When one hurts or kills a women
WELCOME TO PART 6 OF GLOBAL ATROCITIES AGAINST
SO I DECIDED TO CREATE TWO PAGES, THE ONE YOU
<<From: Inside Story
Nearly 200 people were killed in an
attack outside Kabul’s airport, including at least 13 US military
personnel. Many more were also wounded. The attack claimed by an ISIL
(ISIS) offshoot came as little surprise to many who had been warning of
a security threat in the area for days.>>
<<The threat of ISKP in Afghanistan has
On August 26, two suicide bombers killed 72 Afghans and 13 members of the US military at Kabul airport amid evacuation efforts. The Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), the Afghanistan affiliate of ISIL (ISIS), claimed responsibility for the brutal attack and thus put itself in the international media spotlight.
Although foreign media started paying attention to this group only now, ISKP has been terrorising Afghans since 2015 and it will continue to do so after the August 31 withdrawal of US troops.
There are two aspects of this attack that need to be considered. First, ISKP attacked the airport primarily to discredit its rival, the Taliban, in yet another escalation of the larger conflict between Sunni extremist armed groups. Second, ISKP made it clear that the Taliban will find it hard to keep its promises to ensure the safety and security of civilians, especially women and minorities under its rule.
A conflict between Sunni non-state actors
The emergence of ISIL, the umbrella organisation that includes ISKP, has often been attributed to sectarian dynamics and Sunni-Shia conflicts from the Arab world to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The problem with blaming violent conflict in this region on tensions between the two sects is that it ignores how the armed group has had a long, bloody legacy of stoking intra-Sunni conflict.
ISIL was formed by defectors from al-Qaeda in 2014 in Syria who then attacked their parent organisation and its Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra. ISKP was formed primarily by defectors from the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2015, who then went on to attack the Afghan branch. In both cases, the defectors considered their former organisations not extreme enough or not committed enough to attack fellow Sunnis, who they considered deviants, or Shia Muslims.
Essentially the conflict between ISIL and its affiliates on one hand, and al-Qaeda and the Taliban on the other, represents an oft-ignored intra-Sunni conflict among extremist groups. Both Syria and Afghanistan are zones of insecurity that have allowed the formation of multiple extremist non-state actors, essentially religious warlords. Since these non-state actors are so close ideologically, their legitimacy is threatened as long as the other rival exists, and thus must be eliminated immediately. Defeating their violent competitors delivers the benefits of monopolising the jihadist narrative as well as gaining new recruits.
This is the conflict ISKP is gearing up
for with the Taliban, as the US withdraws. While ISKP numbers have
dwindled to 2,000, it can still challenge the legitimacy of the
estimated 60,000-strong Taliban. With its forces spread thin across
Afghanistan, the Taliban would be particularly vulnerable to violent
terror tactics by its splinter.>>
<<Unacknowledged rape: the sexual assault survivors who hide their trauma – even from themselves. Surveys suggest a large proportion of women have experienced sexual assaults that they labelled as a misunderstanding. This has serious psychological repercussions and increases the chance of being victimised again.
The morning after it happened, I said a cheery: <Good morning,> to my university roommate, as if nothing was wrong. <How was last night?> she asked. <So fun,> I lied. The truth was that the night before I had feared for my life. I didn’t articulate it, but deep down I knew that what had happened had felt violating, degrading and not what I signed up for. Yet it took me a whole decade to realise what had really happened: I had been sexually assaulted. So that morning when my roommate asked me excitedly: <Do you think you’ll see him again?> I said: <I hope so.> That part wasn’t a lie. My limited understanding of consent and sexual violence at that time, and my overall sexual inexperience, meant I believed I was to blame for what had happened, that perhaps I just didn’t know <how sex usually is>. On top of all that, I had feelings for the guy. For the next 10 years, I would speak about <bad sex> or <grey-area experiences>. I would start sentences with: <This doesn’t really count, but …> or: <I wasn’t raped, but …> as if I didn’t have the right to the trauma I had buried. Then the #MeToo movement gained widespread prominence in 2017 and something shifted.
<That’s trauma,> a therapist said to me
when I finally opened up about the events that had taken place years
earlier. Hearing those words gave me permission to feel the weight of
what I had endured at 19, to understand why anxiety lurked close to the
surface of my body. A voice inside my head finally said: <That was
sexual assault.> At 33, I know that now. My experience is one that many
survivors of sexual violence share. Research suggests that it can take
years – sometimes decades – for some survivors to realise or accept that
their experience amounts to sexual assault or rape. Psychologists refer
to this as <unacknowledged rape” or <unacknowledged assault>. One study
on the subject from the US estimates a staggering 60% of female
university students have experienced unacknowledged rape. Other studies
have determined that between 30% and 88% of all sexual assaults go
unacknowledged by survivors.>>
<<Gagged: How shame and silence meet in control of women’s bodies. When we do not take into account a woman’s reason for choosing an abortion, we strip her of her agency and voice. For abused women, it is simply another form of tyranny. In 1985, then-US President Ronald Reagan implemented the Mexico City Policy. It blocked US federal funding for foreign NGOs that shared information or counselling on abortion and sometimes birth control and became known, by its opponents, as the global gag rule. It reflected in macrocosm the kind of tyranny that often occurs in the lives of abused women. In 1985, I had been with my abuser, Scott*, for two years. One night, not long after I had stopped taking birth control pills because they had started to make me feel severely nauseous, Scott insisted we have sex without protection. My period had just ended, but I knew my body and could feel a specific cramp that indicated I was ovulating. Scott told me I didn’t know anything about “how this works”. He made me doubt what I knew. He made me believe he knew more about my body than I did. He argued and yelled. He gripped my biceps and shook me until I finally agreed out of fear. Six weeks later, as I stood in my doctor’s office, I prayed she would tell me I wasn’t pregnant. I could hear her voice, but I was staring out of the window. I lost myself right there in the examining room. I was in the clouds, flying high, flying fast, heading north in my mind, past Loon Mountain and Saint Johnsbury, into Canada. I wanted to be anywhere but in my body. I left the doctor’s office in a daze. Scott was at home waiting for the results. But I didn’t want to go home, so I put the truck in gear and drove west, over the border into Vermont. Although I was alone, driving the truck, I felt like I was not even in it. I was out of my body, floating somewhere in the sky.
Seven attempts: What it takes to leave an abuser.
Five steps to leaving an abusive relationship.
24 August 2021
<<All-women’s Islamic choir smashes gender taboos in Egypt. Nema Fathi says her female choir group is determined to challenge deep-rooted taboos about women singing religious songs in public.
The words of the Islamic hymns being rehearsed in a small studio just outside Cairo are well known among Egyptian Muslims, but they have never sounded so different. Here, they are being sung by women. Songs in praise of God and Islam’s Prophet Mohammad are a common religious custom in Egypt and the Middle East, but they are almost always performed by men and boys. The members of Al Hur, Egypt’s first all-female Muslim recitation choir, are determined to change that – challenging deep-rooted taboos about women singing in public or reciting from the Quran in the socially conservative country. <Having women in the Muslim religious chanting field not only breaks social stereotypes about female chanters. It also gives a new, distinctive style to an art that has long been dominated by only men,> said Al Hur founder Nema Fathi, 26. Sitting on chairs in the wood-panelled studio during a recent rehearsal, seven young women and girls scanned the lyrics on their mobile phones before closing their eyes and belting out the hymns, accompanied by a piano and drums.
Fathi practices a religious musical form known as <inshad>, or chanting, in which religious sayings and praise for God and the Prophet Mohammed are sung. While the practice has both secular and religious uses in the Middle East, nasheeds are almost always sung by men, while women who perform music or sing publicly are often viewed as promiscuous. That makes female performers even more taboo, and Fathi said she faced repeated criticism since she launched Al Hur in 2017 after connecting with other women and girls who wanted to follow their passion for the musical form.
<Since the choir’s founding, we’ve faced widespread attacks by some leading Muslim chanting figures who discouraged us from taking this step,> she said.
<Some told us that the voice of a woman is dishonourable. ‘How can girls sing religious songs?’ they said. But we challenged ourselves to make this band a success,> Fathi added. A shortage of time and money has also weighed on the choir’s ambitions. Fathi pays about 500 Egyptian pounds ($32) an hour to hire the studio, where she offers free weekly rehearsals lasting between three to five hours.
Still, choir members have to pay for transport to attend rehearsals and about 50 concerts over the last four years.
That has worn down membership from 30
to only 10 at present. <Most of them got married and started to take
care of their families,> said Fathi, adding that the women’s husbands
had not supported their membership of the group.
<<Married to ex-Kashmir rebels,
Pakistani women now in a limbo.
Kupwara, Indian-administered Kashmir – Ambreen Rehman is longing to visit her birthplace: her maternal grandparents’ home in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Eight years have passed and the 37-year-old resident of Kupwara in Indian-administered Kashmir has little hope she will ever make it to the house across the border. Kashmir is divided into areas administered by India and Pakistan, who rule over parts of it but claim it in its entirety. A de facto border, called the Line of Control (LoC), divides the disputed region between the two nuclear powers.
‘Like a caged bird’
For the past eight years, Rehman has
been opening the window of her room in Kupwara’s Drugmulla village to
look at the conifer-covered mountains. <Beyond that lies my heart,> she
told Al Jazeera. <I am like a caged bird, flapping my feathers with the
steel frame and looking forward to flying back.> As she looked wistfully
outside the window, dusk fell, the mountains turned dark and her view
vanished. Rehman’s ordeal began in 2013 when she embarked on a journey
to Indian-administered Kashmir with her husband and former rebel, Abdul
Majeed Ahanger, and three children. In the 1990s, hundreds of Kashmiri
men crossed the LoC to join camps on the Pakistani side that were
training Kashmiri rebels to fight against the Indian security forces.
The armed rebellion that began in 1989 aims to either merge India’s only
Muslim-majority region with Pakistan or create an independent country.
Ahanger, now 42, had crossed the highly militarised LoC in 1999. He
later decided to live with his relatives in Muzaffarabad, where he
worked as a tailor. In 2002, he married Rehman. No longer a rebel, he
longed to return to his homeland and loved ones on the Indian side. An
opportunity arrived in 2010, when the government of Indian-administered
Kashmir announced an amnesty programme for the ex-rebels who had crossed
over to the Pakistani side, but had given up the armed rebellion <due to
a change of heart and are willing to return>.
<<‘So scared’: woman describes effort to save relatives in Afghanistan. Disappointment as much as fear and dread felt by members of Afghan diaspora as they try to get family out.
A UK-based Afghan woman whose relatives
worked with US and Nato forces and international humanitarian
organisations has described a frantic effort from afar to try to protect
her family amid fears they will be targeted by the Taliban. <I haven’t
slept for a week or so … There are tremendous threats against their
lives,> said the woman, whose mother remains in Afghanistan along with
seven of her siblings. <I cannot tell you how much I have cried in the
last four or five days. Every single day.> It is an undertaking echoed
across the Afghan diaspora and beyond as people scramble to save loved
ones amid reports of the Taliban going door-to-door as they search for
people who work with the former Afghan government or western countries.
<‘I am very afraid’: Women on the front lines of a new Afghanistan>
Reporter Mellissa Fung reflects on what’s at stake for women under Taliban rule. This was not the story we set out to tell. We had been investigating the killings of women in Afghanistan since the United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February 2020.
Such killings have been rising, with record numbers documented by the United Nations: 219 women killed in the first six months of this year, compared with 138 during the same period in 2020.
But it seemed very few people had been held accountable for these murdersIn July, we spent two weeks in the Afghan capital, Kabul, learning about the lives of those who had been killed, talking to women living in fear and trying to get answers from the authorities. But as we were putting our story together, the country unravelled, the Afghan president fled, and the Taliban took over the presidential palace. The messages from friends started coming in on the morning of Sunday, August 15. <The Taliban have taken over our neighbourhood.> <They are in our mosque, telling us to wear the hijab if we go out.><I am at home. I can hear gunfire. We just pray.> Their desperation was palpable. Meanwhile, Taliban leaders were officially assuring the world that there would be a peaceful transition.
Women in charge of their destinies.
I first came to know Afghanistan in
2006, embedding with the Canadian forces in Kandahar five years after
the deployment of NATO troops there. I always wanted to know how the
women were doing, since the war had been sold to us with the shiny
promise of “liberating” them from the Taliban’s brutal rule. Over the
years, I witnessed tentative girls I met growing into assertive young
women, and assertive young women maturing into confident professionals –
women who knew they had control over their own destiny.> >>
<<The secret cameras recording women in Spain.
