PART 1: International media about the
atrocities against women worldwide
from March 1 untill April 25 2021
PART 2: International media about the
atrocities against women worldwide from April 26 untill April 12 2021
CLICK HERE ON HOW TO
When one hurts
or kills a women
one hurts or kills hummanity and is an antrocitie.
WELCOME TO PART 5 JULY 2021 OF GLOBAL
ATROCITIES AGAINST WOMEN
When one hurts or kills a women
one hurts or kills hummanity and is an antrocitie.
and: My mother (1931-1997) always said to me <Mi figlio, non esistono
notizie <vecchie> perche puoi imparare qualcosa da qualsiasi notizia.>
Translated: <My son, there is no such thing as so called 'old' news
because you can learn something from any news.>
WELCOME TO PART 5 OF INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY 2021 WHICH GOES ON THIS
PAGE WHERE I LEFT IN PART 4 JUNE 16 2021 BUT NOW CONTINUE JULY 31 untill
JUNE 30 2021.THANK YOU.
Associated Press in Taipei
31 Jul 2021
<<Pop star Kris Wu detained on suspicion of rape. Beijing police detain
the ex-boy band member after social media allegations of date rape.
Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu has been detained by Beijing police on
suspicion of rape.
The 30-year-old former member of the Korean boyband EXO had previously
been accused by a teenager of having sex with her while she was drunk.
Wu denied the accusation. The teenager said seven other women contacted
her to say Wu seduced them with promises of jobs and other
opportunities. She said some were under 18 but gave no indication
whether or not they were younger than China’s age of consent of 14.
A statement from police said that Wu had been <criminally detained> on
suspicion of rape <in response to relevant information reported on the
internet> including that he “repeatedly lured young women to have sexual
relations”. It gave no other details.
The news was trending as the most searched topic on social media site
Weibo on Saturday night, and some users online started commenting on
Wu’s account, telling him to <Get out of China!”>
Wu is a Canadian citizen, according to the police statement. He shot to
fame as a member of the K-pop boyband EXO, before leaving in 2014 to
launch a successful solo career as a singer, actor, model and variety
The official paper of the Chinese Communist party, the People’s Daily,
weighed in on the case, saying in a short opinion post online: <Having a
foreign nationality is not a protective talisman, and no matter how big
the name is, there is no immunity.>
The teenager publicised her accusations on social media and later in an
interview with internet portal NetEase. A day after that interview
appeared, at least 10 brands including Porsche and Louis Vuitton broke
off endorsement and other deals with Wu.
According to the interview, she thought she was meeting Wu for a career
opportunity. Instead, his staff forced her to drink. She said that, as
someone who did not go to bars, her alcohol tolerance was low and she
was drunk after two drinks. The next morning, she woke up in Wu’s bed,
where he was kind to her and promised to take care of her, she said.
The teenager said that was the beginning of what she had thought was
their relationship. In March, however, he stopped returning her
At first, she said she felt sorry for herself. But after she learned
that there were other women who had been treated similarly, she said she
felt there were others who were worse off.>>
Read more here:
July 29 2021
Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson and Maina Vai in Apia30
<<‘Women have not been able to hold these positions’: Samoa’s first
female PM gets down to the job. After months of political turmoil,
following the country’s most contentious election, Fiama Naomi Mata’afa
is ready to get to work.
The prime minister’s office in Apia, the capital of Samoa, which
overlooks the harbour, has just been vacated by the man who held the job
for 22 years.
The bookshelves are still empty, but the room is filled with bunches of
flowers, sent by well-wishers keen to congratulate the new incumbent.
This week, after the most contentious election in the Pacific country’s
history and three months of political turmoil and legal battles, Fiame
Naomi Mata’afa, the first woman to hold the country’s most senior role,
In her first in-person interview with foreign media, Fiame told the
Guardian there was <a lot of excitement> among women and girls after her
victory in the April election.
Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has been ruled by the court of appeal to be the
country’s new, and first female, prime minister. Samoa’s political
crisis ends and first female prime minister installed after court
<I was asked: ‘How important was it? Did I see my appointment as
something important for women and girls?’ I said: ‘Of course it is.’ In
the sense, if you see someone in that position, it makes it something
that can be done. So, you know, for a very long time, women have not
been able to hold these kinds of positions. So I’m very pleased then to
have been able to. I suppose it’s role modelling, that it can be done.>
The milestone is particularly significant in the Pacific, which has the
lowest rate of female representation in politics anywhere in the world,
with just 6% of all MPs being women regionally. Three countries in the
world have no women in parliament. All of them – Vanuatu, Papua New
Guinea and the Federated States of Micronesia – are in the Pacific.
Fiame is only the second woman to lead a Pacific Island country, after
Hilda Heine, former president of the Marshall Islands.
Asked which world leader she most admires, Fiame pointed to another
female leader. <I quite like the German lady: Merkel,> she said. <I
think she’s an excellent leader, she’s very focused, she conducts
herself, you know, is an ordinary citizen, she’s not one for pomp and
Read more here:
29 July 2021
<<‘Stop patronising me and give me an interview’: the female journalists
speaking up for India’s poor
India’s only all-women news organisation is the subject of an
award-winning documentary. The film-makers explain their inspiring
courage and energy.
A woman explains how a group of four men repeatedly broke into her house
and raped her; six times so far. Did she go to the police? Yes, but
officers refused to investigate. Instead, they threatened her and her
husband. <These men can do anything. They can even kill us,> the victim
says to the reporter, Meera, who is filming on her smartphone. As Meera
leaves, the woman’s husband tells her that she is their only hope. <We
don’t trust anyone except Khabar Lahariya.>
Khabar Lahariya is India’s only all-female news organisation. Based in
Uttar Pradesh, its journalists passionately believe in reporting rural
issues through a feminist lens.
After interviewing the rape victim, Meera walks to the police station
where the officer in charge squirms, feebly making excuses for inaction
on the case. Meera is filming him, so he can’t send her packing – like
his officers did the victim. This is grassroots journalism at its
finest: uncovering stories of discrimination and exposing abuses of
What makes Khabar Lahariya’s success even more stunning is that most of
its journalists – like many of the ordinary people whose stories they
report – are Dalits, the lowest status in India’s caste hierarchy. Their
situation is especially dire in rural areas such as this corner of Uttar
Pradesh, where the organisation opened in 2002. It began as a temporary
project funded by an NGO to train women in a village to write a
newsletter. The idea was that their voices were missing from mainstream
media; what might their stories look like if someone bothered to pay
attention? When funding ended, the organisation lived on.
Now, Khabar Lahariya is the subject of a documentary, Writing With Fire,
filmed over five years by the wife and husband team Rintu Thomas and
Sushmit Ghosh. Their film features upsetting interviews with victims of
violence, but it’s an inspiring portrait of a team of exceptionally
talented and committed women. The film-makers pitched up at the
organisation in 2016 as Meera and her colleagues began transitioning
from print to digital. The process was particularly difficult in a
newsroom where some staff members were semi-literate, and others had
never used a smartphone.
The film-makers were shocked by the caste discrimination they saw, says
Ghosh. <We have been making films across India for 12 years together,
but this was an eye-opener. You go into the interior heartlands, and you
realise how structured and organised the practice is.> What interested
them was seeing how the reporters, who are doubly discriminated against
– first as Dalits, then as women – took on systems of oppression. <Men
in positions of power are used to seeing Dalit women cleaning their
toilets. They’re not used to seeing them with mobile phones, challenging
them about accountability and governance. It stumps them,> he says with
a grin. The group’s most popular YouTube posts have 8m hits.>>
Read more here:
29 July 2021
Lorenzo Tondo in Montedoro
<<Lucia Mantione: murdered Sicilian girl finally given funeral after 66
Catholic church had denied 13-year-old girl sexually assaulted and
killed in 1955 a funeral due to arcane rule.
There had never been so many people at a funeral in the history of
Montedoro, a village suspended in time among wheat fields and abandoned
sulphur mines in central Sicily. Its 1,500 inhabitants had waited for
this moment for more than half a century, and on Wednesday gathered in
hundreds in solemn prayer in the village church around a small white
Inside were the remains of Lucia Mantione, a 13-year-old girl who was
sexually assaulted and murdered in 1955 and for whom the Catholic church
for 66 years, in its application of an arcane principle, had forbidden a
<This is the day of Lucia’s redemption and the redemption of Montedoro,>
said Rosa Alba, 73, who knew Lucia as a child and for years led the
battle to persuade the church to recognise its error and allow the
girl’s funeral in the village.
It was a cold afternoon on 6 January 1955 when Lucia, nicknamed Luciedda,
left her home to buy a box of matches. Not seeing her return, her mother
searched for her for hours, calling for her in the streets and the
<I remember that day like it was yesterday,> said Alba. <In a second,
everyone knew in town. ‘Lucia is missing,’ they cried. I was
Lucia never returned. Her body was found on 9 January in a farmhouse 1km
from Montedoro. The autopsy confirmed she had been strangled while
fighting off her assailant. That evening, her father, a sulphur miner,
knocked on the door of Don Vito Alfano, the parish priest of Montedoro,
to arrange Lucia’s funeral. The priest refused, citing a Catholic law
that forbade funerals for those who died a <violent death> >>.
Read more here:
Note from Gino d'Artali: I was born in Sicily two years after her murder
and lucky my mother and I was/am an atheist but the church 'buried' my
mother in a Western country in a mass grave of which I knew nothing
about because they did not inform me at the address I was living at at
<<Malta responsible for Daphne Caruana Galizia murder: Inquiry
Maltese government failed to recognise risks to journalist’s life and
take reasonable steps to avoid them, inquiry concludes.
An independent inquiry into the car bomb murder of Maltese investigative
journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has found the state responsible for
her killing because it had created a <culture of impunity>.
The inquiry’s 437-page report, published on Thursday, said officials had
failed to adequately protect Caruana Galizia from threats to her life
prior to her death in October 2017. Caruana Galizia was killed in a huge
explosion as she drove out of her home.
Prosecutors believe top businessman Yorgen Fenech, who had close ties
with senior government officials, masterminded the murder. Fenech, who
is awaiting trial for association to murder, denies all responsibility.
Three men suspected of setting off the bomb were arrested in December
2017. One has since pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain and is
serving a 15-year jail term. The other two are awaiting trial.
The self-confessed middleman has turned state witness and was granted a
‘Collapse in the rule of law’
The inquiry, conducted by one serving judge and two retired judges,
found that a culture of impunity was created by the highest echelons of
power within the government of the time.
<The tentacles of impunity then spread to other regulatory bodies and
the police, leading to a collapse in the rule of law,> said the panel’s
report, which was published by Prime Minister Robert Abela.
It said the state had failed to take reasonable steps to avoid real and
immediate risks to Caruana Galizia’s life. It was clear, the inquiry
board said, that the assassination was either intrinsically or directly
linked to Caruana Galizia’s investigative work.>>
Read more here:
and 3 more articles about the subject with links to it on the
28 July 2021
Sajda Mughal: The woman who survived 7/7 - quit her job and fights for a
Sajda Mughal was on her daily commute to her dream job in City
recruitment on the morning her world was turned upside down. It was a
July day in London, 16 years ago, one that throbbed with the summer
heat, and Mughal was running late for work. She ducked into Turnpike
Lane tube station in north London, as she usually did, and boarded the
Piccadilly Line train. The one thing she did differently that morning
was not getting into the first carriage of the train. <Every day until 6
July 2005, I would sit in that first carriage. Maybe it was a kind of
obsessive-compulsive disorder, or maybe I knew the first carriage was
where I’d get a seat. But, on that particular day, I was late, so I
rushed on to the platform and, instead of doing my usual thing, I just
This detail became all-important when, a few stops later, at King’s
Cross, the 7/7 bomber Germaine Lindsay got on to Mughal’s train,
boarding the first carriage, and blew himself up. <Twenty-six people
died, most of whom were in the first carriage,> she says.
For a while, surviving the bombing left Mughal, then 22, emotionally
incapacitated. She was signed off work, needed counselling and is still
unable to travel on public transport without feeling anxious. But
alongside the trauma, there was a profound – and audacious –
recalibration of her life choices.
Mughal is a Muslim with a strong religious ethos, and she was shaken to
the core when she discovered who had been responsible for the carnage
that day. <The fact that it was carried out by Muslim men was
incomprehensible to me. My first feeling was: ‘Why would you do that?
This is not what Islam teaches us.’ There was a level of anger there.>
There have been times when I have thought to myself: ‘Is this the place
for my two young British girls?’
