Refleksi: Agaknya berita-berita jenis ini tidak mendapat tempat di koran-koran berlambang agama seperti Hidayatullah. Bila benar asumsi tsb. maka timbul pertanyaan mengapa? Apakah Ada diantara pembaca yang mempunya keterangan mencerdaskan mengapa tidak dijadikan sorotan?
http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1§ion=0&article=117395&d=21&m=12&y=2008&pix=kingdom.jpg&category=Kingdom Sunday 21 December 2008 (23 Dhul Hijjah 1429) Women demand permanent positions on Tawafah boards Badea Abu Al- Naja | Arab News FOR A CAUSE: Awatif Katoua MAKKAH: Most women officials of Tawafah establishments demand that they should be represented with a woman member on the boards of directors of the five Tawafah establishments that look after Haj and Umrah pilgrims annually. The women workers also demand that they should be offered permanent employment covering the whole year instead of the present system of seasonal recruitment. "The absence of women on the board of directors of Tawafah establishments, no doubt, weakens the quality of services offered to women pilgrims. On the other hand, if there is at least one member, women pilgrims could be served in a better manner. We hope that our demand will be listened to favorably," Fatin Muhammad Hussein, chairperson of the women's committee at the South Asian Tawafah Establishment, told Arab News in an interview on Friday. Hussein said women started working for the establishment four years ago. They used to help sick women pilgrims, instruct women pilgrims on religious rites and cultural matters as well as organizing tours for female pilgrims to the Kiswa Factory, Zamzam Distribution Center and the Haramain Museum. There were 70 pilgrims in the last such trip she arranged for them, Hussein said. She added that though the women desired to serve in more areas, they had their limitations as women. "By virtue of my being wife of the head of the South Asian Tawafah Establishment, I could work as a liaison between him and the women workers," she said. Wafa Mahdar, chairman of the Committee for Women's Enlightenment in the Tawafah Establishment for Arab countries, said that women should have a place in the board of directors. "The new board members should keep their promise to women voters during the last election that they would give membership to women," Mahdar said. However, Samira Banani, chairman of the Religious Committee in the Tawafah Establishment for Arab countries, disagreed with most other women workers and said no women in her establishment wanted to be a member of the board of directors. Nevertheless, she stressed the need for permanent employment for women in the Tawafah establishment instead of the present system of seasonal work. She added that the concept of women serving pilgrims was not novel. "In the distant past Tawafah officials used to depend on their wives for preparing food and maintaining the residences of pilgrims. I think the desire to serve pilgrims was instilled in me by my mother who used to help my father in such matters," she said. Awatif Katoua, media director of the Religious Committee in the same establishment, said she believed that women should not be regarded as seasonal workers but should be allowed to serve around the year as permanent staff of the establishment. She also pointed that more women workers should be recruited for this service. Rahma Shabana of the Pilgrim Establishment for South East Asian Pilgrims also supported the demand for membership for women on the board of directors of Tawafah establishments. She also believed that women officials should be assigned more important roles than helping sick pilgrims. "They can teach pilgrims how to perform rituals correctly and help them in many other ways to make their pilgrimage comfortable," Shabana said. She said 80 women were engaged in field services under her establishment. Minister of Haj Fuad Al-Farsy said while visiting South East Asian Tawafah Establishment in August that women could occupy any position in the establishment including as a member of the board.