Category Archives: Women

Technology gives survivors of forced sterilization a voice

New Internationalist
By Vanessa Baird

300,000 women were sterilized in the 1990s.
300,000 women were sterilized in the 1990s.

Mobile phones and ancient Inca technology are coming together to enable survivors of forced sterilization to tell their stories and campaign for justice.
Next year is likely to see a re-opening of the legal case concerning Peru’s scandalous sterilization of 300,000 women – many of them forced or without their informed consent.
And the Quipu Living Documentary project – as the experimental communications initiative is called – could play a key role in helping the women achieve justice.

Continue reading Technology gives survivors of forced sterilization a voice

Q&A: The Security of a Nation Is Its Women

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Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, the general secretary of the global rights network World YWCA, said that further economic and social empowerment was needed to change the lives of women in Africa. Credit: Ravi Kanth Devarakonda/IPS

Ravi Kanth Devarakonda interviews NYARADZAYI GUMBONZVANDA, human rights lawyer and general secretary of the global rights network World YWCA.

GENEVA, May 7 2013 (IPS) – Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer and the general secretary of the global rights network World YWCA, knows what it is like to struggle against poverty and violence: she herself comes from a poor family in Magaya village in Murewa district, which lies northeast of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.

But Gumbonzvanda has travelled a long way from her home. And she has spent much of her life trying to change the lives of women who were not as fortunate as she was. Continue reading Q&A: The Security of a Nation Is Its Women

Haitian Sweatshop Workers Speak: Sub-Poverty Wages and Sexual Coercion

haiti
Ruth Jean-Pierre, left, and Aluta Marcelin, right. For both, sex with the supervisor was a condition of their job in a factory. Photo: Ansel Herz.

Common Dreams

Beverly Bell
Haitian women workers tell of their experiences in sweatshops. These interviews, gathered over the past two years, are among many dozens that this writer has collected from Haitian sweatshop workers since the early 1980s. Not one has ever diverged from the narrative of miserable working conditions and the inability to feed, shelter, and educate their children on insufficient wages. Below, womentell of their experiences as sweatshop workers and offer their analysis on better types of jobs for Haiti. Continue reading Haitian Sweatshop Workers Speak: Sub-Poverty Wages and Sexual Coercion

A proportionate view of the Magdalen laundries

Independent Catholic News

womenLast Friday night’s God Slot on RTÉ radio broadcast an interview with two nuns who had worked in Magdalene homes. This was the first interview of its kind and the nuns granted it on condition of anonymity because they were scared of the backlash that would follow if their names became public. Clerical Whispers writes:

The nuns had main four main points:

The first was that Ireland during the era of the Magdalen homes was extremely poor and this must be taken into account when assessing the place of the laundries in Irish society.

The second was that women who fell outside society’s norms were more harshly treated than men.
Continue reading A proportionate view of the Magdalen laundries

U.S. Finally Passes Stronger Protections for Women against Abuse

usa
usaVDay 2011 community campaign in Bakersfield, California to End Violence Against Women. Credit: Julie Jordan Scott/cc by 2.0

By Carey L. Biron

WASHINGTON, Mar 1 2013 (IPS) – The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday ended more than a year of stonewalling a piece of legislation that for two decades has offered legal protections for women against sexual violence, harassment and abuse.

The move will close gaps in related funding and safeguards that have opened since the legislation, known as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), lapsed in September 2011. It will also offer renewed protections for Native American women and immigrants, regardless of their legal status, and, for the first time, will extend similar guarantees to sexual minorities.
Continue reading U.S. Finally Passes Stronger Protections for Women against Abuse

LCWR Statement on Immigration Reform Proposals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:    Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM –

LCWR Director of Communications
301-588-4955 (office)   —  asanders@lcwr.org
301-672-3043 (cell)
January 31, 2013

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) welcomes the release of the bipartisan proposal by Senators Schumer (D-NY), McCain (R-AZ), Durbin (D-IL), Graham (R-SC), Menendez (D-NJ), Rubio (R-FL),Bennet (D-CO) and Flake (R-AZ) and President Obama’s pledge to work with Congress to fix our nation’s broken immigration system.

The Senate framework and the principles laid out in the President’s speech in Las Vegas provide hope to our immigrant brothers and sisters and the promise that values that are the bedrock of our national identity will flourish.

We applaud plans, which we hope will quickly become law, that would create a clear and achievable pathway to citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are currently undocumented, including undocumented ‘DREAMers’; fix the immigration visa system and reunite separated families; protect the rights of all workers; and promote the integration of newcomers. Continue reading LCWR Statement on Immigration Reform Proposals

US drone attacks ‘counter-productive’, former Obama security adviser claims

guardian.co.uk
US reliance on drones to target terrorists undermines rule of law, is ineffective and has strategic drawbacks, argues Michael Boyle
Nick Hopkins

The aftermath of a US drone strike in Yemen in September. The US claimed the attack killed six Islamist militants but the Yemeni government said the target was missed and 13 civilians were killed. Photograph: Reuters
The aftermath of a US drone strike in Yemen in September. The US claimed the attack killed six Islamist militants but the Yemeni government said the target was missed and 13 civilians were killed. Photograph: Reuters

The United States‘ use of drones is counter-productive, less effective than the White House claims, and is “encouraging a new arms race that will empower current and future rivals and lay the foundations for an international system that is increasingly violent”, according to a study by one of President Obama’s former security advisers.

Michael Boyle, who was on Obama’s counter-terrorism group in the run-up to his election in 2008, said the US administration’s growing reliance on drone technology was having “adverse strategic effects that have not been properly weighed against the tactical gains associated with killing terrorists”.

Civilian casualties were likely to be far higher than had been acknowledged, he said.

In an article for the Chatham House journal International Affairs, Boyle said the conventional wisdom over the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) needed to be challenged. Continue reading US drone attacks ‘counter-productive’, former Obama security adviser claims

Women Navigate Political Minefield in Kenya

Hamisa Zaja dropped out of the Mombasa County gubernatorial race for lack of resources. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPS
Hamisa Zaja dropped out of the Mombasa County gubernatorial race for lack of resources. Credit: Miriam Gathigah/IPS

NAIROBI, Jan 25 2013 (IPS) – Few women in Kenya harbour illusions of entering politics. Blatant discrimination, threats and intimidations, an uneven playing field and a largely unsympathetic public have turned electoral politics into a veritable minefield for women hoping to secure top government posts.

Despite adopting a more gender sensitive constitution back in 2010, in which Article 81(b) stipulates that not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender, male-dominated parties continue to make a farce of the little political space offered to women. Continue reading Women Navigate Political Minefield in Kenya