But her experience on 7/7 also left her with a determination to make a
difference. She left recruitment, as much as it hurt to abandon the
career she loved, and took over the JAN Trust, a charity for black,
Asian and minority ethnic women and mothers. It provides support, advice
and counselling in Haringey, north London, and Mughal turned it into a
dynamic NGO. At the trust, she spearheaded campaigns to prevent
radicalisation in the UK and beyond, and raised community awareness of
extremism – first Islamist and then rightwing terror.
Today, at 39, she looks like a true survivor as she bounds out of her
taxi. Warm and ebullient (<I talk a lot and think a lot>), she is
married with two daughters and was awarded an OBE in 2015. But the
legacy of her trauma is there in the terrible detail with which she
remembers the day of the bombing.>>
Read more here:
By Sasha Borissenko
27 Jul 2021
<<New Zealand nurses mull new offer after strike over pay, hours
Bosses offer new deal after burned out and stressed nurses threaten
strike over increasing workload and low pay.
Wellington, New Zealand – In the 25 years Lisa* has been a healthcare
assistant, short-staffing has only got worse.
Her typical day involves changing a patient’s dirty linen, clearing
their rubbish, escorting them to and from the bathroom, helping them
with their exercises, and feeding, walking, and washing them.
<You can’t complete the patient care because there’s just not enough of
you,> Lisa told Al Jazeera. <It means you feel like you’re failing
people, and it’s not fair to them or us.>
Weary from years of trying to fit 10 hours of work into an eight-hour
shift, Lisa is one of more than 30,000 nurses, midwives, and healthcare
assistants working in New Zealand’s District Health Boards (DHBs) who
have been negotiating with the government for the last year to improve
pay and working conditions.
<It’s the workload we’re not happy with and it has to change,> she said.
<The number of patients is so big that it’s impossible to plan or to
keep up with demand.>
The last collective agreement – covering nurses, midwives, and health
care assistants working for DHBs – expired on July 31 last year. New
Zealand’s 20 DHBs fund and provide health services in the country.
In June, healthcare workers went on strike when employment talks between
the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) and DHBs broke down.
The union wants an increase of 17 percent to the total amount of money
paid on salaries, as well as for nurses to have sick leave when they
need it, and for consideration to be made for what they describe as an
unsafe working environment.
A subsequent offer was tabled and rejected in July, which led to a vote
for strike action on July 29, as well as in August, and September. The
government then revised the offer and the union has suspended its strike
plan while nurses consider the new proposal. Health Minister Andrew
Little says the union’s decision is a positive move.
<The offer] has been approved by a group of 120 nurse delegates for
circulation for ratification and it has led to the [union] withdrawing
their strike notices. That’s encouraging, but in the end, the decision
is in the hands of the nurse membership.>
Overwhelmed by work.
Jessica* is a registered nurse living in Hawke’s Bay. She loves nursing
– a job she says she would even do <for free> – but is rushed off her
feet every day by work she says is physically, emotionally, and mentally
Read more here:
July 27 2021
<<‘I felt violated by the demand to undress’: three Muslim women on
France’s hostility to the hijab
In France, a new law could seriously restrict women’s rights to wear
headscarves in public, and there are fears that it will entrench
Last October, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, laid out the vision
behind a new, deeply controversial bill. The government claimed a
minority of France’s estimated 6 million Muslims were at risk of forming
a <counter-society> and the bill was designed to tackle the dangers of
this <Islamist separatism>.
It is meant to safeguard republican values, but critics, including
Amnesty International, have raised serious concerns that it may inhibit
freedom of association and expression, and increase discrimination. The
new law, say critics, will severely affect the construction of mosques,
and give more discretion to local authorities to close local
associations deemed in conflict with <Republican principles>, a term
often wielded against Muslims specifically. But one of the most
controversial points is extending the ban on women wearing headscarves
in public sector roles, to private organisations that provide a public
service. Further amendments were tabled prohibiting full-length
swimsuits (“burkinis”), girls under 18 from wearing the hijab in public,
and mothers from wearing hijabs on their children’s school trips. These
were subsequently overturned, but the stigma they legitimise lives on.
This month, the EU court of justice said that EU companies can, under
certain conditions, ban employees from wearing a headscarf. While
Macron’s government has been at pains to insist the new law isn’t aimed
at any particular religion, many Muslims fear exactly that.
<We are seeing a justification of a breach of freedom and fundamental
rights in the name of security – a weaponisation of secularism,> says
the French legal scholar Rim-Sarah Alouane. <It’s a deformed legal
monster, which aims not only to contain Muslims but to erase them from
the public sphere.>>
Read more here:
26 July 2021
<<Al Jazeera condemns raid on its office by Tunisian forces
Al Jazeera Media Network dubs closure of its office in Tunis a
‘troubling escalation’ that will impede coverage of events in the
Here’s the full statement by the Qatar-based Network:
Tunisian security forces raided Al Jazeera Media Network’s office in
Tunis and expelled all journalists. At least 10 security personnel
barged into the office without warrants, confiscated keys to the office
and did not allow journalists back into the building to retrieve their
The security personnel did not explain why the office had been raided,
merely saying they were following orders.
Al Jazeera considers this action by the Tunisian authorities as a
troubling escalation and fears it will impede fair and objective
coverage of unfolding events in the country. Al Jazeera calls on the
Tunisian authorities to allow its journalists to operate unhindered and
be allowed to practice their profession without fear or intimidation.
The Network values the solidarity of human rights and media
organisations for their condemnation of these actions against Al
Jazeera’s bureau in Tunisia.
In a world in which the media and journalists face increasing threats,
Al Jazeera views this as an attack on press freedom as a whole.>>
Watch a video Al Jazeera made here:
July 26 2021
<<The authority gap: why women still aren’t taken seriously.
When journalist Mary Ann Sieghart set out to document the ways that
women are held back by a cultural presumption of their inferiority, she
found reams of data to support her case – and heard stories of how it
affects even the most successful women in the world. She explains why
the authority gap persists, and asks what we can do about it.
From the very beginning of her career as a journalist in the 1980s, Mary
Ann Sieghart found herself pushing against a set of assumptions which
accorded her less authority than her male peers – and and led to her
being viewed as bigheaded if she showed the same ambition and confidence
as they did. When she came to write a book about how experiences such as
hers still shape women’s lives, she found a huge range of empirical
evidence that confirmed the existence of those prejudices. And when she
asked some of the most accomplished women in the world – from Bernardine
Evaristo to Hillary Clinton – she learned that they had all experienced
the same <authority gap>, no matter how remarkable their CVs.
Sieghart speaks to Rachel Humphreys about why the authority gap remains
a pervasive phenomenon, and what tactics women can use to try to
circumvent it. We also hear excerpts from some of Sieghart’s interviews,
featuring examples of the problem perpetrated by everyone from literary
prize judges to restaurant staff to ... the pope.>>
Read/see and listen to more here:
July 26 2021
<<Tunisia police storm Al Jazeera office in Tunis
Security forces involved in the raid said they were carrying out
instructions and asked all journalists to leave.
Tunisian police has stormed Al Jazeera’s bureau in the capital Tunis,
expelling all the staff, after President Kais Saied late on Sunday
ousted the government in a move his foes called a coup. At least 20
plain-clothed police officers entered the office on Monday, Al Jazeera
journalists in Tunis reported, saying the officers did not have warrants
for the raid.
<We did not receive any prior notice of the eviction of our office by
the security forces,> Lotfi Hajji, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Tunisia,
Security forces involved in the raid said they were carrying out
instructions from the country’s judiciary and asked all journalists to
Reporters said they were ordered by security officers to turn off their
phones and were not allowed back into the building to retrieve their
personal belongs. The officers confiscated the keys to the office.
Al Jazeera said it views the raid as <an attack on press freedom> in a
statement published later on Monday.
<Al Jazeera considers this action by the Tunisian authorities as a
troubling escalation and fears it will impede fair and objective
coverage of unfolding events in the country,> the network said.
<Al Jazeera calls on the Tunisian authorities to allow its journalists
to operate unhindered and be allowed to practice their profession
without fear or intimidation.
<The Network values the solidarity of human rights and media
organisations for their condemnation of these actions against Al
Jazeera’s bureau in Tunisia.
<In a world in which the media and journalists face increasing threats,
Al Jazeera views this as an attack on press freedom as a whole.> >>
Read more here:
<<Meet Julie K Brown, the woman who brought down Jeffrey Epstein.
It was by focusing on his silenced victims, says the dogged Miami Herald
reporter, that she was able to help bring the billionaire sex offender
to justice after police and prosecutors had failed.
has observed, <is one of the few places left in America where you can
still drive around in a Rolls-Royce convertible and not get laughed at.>
It’s an unironic island, filled with the super-rich and famous, plastic
surgeons and, of course, the former US president, Donald Trump, who
holds court at his ostentatious Mar-a-Lago resort.
A satellite of Miami, the island prides itself on its many flamboyant
charity balls, but no amount of good-cause fundraising can remove the
whiff of corruption that hangs heavy in the subtropical air. If money
talks in most places, in Palm Beach it speaks with a confident authority
that’s seldom questioned. Never has that understanding been more
egregiously demonstrated than in the case of the inscrutable financier
and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In 2008 Epstein was sent to prison, having pleaded guilty to the charge
of procuring for prostitution a girl below the age of 18. It was the
culmination of a three-year investigation, involving first state and
then federal authorities. The local police had uncovered evidence that
Epstein had sexually coerced and abused scores of young women and girls,
some as young as 13 or 14. There were also a number of testaments to
But all throughout the prosecution seemed reluctant to take Epstein to
court and the police were always one step behind their target. For a
start, Epstein appeared to be tipped off that he was going to be
arrested. When the police arrived at his Palm Beach mansion, six
computer hard drives had been removed, along with video recordings from
his internal closed circuit system. The police were never able to gain
access to this potential evidence.
Florida is notorious for its harsh prison system and lengthy sentencing.
Someone accused of Epstein’s alleged crimes might have been looking at
20 years in a gang-dominated penitentiary. Instead he received an
18-month sentence, of which he served less than 13 months in a private
wing of the county jail. He was granted immunity for himself and four
assistants for any related charges, was awarded daily work release, in
which he was driven to his office by his own driver, and at night he was
allowed to sleep with his jail door open. He also had access to another
room where a television had been installed for him.
How did he get off so lightly? And how was he able to return to his
gilded world of billionaire friends and celebrity playmates without any
real stigma attached to his name? These were the questions that Julie
Brown, an overworked and underpaid investigative journalist at the Miami
Herald, kept asking herself towards the end of 2016.
<I wanted to do a story on sex trafficking,> she recalls on a Zoom call
from New York, <but every time I googled Florida and sex trafficking, a
story about Jeffrey Epstein came up.>
As she delved deeper, she realised just how far the authorities had bent
over backwards to accommodate Epstein and his battery of well-paid
lawyers. Although they seemingly had enough evidence to support his
prosecution for much more serious crimes, they offered him a <sweetheart
deal> on a relatively minor charge. Brown’s intrepid work led to a
three-part Herald series in 2018 on Epstein that would encourage federal
authorities to reopen the investigation and to arrest the financier.
As the world knows, in August 2019 Epstein would die in the grim
Metropolitan Correctional Center prison in New York – whether from his
own hand or another’s remains the subject of much speculation – and
eventually his former girlfriend and social aide, Ghislaine Maxwell,
would be tracked down to her New Hampshire hideout and charged with
Read more here:
23 July 2021
<<The scale of violence against women demands a better response than
This is a pivotal moment, and it will take much more than the Home
Office’s proposals to bring about lasting change. After the shocking
murders of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman and many other
women in the past year, the government has finally published its latest
strategy to prevent violence against women and girls. We’ve had similar
strategies in place in England since 2009, but the latest one has been
delayed by over a year. It comes at a pivotal moment, in which the
shared experiences of being a woman or girl – of being followed,
harassed, assaulted and having freedoms curtailed because of the threat
of men’s violence – has led to outpourings of anger and protests on the
The Home Office’s public call for evidence to inform its new strategy
drew more than 180,000 responses, the vast majority after it reopened
following Everard’s murder. It comes after last month’s government rape
review, which carried an apology for the shamefully low rates of
prosecutions, and the release of an Ofsted review that found that sexual
harassment has become normalised in schools and colleges.
With so much riding on getting the response to violence against women
and girls in all its forms right, the strategy is a significant
milestone and an opportunity to coordinate decisive action from all
parts of the state. Across policing, education, health and transport,
we’ve seen a raft of measures announced.
However, when it comes to the crucial issue of gender inequality and how
it intersects with other disadvantages and impacts on Black, minority
ethnic, migrant, disabled and LGBT survivors of abuse, the strategy
falls disappointingly short – and meaningful funding for specialist
women’s services is largely absent.
