Eleven parents of Nigeria’s abducted schoolgirls died, and their hometown Chibok is under siege from militants, residents report. Seven fathers of kidnapped girls were among the 51 bodies brought to the local hospital after an extremist attack on a nearby village. At least four more parents have died of illnesses related to the trauma caused by the kidnapping of their children.
"One father of two of the girls kidnapped just went into a kind of coma and kept repeating the names of his daughters, until life left him," said community leader Pogu Bitrus.
More danger is imminent: Boko Haram is closing in on Chibok and has been invading the towns surrounding it, forcing the villagers to seek refuge there. Because of the towns swelling population resources are depleted.
Community leader warns: “there is a famine looming.”
A New Delhi teenager who was allegedly raped and thrown into a well in Western India survived by hanging on to a ledge for 15 hours until she was rescued. A report by the New Delhi Television Station said the 17-year-old girl “was sexually assaulted by her neighbor when she went to work in a field in the town of Bhilwara in Rajasthan state. The attacker then pushed her into a nearby well.”
In 2013, reports of crimes against women increased by nearly 27%. Police attribute the rise in reports to greater widespread awareness and anger fueled by recent high-profile attacks against women in India.
A 10-year-old girl who was brutally raped by a mullah at a mosque faces yet another crisis. Authorities say that her family plans to carry out an “honor killing” against the girl. Despite having this information, local policemen have removed the girl from a Women for Afghan Women shelter and returned her to her family.
The accused mullah argues that it was consensual sex and that the girl is much older than 10, despite medical evidence refuting his claims.
Rights advocates worry about the future of women’s rights in Afghanistan as Western troops withdraw. “We already see the signs of losing the support of the international community,” says Nederah Geyah, head of the women’s affairs office in Kunduz “And I think what gains we have achieved the last 13 years, we’re slowly losing all of them.”
IMAGINING EQUALITY: Your Voices on Women’s Human Rights, An Online Media Project.
Mariya Taher experienced female genital cutting (FGC), or khatna, as a child. In this piece she weaves her voice with the stories of six other women who underwent this horrific procedure between the ages of five and seven. All six women were born in or have spent the majority of their lives in the United States and have some form of higher education.
Taher says she “hope[s] to break the isolated feeling, the unspoken taboo surrounding [FGC]. We are not alone. FGC is a shared experience by many women, bound by tradition, living today.”
Those of us who have won the lottery of birth can help spread opportunity and join the growing movement to eradicate global poverty. International Justice Mission’s #LocustEffect reminds us that compassion comes in many different forms.
Street artist Anat Ronen has created a mural of Malala Yousafzai as Rosie the Riveter at the Avis Frank Gallery in Houston, Texas.
“Malala has become a symbol for women’s rights in the Muslim world, mostly by spreading her story throughout the western world,” Ronen told Buzzfeed. “I felt I wanted to combine a symbol of western ‘warrior’ with her image, to maximize the symbolism and through somewhat controversy, promote her agenda. […] Being a woman, it is important for me to be a part of this agenda and help as much as I can. Being a street artist provides me the opportunity to deliver my message through my art.”
Introducing the world’s first Insta-documentary, created from Instagram footage in honor of girls affected by child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. The film calls for an end to these harmful practices ahead of the world’s first Girl Summit. You can show your support here.
If a prominent man were to make sexist remarks about a prominent woman — for instance, claiming ”I know it sounds sexist to say that she is pretty, but that makes her telegenic, even if what she has to say is total nonsense” — that man would certainly come under fire for his misogynistic statements. However, if those same statements were made by a prominent woman about another prominent woman (which, in the case of this quotation, was indeed what happened), the public tends to react differently. Often there is little reaction at all.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, writer Keli Goff discusses the problem of women making sexist comments about other women. “When men do this to women [i.e. dismiss a woman on the basis of her appearance] it’s labeled sexism, and rightly so, and is cause for widespread outrage,” Goff asserts. “But when women do it to other women, such behavior is either met with silence or a shrug, even though such attacks are just as damaging as those from men, perhaps even more so.”
In an article for Take Part, writers Holly Eagleson and Lauren Wade retouched controversial advertisements by replacing women models with men. In doing so, Eagleson and Wade hoped to highlight the pervasiveness of sexual objectification of women. For example, they decided to remake American Apparel advertisements to draw attention to former CEO Dov Charney’s abuse and mistreatment of female employees, as well as to photographer Terry Richardson’s record of harassing and assaulting women.
“Charney and Richardson are really representative of a specific form of sexism and objectification in media today,” Wade told Huffington Post in an email. “Their collaborations, in particular for American Apparel, depict women in sexually vulnerable, pornographic positions where a lot of the model’s facial expressions look like they’ve been drugged or they’re drunk. These images are predatory. They depict women being taken advantage of and it’s supposed to look “sexy” and sell sweatshirts?”
In the Indian state of Jharkhand, extreme poverty makes young, rural women especially vulnerable to human traffickers. Anti-poverty measures have not been very effective. For example, while the local government tried distributing bicycles to girls for them to travel to school, human traffickers target them on their routes. Even the women who have escaped slavery are still haunted and stalked by their traffickers.
One woman, who had been kept as a slave by two married doctors and has since been rescued, is now enrolled in a state-run residential facility. Even though relatives of the doctors visited her parents to offer them “lots of money” to avoid prosecution, she has taken her case to court and is still fighting for justice.
Meet Ze: she’s not your average twelve-year-old girl. Since the age of seven, she’s been responsible for supplying her family with water. Ze routinely carries 40 pounds of water on her head collected from a small, muddy hole infested with leeches, bugs, and bacteria — the only water source close enough to her village in Madagascar to access.
Ze recently dropped out of school in order to support her family. For Ze and 5,000 other girls like her, access to clean water can redefine her future. It means more time for school, healthier families, and the chance for kids like Ze to, well, really be a kid.
Prepare to have your mind blown: Former competitive gymnast Kacy Catanzaro shattered records and expectations by becoming the first woman to complete the insanely difficult American Ninja Warrior final obstacle course.
“Instead of thinking, no woman’s ever done it, I want to be the one to do it, which is the attitude that I took,” Catanzaro told Vulture in an interview.