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When one hurts or kills a women
one hurts or kills hummanity and is an antrocitie.
and: My mother (1931-1997) always said to me <Mi
figlio, non esistono notizie <vecchie> perche puoi imparare qualcosa da
qualsiasi notizia.> Translated: <My son, there is no such thing as so
called 'old' news because you can learn something from any news.>
by Gino d'Artali
The UN has again called the period 25 Nov 'till 10 Dec a time to be
extra alert of against violence against women and called forward
countries, NGO's and of course activists worldwide to take action
against violence against women.
Read more here:
by Gino d'Artali: The United nations pinpointed the period 25 Nov untill
10 Dec 2021 again as the 16 days where feminists and women in general
and active NGO's active concerning violence against women and last but
not least governments wordwide to take action against violence against
For 16 days I kept my finger on the pulse of actions that took place.
But alas, again it are government that undertook the least actions. I'll
mark the quoted media articles about these governments i.e. countries
with a upper case red D.
So this is how the global press during that period reported about
actions taken/done or not taken:
During that period I'll work on a special bulletin which I'll publish on
15 Dec 2021.
So here goes from 25 Nov 'till .....
and this is how the global press during that period reported about
8 Dec 2021
Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Literatures at East
Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina
<<Senegal: To whom do women’s bodies belong?
The Miss Senegal rape case, like many others before it, appears to
demonstrate that in Senegal, women’s bodies belong to everyone except
In Senegal, gender-based violence is once again occupying headlines.
This time, the country’s top beauty pageant, Miss Senegal, is at the
centre of the controversy. In November, Miss Senegal 2020 Fatima Dione’s
mother told Senegalese media that her daughter was raped while carrying
out official pageant duties. She explained that the 20-year-old beauty
queen became pregnant as a result of the assault and gave birth to a son
five months ago. Dione’s mother also talked about the pain and shame her
daughter experienced after giving birth to a baby conceived through rape.
While the allegation itself was shocking, what brought the issue under
the national spotlight was the response from pageant officials.
In a November 18 press conference, the President of the Organising
Committee of Miss Senegal, Amina Badiane, tried to blame Dione for what
family says happened to her.
<If Miss Senegal 2020 was raped, it’s because she wanted it. She is over
18,> Badiane said.
Badiane’s egregious comments caused a widespread uproar, especially
among women’s rights advocates who for years fought to make rape a
serious crime in Senegal, and finally succeeded in January 2020.
Hundreds of women filed official complaints against Badiane for <rape
apology> and a petition calling for the immediate withdrawal of the
pageant organising committee’s operating licence has garnered more than
60,000 signatures. Badiane’s attempts to blame Dione for her rape also
led many other former contestants, including former Miss Senegal
laureates, to speak up about the sexual abuse they allegedly endured
during their time in the pageant. Badiane has sued for defamation.
Badiane’s comments attempting to legitimise rape and sexual assault, for
which she has since apologised, were undoubtedly outrageous – especially
as it is her responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the
young women competing in this popular beauty pageant, including Dione.
However, Badiane is not the source of the problem – she is merely a
In Senegal, there is a deep-rooted culture of rape and gendered violence.
Large segments of Senegalese society do not really know what constitutes
rape and view sexual assault as a misdemeanour at best. Thus
perpetrators of such crimes are rarely brought to justice or shunned by
the public. As a result, public figures like Badiane routinely engage in
victim-blaming without facing any real consequences.
In 2018, for example, a philosophy professor and public commentator
Songué Diouf claimed on Jakarloo-bi – a popular show on the television
network owned by famed Senegalese pop star, Youssou N’Dour – that women
get raped because of the way they behave and dress. <You do everything
that we rape you, and when we rape you, we go to prison and you who have
done everything so that you are raped, you continue to be free,> he told
Following pressure from women’s rights activists, Diouf eventually
issued an apology, but neither he nor the producers of Jakarloo Bi faced
consequences. In fact, Jakarloo Bi continues to employ commentator
Cheikh Yerim Seck, who was convicted of raping a minor in September
Initially sentenced to three years, Seck only served 15 months in prison
and swiftly returned to public life after his release.
Earlier this year, a member of parliament and prominent opposition
leader Ousmane Sonko was accused of raping 22-year-old masseuse Adji
Sarr. But after hearing her story, the public focused not on the alleged
suffering of the young woman, but the political consequences of her
accusation. While Sonko was charged with Sarr’s rape in March, he is yet
to stand trial. And the public vilification of Sarr continues to this
Regrettably, the situation of women in Senegal is getting worse by the
day. The country is becoming increasingly conservative, and the deeply
misogynistic views of ultra-conservative preachers are gaining more and
more visibility and support. Take some popular preachers’ reactions to
November 7 triple murder-suicide by dentist Falla Paye.
