Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Who Probed Roots of Ideology and Bias, Dies at 65 -

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Who Probed Roots of Ideology and Bias, Dies at 65 -

Invisible Among the Uncounted -

NEW DELHI — Officially, Chandni doesn’t exist, nor is there any space for her in Delhi. Unofficially, the 14-year-old has grown up in the national capital, on its streets, one of the thousands of uncounted homeless women and girls in a city that has little time or empathy for her.
Invisible Among the Uncounted -

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Catharine MacKinnon

Raising Awareness of Sex Trafficking, One Lecture at a Time
Published: November 25, 2011
As Catharine MacKinnon spoke in a university auditorium about sex trafficking, Datqunn Sawyer was convicted in a federal courtroom of running a prostitution ring.

Raising Awareness of Sex Trafficking, One Lecture at a Time -

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Face of Modern Slavery -

The Face of Modern Slavery
Published: November 16, 2011
When 6-year-olds are sold to be tortured and raped, it’s time for a 21st-century abolitionist movement to end human trafficking.

The Face of Modern Slavery -

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sisters Unto Death

Caroline Moorehead recounts the Nazis’ internment of a group of women involved in the French Resistance.
A Train In Winter — By Caroline Moorehead — Book Review -

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Iranian sentenced to blinding for acid attack pardoned

A noble gesture (though since it comes from Iranian state television, consider the source):

An Iranian man who was ordered to be blinded for carrying out an acid attack on a woman has been pardoned by his victim, state television has said.

BBC News - Iranian sentenced to blinding for acid attack pardoned

India 'Slutwalk' sex harassment protest held in Delhi

A rally has taken place in India's capital inspired by the "Slutwalk" protests held in a number of countries.

The protest is to challenge the notion that the way a woman looks can excuse sexual abuse or taunting - "Eve teasing" as it is known in India.

Hundreds took part in Delhi, though there was little of the skimpy dressing that has marked protests elsewhere.

The protests originated in Canada after a policeman said women could avoid rape by not dressing like "sluts".

BBC News - India 'Slutwalk' sex harassment protest held in Delhi

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tristane Banon Frees Herself by Speaking Out Against Strauss-Kahn -


Ms. Banon, who is often shown in magazines here looking like a pale, skinny adolescent and wearing ripped jeans, sounded mature, self-confident and determined. If French prosecutors decide there is not enough evidence to bring her case against Mr. Strauss-Kahn, she said, “I’ll have to live with this, but I’ll live badly.”

In early 2003, she was a 23-year-old journalist, working as an intern for the magazine Paris Match when she interviewed Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a leading Socialist, for a book she was researching about the mistakes of powerful people.

In various settings since 2007, and most recently in the French weekly magazine L’Express, she has described what she says happened — how Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who arranged to meet her in a sparsely furnished apartment, had tried to rape her, undoing her bra and jeans and putting his hand in her underwear.

But for eight years, advised by her mother and her friends to keep silent, Ms. Banon said she did not find the courage to bring a criminal complaint against Mr. Strauss-Kahn, whose second wife was her godmother. “I was too young and fearful at the time,” she said.

In the interview, Ms. Banon said the episode destroyed her self-confidence, affected her relationships with men and hurt her chances to find work in journalism.

“I never understood why some people destroyed my career, my life, insulted me while I was the victim,” she said.

Tristane Banon Frees Herself by Speaking Out Against Strauss-Kahn -

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Heroine: "Samia"

After years of failed appeals, Samia and the human rights society are gearing up to face the Saudi Supreme Court which, according to Amnesty International's Saudi Arabia researcher Dina el-Mamoun, will be a tough battle.

"It's difficult to win these cases because there are no clear guidelines in terms of what they have to prove. The judges have huge discretion in relation to these cases. The outcome really depends on which judge gets the case and who rules on it," says Ms Mamoun.

Samia's case is not a one off. Across the oil-rich desert kingdom, dozens of women are taking guardianship grievances to court. And they are gaining public support.

"I think in terms of public opinion, you do see a lot of sympathy with these women," says Ms Mamoun.

Samia, now 43, is still clinging to her childhood dream of having a family. Her special man, she says, is waiting for her and fighting bravely alongside her.

