Gender-based Violence in Conflict
Sexual Violence in Conflict: Drawing a Line
The Economist (June 14, 2014)
This past week, William Hague and Angelina Jolie co-hosted the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict working to get rid of this gross human rights abuse. In this article, readers learn about some of the laws in place (as well as gaps in these laws) concerning sexual violence, and work as well as challenges that NGOs face when combating this crime, particularly in refugee camps. It provides conditions needed to end sexual violence in conflict; specifically, beginning with it being made illegal everywhere, yet this itself is a challenge difficult to enforce.
War rape summit to begin in London
BBC News (June 10, 2014)
A four-day summit on sexual violence in war is to begin in London, the culmination of a two-year campaign to raise awareness. This summit is co-hosted by Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague. It aims to change attitudes towards rape in conflict, work to strengthen laws enabling prosecution of rapists, and through efforts in many other avenues to combat rape. Countries from across the world are taking a part in this conference, and to work towards ending this horrific weapon of war.
What I would tell Angelina
BBC News (June 12, 2014)
With the culmination of the summit on sexual violence in conflict, the BBC reports on messages from rape victims in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan for what they wanted out of the conference. This article documents many women’s stories and their goals to end this brutal practice, such as “making rape a war crime” and having international support.
On World Refugee Day, Lets Commit To Make the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Conflict a Priority
Sarah Costa, The Huffington Post (June 19, 2014)
June 19th marks World Refugee Day; in this article, Sarah Costa, the Executive Director of Women’s Refugee Commission, discusses the crisis that displaced women and refugees face. She highlights the encouraging “new protocol that emerged from the London summit on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict” yet emphasizes that although this is good progress, there is still a long way to go towards actually preventing gender based violence in conflict. She urges the international community to prioritize strategies to end this violence against women and lists viable next steps of action.
Gender-based Violence in Society
The Surprising Truth about Women and Violence
Cathy Young, Time (June 25, 2014)
Author Cathy Young discusses domestic violence instigated by women, an often hushed topic that leads to outcry from many feminists and women. However, Young argues that is is a much needed topic of conversation, for it is a prevalent crime in our society. She emphasizes that since women wish to be treated equally to men, it is important that stereotypes of female weakness are obliterated and that society recognizes women’s dark side as well.
Informal Work in Tunisia: A factor to be included in strategies addressing gender based violence
Megane Ghorbani, AWID (June 20, 2014)
AWID takes a look at the informal workforce in Tunisia, a country where "unprotected employment" in the "absence of social protection" makes up 54% of all jobs. This informal work leads to intense systematic discrimination against women and results in sexual violence against women who lack rights. Many organizations in Tunisia are working to combat this violence, and this article looks at some of these organizations and their allies, as well as the gaps and challenges they face.
Viewpoint: Stop denying caste and gender violence [Opinion piece]
Nilanjana S Roy, BBC News (June 11, 2014)
After the recent rape and subsequent hanging of two young girls in Badaun, an outpouring of public anger has emerged across India against gender and caste violence. Writer Nilanjana S Roy discusses why India needs to end denial about caste and gender wars, for this case is far from isolated. Indeed, it highlights discrimination and violence in Indian society. Yet, as Roy argues, these crimes are viewed by some Indians as "normal," often leading to under-reporting of crimes and lack of outcry. It is time for this to change.
Law & Human Rights
Another Factor Said to Sway Judges to Rule for Women’s Rights: A Daughter
Adam Liptak, The New York Times (June 16, 2014)
This article highlights a recent Harvard study looking at the effect having daughters has on judges’ rulings for women’s rights. The study found that judges with daughters are more likely to vote in favor of women’s rights than ones with sons. This effect is most “pronounced” in male judges appointed by Republican presidents, and highlights the importance of “personal experience” on judges’ decisions.
She the People’s Guide to the International Women’s Rights Treaty you have never heard of
Jackie Kucinich, The Washington Post (June 25 2014)
This article provides a guide to CEDAW (the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), an international treaty that outlines and protects women’s rights. Despite its international acceptance by 187 countries, the United States is yet to ratify the treaty. This inaction upsets many Americans, particularly females in government. This article discusses reasons why CEDAW is yet to be ratified, as well as next steps towards ratifying this treaty.
Culture, Society & Human Rights
Meriam Ibrahim: Sudanese Woman freed from apostasy death sentence is re-arrested at airport… and then released again
Mohamed Osman, The Independent (June 24, 2014)
Mariam Yahya Ibraham, the Sudanese women who was sentenced to death for marrying a Christian earlier this year, was freed from her sentence in an “unprecedented” international outcry. However, after leaving for the United States, she was once again briefly re-arrested by the Sudanese government due to issues over her travel documents. Fortunately, she was released again and is at last freed.
Somali militants impose dress code
BBC News (June 13, 2014)
Somalia's al-Shabab militants, a group dedicated to the Wahhabi version of Islam, rounded up around 100 women in a market due their lack of compliance with a strict Islamic dress code. Since it was their first offense, the women were not punished; however, if caught again, the women could be whipped. The women were ordered to wear a niqab covering their body and face albeit the hot summer temperatures.