Paye killed his three children (aged 8, 11 and 13) and died by suicide,
allegedly to punish his wife of 15 years who recently left him. He
claimed in a 10-page rage and hate-filled letter that his wife pushed
him to commit the crime and accused her among many other things of <depriving
him of sex
for 42 days>.
The Senegalese media published Paye’s hateful letter in full and framed
him as a <victim> in a family tragedy. Commenting on the case, popular
Muslim preacher Oustaz Iran Ndao raised the question about what kind of
suffering Paye’s wife inflicted upon him. Another preacher, Oustaz Modou
Fall, meanwhile, said that women can be deliberately mean and cause a
man’s heart to <dissolve like an effervescent pill>. Fall went on to
claim in a Facebook video about the Paye case that men should groom
four-year-old girls with material gifts to turn them into submissive
Read more here:
My mother (1931-1997) always said to me <Mi figlio, non esistono notizie
<vecchie> perche puoi imparare qualcosa da qualsiasi notizia.>
<My son, there is no such thing as so called 'old' news because you can
learn something from any news.>
THE LOCAL it
25 Nov 2019
<<Violence against women: X-rays of broken bones show the scale of
One Italian hospital's display of x-rays speaks louder than words.
Especially since the women whose shattered bones are shown in the
sterile black and white images rarely speak out.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,
a hospital in Milan is displaying X-rays from victims of domestic
violence who have passed through the doors of the facility seeking help.
The display at San Carlo Borromeo hospital was the idea of trauma
surgeon Maria Grazia Vantadori, 59, who wanted to show the stark reality
of what she has seen in her 26 years of practice.
Although women arrive at the hospital bloodied, sometimes cut, burned,
or with acid thrown in their faces, Vantadori opted for the more sterile
images of X-rays, deeming them more powerful.
<I didn't want it to be gory, just to show something true, real and not
fake. This is telling the truth, it's not made up,> Vantadori told AFP.
<The good thing about X-rays is that we're all the same, substantially.
Our bones are all the same. So any of these could be any woman,> she
In Italy, 142 women were killed through domestic violence in 2018, up
0.7 percent from a year earlier, according to Italian research institute
Eures, a number that campaigners say is disturbingly consistent.
In the last five years, 538,000 women were the victims of physical or
sexual abuse by their partners, according to Italy's national statistics
Instat. Experts say those numbers are conservative because women are
reluctant to come forward, partly due to fears of leaving their homes
The show in the hospital's lobby features about a dozen images: X-rays
of a broken nose, a shattered wrist, crushed finger, shin or rib snapped
two, interlaced with quotes from anonymous women.
One recounted how her partner smashed her face against the kitchen wall
and pummelled her with blows, 43 times.
<I counted the blows to try to distract myself from the pain, otherwise
I'd be dead,> the woman said.
In one of the most powerful images, a long butcher's knife is seen
encased within a ribcage.>>
Read more here:
Rights and freedom is supported by
David Agren in Mexico City
Mon 20 Sep 2021
<<Ten women and girls killed every day in Mexico, Amnesty report says.
Families often left to do their investigations into killings amid
widespread indifference by authorities, report claims.
At least 10 women and girls are murdered every day in Mexico, according
to a new report that says victims’ families are often left to carry out
own homicide investigations. The scathing report, released on Monday by
Amnesty International, documents both the scale of the violence and the
disturbing lack of interest on the part of Mexican authorities to
prevent or solve the murders.
<Mexico is continuing to fail to fulfil its duty to investigate and,
therefore, its duty to guarantee the rights to life and personal
integrity of the victims as well as to prevent violence against women,>
says the report, Justice on Trial.
<Feminicidal violence and the failings in investigation and prevention
in northern Mexico are not anecdotal, but rather form part of a broader
reality in the country,> the report adds.
Femicide has been rife in Mexico for decades – most notoriously in an
epidemic of murders which claimed the life of some 400 women in the
city Ciudad Juárez during the 1990s. In recent years, a growing feminist
movement has held massive street protests against the violence, but
authorities have proved unwilling to take action to stop the killing.
<It’s always a question of political will,> said Maricruz Ocampo, a
women’s activist in the state of Querétaro.
Ocampo has been part of teams lobbying state governors to issue an alert
when femicides reach scandalously high levels – a move to raise
awareness and mobilise resources. But officials often resist such moves,
she said, as governors worry about their states’ images and investment.
<They refuse to recognise there is a problem,> she said.
The president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has also downplayed the
problem. He branded the women protesting on 8 March, International
Women’s Day, as <conservatives> and alleged a dark hand manipulating the
When asked last year about rising violence against women, he responded,
<Tell all the women of Mexico that they are protected and represented,
that we’re doing everything possible to guarantee peace and quiet and
that I understand that our adversaries are looking for ways to confront
Mexico recorded the murders of 3,723 women in 2020. Some 940 of those
murders were investigated as femicides.>>
Read more here:
4 Dec 2021
The Week in Patriarchy
Women still have to worry speaking up about abuse will cost them their
<<Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s story is a chilling reminder when
women speak up about sexual misconduct they tend to be punished for it.
