Women Detained in China’s Xinjiang Allegedly Raped, Sexually Abused
The Tribune, China, 2/3/2021
Women in China’s system of detention camps for ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in its western region of Xinjiang were subject to rape, sexual abuse and torture, according to a report by BBC. Beijing has denied the accusations of abuse in Xinjiang, and has said the complexes it set up in the region provided vocational training to help “stamp out Islamist extremism and separatism, and to teach new skills”. In 2020, a report by German researcher Adrian Zenz published by the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation think tank accused China of using forced sterilisation, forced abortion and coercive family planning against minority Muslims.
Uniform Minimum Age for Marriage: SC Decides to Examine Plea to Transfer to Itself Cases Pending in HCs
The Hindu, India, 2/2/2021
The Supreme Court on February 2, 2021 decided to examine a plea to transfer to itself cases pending in the Delhi and Rajasthan High Courts to declare a uniform minimum age for marriage. A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde issued notice to the government on the plea by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who argued that the transfer plea had been filed to “secure gender justice, gender equality, and dignity of women”. The plea also sought a direction to the Centre to take appropriate steps to remove the anomalies in the minimum age of marriage and make it ‘gender-neutral, religion-neutral and uniform for all citizens’ in the spirit of the fundamental right of equality.
Manila to Declare Feb. 1 as National Hijab Day
Arab News - Manila, Philippines, 2/1/2021
The Philippines House of Representatives has approved a bill declaring the first day of February as National Hijab Day every year to promote a “deeper understanding” of the Muslim practice, as well as tolerance for other faiths across the country. The measure also aims to stop discrimination against hijabis and clear misconceptions against the sartorial choice, which has often been misinterpreted as a symbol of oppression, and lack of freedom. Congress unanimously approved the bill, which has yet to become a law, on January 26, 2021 with all 203 lawmakers voting for the move. The hijab is a veil that covers the head and chest and is mainly worn by Muslim women who have reached puberty.