"I'm still dreaming," she says. "The flame will be alive until my death."

BBC News - Saudi Arabian woman challenges male guardianship laws

Friday, June 24, 2011

Michelle Obama's Africa Trip: Why It Matters

Michelle Obama to young women leaders in Soweto: "You can be the generation that holds your leaders accountable for open, honest government at every level, government that stamps out corruption and protects the rights of every citizen to speak freely, to worship openly, to love whomever they choose."

Michelle Obama's Africa Trip: Why It Matters

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pakistani woman forced to parade naked

In Pakistan, targeting a woman for the alleged crimes of her family members is not uncommon. There are regular reports of feuds being settled through women being burned with acid, mutilated, raped or even killed.

Pakistan's penal code even has a specific law relating to stripping a woman and exposing her in public. It is punishable by life imprisonment or death.

"I want them punished, though it won't help me much," says Shahnaz Bibi.

"Before all this, I was poor but I had a respectable life, I was happy. But after something like this, my life is finished," she weeps.

"How can I go back to a village where every single person has seen me naked? I feel ashamed even to show my face to my own brothers and sisters."

BBC News - Horror story of Pakistani woman forced to parade naked

Friday, June 03, 2011

Albertina Sisulu

Mrs Sisulu rose to prominence in 1956 when she played a leading role in a mass protest against racism laws in the city of Pretoria, then the citadel of white power.

Her political career reached a peak in 1983 when she was elected co-president of the United Democratic Front, then the internal wing of the banned ANC.

The apartheid regime detained and put Mrs Sisulu under house arrest on numerous occasions, but she remained resolute in her commitment to the anti-apartheid struggle.

"She was very brave," Ms Tolashe told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

Working as a nurse in between her activism, Mrs Sisulu remained loyal to her husband, Walter, while he was jailed for nearly 30 years on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.

The twice-divorced Mr Mandela once recalled that the Sisulu couple shared a "generosity of spirit".

"Because they as a couple were totally giving of themselves, they have at all times been secure in their relationship," Mr Mandela said.

BBC News - Albertina Sisulu: South Africa loses a moral compass

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An interesting but predictable twist

With fewer women the "marriage market" has taken an interesting turn.

Usually, a bride's family pays a large dowry to the groom's family. But these days prospective grooms in areas short on women often need to have substantial amounts of land and a secure government job if they are to win a wife.

BBC News - India's 'imported' brides

Monday, May 23, 2011

Libya: 'Forced to rape in Misrata'

"We felt scared, but when we refused to rape, they started to beat us.

"There were four girls aged between about 20 and 24.

"They were conscious [during the rapes]. I raped one.

"The girls said nothing. They were tired and they were in bad shape because there were 20 officers before us.

"It happened in the morning, and lasted about an hour and a half.

"The officers brought in a music system and listened to pop music, and smoked and danced during the rapes.

"I'm not happy with what I did but I don't feel nervous or frightened now, and I want to emphasise that the officers forced us to rape.

"They told us that if you rape any girls, we will give you money and we got 10 dinars [$8, £5] each afterwards.

"This was my first time to have sex. I have four sisters at home."

BBC News - Libya: 'Forced to rape in Misrata'

Where are India's millions of missing girls?

"My mother-in-law taunted me for giving birth to girls. She said her son would divorce me if I didn't bear a son."
Kulwant still has vivid memories of the first abortion. "The baby was nearly five months old. She was beautiful. I miss her, and the others we killed," she says, breaking down, wiping away her tears.
Until her son was born, Kulwant's daily life consisted of beatings and abuse from her husband, mother-in-law and brother-in-law. Once, she says, they even attempted to set her on fire.
"They were angry. They didn't want girls in the family. They wanted boys so they could get fat dowries," she says.
India outlawed dowries in 1961, but the practice remains rampant and the value of dowries is constantly growing, affecting rich and poor alike.
Kulwant's husband died three years after the birth of their son. "It was the curse of the daughters we killed. That's why he died so young," she says.

BBC News - Where are India's millions of missing girls?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Najla Hariri

The 45-year-old says she was inspired by the protests taking place elsewhere in the Middle East.

