Acehnese woman wept and covered her face as she was beaten
to Use Minor Girl as Suicide Bomber Foiled In Pakistan
States Need To Empower the Arab Woman
Celebrates First Saudi Women’s Day
Test in Rape Cases Made Mandatory In Sindh, Pakistan
Hijab Day: Muslim Women Lament Discrimination
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Acehnese Woman Covers Her Face As She Is Whipped In Public ‘For Having Sex
Acehnese woman is seen weeping and covering her face while being lashed for
violating strict Islamic law in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
woman was sentenced to 26 lashes from a cane for her alleged crime. Her lover
faced the same brutal punishment.
is the only province in Indonesia which has implemented Sharia law – which bans
sexual contact between men and women who are not married.
Muslims make up the overwhelming majority of Aceh’s population, the public
largely accepted Sharia in 2014, but human rights groups are concerned about
religious freedoms in the region.
is the dominant religion in Aceh and over 98 per cent of the population of four
million identify as Muslims.
bylaws extend Sharia to non-Muslims and criminalise consensual same-sex sexual
acts as well as sexual relations outside of marriage.
criminal code permits as punishment up to 100 lashes and up to 100 months in
prison for consensual same-sex sex acts.
bylaws deny people in Aceh the fundamental rights of expression, privacy, and
freedom of religion,” said Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia
same-sex relations is a huge backward step that the Indonesian government
should condemn and repeal. Whipping as punishment should have been left behind
in the Middle Ages.”
October horrifying pictures emerged of a baying crowd watching an Acehnese
couple accused of becoming too close in public being beaten.
- The Frontier Corps personnel yesterday found a 10-year-old girl from Qambrani
Road in Quetta, who was to be used as a suicide bomber in the provincial
to reports, the girl told the FC personnel she was kidnapped from Jacobabad,
Sindh. She added the kidnappers told her to press the button of the explosive
device at a site with a large number of policemen. The kidnappers told the girl
they would give money and a house to her parents in return, she revealed. She
added the kidnappers left her and fled after they spotted an FC checkpoint in
recording the girl’s statement, security forces began searching for the
kidnappers. No arrest has, however, been made so far.
a similar incident happened in Lahore when the two boys who were going to be
used for the same purpose were recovered. The ages of the boys were between 12
jackets and explosives were also recovered from the boys in Lahore.
states need to empower the Arab woman
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman,
and Bahrain — has experienced remarkable economic transformation in the last three
decades. In 1980, GCC’s gross domestic product was $250 billion (Dh918.25
billion) and peaked in 2014 to $1.64 trillion — an almost seven-fold increase
over three decades. GDP per capita, a gauge of living standards, rose from
$18,000 to $32,000 during the same period, with oil revenues, to a large
extent, providing the main growth impetus.
drop in oil prices in recent years has put substantial pressure on the GCC’s
oil-based growth model. While oil prices have rebounded modestly from their low
of less than $30 in early 2016, they are still much lower than their peak 2013
levels. Economic diversification has come to the fore again, and GCC
governments are keen to wean their economies off oil.
one key lever of economic growth and diversification that has not yet been
pressed in earnest is the role women play in the economic sphere. Undoubtedly,
in terms of educational attainment, GCC women have made major strides — in the
UAE women account for 70 per cent of university graduates and 57 per cent in
judging by female labour force participation, there is still some way to go.
The GCC’s female labour force participation is low by global standards —
ranging from 20 per cent in Saudi Arabia to 39 per cent in Bahrain and around
45 per cent in the UAE. Average participation in high-income countries is
around 52 per cent.
is compelling evidence that women can be powerful drivers of economic growth
and diversification. A 2012 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that raising
female employment to match male employment levels could have a direct impact on
GDP of 12 per cent in the UAE.
the link between gender equality and economic diversification was hitherto
tenuous, a 2016 research by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that
enhancing women’s economic participation does lead to greater diversification.
A case in point is Bangladesh, a traditionally agrarian economy, which has
transformed itself into a global garment export powerhouse.
garments account for 82 per cent of Bangladesh’s exports, up from 12 per cent
in 1985. This phenomenal growth resulted from significant number of women
entering the labour force. Almost 85 per cent of workers in the garment export
sector are women and it employs 15 per cent of all Bangladeshi women in the age
bracket of 16-30 years. Bangladesh is a clear testament to the economic
benefits of enabling women to play a central role in the economic sphere.
successes elsewhere, policies to encourage economic participation of women
should take cognisance of the GCC’s unique economic, social, and cultural
structures. Take the economy and employment: non-tradable sectors such as real
estate, construction, hotels, restaurants, and retail form a big chunk of the
GCC’s non-oil economy. It is difficult to attract GCC men to work in these
industries, let alone GCC women. Unsurprisingly, most nationals work for the
government or the public sector. This pattern is even more skewed for women,
with only very few GCC female nationals working in the private sector.
