UK News | Racial Minorities & Women

British PM announces name-blind admissions and hiring measures, new gender pay equity policies
  • PM David Cameron announced that the UK’s University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) will switch to name-blind applicant evaluation in 2017 to reduce racial bias in college admissions.
  • Numerous studies have indicated that culturally inflected differences in names significantly impact job applicants’ likelihood of being hired, with those with names traditionally from black and other ethnic minority communities receiving fewer interviews.
  • Cameron also outlined new policies to address the gender pay gap, including forcing private companies to publish bonuses, requiring large public sector organizations to publish pay data, and pushing for the elimination of all-male FTSE-350 boards.

Read more:
Ucas to enforce ‘name-blind’ applications to tackle racial bias” (The Guardian)
The perfect name for a job application, based on biases” (BBC)

(Image Credit: David Cheskin/PA, via the Guardian)

UAE Feature | Migrant Women

Trapped in Silence

Women in the UAE–particularly the country’s large population of Asian and African migrant women–have long faced a brutal catch-22 under the Gulf nation’s Sharia-driven legal system after being raped. When attempts at legal justice can lead to their own prosecution for extramarital sex, women find themselves coerced into silence and, for migrant workers, at the mercy of employers who control their movement in the country and ability to leave. BBC and the Guardian highlight the stories of rape victims and the structural disadvantages they face, from illegal abortions to imprisonment with illegitimate children.

Read more:
Raped, pregnant and afraid of being jailed” (BBC)
UAE imprisoning rape victims under extramarital sex laws – investigation” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: BBC)

Sweden News | Immigrants & Minorities

Deadly attack on Swedish school being treated as hate crime
  • The chief of police in Trollhättan reported that the man who killed a student and teacher and left two others critically injured chose his victims by skin color, attacking dark-skinned individuals.
  • Police disclosed that the assailant had no ties to official far-right groups but had neo-Nazi sympathies, posting Nazi-sympathist videos to social media.
  • Trollhättan has a history of predominant segregation and hate crimes, and the Kronan school, with its high proportion of students of immigrant background, was a vulnerable target.

Read more:
Sweden school attack: police treat killing of pupil and teacher as racist hate crime” (The Guardian)
Police in Sweden: Deadly school attack a racist hate crime” (AP via Yahoo! News)
Sweden school killings: Attacker ‘had racist motives’” (BBC)

(Image Credit: EPA, via BBC)

Sweden News | Refugees

Sweden sees rash of arson attacks against refugee facilities
  • A fire at a retirement home in Oderljunga marked as a potential site for refugee accommodation was the latest in a string of arson attacks across the country.
  • More than a dozen such fires have been reported across the country over the last seven months, with police indicating all have been arson.
  • The attacks come as Sweden prepares to accept up to 190,000 asylum seekers, second only to Germany in Europe.

Read more:
Fresh arson fears as refugee home burns” (The Local)
Arson Attacks at Asylum Homes Raise Fears in Tolerant Sweden” (AP via ABC News)
Arsonists attack another migrant centre in Sweden” (AFP via Yahoo! News)

(Image Credit: Adam Ihse/AFP, via Yahoo! News)

Pakistan News | Shiite Muslims

Shiite mosque bombed in southwest Pakistan, reportedly killing at least 10 and injuring at least a dozen
  • Six children were among the dead after a suicide bomber disguised as a woman in full burqa attacked a mosque in Bolan district of Balochistan province.
  • Though none have yet claimed responsibility, authorities suspect the attack to be the work of Sunni extremists against the country’s Shiite minority.
  • The bombing took place as Shiites prepare to celebrate Ashoura, a 10-day period commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

Read more:
Suicide blast outside imambargah in Bolan district kills five” (Dawn)
Bombing at Shiite Mosque Kills 10 in Southwest Pakistan” (AP via ABC News)
Bombing at Shia shrine kills 10 in Pakistan” (The Hindu)

France Feature | Working Class, Immigrants & Racial Minorities

Estates of Emergency

France’s notorious housing estates–akin to housing projects in the U.S.–have long existed as symbols of an unintegrated France. Though President François Hollande has pledged to address the long-standing segregation that divides Paris’s poor banlieues from its more affluent city center, rampant unemployment, limited educational opportunities, crime, and stigmatization continue largely unchecked. The Guardian reflects on conditions in Paris’s most notorious estates a decade after riots forced what one banlieue mayor has called “social and territorial apartheid” into the national consciousness.

Read more:
‘Nothing’s changed’: 10 years after French riots, banlieues remain in crisis” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: Ed Alcock/The Guardian)

Uzbekistan News | Women Activists & Citizens

Activists claim abuse by Uzbek government while documenting forced labor in cotton harvesting
  • Human rights activists affiliated with the Human Rights Alliance of Uzbekistan claimed they were detained and beaten by police after attempting to document forced labor conditions during the country’s cotton harvest.
  • Two women arrested in late September reported being strip-searched and having a gynecological examination conducted in front of male officers.
  • Uzbekistan, the fifth-largest cotton producer in the world, has long been under fire for the mass mobilization of its citizens into unpaid labor in the fields to ensure the millions of tons of the country’s major cash crop can be harvested and exported.

Read more:
Uzbekistan accused of brutal crackdown on activists investigating forced labour” (The Guardian)
Arrested, threatened, beaten: The Uzbekistan activist who won’t give up” (BBC)
Uzbekistan: Cotton Harvest Monitors Face Intimidation” (EurasiaNet)

(Image Credit: Mikhail Metzel/AP, via The Guardian)