It is good to see a call for radical change that reflects the
seriousness and scale of violence against women and girls. A proposed
public campaign to raise awareness, targeted at challenging the
behaviour of perpetrators, could move us towards addressing the misogyny
and gender stereotypes that underpin male violence against women. It
will be essential for government to work closely with specialist women’s
organisations to achieve this.
Additional support for teachers to deliver compulsory relationship and
sex education is much needed. And for the government to properly
implement the Ofsted recommendations on sexual harassment there needs to
be, as a minimum, dedicated funding for teacher training.>>
Read more here:
July 23 2021
By Faras Ghani
<<Tokyo 2020: Nigara Shaheen on her journey to Refugee Olympic Team
Shaheen, who was born in Afghanistan but grew up in Pakistan, will be
part of the Refugee Olympic Team at Tokyo 2020.
Nigara Shaheen was born in Afghanistan but moved to Pakistan when she
was just six months old. Her family, based in Jalalabad, fled the war in
Afghanistan, walking for two days and two nights in 1993 to cross the
border into Pakistan.
Eighteen years later, Shaheen decided to study at the American
University of Afghanistan in Kabul and set foot in the country for the
first time since then.
On July 28 this year, Shaheen will make her Olympics debut at the
women’s judo event, representing the Refugee Olympic Team at the delayed
Her dream of being an Olympian was nearly shattered earlier this month
after a team official tested positive for coronavirus while the squad
was training in Qatar’s capital, Doha. <It was hard,> Shaheen told Al
Jazeera. <At one point, we thought we might lose the chance to compete
[at the Games and be a voice to all the refugees. But we overcame it
together as a family.>
Al Jazeera: What was your reaction when you found out that you will be
going to the Olympics?
Shaheen: I always dreamt of competing at the Olympics and I was very
committed to achieving my dream but there were times that I thought I
will never be able to achieve it, especially during my time in Russia
[for a Master’s degree] while all the judo clubs were shut due to
But I remember the day when the Refugee Olympics Team was announced, it
took me almost a day to actually digest the fact that I was selected.
Al Jazeera: What obstacles have you faced in your journey to where you
Shaheen: I’ve been harassed and bullied a lot. In Peshawar (northwest
Pakistan where Shaheen and her family live as refugees) and Kabul, we
were scared and worried for our security. I’ve been targeted and
received God knows how many threats on social media. There are Facebook
pages created in my name posting stuff about me.
In Russia, I felt I was not welcomed into the society. I travelled there
thinking I will be supported to train in judo but didn’t get the support
I was expecting. While in Doha, Al Jazeera spoke to Shaheen about being
an Olympian, her love for judo and the obstacles faced on the way to
being where she is today. It’s been hard. But all those things have made
me stronger. It was rough but if it wasn’t for all those things, I
wouldn’t be where I am today.
Al Jazeera: How has the support at home been?
Shaheen: I’ve been really lucky to have the immense support of my
family. I’ve been attacked so many times on the way to training with my
family but grateful because my parents knew my passion and always
motivated me and were beside me no matter what.
Al Jazeera: How was it growing up in Pakistan?
Shaheen: When you’re a refugee in another country and very young, you
feel you’re not so much integrated into society. As a kid growing up in
Pakistan, I had a lot of anxiety and life was rougher than other kids
around me. But sport really was a safe haven for me not just for my
mental health but also for giving me the opportunity to integrate into
society. Judo will forever be my love.
The article goes on but I want to quote one more thing from it:
Al Jazeera: By being there at the Olympics, what message are you able to
give young Afghan girls?
Shaheen: My presence itself should give hope to all young Afghan girls
that are dreaming of the Olympics. I have faced all the obstacles they
are facing. But If I can do it, so can they. It is hard but nothing is
out of the human capacity.
Find what you’re really passionate about and follow it no matter what.>>
Read more here:
22 July 2021
<<Women in UK Covid hotel quarantine will have female guards where
Decision comes after claims of sexual harassment by G4S security staff
Women quarantining in UK hotels will have female guards wherever
possible, the government has said, after several claims of sexual
harassment by members of security staff.
The announcement comes after Labour demanded ministers take action over
four women’s claims, reported by the BBC, that they were harassed by
guards working for the outsourcing firm G4S during their stays in Covid
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced the changes to
the system on Thursday. However, G4S has made clear it does not have
enough female security guards to carry out the job, meaning two male
guards would need to work together in a chaperoning system in some cases
where women are staying alone.
This has prompted criticism from one woman who complained of harassment
while quarantining. Sarah, 23, a medical student from Manchester, told
BBC News: <Personally I would find two male guards more intimidating
than just one lone guard. A group of male guards were talking about me
when they clearly saw one male guard was being inappropriate with me. I
don’t think it ensures the safety of women, rather it increases possible
Concern was expressed after the reports surfaced in late June. According
to BBC News, the four women said guards mimed having sex while they were
alone in a lift, and asked for hugs and selfies.
They also said security guards had asked them whether they were married
and travelling alone, and followed them closely while they exercised,
and one guard had stationed himself outside a bedroom, despite another
guard being on duty there.
At the time the shadow home secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, said: <These
are extremely concerning allegations. No one should face intimidation or
sexual harassment – the government must urgently look into this issue
with G4S and establish what has happened to make sure it never happens
<Managed quarantine is one of the tools to help secure our borders, but
travellers must be safe and not in fear of those who are supposed to be
looking after them. We expect all parties to properly assist in any
Read more here:
July 22 2021
Contributing editor at Jacobin Magazine.
<<Siglo XXI: My 24 hours in Mexico’s 21st-century migrant prison
I got to experience first-hand the fallout of US border militarisation
On July 11, I found myself imprisoned at Mexico’s infamous Siglo XXI
<migration station> in Tapachula – a city in the state of Chiapas near
the border with Guatemala – which specialises in detaining US-bound
migrants from Central America and beyond.
Mine was a curious predicament, to say the least, for a citizen of the
United States, exempt as we usually are from the fallout of border
militarisation policies that make the world safe for US imperialism.
I had come to Tapachula for four days to write about migrants. When I
attempted to board my return flight to Mexico City, I was apprehended
for visa irregularities of my own and loaded into a van bound for Siglo
XXI, which means <21st century> in Spanish.
According to the Associated Press, the detention centre is said to be
the largest in Latin America, and is a <secretive place off-limits to
public scrutiny where … journalists aren’t allowed>.
The initial semi-enthusiasm I felt at the prospect of my impending
exclusive view of the mechanics of the US-dictated migrant detention
regime quickly began to dissipate, however, when I was informed that I
would likely be deported to the homeland – which I had abandoned 18
years earlier on account of its general creepiness and adverse effects
on my mental health.
Upon arrival at the facility, I was systematically relieved of all
possessions minus a change of underwear, a clean shirt, a bag of
cranberries, and a smattering of toiletries and other items.
A female immigration officer barked menacing orders to turn off my
mobile phone and remove my bracelets, earrings, and the laces from my
tennis shoes. When I broke down in tears and begged her to pretend to be
human for a second, she assured me that this was all for my own
“security” – although her tone did soften when she inquired after the
gigabyte capacity of my decrepit iPod.
Then my pen was forcibly taken away, as well, and I was admitted to the
innards of the damp and teeming detention centre, where the sense of
suffocating claustrophobia was hardly helped by a near-total lack of
face masks among the detainees despite ubiquitous coughing and other
indications of malaise.
For those who were not already sick, illness-inducing meals were
provided three times a day, requiring all detainees to first line up to
wait to sign their names on a list before lining up to wait to receive
the meal – such being the nature of arbitrary and bureaucratic power,
with its need to exert order over dehumanised bodies.
To be sure, waiting is the primary activity of the approximation of life
that occurs within the walls of Siglo XXI. In addition to the often
seemingly interminable wait for liberation – I met women who had already
been interned one month in the facility – there is also the
waiting-within-waiting: for food, phone calls, toilet paper, showers.
In the morning, there is the wait for the decision for the door to be
unlocked to the flea-infested prison yard, the highlights of which
include a mango tree, a sports court with a single deflated ball, and
perennial police surveillance from beyond the towering fence.
Answers to mundane and existential questions alike – <When can I have a
book to read?>, <When will I know if I am being deported or will be
granted asylum in Mexico?> – are never forthcoming, as immigration
officials tend to prefer either the noncommittal <más tarde> (later) or
the even simpler shrug.
And for women who have just endured perilous journeys after escaping
hazardous conditions in their own countries – all with the hope of
eventually making it to perceived safety in the US – the psychological
torture of being condemned to indefinite and criminalised limbo is not
necessarily conducive to a desire for self-preservation.
In other words, I now understand why they confiscate shoelaces.>>
Read more here:
21 July 2021
By Emily Fishbein and Nu Nu Lusan
<<Myanmar women give birth in jungle as military lies in wait.
Heavily pregnant women displaced by fighting risk their lives to give
birth after being forced from their homes in escalating conflict.
On a stormy night in June, Rosemary lay in the darkness of her home in a
deserted village in Myanmar’s Mindat township, gripped by labour
contractions as Mai Nightingale, a 25-year-old midwife, tried to stifle
<Only the two of us were left alone in the village. We closed all the
doors and windows of the house and stayed quietly inside,> said Mai
Nightingale. <When she felt pain, I put a blanket in her mouth because
we feared that soldiers might hear her.> Like others interviewed for
this article, Al Jazeera has used pseudonyms for Mai Nightingale and
Rosemary for their safety.
Rosemary’s contractions had begun the previous night, but with soldiers
approaching her village in southern Chin State, she and the other
villagers fled into the forest. But there was no proper shelter from the
unrelenting rain, so Rosemary and Mai Nightingale decided to take the
risk of encountering soldiers and return the next morning.
<The situation didn’t favour delivering a baby,> said Mai Nightingale.
<We saw Burmese soldiers walking towards our village but we couldn’t
turn back because [Rosemary] was already exhausted.>
Rosemary’s husband did not dare accompany her for fear that, if seen,
soldiers would mistake him for a member of a local armed group. Since a
February 1 military coup, civilian defence forces, armed largely with
hunting rifles and homemade weapons, have sprung up across the country
to fight against the regime, and Mindat has been a hotspot of resistance
In line with tactics the military has used for decades to quash an armed
rebellion and terrorise the people, soldiers launched disproportionate
attacks on Mindat including firing artillery, rocket-propelled grenades
and machineguns into residential areas while imposing martial law,
causing the town to empty, according to local media reports. Young men
are particularly likely to be targeted.>>
Read more here:
July 21 2021
By Robyn Huang and Matt Reichel
<<‘Journalism is sacred work’: Afghanistan’s front line reporters.
Afghanistan ranks as one of the world’s worst countries for journalism.
Yet despite targeted killings and an uncertain future, reporters are not
turning away from the profession.
Kabul, Afghanistan – It was about 8am on a Monday morning in April 2018
when Bushra Seddique felt the multi-storey apartment building she was
living in with her family in Kabul’s Shash Darak district shake. Smoke
billowed from the street below.
She barely had time to process what was happening as her father rushed
the family out of the house, past the injured and the dead, but she
remembers seeing journalists running, cameras in hand, towards the scene
of the explosion.
Half an hour later, a second explosion went off; nine reporters who had
arrived at the initial blast site were killed.
It was the first time Seddique, who is now 21, had witnessed the dangers
Afghan journalists face. <It was traumatic, but inspiring to see their
bravery and commitment,> she says.
At the time Seddique was in the second year of her journalism programme
at Kabul University. She has now graduated and is embarking on her
career with a mixture of determination and trepidation.
<Over the last few years, we have lost many journalists to bombings and
targeted killings, and this is tragic and scary,> she explains. <It’s
disappointing for me and anyone trying to grow their experience as a
<But I still want to continue,> she adds. <By choosing to pursue
journalism, I already accepted the barriers and difficulties of working
in this field in this country.>
Seddique understands why, despite the inherent dangers, Afghan
journalists continue to pursue this career. She wants the world to see
Afghanistan as more than just a conflict zone and hopes, through her
journalism, to offer an alternative to the typical portrayals of her
country in Western media.
<Afghanistan has so much ancient history and a vast wealth of culture. I
want to tell untold stories of ordinary people,> she says.
<I believe that journalism is not just a job or subject,> she adds,
emphatically. <Pursuing journalism is a desire for change and to help.>
Read more here:
July 20 2021
<<Ecuador at critical crossroads in push for abortion rights
In the largely conservative nation, women can be sentenced to up to two
years in prison for having an abortion.
Ana Cristina Vera could tell countless stories of women she has helped
extricate from the jaws of Ecuador’s severe anti-abortion laws, but the
lawyer and feminist organiser always starts with one: Carla’s.
In 2014, on her way to work in the city of Esmeraldes, Carla – a name
Vera, her lawyer, uses to protect her identity – fell down a set of
stairs. She picked herself up, only to later discover that she was
bleeding. She assumed it was her period, which was two weeks late, and
got medication from a friend for the pain, Vera told Al Jazeera.