In 2019, some women were secretly recorded urinating and the video was posted on porn websites. Now, the women are seeking justice.
Every August, in a small town called
San Cibrao, in the northern region of Galicia, Spain, people gather to
celebrate a local yearly festival: the A Maruxaina. Finding a toilet
during the event, which brings together thousands of people, can be
challenging – forcing many to go to discreet alleys instead. In 2019, a
group of women were secretly recorded while doing it. The videos were
posted on porn websites. Now, the women are seeking justice.>>
<<The mental health cost of Poland’s
abortion ban. Seven months after severe restrictions against abortion
came into effect, women are struggling with the emotional toll of the
<<END FEMICIDE. What happens to the children of women killed by men?
In the latest part of our series, we highlight the lack of official support in the UK for traumatised youngsters and those left to pick up the pieces. But, amid the grief, is there still hope for the future?
Susan Dela Cuesta, 57, and her partner, David Crouch, 78, will soon know if they have full custody of their one-year-old granddaughter. The child’s mother, 20-year-old Caroline Crouch, was killed on 11 May this year, by her husband, Charalambos Anagnostopoulos, 33. Initially, he had claimed that intruders had murdered his wife. “One thing that makes me even more sad than her death is the fact that our daughter will grow up without remembering her beautiful mother,” he said, before his arrest, at Crouch’s funeral.
Her diaries revealed that she had been in an abusive, controlling relationship. Now, it seems likely that the little girl will grow up not in Athens but on the island of Alonissos, her maternal grandparents’ retirement home. <There,> her grandmother said, <she will not be known as a killer’s daughter.>
She is one of many children each year, hidden behind headlines about killings, who are left motherless by femicide. Families and friends will struggle to take on the role of carers, hit by a juggernaut of sudden loss and unexpected added responsibility.
Their stories are just some of those now being highlighted by the Observer, as part of its collaboration with the Femicide Census, a database that includes a 10-year review of all female killings. Activist and former solicitor Clarrie O’Callaghan, and Karen Ingala Smith, chief executive of Nia, a sexual and domestic violence charity founded the census. They have been helped by pro bono support from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, an international law firm, and consultants Deloitte. The aim of our collaboration is to try to reduce the rate of femicide. One woman is killed by a man every three days, a statistic unchanged for a decade.
<The least the government can do is to
establish precisely how many children are affected and produce an action
plan to meet their needs. Currently, that is not happening,> says
O’Callaghan.She and Ingala Smith estimate that at least 80 children a
year in the UK are left motherless by femicide. <Bereavement through
violence has a profound impact on children, even more so when the
perpetrator is your father,> says Ingala Smith. <In addition to the
trauma of loss, there are the questions of identity, loyalty and genetic
inheritance.> Emma Radley of Winston’s Wish, a charity that supports
bereaved children, says that many of them <puddle jump’>. <One minute
they will be in the depths, crying , wanting to know, ‘Where’s Mummy?’,
the next they will be asking if they can go out and play. It can make
adults think, ‘It’s OK now’. And it may not be. It can have a domino
effect on a child’s entire life.>
<<Women’s rights and the US’s ‘civilising’ mission in Afghanistan.
The US imperial endeavours in
Afghanistan and anywhere else in the world have never benefitted women
and their rights.
To be sure, the plight of Afghan women at the hands of the Taliban has from the get-go offered a handy pretext for US military devastation.
Long before the 9/11 attacks even
transpired, US politicians, celebrities and self-declared feminist
activists had been pushing for a <liberation> of women in Afghanistan
that conveniently dovetailed with imperial geostrategic interests. As if
<B-52 carpet bombing>- to borrow the New York Times’ terminology – has
ever been good for female humans, much less any other organism. In
November 2001, the month after the launch of Bush’s invasion, then-First
Lady Laura Bush charitably took to US radio waves to assure listeners
that the <fight against terrorism> was simultaneously a <fight for the
rights and dignity of women>, and that the plight of Afghan women and
children was a <matter of deliberate human cruelty carried out by those
who seek to intimidate and control>.
<<Desperate crowds, empty flights and
rage in Afghanistan at governments who failed to plan.
This is the reality of what has
unfolded in Afghanistan this week, as the Taliban has returned to govern
the country after 20 years. For Afghans who have spent all that time
fighting within Afghan organisations for the values the west claimed to
promote, including democracy and women’s rights, there is even less
chance of getting out. They have no foreign organisations to sponsor the
visas they need to flee. I am devastated. It is failure upon failure,
said Shaharzad Akbar, who leads the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights
Commission. Her organisation has spearheaded the fight against both
Taliban and government abuses for two decades, and some of its staff
have paid the ultimate price; several of its activists have been killed
in targeted assassinations by the militants in recent years. Not a
single one had been evacuated from Kabul yet, she said. Some have been
offered flights, and tried to reach the airport, some – including
elderly and disabled people – have been twice, to no avail. They were
now poised, Akbar said, in a horrible balance of fear: terrified of
staying, and terrified of the consequences of trying to leave. <Right
now when colleagues have flights, I have to convince them to go to the
airport. They have tried once, twice and they have failed and so they
dread going again,> she said. And the journey is only getting harder, as
the Taliban consolidate control of the city.
Inside and outside Kabul there is
growing rage and despair at the failures of a crippled evacuation
programme that in its current state risks leaving most of the most
vulnerable Afghans behind.
<<Zimbabwean man charged with rape
after girl, 15, dies giving birth. Death has caused outrage in country
where one in three girls are likely to be married by 18, despite ban.
Zimbabwean police have charged a man after a 15-year-old girl died while
giving birth at a church shrine last month. Hatirarami Momberume, 26,
has been charged with raping Anna Machaya, whose death provoked outrage
in the country and was condemned by the UN. The girl’s parents, Edmore
Machaya and Shy Mabika, have been charged with obstructing justice and
falsifying identification documents to conceal their daughter’s age.
Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed that Anna died on 15 July and
was buried at a shrine in the rural area of Marange, in eastern
Zimbabwe. The police also said this week that the teenager’s name was
not Memory, as had been previously reported.
With the Taliban back in power, 101
East investigates the fight for justice for Afghanistan’s women.
<<Taliban conducting ‘targeted door-to-door visits’: UN document Confidential UN threat assessment report says group making door-to-door visits of people who worked with US and NATO forces.
Excerpt from the above article:<<Women
have also been assured their rights will be respected, and that the
Taliban will be “positively different” from their brutal 1996-2001 rule.
But with thousands of people still trying to flee the capital on board
evacuation flights, the intelligence report for the UN confirmed the
fears of many.
‘Lives under threat’
The Taliban has denied such accusations
in the past and has several times issued statements saying fighters were
barred from entering private homes.
<<As Taliban returns, Afghan
influencers go dark on social media.
Sadiqa Madadgar’s social media looked much like any other successful young Afghan influencer’s until the Taliban stormed into Kabul and upended her dreams. The return of the group has sent a shockwave through Afghanistan’s social media. Prominent influencers have gone dark or fled, while residents and activists are scrambling to scrub their digital lives. A former contestant on the reality singing competition <Afghan Star>, Madadgar amassed a huge following with her stunning vocals and down to earth, girl-next-door persona. A devout Muslim who wears a headscarf, she spent her days uploading videos that transfixed Afghan youngsters, winning her 21,200 subscribers on YouTube and 182,000 followers on Instagram. In one video, she giggles as she struggles to cut open a watermelon. On another, the 22 year old is singing a haunting folk tune in a cafe while a friend plays guitar. On a recent trip to the city of Kandahar – the Taliban’s birthplace – she filmed herself sharing a pizza with girlfriends. On Saturday, Madadgar posted her first overtly political post on Instagram.
<I don’t like to express my pain online
but I’m sick of this,> she wrote. <My heart is in pieces when I look at
the soil, my homeland which is being destroyed slowly before my eyes.>
But she had no illusions about what a
Taliban regime would mean for fashionable women entrepreneurs like her.
<If the Taliban take Kabul, people like me will no longer be safe,> she
told German broadcaster ZDF in a recent interview. <Women like me who
don’t wear a veil, who work, they can’t accept them.> She was so
terrified of the Taliban’s return that she had to flee, telling
followers recently that she had relocated to Turkey.>>
<<Hundreds of men in Pakistan
investigated over mass sexual assault on woman. Lahore police open case
against 300-400 unidentified people captured on video. Police in
Pakistan have opened cases against hundreds of unidentified men after a
young woman was sexually assaulted and groped by a crowd of more than
400 men in a park in Lahore as she made a TikTok video.
Women protest against the killing of women, in Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan.
Pakistan must take concrete steps to protect women from violence.
The Pakistani singer Farhan Saeed said
he was <disgusted, furious, heartbroken, ashamed that the men of this
country keep doing these horrible acts every other day> The Pakistani
senator Sherry Rehman said a recent implosion of violence against women
suggested the problem was worsening in Pakistan. <Most cases are mostly
either ignored, buried or brushed aside in the patriarchal culture of
silencing the victim,> she said. Pakistan is the sixth most dangerous
country in the world for women, according to the Thomson Reuters
Foundation. The Karachi-based organisation War Against Rape estimated
that less than 3% of rape cases lead to convictions..
<Afghanistan is the victim of back-to-back mistakes,> she said.
From her home in Kabul, Koofi, who has
been the subject of two assassination attempts, said: <President Biden
could have delayed this to wait for a political settlement – for even
just another month, just get the political settlement first. They could
have come to a deal.> She said the abrupt departure had needlessly put
many more people at risk.
<<R Kelly was in criminal court on
Wednesday for his long-anticipated federal trial on charges of sexual
abuse and racketeering, with a prosecutor describing the disgraced R&B
singer as “a predator” who used his fame to entice girls, boys and young
women before dominating and controlling them. <This case is not about a
celebrity who likes to party a lot,> assistant US attorney Maria Cruz
Melendez told the jury in Brooklyn, New York, as she explained the
evidence to be revealed at the trial. <This case is about a predator.>
More than a decade has passed since Kelly was acquitted in a 2008 child
sexual abuse images case in Chicago. It was a reprieve that allowed his
music career to continue until the #MeToo era caught up with him,
emboldening alleged victims to come forward. The women’s stories got
wide exposure with the Lifetime documentary Surviving R Kelly, which
premiered in January 2019. The series explored claims of how an
entourage of supporters protected Kelly and silenced his victims for
decades. Melendez told the jury on Wednesday that Kelly invited children
and women to join him after shows by distributing backstage passes. Once
he had them alone, Melendez said, he <Mdominated and controlled them
physically, sexually and psychologically>.
<<Uganda scraps controversial
anti-pornography ‘miniskirt’ law.
Her work striving for human rights and to prevent torture by state authorities has put Heemmina’s life in danger.
It started when her brother-in-law was
arrested in 2008, accused of killing state security forces in the south
of the country, where an insurgency has for decades been seeking
independence or greater autonomy for the region’s Malay Muslim minority.
He was imprisoned for two years before being acquitted of all charges in
2010. The ordeal rocked Heemmina’s family. But it also sparked something
in her – the desire to help families who had experienced a similar
ordeal. Heemmina’s days often start with a phone call or text notifying
her of someone who alleging abuse in state detention. With her notebook
and phone, she will visit their home to record their testimony. <They
use many ways of torture: beatings, electric shock, sleep deprivation;
they cover their heads with plastic bags,> Heemmina says of claims that
Thai security forces abuse suspected combatants. <They also use
isolation and intimidate them in many other ways.> Through Duay Jai, the
rights organisation that Heemmina founded in 2011, she has documented
almost 150 cases of torture in Thailand’s <deep south>.
<<Taliban says won’t seek revenge, will
respect women’s rights.
Note from Gino d'Artali: What the
spokesman really says is that the women must wear a full body covering
burqa again and also that girls will not allowed to school, highschool
or univerity. (Remember Malala Yousafhai's <One pencil, one book, one
teacher?> Read her stories here:
‘It’s so normalised you think it’s part
of your job’: the woman who lifted the lid on harassment in TV.
Elrick had largely rationalised these
incidents as the grim cost of doing the job she has dreamed of since she
was a teenager. <It’s so normalised that you think it’s part of your
job, and something you have to put up with,> she says. <But it never sat
easy with me.> However, something happened which changed her mind: in
April 2021, the Guardian broke the story of multiple accusations of
bullying and sexual misconduct against Noel Clarke, which he has denied,
and 2,000 people signed an open letter, calling for an end to endemic
harassment, bullying and sexual abuse in the UK film and TV industry.
