Category Archives: Feminism

Pristine Angie’s Home − The Wizard of Capitalism

Which Religion Cares the Most about the Homeless? This is a photo taken by Reddit user Ventachinkway that has gone viral on the interweb. While it has sparked lively debate about religion and the homeless, the first thing that came to my mind was “the genius of capitalism in one shot.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I may look like a communist to the untrained eye, but I was raised on Shaw’s Major Barbara. I believe in free economy, corporate Darwinism, advertising manipulation to cater to the obsessive preoccupation with the self, and the mind-numbing industrial conspicuous-consumer complex that capitalism thrives on for the free world to flourish. I believe in it, I just don’t buy into it.

via Pristine Angie’s Home − The Wizard of Capitalism.

IPS – Female Garment Workers Bear Brunt of Tragedy | Inter Press Service

Eighteen-year-old Shapla, a garment worker who survived the Apr. 24 factory collapse, lies on a hospital bed in Dhaka. Credit: Nari Uddung Kendra (the Centre for Women’s Initiative)

DHAKA, May 10 2013 (IPS) – Last month, 18-year-old Shapla was just another one of thousands of garment workers employed in a factory in Savar, a suburb of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka.

Today she is a handicapped survivor of one of the worst industrial accidents in history: the collapse on Apr. 24 of the massive Rana Plaza, a building housing five factories, that buried scores of workers under a wave of cement and glass.

The death toll reached 996 on Friday, though officials and families are still counting the bodies and searching for others beneath the rubble.

“I am desperate about the future,” Shapla said, echoing the sentiments of hundreds of female apparel workers like her who lost their limbs on that fateful day.

via IPS – Female Garment Workers Bear Brunt of Tragedy | Inter Press Service.

Afghan Women’s Writing Project | More Than Fifty of My People Were Killed Today…

Death stalks us

Editor’s note: This was written for the more than fifty people killed and ninety injured on April 3 in the suicide bombing in Farah province where Taliban bombers disguised themselves as members of the Afghan army.

The innocent children – whose only hope was to wake up the next morning and play and who dreamed of the future just like any other children – took their wishes to the grave again.

The mother looking for her children from the doorway – who didn’t know they would never be home again.

The son, who was his family’s sole source of support, is dead.

The husband, the hope and eyes of his family, is lost.

In a minute my nation lost more than fifty people.

What is the value of such blood in Afghanistan? What is the value of our brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers?

How careless we are; we move about and forget.

I read a news account of twenty children and six women shot to death at a school in the U.S. Across the country, people came together to support the families, and to demand change.

When the fifteen-year-old Pakistani girl was shot by the Taliban for going to school, every school in Pakistan sent its prayers, the nation gathered behind her, and the United Nations arranged for her medical treatment at the best hospitals.

Where was the world when Anisa from Afghanistan was shot? Even in her own country, there was no outcry. We lose girls every day. And the world is quiet.

The people of Afghanistan stay silent. The people in power keep their own children safe in the best houses or send them to other countries. This is the value of our blood.

It is up to us. The government or the U.N. will not do it. But I am afraid. I am afraid of the men who keep me from standing up. If a girl cannot even walk the streets freely in the afternoon, how can she find the courage to speak out?

Today my nation lost more than fifty people.

By Hila G.

Afghans bury their dead loved ones on the outskirts of Farah, western Afghanistan, Thursday, April 4, 2013. Suicide bombers disguised as Afghan soldiers stormed a courthouse Wednesday in a failed bid to free more than a dozen Taliban prisoners in western Afghanistan, officials said. Scores of people, including the attackers were reported killed in the fighting. The assault in Farah province was the latest example of the Taliban’s ability to strike official institutions despite tight security measures. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)

via Afghan Women’s Writing Project | More Than Fifty of My People Were Killed Today….

Afghan Women’s Writing Project | Break the Rule

I want to break the rule and say I am in love

My people taught me not to love someone because I am a woman

Because I am a girl

Because of my gender

Because of my culture

Because of my religion

No! God is not against love.

He loves the one who is in love.

I am in Love

Yes!

I am a girl and I am in love

Let me love the one who I want

Let me choose the one who I love

Let me experience what love is

Let me have something that I want for myself

Men can fall in love but women cannot

Why?

We do not have heart?

We do not have feeling?

We do not have choice?

We are not human?

Love is pure

Love is holy

Love is valuable

It is not against the law

It is not against religion

It is not against culture

It is not against humanity

But if it is against the rule

I want to break this rule and say

I am in love

And I love that I am in love

By Rahela

via Afghan Women’s Writing Project | Break the Rule.

