Calls for Libya to file complaint following Egypt airstrikes

Some 169 Libyan officials have called on the Presidential Council to file an urgent complaint with the UN Security Council against Egypt’s attack on the Libyan territory. The signatories to the statement included members of the House of Representatives, members of the State High Council, party leaders, ambassadors, civil and media activists, former ministers and heads of civil movements. The signatories have protested against the Egyptian airstrikes against sites in the city of Derna, east and towns in Jafra province, which began a week ago. Read: What is Libya’s role in the terrorism that’s hit Egypt? The airstrikes are a “blatant interference” in the country’s affairs, the statement said, calling on the Presidential Council to assume its national and historical […]

Al-Azhar: 2,000 female preachers to be appointed

Some 144 women have been appointed as preachers by Al-Azhar University since 2014, with 2,000 more due to be instated before the end of 2017. Egypt is becoming one of the few countries where women can now become Islamic preachers. According to analysis completed by the Egyptian religious authorities, a mother or a wife can be responsible for the transmission of regressive or radical ideas within the home. Educating Muslim women according to the precepts of Islam through official preachers is therefore part of Al-Azhar’s global struggle against radical speech. Breaking the historical rules of Islamist preachers where there is a male monopoly, but where women are present today, is countering extremism and fundamentalism by women too Riadh Sidaoui, director of […]

Moroccans burn their passports in protest

Videos have emerged on social media of Moroccans in the diaspora destroying their Moroccan passports in what they said was an act of solidarity. This comes as protests in Morocco continue following the arrest of Nasser Zefzafi, the fugitive leader of a protest movement that has occupied the country’s northern Rif region for months. The act has sparked controversy online as Moroccans took to social media networks to both condemn and support the act of defiance. The Rif region has been the centre of Morocco’s protest movement for years but has taken on a new sense of urgency since the death of a fishmonger crushed in a rubbish truck in October as he protested against the seizure of swordfish caught […]

Palestinian girl dies from Israeli gunshot wound

A 15-year-old Palestinian girl who was shot and critically injured by Israeli forces yesterday, succumbed to her wounds this morning, according to the hospital where she was being treated. The teen, identified as Nouf Iqab Abdel-Jabbar Infeiat from the Jenin-area village of Yabed, was shot near the entrance of the illegal Movo Dotansettlement in the Jenin district of the northern occupied West Bank. The Hillel Yaffe medical centre in the Israeli city of Hadera released a statement today saying the girl had succumbed to her wounds. Footage shared by social media users yesterday showed Israeli settlers insulting the young Palestinian as she lay wounded on the ground, calling her a “bitch” and telling her she deserved to die. Infiaat is […]

Ghana bans workers from moving to the Gulf

The Government of Ghana has banned all recruitment offices in the country from sending Ghanaian workers to foreign countries, especially Gulf states. Ghana’s Peace FM Online newspaper quoted the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour, saying: The decision was underpinned by incessant reports of inhumane treatment meted out to some Ghanaian domestic workers in the Gulf States by their employers. During his meeting with the Ghana Association of Private Employment Agencies (GHAPEA) in the capital, Accra, yesterday, the minister considered the issue a national security matter, which called for strict measures to be taken to rectify the problem. As a measure, we have placed a temporal ban on the exportation of people to the Gulf especially those recruited […]

Sudan to lodge complaints over Egypt Darfur allegations

Sudan says it intends to lodge official complaints against Egypt with several international organisations including the United Nations for Cairo’s alleged military support of rebel groups in Darfur, the Anadolu Agency reported. Last week, Sudan’s President, Omar Al-Bashir, accused Cairo of supplying armoured vehicles and weapons in a recent attack launched by armed rebel groups in the western region of Darfur fighting to overthrow the government in Khartoum. Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has strenuously rejected the claims. In a statement to the Andalou Agency, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Garib Allah Al-Khidir, said Sudan would make formal complaints to the United Nations Security Council, the African Union and the Arab League. He also accused Egypt of “intentionally dragging its feet” on […]

Morocco refuses to attend African summit due to Israel’s presence

The Moroccan Foreign Ministry yesterday stated that King Mohammed VI has cancelled his attendance of the 51st Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) because Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has also been invited. In a statement the ministry said King Mohammed VI had planned to visit the Liberian capital, Monrovia, on 3-4 June to attend the 51st ECOWAS Summit, which was expected to examine Morocco’s request to join the regional group as a full member. The statement added that, “During this Royal visit, a meeting with the President of Liberia, talks with ECOWAS Heads of State and a speech at the Summit were all scheduled.” Read: Why did Morocco decide to join the African Union? However, over […]

Lack of ‘safe’ jobs keeping educated women from work in India

Fri, 2017-06-02 14:52

MUMBAI: A lack of safe workplaces in India and the danger of reaching them by public transport is keeping more educated women out of the labor force, hurting the economy and leaving women vulnerable, analysts say.
Nearly two-thirds of Indian women with college degrees are without jobs, pushing female labor force participation to 27 percent in 2011-2012 — among the lowest in the world — from near 40 percent in the early-2000s, according to World Bank data.
India’s economy could achieve double-digit growth if the government drives ahead with reforms to increase women’s participation in the workforce, said a World Bank report published this week.
“More Indian women have indicated that they would like to work, but cannot find suitable jobs,” said Frederico Gil Sander, senior country economist at the World Bank.
“Suitable jobs are those that are safe, flexible, with access to benefits and dignity in the workplace … safety is an important part of the equation,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The gender gap in the workplace has widened despite rising female literacy levels on the back of initiatives such as the Right to Education Act (2009) and the Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao (educate the girl child, save the girl child) campaign.
More women are earning degrees in science and technology. But the unemployment rate for graduate Indian women is far higher than in other developing nations in Asia such as Bangladesh and Indonesia.
“This is a matter of concern as women’s paid employment is known to increase their ability to influence decision-making within the household, and empower them more broadly in society,” the World Bank report said.
One reason for the low participation is that about 90 percent of India’s workforce is in the informal sector, for which data are not available. They include farm laborers, construction workers, street vendors and domestic helpers.
At the same time, India is not creating enough jobs in the manufacturing and services sectors including the textile and retail industries, which are considered as suitable for women.
While social norms and patriarchal attitudes still hold women back, rising incomes are also why more educated women choose not to work, data shows.
The rising incidence of workplace sexual harassment is also a deterrent.
Recent cases of stalking and killing of women working in technology firms showed the risks in an industry credited with having created tens of thousands of jobs for women.
A letter from women in a spinning mill describing the sexual harassment they faced exposed the multi-billion-dollar textile industry where thousands of women work.
States with a high female workforce participation — Sikkim, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu — have fewer restrictions on women workers and high conviction rates for crimes against women, the Center for Strategic and International Studies said in a separate report.
There is also the commute to work: A 2014 poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation ranked Delhi the fourth most dangerous city surveyed for a woman to take public transport.
“Safe spaces to work in, and safe access to these spaces is important for female workers — from a vegetable vendor to an IT worker,” said Subhalakshmi Nandi, a specialist at UN Women.

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Four killed as tension flares in Kabul anti-govt protest: official

Fri, 2017-06-02 14:48

KABUL: Four Afghan protesters were killed Friday when police fired live rounds on an anti-government demonstration in Kabul over a deadly truck bombing, the health ministry said.
“In today’s protest four people died and eight others were wounded,” ministry spokesman Waheed Majrooh told AFP.

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