Friday Links | January 25, 2013

The Syrian regime under leadership of Bashar al Assad is actively recruiting female soldiers to be deployed in checkpoints etc., so that more male soldiers can be deployed at the front lines.

The statement by the Indonesian Ulema Council that female circumcision is a constitutional right has sparked a huge debate in the country. Women’s rights groups on the other hand push for a ban, calling the practice gender discrimination.

Bassima Hakkaoui, Morocco’s only female minister, says that the fact that she wears the hijab has made her a media target.

In Senegal an approx. 12 percent of the female population uses contraceptives, and despite the government’s attempt to curb the baby boom, family planning remains a taboo for the majority of the population.

According to imam Mohammed Elsadi, Maltese Muslim women would be more encouraged to find employment, if they would be assured by the government that they could wear the hijab to work.

Ola Thiabat, who was campaining for a seat in Jordanian parliament, says that her husband’s family forced him to divorce her just after she started her campaign. Currently 10 percent of the seats in parliament are taken by women.

Malian women attend a news conference in the capital Bamako. Image by REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

The divorce rate in the Dutch Moroccan community is on the rise; cultural differences between partners from “back home” and those in The Netherlands are often cited as an important reason behind the divorce.

Bahraini princess Noura Bint Ebrahim al-Khalifa, is facing multiple torture charges for torturing at least three individuals in detention. She denies the charges.

A report by the International Labor Organization and Tufts University has found that female workers in Indonesia continue to face social, cultural, religious and economic barriers to equal treatment in employment.

The government of Morocco has said that it is planning to change the current “rape law”, which allows rapists to marry their victims to avoid further charges.

A South African school has denied entry to two students, a boy and a girl, for wearing Muslim head gear.

The increasing female labor migration in Kyrgyzstan, and already high male labor migration has resulted in an increasing number of “social orphans.”

Rafeena Nafeek, the mother of Rizana Nafeek, who was beheaded in Saudi Arabia for allegedly killing an infant, says she forgives those responsible for her daughter’s death. She has also called on other young Sri Lankan girls and their families not to go abroad for work, and rather focus on education.

Malika Moussa and Fatima Tirmanini are Syrian refugees living in a camp in Turkey, where they are candidates to be elected in the camp’s administrative council.

According to a report, more Yemeni women are getting married to foreign men. The main reason for this is thought to be the lower dowries men have to pay for Yemeni brides, compared to other women in the region.

A report on the Somali community in Minnesota, USA, reports a cultural barrier between Somalis and their health care providers, especially those concerned with family planning and prenatal care.

Kholoud Sukkarieh and Nidal Darwish are a Lebanese couple of newlyweds, who defied the country’s ban on civil unions and got married in a civil union. The couple are both from different Islamic sects and their decision has sparked a huge debate in a multi-faith country.

The exact number of honour killings in the West Bank is unclear, but it is certainly higher than the 29 women who were known to be murdered between 2007 and 2010. Only a minority of the men allegedly guilty for these murders, however, get prosecuted and sentences are often very short.

Women News Network features an article on sexual violence in Kashmir.

Asma Mahar and Quratul Ain are two Pakistani students, who realised that more fellow students were wearing headscarves, but that the variety of headscarves and Islamic gear was rather limited. Now they sell their own line of headscarves on campus, which come in all colors and various designs, for an often cheaper price.

Cosmetics company Inglot claims to have manufactured the first water permeable nail polish, which means that Muslim women, according to the dominant interpretation, do not have to remove the polish before performing pre-prayer ablutions.

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