Friday Links | May 31, 2013

Rehana Kausar and Sobia Kamar are the first Muslim lesbians united in a civil ceremony in the UK; both women are from Pakistan and have applied for political asylum, claiming that they fear for their lives upon a return to Pakistan.

A leading human rights advocate for Thai Muslims has said that the Thai government is silencing victims of rape and sexual assualt by soldiers with payouts.

A district head in Indonesia’s north Aceh has issued a ban on dancing in public by adult women, which particularly affects the traditional dance women used to perform to welcome guests.

Dozens of students in China’s Xinjiang province went to the streets last week Wednesday in a rare protest for the right of Uyghur girls to wear the headscarf in school.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is urging for a hijab-friendly policy in all federal and local US prison facilities.

Two women in Ndande, Senegal get ready for a major Sufi ceremony called Gamou-Ndande. Image by Joe Penney/Reuters

The number of HIV-positive women in Malaysia is increasing; like Norlela Mokhtar, who established a shelter for women living with HIV, most women are infected by their husbands.

In the Palestinian West Bank, an increasing number of service personnel making house calls is female, despite the fact that this field was previously considered a male domain.

The Belgian city of Ghent has scrapped the ban on civil servants wearing the headscarf, which was imposed in 2007.

Even though many women face many challenges after a divorce, the divorce rate in Pakistan is on the rise.

Unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections are a concern for many Syrian women who are internally displaced or refugees. Sexual exploitation, meanwhile, continues to be an enormous problem for Syrian refugee women in Jordan.

May 23rd was the first International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, which is a health condition that arises during child birth and mainly affects (very) poor women. It is estimated that around 6,000 women in Pakistan have this condition and are in need of reconstructive surgery, which they generally cannot afford.

The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria has taken the Lagos state government to court over the alleged hijab ban in secondary schools in the state and the unclarity from the state on this matter.

Last week, Dr. Hadja Sittie Nurlayla Emily M. Marohombsar passed away; she was actively involved in the peace process in the Philippines between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and hailed as a competent, and very beautiful, educator.

Somali refugees report about their “ten weeks of hell,” when the Kenyan police attempted to combat terrorism by raping, beating and extorting Somali refugees.

Al Akhbar shares the personal stories of wives and daughters involved in polygynous families in Lebanon.

A Saudi writer, Abdullah Al Dawood, has allegedly tweeted that working women in a gender mixed workplace should be molested. In a later statement, Al Dawood claims he was misquoted, but insists that he is still of the opinion that women shouldn’t work.

Rizanovici is a Bosniak village in Serb dominated territory, and with an aging (predominantly female) population and only 4 inhabitants employed, most villagers are not optimistic about the future of this once thriving village.

Muslim inmates in the UK have beaten up two prison guards, allegedly to urge the release of “radicalized” women.

One female polio worker was killed, another seriously injured in Peshawar, Pakistan; the World Health Organization has suspended the polio campaign in the city after the attack.

Deutsche Welle features a piece on Iranian women’s rights activist Asieh Amini and her work.

The Maldives women’s team has quit a basketball tournament as the players were not allowed to compete in hijab.

Approx. 120,000 women in Afghanistan admit to being addicted to drugs, generally heroin, and often say that they use drugs as a medicine to be able to deal with the stress they are under.

Muslim women in Birmingham, UK have spoken out against the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, earlier this week.

Women, who are trying to make their living in the informal sector in Khartoum, Sudan, are often subject to exploitation and (sexual) harassment.

A multimedia project in Palestine aims at opening up a dialogue about sexuality and gender diversity.

An art project in Kabul, Afghanistan, where pink balloons were handed out, has received criticism from the Taliban, who claim that it was “mini skirt show” and that its goal was to un-cover Afghan women.

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