Elrick has been overwhelmed by the
sheer volume of submissions.>>
<<‘We see silence filled with fear’:
female Afghan journalists plead for help.
<I was outside of the home, and I just
got a call from my brother saying ‘Where are you? You have to go home
Outside a beauty parlour in Kabul last week.
Afghan women’s defiance and despair: ‘I never thought I’d have to wear a burqa. My identity will be lost’ <In provinces they took some girls for themselves and used them as slaves.> Zeyba* works for one of Afghanistan’s largest media networks, which meant she and her husband and children would be shown no mercy, she said. She said she and other journalists were frantically trying to send their identity documentation and work to embassies before destroying any trace of their existence, physically and online. The situation in Afghanistan has prompted the Australian journalists’ union to call for protection for Afghan colleagues. In a statement, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance said it stood with journalists in Afghanistan who were being targeted because of their work. It urged the Australian government to include media workers in any humanitarian visa offerings. Karen Percy, vice-president of the MEAA’s media section, said Australia had a responsibility to not walk away from a military mission <without regard for the consequences>.
<Journalists are targets for
retribution and the situation is clearly deteriorating rapidly,> she
<<An Afghan woman in Kabul: ‘Now I have
to burn everything I achieved’. A university student tells of seeing all
around her the ‘fearful faces of women and ugly faces of men who hate
women’. Early on Sunday morning I was heading to university for a class
when a group of women came running out from the women’s dormitory. I
asked what had happened and one of them told me the police were
evacuating them because the Taliban had arrived in Kabul, and they will
beat women who do not have a burqa. We all wanted to get home, but we
couldn’t use public transport. The drivers would not let us in their
cars because they did not want to take responsibility for transporting a
woman. It was even worse for the women from the dormitory, who are from
outside Kabul and were scared and confused about where they should go.
Meanwhile, the men standing around were making fun of girls and women,
laughing at our terror. <Go and put on your chadari [burqa],> one called
out. <It is your last days of being out on the streets,> said another.
<I will marry four of you in one day,> said a third.With the government
offices closed down, my sister ran for miles across town to get home. <I
shut down the PC that helped to serve my people and community for four
years with a lot of pain,> she said. <I left my desk with tearful eyes
and said goodbye to my colleagues. I knew it was the last day of my
job.> I have nearly completed two simultaneous degrees from two of the
best universities in Afghanistan. I should have graduated in November
from the American University of Afghanistan and Kabul University, but
this morning everything flashed before my eyes. I worked for so many
days and nights to become the person I am today, and this morning when I
reached home, the very first thing my sisters and I did was hide our
IDs, diplomas and certificates. It was devastating. Why should we hide
the things that we should be proud of? In Afghanistan now we are not
allowed to be known as the people we are. As a woman, I feel like I am
the victim of this political war that men started. I felt like I can no
longer laugh out loud, I can no longer listen to my favourite songs, I
can no longer meet my friends in our favourite cafe, I can no longer
wear my favourite yellow dress or pink lipstick. And I can no longer go
to my job or finish the university degree that I worked for years to
All I could see around me were the
fearful and scared faces of women and ugly faces of men who hate women,
who do not like women to get educated, work and have freedom. Most
devastating to me were the ones who looked happy and made fun of women.
Instead of standing by our side, they stand with the Taliban and give
them even more power. Afghan women sacrificed a lot for the little
freedom they had. As an orphan I weaved carpets just to get an
education. I faced a lot of financial challenges, but I had a lot of
plans for my future. I did not expect everything to end up like this.
Now it looks like I have to burn everything I achieved in 24 years of my
<<UK MPs urged to ban ‘virginity
repair’ surgery as well as virginity testing.
In a market in Kabul, Aref is doing a
booming trade. At first glance, the walls of his shop seem to be
curtained in folds of blue fabric. On closer inspection, dozens and
dozens of blue burqas hang like spectres from hooks on the wall. As the
Taliban close in on Kabul, women inside the city are getting ready for
what may be coming. <Before, most of our customers were from the
provinces,> says Aref. <Now it is city women who are buying them.> One
of these women is Aaila, who is haggling with another shopkeeper over
rapidly inflating burqa prices. <Last year these burqas cost AFS 200
[£2]. Now they’re trying to sell them to us for AFS 2,000 to 3,000,> she
says. As the fear among women in Kabul has grown, the prices have risen.
For decades, the traditional Afghan burqa, mostly sold in shades of
blue, was synonymous with Afghan women’s identity around the world.
Usually made of heavy cloth, it is specifically designed to cover the
wearer from head to toe. A netted fabric is placed near the eyes so that
the woman inside can peer out through the meshing but nobody can see
inside. It was enforced strictly during the Taliban regime in the late
1990s, and failure to wear one while in public could earn women severe
punishments and public lashings from the Taliban’s <moral police>. After
the fall of the Taliban in 2001, even though many continued to choose to
wear the burqa in adherence to religious and traditional beliefs, its
rejection by millions of others across the country became a symbol of a
new dawn for the country’s women, who were able to dictate what they
wore for themselves again. Today, there are burqas in the streets of
downtown Kabul but women are also dressed in an array of different
styles, many mixing traditional materials with colourful modern patterns
and fashion inspiration from across the region. <Afghan women are some
of the most naturally stylish women in the world,> says Fatimah, an
artist and fashion photographer. <When you go on to the streets of Kabul
today you see this amazing mix of different fabrics and nods to
centuries-old traditions mixed with very modern styles and inspirations.
It’s this beautiful, creative spirit that was just full of hope for the
future.> Now the seemingly unstoppable advance of the Taliban has once
again seen the burqa pulled out of dusty storerooms and cupboards by
women who remember life under the militants’ rule.>>
<<Women report Afghanistan. ‘Nowhere
to go’: divorced Afghan women in peril as the Taliban close in.
Looking back at the week on The Stream,
this show goes behind the scenes to look at how life has changed for
Kashmiris since the Indian government revoked the region’s special
status. We continue a debate about deep-sea mining and share highlights
from our discussion about violence against women in Pakistan.>>
<<Former model Carré Sutton sues Gérald
Marie over rape accusation. Lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court,
says Sutton was ‘trafficked’ by ex-Elite Model boss to ‘wealthy men
Gérald Marie in his Elite Model Management office in Paris in 1991.
‘He wanted to control me completely’: the models who accuse Gérald Marie of sexual assault. Sutton is filing her lawsuit under New York state’s Child Victims Act, a law that permits survivors of childhood sexual abuse to sue their attackers, regardless of how long ago they were abused. The deadline for filing claims under this act ends at midnight Friday. Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s many accusers, filed suit against Prince Andrew in New York on Monday under the same law. Giuffre says Andrew sexually abused her at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, as well as other locations, in 2001 when she was 17. The prince has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Sutton is one of many women who have accused Marie of sexual assault while he helmed Elite Model Management’s European operations. French authorities are investigating their claims, and have previously invited 11 women to Paris to meet investigators. Marie’s attorneys have previously responded to allegations against him by saying he was <extremely affected by the accusations made against him, which he contests with the utmost firmness … He intends to actively participate in the manifestation of the truth within the scope of the opened criminal investigation.>
Elite Model Management’s founder, the
late John Casablancas, has also been accused of repeatedly engaging in
abusive and exploitative sexual conduct, announcing, for example, that
he was dating a 16-year-old model.
i.e. some excerpts/quotes from the article selected by Gino d'Artali
<<‘COVID-zero’ China, jobs galore, and a woman rises as Cuomo falls. We gather the numbers to know from the week’s biggest economic news stories so you can impress your friends.
The average gender wage gap per hour
worked in Latin America before the pandemic – and it’s likely gotten
worse. Women in the region are falling further behind as COVID-19
exacerbates historic inequities, makes the informal work many rely on
more precarious and erases the hard-won economic gains they’ve already
made. Al Jazeera’s Megan Janetsky spoke to women in Bogota, Colombia who
clean houses, care for children and perform other informal work about
how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted every aspect of their lives.>>
Women's Media Center
<We can talk about negative reporting in two ways,> said Amer Dzihana, a professor in media law and the sociology of journalism. <The first is generalization. When media reports about crime, they usually do so by citing people by their names; in the case of crimes committed by migrants, the reporting defaults to mentioning their immigration status. So, the entire population is targeted. In addition, media sometimes runs fake stories or stories that are not entirely verified, the most famous example being ‘news’ that migrants have killed swans and ate them.>
Admittedly, in places like northwestern Bosnia, where refugees and migrants have settled into smaller communities, some security and infrastructure issues have arisen; this, Dzihana told us, <is where we see the increase in negative reporting.>
<[But] when it comes to mainstream
media in the rest of Bosnia,> said Dizhana, <reporting is often mired
with misconceptions, with media from the Republic of Srpska perceiving
migrants as a direct threat.> >>
<<‘I pray for her’: Australian
broadcaster Cheng Lei no closer to release a year after being detained
No contact with her children
Friday marks the first anniversary of
Cheng’s detention. Cheng, who is now 46, was held for the first six
months in a form of coercive custody known as <residential surveillance
at a designated location>. She was formally arrested in February this
year on <suspicion of illegally supplying state secrets overseas>,
according to Chinese authorities, but no further details about the
accusations or any potential court dates have been released.>>
<<Amnesty: Rape survivors describe
slavery, mutilations in Tigray. ‘Severity
and scale’ of sexual crimes committed by Ethiopian and Eritrean troops
amount to war crimes, the rights group says. Ethiopian and Eritrean
troops have raped hundreds of women and girls during the Tigray war,
subjecting some to sexual slavery and mutilation, human rights group
Amnesty International has said in a 36-page report. Drawing from
interviews with 63 survivors, the report (PDF) published on Wednesday
sheds new light on a scourge already being investigated by Ethiopian law
enforcement officials, with at least three soldiers convicted and 25
others charged. Some survivors said they had been gang raped while held
captive for weeks on end. Others described being raped in front of their
family members. Some reported having objects including nails and gravel
inserted into their vaginas, <causing lasting and possibly irreparable
damage,> Amnesty said.
‘All of us were raped’
Northern Ethiopia has been racked by
violence since November after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the 2019 Nobel
Peace Prize winner, sent troops into Tigray to topple its regional
ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). He said the
move came in response to TPLF’s attacks on federal army camps. As the
conflict deepened, the humanitarian toll spiked, with aid workers
struggling to reach populations that were now unreachable. Currently,
400,000 people are facing famine-like conditions in Tigray, according to
the United Nations. Alleged perpetrators of rape include government
soldiers, troops from neighbouring Eritrea – which has backed Abiy – as
well as security forces and militia fighters from Ethiopia’s Amhara
region, Amnesty said. More than 12 survivors told Amnesty they were
raped by Eritreans only, while others said Eritreans and Ethiopians had
The AFP news agency had previously
interviewed multiple survivors of gang rape perpetrated by Ethiopian and
Eritrean soldiers. Amnesty on Wednesday said health facilities in Tigray
had “registered 1,288 cases of gender-based violence from February to
April 2021”, although doctors note that many survivors do not come
forward. Survivors still suffer significant physical and mental health
complications, Amnesty said. While many complained of physical trauma
such as <continued bleeding, back pain, immobility and fistula>, others
tested positive for HIV after being raped, the group said.>>
<<Film Sabaya: the shocking documentary
filmed inside Syria’s notorious al-Hawl camp With car chases and
shootouts, it may feel like a Hollywood action flick, but, as the
director, Hogir Hirori, explains, the film is really about the exploited
women and girls there.
<When Daesh [Isis] attacked, I realised that I could tell these stories in a really specific way,> he says, speaking via video from Stockholm. <I knew the culture and the language, and I’ve been a refugee all my life, so I had the understanding and the insights to do these documentaries very well.> Hirori had trained in media production and worked in Swedish television, but he had never before addressed an international audience. The news coming out of Sinjar changed all that.
Sabaya is the third feature documentary Hirori has made about the consequences of war in northern Iraq, and the fate of the long-persecuted Yazidi people. In 2016, The Girl Who Saved My Life told the story of Hirori’s initial return to the region to document the refugee crisis; 2017’s The Deminer was a nerve-shredding portrait of a Kurdish bomb-disposal expert. In Sabaya, Hirori embeds with a group of unfathomably brave volunteers who infiltrate the dangerous al-Hawl detention camp in Syria in the hope of rescuing some of the estimated 7,000 Yazidi girls and women who have been sex-trafficked by Isis since 2014. The sprawling facility is home to more than 62,000 people, according to recent UN estimates, 80% of whom are women and children.
