News Briefs: Week of December 20, 2010

Feminism by inflation in Pakistan, a multinational conference on women’s affairs in Iran, and socio-economic development of Muslim women discussed in India.
A growing number of young women from lower income households in Pakistan are entering service-sector jobs to support their families, reports the New York Times. Due to inflation, which has spiked to 12.7 percent from 1.4 percent in the past seven years, men’s salaries alone can no longer support entire households. The number of female employees at several chains like McDonald’s have quadrupled since 2006 that some employers have even introduced free women-only transit services to protect their employees from harassment. Economic hardship has created a dissonance for many whose traditional viewpoints may clash with the rising needs of society.

The Tehran Times reports on the third ministerial meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference(OIC) on women’s affairs held in Tehran this year. Topics of discussion included promoting the economic development of women, reducing the impact of financial crises on women, and addressing problems faced by Palestinian women as well as delivering aid to them. Representatives from 34 OIC member countries attended the convention. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed drawing up a charter on the “role of women and families in saving humanity.” He encouraged women’s participation in various sectors of society. The first two OIC conventions on women affairs were held in Turkey and Egypt, in 2006 and 2007.

In India, Muslim women representing ten states attended the Planning Commission of India’s national three-day convention, reports the Times of India. A poster series on “Women and Islam” took place on the third day. According to one director, this is the first time Muslim leaders made specific recommendations to include the discussion of social and economic development of Muslim women in its 12th convention. Issues discussed included the hardship Muslim women face in acquiring business loans.
Shazia Riaz is Events and Publicity Editor for Altmuslimah.

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