Friday Links | December 6, 2013

Last Monday, Christian militiamen in the Central African Republic (CAR) attacked Muslim herders north of the capital Bangui. Among the victims were several women and children; one pregnant woman was disembowelled. A UN vote will be held on whether and what kind of action is required to restore the situation in CAR.

For rich Kazakh men, having multiple wives is becoming a status symbol; for many young Kazakh women, becoming a second wife is a means to escape poverty.

Many Syrian mothers in refugee camps are worried about the mental health of their children; therapy sessions help them to deal with the challenges of raising often traumatized children. Playing football is another way that helps children, and adult women, to deal with the horrors of the conflict.

Afghan rights activist Sima Samar calls on the Afghan government to ensure that large numbers of Afghan women will go out and vote during the upcoming elections, as she fears that otherwise the few women that would vote would endanger their lives. During youth debates throughout the country, female students have repeatedly raised concerns about the safety of female voters. The Afghan elections are scheduled for next year, but the lack of cash and qualified monitors are just a few of the struggles that the Afghan government has to deal with.

Newly graduated Afghan midwives during their commencement ceremony in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Image by Noorullah Shirzada/AFP

According to a British-Syrian doctor, the breakdown of the healthcare system inside Syria has disastrous consequences for the Syrians that have remained in Syria and the lack of maternal services has resulted in a rise in newborn deaths and malnutrition among infants.

Gaza’s Interior Ministry has summoned Nadia Abu Nahla, a prominent women’s rights activist and one of the women behind the weekly sit-ins to end the Fatah-Hamas split.

The sentencing of 21 young Egyptian female Morsi-supporters last week has left many Egyptians alarmed; among them are also those who support the current military-backed regime.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation features a profile on Somaliland midwife Edna Adan Ismail. She also relates the harrowing story of a Somaliland woman, who was left and stabbed by her husband after prolonged labour left her with a fistula.

A new restaurant in Tunisia offers gender-segregated dining, which has some worried about the growing influence of Islamists in the country.

In post-war Bosnia Herzegovina most war rape victims (female and male) have not received the reparation they are owed, and with the prevalence of male violence in current-day society and the patriarchal system it becomes increasingly difficult for women to fight for justice.

A video featuring veiled US Muslim women having fun has gone viral.

The Moroccan government is under fire by NGOs for attempting to revise (and dilute) a bill on violence against women, without consulting local women’s groups.

The month of November has seen an increase on arrests on women in clubs, restaurants and discos in Turkmenistan, targeting all women, even those accompanying their husbands/relatives or in large groups. Critics fear that soon it will also be impossible for Turkmen women to drive, as getting a driver license is getting increasingly difficult, and expensive, for females in the country.

The Indonesian police is said to be reconsidering the lift on the ban on the hijab on duty, allegedly because women were showing up in various styles and  bright coloured hijabs. They are now considering a uniform hijab.

Some Somali Bantu (predominantly female) refugees in Maine, USA are part of a program that helps them to build a future in their new communities as farmers.

A leading campaigner for giving Saudi women the right to drive has been stopped in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for driving.

Experts are calling on the Tajik government to support abandoned wives and families of labour migrants.

Only 400 Syrian refugees are registered as such in Algeria, but an estimated 20,000 Syrians are currently seeking refuge in the north African country; approx. 80% of these refugees are women and children, most without sufficient means of income and subject to discrimination.

Iran is trying to fight its dwindling birthrate, but these attempts are largely ignored by the Iranian population.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai assured last week that stoning will not be reintroduced in the country, after a leak of a draft law resulted in an international outcry.

Yemen’s capital Sana’a is home to the country’s first café exclusively for women.

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