<It was actually my wife [Lorin Ibrahim]
who had this idea to go down to Syria to find out what happened to these
women and girls,> says Hirori. Ibrahim is a reporter for Swedish radio
and, like her husband, has first-hand experience of life in a conflict
zone. <She was 11 years old when she fled from Syria, and it took her
three years to reach Sweden.> As the security situation in Syria
deteriorated, the couple, who have two small children, changed their
plans: “We realised that it was just too dangerous to bring anybody else
in, so I decided that I was going to do everything, all the logistics,
<<Sex workers fighting for human rights among world’s most ‘at risk activists’.
Exclusive: Front Line Defenders report says rights defenders working in sex industry face ‘targeted attacks’ around the world.
Sex worker activists are among the most
at risk defenders of human rights in the world, facing multiple threats
and violent attacks, an extensive investigation has found. The research,
published today by human rights organisation Front Line Defenders, found
that their visibility as sex workers who are advocates for their
communities’ rights makes them more vulnerable to the violations
routinely suffered by sex workers. In addition, they face unique,
targeted abuse for their human rights work. Drawing on the experience of
300 individuals in Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, El Salvador and Myanmar, the
report focuses on cases of sexual assault, threats from managers and
clients, raids on homes and offices, physical attacks and police
surveillance endured by sex workers undertaking human rights work. The
services the activists provide to fellow sex workers include:
negotiating access to brothels, conducting gender rights training,
offering legal and health counselling, reporting experiences of
violence, and campaigning for freedom of movement and free choice of
employment for those seeking to leave sex work. Erin Kilbride, research
and visibility coordinator at Front Line Defenders and lead author of
the report, said: <Sex worker rights defenders take extreme personal
risks to protect their communities’ rights to access justice,
healthcare, housing and food, while responding to the immediate threats
of police and domestic violence, discrimination, criminalisation and
The services the activists provide to fellow sex workers include: negotiating access to brothels, conducting gender rights training, offering legal and health counselling, reporting experiences of violence, and campaigning for freedom of movement and free choice of employment for those seeking to leave sex work.
Erin Kilbride, research and visibility coordinator at Front Line Defenders and lead author of the report, said: <Sex worker rights defenders take extreme personal risks to protect their communities’ rights to access justice, healthcare, housing and food, while responding to the immediate threats of police and domestic violence, discrimination, criminalisation and structural poverty.>
Often these activists were the only
people able and willing to provide health education in locations in
which sex was sold, the report found. They ensured treatment for sex
workers who would otherwise be left with crippling injuries and
<<‘For as long as we can’: reporting as an Afghan woman as the Taliban advance. A collective of female journalists are battling to make women’s voices heard as the Islamist militants tighten their grip on the country. Despite years of development, investment and progress in the Afghan media industry, 28-year-old Zahra Joya often found she was the only woman in a newsroom. <It was a lonely space, dominated by men who made the decisions about which stories were important, and which were not,> she says. Joya, who is from the persecuted Hazara community, felt she faced discrimination because of her ethnicity and sex. <There were so few women journalists in Kabul,> she says. <There would hardly be women reporters covering political events or press conferences even though these stories affect us greatly.> Determined to disrupt this male-dominated landscape, in November last year, Joya started Rukhshana Media – a news website telling stories of Afghanistan’s women, written by Afghanistan’s women. She chose the name as a tribute to the victims of Afghanistan’s patriarchy and all the women overlooked in the country’s history.
<In 2015, a girl named Rukhshana from
Ghor province was accused of adultery and running away from home. She
was escaping forced marriage,> says Joya. <The boy who accompanied her
was given 100 lashes for ‘insolence’ for the same crime, but Rukhshana
was stoned to death. Since the day I watched the video of her public
stoning, her story stayed with me.> In its brief existence, Rukhshana
has told powerful stories of Afghan women’s struggle, offering the
platform to local female journalists. They have written about women’s
reproductive health, domestic and sexual violence, and gender
discrimination, among other things. <It is often the case that stories
of Afghan women are decided by Afghan men or international journalists
in the outside world. And while our presence in Afghan media is
celebrated as an example of ‘women’s empowerment’, not much attention or
space is given to us for defining what story should be covered,> Joya
Domestic and family violence is the number one cause of homelessness in the country, where almost 50 percent of those experiencing homelessness are women, often accompanied by children.
Melbourne, Australia – <My homelessness is directly related to domestic violence, because I would just up and leave,> says 47-year-old Naomi, who asked that we only use her first name. An Indigenous woman who was raised in inner-city Melbourne, Naomi is a tough talker whose energy and assertion belies years of hardship. Now living in Queensland, Australia’s most northern state, Naomi describes her experiences of homelessness and family violence on a lengthy phone call. <Domestic violence was normalised for me because I saw it growing up,> she says matter-of-factly. Growing up with her Indigenous mother and Irish father, she would experience severe domestic violence, often fuelled by alcohol. Mum – don’t get me wrong, I love her with all my heart – but I just didn’t understand growing up as a young girl, she was just crazy,” she says sadly.
<Like, she’d get on the grog [get drunk] and she’d just be absolutely crazy. And her and Dad would just go for the kill, and just get in these drunken rages.>
Naomi did not know it then, but her mother was part of the <Stolen Generations> – Indigenous children who were forcibly taken from their families – and grew up in a mission run by non-Indigenous nuns. Indigenous children often suffered extreme abuse in such institutions, where conditions were harsh and punishments severe. Along with the pain of separation from family, the dislocation from their culture and heritage, the trauma that the <Stolen Generations> experienced has often resulted in alcohol and drug use, domestic violence and homelessness, all of which impacts the next generation. After her parents split up, Naomi found herself homeless at age 14 and found accommodation in various hostels around Melbourne.
<I worked in lots of factories in Richmond. I just found good little jobs where I could support myself,> she says. <But I wasn’t old enough to rent a house, so I had to stay in these little hostels and couch surf.>
She describes the hostels as <always dingy with random people, old people. I was pretty young. It was a bit scary.>
Domestic violence and a housing
shortage. Stories like Naomi’s are not uncommon in Australia.>>
In interview with Al Jazeera, the
24-year-old sprinter explains why she is parting with one of her medals
as she recounts her recent ordeal.
The officials say she was suffering mental health issues, a claim she denies. <Had I returned to Belarus, two things could have happened. I would either be sent to a psychiatric hospital or to jail,> she told Al Jazeera. She had trained for the 200m sprint, but the drama meant she did not participate in her Olympics race this year. The silver medal she is parting with, awarded from the team relay at the 2nd European Games 2019 in Minsk, has gone up for auction on eBay, with a starting price of $21,000. So far, there is one bid.
Journey from Tokyo.
Tsimanouskaya, 24, says that in Tokyo,
her coaches asked her to run an additional distance race – the 4x400m
relay – because other team members were ruled out having not had enough
doping tests. <I tried to inquire about it with the head coaches who
simply ignored me. At that moment, I felt complete disrespect towards me
and my hard work. Emotions took over and I spoke out about it on my
Instagram.> After she went public on Instagram, the coaches held
discussions with her. <And then, they came to my room and said that an
order had come in to remove me from the Olympics and not let me compete
in the 200m, and that I had to be sent home, and that I had to say that
I got an injury, return home and be silent so that I wouldn’t be
<<Women report Afghanistan.
‘Sometimes I have to pick up a gun’: the female Afghan governor resisting the Taliban.
Salima Mazari, one of only three female
district governors in Afghanistan, tells of her motivation to fight the
militants. by Zainab Pirzad.
We’ve faced Taliban attacks longer than the recent surge in violence and we’ve managed to keep them out of Charkint.
In 2018, she learned there was an
opening for the position of district governor of Charkint, <my ancestral
homeland>, as Mazari describes it. Encouraged by colleagues and family
members, she applied for the post. With her experience and
qualifications, she was among the leading candidates. Her determination
to work for the people of her district ensured that she was soon
appointed. <Initially, I was worried that as a female governor I might
be discriminated against, but the people surprised me,> she says. <The
day I was officially received in Charkint as the district governor, I
was overwhelmed by the support.> Few women step out of their house here
without a full hijab or a burqa, or a male guardian. To assume the role
of district governor was no simple feat, and she soon found herself
leading battles she had not expected.
<<From Middle East to India, women
‘violated’ in Pegasus phone hack
Dozens of women across India, the Middle East and North Africa who were likely targeted for surveillance by governments using Pegasus spyware are now at a heightened risk of being blackmailed or harassed, tech experts and victims say. Developed by Israeli tech firm NSO, Pegasus turns a mobile phone into a surveillance device – using its microphone and cameras and accessing and exporting messages, photos and emails without the user’s knowledge. Deploying the software in countries with few privacy protections, restricted freedom of expression, and broadly conservative societies can pose a particular risk to women, rights activists warned. <A woman being targeted for surveillance is different from a man being targeted because any information can always be used to blackmail or discredit her,> said Anushka Jain at the Internet Freedom Foundation in New Delhi, which is providing legal assistance to two activists – including a woman – who were targeted. <Women already face harassment online. If they think they can be surveilled, they may self censor even more and will simply be afraid to speak up,> said Jain, an associate counsel. A leaked database of 50,000 phone numbers that were possibly compromised between 2017 and 2019 included dozens of phone numbers belonging to women – 60 from India – among them journalists, activists and homemakers, according to Indian news portal The Wire.
One potential target was a former
Supreme Court employee who accused then-Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi of
sexual harassment, although judges later dismissed the complaint.
Several members of her family were also on the list. <She was not a
public persona, so she was being surveilled for no other reason than
that (complaint),> Jain said of the woman, whose identity has not been
publicly disclosed. <It’s a massive invasion of her privacy,> Jain told
the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Indian authorities have declined to say
whether the government had purchased Pegasus spyware for surveillance,
only saying that <unauthorised surveillance does not occur>. In an
emailed statement, an NSO spokesperson said that it undertakes <vigorous
pre-sale human rights and legal compliance checks to minimize the
potential for misuse> and has cut access to clients who have been found
to be abusing the technology. The spokesperson declined to say whether
any of those shutdowns were linked to the use of material gathered
through Pegasus to blackmail or otherwise intimidate women.>>
<<As pandemic drags on, Latin American women lose even more ground The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to worsen existing gender gaps, exacerbate precarious labour conditions and erase progress made by Latin American women workers.
Bogota, Colombia – Elcy Gomez’s monthly rent cheque has turned into a ticking time bomb. The mother of three was just starting her own herbal medicine business when the coronavirus pandemic hit. As COVID-19 lockdowns in Bogota stretched on, her work evaporated, plunging her family into debt. With a diabetic husband and children in their early 20s just entering the workforce, Gomez shouldered most of the economic burden. For a year and a half, her family has scraped together small sums of money, just enough to pay for their small apartment in the far reaches of the city and put food on the table.
Gomez’s stress is etched on her 55-year-old face, and her situation hasn’t gotten better as the pandemic wears on.
When her latest rent cheque was due on August 4, she said she didn’t even have the first 100,000 pesos ($25) to put towards it. The apartment costs $200 per month.<We don’t have anything right now to pay our bills,> Gomez told Al Jazeera. <Until now, we haven’t been able to get anything.> She begged her landlord to give her more time to pay, just as she’s had to routinely do over the course of the pandemic. Gomez fell eight months behind on rent payment at her last apartment before moving to this one, which is cheaper — but she is still struggling to scrape together the money. Gomez is not alone. Low coronavirus vaccination rates — combined with some of the highest infection rates in the world — threaten to prolong the economic crisis caused by the pandemic in Latin America, and push the region into what the International Monetary Fund and other authorities warn could become a <lost decade>.
Structural issues and new risks.
Women, who have always suffered more
precarious labour conditions, are among the most disproportionately
affected by that turmoil. Experts worry that the pandemic is not only
deepening endemic gaps, but also setting women back in years of progress
in a region that already lags behind on gender equality. <With working
women, the pandemic not only affected them by worsening structural
problems they already faced; it also created new risks,> said Maria
Adelaida Palacio, a leader at the Bogota-based feminist research group
Sisma Mujer. The root of the problem comes from structural inequalities
that stretch back far before the health crisis, explained Palacio. The
pay gap between men and women across the region already stood at 17
percent on average for each hour worked pre-COVID, United Nations
figures show. Yet the 30 years leading up to the pandemic were marked by
the exponential growth of women entering the workforce in the region.
