Friday Links | April 4, 2014

A displaced Rohingya woman sits outside in a temporary camp in Arakan state, Myanmar/Burma. The country started its first census in decades last week, but Rohingyas were excluded, which has many concerned about the future for the minority in the country. Image by The Irrawaddy

Elections in Afghanistan are scheduled for April 5. While many activists don't expect that the outcome will change much for the situation of women in country, millions of women throughout the country have registered themselves as voters. Jamila Karimi is a MP, known for staying far from corruption, who hopes to be re-elected in the conservative northern city of Kunduz. Three female candidates are running for the office of vice-president, which is a first for Afghanistan.Lebanon finally … [Read more...]

Friday Links | March 28, 2014

On Thursday the government of the Philippines and 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

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 … [Read more...]

Friday Links | March 21, 2014

A group of suspected Uyghurs, including women and at least a hundred children, have been rescued from a trafficking camp in Thailand last week. The group initially said that they are Turkish, but they have no documents to prove that and it is very unlikely for Turkish refugees to end up in Thailand. Image by Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

The recent case of a teenage German girl travelling to Syria to allegedly actively join the "jihad" has German experts worried about the threat that men, and increasingly (often very young) women, involved in such activities can present to German society. France has indicted two people for aiding another teenage girl who has allegedly travelled to Syria too to fight alongside rebels.Recently two prostitution networks exploiting Syrian minor girls in Lebanon have been caught by … [Read more...]

Friday Links | March 14, 2014

A Crimean Tatar woman during an anti-war rally in Bakhchisaray, Crimea. Tatars make up around 13% of the population in the Crimea and are, considering their history, wary of the Russian regime. Image by Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

March 8 was International Women's Day and, as usual, there was a sudden rise in news items that feature women, some of which will be featured in this week's Friday Links. At the same time, women around the world were involved in protests. A few dozen Iraqi women took to the streets to demonstrate against the new draft law, that would permit the marriage of girls as young as nine and automatically give child custody to the father. Thousands of Lebanese women took to the streets to demand that the … [Read more...]

Friday Links | March 7, 2014

Muslim women praying outside Malaysia's highest court in Putrajaya, where the court postponed the decision whether or not it will hear the bid of the Catholic Church to be allowed to call God "Allah." Image by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP

Saudi women activists are calling on the government to end the "absolute authority" that male guardians have over women in the kingdom. The petition is said to have been sent to a human rights committee.FIFA, the organisation that governs soccer/football, has authorised the wearing of religious head wear, such as hijabs and turbans, during matches.Last Saturday, 33 were killed and over a 100 injured in a knife attack by Uyghurs in a Chinese trainstation in the city of Kunming. The … [Read more...]

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...]