But days later, when Carla went to a hospital still in pain and with a
fever, a doctor called the police upon hearing what had happened. <she
told them she didn’t even know she was pregnant, but the police kept
pressuring her and pressuring her,> said Vera.
Carla was eventually imprisoned, accused of taking misoprostol, a drug
used to induce a medical abortion. She was charged with an abortion and
spent four months in pretrial custody until Surkuna, a feminist
collective in Ecuador that provides legal aid to women, found out about
her case and sought her release.
The charge was eventually thrown out due to lack of evidence, said Vera.
<This is the constant: women who are poor, who are looking for help, and
who come up against a health and judicial system that is completely
machista (<male chauvinist>) and discriminatory,> said Vera, who is also
executive director of Surkuna.
Ban on abortion.
Carla’s story mirrors many contained in a report released last week by
Human Rights Watch (HRW) that exposes the effect of Ecuador’s abortion
ban, one of the harshest in Latin America.
<The criminalisation of abortion has a devastating impact on the lives
and health of women and girls,> said Ximena Casas, Americas researcher
for HRW and author of the report.
As has been seen in many other countries where abortion is illegal,
outlawing the termination of a pregnancy does not stop it from
occurring, said Casas. Rather, it makes it more dangerous, primarily for
women who are low income and live in rural regions.
In Ecuador, the procedure is only permitted in cases where the life or
health of the mother is at risk or if the pregnancy is the result of
rape. The latter exemption came after the Constitutional Court in April
decriminalised abortion in all instances of rape, a decision that was
heralded as historic in a country where seven girls under the age of 14
become mothers every day, according to HRW.
But a woman found guilty of an illegal abortion still could be sentenced
to six months to two years in jail in Ecuador, a conservative and
predominantly Catholic country.>>
Read more here:
July 19 2021
<<Survivors of California’s forced sterilizations: ‘It’s like my life
wasn’t worth anything’
A new reparations program will compensate survivors of prison system
sterilizations and the 20th century eugenics campaign.
It wasn’t until years after Kelli Dillon went into surgery while
incarcerated in the California state prison system that she realized her
reproductive capacity had been stripped away without her knowledge.
In 2001, at the age of 24, she became one of the most recent victims in
a history of forced sterilizations in California that stretches back to
1909 and served as an inspiration for Nazi Germany’s eugenics program.
But now, under new provisions signed into California’s budget this week,
the state will offer reparations for the thousands of people who were
sterilized in California institutions, without adequate consent, often
because they were deemed <criminal>, <feeble-minded> or <deviant>.
The program will be the first in the nation to provide compensation to
modern-day survivors of prison system sterilizations, like Dillon, whose
attorney obtained medical records to show that, while she was an inmate
in the Central California women’s facility in Chowchilla, surgeons had
removed her ovaries during what was supposed to be an operation to take
a biopsy and remove a cyst.
The investigations sparked by her case, which is featured in the
documentary Belly of the Beast, showed hundreds of inmates had been
sterilized in prisons without proper consent as late as 2010, even
though the practice was by then illegal.>>
Read more here:
July 18 2021
<<Meghan, good luck with your feminist show but can I offer some tips?
The Duchess of Sussex is working on a Netflix series about notable
women. Here are some traps to avoid.
Still smarting from its reckoning in 2018, Hollywood’s new politics is
starting to seep out in its products. We have had a slew of feminist
films and TV series and, in particular, feminism set in the past: The
Favourite, The Queen’s Gambit, Little Women, Mary Queen of Scots. Last
week, the Duchess of Sussex announced she would be <celebrating
extraordinary women throughout history> with her own Netflix series –
about the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who meets notable women from
before her time.
This is of course all very welcome, yet why do so few of these titles
read as feminist? Instead, turning historical events into contemporary
liberal parables often seems to result in something rather unsatisfying
– even unfeminist. Here are some classic pitfalls for Meghan to watch
Dramas that set out to “celebrate extraordinary women” all tend to fall
at the same hurdle. Eager perhaps to champion their protagonist, they
can end up with the unintentional thesis that all it really takes to
topple the patriarchy is one determined woman who reckons she is the
equal of men. (Which rather invites the question: why didn’t any other
women think of that?)>>
Read more here:
July 18 2021
<<Esraa Abdelfattah: Egypt activist freed after nearly two years
Esraa Abdelfattah was arrested in October 2019 on charges of ‘spreading
fake news’ and ‘collaborating with a terrorist group’.
Egyptian activist and journalist Esraa Abdelfattah, one of the symbols
of the 2011 revolution, has been freed after nearly 22 months in
pre-trial detention, lawyer Khaled Ali has said.
Ali, as well as friends of Abdelfattah, posted photographs online on
Sunday of her being released from prison.
Abdelfattah was among several prominent journalists and activists
released ahead of Eid al-Adha, one of the most important holidays in the
In 2008, Abdelfattah created an <April 6> Facebook page in support of
striking workers and to call for political reforms, at the start of the
mobilisation of mass protests that would lead to the toppling of
President Hosni Mubarak three years later.
Abdelfattah, 43, was arrested in October 2019 on charges of <spreading
false news> and <collaborating with a terrorist group>.
Her detention sparked international condemnation, with the US calling it
Abdelfattah, who was also previously jailed under Mubarak, walked free
just hours after a surprise decision by the prosecution to release her.
She had opposed the Muslim Brotherhood when they took power in Egypt in
2012 and backed the 2013 protests that led to the removal of President
Under Egyptian law, pre-trial detention can be extended for up to two
Journalists, activists released.
Egyptian authorities have in recent months released detainees ahead of
major Muslim holidays. Several other journalists and activists were
released on Sunday, two days ahead of Eid al-Adha.>>
Read more here:
17 July 2021
<<Killer dubbed the ‘Hollywood Ripper’ sentenced to death for double
‘Death followed Michael Gargiulo everywhere he went’, says judge, in
case which included the murder of the girlfriend of actor Ashton Kutcher.
A man dubbed the “Hollywood Ripper” has been sentenced to death for the
home-invasion murders of two women and the attempted murder of a third
in a much-delayed case stretching back 20 years.
Victims’ family members wept as Los Angeles superior court Judge Larry
Fidler handed down the sentence to 45-year-old Michael Thomas Gargiulo
<Everywhere that Mr Gargiulo went, death and destruction followed him,>
Fidler said at the all-day hearing.
Gargiulo’s case received added attention because one of his victims was
about to go on a date with actor Ashton Kutcher, who testified at the
trial in 2019.
The sentencing, delayed by procedural issues and the pandemic, came
nearly two years after a jury convicted Gargiulo and recommended his
Gargiulo was found guilty of the murder of Ashley Ellerin, a 22-year-old
fashion design student, in her Hollywood home in 2001 as she prepared to
go out with Kutcher. At the trial, Kutcher said that he was late to pick
up Ellerin, who did not answer her door.>>
Read more here:
16 Jul 2021
<<‘She can do it’: Kiribati Olympic judo hopeful wants to combat
Kinaua Biribo says she wants to empower women in the Pacific island
nation, where almost 60% of men have perpetrated intimate partner
Kinaua Biribo is unlikely to win an Olympic medal. When the elimination
rounds of her judo category begin later this month, the 27-year-old will
be a firm underdog; she has been knocked out in the first round of both
of her international competition appearances to date.
But Kinaua, whom the Guardian is referring to by her first name as is
culturally appropriate, has ambitions far grander than any Olympic
medal. She wants to inspire the women of her Pacific homeland and combat
the scourge of domestic violence.
In Tokyo, Kinaua will become Kiribati’s first-ever Olympic judoka. Her
country – a collection of atolls spread across 3.5 million square
kilometres of Pacific Ocean – only made its Olympic debut in 2004.
Dancing for a cause: Kiribati’s climate activist Olympic weightlifter.
As just the fourth female I-Kiribati Olympian in history, Kinaua is
acutely aware of her role model status back home. Speaking from
Budapest, where she has been since the World Judo Championships in June,
Kinaua says that she relishes the position.
<I’m living the dream,> she says. <Representing Kiribati in the Olympics
is a great step for me. Women are going to look up to me – ‘she did it,
if she can do it, we can.’ That’s the main motivation for me.>>
Read more here:
July 16 2021
<<Black congressional leader arrested in US voting rights rally
Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Joyce Beatty was leading the
protest inside the US Senate building.
A voting rights demonstration by Black women leaders at the United
States Capitol has ended with the arrest of the chair of the
Congressional Black Caucus.
Representative Joyce Beatty was accompanied by dozens of demonstrators
who marched to the US Senate on Thursday to demand the passage of
federal voting-rights legislation.
The small rally came amid a raft of state-level voting laws that civil
rights groups say disproportionately restrict people of colour and other
groups by limiting voting hours, requiring photo identification to cast
a ballot, restricting mail-in voting and allowing for partisan poll
Police responded when the group gathered in the atrium of the Senate
building and began making arrests after some demonstrators, including
Beatty, refused to vacate.
<Let the people vote,> Beatty wrote on Twitter after her release, along
with a picture of a Capitol police officer putting her plastic
handcuffs. <Fight for justice.>>
Read more here:
July 15 2021
<<When Bertha Zuñiga heard that a former Honduran army intelligence
officer and businessman had been found guilty of collaborating in the
murder of her mother, Berta Cáceres, she breathed a big sigh of relief.
Five years after the environmental campaigner was assassinated by hired
hitmen, this was the verdict her family and friends had been waiting
<I know there is still a long road, maybe very long and very hard, but
to have achieved a guilty verdict against the [former] president of a
corporation, [who is] connected to the armed forces: it is unprecedented
in our country,> says Zuñiga, 30.
For her, last week’s conviction of Roberto David Castillo, the former
head of the hydroelectric company Desarrollos Energéticos, or Desa, as a
co-conspirator in the murder sends a clear message <of hope in a country
of so much impunity and so much violence>.
But the fact that the message was needed shows how much work there is
yet to do in a country regularly cited among the most dangerous places
in the world to be an environmental or land defender.
<We have to continue the fight,> says Zuñiga, who took over her mother’s
role as general coordinator of the indigenous rights organisation Copinh.
<Our work, our struggle for justice in the case of our mother, will
contribute to this important cause of ensuring there is no repetition of
this kind of crime in our country.>
<To have achieved a guilty verdict against the former president of a
corporation is unprecedented in Honduras> Bertha Zuñiga.
The murder of Cáceres in March 2016 briefly focused international
attention on the situation in Honduras. The 45-year-old was killed after
spending years opposing the construction of a hydroelectric dam in an
area of western Honduras deemed sacred to the Lenca people.
But, despite the global outrage, there has been no improvement in the
plight of Honduran activists, who complain of facing intimidation,
ranging from harassment and smear campaigns to death threats and illegal
detention. According to a new analysis, the number of incidents
involving female human rights defenders rose from 203 in 2016 to 475 in
Read more here:
15 July 2021
<<How public ‘apologies’ are used against domestic abuse victims in
Activists say Ramzan Kadyrov’s regime uses televised confessions ‘under
duress’ to hold back women’s rights, despite changes in society.
halimat Taramova, the 22-year-old daughter of a prominent Chechen
businessman, sits demurely on a velvet sofa ornately embellished in
gold. She is wearing a modest dress and a headscarf. With her on the
sofa are three men dressed in suits. They are appearing on Grozny TV,
the state television channel of Russia’s Chechen Republic.
Only a couple of weeks before the programme was shown on 14 June,
Taramova fled her home, where she said she was subjected to violence
after going against her family’s wishes. She sought help from a group of
women’s rights activists, the Marem project , who let her stay in a flat
owned by one of its members in the neighbouring republic of Dagestan. In
a video released on social media on 6 June, she pleaded for the Chechen
authorities not to come looking for her.
In a video, Khalimat Taramova pleads to be left alone by the Chechen
<I, Khalimat Ayubovna Taramova, voluntarily left home to flee from
regular beatings and threats,> she said in the video. <Please do not put
me on the federal wanted list and do not disclose any information about
my whereabouts, as those actions will pose a threat to my life.>
Days later, the flat where she was staying was raided by more than 20
men working for the Russian police and Chechen security forces,
according to Svetlana Anokhina, a journalist and activist who was
present. Two activists, including Anokhina, say they were beaten and
detained, and Taramova was taken back to Chechnya.
In the state TV broadcast aired four days later, she is seen smiling and
laughing, while glancing continuously to someone or something off
camera. She says she’s <fine>, that her family is taking good care of
her, that there had never been any abuse and hinted that she had
probably been drugged because she was <in a fog> and could not remember
much about going to Dagestan. She is flanked by her father, Ayub Taramov,
and uncle. The head of the country’s human rights council, Timur Aliyev,
is the third man present.