Gomez was among the women who felt like they were making strides as she
launched her new business and began social work projects in other areas
of the country. <We [women] were the ones who were going to lead the
orchestra, as I like to say,> she remembered. <But we couldn’t because
of the pandemic. It was like an illusion. Like I thought I could do
something, but in reality, no.> It was a far cry from where she had been
decades earlier, when she landed in Bogota after being forcibly
displaced by armed-group violence in her home in the Cesar region in
<<‘Please pray for me’: female reporter being hunted by the Taliban tells her story.
A young female journalist describes the
panic and fear of being forced into hiding as cities across Afghanistan
fall by Anonymous, as told to Himkat Noori. Two days ago I had to flee
my home and life in the north of Afghanistan after the Taliban took my
city. I am still on the run and there is no safe place for me to go.
Last week I was a news journalist. Today I can’t write under my own name
or say where I am from or where I am. My whole life has been obliterated
in just a few days. I am so scared and I don’t know what will happen to
me. Will I ever go home? Will I see my parents again? Where will I go?
The highway is blocked in both directions. How will I survive? My
decision to leave my home and life was not planned. It happened very
suddenly. In the past days my whole province has fallen to the Taliban.
The only places that the government still controls are the airport and a
few police district offices. I’m not safe because I’m a 22-year-old
woman and I know that the Taliban are forcing families to give their
daughters as wives for their fighters. I’m also not safe because I’m a
news journalist and I know the Taliban will come looking for me and all
of my colleagues. <I’m a 22-year-old woman and I know that the Taliban
are forcing families to give their daughters as wives for their fighters
The Taliban are already seeking out people they want to target. At the
weekend my manager called me and asked me not to answer any unknown
number. He said that we, especially the women, should hide, and escape
the city if we could. As I was packing I could hear bullets and rockets.
Planes and helicopters were flying low over our heads. There was
fighting on the streets right outside the house. My uncle offered to
help get me to a safe place, so I grabbed my phone and a chadari (the
full Afghan burqa) and left. My parents would not leave even though our
house was now on the frontline of the battle for the city. As the rocket
fire intensified they pleaded for me to leave because they knew the
routes out of the city would soon be shut. So I left them behind and
fled with my uncle. I haven’t spoken to them since as the phones are not
working in the city any more. Outside the house it was chaos. I was one
of the last young women left in my neighbourhood to try to flee. I could
see Taliban fighters right outside our house, on the street. They were
everywhere. Thank God, I had my chadari, but even then I was afraid they
would stop me or would recognise me. I was trembling as I was walking,
but trying not to look scared. Just after we’d left a rocket landed
right next to us. I remember screaming and crying, women and children
around me were running in every direction. It felt like we were all
stuck in a boat and there was a big storm around us.> >>
<<Cuomo resignation: The women who rise
after powerful men fall. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is the
latest man forced out of power in the United States by #MeToo claims
that are reshaping the political, business and media landscape.
Out: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
In: New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned from office after he was accused in a report released this month of harassing 11 women. At the time of resignation, Cuomo was facing impeachment proceedings, but it’s unclear if those will continue. If impeachment is successful, then Cuomo would be unable to run for state office in the future. He could also get slapped with civil lawsuits from his alleged victims.
Cuomo was replaced by Kathy Hochul, the current New York lieutenant governor, who will become the first woman to hold the highest office in the state when Cuomo formally steps down on August 24. Hochul, a Democrat, has served as lieutenant governor since 2015 and was previously a federal congressional representative. She won her congressional seat in a special election after her predecessor, Chris Lee, resigned after he allegedly sent shirtless photos to a woman he met online while currently married.
IN: Today co-anchor Hoda Kotb
Matt Lauer, the former co-anchor of the Today show, was fired in November 2017 over allegations of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace”. Allegations included sexual assault in Lauer’s office. Lauer was replaced by Hoda Kotb alongside co-host Savannah Guthrie. Kotb originally filled in as an emergency replacement, a move made permanent in 2018 partially due to her high ratings.
Out: PBS host Charlie Rose...>>
<<New York Governor Cuomo resigns amid sexual harassment claims. Resignation comes after a New York state investigation concluded Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has resigned after a state investigation found he had sexually harassed 11 women, leading to mounting legal pressure and widespread calls for him to step down from fellow Democratic legislators and President Joe Biden. Cuomo, who had served since 2011 as governor of the fourth most-populous US state, made the announcement on Tuesday after New York Attorney General Letitia James earlier this month released the findings of a five-month probe. Investigators said he subjected women to unwanted kisses; groped their breasts or buttocks or otherwise touched them inappropriately; made insinuating remarks about their looks and their sex lives; and created a work environment <rife with fear and intimidation>.
Cuomo’s resignation will take effect in two weeks.
More to follow…>>
and 3 more links from Al Jazeera about this topic.
<<Andrew Cuomo: how would an impeachment process work?The governor is facing calls for dismissal after a report found he sexually harassed 11 women. But how does impeachment work?
New York governor Andrew Cuomo is on the brink of being impeached by the state legislature and, if he doesn’t resign first, he could lose the job he has held for a decade.
New York's Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul attends a May Day pro-labor and immigration rights rally, May 1, 2018, in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces possible impeachment following findings from an independent investigation overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James. If the governor resigns or is impeached, Hochul stands poised to become New York's first female governor in a state whose last three male governors have been marred by scandal.
Kathy Hochul: the lieutenant governor taking over for Cuomo.
An investigation by state attorney general Letitia James concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and violated federal and state workplace laws against harassment and retaliation. Criminal investigations have since, separately, got under way. If Cuomo is impeached, it will be only the second time in New York state history. Governor William Sulzer was impeached less than a year into office in 1913 and ousted, accused of financial impropriety and perjury, while he blamed a political conspiracy against him. The assembly aims to wrap up its own examination of the evidence “as quickly as possible,” according to Speaker Carl Heastie, a Democrat who said it was clear Cuomo could no longer remain in office. The assembly’s judiciary committee will hold two hearings, on 16 and 23 August, and will weigh the material against Cuomo, including harassment, retaliation and also potential abuses of power carried out by him and his administration. The governor denies any misconduct. Cuomo and his lawyers have been asked to submit any evidence in his defense by the end of the week. It could be early September when the judiciary committee decides whether to draw up articles of impeachment – essentially a list of charges – and the assembly then votes on whether formally to impeach.
Here’s how it would work:
The New York state assembly, the lower
house of the state legislative body, based in the state capital of
Albany, is currently engaged in a behind-the-scenes impeachment inquiry.
This began in March when James opened her investigation, to decide
whether to recommend impeaching the governor – effectively a process of
the legislature charging a public official for misconduct and prompting
a special trial.>>
<<Senior aide to New York’s Cuomo quits
amid assault scandal. Resignation follows investigation that found Cuomo
sexually harassed women in ‘toxic’ workplace.
<What he did to me was a crime,> she said in an excerpt released by CBS on Sunday. <He broke the law.> >>
and 4 more articles published by Al Jazeera about the subject.
California’s legal action could mark step towards fixing culture of harassment, experts say. or women at Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s most famous video game companies, showing up to work meant navigating near daily episodes of humiliation, sexual harassment, and even physical abuse, according to a bombshell lawsuit that has prompted a reckoning within the gaming industry. The claims paint a disturbing picture of life for female employees: rampant sexual harassment, gender discrimination, retaliation, and a <frat boy> workplace culture where men objectified women’s bodies and openly joked about rape. The lawsuit was brought by California’s department of fair employment and accuses the multi-billion dollar company – whose output includes Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush – of violating the state’s civil rights and equal pay laws. The fallout has been swift and widespread. This week the company’s president and its head of human resources stepped down after hundreds of employees staged a walkout and thousands signed a petition demanding a response to the scandal. And it’s far from over. Observers say the revelations could be a <watershed moment> for an industry that has long struggled with sexism and a chronic lack of diversity. <What seems to be different now is the fact that people are recognizing these issues as being systemic and repeated rather than episodic,> said Amanda Cote, a professor at University of Oregon who studies sexism and gender identity in the video game industry. <People seem to be calling for change across the industry, rather than just at one company at a time.>
A ‘frat boy’ workplace culture.
While the gaming industry is not
necessarily known for its inclusive workplaces for women or people of
color, the lawsuit’s allegations were particularly harrowing, said Cote.
<This is a particularly egregious lawsuit, but unfortunately I was not
really surprised,” she said. “We have known for quite some time that
sexism pervades many areas of gaming.> The lawsuit alleges female
employees were routinely kicked out of lactation rooms so men could hold
meetings. They were criticized for leaving the office to pick kids up
from daycare while men played video games. One female employee noted
that male employees would frequently approach her at the office and
comment on her breasts.
<Very few women ever reach top roles at
the company,> the lawsuit reads.>>
Amia Srinivasan: ‘Sex as a subject isn’t weird. It’s very, very serious.
Interviewster Rachel Cooke.
With her debut book, The Right to Sex, a 36-year-old Oxford don is dazzling everyone from Vogue to Prospect magazine. She discusses porn, gender dysphoria – and why her students are no snowflakes.
If All Souls is one of the most inordinately beautiful colleges in Oxford – its bone-white gothic, best peered at by mere mortals from nearby Radcliffe Square, is the work of the great Nicholas Hawksmoor – it’s also one of the oddest and most rarefied. Famously, it has no student body. Each year, however, a small number of recent graduates who would like to become so-called prize fellows may apply to take a famously difficult and inscrutable exam during which, as a tour guide I followed earlier put it, they must “write an essay on a single word, like coconut”. As my eavesdropping also revealed, TE Lawrence, AKA Lawrence of Arabia, passed this exam, but Harold Wilson failed it.
In her lovely, wood-panelled room in All Souls – its current tenant wears Adidas sneakers and likes a good martini, but it still makes me think of patched corduroy and sherry – Amia Srinivasan laughs heartily. “Right,” she says. <Those guides. They always come up with things like: everyone here is a priest, or everyone is a man. Or they tell people: ‘Stephen Hawking is in there right now.’ At least the exam thing is sort of true.> Having taken it successfully herself in 2009 – she had to write around the word <reproduction> – Srinivasan was a prize fellow at the college until 2016, when she became a lecturer at UCL (the one-word riff component was abandoned the following year). Now, though, she’s back. Last January, she took her up her post as the Chichele professor of social and political theory at All Souls, a job once held by Isaiah Berlin. She is both the first woman, and the first person of colour, to hold it. At just 36, she is also its youngest ever incumbent.
Oxford is notoriously stodgy and unchanging; this morning, still eerily quiet thanks to the ongoing absence of tourists, it feels more than ever like a film set. But while the All Souls website (the college isn’t that rarefied) does indeed soberly include “epistemology and philosophical methodology” among her several research interests, Srinivasan’s reputation outside the university is at this point built on rather more racy matters. Thanks to her much-praised new book, The Right to Sex, a collection of essays that takes on such thorny subjects as pornography, student-teacher relationships and the rise of the incel “community”, the media has decreed her to be philosophy’s hottest property. The current issue of Vogue describes her, with utmost breathlessness, as “a star” who will change the way we think of sexual consent, while in Prospect, a magazine you might expect to be a bit more sanguine about these things, she is depicted as the single-handed saviour of analytic philosophy, at least when it comes to what people do when they’re naked. <Sex is [now] where the action is,> writes her eager young interviewer, ahead of his <tutorial> with her.
Actually, it must be thrilling to be taught by Srinivasan. I bet the air crackles. But I’m also interested in what her fellow dons make of her. If this were a David Lodge campus novel, the excitement, not to mention the envy, would be throbbingly palpable at dinner. <Well, David Lodge had a lot right,> she says, laughing again. <I haven’t been into dinner since the book has really been a thing, but I’m sure there will be… conversations.> I shouldn’t tease, though: she doesn’t regard Oxford as parochial – on the inside, she insists, it feels very <alive> – and it’s only thanks to the university, after all, that she is able to work on such vexed topics in the first place.
