A Princess Vanishes. A Video Offers Alarming CluesBy Vivian Yee The New Times (Feb. 10, 2019)


BEIRUT — The princess known as Sheikha Latifa had not left Dubai, the glittering emirate ruled by her father, in 18 years. Her requests to travel and study elsewhere had been denied. Her passport had been taken away. Her friends’ apartments were forbidden to her, her palace off-limits to them. At 32, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum went nowhere without …

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Pakistani woman police commander led defense of Chinese missionSyed Raza Hassan (Nov 25, 2018) Reuters


ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani policewoman Suhai Aziz Talpur heard of the attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi while driving to work. She rushed to the scene to find two of her colleagues dead, and a trio of insurgents attempting to blow their way into the building. Her fast response and actions during the nearly two-hour assault on the diplomatic …

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Fahmida Riaz passes away in LahoreThe News International (Nov 21, 2018)


LAHORE: Well-known progressive Urdu writer, poet, human rights activist and feminist Fahmida Riaz has passed away on Wednesday night. She was 73 years of age. She passed away after a prolonged illness in Lahore where she was with her daughter Fahmida Riaz was born on July 28, 1945 in a literary family of Meerat, UP, India. Her family settled in …

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Nargis, the Pakistani Hazara making strides in karate (By Saba Aziz) – Al Jazeera Sept 18, 2018Teen karateka from Quetta overcomes security threats and ethnic persecution to make history at the Asian Games


Nargis Hameedullah has had to fight for her dreams all her life – both on and off the field. The 19-year-old is a Pakistani karateka based in Quetta, capital of the western province of Balochistan. Nargis belongs to the Hazara community, one of Pakistan’s most persecuted ethnic and religious minorities. But that has not stopped her from beating the odds. …

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UK ‘deeply concerned’ by brief abduction of British Pakistani journalist and establishment critic Ben Farmer 6 June 2018 The Telegraph


The UK has expressed deep concern after a British Pakistani journalist was abducted by unnamed men in the latest seizure of a media critic of the military establishment. Gul Bukhari was driving to a television studio late on Tuesday when her car was intercepted by pick-up trucks in the city of Lahore. Her plainclothes abductors were overseen by men wearing …

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Instep Today Aurat March 2018: Freedom over fearMohammed Salman Khan The Express Tribune (March 10, 2018)


KARACHI, March 10: Thousands of women, men and transgender people gathered on Thursday to take part in the first ever Aurat March (Women’s March) held in Karachi to rally against discrimination and acts of violence towards women and other gender minorities in Pakistan. The event marked the global celebration of International Women’s Day which is celebrated across the world to …

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A sisterhood with nerves of steelBy Naziha Ahmed (Dawn Newspaper) Dec 2017


“The truth does not change when a government does. Like freedom, truth is open to misuse, but, again like freedom, it can’t be withheld on that count,” wrote the late Razia Bhatti in one of her searing editorials. These were not merely fine words: Ms Bhatti, editor of the Herald and later of Newsline – not to mention the women …

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Women drivers break cultural barriers in coal-rich TharDawn (Sept 30, 2017)


ISLAMKOT: As Pakistan bets on cheap coal in the Thar desert to resolve its energy crisis, a select group of women is eyeing a road out of poverty by snapping up truck-driving jobs that once only went to men. Such work is seen as life-changing in the dusty region bordering India, where sand dunes cover estimated coal reserves of 175 …

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A disaster in the making’: Pakistan’s population surges to 207.7 millionBy Pamela Constable The Washington Post


RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — For years, Pakistan’s soaring population growth has been evident in increasingly crowded schools, clinics and poor communities across this vast, Muslim-majority nation. But until two weeks ago, no one knew just how serious the problem was. Now they do. Preliminary results from a new national census — the first conducted since 1998 — show that the population …

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New Pakistan PM wants probe of harassment charges against Imran KhanSaad Sayeed and Asif Shahzad (Reuters)


ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s new prime minister called on Friday for an investigation into allegations that opposition leader Imran Khan harassed a woman lawmaker, charges Khan dismisses as revenge for his role in the ouster of then-premier Nawaz Sharif. A furious social media backlash threatening violence against Khan’s accuser, lawmaker Ayesha Gulalai, has also exposed raw nerves about the treatment of …

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From begging to earning! Chakwal girls break a taboo (When NGOs Make A Difference)Nabeel Anwar Dhakku Dawn Newspaper April 9, 2017