To the uninitiated this change in message from Taramova may seem odd,
but it comes as no surprise to those in the region. <There’s no doubt
that Taramova was there under duress,> says Tanya Lokshina, associate
director for Europe and central Asia at Human Rights Watch. <Those who
file complaints with official authorities or speak out about abuse are
routinely forced to take their allegations back and apologise on camera.
This is one of the tactics used by Chechen authorities to suppress
Read more here:
July 15 2021
From: 101 East
<<The Widows of Everest.
We travel to Nepal to meet the Sherpa women defying tradition to conquer
the world’s highest mountain.
Mount Everest is the ultimate mountaineering challenge. Climbers come
from around the world seeking glory, but for those helping them scale
the world’s highest peak, it can be deadly work.
Sherpa men die in disproportionate numbers, leaving behind widows who
struggle to survive. Forced to become breadwinners, some women are
defying tradition by breaking into the male-dominated world of Himalayan
Taking on Everest is part of a larger battle to overcome centuries of
discrimination against women who have lost their husbands to the
mountain. 101 East meets the Sherpa widows defying tradition to conquer
the world’s highest mountain.>>
Watch the video:
BBC Latin America
12 July 2021
By Eva Ontiveros
<<Elisa Loncón: From poverty to PhD to writing Chile's constitution.>>
Read her story here:
28 June 2021
<<Papua's sacred forest for women only.>>
Read the introdutory and view the video here:
BBC Latin America
<<Women fight back against Peru's national sterilisation scheme>>
Read and watch the video here:
July 15 2021
By Daisy Odey
<<A long way from home: The child ‘house helpers’ of Nigeria
Hundreds of underage girls work as domestic help in cities across
Kaduna State, Nigeria – The clouds are receding after a light drizzle on
a damp May afternoon in Sabon Tasha, northern Nigeria. The front door to
the three-bedroom bungalow is wide open to let in air, as the
neighbourhood wades through one of its frequent power outages.
Inside, 12-year-old Aisha* moves around, doing chores and serving
guests. She is one of many underage girls working as domestic help –
commonly called 'house girls' – in cities across Nigeria.
A little light pours into the sitting room through two windows at the
back as Aisha’s employer, Safiya (who asked that her full name not be
used), sits talking to three visitors from Abuja – her eldest daughter
who works as a teacher in the Federal Capital Territory, and two others.
Aisha serves them saucers of peanuts and Safiya shouts at her to hurry
up and leave whenever she feels the girl is lingering longer than
necessary. She reminds her to sweep the kitchen.
Safiya is a widow and a civil servant in a government ministry. The
lines around her eyes place her age at over 50, but the way she flits
through the conversation, bantering with her guests, makes her seem much
She talks in fluent English but switches to Hausa when addressing Aisha,
her tone shifting with the language; sharp and curt for Aisha, but
softer, friendlier and punctuated with frequent laughter as she relaxes
back into conversation with her guests. On her fingers are a few gold
rings and on her wrist two gold bracelets that jingle when she waves her
hands as she speaks. Her hair is covered by a scarf but the edges reveal
dark cornrows with a sprinkling of grey.
A bright orange hijab conceals much of Aisha’s tiny frame. She barely
says a word to Safiya, but nods to acknowledge instructions. When
called, she quickly reappears from a door hidden behind a brown curtain.
The village to the city.
Aisha was born in Buda, a village in Kano state, some 250km (155 miles)
away, that is known for its maize and groundnut crops. Her father works
on a farm during the planting and harvesting season. When the farming
season is over, he picks up odd jobs wherever he can find them. Her
mother is a housewife who also cares for a small farm of their own
behind the house – a single building made from mud and straw. Like most
rural settlements, there is no electricity or plumbing, and water is
sourced from wells within the community.
Aisha moved to Kaduna a few months after she turned 10, with the help of
an agent who had promised to find her work as a 'house girl' in the
city. She was told that if she behaved well, after a while she would be
enrolled in school, an opportunity she had never had before. At the
instruction of her father, she had packed up her few belongings in a
black polythene bag and followed the woman. That was two years ago. She
has still never been inside a classroom.
Safiya, who is Aisha’s fourth employer, has two younger children, aged
12 and 14, and an elderly mother everyone fondly calls “Mama”. Aisha was
specifically recruited to care for Mama although her responsibilities
are not limited to this.>>
Read more here:
July 14 2021
Interview by Michael Segalov
<<Inside a women’s prison in Tbilisi: Olivia Arthur’s best photograph
‘There were groups of prisoners laughing and shouting – and then there
was this woman on her own out by the stairs, just gazing out of the
In the past 18 months, I have become increasingly fascinated by our
obsession with locking people up, taking away each other’s liberty.
Perhaps the pandemic gave me space to think more about prison systems,
as we all spent time in isolation. My interest in prisons can be traced
back to 2012, though, when I read about the Comayagua prison fire in
Honduras, which led to more than 350 people dying. Those tragic stories
– people locked in with no way to escape the flames – stuck with me.
My thoughts have also been shaped by becoming a mother, realising it’s
only when I run out of options – or, more accurately, determination –
that I send one of my children to their room and shut the door.
Recently, I started reading prison memoirs by women: Brits, Italians,
Egyptians, Americans, Russians and Iranians. Many write about brutal
conditions, the difficulties in finding ways to survive, remain
dignified and sane. Others reflect on whether, in locking women away,
society might be trying to fix the wrong problem.
I’m fascinated by the difficult circumstances that led these women to
prison – and why many of them end up returning. There is this line in
Who Lie in Gaol, Joan Henry’s 1952 book about her time as a British
prisoner, that spoke to me: <I thought of the good and the evil that is
in all of us, and of the whirlpool of circumstance that had brought half
a dozen women together in the night in a locked room in a building full
of locked rooms.>>.
Read more here:
July 14 2021
Joe Parkin Daniels in Bogotá
<<Ecuador abortion laws discriminate against minority ethnic women –
Criminalisation disproportionately affects indigenous and
Afro-Ecuadorian women and exacerbates inequality, says Human Rights
Gladys, an indigenous woman from rural Ecuador, went to hospital after
injecting poison into her stomach to end her pregnancy. Doctors went
straight to the police, and she was sentenced to two months in jail for
having an abortion with consent.
Elsewhere in the South American country, a 20-year-old Afro-Ecuadorian
woman went to hospital after a fall, and found out she was pregnant and
miscarrying. She was swiftly arrested and spent four months awaiting
trial, where she was cleared.
They are among the many women criminalised because of strict abortion
laws in Ecuador that put the lives and health of women and girls –
particularly those from poorer backgrounds – at risk, a comprehensive
report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) has found.
Abortion is illegal in the staunchly Catholic country except in cases
where the life and health of the woman are in danger or the pregnancy is
the result of a rape. In April the high court decriminalised the
procedure in all cases of rape, loosening restrictions that had allowed
abortion only in cases of rape if the woman had a mental disability.
Illegal abortions carry a sentence of up to two years in prison, and
doctors who perform abortions can face up to three years behind bars.
The report, published on Wednesday, found that the country’s laws
disproportionally affect indigenous and Afro-descendent women and girls
living in poverty.
HRW reviewed 148 abortion cases between 2009 and 2019. It found 120
women and girls were prosecuted – the majority of indigenous or
Afro-Ecuadorian descent – including 33 who served time in prison. About
12% were girls – and they almost always lived in poverty.
Women and girls charged with abortion often have their right to medical
confidentiality violated, said HRW, and they face <significant
obstacles> to accessing decent legal representation.
<The criminalisation of abortion not only undermines the ability of
women and girls to access essential reproductive health services, but it
also exacerbates inequalities and discrimination,” said Ximena Casas,
women’s rights researcher at HRW. “Ecuador should remove all criminal
penalties for consensual abortion. At a minimum, it should guarantee
effective access to abortion on all legal grounds and stop prosecuting
women and girls seeking essential medical care.> >>
Read more here:
July 13 2021
By Jasmin Kamel
Director of the Middle East and Africa department at Albany Associates
<<Women must be included in conflict mediation in Somalia
The recent political tensions have worsened insecurity for Somali women.
Going forward, they must be included in the political process.
On June 30, a much-anticipated announcement finally confirmed the
timetable of the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in
Somalia due to take place between July and October this year. The
announcement comes after months-long disagreements between the
government and the main opposition figures.
The parliamentary and presidential elections were due to take place last
autumn, but difficulties in reaching consensus on the modality and
timelines for the elections caused significant delays. The conflict took
a sharp turn in February when the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi
Mohamed, “Farmaajo”, sought parliamentary approval to extend his term in
office. By April, armed clashes between government forces and armed
groups loyal to different oppositional figures spread in parts of
Mogadishu, the federal capital.
The violence that took place in Mogadishu had not been seen since the
formal end of the transitional period a decade ago. As efforts to quell
the conflict and put elections back on track are under way, the
reverberating effects have already been felt by many.
But this dangerous slideback into conflict poses a great danger to
Somali women and girls, in particular, as it significantly increases the
risk of sexual violence and diminishes public spaces for women’s
A threat to women’s rights and security.
These developments sadly hark back to the tragic periods of the early
1990s when countless women and girls were targeted, sexually violated
and dispossessed from their homes.
As the conflict escalated in Mogadishu in late April, more and more
women fled districts across the capital due to fears of either targeted
or indiscriminate sexual attacks. Mogadishu is already host to large
numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from across the country,
many of whom live in mostly unsafe, exploitative and unsanitary
conditions, which were only worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Women and
girls living in IDP camps face a higher risk of experiencing sexual
Somalia’s acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the United Nations, Cesar
Arroyo, expressed concerns over “mass displacements” in Mogadishu. The
initial figures of displaced Somalis estimated was between 60,000 to
100,000 people following violent events of April 25. Although the
numbers of displaced women and girls have not been reported, they are
likely to make up the majority of a large and growing number of
displaced Somalis since January, two-thirds of whom have been uprooted
due to conflict.
Once women and girls flee their homes (often becoming displaced for a
second or third time), many become even more vulnerable to sexual
Conflicts that start in Mogadishu are known to quickly diffuse and
police and security apparatuses in the different member states tend to
be implicated in political conflicts. Women in neighbouring federal
states may already be at greater risk of sexual and gender-based
A study we released in January underscored that women, girls and IDPs in
those regions that were previously under al-Shabab’s control continue to
be at risk of intimidation, aggression and sexual violence because of
Apart from an increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence, the
political crisis in Mogadishu could roll back important achievements for
Somali women in the public sphere. Until recently, some progress was
made in women’s participation in regional politics and peacebuilding
efforts. A 2020 report released by the Christian Michelsen Institute in
Norway noted the steady increase in the number of women in regional
parliament, for example.
A revert to conflict would dwindle the chances of female political
hopefuls securing nomination to the federal parliament. Months-long
contestations of the electoral process and quibbles over the
distribution of clan quotas had already made it difficult to secure the
30 percent quota allocated to Somali women – the implementation of which
is often left at the discretion of traditional leaders and bickering
Political settlements builton shaky grounds may result in a derailment
of women’s security, wellbeing and hard-won achievements, especially in
public life. Including women in de-escalation and mediation processes
would be key, not only for getting the political process back on track,
but also for improving women’s security and its sustainability.>>
Read more here:
July 12 2021
By Asmita Bakshi
<<Sulli Deals: Indian Muslim women offered for sale in ‘auction’.
Photographs of more than 80 Muslim women put up for sale on an app are
triggering outrage and calls for action.
New Delhi, India – On the night of July 4, Afreen Fatima participated in
an online forum about the persecution of Muslims in India. No sooner had
she wrapped up her session than her mobile phone was flooded with
messages, informing the 23-year-old student activist that she had been
‘put up for sale’ on a fake online auction.
And she was not alone. Photographs of more than 80 other Muslim women,
including students, activists and journalists, had been uploaded on an
app called <Sulli deals> without their knowledge
The creators of the platform offered visitors a chance to claim a <Sulli>
– a derogatory term used by right-wing Hindu trolls for Muslim women –
calling them <deals of the day>.
<That night, I didn’t reply to the people who messaged me. I just logged
out of my Twitter. I didn’t have the energy to respond,> Fatima told Al
Jazeera from her home in Allahabad in northern Uttar Pradesh state.
She said that the incident came on a day a Hindu far-right man called
for the abduction of Muslim women at a gathering in Pataudi, about 60km
(31 miles) from New Delhi. <I was just so disturbed; I couldn’t sleep,>
Thousands of miles away in New York, 25-year-old Hiba Beg had just
returned from enjoying Independence Day celebrations in the city. That’s
when she discovered her profile was also up for virtual auction on <Sulli
Even the physical distance from home in India was not enough to protect
her from the immediate <feelings of dehumanisation and defeat>, said
Beg, a student of policy at Columbia University.
