On Tuesday, Gloria Steinem, who originated WMC’s Women Under Siege, spoke to BBC “Hardtalk” presenter Stephen Sackur about the women’s movement. But I wanted to do more than point you to the video (which you can watch here) and highlight something I found particularly interesting about their chat.
On January 25, I moderated a panel on the media and sexualized violence as part of our symposium, “Global sexualized violence: From epidemiology to action,” with Columbia University. The panel, with journalists Helen Benedict, Maria Hinojosa, and Jenny Nordberg, was lively, to say the least, with hot debate between the audience and speakers as to what the media is doing badly and needs to do better when it comes to covering rape.
In the light of the recent coverage of the rapes in India, it’s time to talk about how we cover rape in this country. For some 20 years now, I have been criticizing the press for never asking why men rape. Now, with the rapes in New Delhi gaining so much attention, I ask it again.
With Syria's war taking the lives of women at an average rate of 9 percent across the country, I spoke to CNN International's Hala Gorani about the terrible price women and children are paying as noncombatants.
In this video hosted by HuffPost Live’s Abby Huntsman, our director, Lauren Wolfe, cites a finding that may get you riled up: that 65 percent of men surveyed in the Democratic Republic of Congo believe women should accept partner violence to “keep the family together.” More shocking is the finding she cites next: that 53 percent of girls in India think wife-beating is justified—girls who may one day be those very wives.
On December 16, a young medical student in one of India's major cities was gang-raped, her body destroyed by the bodies of the men who allegedly assaulted her and also by the rusting metal bar doctors say they used to penetrate her. The bar removed part of her intestines. The rest were removed in a hospital far from home where she struggled for her life for just a few days.
Women describe their rapes from behind black face scarves in videos on our site that documents sexualized violence in Syria. We have no photos of women whose faces aren’t covered. We have few photos of survivors of rape even with their faces covered.
Sweden. California. Peru. All three make lovely vacation spots, sure, but they share something more sinister, too: a state-sponsored violence so furtive, even victims don’t always know it’s taking place. Add to that list Norway, Finland, Kenya, Venezuela, and 31 more U.S. states, and you begin to see the scope of forced sterilization.
The UN asked me to present the first findings of a data analysis from our crowdmap of sexualized violence in Syria as the Security Council gears up to vote on international sanctions--potentially on Friday. Below is my testimony to a room that contained members of the council from France, Portugal, the European Union delegation, Egypt, Italy, and perhaps a few members from Syria (the jury's out on that).
A chat pops up. Lines start pouring in to tell me that a group of men led two young girls into a van. There is little detail after that, the chat reveals, but not before I need to ask questions I am trying not to ask.
A dark screen accompanies the sounds of rhythmic drums and sinister music. The darkness fades into a chronological montage of U.S. Army propaganda, leading a viewer through an overview of military aesthetic dating from the newsreel era to the videogame epoch. From the opening frame, a new documentary called “The Invisible War” establishes the realm of an alternate military reality, far from civilian life. A woman explains in voiceover: “There’s a right way, a wrong way, and the Army way.”
This morning brings the announcement that the UK government will be training experts (police, psychologists, doctors, lawyers, and forensic experts, according to the BBC) to deploy to conflict zones to collect evidence of sexualized violence—an initiative we can only be hopeful will do more than any government is doing now to stop the rape of women in wars.
That rape is used as an actual strategy and weapon of war goes unnoticed much of the time by the media, which tends to focus on the explosions and traumas you can show in photos or film footage. But Janis Mackey Frayer, South Asia bureau chief of CTV News, has brought this subject to her readers in a two-part series that focuses on the work of Women Under Siege.
What can women do right now to get involved in ending violence against women? How do you deal with feelings of discouragement and anger in this work? Cara Hoffman, author of So Much Pretty (Simon & Schuster) speaks with Women Under Siege Director Lauren Wolfe about this and more.
I worked for many years as a reporter in upstate New York, where I covered local news like school board meetings and did features on things like watercolor exhibits at one-room libraries in one-traffic-light villages.
When word went around that a mob had sexually assaulted CBS correspondent and CPJ board member Lara Logan, at left, in Cairo's Tahrir Square in February 2011, the media jumped on the specifics: Why was the press release about her assault so precise?
Femicidio. Femicide. The female counterpart to homicide. It is a concept our country has been less exposed to than, for example, Mexico, Honduras or Guatemala, where the word femicidio is seen on the front pages of newspapers much too often.
It's been less than a year since photojournalist Lynsey Addario returned from Libya, where soldiers loyal to Muammar Gaddafi sexually abused her during six days in captivity. I interviewed Addario just after she returned, and her honesty and stated intention of “shaming the Libyans” for what had been done to her evinced a remarkable personal strength.
In January 2011, The Economist published the number of women raped in six conflicts, including an estimate of 500,000 women raped in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Many readers may have taken these statistics at face value. In fact, however, estimates of rape in Rwanda range from 250,000 to 500,000 and are based on the number of reported pregnancies from rape, which underestimates prevalence.