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Frida Ghitis – CNN – Thursday, 07 November 2013 (originally published  04 Nov)

Woman with balled up fist

Sudanese Amira Hamed talks to a reporter. She is on trial Monday for refusing to cover her hair and faces flogging if convicted. Image: CNN

(CNN) — When a police officer demanded that she cover her hair, Amira Osman Hamed simply refused. “I’m Muslim, and I’m not going to cover my head,” she declared. For that, the 35-year-old Sudanese engineer was arrested last August and charged with “indecent dress.”

Now Hamed faces a possible sentence of 40 lashes if a court convicts her when she faces the judge on Monday. Still, she refuses to wear a headscarf.

Hamed’s determination to challenge arbitrary rules restricting women’s freedom is part of a wave of energy pushing against those limits, notably (but not exclusively) in Muslim countries. In Muslim-majority states in Africa, South Asia, the Persian Gulf and elsewhere, women are relentlessly demanding more equal treatment . . .

. . . read complete article . . .

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