Peng Shuai and the dangers of speaking up about powerful men
Earlier this month the Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai posted a statement
on the social media site Weibo accusing Zhang Gaoli, a former
vice-premier, of sexual assault. Peng’s post acknowledged that she
didn’t have evidence to back up her accusations against the powerful
former politician, but she was determined not to stay silent. <Like an
egg hitting a rock, or a moth to the flame, courting self-destruction,
I’ll tell the truth about you,> Peng wrote.
Less than half an hour after the post went up, it disappeared. Searches
for Peng’s name seemed to have been blocked, as were searches related to
<tennis>, and her Weibo account was hidden from searches. Then Peng
herself disappeared. The former doubles world No 1 hasn’t been heard
from in more than two weeks.
While there has been growing international concern about Peng’s
wellbeing, Chinese media have stayed silent on the matter. The only
formal mention of the tennis star was a Twitter post by the state-run
English language broadcaster, CGTN, screenshotting a supposed email from
Peng in which she says she’s totally fine (just chilling at home!) and
the allegation of sexual assault she’d made wasn’t true. Weirdly, people
weren’t convinced. I don’t know what has happened to Peng, but she is
clearly not just chilling at home.
Peng’s circumstances may be extreme, but they are by no means unusual.
When women speak up about sexual misconduct they tend to be punished for
it. Speak up about sexual harassment at work and you may find your
career suddenly starts to stall. You may find yourself being ostracized;
being branded a troublemaker; threatened with the terms of draconian
NDAs. Speak out about sexual misconduct at your university and you may
find yourself being treated like you’re the one who did something wrong.
You may get quizzed about how much you drank, what you were wearing, how
many sexual partners you had. Speak out about the popular kid in your
town? Your house might get burned down.
That last example isn’t hypothetical – it’s what happened to Daisy
Coleman. In 2012 14-year-old Coleman and her 13-year-old best friend
Paige Parkhurst were assaulted at a party. After they accused the high
school football star both girls were subjected to horrific bullying and
harassment. The Colemans had their house burnt down, and mutilated dead
rabbits were put in Parkhurst’s car. Daisy’s mother was fired from her
job and the family ended up leaving town. Daisy died of suicide last
year. Her mother took her own life four months later.
Women who speak up about popular or powerful men will almost inevitably
find their histories being scrutinized, their reputations sullied, and
their lives torn apart. If you think I’m being dramatic here then just
remember what happened to Harvey Weinstein’s accusers. Weinstein
allegedly hired an <army of spies> to intimidate his accusers and stop
women from going public with sexual misconduct claims. After the New
Yorker published a report about Weinstein’s use of spies, the actor Asia
Argento wrote on Twitter: <Why didn’t I, @rosemcgowan, @RoArquette
[Rosanna Arquette] @AnnabellSciorra spoke [sic] up earlier? We were
followed by ex-Mossad agents. Isn’t that terrifying? Very.> >>
Read more here:
4 Dec 2021
<<Hundreds join violence against women protest in Mexico.
Hundreds of people holding up crosses bearing the names of murdered
women have marched in Mexico City to draw attention to rising cases of
femicide. The <Day of Dead Women> protest was held the day after
Mexico's traditional Day of the Dead celebrations.
Femicide, or the intentional murder of women because of their gender, is
increasingly a cause for concern.
At least 975 women were killed in Mexico in 2020, and 762 deaths
happened from January to September this year.
Human rights group Amnesty International says investigations of the
cases are often flawed because evidence is lost and a gender perspective
is not applied correctly, making it <easier for these crimes to go
Chanting <We are your voice,> demonstrators used megaphones to read out
the names of murdered women. They also carried photographs and banners
with images of some of the victims.
<Each cross is a case, a pain,> Consuelo Martínez, mother of Victoria
Pamela, who was killed by her partner, told Efe news agency. <We really
want the authorities to act... We seek justice and truth for each of the
The march was highly emotional, with some of the mothers crying and
hugging one another.
<We're here for the same fight: our murdered daughters,> said Nayeli
Aquino, mother of Naela Daniela, who was killed in 2019 and whose case
Cintia Ramírez, whose niece Dulce Lilián was murdered by her husband in
2019, said the protesters wanted the authorities to do more to bring the
perpetrators to justice. <The main demand is to urge the government to
listen to us, to arrest people who are at large and for justice to be
done. They aren't going to bring our dead back but at least they can
give us some peace and tranquillity,> she said.>>
And read/view more here:
Links on the above page about: IN PICTURES: Mexico barrier becomes
memorial for killed women
and CONTEXT: Fury fuels historic women's strike in Mexico
3 Dec 2021
Native American women are facing an epidemic of violence.