Governments’ industrial policies should aim to transition from non-tradable,
labour-intensive sectors to export-oriented services sectors such as legal,
financial, consulting, energy research and technology services — a move sure to
bring more GCC women into the labour force.
having adequate access to credit is one of the biggest impediments for
entrepreneurs worldwide. The issue is even more severe for women in the GCC as
they typically have less collateral and scant credit history compared to men.
While microfinance schemes can help to an extent, governments need to play a
greater role in ensuring that lack of access to finance does not come in the
way of women entrepreneurs. One way to address this issue is to establish
development funds for women entrepreneurs, akin to the subsidised housing funds
which almost all GCC governments have for their nationals.
biggest gains will come from making a conscious effort to move away from
cultural stereotypes. Here the UAE is exemplary. Emirati women are increasingly
breaking the cultural mould, with women making up one third of the UAE’s
cabinet. Increasingly they are choosing non-traditional careers: about 30 per
cent of first-year students enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree in aviation at Abu
Dhabi University are women, compared with the worldwide average of 8-12 per
cent. Other GCC countries should follow this lead.
other cultural barrier is the unfavourable perception of women going out of the
house to work. With technology such as video conferencing, virtual meeting
rooms, web services and cloud-based computing, much of the work today can be
done remotely from home. Targeted policies and guidelines for public and
private sectors should be established to encourage the use of technology and
facilitate working from home for GCC women.
let a crisis go waste... it’s an opportunity to do things you could not do
before,” so advised Rahm Emanuel, then White House Chief of Staff, in the
aftermath of the global financial crisis. The drop in oil prices and renewed
focus on economic diversification is an opportunity for the GCC to put women at
the centre of the economic stage. Letting it go waste should not be an option.
Sethi is a gender studies scholar at SOAS, University of London.
celebrates first Saudi Women’s Day
Riyadh celebrates its first Saudi Women’s Day, which started on Wednesday and
will last for three days, with a large turnout expected.
event, organized and hosted by the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh, will
include women’s operetta for a female audience only.
want to celebrate the Saudi woman and her successful role, and remind people of
her achievements in education, culture, medicine literature and other areas,”
Mohammed Al-Saif, general supervisor of the center, told Arab News.
event comes in light of directives from the minister of culture and information
to highlight the leading role of Saudi women in all fields.
said the center will be busy with activities for women only, but families are
welcome to attend outdoor activities for children.
added that the center’s lobby will contain bazaars and booths that showcase the
works of Saudi artists and photographers.
said the operetta will be in the evening and will mark Saudi women’s
achievements over the past 50 years.
event’s schedule includes the participation of Saudi princesses in panel
discussions. On the first day, Princess Al-Jawhara bint Fahad Al-Saud discussed
women’s role in education.
the second day, Princess Adila bint Abdullah Al-Saud will talk about the
Kingdom’s heritage. She is a well-known advocate of women’s right to drive,
women’s health awareness and their legal rights. She has spoken out against
domestic violence, and has supported women’s groups and organizations.
Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan, the president’s undersecretary for the female
section at the General Authority for Sports, will address the importance of
sports in the lives of Saudi women.
were no attempts to stop the center’s artistic programs by any party, said
Al-Saif, who expressed gratitude for “heartwarming support and encouragement.”
Test in Rape Cases Made Mandatory in Sindh, Pakistan
DNA test in rape cases has been made mandatory by the Sindh Assembly with the
adoption of the government bill titled the Code of Criminal Procedure (Sindh
Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed unanimously on Thursday to facilitate
investigation and ensure dispensation of justice to rape victims.
the bill, which was one of three bills passed one after the other by the house
with consensus, the DNA sample shall be collected from the rape victim by the
police officer within 72 hours from the time of the incident for testing
through government-recognised laboratories.
DNA sample and its results shall be preserved in confidentiality.
two other government bills passed unanimously after brief discussion are the
Sindh Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which pertains to issuance of arms licences
to persons who are permanent residents of Sindh and also to federal government
and autonomous bodies’ employees belonging to other provinces but posted in
third bill, which was piloted by Transport Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah,
was the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2015 pertaining to the
rates of compensation which were revised in case of death and injuries to a
passenger in a stage-carriage or contract carriage by amending the Provincial
Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1965.
another amendment to the law the Sindh Bus Owners’ Cooperative Society was
replaced with an insurance company to prevent the society from
misuse/utilisation of the compensation funds as so far there was no example in
which the SBOC society had ever paid compensation to the victim in an incident.
Sardar Ahmad of the MQM opposed the amendment replacing the bank guarantee with
insurance company as the victim or their heirs had to run for months to get
compensation, but the motion was rejected when put to the house.
amendments suggested by Sumeta Afzal of the MQM about increasing the death
compensation from Rs250,000 to Rs 500,000 and in case of loss of both eyes from
Rs140,000 to Rs250,000 were approved.
reading out the order of acting Governor Agha Siraj Durrani at 2.40pm to
prorogue the session sine die after completion of the agenda, the acting
Speaker Syeda Shehla Raza gave the floor to PPP MPA Ghulam Murtaza Baloch to
table his resolution by relaxing the rules under Rule 256.
the resolution the assembly recommended the Sindh government to approach the
federal government for grant of 80 per cent subsidy on electricity bills for
agriculture tube-wells in Sindh.
resolution was supported by all parliamentary groups and when put to the house
was carried unanimously.
