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UAE Opens Citizenship; Afghan Must Wed Rapist

Saturday, December 3, 2011



(WOMENSENEWS)--

Cheers

The United Arab Emirates announced that children of Emirati women married to foreigners could apply for citizenship once they turned 18, AFP reported Nov. 30. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan decreed that the "children of women citizens married to foreigners should be treated as citizens." Most Arab countries link nationality to blood relation from the father's side, disenfranchising the children of women who marry non-citizens.

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More News to Cheer This Week:

  • More Afghan women are surviving pregnancy and childbirth, a new survey indicates, BBC News reported Nov. 30. The study reported that the maternal mortality ratio is now below 500 deaths per 100,000 live births. A 2005 U.N. study showed that maternal mortality rates were 1,800 deaths per 100,000 live births.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is suing federal contractor Brunswick Corp. and Lund Boat Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary, the government said Dec. 1. In an administrative complaint, the government says the companies systematically discriminated against more than 200 women who applied for entry-level positions at Lund's boat manufacturing plant in New York Mills, Minn.
  • A mob-run ring that lured women from Russia and other Eastern European countries with the promise of waitressing jobs -- only to send them to dance at New York strip clubs -- was shut down Nov. 30 after 20 people were charged, including seven purported members of the Gambino and Bonnano organized crime families, The Washington Post reported.
  • Work in the mobile-phone retail sector offers a good business opportunity for women and benefits for the industry, a study by The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women finds. While the work provides women with scheduling flexibility, women also improve the sales and image of mobile operators.
  • Iranian women are fighting the controversial "Family Protection Bill" that would reduce Iranian women's rights even further, Amnesty International reported Nov. 30. If passed, the bill will allow men to take up to three additional wives without the consent or knowledge of their first spouse.
  • Israel's Defense Ministry has apologized to the New York Times following a complaint filed by a pregnant photographer from the paper, The Jerusalem Post reported Nov. 28. The photojournalist, Lynsey Addario, said that soldiers at the Erez Crossing compelled her to pass through an X-ray machine three times, despite her protests that this was dangerous for her pregnancy.
  • A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Nov. 28 preventing North Carolina from issuing "Choose Life" anti-abortion license plates, The Sacramento Bee reported Nov 28.
  • Women were a large part of the voters in the Egyptian parliamentary elections that kicked off Nov. 28, reported CNN. In Cairo, female voters were favoring liberal candidates.
  • Catholics for Choice called on President Obama to stand up for what women and men want and to ensure that family planning is included on the list of essential preventive services under the Affordable Care Act, in an open letter published on Nov. 28 by The New York Times.
  • Mona el-Gharib, an Egyptian 25-year-old pregnant student at al-Azhar University and the wife of a Syrian dissident, who was reported kidnapped in Cairo last week, was found in a suburb of Cairo, Bikya Masr reported Nov. 28. She was unconscious but alive "in bad medical condition."
  • Women's rugby takes its first major step on the road to the 2016 Olympic Games in Dubai this weekend, The New York Times reported Dec. 1. For the first time, women's teams will compete in an International Rugby Board-sanctioned sevens event.

Jeers

An Afghan woman imprisoned for adultery after being raped by a relative is going free, but only because she agreed to marry the man who assaulted her, The Guardian reported Dec. 1. The woman, 19, became pregnant following the attack in 2009 and her baby daughter was born behind bars. She has agreed to become the second wife of her rapist, a prospect that supporters say she had dreaded. In Afghan culture, marrying the father of a child born out of wedlock is seen as a way of legitimizing the child, even in cases involving rape, the article reported.

Gulnaz was jailed for 12 years for adultery after she reported being raped by a cousin by marriage in an attack that left her pregnant. As the case became publicized, the sentence was reduced to three years. She has spent the past two and a half years in jail.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • A senior naval officer stripped and spanked a female sailor against her will at least nine times during nine months last year, The Age reported Nov. 29. The officer faced the first day of a two-week trial into the allegations on Nov. 29.
  • A number of high-profile British female athletes have been criticizing BBC after it announced that the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist was an all-male line-up, The Telegraph reported Nov. 29. The list of 10 nominees was released Nov. 28. It is the first time since 2006 that the final list has not included a woman.
  • Former New York Giants superstar Lawrence Taylor was slammed Nov. 28 with a federal sex trafficking lawsuit filed by the teen who was forced to prostitute herself to him in motel room in Suffern, N.Y., last year, the New York Post reported.
  • A group of female jail workers in King County, Seattle, have filed claims alleging two of their coworkers sexually harassed them for years, SeattlePi reported Nov. 30. Some of the women claim they were even locked up and taunted over a loudspeaker.
  • Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo retains its reputation as "the rape capital of the world." The Catholic Online reported Nov. 28 on U.N. statistics saying that 48 women are raped every hour and the crime is rarely punished.
  • Noted:

  • A new trial of a microbicide gel to protect women from infection with HIV was canceled after researchers reported that it was not working, The New York Times reported Dec. 1.
  • Apple said Nov. 30 that the apparent inability of Siri, the virtual assistant in the iPhone 4S, to retrieve information about abortion clinics and women's health services in some areas was not intentional or deliberate, The New York Times reported. The computer company attributed the problem to kinks in the product that were still being ironed out. Siri is officially still a beta or test product.
  • Women's organizations from around the world decided not to endorse the current Joint Action Plan on Gender Equality and Development launched Nov. 30 in Busan, South Korea, where the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness is taking place. Women's groups expressed concern about the overwhelming focus on promoting women as vehicles of economic growth, rather than rights holders in the plan.
  • Recent numbers show an increase in the number of violent-crime sentences among female offenders in Iowa, The Des Moines Register reported Nov. 30. Historically, the female inmate population has been charged more with drug-related sentences and less violent crimes. Current numbers, however, show the trend has flipped for female offenders, according to Iowa Correctional Institution for Women.
  • Female bosses in U.K. understand better that staff need a good work/life balance more than male bosses, a new survey has found, Women in Technology reported Nov. 30.
  • On November 30, HBO broadcasted award-winning filmmaker Kim Longinotto's newest documentary, PINK SARIS. The filmmakers describe it as an unflinching and often amusing look at the all-woman Gulabi Gang in Northern India and Sampat Pal, their charismatic leader.
  • A woman came forward with charges of a 13-year extramarital affair with Herman Cain during an interview with Fox News that aired Nov. 28. The Republican presidential candidate denied the claims.
  • A group of Jewish women in Brooklyn, N.Y., issued a call for women to join Hatzolah, a volunteer emergency medical service organization that serves mostly Jewish communities around the world, The Huffington Post reported Nov. 28. Hatzolah is an all-male organization.
  • Morocco's moderate Islamist party, the PJD, claimed victory in a widely watched, Arab Spring-inspired national election, as initial results showed it ahead of rivals, the Hindustan Times reported Nov. 26. Though religion-based, the Islamists say they have a progressive agenda and vow not to be overly conservative.

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