More than 80 percent of Indigenous women in the United States have
experienced violence in their lifetime.
Indigenous women in the United States are going missing and getting
murdered, at an alarming rate. A rate 10 times the national average on
some reservations. Ninety-six percent of the time, the crimes are
committed on Native land by a non-Native perpetrator. But because tribal
courts and tribal police, for the most part, do not have the authority
to prosecute crimes committed on reservations by non-Native
perpetrators, there is rarely ever any accountability for these crimes
or justice for the families of the victims.
This week on UpFront, Marc Lamont Hill is joined by Mary Kathryn Nagle,
a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a lawyer focused on tribal
sovereignty and safety for Native women and children, and Kerri Colfer,
a member of the Tlingit tribe of Southeast Alaska and National
Indigenous Women’s Resource Center’s senior Native affairs adviser, to
discuss the roots of this epidemic of violence, and what is being done
to end it.>>
Watch a video here:
2 Dec 2021
By Umar Farooq
Documentary on femicides in Turkey is UK’s Oscars nomination.
Dying to Divorce has been chosen as the UK’s entry for the Best
International Feature Film category at the Academy Awards.
Istanbul, Turkey – A documentary chronicling the efforts of activists
working to end violence against women in Turkey has been chosen as the
United Kingdom’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film
category at the Academy Awards.
Dying to Divorce, which was produced by Turkish and British filmmakers
and took five years to shoot, was released in UK cinemas last week.
It follows the work of lawyer Ipek Bozkurt and activist Aysen Ece Kavas
who meet women survivors of gender-based violence in order to help them
and their families seek justice through a labyrinthian Turkish criminal
As the film points out, many of the victims of violence in Turkey are in
Bozkurt and Kavas are part of the We Will Stop Femicides Platform, which
tracks violence against women in Turkey. The organisation also helps
mobilise support for victims and apply public pressure by showing up at
trials and organising rallies around cases.
So far in 2021, men in Turkey have killed 285 women, according to the
platform – on course to exceed the 300 who were killed last year.
Violence against women has often captured headlines in Turkey, but
women’s rights activists say the country’s legal system has failed at
following through prosecutions and sentencing of the perpetrators. The
failure, they say, is a result of a top-down narrative that blames women
who choose an independent life.
Along with seeking to point out the relationship between politics and
violence against women, the 81-minute film offers a close look beyond
statistics – specifically, at the painstaking physical and emotional
toll on two women.
One is Kübra Eken, a television news anchor, who suffered a brain
haemorrhage after her husband brutally hit her on the back of the head
two days after giving birth to their first child. It took years of
treatment and therapy for Eken to regain some mobility and speech.
The other is Arzu Boztas, a mother of six, who decided to divorce her
husband after she learned he had raped an underage neighbour and then
sought to take her as a second wife. One day, the husband told Boztas to
send the children away, then showed up with a shotgun, made her lie on
the ground and shot her at point-blank range in each arm and leg. Civil
society in Turkey, not just women’s rights groups, have been gutted in
the past five years.
British director Chloe Fairweather said she decided to make Dying to
Divorce after seeing a meeting of Boztas with Kavas, the activist. <I
had not been quite prepared for the extremity of the violence that
happened to her, but I was also really struck by Arzu,> Fairweather
<She was so strong in a way and so committed to rebuilding her life … I
was motivated then to get her story out there.>
The film follows Boztas and her family, including her father who regrets
having married her off at the age of 14, as they seek to ensure her
ex-husband is properly prosecuted.
Later in the feature-length documentary, the former husband explains
from prison that he does not regret shooting Boztas, saying she was not
a good mother to their children. <We should kiss the soles of the feet
of such mothers, that’s what our president says,> he says, in reference
to a 2014 speech by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about women and
motherhood that is shown early in Dying to Divorce. <I would not have
gone so far, but she insulted my pride and honour,> the ex-husband adds.
But as the film points out, many of the victims of violence in Turkey
are in fact mothers. Boztas waits to see her six young children until
she has regained some independence. Doctors are able to restore some use
of her arms, but the damage caused by the shotgun wounds to her legs is
too widespread, and her legs are amputated. In one scene, after years of
rehabilitation, she is fitted with artificial legs, and she shows them
to her children.>>
Read more here:
By Zena Al Tahhan
Nov 29 2021
<<Palestine: Femicide highlights need for domestic violence law.
The killing of a 30-year-old mother in occupied Ramallah by her husband
has caused an uproar among Palestinians.