<This room is very beautiful,> she
says. <It’s symbolic of the space and distance one gets as an academic
to work. But we also teach students who are at the cutting edge of
culture, and someone in my position could never not be in touch with
that. It’s a productive dialectic for me, being able to engage with
students for whom these matters are politically urgent. I’ve never
thought about the weirdness of sex as a subject. To me, it’s just
something that is politically very, very serious. If you’re steeped in
the history of feminist thought, it doesn’t occur to you to think that
such discussions wouldn’t have a rightful place here.>>
Death of Memory Machaya, 14, who gave birth at church shrine, prompts outrage among citizens and activists.The United Nations has condemned the practice of child marriage in Zimbabwe following the death of a 14-year-old girl after she gave birth at a church shrine, an incident that caused outrage among citizens and rights activists. The case has brought to the fore the practice of child marriage within Zimbabwe’s apostolic churches, which also allow polygamy.
The government has traditionally turned
a blind eye to child marriage. Zimbabwe has two sets of marriage laws,
the Marriage Act and Customary Marriages Act. Neither law gives a
minimum age for marriage consent, while the customary law allows
polygamy. A new bill being debated by parliament seeks to synchronise
the laws, ban marriage of anyone below 18 years and prosecute anyone
involved in the marriage of a minor. The UN in Zimbabwe said in a
statement it <notes with deep concern and condemns strongly> the
circumstances leading to the death of Memory Machaya, the 14-year-old
girl from the rural area of Marange in the east of the country. <Sadly,
disturbing reports of the sexual violation of underage girls, including
forced child marriages, continue to surface and indeed this is another
sad case,> the UN said.
Reuters could not reach Johanne Marange church for comment.
The apostolic churches, which shun hospitals, attract millions of followers with their promises to heal illnesses and deliver people from poverty.
Zimbabweans expressed outrage on social media.
<What you see today, ie a young girl
forced to marry, get pregnant, & dies, is not an aberration! It is part
of the same continuum. Female persons are not seen as fully human, with
individual rights, choice, rights to control our own bodies,> tweeted
Everjoice Win, a feminist and rights activist.>>
and read also this related article by
<<Tokyo 2020 is being billed as the <first gender-equal Olympic Games ever>.
With nearly the same number of male and female athletes, and a sporting schedule that gives equal visibility for men and women’s events during primetime hours, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it took deliberate action to make sure this year’s Games constitute a <landmark in gender equality>, both on and off the field of play.
But analysts say the rhetoric and the reality are <miles apart>.
From the sexualisation of uniforms and sexist portrayals in the media to women having to fight to bring their breastfed children to the pandemic-restricted Games, analysts say discrimination remains rife. <This idea of equal numbers can actually conceal the fact that there’s still so much more to be done,> says Michelle O’Shea, senior lecturer at the School of Business at Western Sydney University in Australia. <Yes, we’ve got women on the pitch and in the arena. But their experiences are still very concerning.>
Much of this has to do with a history of women’s exclusion in sport. When the first modern Olympics was held in 1896 in Athens, Greece, women were deliberately barred from taking part.
At the time, the founder of the IOC, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, argued an Olympics with women would be <impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic and indecent>. The Games, he said, were created for <the solemn and periodic exaltation of male athleticism> with <female applause as a reward>. <Straight away, you can see the kind of exclusion that women were up against as part of the Olympic movement,> says Jordan Matthews, senior lecturer in Sport Development at the University of Chichester, United Kingdom. <If they were allowed in at all, it was to applaud the male athletes who were actually taking part.>
But women fought back, he says.
Under pressure from athletes such as French rower Alice Milliat who even launched a separate Olympics for women, the IOC began including more and more female events. Still, for years, women were <confined to more aesthetic events> or <even play and dance routines> such as swimming, figure skating and fencing. <The idea around this was that it was more suitable to female biology and less threatening to dominant images of femininity around the time,> says Matthews. <Women weren’t expected to run too far because they might sweat and we don’t want them sweating. They might not throw things as far because we don’t want them to damage their internal organs.>
Over time, the IOC did cede ground to
women athletes – albeit reluctantly.>>
What Saudi prisons can tell us about the kingdom’s rulers. Conditions in Saudi Arabia’s prisons and detention centres starkly expose the true nature of Mohammed bin Salman’s rule.
Note from Gino d'Artali:
I can only quote a small part which is: <<Yet it is outside the formal Saudi prison system, in unofficial places of detention, that some of the worst violations have taken place under Mohammed bin Salman. These have included the mistreatment of hundreds of business leaders and others held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh in 2017, and the torture and sexual harassment of women’s rights activists the following year in a secret facility nicknamed <the hotel> or the <officer’s guesthouse>. New details of abuse continue to come to light, such as the case of human rights activist Mohammed al-Rabiah, who underwent months of torture following his arrest in early 2018. He was recently sentenced to six years in prison for his activism, and a ruling is expected on his appeal this month. Another case that surfaced recently actually involved torture inside a royal palace. Following his arrest in 2016, preacher Sulaiman al-Dowaish was taken to the basement of a palace in Riyadh, to cells kitted out with torture equipment and managed by members of Mohammed bin Salman’s entourage, where he was beaten until drenched in blood. Nothing has been heard of al-Dowaish since the last reported sighting of him in July 2018. And yet despite such shocking accounts coming to light, the Saudi authorities remain intent on denial and deflection. In 2019, a request from British MPs to visit Saudi prisons to investigate reports of torture was ignored. More recently, in the sham trial of women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, the court dismissed the torture inflicted on her during her detention.
With justice denied for the countless
victims inside Saudi Arabia, it is up to the international community to
ensure accountability. Although the murder of Jamal Khashoggi shook the
world in 2018, today the picture is more mixed, with yawning gaps
between rhetoric and action. The European Parliament recently passed a
resolution calling on EU member states to hold Saudi Arabia to account
over its human rights record; meanwhile, the Biden administration’s
pledges to <recalibrate> US-Saudi ties now appear increasingly unlikely
to be fulfilled. But as Mohammed bin Salman continues to portray himself
as a reformer and champion of Saudi women, let’s remember the fate of
growing numbers of Saudi prisoners, many arrested merely for questioning
his policies, and judge the crown prince as he deserves to be judged.>>
<<IOC expels Belarus coaches over
<They will be offered an opportunity to be heard.>
The IOC’s move came five days after
Tsimanouskaya, a 24-year-old sprinter, refused to board a plane bound
for Belarus, claiming she feared for her safety in her homeland. She
says she was hustled to Tokyo’s Haneda airport as part of her team’s bid
to force her on the flight home.
The drama first unfolded on Sunday,
when Tsimanouskaya refused to board the Minsk-bound plane, and instead
sought protection from Japanese police. The scandal has again focused
attention on political discord in Belarus. Tsimanouskaya on Wednesday
flew to Poland, where she and her husband have been granted humanitarian
and 4 more articles (links to them on the page) by Al Jazeera and concerning the topic.
What do many terrorists have in common? They abuse women. Groundbreaking research shows that extremist attackers are often united in their violent misogyny, whatever their ideology. Five years ago, I began to notice that the perpetrators of some of the worst terrorist attacks had something in common. A high proportion shared a history of assaulting wives, girlfriends and other female relatives, sometimes involving a whole series of victims, long before they attacked total strangers. In the summer of 2016, for example, when just two terrorist attacks in Florida and the south of France left 135 people dead and hundreds injured, both perpetrators claimed to be Islamists. But I was struck by the fact that each had a horrific record of domestic violence. A year later, there were four fatal attacks in the UK and all six perpetrators turned out either to have abused women or, in one case, to have witnessed his father abusing his mother and sister. There were striking similarities between the histories of Darren Osborne, the rightwing extremist who drove a van into worshippers leaving a mosque in north London, and Khalid Masood, the Islamist who staged an attack on Westminster Bridge. Both men had criminal records for violent offences – and both had abused women. I thought these cases challenged conventional wisdom about terrorism, which holds that it is all about ideology. Many fatal terrorist attacks actually appeared to be an escalation of violence that had been going on, sometimes for years, against members of the perpetrator’s family. I was convinced that the police and MI5 needed to change the way they assessed the risk posed by suspects, treating a history of domestic violence as a very significant red flag.
When I raised this with the
authorities, however, I encountered scepticism and disbelief. So I
decided to write a book, using published sources to piece together a
woeful catalogue of men who had humiliated, beaten and sexually
assaulted women long before they became notorious as terrorists. It was
published in 2019 and this time senior figures at counter-terrorism
policing and the Home Office listened. They commissioned groundbreaking
research using data on just over 3,000 referrals to the Prevent
programme in England and Wales in 2019 – adults and children who had
caused concern to teachers, social workers and family members because of
a possible vulnerability to radicalisation (V2R). The results of what
came to be called Project Starlight have not yet been published, but I
have been given access to them – and they are stunning.>>
<<Argentina’s new pensions programme
pays women for caregiving.
For 60-year-old Maria Luisa Suarez, retirement is a dream she will never realise. It is not for lack of hard work. Since moving from the Argentine province of Santiago del Estero to the capital, Buenos Aires, at the age of 17, she’s found gainful employment at a bakery, run a general store and cleaned other people’s homes to help make ends meet. In between, she stayed home with her children when they were little, and juggled caring for them with extra shifts she picked up when her former husband lost his job. But the vast majority of the income she has earned over her lifetime has been paid by the hour and unregistered. While that helped her keep more of what she earned at the time, it also resulted in paltry pension contributions.
<I didn’t realise it meant that when it came time to retire, I was going to be short,> Suarez told Al Jazeera.
Her situation is not unique. The Argentine government estimates that more than 300,000 women between the ages of 59 and 64 are unable to retire because they haven’t accumulated the necessary pension contributions.
That shortfall is driven in large part by a structural division of labour that underpins many societies including Argentina’s. Women end up participating less in the formal workforce because they are taking on the lion’s share of caregiving responsibilities at home.
For many, like Suarez, the work they engage in is also performed under more precarious and informal conditions — another disadvantage when it comes to saving for retirement. But the Argentine government is seeking to redress that gender inequity by assigning a pension contribution value to the time people have spent raising children. The programme, launched this week, marks the first time the role of an unpaid caregiver has been recognised by the Argentine state as something akin to work. The policy is expected to enable 155,000 more women to collect a pension immediately. As of August 1, women can earn the equivalent of one year of social security contributions for every child they have raised, or the equivalent of two years per child who has been adopted or has a disability. The contribution increases to the equivalent of three years per child if the woman previously received a low-income child subsidy. The programme is available to any woman who is at least 60 years of age and who has not been able to accrue 30 years of pension contributions.
Recognising the value of caregiving.
Once someone turns 65 in Argentina,
they are entitled to collect a pension from the state, even if they did
not make contributions during their working life. But at around 23,000
pesos a month ($237), it is below the poverty line and less than the
pension received by those who retire under the general scheme, which is
built on worker contributions, and includes this new programme.>>
Note from Gino d'Artali: Bad ass Nancy Pelosi (Usa democrat and chairmen of the house of representatives 'sic', She's a woman!) strikes again!!
But first this:
<<Biden calls on Cuomo to quit after
damning sexual harassment report. New York governor accused of
harassment by 11 women.
Joe Biden has led calls from both parties for New York governor Andrew Cuomo to resign after an investigation found he had sexually harassed 11 women. US issues 60-day eviction moratorium for areas with substantial Covid transmission - as it happened. New York’s attorney general Letitia James unveiled the results of an investigation on Tuesday that showed Cuomo engaged in unwanted groping, kissing and hugging and made inappropriate comments to multiple women. <I think he should resign,> the president told reporters at the White House hours after the results of the investigation were published. I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach. I don’t know that for a fact. I’ve not read all that data. Asked about Cuomo’s attempt to defend himself by using an image in which he is making physical contact with Biden himself, the president said: <Look, I’m not going to flyspeck this. I am sure there were some embraces that were totally innocent, but apparently the attorney general decided there were things that weren’t.>
He acknowledged: <I’ve not read the report. I don’t know the detail of it. All I know is the end result.>
Earlier on Tuesday, the White House
said the findings were <abhorrent> . <I don’t know that anyone could
have watched this morning and not found the allegations to be abhorrent.
I know I certainly did,> White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told
reporters later on Tuesday. Biden had previously said Cuomo should
resign if the allegations were shown by an investigation to be true.
Biden’s comments came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also called on
Cuomo to resign, as did several New York Democrats – including both the
state’s US senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as
Congressmen Hakeem Jeffries and Mondaire Jones. In her statement, Pelosi
said a thorough investigation had been concluded. She said: <As always,
I commend the women who came forward to speak their truth. Recognizing
his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call
upon the Governor to resign.>>
and click here for more info about her and why I call her 'Bad Ass': https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Pelosi
<<Rights and freedom.