GitHub, which hosted the app, took it down after public outrage and
complaints. <We suspended user accounts following the investigation of
reports of such activity, all of which violate our policies,> a GitHub
spokesperson told Al Jazeera via email.
<GitHub has longstanding policies against content and conduct involving
harassment, discrimination, and inciting violence.>>
Read more here:
July 12 2021
<<Palestinians demand release of jailed MP for daughter’s funeral
Rights groups say Israel should allow Khalida Jarrar to attend the
funeral of her daughter Suha, 31, who was found dead in her Ramallah
Palestinian activists and rights groups have called on Israeli
authorities to release Khalida Jarrar, a Palestinian legislator serving
a prison term, so that she can attend her daughter’s funeral.
Israeli prison services reportedly denied on Monday the request for
Jarrar, a political prisoner, to attend the funeral, according to
Palestinian activists and Israeli media.
Suha Jarrar, 31, was found dead on Sunday evening at her home in the
occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, reported Palestinian media.
According to the reports, Jarrar died of a heart attack.
The young Jarrar was working as a legal researcher and advocacy officer
at the Ramallah-based Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organisation.
Some of her most prominent work focused on the environmental effects of
In a 2019 report, she argued that discriminatory Israeli policies impede
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank from being able to adapt to
In an obituary, Al-Haq said that Suha was <a fierce advocate for the
rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, freedom, and
Al-Haq said it sent an urgent appeal to the United Nations calling for
the <immediate and unconditional> release of Jarrar from Israeli prisons
to bid farewell to her daughter.>>
Read more here:
July 12 2021
By Jacqueline Dooley
<<After losing a child: We are a family, but we grieve alone
My daughter’s absence was like a wound, raw and weeping. Everything we
did together reminded us of who we had lost.
Once I got married and became a mother, I understood that my whole self
wasn’t just about me any more. My life revolved around the other members
of my familial collective? – my husband, and my two daughters. Four was
the number that felt complete.
My world was driven by this new connected identity. We did things as a
family, planned holidays as a family, and made decisions for the good of
the family – mainly, the children – rather than the benefit of one
specific part of the whole.
And we were whole. That’s how it felt to me? – whole and perfect and
never alone. Yes, it could be overwhelming, but I’d be lying if I said I
didn’t miss that time when we all fit together like a perfect, seamless
I took life for granted. I was perennially distracted. I was too wrapped
up in the day-to-day bustle of raising the girls and keeping the family
machine running to worry about what the future would look like. I
stopped paying attention to each individual piece of the whole. I
assumed the way we existed – as a family of four – would last forever.
That blurring of boundaries set me up for a massive identity crisis. It
blinded me to the fragility of my family. It left me vulnerable to the
devastating soul-deep loneliness that overwhelmed me when one of my
Was it ever real? Was I deluding myself even then? I’m convinced that
the version of my family that I’m remembering was, in fact, a dream.
I don’t know if other families have a sweet-spot moment in their
existence the way mine did – or the way that I remember we did. We were
far from perfect. We were a tangle of shoes, cluttered tables, dirty
dishes, and dinnertime chaos. We were bedtimes and bath times and Pixar
movies on Friday nights. We were oblivious to the privilege of our own
I sat at the helm of that version of us – navigating the constant
stopping and starting of school years, riding the crest of the seasons,
wrapping my dear ones in holiday trimmings, and (of course) charting the
growth spurts and milestones of my girls as the years passed.
This didn’t stop when my older daughter, Ana, was diagnosed with cancer
at the age of 11. If anything, we became more tightly bound through long
hospital stays, home isolation, a bucket-list of dream vacations, and
the constant heavy certainty that she (we) wouldn’t survive. We crammed
it all into the almost-five years between the day of Ana’s first
hospitalisation and the day she died.
She died. Our world fractured. It wasn’t so much that we became
suddenly, brutally, a family of three. It was more like we unbecame a
family of four.
During the earliest days of deep grief, I floundered for a familiar
family cadence that no longer existed, grasping for a way to survive the
terrible pain of losing Ana. I was desperate to stitch the three of us
back together, to find ways to reconnect with my husband and younger
At 12 years old, Emily had been intent on carrying on as if nothing had
happened. She was watching me closely back then, no doubt afraid that if
she looked away, I might disappear too.
Losing Ana destabilised the entire foundation of our lives. It
reverberated through every peak and valley, changing how we each saw the
world and interacted with each other. We became a table with three legs,
a map missing one direction, a tripod of grief.>>
Read more here:
By Jaqueline Dooley
4 oct 2020
<<The myth of the good mother
I could not fathom failing at the most basic measure of good motherhood.
But some things cannot be fixed.
My idea of the good mother began long before I became a mother. The good
mother was implied in the toys I played with, the TV shows I watched in
the 1970s and 1980s, and the cultural cues I got from religion, family
The good mother was kind, patient and endlessly compassionate. The good
mother was happy too and, perhaps more importantly, her children were
The good mother baked. She listened. She sacrificed. There was not much
more to the good mother’s identity than motherhood itself and motherhood
I internalised the myth of the good mother throughout my early life,
even when my understanding of myself had nothing to do with motherhood
and my identity was still nebulous and ill-defined.
I did not count the days until I became a mother, did not picture my
life being completed by a child, and did not define my personhood in the
context of motherhood.
Then, at the age of 29, I suddenly wanted a baby. About a year after
this desire manifested, I had my first daughter.
My younger daughter turned 16 in April. She is not happy. Her days,
restricted by the pandemic and further restricted by her
too-young-to-drive status, are filled with screens and anxiety.
Her junior year of high school will be entirely virtual. Her
interactions with friends are mostly limited to Snapchat. She is an only
child, not by birth, but because her sister died from cancer three years
Read more here:
July 11 2021
By Brian Knight
<<Anwar Ditta: The mother who took on the UK government and won.
It is 40 years since Anwar Ditta won her campaign against the UK Home
Office and became one of the first to use DNA evidence to win the right
to family reunification.
A photograph from 1982 shows the legendary late Labour MP, Tony Benn,
marching in Trafalgar Square alongside the Namibian revolutionary, Sam
Nujoma, the South African freedom fighter Oliver Tambo and a sea of male
trade unionists holding banners denouncing apartheid and offering
solidarity to the people of Namibia and South Africa. In the middle of
this image stands a striking, yet petite lady: Anwar Ditta.
Today, Anwar, 67, is an unassuming housewife of Pakistani heritage who
resides in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. But, between 1975 and 1982, she
found herself at the centre of an anti-racist movement because of her
fearless fight against Britain’s Home Office which had separated her
from her three children in Pakistan.
Anwar’s story came to define an era of Asian anti-racist resistance, due
to the explicit institutional racism it exposed within the British
government. Her fight against the country’s racist immigration laws was
by no means unprecedented. But what separated Anwar’s case from the many
others like it was the rainbow coalition of support she managed to
garner and her ability to mobilise people both nationally and
internationally in her defence.
Her experience exposes Britain’s deeply shameful history of racism and
the traumatic consequences many faced as a result of its prejudicial
Born in Birmingham, the UK’s second-largest city, in 1953, Anwar’s early
years were mainly spent in Rochdale, where she lived with her younger
sister, Hamida, and her parents.
Anwar’s mother, Bilquis Begum, and her father, Allah Ditta, were from
Pakistan, born there while the nation was under British colonial rule.
Spurred by curiosity, her father, who was born in 1921, left his
teaching job in Pakistan and moved to the UK in the 1950s. When he
arrived, he was employed as a bus conductor and foreman in a crystal
factory while his wife, who moved to Britain a few years later, stayed
at home with their children.
‘Treated worse than somebody accused of murder’
In 1967, when she was 14 years old, Anwar was married under Islamic law
to 22-year-old Shuja Ud Din. His family had been renting a property from
Anwar’s grandfather and the two families had become well acquainted by
the time Anwar’s grandmother arranged the marriage. The couple had three
children – Imran, Kamran and Saima.
Anwar had only very sporadic contact with her mother during her
childhood. But, when her mother visited Pakistan in 1975, Anwar
expressed her wish to travel back to Britain, her birth country. She
also wanted to join Shuja who had been sponsored by a friend to live in
Denmark before he moved on to the UK in 1974 where he lived with Anwar’s
mother while he waited for her to arrive. Unaware of her legal rights as
a British-born citizen to travel back to the UK with her children, Anwar
and Shuja agreed to re-marry under British law, find a new home there
and settle before applying for their children to join them.
In 1976, by which time they had a fourth child – a British-born daughter
called Samera – Anwar and Shuja applied for their three children in
Pakistan – now aged 6, 4 and 3 – to come to Britain.
That, she recalls, was when her <nightmare with [the] immigration
The Home Office made them wait two and a half years for the result of
their application. In that time, Anwar and Shuja met with countless
solicitors, organised pickets and even sought the help of the recently
established Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).
Anwar describes how emotionally shattering this time was as <the
children [in Pakistan] were very small. My youngest child was
breastfeeding when I left.>>
Read more here:
10 July 2021
By Nikolaj Houmann Mortensen and Stefania Prandi
<<In Spain’s strawberry fields, migrant women face sexual abuse.
Farm bosses routinely sexually harass and exploit seasonal workers who
pick the red fruit that lines shelves in European supermarkets,
*The names of all workers in this article have been changed to protect
Huelva, Spain – It is mid-May and the hot air is filled with the sugary
scent of strawberries mixed with fertiliser as Jadida*, a Moroccan
woman, walks on the side of the road, a farm behind her. A large pair of
sunglasses covers her face, almost entirely. Greenhouses surround her as
far as the eye can see.
Jadida had told her colleagues she was going grocery shopping, so on the
way back, she must pass by the shops, to avoid their suspicions, she
says as she begins the interview.
Talking to the migrant workers who pick strawberries in Europe’s biggest
red fruit producing region, the Huelva province in Spain, is not easy.
The fields are fenced, and in many places there are surveillance
cameras, guards and electric gates which close as soon as strangers
But after these reporters handed out their phone numbers to a group of
strawberry pickers in the area, inviting them to be interviewed, Jadida
called back because she wanted to share her experiences of sexual abuse,
allegedly by her supervisor.
At first, he was kind to her. But on her second day at work, he tried to
persuade her to join him in his room. She refused, and he began calling
her phone constantly. Eventually, he approached her when she was working
in the fields and tried to pressure her into having sex with him.
Continuously rejecting him has had consequences. The supervisor now
threatens to have her fired and sent back to Morocco.
<He tells the other bosses that I am lazy and not working. He gets me in
trouble and accuses me of things that I haven’t done,> Jadida told Al
She is one of thousands of women – among them many Moroccans and
Romanians – who each year spend three to six months picking
strawberries, raspberries and blueberries underneath the <sea of
plastic> of Huelva.
Al Jazeera, in collaboration with the Danish investigative media outlet,
Danwatch, interviewed 16 female farm workers, all of whom had contracts
with the seven largest red fruit producers who sell to well-known
supermarkets in the UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany
Most workers recounted daily humiliations, such as penalties for taking
toilet breaks, union busting and little or no protection against
COVID-19. Several reported being subject to sexual harassment and
blackmailed for sex.
According to Jadida, many of her colleagues do not dare to reject the
The only other worker she knows who did so was frequently seen crying in
the greenhouses and eventually moved to another part of the farm, Jadida
<As soon as I get out of here, I want him arrested,> she says.
Strawberry pickers with temporary work visas have few opportunities to
report harassment and abuse.
Most arrive as part of a bilateral <contracting in origin> agreement
between Morocco and Spain which in 2019 alone, saw almost 20,000
Moroccan women pick Spanish strawberries.
According to the deal, migrants lose the opportunity to work in Spain if
they leave their Spanish workplace for any reason.
Furthermore, it emphasises that the Moroccan state recruitment agency
ANAPEC must ensure that migrant workers return to Morocco when the
season ends. Scholars and NGOs say this is why ANAPEC demands that
hopeful workers must show evidence that they have children under the age
of 14 at home – so that they have something they must return to.
The women stay in small apartments – barracks and containers in between
the greenhouses, far from any town centre.
Isolated and relying on temporary work visas, they are extremely
dependent on their employers’ mercy, not only for security but also
basic health standards, unions and local NGOs claim.>>
Read more here:
18 Nov 2020
<<Rape, abuses in palm oil fields linked to top cosmetic brands: AP
AP investigation on treatment of women workers in palm oil plantations
in Indonesia and Malaysia finds sexual and other forms of abuse.