Dawn Newspaper

With all humility, it was elating for me to visit a slum of Chakwal the other day. I saw a young woman of 24 waiting in a pink-white rickshaw for her regular fares, two female teachers, as I reach the makeshift school established beside the dismantled Chakwal-Bhoun railway track in Kazamabad locality under the Jhuggi School Project. JSP, as it …

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Donald Trump protests attract millions across US and world (Jan 21, 2017) Washington DC is leading anti-Trump protests around the world (BBC News)


Millions of protesters have taken to the streets of cities in the US and around the globe to rally against the new US President Donald Trump. Larger numbers of demonstrators than expected turned out for more than 600 rallies worldwide. The aim was principally to highlight women’s rights, which activists believe to be under threat from the new administration. Meanwhile, …

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Muslim woman who voted for Trump asks Georgetown to intervene over professor’s ‘hateful, vulgar’ messagesBy Justin Wm. Moyer The Washington Post


A former Georgetown professor who wrote an opinion article in support of President-elect Donald Trump has asked the university to intervene after a current Georgetown professor responded with insults and an obscenity on social media. After Trump was elected in November, Asra Q. Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and a co-founder of a Muslim advocacy group, wrote a …

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Death threat, warning to media spray-painted on Karachi muralsDawn.com Jan 5, 2017


The walls of Karachi Press Club — which had recently been painted with colourful murals of several progressive civil society activists and journalists — were vandalised last night allegedly by members of politico-religious parties. The messages left by the vandals were spray-painted over the portraits of nearly all women activists featured on the wall. Though the vandals remain individually unidentified, …

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It started with a retiree. Now the Women’s March could be the biggest inauguration demonstration.By Perry Stein and Sandhya Somashekhar (The Washington Post) Jan 3, 2017


Teresa Shook never considered herself much of an activist, or someone particularly versed in feminist theory. But when the results of the presidential election became clear, the retired attorney in Hawaii turned to Facebook and asked: What if women marched on Washington around Inauguration Day en masse? She asked her online friends how to create an event page, and then …

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Afghan Response to Female Pilot’s U.S. Asylum Case: ‘I Am Sure She Lied’By JAWAD SUKHANYAR The New York Times (Dec 25, 2016)


KABUL, Afghanistan — Contending that her “life isn’t at risk at all,” military officials in Afghanistan have asked that the United States reject the asylum case of Capt. Niloofar Rahmani, the first female fixed-wing pilot in the Afghan Air Force. On Thursday, Captain Rahmani revealed that she had applied for asylum this summer, saying she felt unsafe in Afghanistan, where …

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A Female Afghan Pilot Soars and Gives UpBy ERNESTO LONDOÑO DEC. 23, 2016 The New York Times


Perhaps no Afghan’s story better embodied America’s aspirations for Afghanistan than that of Capt. Niloofar Rahmani, the first female fixed-wing pilot in the fledgling Afghan Air Force. She was celebrated in Washington in 2015 when the State Department honored her with its annual Women of Courage award. “She continues to fly despite threats from the Taliban and even members of …

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In Pakistan, five girls were killed for having fun. Then the story took an even darker twist.By Pamela Constable The Washington Post


ISLAMABAD, Dec 17 — It was just a few seconds, a video clip of several young women laughing and clapping to music, dressed for a party or a wedding in orange headscarves and robes with floral patterns. Then a few more seconds of a young man dancing alone, apparently in the same room. The cellphone video was made six years …

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Scooty revolution: Women learn to ride bikes on Karachi’s mean streetsBy Farahnaz Zahidi The Express Tribune (Dec 2, 2016)


She was perhaps the only one riding on two wheels in a world full of men. But, that was then. Now, within days, more than a thousand women have filled the application form to learn how to drive a scooty from Mehwish Ekhlaque. The applications are queuing up and they don’t have space for more. “It has been my dream …

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Pakistan to deport National Geographic ‘Afghan Girl’Agence France-Presse (Guardian UK)

Steve McCurry with picture of Sharbat Gula

Peshawar, Nov 4: An Afghan woman who appeared on a National Geographic cover when she was 12 will be sent back to the war-stricken homeland she fled decades ago, after a Pakistani court ordered that she be deported. Sharbat Gula, whose striking green eyes were captured in an image taken by photographer Steve McCurry in a refugee camp in Pakistan …

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