Friday Links | March 8, 2013

Morocco’s Penal Code has undergone some minor changes since the death of Amina Filali last year, but Amnesty International says that there is still a bias in the Penal Code, which puts women and girls at risk.

A report in India on minority groups and education shows that in secondary school, Muslim girls increasingly stop attending school and disappear faster from the system than any other minority group; the report cites as the main causes for this phenomenon poverty and apathy by the state.

In Turkey, a group of mothers of LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) children has come together to try to create a more LGBT-tolerant society.

Female Iranian activists in Stockholm, Sweden, have stepped in the footsteps of FEMEN, by baring their breasts in a protest against the hijab.

In January, Tajikistan passed it’s first law to prevent domestic violence; with around 80% of Tajik women having suffered from domestic violence, this law is very much needed, though the punishment, according to local activists, could be harsher.

A Kurdish woman joins thousands of women during rallies in Turkey commemmorating the deaths of three Kurdish female activists earlier this year, and to mark upcoming International Women’s Day on March 8. Image by Mahmut Bozarslan/Al Jazeera.

The Gaza marathon, which was scheduled for next Sunday, has been cancelled by the UN agency that organizes it, over the fact that Hamas has banned women to participate, in order to prevent free mixing of the sexes.

Nujood Ali is the Yemeni girl who got married and divorced at age 10, and afterwards wrote a book about it. While she is not married now and feels safe living with family, her life, despite being a successful author, has not changed much.

In December 2012, in Tunisia the first shelter for survivors for domestic violence opened, which is, for a country that is often portrayed as being an example on women’s rights in a region, quite a belated first.

Spain’s Supreme Court overturned the ban on women’s face veils in the city of Lleida, saying that the city’s argument of security concerns is unfounded.

Last Wednesday Palestinian Muslim women blocked tourists from entering the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where the Al Aqsa mosque is located. This is the second time this week that women have blocked entrance to the site.

The Somali woman who was sentenced to one year in prison for claiming that she was raped by five soldiers has won her appeal and her conviction is overturned; the journalist who reported on her case still faces six months in prison.

In Uzbekistan, 15 women, all close relatives to imprisoned Islamic activists, have been arrested.

Teenage mother Bushra has been designated by the UN as the one millionth Syrian refugee; she is registered as a refugee in Lebanon, with her two young children. Over half of the Syrian refugees are children under the age of 11.

According to a statement by the Turkish PM, it could be that soon the headscarf will not be banned anymore in Turkey’s public sector.

Afghan graffiti artist Malina Suliman has found refuge in Mumbai, India, after she received threats in her hometown of Kandahar, Afghanistan.

In the small Swedish town of Emmaboda, a request for a seperate time slot for (Muslim) women at the local pool has been declined; instead, it has been suggested to the pool to sell burkinis to address the needs of Muslim women.

Last week in Lagos, Nigeria, Muslim students stormed the office of the local governor, demanding an end to the alleged ban of hijab in public schools.

Around 200,000 Iranians, predominantly women, undergo nose surgery ever year; Iran has the highest rate of nose surgeries in the world.

Dahlia, the chairwoman of the Aceh Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Agency, reports on a growing practice of young affluent married women getting together to raffle off a young, handsome man to sleep with. Paid sex among teenage girls is also on the rise, she warns.

At age 18, Samya left her hometown in the USA to flee her family and her religion. As a Muslim-turned-atheist, she now says she feels she is completely free.

For many Palestinian women of different walks of life in Israel, food communities on Facebook provide a safe place, where they can not only share their food, but something of themselves as well.

Women in Libya are worried about the growing influence of Islamists in the country.

The government of Kyrgyzstan is considering to ban Kyrgyz women under the age of 23 from travelling abroad without the written consent of their parents; the ban only affects women and girls who travel to work abroad, those who are pursuing an education abroad will not be affected.

Proxy marriages over the internet are on the rise in the USA, and predominantly marriages that take place in the immigrant (Muslim) community.

The debate on female genital mutilation continues in Indonesia; the queen of Yogyakarta suggests that people return to older traditions that suggest a “ceremonial circumcision”, without any harm to be done.


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