When in August Brazilian writer and feminist activist Clara Averbuck refused
the advances of an Uber driver, he physically threw her out of his car, leaving
her bruised and with a black eye. He then sexually assaulted her as she lay on the ground.
Just out of graduate school in Mexico City, Lissette Marquez longed to travel the world on an American cruise ship.
She was thrilled to obtain a guest-worker visa that allowed her to join a ship crew in California. But instead of the ideal job she had envisioned, Marquez said she found herself toiling long hours, earning less than a $4 hourly wage, and feeling isolated.
There is a movement in India that is seeking to secure 33 percent of seats for women in elected bodies. And while the "intellectuals" are racking up op-eds and the celebrities are lavishing their endorsements for the Women's Reservation Bill, I have some serious reservations of my own.
There are two major barriers to women’s full participation in the democratic process in the UK at the moment—the first relates to their taking part in the vital and shaping process of grassroots activism, and the second to their participation in more traditional political careers.
Her name is Amina. She is a teenage girl. A man in her country, Tunisia, thinks stones should be thrown at her until she dies because she posted a photo of herself on a website. Because she is a woman. Because she had the audacity to make a comment about her own body, and to photograph her body, and to use it to share her ideas with others.
With the verdict in on the Steubenville rape, we are now confronted with yet another case involving two 13-year-old girls in Torrington, Conn., who say they were sexually assaulted by three young men. Presumably, the media will say these boys had a “bright future” ahead of them just as it said of the Steubenville boys. And just as in Steubenville, I expect the mainstream media to play the same game it always does—ignoring the victim and focusing entirely on how this will impact the lives of the rapists.
Journalists took to Twitter Sunday to criticize the the media’s coverage of the two teenage boys who were found guilty in the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case. Lauren Wolfe, Xeni Jardin and others called out CNN’s Poppy Harlow and Paul Callan for sympathizing with the men and highlighting that the woman who was raped was “allegedly drunk.”
The father of the woman gang-raped and killed in Delhi in December has told the media that the crime against his daughter is “an awakening” for India. It certainly has been an awakening for much of the world, as I wrote in this op-ed for CNN. The local and international media have been cracking open issues from dowry-related burnings of women to street harassment, asking exactly what is wrong with men in India to have created such a culture of hate and violence against women. It is heartening to watch the introspection.
About once a day someone comes to this website by searching “Are rape victims to blame?” I hope when these visitors arrive they find some solace in the message they find here that rape victims are not culpable, ever, no, never. Unfortunately, they will also find information on how rape survivors are blamed mercilessly around the world for the violence perpetrated against them.
There is little violence on earth more merciless than what is happening to women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “When you talk about rape in New York or Paris, everyone can always say, ‘Yes, we have rape here too,’” Dr. Denis Mukwege, the founder of Congo’s Panzi Hospital, told Jeb Sharp, a producer at PRI’s “The World,” in 2008.
In September, I wrote a piece for WMC’s Women Under Siege about the hijab, or headscarf, and sexual assault against women in conservative Muslim societies. I chronicled the experiences of my sister Neelo, who experienced sharp harassment as a young girl while wearing a hijab in Pakistan. The premise of the piece was simple enough.
In many regards, Safiya Ishaq is an unremarkable 25-year-old. She is excellent at braiding hair but terrible at being on time. She studied fine arts at Khartoum University in Sudan. Not unusually for a student, Ishaq became involved with politics.
The first day of the Ratko Mladić war crimes trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was covered in many major news outlets on Wednesday. Interestingly, while The New York Times pointed out that Mladić is the "last of the major figures in the Balkan wars to face trial" at the ICTY, the Times piece contained no mention of the rampant torture and rape of women during the Bosnian War.
I’m sitting in Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris having just opened an email from one of Women Under Siege’s writers. She’d sent me a copy of a threat she’d received that scattered chills up my arms and down my legs. The sender said he was coming for her; he’d kill her, that “little bitch.”
“You smell soooo good, I could just eat you up.”
“Here, sit on my lap.” “No, mine!” “I get her first!”
“Putting him alone in a room with a woman is like giving an alcoholic a bottle of booze—he just can’t help himself.”
A cab driver abducted Marya, 15. He and another man raped her. Tahmina, 18, was trying to find the boy she liked in the hopes of escaping domestic violence and forced marriage. Two men she didn't know found her instead. They raped her. Malalai invited the guy she was seeing over to her house when she was alone, but he proved to be a mistake and raped her.
Gangs of young men rape girls. They also sometimes act as pimps that seduce a girl, then subject her to gang rape or otherwise insist that she sexually service gang members. Some girls are so desperate for acceptance and so convinced by sexual abuse that they have no other value: they see this as inevitable.
We first thought about starting this piece with the story of Saleha Begum, a survivor of Bangladesh's 1971 war in which, some reports say, as many as 400,000 women were raped. Begum had been tied to a banana tree and repeatedly gang raped and burned with cigarettes for months until she was shot and left for dead in a pile of women. She didn't die, though, and was able to return home, ravaged and five months pregnant. When she got home she was branded a "slut."