Friday Links | April 26, 2013

There were, of course, a lot of news items related to the (female) relatives of the alleged “Boston bombers” this week: there were interviews with the mother and the aunt, and a lot of speculation about both the mother and the converted wife of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Katherine Russell. One Muslim woman in the Boston area has reported an attack against her, where she, as a Muslim, was accused of the Boston bombing.

The Iranian government hopes that a house-to-house health education drive will convince families to have more children, as part of the government’s plan to create a baby boom.

Five Indonesian teenage girls have been accused of blasphemy and may face jail time, after they made a video in which they mixed prayer with dancing to a Maroon 5 song.

Approx. 2,000 displaced women in north Darfur, Sudan staged a protest against the organization responsible for food distribution; they claim that around 6,000 names of displaced people have disappeared from the official list, and that they have not received any food rations for over 6 months.

Polio vaccination volunteers ride in the open trunk of a car during a vaccination campaign in Afghanistan’s Balkh province. Image by AFP/Farshad Usyan

The 17 Pakistani female health workers who were part of the vaccination campaign that was used to find Bin Laden, are now without work and fear for their lives, as society has branded them traitors.

Kurdish women have joined the fight against the Assad regime in Syria; AFP talks to several young female rebels about their participation in the conflict.

Germany saw the launch of the first Muslim car sharing service, which aims to “protect marriages” by offering car sharing services with gender segregation.

Forced marriages make up an estimated 60 to 80 percent of all marriage in Afghanistan; many (young) women and girls see suicide as the only way out.

For many Yemeni women, wearing the niqab is a social custom, started from an early age, but some women find that pursuing a career is easier without a face veil.

According to the Indonesian National Commission on Violence against Women, around 75% of female workers in the capital Jakarta experience sexual violence in the work place.

NewStatesman features a piece by Jemima Khan on why some Muslim women in the UK would enter polygynous marriages.

In an article on (female) Saudi expats explain that despite some recent changes in laws concerning women, their main reason to stay away from their country is the engrained male domination of Saudi culture.

A fast growing number of Somali women are going into business, often not by choice but of necessity; despite society’s hesitation, many are quite successful.

Parents in the Russian Stravropol region have appealed the hijab ban, which forbids their daughters to wear the hijab to school.

As many as 74 Afghan school girls were rushed to the hospital after what looked like a poison attack last Sunday.

After reports of forced conversion of a Coptic woman in Egypt earlier this month, now a Muslim woman has allegedly disappeared with a Coptic man, which is causing more tensions in the relationship between the two faith communities in Egypt.

A Toronto court has ruled that witness N.S. has to remove her niqab in court in order to testify in the sexual assault case.

Activists in Bangladesh have planned a rally for Saturday April 27 against the demand by some conservative Islamic groups to ban the free mixing of genders in the country.

On April 15, a Kurdish man in Iran was sentenced to parade down the street in female clothing, which sparked a local demonstration and an international protest on Facebook, where men posts pictures of themselves in female attire to state the point that being a female is not a reason to humiliate anyone.

A court in Azerbaijan has sent 8 activists to jail, after they participated in a rally against the ban on hijab in schools in the country, which resulted in violent clashes with the police.

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