Nigeria: extremists have abducted 91 more people, witnesses say
The Guardian (June 24, 2014)
Extremists in Nigeria have abducted 91 more people following the kidnapping over more than 200 schoolgirls three months ago that have yet to be freed. These 91 people consist of 60 girls and women as well as 31 boys. This kidnapping highlights the horrific presence that Boko Haram has on the nation as well as the stalled international efforts to “Bring Back Our Girls” and lessen Boko Haram’s hold on the nation.
Socorristas En Red - Socorro Rosa: A Feminist Practice For the Right to Choose in Argentina
Gabby De Cicco, AWID (June 13, 2014)
Socorristas en Red (feminists involved in abortions) is an Argentinian feminist collective providing information and counseling to women who opt to having an abortion using Misoprostol, a drug allowing a woman to safely end her pregnancy during the first 12 weeks of conception. This is an important process in Argentina, where abortion is illegal except for special circumstances (such as rape), and even then it is often challenging to legally receive a safe abortion. Here, AWID interviews Dahiana Belifori, a member of Socorristas En red, about the importance of the organization and its role in Argentine society.
How the Bicycle Paved the Way for Women’s Rights
Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic (June 26, 2014)
This article looks at the impact of the bicycle on women’s rights and the public perception of the bicycle. After America became “obsessed” with the bicycle in the 1890s, women obtained transportation independence, their fashion became less restrictive for ankles became exposed, and images of women looking “strong” on her bicycle were featured in newspapers and magazines across the country.
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Violence Against Women
Indian minister criticises lax policing in gang-rape case
Jason Burke, The Guardian (May 30, 2014)
The rape of two girls and their consequent suicide in Katra, India has led the Indian government to pledge to set up a “rape crisis cell” to help women who have been sexually assaulted. Villagers across Katra protested the lack of police action, and their demonstrations have led to anger across the country for police laxity regarding violence against women. Rape is a huge problem in India: there is huge social stigma attached to rape, and violence is rising against women. A third of rape victims in the country are below the age of 18, clearly signaling a time for change and reform.
PHOTOS: In Some Places, This is What Happens When a Woman Turns Down a Marriage Proposal
Alexander Grove, Ryot
This compilation of shocking photos by photographer Emilio Morenatti documents the abuse that Pakistani women can receive when refusing to participate in arranged marriages. Morenatti published these photos with the aim of raising awareness about domestic violence as well as giving a voice to the victims of this abuse, who suffered from acid attacks.
Economic & Political Rights
When will women achieve gender equality in leadership at work?
D.G. McCullough, The Guardian (June 4, 2014)
This article discusses gender inequality in women's leadership in the workforce. In American and European companies, men hold over 80% of executive committee positions. One organization working to fix this imbalance is the global gender consulting firm 20-first, which believes corporate leaders, not just women themselves, should tackle the problem. The firm provides information and makes suggestions for improving this imbalance through steps such as manager education. The company recommends against the idea of “adapted women,” where women are asked to behave in a more masculine fashion. The CEO of 20-first says, "If companies want to balance, those in power must lead the change, reframe gender balance as a business not a women's issue."
Reclaiming the Commons for Gender and Economic Justice: Struggles and Movements in India
Ana Abelenda, AWID (June 6, 2014)
In India, women lack access to the “commons” which are natural as well as knowledge resources, culture, and heritage that are outside of the private domain that they are dependent on. This article argues that women that women need to work to reclaim these commons by recognizing their right to these resources and allowing them a process in deciding how to allocate these resources in order to get rid of gender inequality.
You Can’t Have it All: 40% of Women Professionals are “Hanging On By A Thread”
Cheryl Conner, Forbes (June 8, 2014)
A study by Megan Dalla Camina surveyed 1,000 American women professionals about their well-being. It found that 70% of women believe the concept of success at both home and work is a myth and are struggling to be both top professionals and run a household. However, the same is true for men who care for the home. Therefore, societies should think about the needs of today’s professionals and how to help them balance and organize the many facets of their lives.
What would a feminist Internet look like?
Rochelle Jones, AWID (May 30, 2014)
This past April, the Association for Progressive Communications held a global meeting on gender, sexuality, and the intent focusing on developing the understanding of what a feminist internet looks like. In this interview, AWID talks with a representative from APC about the symposium as well as their EROTICS project focusing on Sex, rights, and the internet. This research and work focuses on the concept of a “feminist internet” as well as getting rid of violations and human rights violations against women, misogyny, and sexism.
Engagement Féminin: Women, Education, and Contemporary Dance in West Africa
Emily Coates, Huffington Post (June 7, 2014)
Engagement Féminin is an initiative working to offer contemporary dance training to women across West Africa, a region of the world where dancing is primarily a male sport. Engagement Féminin is based in Burkina Faso, where women face many economic , social, and political challenges and discrimination. The article tells the story of Salimata Wologem, a member of Engagement Féminim and describes the author’s upcoming journey to Burkina Faso to help teach dance.
A roundup of stories related to women's health, development, law, culture and human rights from around the world.