News briefs for week of May 18, 2009

This week, women are elected to Kuwait’s parliament, an award for Muslim Women’s Network founder Shaista Gohir in the UK, a video profile of “Bad Girl of Islam” Asra Nomani, and remembering Indian feminist Dr. Sakina Hasan.
This week Shaista Gohir of the Muslim Women’s Network was awarded the UK’s Social and Humanitarian Award at the 2009 Asian Women of Achievement Awards. Gohir is also a member of the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group and advises the UK government.

Muslim feminist Asra Nomani was the first featured guest of the Washington Post ‘s video series “Faith Complex.” The footage, entitled “Asra Nomani: Bad Girl of Islam” reflects on Nomani’s childhood and the death of her friend Daniel Pearl.

On Saturday May 16 four women won seats in Kuwait’s parliamentary elections. The victory signaled a first in Kuwaiti history and a blow to the Sunni Islamists who had previously dominated the parliament. Kuwait’s leader, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, called for fresh elections two months ago in an effort to avoid formal questioning of Sheikh Nassir, a senior member of the ruling family.

On May 20 a group of Moroccan women religious counselors, Mourchidates, shared their experiences with American Muslim and Jewish women in Washington, DC. The Moroccan American Cultural Center (MACC) organized the interfaith breakfast panel. Ilham Chafik, a visiting Mourhcidate, stated at the event that “women have always served a vital and multi-faceted role” in Islam.

On May 22 the passing of Dr. Sakina Hasan was remembered by the publication The Hindu Business Line. Hasan passed away in early May at the age of 89. Hasan came from a long line of feminists and was an author and a pioneer of women’s rights in India. Hasan was known for her insight and particular concern for Muslim women.

Rabea Chaudhry is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah

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