Ramallah, Occupied West Bank – In the early hours of November 22,
Sabreen Yasser Khweira, 30, was allegedly stabbed to death by her
husband in a small Palestinian village on the outskirts of occupied
Ramallah. The Palestinian Authority (PA) police found Khweira’s body
inside her home in the village of Kufr Ni’ma. Her husband also attacked
his own mother, 75, who suffered injuries and was transferred to the
nearest hospital in Ramallah. She sustained injuries, but is in stable
The suspect, identified as Amer Rabee, fled the scene but was arrested
later that same morning, while Khweira’s body was transferred for a
forensic medical examination as part of an investigation into the
The Khweira family are now calling on authorities to execute Rabee as a
punishment for the gruesome killing – a demand also backed by Rabee’s
family. Khweira’s murder came as the world marked the International Day
for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 and
launched a 16-day global campaign demanding an end to gender-based
violence (GBV), including in Palestine where awareness activities are
being held. The killing has caused an uproar among Palestinians about
the persistence of domestic violence and patriarchal norms in
So far in 2021, more than 20 women have been killed in the occupied
Palestinian territories in domestic violence, while at least 15 other
Palestinian women were killed inside Israel.
The Khweira family has said that her husband had been violent throughout
their 12-year marriage and that the mother of four had left the house
multiple times. Jumaa Tayeh, Khweira’s uncle and the family’s elected
media spokesperson, told Al Jazeera that her husband spent a month in
prison earlier this year after she filed a complaint with the police for
one incident in which he beat her with cables.
<She was severely bruised – she had marks all over her body. I was with
her when we filed a complaint to the police’s Family Protection Units.
There were several court hearings, and he spent a month before he was
released,> Tayeh said.
Al Jazeera reached out to the media officer for the PA’s Public
Prosecution regarding pre-existing domestic violence cases filed by
Khweira, but was told that this information could not be disclosed at
this stage due to the ongoing investigation.
Tayeh said Rabee was released five days before the killing after
spending 40 days in jail for a drug-related case. <She spent one night
with him after his release, and then he started threatening to hurt her,
so she went back to her father’s house,> her uncle said The night she
was killed, he had threatened to hurt her 11-year-old son who was at his
grandmother’s house next door, so she would come home. When she
returned, <he killed her.>
Tayeh said that Khweira had begun to file for divorce several months
earlier, but was going through difficult times, particularly with the
loss of her 33-year-old brother, Saif, to cancer this year.
Her uncle himself was released from Israeli prisons only a year and a
half ago after 25 years, and her father lives in Jordan because Israel
has prohibited his return.
<She would escape from his oppression and stay at her father’s house,
and her family would support her every time and tell her to divorce him,
but she was fearful for her children’s future and she kept going back to
him in hopes that he would change and take on responsibility,> said
Read more here:
28 Nov 2021
<<Once, not that long ago, Kubra and Arzu were healthy young Turkish
mothers, looking forward to raising their children. Today, sadly, this
is no longer all these charismatic, determined women have in common.
They are now both among the many damaged survivors of violent attacks at
the hands of husbands who believed it was their right to inflict
potentially lethal injury on their wives.
This autumn, the two mothers are the impressive stars of Dying to
Divorce, a British-made documentary, out last week, that has just been
selected to represent Britain at the Oscars as the official entry in the
Best International Feature Film category. The film is a startling,
sensitively made exposé of the murderous misogyny and dangerous politics
behind an epidemic of femicide in Turkey, a country where an astonishing
one in three women is subjected to some form of domestic violence.
Dying to Divorce was released to coincide with <16 Days of Activism>,
the United Nations campaign against gender violence, and it was made
over five long years of care and commitment by director Chloe
Fairweather and her friend and producer, Sinead Kirwan.
The pair, who met at university in Bristol, joined together to make the
documentary after Fairweather met Arzu when she was filming another
project in Turkey. Since then, she and Kirwan have conquered a series of
challenges, including repeated battles for funds and lengthy delays
imposed by a glacial Turkish legal system. <There were lots of times I
felt it was not going to be possible to finish the film,> admitted
Fairweather, <but that was the good thing about having Sinead there. If
one of us was down, the other was offering encouragement. I’m so pleased
it’s been chosen as an Academy Award contender by Bafta, partly because,
although it is such an important story, it would have been very risky
for it to be made inside Turkey by film-makers there.>
At the heart of Fairweather’s documentary is the work of Ipek Bozkurt,
the campaigning Turkish lawyer and activist who has guided both Kubra
and Arzu, along with many others, through the painful aftermath of
appalling injuries, helping them courageously press charges against
Bozkurt is in Britain this weekend for the premiere, and she told the
Observer she remains determined to fight back against prejudices in the
Turkish criminal justice system, working alongside her comrades on the
anti-femicide platform she has established with other Turkish lawyers as
a support for survivors and victims’ families across the country.
<It is amazing how quickly things have changed in Turkey,” Bozkurt said.
“There is nothing over-dramatic in the way Chloe tells these stories.
There is real restraint, but the injuries speak for themselves.> >>
View the trailer and the article here:
28 Nov 2021
Iraq: Court hearing resumes on marriage of 12-year-old girl.
Despite the furore surrounding the case, legal scholars say many other
child-marriage situations do not get the same level of attention.