Illegally sterilised Czech women to be offered compensation Hundreds of mostly Roma women were threatened, tricked or bribed into being sterilised until 2012 Women sterilised without their consent are to be offered compensation in the Czech Republic after President Miloš Zeman signed a bill into law this week. The women, most of whom were Roma, will be awarded 300,000 Czech crowns (£10,000) from the government as compensation. Gwendolyn Albert, a human rights activist who was one of those campaigning for the change, said: <This means the wrongdoing committed against all who have been sterilised without their informed consent is acknowledged and can be redressed.> Social workers used incentives and threats to force women to undergo the procedure from 1966 until 2012. No one knows how many women were affected, but campaigners believe there were several hundred victims. The incentive programme ended with the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, but women in labour continued to be misled into unwittingly signing consent forms before caesarean births – or in some cases were not told that they had been sterilised after the delivery. Others were misled into believing it had been a <life-saving> procedure. It was not until 2012 that Czech law was changed to require a cooling-off period between a patient requesting sterilisation and it being carried out. The Czech Republic’s first-ever public defender of rights, or ombudsman, collected more than 80 testimonies regarding sterilisations for which the consent had been invalid. In 2005 the ombudsman’s final statement was published; assessing the health ministry’s response to the cases, it recommended that compensation be awarded.
The Czech health ministry will administer the compensation claims, although it has yet to announce when the process will begin. Victims who can demonstrate that they received benefits during the pre-1990 era for undergoing the procedure will be eligible for compensation on that basis. Those sterilised after 1990 will be asked to describe what happened to them and to support their claims as best they can.
For Elena Gorolová , 51, a social
worker from Ostrava who was sterilised at the age of 21, the move marks
a historic win.
<<Dalit girl allegedly raped, killed
and forcibly cremated in India.
New Delhi, India – A nine-year-old girl
belonging to India’s marginalised Dalit community has been gang-raped,
murdered and forcibly cremated in capital New Delhi, her family alleges.
The gruesome incident sparked a fourth day of protests in the city on
Wednesday, in the latest case of sexual violence targeting the former
<untouchable> community, which falls at the bottom of India’s complex
caste hierarchy. The girl’s family alleges a Hindu priest working at a
local crematorium and his associates raped her and then cremated her
body without their approval on Sunday. The family, along with other
Dalits and activists, is camping on a road in New Delhi’s Nangal
neighbourhood, demanding justice.
‘Your daughter is dead’
The girl, who cannot be identified as per Indian law, had gone to get drinking water from a water cooler at the crematorium, her mother told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.
<Her father had gone to the market to
buy vegetables. An hour passed but she did not return and I got anxious.
So I rushed to the crematorium where the priest told me: ‘Your daughter
is dead,'> she said. <I was shocked and asked the priest to tell me how
my daughter could die. I told him I wanted to take her to the police
station and hospital but he refused, saying, ‘Don’t do that. I will give
you money but let’s settle the matter here. You will not be able to
fight the case.'>
<But I felt he was lying,> she told Al Jazeera. She insisted on seeing her daughter’s body.
<She was lying lifeless,> recounted the
mother, her voice breaking. <There were bruises on her body, her face
was pale and her clothes were wet.>
The police arrived a little later and
took the accused into custody. Cases of gang rape, murder and sexual
offences against a child have been registered against the suspects,
while the crematorium has been sealed. Since Sunday, hundreds of
demonstrators have taken to the streets in New Delhi, demanding the
death penalty for the four men accused of the crime. The girl’s family
and the residents of Nangal have blocked the highway outside an army
cantonment in the area. The protests are likely to snowball across the
country, with some Dalit groups announcing demonstrations against the
atrocities faced by the community, particularly Dalit women.
where you can find another link to an Al Jazeera article about other topics that should have your interest
<<COVID likely to lock India’s women out of job market for years
Azim Premji University report finds 47
percent of women who lost jobs last year have been made permanently
redundant.COVID likely to lock India’s women out of job market for
years. Azim Premji University report finds 47 percent of women who lost
jobs last year have been made permanently redundant. Savitri Devi has
been searching for work since she lost her job at a garment factory in
India’s capital New Delhi, along with half her coworkers, when sales
plummeted at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year. The
44-year-old has tried her luck repeatedly – and unsuccessfully – near
her home in Okhla, an industrial hub with thousands of small factories
and workshops, where there was previously plenty of unskilled jobs for
women. <I am ready to take a salary cut but there is no work,> Devi said
outside her one-room home in a slum of about 100 families, just a few
kilometres away from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office. Devi is one
of approximately 15 million Indians who have been made redundant in an
economic slowdown that has hit women disproportionately, trade union and
industry leaders said.
<<US shot putter Raven Saunders in
first Olympic podium protest.
US shot putter Raven Saunders has risked disciplinary action after making the first podium protest of the Olympic Games.
The 25-year-old athlete, who was nicknamed 'Hulk' in high school after the Marvel superhero, crossed her arms in an <X> gesture during Sunday’s medal ceremony at the Olympic Stadium after claiming silver in her event on Sunday. US media outlets reported that Saunders, who is Black and an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ rights, said her gesture was made in solidarity with <oppressed people>.
After clinching her silver medal, Saunders said she wanted to represent <people all around the world who are fighting and don’t have the platform to speak up for themselves.> Saunders’s protest is the first test of International Olympic Committee rules which ban protests of any kind on the medal podium at the Olympics. The IOC tweaked its rules regarding athlete protests ahead of the games, saying that peaceful protests before competition would be allowed. However the Olympics governing body has maintained a strict rule against protesting on the medal podium. The IOC is in contact with World Athletics, the international governing body for the sport, and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), IOC spokesman Mark Adams told a news conference on Monday. It is unclear what sanction, if any, Saunders may face. Updated IOC guidelines released last month say that disciplinary consequences for protests will be <proportionate to the level of disruption and the degree to which the infraction is not compatible with Olympic values>.
The USOPC said before the games it
would not sanction its athletes for protesting.>>
<<Murdered women: A history of ‘honour’ crimes. Throughout history, women have been held responsible for upholding the ‘honour’ of their families – often with deadly consequences.
On a hot summer day in late May 1994, I drove to an eastern suburb of Jordan’s capital, Amman, to investigate the reported murder of a 16-year-old schoolgirl by her own brother.
With limited information, questions roiled my mind as I drove up the hill towards the neighbourhood. Why had this girl’s life been cut short by her brother? What had her final thoughts been?
My questions would soon be partially answered by a man who was walking through the neighbourhood when I arrived. <Yes, I know why she was killed,> he answered calmly as if talking about the weather: <She was raped by one of her brothers and another sibling murdered her to cleanse his family’s honour.>
I asked him again if what he was saying was really true.
<Yes, it is true. That is why she was killed,> the man answered me, before ushering me to the house where the murder took place. The same <justification> was used by the girl’s uncles when I sat with them to discuss the murder. Her name was Kifaya (“enough”) they told me. <She seduced her brother to sleep with her and she had to die for that,> they said. That sentence rang in my head throughout my career as a senior reporter at the Jordan Times and as an activist on this topic. A few months later, I was assigned to cover court hearings on homicides in Jordan. Again, I came across dozens of stories of women who had been murdered by their male relatives for reasons related to so-called <family honour>. Some of these cases I investigated, including Kifaya’s.
Io my surprise at that time, the majority of perpetrators would get away with little more than a slap on the wrist. Their sentences would range from three months to two years in prison. But in Kifaya’s case, the court rejected the <rape excuse that was uttered by her brother and handed him a 15-year prison term for manslaughter>, as I wrote in my report for the Jordan Times. It was an unusually harsh sentence for its time. But that sentence, like most of those relating to <honour> crimes, was later cut in half because the victim’s family dropped their legal claims against the defendant, who was, of course, also a family member. While sentencing has gradually become more severe over the years, it is still possible in Jordan for defendants to have their sentences cut in half if the victim’s family drops the charges.
Locked up for being a victim.
My career has exposed me to another
unjust consequence of women being threatened with harm or murder by
their family members. In Jordan, dozens of women used to be locked up in
prison, without charge, for indefinite periods in <administrative
detention>. In other words, the state was imprisoning them to stop them
from being killed or harmed. The logic, surely, should have been to
imprison the person who threatened them. But that is not what happened.
I discovered that this practice also took place in Yemen, when I went
there to visit a women’s prison for my work in the late 1990s.
Thankfully, Jordan no longer locks women up for being at risk of an <honour>
crime – they are now sent to a safe house known as <Dar Amneh> instead,
but this cruel practice only came to an end in 2018. My reporting and
activism on this topic began with Kifaya’s story. And my resolve only
grew with each new story I heard. I took it upon myself to become the
voice of those women who were unable to tell their own stories and to
examine and expose the root causes of these types of murders. If a wife
violates her duty, she shall be ‘devoured by dogs’ Violence against
women has been documented throughout history. Most of the ancient
civilisations – among them the Assyrian, Roman and Sumerian – had penal
codes that condemned <women adulterers and their partners> while
allowing men to publicly have mistresses with little or no punishment at
and 4 more articles by Al Jazeera on
the same topic
Womens media centre
<<Harris’ Weighty Assignments Could
Prove Helpful in Presidential Bid.
Women's Media Center
<<Heat waves, wildfires, floods, severe drought, and a global pandemic are threatening our lives, deluging our health systems, and bringing the global economy to a near halt. But over the last several years, one source for remedies to these problems — ecofeminists (activists whose work incorporates ecological, health, and equality campaigns) — have moved from protesting outside the halls of power to become elected legislators writing and passing the environmental protection frameworks that they campaigned for and that our planet desperately needs.
Women’s groups have long been at the forefront of citizen activism for the environment and health, starting with a generation that not only read Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring but adopted it as a manifesto. Their motivation was the urgency of environmental damage from nuclear testing; their protests were entwined with nuclear disarmament campaigns. In Germany, a young ecofeminist, Petra Kelly, founded Die Grünen, the first Green Party, in 1979. In 1982, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for <forging and implementing a new vision uniting ecological concerns with disarmament, social justice, and human rights.> She was elected to the Bundestag (German parliament) in 1983 and reelected in 1987. <I remember hearing her speak in Southern Tyrol; she was very, very charismatic,> says Marijana Grandits.
Grandits was the director of Europahaus, a nonprofit campaigning to protect the rainforests, when the Austrian Green Party asked her to join their slate of candidates. The Austrian Green Party emerged from two successful activist campaigns — to shut down a planned nuclear power plant, and to protect an ancient forest from destruction for a hydro-power plant. <We students sat in protest for days in the December cold, and we succeeded,> she says. <Today the forest is a national park. I joined [the] party 1986 and I took that activism to Parliament.>
In the United States, former Rep. Bella Abzug, Democrat from New York, in 1991 co-founded the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), which brought women in the thousands together in Miami to prepare policy positions for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Summit) in the Women’s Action Agenda 21.
The Rio Summit and its five-year
reviews strengthened the global Green Parties across all continents.
<Ecological issues were mainstreamed across politics by the Greens,>
recalls Grandits. These Green MPs pushed their governments for strong
environmental protection laws and eventually led negotiations for the
2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which by November 2016 achieved
the fastest ratification of any global agreement.>>
Dear reader: you call the below 'old news' ?
My mother Gianna d'Artali once said this to me: " 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.>
Women's media centre
<<Harris’ Weighty Assignments Could Prove Helpful in Presidential Bid.
Now that Kamala Harris has had a few months on the job as vice president, stories are appearing that describe her assignments as impossible. New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, in “Kamala Can’t Win,” argues that Harris is set up for failure, no matter what. The Week asks bluntly if the president is deliberately setting Harris up for failure with the assignments he has given so far, and NBC asserts that by taking on tough tasks, Harris has made her political future riskier than it would be if her portfolio had less challenge and controversy. No doubt her history-making role is fraught with all the tension of a modern vice president with the additional scrutiny that comes from being the first woman and first person of color in the role. Harris is facing double-binds every which way she turns.
But being given challenging tasks — maybe even seemingly impossible ones — is the best way for Harris to be seen as presidential, something that has eluded every woman ever vying for the presidency in the history of the United States. Will Harris be a more electable (a word that often haunts women running for president) presidential candidate in the future by asking for a diversified portfolio of work, to be involved in all meetings, and to have a seat at the table?
