Friday Links | March 28, 2014

The mayor of Indonesia’s second-largest city Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, has vowed to close down the city’s largest brothel complex; other mayors have made similar promises, but this particular mayor is known for her can-do approach.

Hundreds of Crimea Tatars, mainly women and children, are leaving Crimea for Ukraine, out of fear of how Russian rule will impact their lives and their community.

One Pakistani lawmaker is battling to increase the punishment for child marriage; officially girls under 16 are not allowed to marry in the country, but the fine for being involved in child marriage is a mere 10 US dollars.

The number of so-called honour killings in Palestine doubled in 2013 compared to the previous year; activists call on urgent law reviews and the creation of new laws to protect women and girls.

On Thursday the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a historic peace deal, ending decades of conflict. These women attended a rally on the island of Mindanao in support of this deal, faces painted with the MILF flag. Image by Ted Aljibe/AFP.

Channel 4 features an article on the question what it is like to be lesbian and Muslim in Britain.

During the Israel Independence Day event, only one of the fourteen women participating in the torch-lighting ceremony is an Arab woman, Hindiya Suliman from the Bedouin village of Bu’eine Nujeidat, despite the fact that over 20% of Israel’s population is of Arab descent.

A group female students are still being detained in Egypt and the court date has been postponed until early April; the students were arrested in December during demonstrations at Al-Azhar University.

After speaking out against girls marrying under the age of 22 and Tajik women marrying non-Muslims, in particular Chinese men, one female Tajik MP now wants to ban cousin marriage in the country.

In both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank incest is still not clearly prohibited by law, and there is hardly any support, care or protection available for the (predominantly female) victims.

Next month is the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, and though many factory workers and their families are still waiting for compensation, some significant steps have been taken to change the Bangladeshi textile industry.

The campaign picture of Ashwaq Talib al-Zughaibi from the Shi’ite National Iraqi Alliance has received quite some criticism, as she, in contrast to most other female candidates, chose not to cover her blonde hairdo and wears pink lipstick.

Female candidates for the provincial council elections in Afghanistan’s Helmand province complain that they have been sidelined, as male candidates have more financial resources available and enjoy a greater freedom of movement.

Seven Muslim prisoners have been amnestied in Uzbekistan last month, but the family of female prisoner of conscience Mehrinisso Hamdamova are concerned about her health and urging authorities to allow her to undergo an urgent operation on what seems to be a tumour in the uterus.

The BBC profiles Shabana Basij-Rasikh, who is 24 years old and has set up a leadership college for women in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Some activists in Indonesia do not believe in the thirty percent quota for female legislators in the country’s House of Representatives; rather, they argue that parties should nominate capable and qualified female candidates, who really can make a difference.

A Saudi woman claims that she was denied medical assistance based on the fact that she was living by herself and did not have a male guardian to accompany her in the ambulance.

The bosses of a clothing store in Helsinki, Finland have been fined over the firing of a new employee who was hired over the phone, when she showed up on her first day at work wearing a headscarf. One professor is of the opinion that this particular ruling could help to prevent workplace abuse in Finland.

The Iranian government aims to grow its economy rapidly in the coming years, and with structural reforms that would facilitate the entrepreneurship of women in the country this goal would be more feasible to achieve.

Religious schools in Afghanistan are opening up for young women and girls, but some are concerned about what is being taught in these madrasas.

One woman recounts some of the hate incidents and crimes she has experienced in the last two decades since she became a Muslim in the city of Bristol, UK.

Several female members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir group have been arrested in Kyrgyzstan; the youngest is 16 years old.

Authorities in Pakistan have launched a minibus service for female commuters between the cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad; abuse while travelling on public transport is just one of the obstacles for Pakistani women face entering the labour market.

A gym in New Mexico, USA is facing a lawsuit over refusing to let a local Muslim woman wear her headscarf while working out.

The opening of an all-girl Muslim residential school in the Mewat district, India has given many girls an opportunity to pursue their dreams, in a community where many girls would drop out of school at a young age.

A group of about 100 South Asian, predominantly Muslim, women were invited to attend a soccer/football match in Luton, UK as part of a program to introduce this community to the sport; for the majority, this was a first.


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