Senior Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmad Khuhro speaking on the
general principles of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill 2017
after its introduction said that in rape incidents, the cases were filed but no
results could be obtained for want of evidence.
said now the world was taking advantage of scientific research and technology
by which the culprits involved in the rape could be identified.
said some time back PPP MPA Sharmila Farooqui had also submitted a bill. He
said as the DNA test had a lot of importance in identifying the persons
involved in targeting innocent children, women in particular, therefore the
government thought to declare the DNA test mandatory in cases of rape.
Farooqui recalled that in 2013 her resolution was passed by the assembly for
declaring DNA test mandatory in cases of rape.
said that earlier, the samples for DNA tests used to be sent to Lahore and
Islamabad, while reports were received after several months.
Sabzwari of the MQM said that it was a forward-looking legislation which will
assist in providing justice to victims of rape and excesses.
appealed to ulema to back the legislation.
Akbar Rashdi of PML-F, Heer Soho and Naheed Begum of MQM, Dr Seema Zia of PTI
and Minister Shamim Mumtaz supported the bill.
Minister Dr Sikander Mandhro dispelled the impression of not having any
laboratory in Sindh for DNA test by pointing out that in Liaquat Medical
University, Jamshoro, a DNA test laboratory was operational where in one day 10
samples could be examined.
to a call attention notice of Dr Zafar Ahmad Kamali about misuse of the
biometric system in schools of Mirpurkhas for sudden transfer of teachers,
particularly of Urdu-speaking teachers and after greasing officials’ palms,
they were restored, Education Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar denied the allegation.
said there was no discrimination on the basis of ethnicity.
reply to the call attention notice of Syed Anwar Raza Naqvi regarding illegal
conversion of residential buildings into commercial use in F.B. Area/Buffer
Zone, the local government minister assured the lawmaker he would initiate an
inquiry and illegal constructions would be removed.
Chand Chawla of MQM complained about water shortage in Keamari through his call
Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro said the government was making efforts to
overcome the water shortage by installing RO plants.
Rafique of MQM through his call attention notice drew attention to increasing
street crimes in which mostly women were being targeted.
to the notice Senior Minister Khuhro said that the government had taken steps
to overcome crimes.
in Dawn, February 3rd, 2017
Hijab Day: Muslim women lament discrimination
coalition of women groups under the aegis of Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative
has lamented what it called frequent discrimination and harassment of women over
the use of hijab.
groups, comprising Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN),
Al-Muminaat, The Criterion, Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) and
Guild of Muslim Professionals, decried the situation, on Wednesday, in Lagos,
at a media briefing to mark the World Hijab Day.
World Hijab Day is an annual event celebrated on the first day of February in
over 140 countries. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness about Islamic
practice of dressing modestly in clothing that covers most of the body and to
encourage non-Muslim women to experience the hijab for a day.
groups’ coordinator, Hajia Mutiat Orolu-Balogun, accused some government and
private agencies in the country of involving in the discriminatory act which she
described as an infringement on the women’s constitutional right.
a lawyer, said despite their qualification, most women in hijab had been denied
jobs and other opportunities.
explained that women in hijab were also forced to expose their ears as well as
their heads before writing Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME)
or getting Bank Verification Number (BVN).
being asked to take off your shirt or your trousers because you wanted to get
your driver’s licence, or being told you would not be able to vote in the next
elections because you wouldn’t bare your shoulders or show your cleavage in the
picture on your voters card, or that you wouldn’t have access to the funds in
your bank account because you refused to show your bare back in order to
register for your BVN. These, and worse, are what a Muslim woman who wears the
hijab feels when she is asked to take off her hijab or expose her ears before
she could be allowed her constitutional rights”, Orolu-Balogun said.
described hijab as religious duty and an obligation on every Muslim woman in
the observance of her faith, saying that it was not culture of Arabs or a
fashion accessory that one might discard at will.
right to believe in and practise one’s chosen faith is an inalienable right of
every human being, as entrenched in the constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria 1999 (as amended)”, she added.
speaking, MSSN Lagos State Area Unit President, Hajia Hafsah Badru, appealed to
the media to demonstrate objectivity, fairness and accuracy in reporting cases
related to use of hijab.
to her, asking a Muslim woman to remove her hijab is a form of violence against
women. She said such should have no place in a progressive society like
thing we all seem to agree on is that violence against women is wrong in all
its forms, whether it is physical, emotional or psychological. However, covering one’s head doesn’t mean
that person should be looked down upon or be underestimated, women in hijab
deserve to enjoy their constitutional right,” Hajiya Badru said.
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