Friday Links | March 29, 2013

Last week in Algeria, women went to the streets to defend their local tradition of wearing the white religious garb, the haik, claiming that black religious clothing is inspired by Saudi Arabia and alien to Algerian culture.

Gambia’s Isatou Touray has been campaigning against female genital mutilation (FGM) for about 25 years, and even went to prison because of her work, but finally it seems to pay off: Gambia is preparing a law to ban the practice.

Despite rumors that she was missing or admitted in a mental hospital, the lawyer of Tunisian FEMEN activist Amina stated that she never went missing, and is safe.

With the historic announcement of a ceasefire between the Kurdish PKK and Turkey, another article focuses on the participation of women in the PKK.

After being blown away by the fashion sense of Darfuri men and women, Pedro Matos, who has lived in the area for three years, started The Darfur Sartorialist. Image by Pedro Mator/The Guardian.

Aicha is a 45-year-old Malian mother, who shares her story about her journey from Mali to Burkina Faso, where she now lives as a refugee camp with her children.

It has been two years now since the revolution in Tunisia, and since then, Tunisia’s women are free to wear religious clothes, such as the niqab. Some women, however, fear that their right not to wear religious clothing might be in danger.

21-year old Rahma Abdulkadir is the third Somali journalist to be killed this year.

Indonesia’s government is ignoring the UN ban on female genital mutilation (FGM), claiming that no mutilation takes place in local female circumcision traditions.

The New York Observer  features a story on Muslim bikini model Maryam Basir, about her work, her faith and her relationship with her family.

The film Camera/Woman by Karima Zoubir follows Khadija, a divored camerawoman in Morocco, where divorce might be legal, but not yet socially accepted.

According to a report by Human Rights Watch, Somalia fails to protect its displaced people, and women in particular, against crimes, such as rape.

Minivan News looks at the recent history of flogging in the Maldives, and in particular how it affects the lives of Maldivian women.

Although female genital mutilation (FGM) is forbidden now in Egypt, and has, according to most people, nothing to do with Islam, some of Egypt’s Islamists are determined to have it legalized once again.

Expensive weddings has been cited as the main reason for falling marriage rates in the Gulf nation of Qatar. The grooms say that they cannot pay for the wedding extravaganza that many potential brides state as a requirement for getting married.

Author Shereen El Feki writes for CNN about the Muslim Brotherhood’s opposition to a recent UN document on violence against women, linking it to broader trends in the Arab world when it comes to talking about sex and politics.

It is reported that a third year medical student at a Siberia, Russia university has been expelled because of her headscarf.

On the Indonesian island of Lombok, it is quite common to kidnap a bride to get married, and then divorce her as soon as times are tough, which leaves the women, according to local laws, with nothing to take care of themselves and their families.

Despite health risks, skin lightening remains very popular among Senegalese women.

The Toronto, Canada police have arrested a man who allegedly assaulted a pregnant woman in hijab seven times.

Diana Kastrati was allegedly killed by her husband in 2011.  The Constitutional Court of Kosovo ruled that local authorities had failed to protect Diana Kastrati; a case judge failed to issue a protective order, when she requested it. According to a local human rights activist, the state is responsible for her murder, and the fact that her husband is still not arrested.

Sunday 24 March was the first Hijab Run for Peace in Mindanao, Philippines, which goal was to both promote peace and the hijab. Around 95 women participated.

A Moroccan teenage house maid has died of serious burns last Sunday; her employer is in police custody. Last year Human Rights Watch called on the Moroccan authorities to end the recruitment and exploitation of underage domestic workers.

Syrian refugees continue to flood to the surrounding countries, and many news items the last months have focused on the “business of marrying Syrian brides.” To lure potential grooms, some companies even share offers through messages on phones and social networks.

The targeted killings in the recent war in Afghanistan (and Pakistan) were, and are, often justified as shielding women from violence, but women fall victim to these attacks too, and in more than one way.

The market for halal cosmetics in growing fast in Canada.

Around 80% of the French public favor stricter “anti-veil” laws, which not only forbids veils, but also other religious dress and insignia in schools, nurseries and child care facilities of any kind.

A Kashmiri couple has been arrested for murdering their own daughter in the name of honor. The couple has admitted to the murder, and said the 18-year-old unmarried girl was pregnant. So-called honor killings were once rare in Kashmir, but are now happening more frequently.

For Persian New Year, or Nowroz, Polymic features the profiles of eight Iranian women who have fought for equality in Iran.

The Muslim community of Osun state, Nigeria, is taking the Osun state government to court and is seeking the order to allow all female students of public primary and secondary schools to wear the hijab in school.

Thouraya Obaid, a Saudi Shura Council member and the first Arab woman ever to hold a U.N. post, has been chosen as Saudi Arabia’s person of the year.


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