A 16-year-old girl describes how her boss raped her amid the tall trees
on an Indonesian palm oil plantation that feeds into some of the world’s
best-known cosmetic brands. He then put an axe to her throat and warned
her: <Do not tell.>
At another plantation, a woman named Ola complains of fevers, coughing
and nose bleeds after years of spraying dangerous pesticides with no
Hundreds of miles away, Ita, a young wife, mourns the two babies she
lost in her third trimester. She regularly lugged loads several times
her weight throughout both pregnancies, fearing she would be fired if
she did not.
These are the invisible women of the palm oil industry, among the
millions of daughters, mothers and grandmothers who toil on vast
plantations across Indonesia and neighbouring Malaysia, which together
produce 85 percent of the world’s most versatile vegetable oil.
Palm oil is found in everything from potato chips and pills to pet food,
and also ends up in the supply chains of some of the biggest names in
the $530bn beauty business, including L’Oréal, Unilever, Procter &
Gamble, Avon and Johnson & Johnson, helping women around the world feel
pampered and beautiful.
The Associated Press conducted the investigation focusing on the brutal
treatment of women in the production of palm oil, including the hidden
scourge of sexual abuse, ranging from verbal harassment and threats to
The investigation was part of a larger examination that exposed
widespread abuses in the two countries, including human trafficking,
child labour and outright slavery.
Women are burdened with some of the industry’s most difficult and
dangerous jobs, spending hours waist-deep in water tainted by chemical
runoff and carrying loads so heavy that, over time, their wombs can
Many are hired by subcontractors on a day-to-day basis without benefits,
performing the same jobs for the same companies for years – even
<Almost every plantation has problems related to labour,> said Hotler
Parsaoran of the Indonesian non-profit group, Sawit Watch. “But the
conditions of female workers are far worse than men.>
The AP news agency interviewed more than three dozen women and girls
from at least 12 companies across both countries. Because previous
reports have resulted in retaliation against workers, they are being
identified only by partial names or nicknames.
The Malaysian government said it had received no reports about rapes on
plantations, but Indonesia acknowledged physical and sexual abuse
appears to be a growing problem, with most victims afraid to speak
Read more here:
9 July 2021
<<UK police officer admits to murdering Sarah Everard
Prosecutor says 33-year-old victim was a ‘total stranger’ to the officer
who has pleaded guilty to kidnap, rape and murder.
British police officer Wayne Couzens has pleaded guilty to murdering
Sarah Everard, the 33-year-old woman abducted as she walked home from a
friend’s house in south London.
Couzens previously admitted to kidnapping and raping Everard, a
marketing executive who went missing on March 3.
Couzens entered a guilty plea to murder during a hearing at London’s
Central Criminal Court on Friday, appearing by video link from Belmarsh
Bearded and wearing a blue sweatshirt, he sat with his head bowed and
said <guilty ma’am> when asked how he pleaded to the charge of murder.
A major police investigation was launched after Everard’s disappearance.
Her body was found a week later in the woods more than 80 kilometres (50
miles) southeast of London, close to a piece of land owned by Couzens.
The search for Everard and news of her killing caused a nationwide
outcry, with women sharing experiences of being threatened, attacked or
simply facing the everyday fear of violence when walking alone.
Police in the UK capital came under criticism after some women attending
a vigil for Everard were arrested for breaching coronavirus
Couzens, 48, joined London’s Metropolitan Police in 2018 and had most
recently served in the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command,
an armed unit responsible for guarding embassies in the capital and
Prosecutor Tom Little said Couzens had never met Everard prior to
kidnapping her from London’s South Circular road in a rented car, and
that they were <total strangers>.
Judge Adrian Fulford said Couzens had previously only given an entirely
false account of events, an elaborate story involving an Eastern
Read more here:
And 3 more articles about Everard death.
7 July 2021
By Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul
<<Armed Afghan women take to streets in show of defiance against
Women in north and central regions of country stage demonstrations as
militants make sweeping gains nationwide.
Women have taken up guns in northern and central Afghanistan, marching
in the streets in their hundreds and sharing pictures of themselves with
assault rifles on social media, in a show of defiance as the Taliban
make sweeping gains nationwide.
One of the biggest demonstrations was in central Ghor province, where
hundreds of women turned out at the weekend, waving guns and chanting
They are not likely to head to the frontlines in large numbers any time
soon, because of both social conservatism and lack of experience. But
the public demonstrations, at a time of urgent threat from the
militants, are a reminder of how frightened many women are about what
Taliban rule could mean for them and their families.
<There were some women who just wanted to inspire security forces, just
symbolic, but many more were ready to go to the battlefields,> said
Halima Parastish, the head of the women’s directorate in Ghor and one of
the marchers. <That includes myself. I and some other women told the
governor around a month ago that we’re ready to go and fight.>
The Taliban have been sweeping across rural Afghanistan, taking dozens
of districts including in places such as northern Badakhshan province,
which 20 years ago was an anti-Taliban stronghold. They now have
multiple provincial capitals in effect under siege.
Even women from extremely conservative rural areas aspire to more
education, greater freedom of movement and a greater role in their
families, according to a new survey of a group whose voices are rarely
heard. Taliban rule will take them in the opposite direction.
<No woman wants to fight, I just want to continue my education and stay
far away from the violence but conditions made me and other women stand
up,> said a journalist in her early 20s from northern Jowzjan, where
there is a history of women fighting.>...
She said there were a few dozen women learning to use guns with her, and
despite their inexperience they would have one advantage over men if
they faced the Taliban. <They are frightened of being killed by us, they
consider it shameful...
For conservative militants, facing women in battle can be humiliating.
Isis fighters in Syria were reportedly more frightened of dying at the
hands of female Kurdish forces than being killed by men. (Link to
Peshmerga article by Gino d'Artali: http://www.cryfreedom.net/peshmerga.htm
Read more here:
and here: rfel.org
November 12, 2016
By Radio Azadi
<<Afghan Women Take Up Arms Against The Taliban.
The leader of a fledgling women's militia in northern Afghanistan says
dozens of volunteers have joined the fight since a handful of women
recently took up arms to rebuff a Taliban attack on their community.
Women in the district of Darz-Aab, in Jowzjan Province, initially fought
alongside local forces to prevent the antigovernment militants from
overrunning the village of Shahtoot in late October.
Their ranks have since grown to as many as 45 women, locals say, many of
whom have sold livestock to buy guns.
Fifty-three-year-old Zarmina, the wife of a local police officer who so
far commands the female fighters, said she and the other women had no
<The number of police personnel was too small, so we had to take up guns
alongside our husbands,> Zarmina told RFE/RL's Afghan Service. <As the
Taliban attacked a police post, I put aside my scarf and fired from
different places. I had 21 bullets and killed seven Taliban,> she
Read more here:
7 July 2021
<<‘Treated worse than animals’: Black women in pretrial detention
Thousands of women, many unable to afford bail, languish in US jails for
months without a conviction, resulting in a prolonged domino effect that
reverberates far outside the jail walls.
Atlanta, Georgia – Angela Holt was about three months pregnant when
police arrested her in January 2020 after she got into a physical
altercation with a man she says called her a <black monkey> at a shop.
She was charged with aggravated assault and held on a $15,000 bond –
$1,600 of which she was expected to pay. Unable to afford bail, she
spent about five months in the Union City Jail, the Fulton County Jail’s
female-only facility located just outside Atlanta in the US state of
There, she says she was surrounded by conditions no person should have
to endure, let alone a pregnant woman. <We had a heroin addict vomiting
everywhere and a mentally ill lady sleeping in her own faeces. We would
have to clean up ourselves and the guards wouldn’t even give us gloves,>
<They’re getting so overpopulated that they’re throwing the mentally
ill, addicts, and everyone else in there with you. They don’t care,> she
tells Al Jazeera. <I met people in there for petty reasons – things no
one should be in jail for.>
Holt’s experience is not unique. It is a reality experienced by
thousands of women in the United States. The pre-trial detention system
has served to funnel scores of unconvicted women into jails because they
cannot afford to post bail for their release. Black and brown women, who
are more likely to be held in pretrial detention, especially face a
prolonged domino effect that reverberates far outside the jail walls.
The US uses jails as a <warehouse for people who have problems in our
society,> says John Raphling, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch
Incarceration has become the <response to so many societal problems,
like homelessness, mental illness, drug abuse and poverty,> he tells Al
With more than 2 million people locked up in jails and prisons and more
than 4.4 million under parole or probation supervision, the US has the
highest known prison population and the highest per-capita incarceration
rate in the world. A 2017 report by the Prison Policy Initiative (PPI)
found that mass incarceration in the US costs state and federal
The number of women in US jails has grown at a faster rate than any
other correctional population, increasing by more than 700 percent
between 1980 and 2019. Black and Hispanic women are imprisoned at far
higher rates than white women.>>
Read more here:
6 July 2021
...a Cypriot-Australian writer, poet and actress
<<No woman should be forced to endure an IUD
IUDs are invasive and risky. Britney Spears’ conservatorship highlights
how women are expected to bear those risks.
Last month, the world listened as Britney Spears, the American singer
and pop star, described in detail to a court her experience of being
subjected to a conservatorship controlled by her father, James Parnell
Spears. When Spears had a very public breakdown in 2007 it seemed
appropriate her father take control to safeguard her estate. Over a
decade later, however, her testimony raised hairs on my arms as I
listened to her blow-by-blow account of an arrangement she calls
In a chilling scene reminiscent of something from Margaret Atwood’s The
Handmaid’s Tale, Spears revealed that she has been refused permission to
remove an intra-uterine contraceptive device (IUD) which stops her
getting pregnant. It is unclear whether Spears consented to have the IUD
inserted, or how long she has had it, but one thing is clear. Under this
conservatorship she apparently has no say on whether it remains.
Her revelation triggered memories of my own experience with an IUD and
reminded me of how angry I am that women are just expected to embrace
these invasive devices – in many cases inserted without any sort of pain
relief (as Caitlin Moran so elegantly explained in her Times column). I
would like to know where the IUD-male-equivalent is? It seems that, just
like Britney’s father, patriarchy prefers us sterile at the expense of
our health, at their pleasure – essentially, controlling our bodies.
The West is quick to judge the enforcing of sterilisation and
contraception on women in other cultures – such as that of the Uighurs
by the Chinese government – but in the US, the so-called <land of the
free>, a woman of Spears’ stature and fame is being denied agency over
her own body.>>
Read more here:
5 July 2021
<<Berta Caceres murder: Court finds construction executive guilty
Honduran court finds David Castillo guilty of being a collaborator in
2016 murder of Indigenous activist Berta Caceres.
A Honduran construction firm executive has been found guilty of being a
collaborator in the 2016 killing of Indigenous environmental activist
Berta Caceres, a court ruled on Monday, in what Caceres’ supporters
welcomed as a “victory”.
David Castillo is the former head of Desarrollos Energeticos (DESA),
which ran the $50m Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam project.
Caceres, a longtime environmental activist and Indigenous leader, was
fatally shot in 2016 in her home in the town of La Esperanza after
leading opposition to the project, which would have built a dam on the
Gualcarque River on the ancestral lands of her Lenca people.
Lenca activists had said the project would cause major disruptions to
their water and food supply and that the builders did not consult the
area’s Indigenous groups.
Seven other men have already been convicted and sentenced for playing a
role in her killing, which drew international condemnation and
widespread calls for justice.
Castillo was originally charged with being the mastermind behind the
murder, but was found guilty of being a co-conspirator on Monday. His
sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 3.>>
Read more here:
By Natalie Alcoba
7 Feb 2021
<<Honduras hardened its abortion ban. These women remain undeterred
Honduran Congress put a lock on decades-old ban on abortion weeks after
Argentina legalised it in landmark decision.
In the days since the Congress of Honduras hardened its absolute
prohibition of abortion, the ranks of a feminist organisation that has
been campaigning for decriminalisation in the staunchly conservative
nation have been swelling.
The new recruits to the women’s rights group, Somos Muchas, are mostly
young women between the ages of 18 and 30 who have been moved into
action by recent events. For local activists, it is a sign that change
is still possible in a country with some of the most severe restrictions
on abortion in the world.
<They did it out of fear,> said Neesa Medina, an activist with Somos
Muchas, about lawmakers’ push to strengthen the prohibition. <Because
they think they can ban the future. But you can’t ban the future.>
It has been forbidden to terminate a pregnancy in Honduras under any
circumstance, even rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in
danger, since 1985.
The Congress has now put a legal lock on that position by explicitly
adding the abortion ban to its constitution, and setting the number of
votes required in order to make a future change at the highest level –
three-quarters of Congress.
A chorus of international organisations, including the United Nations
and the European Parliament, sounded the alarm, and urged the
legislative body to reconsider a move they said not only violates human
rights standards but will inflict further harm on women and girls.>>
Read more here:
And 3 more articles by Al Jazeera on the Latin America situation i.e.
