Saturday January 20, 2018

Saudi Arabia: Women Face Punishment for Checking Husband’s Phone

The issue has become an online growing debate which has lead to approx. 35,000 tweets under Arabic hashtag which means “Flogging of A Woman Checking Her Husband’s Phone”

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Street Protest. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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By Akanksha Sharma

In Saudi Arabia, women checking their husband’s phone will now be considered as the violation of privacy as it is not covered in country’s Islamic laws, says a senior lawyer Mohammad al-Temyat. Women will face flogging and imprisonment for this offence.

This issue has become an online growing debate which has lead to approx. 35,000 tweets under Arabic hashtag which means “Flogging of A Woman Checking Her Husband’s Phone”.
Mr. Al-Temyat said in an interview conducted by Makkah newspaper that individuals would be brought before the court if a lawsuit is filed against them.

A woman wearing burqa. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
A woman wearing burqa. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

A female twitter user protested and tweeted “They (men) get annoyed of women ‘only’ checking her husband’s phone while a woman lives all of her life in an ‘inquisition’. Whether that is regarding her clothing, sayings or behavior.”

Another person named Salim tweeted that in order to make marital life “less chaotic, a husband should share his private life with his spouse so that they can live a life free of suspicion.”

Related Article: Saudi Arabia: Another name for ‘Jihadi factories’

Meanwhile, Abdirahman stated significant problems in Saudi community, tweeting “what about a man who beats his wife? What about a man who does not give his wife her rights? The law should do something about this too.”

Mr. Al-Temyat told The Independent that he only provided legal advice to the government and described the act of checking someone’s phone as Ta’zir offence.

He said, “I would like to clarify that this subject involves the husband and the wife and it is a Ta’zir offence so it is possible that there is a flogging, a fine, imprisonment, just signing a pledge or even nothing.”

He further said that offense is not identified as a legal offence, so the punishment will depend on the damaged caused from it.

Akanksha is a student of journalism in New Delhi, currently interning with NewsGram. Twitter: @Akanksha4117

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Top Hollywood women unveiled a sexual harassment initiative

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Top Hollywood women unveiled a sexual harassment initiative
A combination photo shows some of the actresses who have made allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein. Listed in alphabetical order, top row from left, Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette, Jessica Barth, Cara Delevingne, Romola Garai, Judith Godreche, Heather Graham, Angelina Jolie. VOA

USA, Jan 1, 2018: More than 300 top women in Hollywood — from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence to Emma Thompson and Cate Blanchett — unveiled an initiative Monday to tackle pervasive sexual harassment in workplaces, calling special attention to their “sisters” in less than glamorous blue-collar jobs.

The initiative, dubbed Time’s Up, caps a year in which the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal touched off a deluge of allegations that brought down powerful men in entertainment, politics and the media, prompting companies, government agencies and even the U.S. federal court system to re-examine harassment policies.

But in an open letter printed in The New York Times, the new initiative lends the star power of its A-list members to the cause of women in less prominent fields, urging support and respect for farm workers and others whose humble positions leave them vulnerable and voiceless.

“We fervently urge the media covering the disclosures by people in Hollywood to spend equal time on the myriad experiences of individuals working in less glamorized and valorized trades,” the group says in its full-page ad.

“To every woman employed in agriculture who has had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from her boss, every housekeeper who has tried to escape an assaultive guest, every janitor trapped nightly in a building with a predatory supervisor, every waitress grabbed by a customer and expected to take it with a smile … we stand with you. We support you.”

$15 million goal

Last month, the head of Ford Motor Company apologized to employees at two factories in Chicago and promised changes, after a scathing expose by the Timesdetailed pervasive harassment and mistreatment of women at the plants dating back to the 1990s. It was one of the first major media investigations into sexual harassment in blue-collar workplaces.

Among the specific steps it announced, Time’s Up has established a legal defense fund that, in just 12 days, has raised $13.4 million toward a $15 million goal aimed at providing legal aid for women and men who were sexually harassed, assaulted or abused in the workplace.

It has vowed to push for legislation to strengthen laws on workplace harassment and discrimination.

The group insists that more women must be brought into positions of power and leadership, while every woman should have equal benefits, opportunities, pay and representation.

As for Hollywood, it wants “swift and effective change to make the entertainment industry a safe and equitable place for everyone.”

And it called on women to wear black at Sunday’s Golden Globes as a statement against gender and racial inequality, and to raise awareness about the group’s efforts.

‘Dear Sisters’ 

The open letter in the Times, which also appears in the Spanish-language La Opinion, opens with the words “Dear Sisters” in large, bold type, and closes with the words “in solidarity,” followed by the names of the 300 women.

Several of Weinstein’s accusers signed the open letter. They include Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale, as well as Salma Hayek, whose lengthy account of mistreatment by Weinstein — “my monster,” she called him — was widely circulated on social media after appearing last month in The New York Times.

Weinstein has denied some of the allegations, including Hayek’s assertion that he pressured her to do a nude sex scene in one movie.

Other prominent women lending their names to the Time’s Up cause are actresses Natalie Portman, America Ferrera, Amy Schumer, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Susan Sarandon, Uma Thurman and Viola Davis; producer Shonda Rhimes; Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley; feminist activist Gloria Steinem; lawyer and ex-Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen and Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel. (VOA)