MENA Women's News Brief

Jul 15, 2014

The Middle East Program will send out the latest developments on women’s issues in the region on a bi-monthly basis.


July 9: Algeria appoints four female army generals

“Algeria has appointed three women army Generals, therefore becoming the Arab country with the biggest number of high-ranking female army commanders.” (Al-Arabiya)


June 30: Female prisoners in Egypt suffer rampant abuse

“Human rights groups have accused the Egyptian state of allowing violence against female detainees in prison despite its pledge to tackle the issue of sexual violence against women.” (Al-Monitor)

July 3: Fact-finding committee to visit women's prison due to torture claims

“The 30-June fact-finding committee will visit Al-Qanater prison next week to look into allegations of torture of female prisoners.” (Al-Ahram)

July 7: Government body to implement new strategy to protect women against violence

“The National Council for Women (NCW), in collaboration with several government ministries, launched on Monday a national strategy to combat violence against women.” (Daily News Egypt)


July 3: Iranian women still banned from stadiums
“Iran's ban on women in public stadiums, first instated after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, has caused an uproar during the recent FIVB World League volleyball games in Tehran.” (Al-Monitor)


July 2: Women especially vulnerable to violence in Iraq: UN
“Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN under-secretary general and executive director of UN Women, made a statement on Tuesday regarding the situation of women in Iraq, and expressed how the UN is outraged by the targeting of women and girls in Iraq and reports of kidnapping, rape and forced marriage by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).” (Al-Ahram)


July 5: More than quotas are needed for women in politics

“While Lebanon suffers from a paucity of female politicians, establishing a quota is not the only way to bolster women’s participation in the political sphere, say members of UNDP’s Lebanese Electoral Assistance Program.” (Daily Star)


July 2: Omani scientist-entrepreneur, Rayan’s scientific spirit opens doors to Hall of Fame

“Rayan Al-Kalbani was recently honored by the US Embassy in Oman for her induction this year into the Women in Science Hall of Fame of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs of the US Department of State.” (Times of Oman)

July 11: Awesome threesome – Oman’s motorsports female champions

“Three courageous young Omani women foray into motorsports, a supposedly male sporting bastion in Oman, and challenge experienced karting drivers during the Ramadan Motorsports Festival.” (Times of Oman)

Palestinian Territories

July 12: Israel-Gaza Conflict Takes Toll On Pregnant Women

“This week, as Hamas fires hundreds of rockets at Israel, and Israel strikes Gaza from land, air and sea, the maternity ward here has been filled with women who are suffering from complications like pre-term labor, miscarriages, and stillbirths brought on by the stress of war.” (Huffington Post)

Saudi Arabia

July 5: Second Saudi Arabian woman secures commercial pilot license

“23-year-old Yasmeen Mohammad Al Maimani has fulfilled her dream. She was trained in flying academies in Jordan and the US and recently became the second Saudi women to receive a commercial pilot license.” (Gulf News)

July 11: 600 women showcase their products

“Six hundred Saudi women are displaying their products and services here including Hijazi crafts, jewelry, paintings, dresses, perfumes, sweets, abayas and web design.” (Arab News)

July 11: Woman gets tour operator license

“Aziza Turkistani is the first Saudi woman to get a license to operate tours to Makkah and other cities.” (MENA FN)


July 8: Syria's female refugees facing poverty, harassment and isolation

“UN report reveals toll of war on women as the sole providers for a quarter of the families who have fled the fighting.” (The Guardian)

July 8: Women refugees of Syrian war recount harsh ordeals

“Harrowing accounts from women who fled the war are documented in a report released Tuesday, by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It details the suffering of 135 Syrian women refugees who head their own households and live in exile in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.” (USA Today)


July 8: A time of optimism for women

“The region has made great strides in promoting women in business. Now it’s time to make another big push, says Muna Al Gurg [the director of retail at Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group].” (Khaleej Times)

July 9: Demand for women-only Abu Dhabi airport taxis at night

“The airport taxi service introduced exclusively for women six months ago operates from 8am to 5pm…Out of a fleet of 165 luxury taxis available round the clock from Terminal 1 and 3 at Abu Dhabi International Airport, only three are driven by female drivers.” (Gulf News)

July 9: Emirati girls and women are prolific social media users

“Female Emiratis are among the highest users of social media in the world, a study has found.” (The National)

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