"Enough is enough", she told the BBC as she drove around the city. "I have the right to [drive]."

BBC News - Saudi woman seeks to put women in the driving seat

Saturday, April 02, 2011

BBC: The Saudi women taking small steps for change

The on-going battles to bring about change for women in Saudi Arabia tend to be small ones but some are being won
Sue Lloyd-Roberts
BBC Newsnight

Before I flew to the Saudi capital Riyadh to make a film about the position of women in the kingdom, I met a Saudi woman studying in the UK who told me, "Saudi Arabia is the biggest women's prison in the world".

Read article and watch video here

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Heroine: Eman al-Obeidy

Published: March 26, 2011
A woman burst into the hotel housing the foreign press in Tripoli Saturday and fought off security forces as she told journalists that she had been raped and beaten by Qaddafi militia members.
“They say that we are all Libyans and we are one people,” said the woman, who gave her name as Eman al-Obeidy. “But look at what the Qaddafi men did to me.” She displayed a broad bruise on her face, a large scar on her upper thigh, several narrow and deep scratch marks lower on her leg, and marks that seemed to came from binding around her hands and feet.
She said she had been raped by 15 men. “I was tried up and they defecated and urinated on me.,” she said. “They violated my honor.”
She pleaded for friends she said were still in custody. “They are still there, they are still there,” she said. “As soon as I leave here they are going to take me to jail.”

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Amal and Minna

Yet side by side with the ugliest of humanity, you find the best. The two sisters stood their ground. They explained calmly to the mob why they favored democratic reform and listened patiently to the screams of the pro-Mubarak mob. When the women refused to be cowed, the men lost interest and began to move on — and the two women continued to walk to the center of Tahrir Square.

Read the rest of this column by Nicholas Kristov

Watching Thugs With Razors and Clubs at Tahrir Sq. -

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ask a Woman Who Knows - Ta-Nehisi Coates - Culture - The Atlantic


Take a moment to consider this. We live in a world where it's okay to badger brilliant and accomplished human beings—who presumably have many, many fascinating things to talk about relating to their lives' works—about marriage and childbirth simply because they have female reproductive organs.

I'm not trying to be flippant about this, because really, it's depressing. And even more depressing is the fact that women have to be gracious while answering, because these questions assume that marriage and babies are ever-present, important issues on every woman's mind. Again, it's little wonder that women are making such small inroads in Congress.

Read the entire article (with videos) here:
Ask a Woman Who Knows

Saturday, January 01, 2011

15 Good Things to Celebrate in a Bad Year - Including 3 Inspirational Women

15 Good Things to Celebrate in a Bad Year

This year was marked by turmoil at home and abroad, including a deepening financial crisis that continues to leave millions jobless and homeless, as well as ongoing and expanding wars. But despite the setbacks and disappointments, here is a list of victories to be thankful for, starting with three inspirational women.

1. On November 13, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest. In 1990 her party, the National League for Democracy, won the elections but the military junta refused to let them take power. Instead, Suu Kyi was kept under house arrest for almost 15 of the last 21 years. Her release brings great joy and hope to millions of people in Burma and supporters of democracy worldwide.

2. Dilma Rousseff was elected president of Brazil and takes power on January 1. Dubbed by the media "the most powerful woman in the world," Rousseff was tortured and jailed for three years for opposing Brazil's military dictatorship. She later became Chief of Staff for the popular outgoing president and former metalworker, Lula da Silva, whose policies of growth with equity have helped pull millions of Brazilians out of poverty. While some worry about Rousseff's commitment to the environment (she was also Lula's Energy Minister), the fact that a progressive woman from the Labor Party will rule a powerhouse like Brazil is cause for celebration.

3. Elizabeth Warren became "consumer czar." After the financial meltdown in 2008, Warren was appointed Chairwoman of the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel created to investigate the banking bailout and oversee TARP. She won tremendous public support by sharply criticizing the banks and calling for greater transparency and accountability. Warren advocated for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect borrowers from abuses in mortgages, credit cards and other consumer loans. On September 17 President Obama named her special adviser by to oversee the development of this new bureau.

Read article in full:
15 Good Things to Celebrate in a Bad Year |