5 July 2021
<<Judge Kavanaugh and a woman accusing him of sexual assault, California
psychologist Christine Blasey Ford, spent hours testifying before the
Senate Judiciary Committee. #Kavanaugh #Trump #ChristineBlaseyFord>>
Read more here:
And 3 more short intros to short headers and videos.
Andrew Roth in Moscow
5 Jul 2021
<<Russian supermarket faces backlash after pulling lesbian couple
VkusVill apologises for promotion, saying it had ‘hurt the feelings’ of
customers and staff.
An upmarket Russian supermarket chain has issued a public apology after
it posted an advert featuring a lesbian couple who shopped at its store.
VkusVill’s decision to pull the ad has provoked an angry backlash from
Moscow liberals and other Russian LGBTQ allies, who have criticised the
supermarket chain’s “cowardice” and said they would be boycotting the
The chain was apparently more concerned about a conservative backlash
for offering a modest portrayal of queer life in Russia. The ad was seen
as a challenge to Russia’s <gay propaganda> law that bans the “promotion
of nontraditional sexual relations to minors”.
A VkusVill representative declined to answer questions from the Guardian
about whether the supermarket chain had been pressed to pull the ad.
On Sunday VkusVill apologised for its <hurtful> photoshoot of a lesbian
couple, Yuma and Zhenya, and their children, Mila and Alina, who said
they enjoyed the supermarket’s onigiri rice balls with mushrooms and
that their favourite product was the hummus.>>
Read more here:
4 July 2021
<<Mapuche woman to lead body drafting Chile’s new constitution
Constitutional assembly picks academic Elisa Loncon to lead body
drafting new text to replace Pinochet-era constitution.
The architects of Chile’s new constitution have chosen an Indigenous
Mapuche woman to lead the process, as the country’s constitutional
assembly was inaugurated on Sunday in the capital, Santiago.
University professor and activist for Mapuche educational and linguistic
rights Elisa Loncon, a 58-year-old independent constituent, was picked
by 96 of 155 delegates, including 17 Indigenous people, who make up the
The delegates were elected to draft a new text to replace Chile’s
previous Magna Carta, which was produced during the dictatorship of
<I am grateful for the support of the different coalitions that placed
their trust and their dreams in the hands of the Mapuche nation, who
voted for a Mapuche person, a woman, to change the history of this
country,> Loncon said.
Fed up with the political status quo and urging systemic reforms,
Chilean voters in May elected dozens of progressive, independent
delegates to redraft the constitution – dealing a surprise blow to
conservative candidates who failed to secure a third of the seats to
veto any proposals.
“The idea of this 155-member assembly is that it tries to encompass and
represent all the diverse elements of Chilean society,” Al Jazeera’s
Daniel Schweimler reported from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Two-thirds of the assembly must approve each article of the new
constitution, he explained. The body will have nine months, with a
possible three-month extension, to draft a new document that will be
then put to a referendum.
<No group is big enough to veto those articles at the moment,”
Schweimler said. “What we’re going to see over the next nine months to a
year are a lot of negotiations; alliances, coalitions being formed,
people trying to decide the best way forward.>
Although amended during the last decades, the previous version of
Chile’s constitution was widely unpopular and viewed as a source of
Read more here:
3 July 2021
<<‘Mockery’: Backlash after Ukraine women troops march in heels.
Defence ministry images showing women soldiers practising for parade in
heels prompt a torrent of criticism.
Ukrainian authorities have been slammed after official pictures showed
women soldiers practising for next month’s military parade in heels.
Ukraine is preparing to stage the parade to mark 30 years of
independence following the Soviet Union’s breakup, and the defence
ministry on Thursday released photographs of fatigue-clad women soldiers
marching in mid-heel black pumps.
<Today, for the first time, training takes place in heeled shoes,> cadet
Ivanna Medvid was quoted as saying by the defence ministry’s information
<It is slightly harder than in army boots but we are trying,> Medvid
The choice of footwear sparked a torrent of criticism on social media
and in parliament, and led to accusations that women soldiers had been
<The story of a parade in heels is a real disgrace,> commentator Vitaly
Portnikov said on Facebook, arguing that some Ukrainian officials had a
‘Sexism and misogyny’
Another commentator, Maria Shapranova, accused the defence ministry of
<sexism and misogyny>.
<High heels is a mockery of women imposed by the beauty industry,> she
Several Ukrainian lawmakers close to Ukraine’s former president Petro
Poroshenko showed up in parliament with pairs of shoes and encouraged
the defence minister to wear high heels to the parade.
<It is hard to imagine a more idiotic, harmful idea,> said Inna Sovsun,
a member of the Golos party, pointing to health risks.>>
Click here to read more:
3 July 2021
<<Bill Cosby, Britney, and a tale of two American justice systems.
Cosby becoming a free man on the same day Spears lost her latest battle
to free herself from a man’s control is almost too on the nose.
A tale of two justice systems
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a
good fortune and an expensive lawyer can get away with almost anything.
See as exhibit one: Bill Cosby. On Wednesday, Pennsylvania’s highest
court overturned the disgraced actor’s sexual assault conviction on a
legal technicality. Cosby had served two years of a three to ten-year
sentence for a 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand; before
Wednesday’s surprise reversal he had been expected to serve the maximum
time after vowing he wasn’t going to show any remorse for a crime he
says he didn’t commit.
It is highly unlikely that Cosby, 83, will ever see the inside of a
prison cell again. While he has been accused of sexual misconduct by 60
women, the statute of limitations for all the accusers with enough
evidence to bring a case had passed by the time they went public with
the allegations. All except Constand. Now, according to Wednesday’s
ruling, Cosby cannot be retried for Constand’s assault. In a statement
the court said overturning the guilty verdict and blocking any further
prosecution <is the only remedy that comports with society’s reasonable
expectations of its elected prosecutors and our criminal justice
You know what? That statement is spot on: Cosby walking free is exactly
what I’d expect from the US criminal justice system. There is a reason
why the dozens of women who accused Cosby of misconduct took years to
come forward; there is a reason more than two out of three sexual
assaults are estimated to go unreported. Sexual assault victims often
don’t come forward because they don’t expect to be believed or taken
seriously by the legal system. And these suspicions are well-founded:
according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network out of 1,000
sexual assaults, 975 perpetrators go free. Some even go on glitzy
careers. A third of the six men on the US supreme court have been
accused of sexual misconduct.>>
Read more here:
July 2 2021
Ed Pilkington in New York
<<Cosby release shows how prosecutors hinder sexual assault victims,
Bruce Castor’s disputed deal offering Bill Cosby immunity is under
scrutiny, and indicative of hurdles facing women who seek justice.
The release of Bill Cosby from prison on Wednesday after his 2018 sexual
assault conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania supreme court has
refocused attention on one of the big complaints of the #MeToo movement
– the role of prosecutors in hindering female victims in their search
At the centre of the storm is Bruce Castor, a high-profile Republican
lawyer who was district attorney of Montgomery county, Cosby’s home
area, at the time the TV star was first investigated for drugging and
molesting a woman in 2005. The reversal of Cosby’s sentence has shone
the spotlight once again on Castor’s controversial handling of the case,
which advocates say is indicative of the hurdles facing women nationwide
as they try to hold abusers accountable.
Castor became headline news in January when he represented Donald Trump
at his second impeachment trial following the 6 January insurrection at
the US Capitol. The Pennsylvania lawyer was widely ridiculed after a
bizarre opening statement in which he referenced, among other things,
his parents’ vinyl records collection.
Now he is under the spotlight once again over his disputed approach to
the Cosby case. The lawyer faces criticism that he mishandled the
original investigation in deciding not to prosecute the celebrity in
2005, and that he then made it impossible for later convictions to stick
by effectively offering Cosby criminal immunity.
Castor was brought into the case soon after Andrea Constand, a former
head basketball coach at Temple University, sounded the alarm over Cosby
who she had regarded as a mentor. As the Pennsylvania supreme court
describes in its factual history of the case, Constand was molested by
the star at his home in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, in January 2004 while
she was unable to move or speak after the comic had encouraged her to
drink alcohol and take three blue pills which he told her would <help
take the edge off> her anxiety.>>
Read more here:
2 July 2021
by Bethan McKernan , Vera Mironova and Emma Graham-Harrison
<<How women of Isis in Syrian camps are marrying their way to freedom.
Hundreds of foreign women with links to Islamic State in Syria’s
sprawling al-Hawl detention camp have <married> men they met online and
several hundred have been smuggled out of the facility using cash bribes
gifted by their new husbands.
The camp’s inhabitants have been sent wire payments totalling upwards of
$500,000 (£360,000), according to testimony from 50 women inside and
outside Hawl, local Kurdish officials, a former Isis member in eastern
Europe with knowledge of the money transfer network and a foreign
fighter in Idlib province involved in smuggling.
The practice is a significant security risk inside Syria and for foreign
governments who refuse to take their nationals home – but according to
many interviewees, getting married is both easy and an increasingly
popular escape method.
Antony Blinken (left) and the Italian foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio,
hold a joint news conference in Rome.
US pushes France and UK to take Isis fighters back from Iraq and Syria.
<Every day I get a man texting me asking if I am looking for a husband,>
said one woman from Russia living in the camp. <Everyone around me has
got married … although those who are still pro-Isis and pretend to be
modest would deny it.>
Approximately 60,000 women and children who poured out of Isis’s last
Syrian stronghold when the so-called caliphate fell in March 2019 are
now detained in Hawl by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic
Forces (SDF), which control the north-east of the country.
Their imprisonment is a rallying cry for Isis supporters across the
world, and <marrying> one of the imprisoned women – even in a
long-distance, online relationship – has become a badge of honour on the
jihadists’ social media networks.
For men, it is a way to raise their social standing and help those in
need. Most prospective husbands appear to have roots in Muslim countries
but live in western Europe, where they are relatively well-off.
For the women of the camp, it is a way of securing an income that can
make life in Hawl more bearable: the money is used for daily necessities
such as nappies, food, medicine, phone credit and to pay other women to
cook and clean.>>
Read more here:
July 2 2021
<<A new breed of Indian female artists challenge patriarchy and
Many young Indian artists are seriously engaging with topics like
gender, sexuality, consent and other social issues that have gripped
A futuristic landscape titled ‘Pollution Punk’ depicts Dharavi, Asia’s
biggest slum. Another called ‘Naga district’ is a gigantic piece of 3-D
art that has a giant serpent hovering above skyscrapers, with Indian
script, on top of buildings. Digital artist Sam Madhu’s wild coloured
pop art in shades of fuchsia pink and purple, have Goddess Kali in a
T-shirt, and new-age Indian women talking about taboo topics from
sexuality, to body shaming.
Art is activism and can be immensely effective in opening up
conversations and dealing with oppression and gender-based violence. In
recent times, many young Indian women artists have seriously engaged
with topics like gender, inclusivity, sexuality, consent and patriarchy
through their art.
Sam Madhu, 26, ( with 50.7 K followers on Instagram) started drawing and
painting when she was in school in Chennai, finding her lessons boring
and often filling her school notebooks with drawings. She attended the
prestigious Parsons School of Design and worked as an Art Director, with
social media campaigns, and found her mojo in digital art. >>
Read more here:
30 June 2021
<<Fox News fined $1m for sexual harassment and retaliation
New York watchdogs fined Fox News $1m for violating sexual harassment
and job retaliation laws, in a settlement that also included Fox
suspending a policy that requires people who allege misconduct to enter
into binding arbitration.
The New York City Commission on Human Rights has fined Fox News $1m, the
largest penalty in its history, for violations of laws protecting
against sexual harassment and job retaliation.
As part of a settlement agreement announced Tuesday, Fox also agreed to
mandate anti-harassment training for its New York-based staff and
contributors and to temporarily drop a policy requiring people who
allege misconduct to enter into binding arbitration.
The penalty stems from an investigation that began in 2017 following
several reports of what the commission called “rampant abuse” at the
popular news and opinion outlet.
The first indication of problems at the channel came in 2016 when former
anchor Gretchen Carlson charged that now-deceased network chief Roger
Ailes had made unwanted advances and derailed her career when she
rejected him. Both Ailes and former Fox personality Bill O’Reilly lost
their jobs over misconduct allegations.
Several other women have come forward with lawsuits and their own
harassment allegations, including former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly.
The $1m fine groups four separate <willful and wanton> violations that
each carried a maximum penalty of $250,000. The commission would not
identify the people involved in those cases, or whether there were more.
Human rights officials said they hoped the large penalty would deter bad
behavior at any workplace.
<If people would dare to break the law and discriminate or harass
people, there will be stiff penalties they would have to pay,> said
Carmelyn Malalis, chairwoman of the city Commission on Human Rights.>>
Read more here: