Friday Links | February 28, 2014

This shocking picture of thousands of people lining up for aid in Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk in Damascus, Syria has been taken on January 31, but was just released this week. Image by UNRWA

Activists describe the situation of women detainees in Egypt as "horrific" and much worse than under Mubarak; many of the recent detainees are young women and even minors, who face sexual abuse, torture and harsh treatments.War widows in predominantly Muslim southern Thailand often face a heavy burden, but in a protected village of widows they find a community and support.One village in Pakistan's Sindh province is giving sex education to its female students, which covers topics such as m … [Read more...]

Friday Links | February 21, 2014

Bohra Muslim girls, clad in multicolour headwear, chat outside a mosque in Mumbai, India. Around 1.2 million Muslims worldwide are Bohra Muslims, which is a sect of Shi'a Islam. Image by Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

Last week was Valentine's Day, and for some Muslims this is, and has been, a heated topic. Islamic leaders in countries such as  Uzbekistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Turkey have spoken out against the celebration, saying that it leads to fornication, "baby-dumping" and general immorality. In Uzbekistan, students were "asked" to sign contracts affirming that they won't celebrate Valentine's Day. Salafists in the Gaza Strip have tried to halt the celebration of Valentine's Day by camp … [Read more...]

Friday Links | February 14, 2014

Palestinian security forces take part in a training in the city of Jericho, West Bank. Image by Ammar Awad/Reuters

February 6 was the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. The UN called for a complete end of genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). UNICEF reports that more women are taking a stand against FGM in Sudan, and this has resulted in a decrease  in cases of FGM over the last years. Fourteen communities in Mali representing different ethnic groups have committed themselves during an event in the capital Bamako to the eradication of FGM, and early and forced marriages. A r … [Read more...]

Friday Links | February 7, 2014

Having fled the continuing violence, displaced Muslim women and children are waiting in the hangar of Central African Republic's main airport to be evacuated to other African nations. Image by Siegfried Modola/Reuters.

In a new report by Human Rights Watch, Iraq gets slammed for its treatment of its female prisoners, who are often subjected to torture, including sexual abuse.A relatively small change in Afghan law will have huge consequences for victims of domestic violence, as it will enable men to abuse their female family members without fear of punishment. Activists call on Afghan president Karzai to veto the law.A Malaysian man has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for raping a 12-year-old girl, … [Read more...]

Friday Links | January 31, 2014

Two Palestinian brides sit on stage during a mass wedding in Jericho, West Bank where approx. 220 couples got married. Another 80 couples were married in Gaza; the ceremony was paid for by the Palestinian Presidential Office. Image by Ammar Awad/Reuters

Last week the current Syrian regime announced during the peace negotiations that women and children are free to leave the city of Homs and said it would provide all the necessities, so they would not need for anything. One woman relates her horrifying experiences in Homs, before she fled the city last year. The first round of peace talks are scheduled to end today/Friday, but haven't really lead to any substantive results yet. Despite their demand to be included, women are largely absent from … [Read more...]

Friday Links | January 24, 2014

The Indonesian sitting volleyball team serves during the finals of Asean Para-Games in Burma/Myanmar, where nearly 2,000 athletes from 10 nations competed in 12 sports. Image by Philip Heijmans/Al Jazeera

Russian authorities are hunting for potential female suicide bombers in and around Sochi; security forces say that they have killed potential "black widow" Zaira Alieva during an operation on Saturday, which left seven dead. The Olympic Games are scheduled to start on February 7.It is estimated that one in nine Pakistani women will have breast cancer during her lifetime, but conservative values and cultural taboos make fighting the disease extremely challenging.The Burma/Myanmar … [Read more...]

Friday Links | January 17, 2014

This image of a Tuareg woman is part of a series of pictures featured by Al Jazeera, which chronicles the lives of current day Tuaregs in their desert homeland in northern Niger and Mali. Image by May Welsh/Al Jazeera

Human Rights Watch has spoken out about the discriminatory rules imposed on women by certain Syrian armed opposition groups.After young Australian couple had been killed in Syria earlier this week, many stories have been coming up about Amira Karroum, the woman involved, stressing her "recent" shift to a more "radical" Islam and her alleged verbal abuse of the neighbours.Syrian women have requested a large role during the peace negotiations expected to start next week.The BBC shares t … [Read more...]


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