Amy Davis Roth has turned hateful and misogynistic online messages into art. “A Women’s Room Online” exhibits a typical 8 ft by 10 ft office space filled with the usual furnishings like a desk, office chair, computer and plants— all covered in actual messages sent to, or publicly posted about women who have contributed to the exhibit.
Roth’s installation helps to bolster awareness around the issue of online harassment and stalking. "This is not about mere critique as the harassers like to frame it, this is about bullying, intimidation and the stripping away of privacy. It is also about silencing and the idea that women are not allowed to have their own space, their own opinions or even the right to their own body particularly when online,” Roth states, “My art exhibit is meant to put you, the viewer, in their shoes if only for a moment.”
See more pictures of the exhibit (warning that some images contain graphic and offensive langauge that may be triggering) at Skepchick.
New video from Director Joe Posner reminds us just how broadly violence affects American women — and how often it comes at the hands of those who claim to love them.
Embedded in a post frankly titled “It’s incredibly dangerous to be a woman in America,” the video displays rates of violent crimes against women in the United States. The statistics are not printed on paper or pixelated on a screen. They are scrawled across a woman’s body, written in ink on bare skin.
On her first country visit as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, British actress Emma Watson highlighted the need for women’s political participation in Uruguay.
“Women must have a say in matters that affect their countries, communities and families. After all, they are half of the population, so women’s equal participation in decision-making is a question of justice and democracy,” she said on her trip.
What is it like to be a female journalist in Middle East war zones? Does gender play a role in reporting the news? Al-Monitor posed these questions to 16 women reporters covering conflicts throughout the region and their responses are quite varied. Excerpts from their statements include:
“I believe that female journalists have an advantage over their male colleagues. Particularly in conservative societies, we can cross the ‘gender divide’ with ease.” - Deborah Amos, reporter for NPR
"As far as I’m concerned, I am a journalist. Period. My gender doesn’t come into it. Judge my work, not my work based on my gender." -Rania Abouzeid, reporter for Time magazine
"Mob assaults on women in mass demonstrations made the gender-based threat unavoidable. ‘I’d rather be shot than sexually molested’ is a statement I often heard and repeated. It’s difficult to shake off that fear, but it can be pushed to the back of the mind. I come from a newsroom that was dominated by women, which cemented the idea that gender is irrelevant to the job. And this is what I choose to believe every day." -Sarah el-Sirgany, contributer to Al-Monitor’s Egypt Pulse.
Read their full statements and those of 13 other women at Al-Monitor.
Macy Duke, 6, beat acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year, and is now looking to use her good fortune to help others. She spent time last weekend waiting tables at her favorite restaurant, Chili’s Grill & Bar, and collecting donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. All in all, she raised $300 for cancer research.
Customers at Chili’s will have the opportunity to continue Macy’s good work by making a donation along with their meal through September 22. On that day, the restaurant chain will donate a minimum of $100,000 to St. Jude.
Columbia University students led a demonstration last Friday in support of Emma Sulkowicz, a Columbia senior who pledges to carry a mattress around campus until her alleged rapist is no longer permitted to be a student at the school. The protest, which condemned Columbia’s handling of sexual violence on campus, saw roughly 50 other survivors of sexual violence speak out — several for the first time.
A coalition of student groups also delivered a letter to Columbia administration proposing reforms that will improve the university’s response to sexual assault on campus. Their demands include ongoing programming on consent education and a release of the data on how students convicted of sexual violence on campus were punished.
Ram Devineni was in New Delhi in December 2012, when the brutal gang rape and murder of Nirbhaya came to light, and was among the thousands of protestors who rallied against the endemic violence against women and children in India.
Hoping to maintain some of the momentum created by the international outcry, Ram and his partners started the “Priya’s Shakti” augmented reality comic book project to provide an alternative narrative and voice against gender based violence.
It features Goddess Parvati and Priya, a mortal woman devotee and survivor of rape, and includes “augmented reality” elements, where readers can hear directly from survivors of gender based violence.
On Monday, Emmy-nominated actress Kerry Washington spoke out about an often-overlooked reason why women stay in abusive relationships: financial abuse.
"If a woman isn’t even aware of the dynamics of financial abuse — what it looks like, what it is — she may not even know that that’s part of the tools being used to control her and manipulate her and keep her trapped,” said Washington, the spokeswoman for “Purple Purse” — an initiative by Allstate Foundation to raise awareness of domestic abuse.
Ai-Jen Poo, the executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance(NDWA), received a prestigious MacArthur “genius” grant. The NDWA advocates for often-ignored domestic workers and home caregivers, the majority of whom are women. Currently, there are few state or federal labor laws that protect these workers, leaving them vulnerable to the whims of their employers.
Poo says she sees a connection between domestic workers and the larger American workforce. “Today when we look around, homecare workers are the fastest growing part of the economy… Things like vulnerability, lack of job stability, lack of pathways to upward mobility, low wages and long hours; more and more of our workforce is struggling with these conditions.”
For the last sixteen years, Poo has led the NDWA. She plans to use the grant to develop a fellowship to train domestic workers in public policy so that they can better formalize their legal rights.
"While the press focuses on the dangers faced by girls in India and the 50 million missing, I chose to draw attention to the positive power of sports and education to radically change girls’ lives for the better,” says photographer and filmmaker Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri who is using football (soccer) to empower girls in India.
During World War II, approximately 16 million American men left the country to fight, leaving American women to take their jobs at home. Over the course of the war, about 6 million women worked in factories, 3 million joined the Red Cross and nearly 350,000 volunteered for the female branches of the uniformed services.
See 21 photos of women marching in uniform, building aircraft and more at Huffington Post.
“I am 19 years old and I have two children. My education was stopped due to my marriage at a young age. But now I have started studying again, because I want to be educated and I need to be,” says Manahil from Pakistan.
Manahil’s voice is part of a chorus of more than 500 girls, ages 10 to 19, who have shared their challenges and dreams with the Girl Declaration, a campaign started last year by the Nike Foundation. Activists say the world’s girls are not represented in the current Millennium Development Goals, which focus on education and poverty, by failing to address child marriage, genital mutilation and adolescent pregnancy.
The United Nations plans to replace the current goals with a new agenda for 2015, and activists are pushing for world leaders and policy makers to turn their attention to girls.
Sonia and Anita, two sisters living in India, are now able to see for the first time thanks to a simple operation funded by the organization 20/20/20. In a short form documentary from National Geographic, the sisters’ mother shares what happened when the bandages first came off: “Anita kept saying, ‘Mother, I can see! I can see!’”
In many countries, blind children whose families cannot afford the operations end up being forced to work as beggars. 20/20/20 helps prevent this by funding the procedures, thus empowering them with the opportunity to create better futures.
A unique mobile messaging service, mMitra, is helping poor pregnant women fight against India’s stubbornly high maternal mortality rates. Registered mothers and mothers-to-be receive weekly calls during pregnancy and daily messages tailored towards the care of the infant once the child is born.
Dr Aparna Hegde, who helped found mMitra, believes that the project would have been futile if the messages sent were via text. “Voice messages are more intimate than texts, and so we got an older woman to record them. Her voice gives the impression of an ‘elder sister’ speaking to the younger pregnant woman.”
"The messages mention that I should eat spinach, methi [fenugreek] and eggs, and I am eating them to stay healthy. I did not eat these during my previous pregnancies," says 28-year-old Sapna Yadav, who is expecting her third child.