Baghdad, Iraq – A court has resumed hearing a case in which a judge was
asked to formalise a religious wedding between a 12-year-old girl and a
25-year-old man, raising concerns across Iraq.
It was not clear whether a verdict would be given on Sunday.
The court, located in Baghdad’s Kadhamiya district, adjourned the case
last week as demonstrators rallied in front of the court, chanting and
holding banners with slogans such as: <Child marriage is a crime against
children,> and <No to child marriage>.
<Children should be at home watching cartoons, not be married,> said one
demonstrator in front of the courthouse last week. <That’s why we are
here today to show our condemnation.>
The case was first brought under the spotlight when the mother of the
girl – in a video – called on authorities to save her daughter. The
mother told local media her 12-year-old daughter had been raped and
forced into a marriage to her stepfather’s brother.
A department of the Ministry of Interior that deals with violence
against women, however, said in a statement after meeting the girl, her
father, and her husband that it was assured she had not been coerced
<No matter what, a marriage between a 12-year-old girl and a 25-year-old
man is simply not acceptable,> Hala, an advocate for women’s and
children’s rights in Iraq, told Al Jazeera, asking to be identified only
by her first name.
The law in Iraq states the legal age for marriage is 18, but that it
could be lowered to 15 in “urgent” cases should the person in question’s
father consent to marriage.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against
Women (CEDAW), a universal legal document aimed at protecting women’s
rights, also states marriage under the age of 18 is a form of forced
Yet despite the legal provisions, child marriage is rampant in Iraq,
especially in rural areas, and other countries in the region. Poverty
and religious practices drove many parents into marrying their young
daughters off, hoping it would either ease the burden of the family or
bring financial support.
According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) conducted by
the government of Iraq and published in 2018, 7.2 percent of married
women aged 20 to 24 were first wed before they turned 15 years old, and
another 20.2 percent were married before age 18.
<Child marriage is a violation of human rights, compromising the
development of girls and often resulting in early pregnancy and social
isolation, with little education and poor vocational training
reinforcing the gendered nature of poverty,> UNICEF, a participant in
the survey, said.
Despite the furore surrounding this case, many other girls do not enjoy
the same level of attention, according to legal professionals.
<This case gets particular media attention because the mother of the
young girl went on social media and stirred up nationwide discussion,>
Mariam Albawab, a Baghdad-based lawyer who works on children’s rights
cases in Iraq, told Al Jazeera.
<However, there are thousands of cases that have gone under the media
radar, and many of those marriages went ahead without much notice or
Save the Children, an international NGO, has called for the minimum age
of marriage to be at least 18 years and for the removal of any
exceptions to this rule.
<You thought the story in Capernaum would all be fictional, but in fact,
its plotline is being replayed every day here in Iraq,> Hala said,
referring to the Lebanese film released in 2018 with a story that
entailed a money-strapped family trying to sell their 11-year-old
daughter in exchange for two chickens.>>
Read more here:
And also read this Al Jazeera article published 25 Nov 2021:
<<Child marriage: Why does it persist in the US?>>
read and view more here:
Opinion by Gino d'Artali:
If you don't call forced marriage an act of non-violence against women
you're guilty as a pretator and should be brought to face trial!
26 Nov 2021
<<Thousands of Mexican women march in protest against violence.
Mexico City (AFP) – Thousands of women marched through the Mexican
capital and scuffled with police on Thursday demanding an end to
femicide and other gender-based violence in the Latin American country.
See picture as part of the article titled:
<They didn't die. They killed them,> read one of the banners carried at
the rally to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence
Shouting <Not one (woman) less,> the crowd, dressed in black with
flashes of purple, the color of the women's rights movement, demanded
justice for victims of gender violence.
<Femicide Mexico! They're killing us!> one protester cried out during a
brief scuffle with the police.
Tensions flared when a small number of hammer-wielding protesters tried
to grab shields from police officers, who repelled them with smoke
Around 10 women are killed every day in Mexico and activists accuse the
government of not doing enough to tackle the problem.
More than 10,700 women have been murdered in Mexico since 2019,
according to official figures.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has criticized feminist marches on
more than one occasion, suggesting that they are promoted by his enemies
to undermine his government.>>
Read and view the article/picture here:
26 Nov. 2021
<<In pictures: Global protests denounce violence against women
Published26 November 2019
People around the world have taken to the streets to demand an end to
violence against women. Protests were organised in countries including
Mexico, Italy, Turkey and Sudan. The global demonstrations were held to
mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Some 87,000 women and girls were murdered around the world in 2017,
according to the United Nations.
The UN says violence against women and girls is one of the <most
widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our
world today> and remains largely unreported because of issues including
impunity and stigma.
In Mexico City, demonstrators marched through the streets calling on
authorities to do more to combat the high rates of femicide - the murder
of a woman because of her gender - and rape in the country.
