Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Muslim Women Will Have To Lift Their "Niqabs" In Order To Vote

Muslim women will have to remove their niqabs (Muslim face covering) if they want to cast their vote in Quebec. However, in the beginning they were allowed to vote with wearing their niqabs, but now the public doesn’t want them to wear it while casting their vote. Marcel Blanchet said that he was reversing an earlier decision that would have allowed Muslim women to wear their niqabs when voting on March 26, however the decision started a violent debate in Quebec after it was reported in Montreal Newspapres. The chief electoral officer's headquarters were “flooded with angry e-mails and phone calls, which forced Marcel Blanchet to hire two personal bodyguards and assign security officials to survey the building.” Some people of Quebec warned to turn up at polling stations wearing masks. This prompted the authorities to reverse its decision so voting day could go on without having any trouble. Quebec’s three main party leaders have urged Blanchet to reverse the verdict by allowing Muslim women to wear burqa to vote. I think that it is not a big deal if you show your face while you are voting because Islam allows women to show their face. It does not say that you have to cover your face. Muslim women are not required to cover their face. Their outfits must cover up their whole body, but hands and face may remain uncovered. So, I think that there should not be any problem with taking off their niqabs

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Namira Creates History - She is the First Pakistani Women Astronaut

Namira Salim creates history!!! She is the first Pakistani women astronaut. She is thirty-five years old and she is all set to fly high in the space. She will be joining the crew members of the Virgin Galactic Spaceship for their space adventure scheduled to push off in the year 2008. She said that she has done a lot of hard work to pass through for this purpose. “I will create a new direction for Pakistani women,” Namira said. She also stated that the government and Pakistani people are excited and willing to witness this flight. I think that she is right since she is the first Pakistani women astronaut. She truly deserves appreciation, and she has definitely created history. She will be the first Pakistani to go into space “when commercial operations commence in 2008 and will participate in the birth of an incredible new industry on behalf of Pakistan-space tourism.” I think this is great because it shows that Muslim women are going ahead and are walking with men side by side. They are willing to prove themselves and have their own identity. It is wonderful because Namira will become an inspiration for young Pakistani girls and they would love to follow her foot steps. This means that the Pakistani women will liberate and will have a bright future. As of now, I think that President Pervez Musharraf’s policy of enlightened moderation is working and it is assisting Pakistani women in order to create a better picture of themselves in the world as well as creating a brighter future for themselves.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Dr. Sima Samar ~Hope for Women in Afghanistan

Dr. Sima Samar is an idol for women in Afghanistan. She has done so much for the liberation of native women and her support for human and women’s rights have raised criticisms from extremists. She said that despite the fact that things have changed for women as compared to Taliban regime, there are some areas that still experience violation of women rights like forced marriage, child marriage, job discrimination and child abduction and trafficking. When she was talking about the judicial system she said, “women have nearly no access to law enforcement and every now and then they are victimized to domestic violence.” For example, “the women who run away from abusive family male members end up in jail or are slaughtered by a family member. The family is then immune from prosecution for this “honor” killing. In order to escape these situations, women try to commit suicide and burn themselves.”

She also talked about the political scenario and she said, “women had victories in the parliamentary elections, still, there are no women among the advisors to the president and there is now only one woman in the Cabinet.” According to my opinion, she is right when she said that women need to be part of decision making bodies otherwise men will be taking decisions for them. This is why it is very important for women to take part in decision making bodies since they understand women’s problems and they will be able to come up with better solutions for women. Women of Afghanistan should support Dr. Sima Samar because she is a great hope for them and she can help them improve their status in a men dominated society. Hence, it is essential that women support each other and work together to establish their status and rights in Afghanistan.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

An Initial Step In The Direction Of Women liberation

President Pervez Musharraf announced Rs. 100 million for women’s welfare in Pakistan. He said, “To ensure the continuity of policies, vote for the people in next election, who support me. Mobilize other women and ask them to vote for the moderate people and those who support the policies of present government.” He said that when he was addressing a huge woman convention held to celebrate the Women Protection Act. He insisted on the women to eliminate extremist elements in the 2007 general election and vote for the reasonable forces to guarantee the permanence of the policies of development across Pakistan. The president announced Rs 100 million welfare package for the women of Balochistan, Pakistan. He also stated that the Women Protection Act is an accomplishment. It is the initial step in the direction of women liberation. In addition, he promised to eliminate injustices against women in the future as well. I think that Mr. President is absolutely correct when he said that the Women Protection Act was “in accordance with the injunctions of the Holy Quran and Sunnah” because justice is the basic of Islam and as we all know that Islam offers equal rights to men and women. However, some politicians use Islam for their political gains. I totally agree with Mr. President and I truly support his idea of enlightenment.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007

~ The Ladies' Taxis ~

Can you believe this? In Dubai, pink-colored taxis will be carrying women only to different parts of the country. The purpose of this transportation is to offer a secure service to women to guarantee their liberated movement. It is a women only cab service, and it will make sure that women are able to commute around the country without having trouble. The Executive Manager for Public Transport of the Roads and Transport Authority named Mohammed Obeid Al Mulla said that “the move is an embodiment of RTA’s strategy to offer its service to all sectors of the community and secure a modern mass transport system enjoying the highest levels of safety and convenience.”

About fifty taxis were developed with pink roofs, pink seats and interiors that gave them a feminine look. These taxis were sent to the places that are frequently visited by women. More than one hundred female drivers had undergone extensive training programs for continuing the service. During their training, they were taught the necessary skills of driving, customer service, and handling emergency cases. I like this decision of introducing taxis for women only. I truly welcome this new idea because it will be a safe vehicle for women especially when it comes to traveling at night. It will be comfortable for working women because now they can easily travel especially in UAE since there are so many working women in Dubai as my cousins who lived there have told me. This will be an immense relief for single female passengers along with families because Muslim wives, mothers, and sisters will feel comfortable as well as safe traveling with female drivers. This is why I really like this idea of ladies' taxis.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Turkish Women Elected to Top Positions

Turkish women are going ahead and they are walking with men side by side. They have formed history by making an achievement in the field of business and politics. Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag is the first female who has taken the top position at Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association. It has happened for the first time in the history of organization’s thirty-six years. She said, “It is a great honor for me to be elected the first chairwoman of the group’s executive board.” On the other hand, Gulsun Bilgehan has been elected as the head of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe committee on gender-based equal opportunities. She said, “It would be meaningful that a Turkish woman was elected to chair a committee dealing with women’s rights, equality, honor killings, domestic violence, forced marriage and the education of girls.”

It is awesome!!! I am happy that finally Muslim women are taking part in the government. It is wonderful to see Turkish women in well-known places and working as role models for young Muslim girls. They will be a great source of help because Gulsun Bilgehan is elected to lead a committee handling women’s rights, equality, domestic violence, forced marriages and the education of girls. It will be helpful because she will help improve women’s rights. It is a significant step towards Muslim women's liberation because both of them will play a big role in changing the status and lives of many Muslim women.