in the Middle East are launching a campaign to put women’s soccer on par with men’s soccer.

Over 20% of the female population of Chad between 15 and 49 is said to be victim of violence of all sorts on a daily basis, and there are very few legal texts to help them defend themselves.

Last Friday, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia appointed women to a fifth of the seats in the advisory Shura council.

Zahra Eshragi, the granddaughter of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic of Iran, has said in a rare interview that “the country is facing a critical situation”.

Kuwait’s justice ministry is now accepting for the first time applications by women for the post of prosecutor.

Muslim women, who wear the hijab and are coming to Russia to work, are now allowed to wear their headscarves in pictures taken for the identification papers.

K-pop, Korean pop music, is getting increasingly popular among young, mainly female, Malaysians.

Chechnya’s administration denies claims by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF) that there are heavy restrictions on religious freedom in the country and that women and girls are forced to wear a headscarf.

Al-Akhbar features an article on the not-so-typical Egyptian women activists.

Tracy McVeigh speaks for The Observer to seven Afghan women, who rebuilt their lives after the Taliban oppression about their future in their Afghanistan.

A village council/panchayat in the Udaipur region in India has banned girls from using cell phones and women from singing and dancing at weddings.

A 5-year-old girl from Philadelphia, USA, was kidnapped from her school by a woman wearing a full face veil, and has been found the following morning at a local playground. The woman claimed to be the mother of the girl, who is also fully veiled. Investigation is still continuing.

According to a Kyrgyz website an increasing number of Central Asian women are smuggled to Arab Gulf countries for sexual commercial exploitation and labor.

According to an article on Al-Arabiya, grants an Egyptian bank loans to young farmers to encourage polygamy to fight spinsterhood.

The execution of Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia last week, has sparked attention for the dozen of other (female) migrant workers on death row, the majority of them (at least 45) are Indonesian nationals.


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