Global Quickies: Uber in Saudi, FGM in Egypt, and A Sect in Spain

“Egyptian teenager dies during illegal genital mutilation surgery. […] The practice has been illegal in Egypt since 2008 but remains a strong tradition in Egyptian society where families see cutting as a way to “calm” or “purify” young girls.”

A young Pakistani woman who was burned to death by her family on Wednesday for running away and marrying without their permission had been tricked into returning home by her mother’s promise to organise a proper wedding ceremony, her husband hassaid.

“When Saudi Arabia made a hefty investment of $3.5bn (£2.43bn) in the Uber taxi company with an eye to facilitate its expansion in the Middle East, one of the things it probably had in mind was a huge domestic market for female customers. After all, Saudi women are banned from driving in the country, and Uber earlier mentioned that 80% of its Saudi Arabian users are women.” But, many are protesting that the government and the company are profiting from their lack of rights.

“A Muslim gay cleric who conducted same sex weddings in secret in Iran has been forced to leave the county after receiving death threats from fellow religious figures.”

“A year on from unprecedented protests throughout the country to protest violence against women, little has changed in Argentina, where 275 gender-violence-related deaths have been reported over the last 12 months, a figure similar to previous years, say women’s rights groups.To highlight the problem, demonstrations have again been organized in the main towns and cities of the South American country on Friday under the slogan Ni una menos (Not one less).”

“The daughter of one of the world’s best-known Christian leaders has given up her right to officiate as a priest in South Africa following marriage to her female partner.”

UK (Via Ray)
“On 23 June, UK citizens will be asked whether they want to remain in the EU. […] For most voters, science will not be one of these issues. But as some argue, the outcome of the referendum has the potential to greatly affect the future of the scientific enterprise – in the UK and elsewhere, for better or for worse.”

“A United Nations whistleblower who exposed the systematic sexual abuse of children by peacekeeping troops in Africa has resigned in protest at the “entrenched lack of accountability” within the organisation.”

“Marriage is seen as inevitable in Indonesian culture, with friends and family often putting pressure on young people to find a partner and settle down. But one group of young people is fighting back, using social media to celebrate singlehood with laughter.

“The Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, is being questioned by police over allegations that he failed to act against a priest in his diocese accused of child sexual abuse.”

“The Quezon City government has passed an ordinance to reduce catcalling and other forms of street-level sexual harassment against women.”

“Fiat Argentina were forced to withdraw an advertising campaign yesterday after it prompted a wave of outrage and accusations of blatant misogyny concerning its depiction of women. […]The campaign took the form of sample pages from a faux car manual entitled “Good Use” and instructed readers how to “enjoy” their driving experience and how to behave with female “co-pilots” while in the car.”

The Palmarian Catholic Church: a lie that lasted 40 years– “El Palmar has managed to keep its financial activities quiet over the past 40 years thanks to a fierce policy of isolation that keeps the faithful isolated from the rest of the world. But things may be about to change. Not only has the business side of its outfit been rumbled, members are also wising up to discrepancies about the sect’s predictions.”

“Employment abroad offers women the chance of a better salary. But attempts to stop them after cases of abuse have increased the risks of exploitation

Why Is It So Hard for Young Women in Uganda to Carry a Condom?: “According to Ugandan culture, it is against the principles of a moral girl to buy and carry a condom in her bag. She would be called a ‘bitch’, a ‘whore’ and ‘uncultured’. The community calls it an abomination. It has the same views on women getting pregnant before marriage.”

“For centuries the Berber men of North Africa have proved their worth in the high octane, dangerous sport of Fantasia. Teams of riders charge together, firing their riles in unison. But now for the first time, women have been taking them on… and winning!” (Autoplay video)

“Two Ghanaian women were reportedly prevented from entering parliament on Wednesday for “indecent dressing.”

Fendi has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn after threatening to sue one of Italy’s leading LGBT rights groups over an advertising campaign in which the activists used the Italian fashion house’s new headquarters to promote Rome’s upcoming Pride parade.”


Featured image: A page from the Fiat manual posted by Agustina Altman. The manual includes the suggestion to honk to let a woman know she’s made your day better.


Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at esceptica.org.

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  1. Ah, but doesn’t this suggest the Wahhabis’ clairvoyance that they could see such a time that they could profit from oppressing women before they decided to oppress women?

    …probably not, but it’s fun to think about.

  2. ‘…tricked into returning home by her MOTHER’S promise to organise a proper wedding ceremony,…’

    Hirsi Ali reported that her mother and grandmother waited for her father to be away before having Ali and her sister mutilated.

    In the U.S. when the surveillance tapes that captured Tina Issa’s honour murder were played, her MOTHER was heard to be holding her down and telling her to die quietly while her father stabbed her.

    The depth of misogyny is so great that one gender can’t hold it all.

    1. Indeed. For FGM in particular, it’s often the mother’s family that organizes it. Social structure, traditional modesty, that sort of thing.

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