We can go all the way back to 1964, when Margaret Chase Smith was described as “the quiet woman,” who landed in politics the old-fashioned way: over her husband’s dead body; or we can rewind just a bit to the 2020 election, when each of the six women — the most ever running for president at one time — was considered unpresidential for one reason or another (including Kamala Harris). Each of the women in 2020 faced some kind of misogyny in her efforts to be president, from Elizabeth Warren being too old, to Marianne Williamson being too woo-woo, and just about everything in between.
When John Adams described his vice presidency by saying, “In this I am nothing,” he was observing that for him, at the time, the vice presidency was nothing more than a security position just in case the president died in office. For years the vice president was seen as one of the most underemployed people in the country — complete with a cushy salary, a nice office, Secret Service protection, and a gorgeous residence, but, alas, not much to do. It may be one of the reasons so few advanced to the presidency. In the past, presidents were not likely to give their vice presidents many governing assignments, maybe because of the old “upstaging” problem that so many powerful leaders fear. Nelson Rockefeller famously described his vice presidency with: “I go to funerals. I go to earthquakes.”
Kamala Harris is not just going to
funerals and earthquakes. Instead, she has been given hefty assignments.
Whether they are impossible or not, I believe her active vice presidency
will serve her well if she chooses to run for president in the future.
Here’s why: >>
Womens media centre
<< <I Will Not Be Silenced: Women in Kuwait Fight Back Against Violence.
On April 20, a Kuwaiti woman, Farah Hamza Akbar, was brutally murdered in broad daylight. Her perpetrator had been harassing and threatening her for allegedly refusing his marriage proposal. Akbar filed two separate complaints with the police; but despite being arrested and later released on bail, he persisted. On that fateful day, the harasser crashed into Akbar’s car, abducted her, stabbed her in the chest, and dumped her body outside a hospital in Kuwait City.
In a viral video, Akbar’s sister — a lawyer who had sought protection for her — was seen wailing that their pleas to the authorities went ignored; the harasser did what he had promised he would.
The video sparked an outrage in Kuwaiti society, signaling the ever-present and persistent problem of harassment and gender-based violence that women in the country are subjected to on a daily basis. <All of us know somebody that has either died or been in a near-fatal accident because a man was following them and trying to push them off-road,> says Noor Al Obaid, a human rights activist.
<I cannot drive or walk down the street without being harassed and catcalled. It’s become a norm now,” she says. “When Akbar was killed, people realized the magnitude of the situation and how unsafe the country is for women.>
A social media movement
It was only three months earlier that an online campaign akin to #MeToo had sparked a nationwide movement. In an impassioned video, blogger Ascia Al Faraj spoke to her 2.5 million followers about the harassment she experiences and witnesses on a daily basis. Following Al Faraj’s viral video, Shayma Shamo, a medical doctor, founded Lan Asket (I will not be silenced), an Instagram account and hashtag for victims to anonymously share their stories of sexual harassment, violence, and abuse.
<In Arab culture, shame acts as a shroud that prevents people from sharing their stories. We are shamed into silence,> explains Shamo. <Kuwait didn’t have a safe space for people to openly share. I wanted to remove that barrier and show that being silent is no longer an option.>
Overnight, the account blew up with
people sharing their stories, and soon Kuwaiti society was openly
talking about a taboo topic. <For the first time, so many conservative
girls were having online and offline discussions about this unavoidable
topic — everyone was talking about it,> says Najeeba Hayat, a friend of
Al Faraj and an activist who joined forces with Al Faraj and Shamo.>>
Womens media centre
May 26 2021
<<SHIELD Act Would Be First Federal Law on Intimate Image Abuse.
You’re probably familiar with the term <revenge porn.> It’s when a jilted boyfriend plasters his ex’s nude images on social media, right? Unfortunately, that misnomer doesn’t do justice to the growing crisis of intimate image abuse affecting women and men of all ages across the globe. Intimate image abuse is not a matter of revenge — it’s a matter of sexual violence.
Better terms include <nonconsensual porn> or <image-based sexual abuse.> These terms are more fitting because the nature and consequences of intimate image abuse mirror other forms of abuse. In my own research as associate professor of psychology at Florida International University and head of research for Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), colleagues and I found that nonconsensual porn in intimate relationships shares features of in-person relationship violence. Specifically, it can be perpetrated to maintain power and control over victims. In one case, a 34-year-old Michigan perpetrator posted intimate images of his ex-girlfriend online, saying he would keep posting the photos until she returned his belongings. This example illustrates both emotional abuse and coercion.
Research also finds that victims of intimate image abuse suffer from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and physical health problems. They have to obtain restraining orders, change jobs and residences, and endure public judgment and humiliation. Survivors have described the experience as “torture for the soul,” causing isolation, existential threat, social rupture, constrained liberty, and constant fear and vigilance.
Sadly, this form of abuse has become common in the U.S., with research finding that as many as one in 12 adults have been victims of nonconsensual porn. Nonconsensual porn is also a gender-based form of violence, with women being victimized at a greater rate than men (~1.4 times as likely). Since COVID-19, unfortunately, these numbers have likely increased. Calls to the CCRI crisis helpline in the U.S., for example, increased 38.39% since the start of the pandemic, while calls to the U.K. hotline increased 22%.
Though laws exist in most U.S. states criminalizing nonconsensual porn, many of them fail to protect all victims. For example, some laws require evidence that the perpetrator intended to cause the victim harm. Aside from being an unusually difficult standard to meet, not all intimate image abuse is done for reasons of anger or vindication. Some perpetrators disseminate the images to gain popularity or social status. Others, like Hunter Moore, founder of the now-defunct online pornographic site Is Anyone Up?, do it for financial gain. Another loophole in existing state laws is the failure to include all the ways intimate image abuse can be perpetrated (e.g., through text messages).
Thanks to the tireless efforts of
victim advocates, however, a comprehensive legal approach to this crime
is finally on the table: the SHIELD Act (for <Stopping Harmful Image
Exploitation and Limiting Distribution>).>>
<<In 2010, Victoria suffered a miscarriage and rushed to hospital. She didn’t know she was pregnant. Then hospital staff reported her to the authorities for abortion. The ensuing legal battle lasted eleven years. When her name was revealed by the media, she had to leave town. She was unable to get a steady job for years and has dealt with post-traumatic stress ever since. During her public trial in April this year, the prosecutor requested an acquittal due to a lack of evidence, and the court agreed. She asked to remain anonymous in our interview to avoid even more stigmatization and discrimination.
Victoria* doesn’t remember much about the day she was accused of abortion. She had been experiencing severe abdominal pain for several hours and went to El Progreso Hospital to be treated. She waited there for hours for medical attention, holding her eight-year-old daughter’s hand. She remembers the blood in the bathroom and feeling anguish and fear. Another painful memory suddenly surfaces ? she had been handcuffed to her hospital bed, her wrists purple from the tight restraints. She spent a week like that, detained in her own hospital bed while recovering from the miscarriage. She overheard the nurses calling her a <cow,> and some refused to treat her.
In 2010, Victoria was charged by the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Ministerio Público – MP) with the abortion <of a 20-week-old unborn,> when the medical staff at the hospital decided she looked suspicious. She had sought treatment after experiencing abnormal bleeding in her bathroom.
<I was afraid that they might kill me, based on the way they treated me. They accused me, they called the police, and they called me a slut. I insisted that I hadn’t done anything wrong. I didn’t even know [about the pregnancy] because I have problems with my period. Sometimes I expect it on a certain date and it comes on another,> said Victoria.
The first part of her trial took place on April 22 and the second part on May 6. The psychiatric and psychological experts called to testify described her mental state on that day as emotional shock.
The Criminalization of Abortion in Honduras study (in Spanish) by the Somos Muchas (We Women are Many) and Optio organizations, presents the results of their research on Honduran women prosecuted for abortion between 2006 and 2018. The study indicates that in 64% of these cases, health care workers were the ones to report suspected abortions.
Read our report: National Congress Seeks to Bullet-Proof Honduras’ Abortion Ban
Victoria has been receiving financial, emotional and legal support for about three years from Somos Muchas and Optio. In the course of conducting their abortion study, these two organizations also decided to provide support services for defendants in ongoing abortion cases.
Merary Avila, a lawyer with Somos Muchas and Victoria’s legal representative, notes that there is a political motive for providing these support services. <I insisted that we represent these defendants in order to put names, faces, and real stories to all those statistics in our reports … We want to shine a spotlight on the discrimination and injustices suffered by these women, and then see how we can obtain reparations for them.>
Victoria’s trial was rescheduled five
times over several years, instead of the usual two or three
postponements. The court indicated that these postponements were
approved to provide the prosecution with enough time to gather the
necessary evidence to fight the case against Victoria. In the end, the
MP did not present any new evidence.>>
Women's Media Center
<<With a record low number of responses to its annual diversity survey — 17.3 percent of newsrooms responded — the American Society of News Editors’ latest tally found that women comprised 41.7 percent and people of color 22.6 percent of the overall workforce in those responding newsrooms.
Sports desks at 75 of the nation’s newspapers and online news sites earned a “B+” for racial diversity, a “D+” for gender and racial diversity, combined, and a sixth consecutive “F” for lack of gender equity, according to the “Racial and Gender Report Card,” commissioned by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
A record number of women are working in TV news, including as news directors; but fewer women and people of color are employed in radio news, according to the Radio Television Digital News Association.
Women owned 7.4 percent of the nation’s commercial TV stations, according to the federal government’s most recent tally.
Women were general managers of 17.4 percent of the nation’s AM and FM stations, according to Mentoring Inspiring Women in Radio.
Articles exploring sexual assault and harassment at 14 of the nation’s largest newspapers surged by 30 percent during the 15 months after Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual crime hit headlines, according to the Women’s Media Center.
Women at the four most widely circulated U.S.-based newspapers penned an average of 15 percent of guest-writer op-eds on international issues during 1996, 2006 and 2016, according to the Foreign Policy Institute.
Twenty-eight female journalists in the
United States and 47 of their news counterparts in four other nations
said online harassers directed lewd comments, sexual solicitations and
rape threats against them, according to the University of Texas Center
for Media Engagement.>>
Women's Media Center
<<What women politicians’ online harassment tells us about degraded democracy.
Earlier this year, in a little remarked upon episode, the nation was exposed to how differently men and women politicians are treated in media. In September, Senator John McCain was showered with accolades after he voted against his party’s attempt to repeal Obamacare and urged his peers to espouse cross-party conciliation. McCain’s Johnny-Come-Lately stake in the ground came, however, in the wake of the consistent, longer-standing, and defiant intra-party opposition of two other Republican Senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, who were motivated, in part by their pro-choice stance.
For their efforts, the women were viciously attacked online and off as traitors to their party. Members of their own party made comments about beating them for their insolence, and threatened other violence and political retaliation. <I'm tellin' ya,> Georgia GOP Representative Buddy Carter, announced on national television, <Somebody needs to go over to that Senate and snatch a knot in their ass,> a colloquial reference to beating, as punishment. Texas GOP representative Blake Farenthold claimed that if Murkowski and other women GOP senators were men he would challenge them to duels. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke sent what Alaska GOP senator Dan Sullivan called a <threatening message,> suggesting that his department would penalize Murkowski’s home state of Alaska in response to her vote. Online, the women were, among the milder examples, <old hags> and <lying feminazi's (sic).> President Donald Trump, taking a moment out of a day in which he graphically described the violent mutilation of girls and told a sexually suggestive story to a crowd of more than 40,000 people at a Boy Scout Jamboree, took time to tweet about Murkowski, in a depressingly familiar dog-whistle tactic for generating a cascade of online vitriol.
Collins and Murkowski are, quite literally, among some of the last Republican women standing in Congress and treatment like this, at the hands of their own party, does little to encourage women to join the GOP fold. The harassment that they faced is typical for women in politics, regardless of their political affiliations. A 2016 Inter-Parliamentary Union survey of women in legislatures around the world found that:
· 41.8% report wide distribution of <extremely humiliating or sexually charged images>
· 44.4% receive death, rape, beating and abduction threats
· 32.7% harassed through exposure to persistent unwanted and intimidating messages
· 61.5% believe that the primary objective of the harassment they face is to dissuade women from pursuing political leadership positions
The treatment of these two Senators
illustrates this hostility, but it also illuminates two problems rarely
clearly linked to hostility towards women: political polarization and
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