Maasai Women Taking Bold Stance to Protect Land Rights

More than 2,000 Maasai women are taking a bold political stand in a move aimed at protecting community land rights.

From the 27th of March until the 7th of April,women gathered in Magaiduru village, one of the nine villages in Loliondo Division that has recently been declared by the government as a wildlife corridor, essentially prohibiting any future use of the lands by the local communities. The women – some of whom walked more than a day and half to reach Magaiduru – gathered to protest this decision and to collectively demand that the land in Loliondo be returned to the communities.

“Women are gathering and demonstrating because without land there is no life for them,” explains Maanda Ngoitiko, Executive Director of the Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC). “They’ve been empowered over the years, and have deep knowledge about what is happening and are therefore are not willing to sit quietly as their livelihoods are stolen away from them.”

via Maasai Women Taking Bold Stance to Protect Land Rights.

Former Chilean student leader Camila Vallejo runs for congress

Former Chilean student leader Camila Vallejo runs for congress.

After much speculation the district where Camila Vallejo — poster-child of the Chilean student movement and, increasingly, icon of the global left — will compete in the upcoming congressional elections was announced this week. The Communist Party candidate will vie for a seat in La Florida, a borough in south-east Santiago in which Vallejo has spent most of her life.

How Muslim Families Use Breastfeeding to Make Adopted Babies Their Own | Green Prophet

My clients are women who had been married for many years and had difficulty conceiving a child. Under my supervision the mothers adopted and breastfed infants around the age of four months old with 250 ml of expressed breast milk.

Lactation and milk expression took approximately two weeks. To encourage lactation, the mothers began by orally taking 60 mg of Domperidone a day and several cups of brewed Fenugreek while pumping and stimulating their breasts every two hours.

During the first week, small beads of milk could be seen coming out of the nipple; by the end of two weeks, the mothers were able to express 250 ml of breast milk, fulfilling the need for the five feeds to make the children their own.

via How Muslim Families Use Breastfeeding to Make Adopted Babies Their Own | Green Prophet.

Women take over Kenya’s farming sector | Environment | DW.DE | 09.04.2013

According to the World Bank, women make up 80 percent of Kenya’s farmers. Despite their majority, they still have many challenges to overcome, like gaining ownership of the land they work.

Flanked by a poultry yard and several cows grazing just a few meters from her home, Linda Okal is busy in her vegetable garden in Kenya’s central Mbeere province – famous for its agricultural products.

Okal grows maize and cultivates fruit trees, rears dairy cows and numerous chickens. She also takes care of her two children. “I started farming when my husband moved to town to look for a white collar job,” Linda says. She was left behind to take care of the farm and the children – an increasingly common tale in Kenya, where more and more women take over farms.

Women traditionally used to stay at home to take care of the family and cook for the men on the farm, Okal told DW. “But there were no female farmers.”

Linda Okal

Now, more than 80 percent of Kenya’s farms are run by women. Only half of these women actually own their farms; the others work the land that belongs to their husbands. But not having ownership creates a lot of problems. Since the women don’t own the land, they cannot join farming cooperatives that would help them interact with other people who could help them improve production or sales.

via Women take over Kenya’s farming sector | Environment | DW.DE | 09.04.2013.

Peta’s Ingrid Newkirk: making the fury fly | World news | The Observer

Is it Peta’s strategy to upset everyone, I ask Newkirk. “No,” she says. “Our mission is to provoke thought. People have been taught to disregard what happens to pigs or chickens, to not think about the suffering they go through. Our job is to make them think. We’re not out to be popular.”

via Peta’s Ingrid Newkirk: making the fury fly | World news | The Observer.

Mapping Lebanon | USAID Impact

Grace Abou-Jaoude Estephan, Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at the Lebanese American University.

Your work entails putting together a hazard map of Lebanon for earthquake-induced landslides. Why is this work important?

Grace Abou-Jaoude Estephan, Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at the Lebanese American University. Photo credit: Grace Abou-Jaoude

Lebanon is a country that is located in a relatively active seismic zone. Its rugged topography makes it vulnerable to earthquake and landslide hazards. Astonishingly, records from 303AD describe the destruction of houses, cities, and monuments. Although Lebanon has not experienced any major earthquake since 1956, the recent discovery of an active thrusting fault close to its coastline has significantly raised its risk of being hit by a high magnitude earthquake. Unfortunately, no effort has been done to assess the impact of a seismic event on the risks of triggering landslide hazards in the country.

The goal of my project is to produce an earthquake-induced landslide hazard map of Lebanon that clearly shows the critical areas prone to earthquake-induced landslides. The map will be used as a reference for anyone concerned with public safety, urban planning, and disaster management.

via Mapping Lebanon | USAID Impact.