Some women later clashed with security forces and vandalised monuments
in the city.>>
View the pictures here:
<<Thousands take part in global protests against gender-based violence
Access to the comments COMMENTS
By Philip Andrew Churm • Updated: 28/11/2021
Thousands took to the streets of Rome on Saturday in protest at violence
against women. It was part of the Global "16 Days Campaign" with
worldwide demonstrations against gender-based violence. Campaigners
denounce what they consider to be an institutional policy hostile to
women, the LGBT+ community and those vulnerable to the economic, social
and health crisis. Carlotta Cossutta, Spokesperson for the feminist
group <Non Una Di Meno" (Not One Less) said: > So far this year alone
there have been 109 femicides.
<That's about one every 72 hours, actually even more, and according to
the latest data, there are 89 women who report crimes related to
gender-based violence every day, from stalking to sharing private
material online, to beatings and a whole range of harassment at work or
at home. So 89 every day.>
Meanwhile, in Turkey, police broke up the women's rights march in
Istanbul with tear gas and rubber bullets. The protesters were
denouncing the recent rise in violence against women. According to the
advocacy group 'We Will Stop Femicide', 18 women were killed by men and
19 others were found dead under suspicious circumstances just in the
25 Nov 2021
Social justice journalist, writer and campaigner
<<The UK is facing an epidemic of violence against women and girls.
None of us has the luxury to watch this struggle from afar any more –
this is a fight for our lives.
<<I do not remember much about that November day four years ago – the
day my cousin Gaia’s body was found less than a mile from where she
disappeared. The paperwork says she died of hypothermia, but Gaia, like
countless others, fell victim to an epidemic of violence against women
and girls which is unfolding in the United Kingdom at terrifying rates
under a government that lacks the insight and the political will to stop
In November 2017, Dorset Police launched a missing persons investigation
to find Gaia. But by then they had already let her down.
In 2015, when she was just 17, Gaia told us that she has been raped and
that she wanted to report it to the police. We are a close-knit family
and my cousins are like sisters to me, so I sat with her through her
police interviews to support her. I also contacted our local rape crisis
centre in an effort to ensure she had access to counselling and advocacy
Gaia did everything she could to bring the man who abused her to justice
and prevent other women and girls from being victimised by him. But
despite her bravery, the police decided not to pursue the case.
The <alleged perpetrator>, Connor Hayes, was already a known sex
offender when Gaia accused him of rape. Dorset police were already aware
of his other, mostly underage, victims. But they still decided to drop
Gaia’s case. Hayes was eventually convicted for other offences, but he
only served a year in prison before he was released to re-offend.
The police failure to prosecute Gaia’s case was a crucial factor in her
health challenges, disappearance and death. The rape crisis centre,
National Health Service or NHS and social services also failed to
support Gaia and to help her cope with this injustice. And, not much has
changed in the four years since we lost Gaia – in fact, things have got
Today, women and girls in the UK have even less reason to believe the
police would take the necessary steps to ensure our safety and hold
those who harm us to account. The national conviction rate for even the
most serious sexual offences stands at less than 3 percent, and the odds
are even worse when the victim is Black or a woman from a minority
group. Why would anyone trust the police under these circumstances?
But the police are only one part of the problem. British society as a
whole is knee-deep in misogyny, and this willful ignorance is adding
fuel to the epidemic of violence against women and girls in our country.
Indeed, the British public appears to be highly confused about what
constitutes abuse and what counts as consent. A third of men who
responded to a 2018 survey by YouGov on attitudes to sexual consent, for
example, said if a woman has flirted on a date it generally would not be
rape, even if she had not consented to sex. Twenty-one percent of female
respondents echoed this view. With the state having failed to educate
such a large segment of society on the basics of consent, sexual abuse
cannot even be recognised when it is in front of our faces. Is it any
wonder then that the British police appear unable and unwilling to
protect women and girls?
The British police and justice system have arguably never been on the
side of sexual assault survivors. In recent years, however, due to a
toxic combination of austerity and rising misogyny, they have completely
turned against them – they have elevated disbelieving survivors from an
art to an actual policy
Sarah Everard’s rape and murder by a police officer in London in March
this year, followed by scenes of extreme police brutality directed at
women at her vigil in Clapham, was a gruesome reminder of what most of
us already knew: the police do not protect us.
Sarah’s murder turned the national spotlight on police misogyny and
violence in London and other urban centres, but this is not solely an
<urban> problem. Police forces are working against women and girls in
every corner of this country.
Take the case of Dorset Police. According to data obtained by our
organisation, Justice for Gaia, which was launched in the days after my
cousin’s death to fight for justice for her and for all survivors, of
2,058 sexual offences recorded by Dorset Police between 2019-2020, only
46 resulted in criminal charges. Between 2015-2019, 13 Dorset police
officers or members of staff have been arrested for serious crimes,
including rape, but most have been released without any charges or
disciplinary action. Since 2020, one Dorset police officer has strangled
a local nurse to death, another has been sacked for sexually assaulting
a colleague, and yet another has been found guilty of abusing his
position “to engage in sexual activity with members of the public”.
