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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Women’s Action Forum shocked by brutal murders of 3 girls

Dunya news

PESHAWAR, Oct 21: The Women Action Forum (WAF) has expressed deep concern over the recent killing of three young women, whose charred bodies were found in the provincial metropolis, and the attempts to influence the investigation into the gory incident. A press release issued here on Friday said the incident had shocked all and sundry as the burnt-down bodies of …

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Police officer, family members arrested in suspected honor killing of Samia ShahidClaire Lampen Sep 4th 2016 Mic News

Samia Shahid
(Credit: theguardian.com)

When Samia Shahid died in Pakistan in July, her family said it was the result of a heart attack. Authorities now believe it was an honor killing carried out by her ex-husband, father and uncle, and that an investigator helped some of her family members flee the country. According to the Guardian, the 28-year-old British woman returned to Pandori, a …

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Pakistani Social Media Celebrity Dead in Apparent Honor KillingBy SALMAN MASOOD JULY 16, 2016 The New York Times

Qandeel Baloch
(Credit: starsunfolded.com)

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Qandeel Baloch, a Pakistani social media sensation, was strangled by her brother in central Pakistan, police officials said Saturday, in what appears to have been a so-called honor killing. The police said Ms. Baloch was apparently attacked on Friday night while she was asleep in her parents’ house in Muzaffarabad, a town on the outskirts of Multan …

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The Dirty Old Men of PakistanBy MOHAMMED HANIF APRIL 1, 2016 Contributing Op-Ed Writer The New York Times

Karachi, Pakistan — IN the world we live in, there is no dearth of pious men who believe that most of the world’s problems can be fixed by giving their women a little thrashing. And this business of a man’s God-given right to give a woman a little thrashing has brought together all of Pakistan’s pious men. A few weeks …

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British man becomes first to be jailed for forcing wife to live like a slaveSamuel Osborne Independent UK April 1, 2016

Safaraz Ahmed
(Credit: independent.co.uk)

A man who treated his wife as a slave and subjected her to “physical and mental torture” has been jailed for two years. Safraz Ahmed, 34, is the first Briton convicted of forcing their wife in to domestic servitude. Ahmed initially denied the offence but changed his plea to guilty. He and his wife, Sumara Iram, married in 2006 in …

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Nergis Mavalvala: The Karachiite who went on to detect Einstein’s gravitational wavesDawn.com

Nergis at MIT
(Credit: news.mit.edu)

Karachi-born quantum astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala, Associate Department Head of Physics at MIT is a member of the team of scientists that announced on Thursday the scientific milestone of detecting gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesized by physicist Albert Einstein a century ago. Professor Mavalvala, whose career spans 20 years, has published extensively in her field and has been …

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Saudi Foreign Minister says ‘be patient’ on women’s rightsAFP Feb 12, 2016

Saudi women drivers
(Credit: telegraph.co.uk)

MUNICH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister defended his country’s treatment of women on Friday, saying it had made progress on female education but would take time to let them drive cars. “When it comes to issues like women’s driving, this is not a religious issue, it’s a societal issue,” Adel al-Jubeir told an audience at the Munich Security Conference. He said …

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