Friday Links | January 6, 2012

Friday Links | January 6, 2012 January 6, 2012

We didn’t have our usual links last week, so this week’s list is extra long, and covers both weeks.  Enjoy!

Pakistan has passed the “Prevention of Anti-Women Practices” bill, but the fight is far from over, according to activists and legal professionals. The Deutsche Welle features an interview with female politician Sitara Ayaz, who highlights some of the problems that Pakistani women and girls are facing.

A Muslim woman from Georgia, USA, was shot dead by police, after she attacked an officer with a knife, when they came to check at her apartment after receiving several panic alarms. She is allegedly responsible for sending threatening letters and packages to politicians in the USA.

After eight months of “Burqa Ban” in France, only six women were fined for wearing a face veil. A “surprising” quarter of all the women questioned by the police were converts.

A newly proposed bill on domestic violence in Turkey does not give legal protection to women, who are subject to violence from partners they are/were not engaged or married to.

The USA extradited a Bosnian Muslim woman, who is suspected to be responsible for the killing of six Croats in 1993.

Courts in Egypt reverse the decision that women TV presenters cannot wear hijab on air, after TV presenter Lamiaa al-Saeed filed a claim in 2008.

As of last Thursday, all women’s lingerie stores in Saudi Arabia have to employ women only. Over 28,000 women have applied for the opening positions.

In an article on women in the “new Libya”, Kathryn Spellman-Poots assesses the status of women under Gaddafi and the challenges that lie ahead.

Bikya Masr features a piece on Latina converts living in Egypt, and how they met their husbands online.

Kashmiri Parveena Ahangar started the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, after her teenage son disappeared 21 years ago.  Like many other Kashmiri parents, she has until now no idea about the fate of her child. May Allah help her to reveal the truth!

Last week, the critically acclaimed film Asmaa opened in Egypt. The film is based on a true story of a 40-something Egyptian woman who is HIV positive.

Iranian president Ahmadinejad promotes “government-approved” apparel for women that is “Islamic and beautiful” at the same time. Clerics are not pleased, and it is doubtful if Iranian fashionistas will find this “compromise clothing” fashionable enough.

In Gambia, imams and community leaders speak out against Female Genital Mutilation, saying it is not a religious obligation, but a cultural tradition that is harmful.

Angelina Jolies controversial film In the Land of Blood and Honey was screened in Sarajevo, getting mixed reviews from the audience. The portrayed love story between a Bosnian Muslim woman and a Serb man is, according to some, very realistic.  

A draft electoral law in Libya says that ten percent of the seats in government will be reserved for women. The Libya Human Rights Alliance calls this proposal “extremely outrageous,” arguing that women’s presence should be much larger.

The Indian government is putting pressure on the Aligarh Muslim University, seeking an explanation why female undergraduates are denied access to the library.

In the virtual Middle East, a survey shows that women use social media far less than men.

Iran jails former President Rafsanjani’s daughter Faezeh for “making propaganda against the ruling system.”

A special Afghan unit has been created to hunt down the husband of Sahar Gul, the fifteen year old wife, who was left starving in the basement by her husband and his family after severe domestic violence. Several of his family members are already arrested.

Yemeni activist and novelist Bushra al-Maqtari is a prominent face of the Yemeni revolution, in spite of many threats.

Women still play a symbolic role in Kurdish politics, but there is hope that their involvement will increase significantly over the years.

Women are the biggest losers: an article reflecting on the war in Iraq. According to an article published on American Progress, the many Iraqi widows and social inequality create a potential for a rise in female suicide missions. To fight the inequality and give widows more opportunities, Iraq is setting new quotas for female civil servants.

An Egyptian court has ordered to stop the use of virginity tests in Egyptian military prisons. Samira Ahmad Ibrahim was subjected to such a test after being held after participating in the January 25 protests.

Infanticide is on the rise in Pakistan, because of the increasing cost of living and poverty. It is estimated that nine out of ten of the murdered babies are girls.

Raghida Derham wrote an article on the importance of Arab women to take the momentum and rise up, otherwise the future for women in the region might be bleak

Durdana Ansari made the Queen’s Honours List for her services to Muslim women in the UK.

The Egyptian “Nude Blogger” calls on women to take pictures without wearing a veil. And post them online, of course. Preferably naked?

Afghan female boxers aim for gold at the Olympics in 2012, but first they’ll have to qualify in May. They train in Spartan conditions and have received threats, but have already competed successfully internationally.

The Guardian featured an article by Nushin Arbabzadah on the odd interest in women’s issues among male Islamic scholars. I quote: “There is more to Islam than vaginal vigilantism and the clerics and self-appointed terrorist ‘saviour groups’ should be the first to know this much.” Hah!

The solution to spinsterhood is speed-dating, according to a Moroccan sexologist.

Palestinian-American stand up comedienne Maysoon Zayid finds it easier to get laughs in West Asia, than in Arab countries, and even North America.

Female Genital Mutilation is considered almost alien to Pakistan, but in some communities it is common practice, of which medical professionals are often not aware.

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