Another Dorset officer is currently facing gross misconduct charges
related to the Sarah Everard investigation.
Today, it is an undeniable fact that there is an epidemic of violence
against women and girls in Britain, and the police are at the epicentre
of it. No institution that is unwilling to hold perpetrators accountable
within its own ranks can be expected to tackle abuse effectively in
This is why earlier this year Justice for Gaia joined 20 other women’s
organisations to call on Home Secretary Priti Patel to initiate a
meaningful and extensive inquiry into misogyny within the police – a
call which she has not even dignified with a response.
Earlier this week a radio journalist asked me what it feels like to mark
the fourth anniversary of Gaia’s death while things are steadily getting
worse for women and girls. She wanted to know how I manage to remain
hopeful that one day Gaia, and other victims of sexual violence, will
The truth is, I am not always hopeful. Sometimes I just lie down and
cry. I only mention this because I know I am not the only one, and it is
important to acknowledge no one can be strong all the time.
But I do keep getting back up and continuing the fight, for three
First, I know that is what Gaia would do. She inspires me every day to
try and be as brave as she was.
Second, I know none of us has the luxury to watch this struggle from
afar any more. If we are no longer safe on the streets, in our homes, in
our offices and even in the back of police cars, it means we have no
choice but to fight. This is a fight for our lives.
The last reason is historical perspective. We are undoubtedly going
through hard times. But the women’s movement for justice and equality is
a chain that stretches back many generations. Countless women before us
weathered moments much worse than this to get us where we are today. And
we owe it to those who will come after us to keep the chain intact. We
have a historical responsibility to continue the fight.
Survivors and front-line service providers have said loud and clear what
we need to win this battle: an evidence-based overhaul of the rape
justice system and a fearless equalities analysis to take stock of how
systemic racism and other forms of discrimination block survivors’
access to justice and recovery; an independent investigation into the
perpetrators and failures within the police force; a huge public
awareness campaign around consent; an independent review of judicial
practices that retraumatise survivors; and sustainable funding for
specialist support services.
These are building blocks for safer communities and a future where all
survivors are respected, protected and heard. To win that future, we
will all have to fight for it.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not
necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.>>
25 Nov 2021
<<November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence
The term <violence against women> encompasses forms of male violence
against women and girls, including intimate partner abuse, sexual
harassment, human trafficking, female genital mutilation (FGM) and child
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year, one in three women
say they or someone they know has experienced some form of violence,
according to data from 13 countries in a new United Nations report.
Thursday also marks the start of 16 days of activism leading up to
the International Human Rights Day, whose theme this year is <Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!>
The five infographics below show how prevalent male violence against
women is around the world.
Intimate partner abuse
Nearly one in three women have been physically, sexually or emotionally
abused by their current or former partner at least once in their life,
according to a report published this year by the World Health
Organization and the UN. The situation is worst in Afghanistan, where
nearly 34 percent of women and girls above 15 have been abused by a
partner, data analysed from UN Women show. Five of the 10 countries
where women and girls are abused the most are in Africa. In the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, 32 percent of women and girls aged 15
or above have been abused by their intimate partners.
Some 87,000 women were murdered in 2017, according to the most recent
global homicide report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
The rate of intimate partner/family-related homicide was highest in
Women are killed by male relatives or partners daily around the world.
The UN says 137 women die this way.
Most of the known human-trafficking victims are women and girls, at 46
and 19 percent respectively, according to UNODC.
Seventy-seven percent of women are trafficked for sexual exploitation,
while 14 percent are trafficked for forced labour.
Seventy-two percent of girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation, 21
percent are trafficked for forced labour.
Forced child marriages
Child marriage is prominent in several regions across Africa and in
South Asia. In Africa, Niger has the highest prevalence of child
marriage, with 76 percent of women aged 20 to 24 today who had been
married off before they were 18 years old. South Asia also has a high
proportion of child
marriage, with 28 percent of girls forced into marriage before their
18th birthday and 7 percent before their 15th.
The UN estimated that more than 100 million girls would be forced into
marriages in the coming decade. Today it estimates that a futher more
than to million girls will be forced to be married before their 18th.
Sexual violence in conflict
Some 550 of 638 recorded instances of sexual violence against civilians
in conflict zones have been women, according to figures by the Armed
Location and Event Data Project since January 2020.
Sexual violence in conflict and conflict-related sexual violence
includes war-time rape and crimes perpetrated by armed and organised
Africa accounts for the largest number of instances with 376 incidents,
the most happening in the DRC, with 135 events mostly perpetrated by
<unidentified armed groups>.>>
Source infographic: UN Women VN
Read more and view the infographic here: