One billion rising!

Eine von drei Frauen auf diesem Planeten wird im Laufe ihres Lebens geschlagen oder vergewaltigt.
Das sind eine Milliarde Frauen, denen Gewalt angetan wird … ein unfassbares Greuel.

Am 14. Februar 2013 läd der V-Day eine Milliarde Frauen dazu ein, raus zu gehen, zu tanzen und sich zu erheben, um das Ende dieser Gewalt zu fordern. Eine Milliarde Frauen – und Männer – überall auf der Welt. Wir zeigen der Welt unsere kollektive Stärke und unsere globale Solidarität über alle Grenzen hinweg.

In Deutschland sind bereits um die 100 Aktionen in Planung.

Macht alle mit!
ONE BILLION RISING • STRIKE • DANCE • RISE !
Lasst uns gemeimsam “tanzen”!

Hier die deutsche und die internationale Homepage des Projekts.

Unveil women´s right to unveil!


Interessanter Beitrag von DRadio Wissen über die Facebook-Kampagne „Unveil women´s right to unveil“. Hier der Ankündigungstext:

Die Diskussion um Zwangsverschleierung im Iran nimmt größere Ausmaße an und erreicht nun die sozialen Netzwerke.

„Nein zur Zwangsverschleierung“, so heißt die jüngste iranische Facebook-Kampagne, die für Aufsehen sorgt. Sie fordert: „Unveil Women’s right to unveil“ – ein Selbstbestimmungsrecht der Frauen in puncto Verschleierung.

Kopftuchzwang

Seit der islamischen Revolution vor 33 Jahren müssen die Frauen im öffentlichen Raum Kopftuch und Mantel tragen. So fordert es das iranische Gesetz. Und jeder Verstoß gegen die islamischen Kleidervorschriften wird von der Sittenpolizei bestraft.

Viele Fans der Kampagne

Die Kampagne wird bislang von mehr als 26.000 Frauen und auch Männern unterstützt, darunter einige Aktivisten und prominente Persönlichkeiten. Die Nutzer können Fans der Seite werden und mitdiskutieren. Viele schicken eigene Bilder an die Initiatoren. Zu sehen sind Porträts, Gruppenfotos oder persönliche Urlaubsfotos, in denen sich Frauen mit oder ohne Kopftuch zeigen. Die Initiatoren versehen die Bilder mit dem Slogan und Logo der Kampagne und posten sie in die Facebook Chronik.

Beteiligung trotz Kontrolle

Rund 75 Prozent der Nutzer stammen trotz der massiven Internetzensur und -kontrolle aus dem Iran. Um das Projekt unterstützen zu können, nutzen sie diverse Verschlüsselungstechniken und Anonymisierungsdienste. Ob sich die positive Resonanz in der virtuellen Welt auch auf der Straße widerspiegelt, bleibt abzuwarten.“

WADI asks: Why are you silent about ‘Honor’ Killings …?

This petition is a call for society to immediately protect from violence all women and girls in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRG). The silence about ‘honor’ killings in the KRG is deafening, and one more example of this is the case of 15-year-old Nigar Rahim, who was raped by one brother in 2011 and later killed by another brother on July 20, 2012.

Nigar lived in Kalar City in the Garmayan district of Iraq and was under the protection of the Directorate to Investigate Violence after giving birth to a child as a result of the rape. After her family negotiated with police, Nigar was returned to her family on June 12, 2012. She was brutally murdered less than five weeks later by one of her brothers.

Her rape and murder is shameful and influences every human being. Nigar’s case, among the many ‘honor’ killings reported in the KRG, demonstrates the urgent need for government, and women and civil society organizations, and every citizen to take immediate action to stop the violence against women and girls, including ‘honor’ killings.

Killing women and girls in the name of ‘honor’, as well as all other acts of violence in the name of culture, religion, and tradition is shameful. We believe it shows a bad side of human behavior that is extreme and animal-like.

We particularly call upon government departments, who are especially silent when such cases are reported, to respond more quickly and within their responsibility as outlined in Law No. 8: the Law Against Domestic Violence in Kurdistan, which became law in August 2011.

All too often, when these crimes happen, the response is too late by the government departments responsible for protecting women and girls and investigating violent acts against them. We believe the following contribute to the problem:

Neglecting Law No. 8: the Law Against Domestic Violence in Kurdistan
Lacking a real plan in the KRG to stop violence against women
Lacking true place of shelter for women in harm’s way
Working in a highly bureaucratic environment that lacks the tools and methods to properly investigate and prosecute these crimes
Freeing those charged with such crimes too quickly after being arrested, without proper investigation
Neglecting in court cases of violence against women

When the government cannot protect the security and safety of its citizens, society as a whole suffers. We urge the government and its ministries and directorates responsible for protecting women and girls to take seriously Law No. 8, and to become more aware of the true, real, serious threats of violence against woman and girls.

As a group of women’s and civil society organizations, we arrange this protest to call for an original and serious investigation into Nigar’s case by the Ministry of Interior and Department of Domestic Violence. We call upon these departments to provide a full report about how and why the case of Nigar happened. Until now, the explanations have not been acceptable.

Killing women in the name of ‘honor’ is truly a crime against women and girls in Kurdistan and results in a shameful reputation for every Kurdish citizen worldwide.

Those who choose to be silent when an honor killing happens – any mother, father, sister, brother, neighbor, friend, or other relative – are indirectly participating, supporting, and allowing this violence against women and girls to continue. Now is the time for every person in the KRG to realize that, human beings do not give the right to life and human beings do not have the right take another person’s life.

We hope that those who commit violence against women and girls are held responsible and punished under the rule of law. It is a shame for every citizen in Kurdistan that this violence, including honor killings, continues today.

Life Group

August 6, 2012

WADI: Ranya and Qaladiza, Iraq – A True Hell for Women and Girls


In the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq (KRG), Ranya and the nearby town of Qaladiza are quickly becoming one of the most dangerous places for women in the Middle East. This year, a surge in violence against women is cause for great concern, with 18 cases reported in the Bishder and Betwen regions in January and February 2012.

According to data provided by Ranya General Hospital and the KRG Directorate of Violence Against Women, five cases of murder, eight cases of self-immolation, and five cases of physical (domestic) violence have been reported in the first two months of 2012.

By contrast, in the same region a total of 44 cases of violence against women were reported in all of 2011, with the KRG Directorate of Violence Against Women officially reporting three murders, 12 acts of physical (domestic) violence, and 29 self-immolation cases. The total number of women that died in 2011 as a result of the violence is unknown because government data is not available.

If action is not taken immediately, violence against women in this region is due to triple in 2012. The KRG must declare a state of emergency in Ranya and Qaladiza, and police and security forces must formally investigate all cases of violence against women. The judicial system must prosecute offenders, pursuant to KRG Law No. 8, the Law Against Domestic Violence in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The law was passed in June 2011 but has yet to be fully implemented.

Finally, the KRG Ministry of Human Rights, leagues of women, and other community and international organizations must join forces to increase awareness of the issue and implement a serious plan to stop the violence against women in Ranya and Qaladiza.

Lack of Planning or Action Puts Women at Risk

While some action has been taken to address the violence against women in Ranya and Qaladiza, activities to date have been more window dressing than actual plans of action. Leagues of women, KRG ministries of Human Rights and Social Affairs, and large organizations hold meetings and discuss plans to end the violence against women but do not contribute enough to stopping it all together.

Despite their best intentions, these groups are not taking serious action to protect women. None of these groups have opened a shelter in the region to offer women a safe haven from the violence. The government does not declare a state of emergency in Ranya and Qaladiza, despite the fact that violence against women is due to triple in 2012. Little has been done to seriously expand campaigns to increase awareness and motivate the entire community to work toward stopping the violence.

Moreover, police and security forces have not been activated to stop the killings, law enforcement does not properly investigate criminal cases that are reported, and the judicial system does not prosecute offenders.

As a result of these inadequate measures, violence against women in this region is increasing at an alarming rate. Murder, self-immolation, and forced marriages are common in Ranya and Qaladiza.

Thousands of infant girls, still in their cradles, have been engaged or exchanged with other girls for members of one another’s families. Data from the KRG Ministry of Human Rights documents 3,736 such cases.

The FGM rate in the Ranya region is 94 percent, according to a report by Wadi that was forwarded to the KRG Parliament in 2008. The report found that of 2,317 girls evaluated, 2,184 had been circumcised.

Women in this region are the targets of physical, psychological, and social violence that grossly violates their human rights.

Murder, Attempted Murder Cases

Five cases of murder or attempted murder of women have been reported in the first two months of 2012. Four women have died and one woman remains in hospital intensive care, having undergone two operations as a result of her injuries.

Of the five cases, this report provides background on only two of the victims. There was not enough information on the three remaining victims to report the facts of their cases.

• Victim #1
Sakar Hamadamin, 28 of Sarkapkan sub-district of Ranya, was killed on February 4, 2012. Her family claims that the killer is unknown.

• Victim #2
Kaban Kamal Omer, 23, of Zharawa, was shot by her husband, Nasih Hussein, on February 9, 2012. Nasih claimed that he was cleaning his weapon when it went off, shooting his wife. At the time of preparing this report, Kaban was in hospital intensive care and remained in serious condition. She has had several operations as a result of her injuries.

• Victim #3
Sakar Omer Aziz, 22, of Ranya district was killed by her husband on February 11, 2012.

Murdered Women of Ranya

In February, Wadi team members from Sulaimani and Ranya set out to meet with families of three victims killed since January 2012. The team also went to meet with the family of one of the men accused of murdering his wife. They visited four homes in one day, but only two of the four families would speak openly and on the record about the cases. These stories are included below.

Sakar Hamadamin’s Story
In February, the Wadi team visited the home of murder victim Sakar Hamadamin, 28, a schoolteacher from the Sarkapan sub-district of Ranya. Wadi investigators were following up on a rumor that her father killed her. Zuleikha, Sakar’s mother, gave an account of the murder to the organization’s team members when they visited her home.

“It was 10 at night. Sakar was busy with her camera, as it had snowed that day. She had intended to take some photos on her way to her work in Plingan village the next day and at school.” Zuleikha said. “I fell asleep after 10 p.m.; Sakar, too. We shared a room. At midnight, I jumped by the bang of firing from a rifle. Though there was no electricity, I could see a man I did not recognize, with his back toward me walking away. I dared not chase him.”

Sakar had a boyfriend that had asked for her hand in marriage several times, but Sakar’s father was reluctant to agree to the union. Soon after he agreed to their marriage, Sakar was shot.

Close family relatives referred to a telephone call that Sakar’s father received as the cause of her killing. He allegedly received a telephone call from a man in the same tribe stating, “’Hey Hamadamin, you are the only man in the tribe who is controlled by his daughter. Have you forgotten the traditions of our family? How could you listen to your daughter and agree to her marriage to that boy?’”

“After this phone call, Sakar’s father had decided to kill his daughter,” the relative said. “And that same night he did.”

According to a family relative, “on the night when Sakar was shot, she had been able before passing away to tell her mother “Ma, it was dad but for God’s sake do not confront him with anything.’’

The family relative also said that Sakar’s father allegedly telephoned one of his relatives after Sakar had been injured and asked how his wife Zuleikha and his daughter were. He reportedly said, “please, how is Zuleikha, not tired?,” adding, “I have pledged to sacrifice three bulls may God keep Sakar safe and [that she will] recover.”

Information gathered for this report stated that Sakar’s father shot her on the night of February 4, 2012. She died two days after the shooting in the hospital. Sakar’s mother and sister-in-law said that the person who murdered Sakar must have been experienced and aware of Sakar’s sleeping place. The person who killed Sakar entered the house at midnight, turned off the power, and shot her while she slept, they said.

Sakar Omer’s Story

Wadi team members also visited the parents and sister of one of the murder victims, Sakar Omer Aziz, 22, in their family home in Ranya. Sakar’s younger sister, Sawen Omer Aziz, 17, recounted the story of finding her sister dead.

Sawan said she was the first witness to enter her sister’s house. “I was at my grandmother’s [house] that day,” she said. “I was back at around 5 p.m. I told my mother that I would visit my sister Sakar. I knocked at the gate three to four times but nobody opened. I phoned my sister a couple of times but there was no answer.”

Sawen added, “I looked through the gate. A window was open. I knew they were home but I thought she was having a nap.”

Sawen entered the house through the neighbor’s gate. She said, “Entering the hall, I couldn’t recognize my brother-in-law. The house was like a slaughter house.”

Sawen explained that Sakar had two gun shot wounds and that her husband had shot himself in the neck. The bullet penetrated his head and blew his right eye out.

Sakar was only 22. She had attended primary school through class four. She was a housewife. Her husband, Pishder, was a peshmerga (Kurdish fighter) based in Ranya. The couple had a five-month old baby boy.

Sawen added, “I telephoned my father. I was so frightened and was talking so quickly that my father could not understand me. My brother-in-law was still alive and was able to talk. He was telling me to keep silent and not to inform anyone.”

Sawen indicated that nobody was aware of what had taken place until her father arrived and they removed Sakar’s body from the house. She returned to the house to help the husband, Pishder, and to attend to the couple’s baby boy. Sawen said, “The child was in the cradle, which was covered with blood. I was afraid that the child was also shot.” When she saw that the child was unharmed, she lifted him from the cradle. She then telephoned the security police, known as Asayish.

According to Sakar’s father, Omer Aziz, his daughter did not have problems until she was married. He claimed that the couple’s marital problems stemmed from her husband’s addiction to alcohol. Omer said Sakar’s husband, “beat Sakar and hit her with a knife two months ago. Whenever he had beaten Sakar, he cut his own wrist with a cutter. He was always drunk and unconscious.”

The Wadi team visited Pishder’s family to confirm facts of the case, but they were not willing to speak about the issue.

Self-Immolation Cases

Each of the self-immolation victims suffered severe burns of high degrees, making the collection of evidence directly from the victims impossible. Relatives of four of the six victims have claimed that these women caught fire and burned while filling heaters with kerosene. At the time of finalizing this report, there was not enough information available on two of the cases to report on the cause of their burns.

• Gashbeen Jabar Nabi, 13, Rapareen Quarter, Ranya, was burned on January 15, 2012. Gashbeen’s family claimed that she was burned when filling a heater with kerosene; however, the cause of the burning remains suspicious.
• Sazan Omer Kareem, 27, Hajiawa sub-district, was burned on January 15, 2012. Details of the case are unknown.
• Beri Mohammad Mullah, 19, from Sangasar sub-district, was burned on January 26, 2012. Details of the case are unknown.
• Shiba Hussein Qadir, 19, Ranya district, Shahidan Quarter, was burned on January 31, 2012. Details of the case are unknown.
• Arazo Salih Rasool, 17, suffered burns on 50 percent of her body, allegedly from a kerosene pump cooker while taking a bath. Arazo is now at Sulaimaniyah hospital.
• Gulstan Ahmad, 17, a student at a computer institute, was burned while home alone. She allegedly filled a kerosene heater with benzene instead of kerosene.


Recommendations

Immediate action is required to stop the violence against women in Ranya and Qaladiza. The human rights of women and girls are being violated on a daily basis with long-lasting consequences on the physical, psychological, and social health of women, children, and the greater community in this region.

Given the surge in violence against women since January 2012, Wadi calls on the KRG to declare a state of emergency in Ranya and Qaladiza.

Wadi also calls for all government establishments and organizations, from police and security forces to the KRG Ministry of Human Rights and others to be on high alert. These cases of murders and suicides must be confronted with a serious plan that prevents violence against women and prosecutes offenders, in accordance with the KRG Law No. 8, the Law Against Domestic Violence in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Finally, awareness campaigns must be increased and should combine a broad range of strategies to reach the community on all levels, from door-to-door educational visits to large demonstrations that call for an end to the violence and crimes against women and girls.

Tahrir Square Again: Violence And Sexual Assaults Against Female Demonstrators

Violence against women demonstrators in Egypt erupted again on Tuesday when a frenzied mob of 200 men sexually assaulted a female protester in Tahrir Square. Then, during a rally on Friday to protest the incident, about 50 women and their male allies were themselves brutalized and chased away by another mob.

Journalist Ghazala Irshad, who was on the scene Friday, says that just as the small anti-harassment protest was gathering steam, the atmosphere shifted. “A few guys were like, ‘Why are you talking about this, there are more important issues to talk about?’ [Then] some guys started saying the women protesting were whores.”

Next, a phalanx of outside men overwhelmed the protective circle of male allies and cornered and groped the women. Rally organizer Sally Zohney says, “[The violence] started with individual cases of assaults against women in the march [and] then turned into beating and chasing everyone involved. Even men were badly beaten and attacked. It was very brutal.”

Participants were forced to flee for their safety.

Sadly, the violent scene is just the latest of many. Since the military took power last February, countless women–including journalists Lara Logan, Mona Eltahawy and Caroline Sinz, Egyptian actor Sherihan and the “woman in the blue bra“–have been groped and sexually assaulted by men in Tahrir Square. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other women have experienced verbal sexual harassment in a place that is supposed to symbolize freedom.

The lack of safety for women in the square symbolizes, instead, just how little women have benefited from the revolution they helped create. While pre-revolutionary Egypt was notorious for street harassment–a 2008 study by the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights (ECWR) found that over 80 percent of Egyptian women had experienced it–the 18-day uprising in January and February 2011 was an unprecedented moment in which women could move freely in public space. Women seized the chance to become key players in the protests. “In 3 weeks of revolution we experienced no sexual harassment by men,” one woman told the Israeli paper Haaretz. “What civilization emerged! What culture!”

But that swiftly changed. Marchers in an International International Women’s Day 2011 demonstration in Tahrir Square were violently attacked. Months of assaults on women protesters followed. Some of the perpetrators have worn civilian clothes; others have been uniformed military police. During the violent government crackdown on pro-democracy protests this fall, which claimed more than 80 lives, over 100 women report being subjected to invasive “virginity tests” by the military.

Zohney believes that the attacks are systematic and fueled by unknown organized groups–whether by the military regime or others, she isn’t certain. She sees them as an attempt to discourage protests by intimidating revolutionaries and painting them in a bad light. Many of her friends have been attacked. Yet, she says, no serious security measures have been taken to stop the assaults. As a result, many women have avoided Tahrir Square, losing the opportunity to be full participants in the political process.

On the other hand, some women have spoken out against the violence. Logan, Eltahawy and others told their stories to the media. Women regularly share their harassment stories online. But, unfortunately, as on Friday, they, too, experience backlash and harassment.

If broad attempts to curb harassment in Egypt succeed, Tahrir Square may become safer for women protesters. Rebecca Ciao, a co-founder of Egyptian safe-streets organization HarassMap, says her group plans to continue conducting community outreach, spotlighting stories of harassment and allowing people to easily report incidents on an online map. Groups such as HarassMap, ECWR and the United Nations’ Safe Cities Programme have long spearheaded anti-harassment actions such as online story sharing, community safety audits, meetings, rallies, radio ads and, last month, a human chain against street harassment.

The attacks on women are also sparking anger among regular citizens. The “woman in the blue bra” became a national martyr, drawing thousands to march in solidarity in December.

No matter how many attacks they face, these brave women and men plan to speak out. Zohney and others are planning a multipronged response to Friday’s attacks that will include a larger, more organized march, as well as online testimonials by Friday’s victims and calls for more security in Tahrir Square. Activist Leil Zahra Mortada wrote in a Facebook post accompanying a photo album from the Friday march:

No matter how deep the wounds are, no matter how many times we get attacked or will be attacked, this will not stop nor silence us. More actions are planned, more noise will be made, and more proactive steps will be taken. We will see the end of sexual harassment and assault, both state-organized and individual! We will take down patriarchy, sexism and every form of violence based on gender or sexuality!

Brava. It is clear Egypt’s revolution will be incomplete until women win the streets.

via

The Woman In The Red Shirt: Assaulted By 200 Men in Tahrir Square

CAIRO — Her screams were not drowned out by the clamor of the crazed mob of nearly 200 men around her. An endless number of hands reached toward the woman in the red shirt in an assault scene that lasted less than 15 minutes but felt more like an hour.

She was pushed by the sea of men for about a block into a side street from Tahrir Square. Many of the men were trying to break up the frenzy, but it was impossible to tell who was helping and who was assaulting. Pushed against the wall, the unknown woman’s head finally disappeared. Her screams grew fainter, then stopped. Her slender tall frame had clearly given way. She apparently had passed out.

The helping hands finally splashed the attackers with bottles of water to chase them away.

The assault late Tuesday was witnessed by an Associated Press reporter who was almost overwhelmed by the crowd herself and had to be pulled to safety by men who ferried her out of the melee in an open Jeep.

Reports of assaults on women in Tahrir, the epicenter of the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak to step down last year, have been on the rise with a new round of mass protests to denounce a mixed verdict against the ousted leader and his sons in a trial last week.

The late Tuesday assault was the last straw for many. Protesters and activists met Wednesday to organize a campaign to prevent sexual harassment in the square. They recognize it is part of a bigger social problem that has largely gone unpunished in Egypt. But the phenomenon is trampling on their dream of creating in Tahrir a micro-model of a state that respects civil liberties and civic responsibility, which they had hoped would emerge after Mubarak’s ouster.

„Enough is enough,“ said Abdel-Fatah Mahmoud, a 22-year-old engineering student, who met Wednesday with friends to organize patrols of the square in an effort to deter attacks against women. „It has gone overboard. No matter what is behind this, it is unacceptable. It shouldn’t be happening on our streets let alone Tahrir.“

No official numbers exist for attacks on women in the square because police do not go near the area, and women rarely report such incidents. But activists and protesters have reported a number of particularly violent assaults on women in the past week. Many suspect such assaults are organized by opponents of the protests to weaken the spirit of the protesters and drive people away.

Mahmoud said two of his female friends were cornered Monday and pushed into a small passageway by a group of men in the same area where the woman in the red shirt was assaulted. One was groped while the other was seriously assaulted, Mahmoud said, refusing to divulge specifics other than to insist she wasn’t raped.

Mona Seif, a well-known activist who has been trying to promote awareness about the problem, said Wednesday she was told about three different incidents in the past five days, including two that were violent. In one incident, the attackers ripped the woman’s clothes off and trampled on her companions, she said.

Women, who participated in the 18-day uprising that ended with Mubarak’s Feb. 11, 2011 ouster as leading activists, protesters, medics and even fighters to ward off attacks by security agents or affiliated thugs on Tahrir, have found themselves facing the same groping and assaults that have long plagued Egypt’s streets during subsequent protests in the square.

Women also have been targeted in recent crackdowns on protesters by military and security troops, a practice commonly used by Mubarak security that grew even more aggressive in the days following his ouster. In a defining image of the post-Mubarak state violence against women, troops were captured on video stomping with their boots on the bare chest of a woman, with only her blue bra showing, as other troops pulled her by the arms across the ground.

A 2008 report by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights says two-thirds of women in Egypt experienced sexual harassment on a daily basis. A string of mass assaults on women in 2006 during the Muslim feast following the holy month of Ramadan prompted police to increase the number of patrols to combat it but legislation providing punishment was never passed.

„If you know you can get away with sexual harassment and assault, then there is an overall impunity,“ Human Rights Watch researcher Heba Morayef said.

The case is more paradoxical in Tahrir, which has come to symbolize the revolution, but has lost its original luster among Egyptians weary of more than a year of turmoil.

Women say they briefly experienced a „new Egypt,“ with strict social customs casually cast aside during the initial 18-day uprising – at least among the protesters who turned the square into a protected zone. But that image was marred when Lara Logan, a U.S. correspondent for CBS television, was sexually assaulted by a frenzied mob in Tahrir on the day Mubarak stepped down, when hundreds of thousands of Egyptians came to the square to celebrate.

The post-Mubarak political reality for women also has deteriorated. They have lost political ground in the 16 months since Mubarak’s ouster – even winning fewer seats in parliament in the first free and fair elections in decades. The 508-member parliament has only eight female legislators, a sharp drop from the more than 60 in the 2010 parliament thanks to a Mubarak-era quota. Women’s rights groups also fear the growing power of Islamist groups will lead to new restrictions.

Activists have no idea what finally happened to the woman in the red shirt. But they have been alarmed by the rise in violent attacks on women, which has chipped away at efforts to project the square as a utopia free of discrimination and violence.

Seif said there is a responsibility inside the square.

„I think it is getting worse because people don’t want to acknowledge it is happening or do something to reduce it,“ said Seif. „It is our job to put an end to it, at least in Tahrir.“

via

Pilot Kicks Sexist Off Her Plane

Imagine you’re a certified commercial pilot, and you’re among the 6.6 percent of them who happen to be women. You’ve passed all the same training as your male colleagues and proven that you can fly a plane just as well. One day, as you prepare for takeoff, you hear a male passenger say that he refuses to be flown by a woman. Do you just ignore him? Do you turn around and give a reasoned explanation of why your gender plays no role in your ability to fly a plane? Or do you kick him off the flight?

A Trip Airlines pilot went with the third option on Tuesday, May 22, after a male passenger stood up and shouted, “Someone should have told me the captain was a woman. I’m not flying with a female at the controls.” The unidentified passenger was ejected from the plane and met by police, who escorted him out of Belo Horizonte airport. The Brazilian airline later backed its pilot’s decision with a statement that it wouldn’t tolerate disparaging remarks about any of 1,400 women working there.

While the airline’s support of its women employees is encouraging, it’s hard not to be discouraged by the incident that prompted it. Despite increasing opportunities for women pilots, they’re still among the few professionals who face the outmoded belief that women physiologically “just can’t do” the job–even though gender-blind, controlled studies have found that women pilots make as few or fewer mistakes than their male counterparts.

Just last month, Joe Cowley, a sportswriter for the Chicago-Sun Times, tweeted from a plane: “Chick pilot. Should I be OK with that or am I just a sexist caveman?” He proceeded to get into a Twitter flame war with New York sportswriter Sloane Martin, in which he tweeted, “The chick pilot did good…Even though she had to come back and ask for directions twice.” Fortunately, like the man on the Brazilian flight, Cowley got his just deserts: His Twitter account disappeared later that day, and the Sun Times has reportedly put him on probation. And, in both this case and the Trip Airlines case, the web was filled with responses condemning the sexist behavior.

In other words, no surprise here–sexism is still alive and well whether you’re on the ground or in the air. But as more women take to the skies and more feminists speak out on the Internet, there’s hope that such beliefs will die an overdue death. Until then, it’s nice to have the example of this pilot and Trip Airlines. There are times when there’s no enlightening people and you just have to kick them off the plane.

via

Egypt might lower the minimum Age of Girls for Marriage

Equality Now has just issued an Urgent alert on draft legislation in Egypt which would lower the minimum age of marriage and could be voted on at any moment.

Egypt’s People’s Assembly Council is currently discussing legislation that would reduce the minimum age of marriage for girls from 18 to possibly as low as 9 years old and could vote on the final draft bill at any moment. If adopted, girls could be married off by their families without their consent putting them at risk of physical and psychological harm, as well as cutting short other life opportunities, such as pursuing their education. Such measures make Egyptian women, including the umbrella organization Alliance for Egyptian Women, fearful that their rights are being rapidly eroded post-revolution.

Other draft legislation limiting a mother’s access to her children upon divorce and the reported denunciation in Parliament of the 2008 ban on female genital mutilation (FGM), are giving Egyptian women cause for extreme concern.

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„The Liberation Movement of Iranian Women – Year Zero“

On the 7th of March 1979, only weeks after the revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini ordered that women should only be allowed to enter public buildings dressed with a headscarf. After this – and on the occasion of the International Women’s Day on the 8th of March that year – there were numerous demonstrations against mandatory veiling. As a direct result of these demonstrations, the Islamists were forced to rescend their order, if only temporarily.

„The Liberation Movement of Iranian Women – Year Zero“ is the title of a film made by women of the French Politics and Psychoanalysis Group in 1979 in Iran. The film sought to convey the message of these Iranian women: „Freedom is neither an eastern nor a western concept – it is universal“.

Entire article by Fathiyeh Naghibzadeh

via Stop the Bomb

Nude Photo Revolutionaries Calendar

Tomorrow- 8 March 2012 International Women’s Day – the Nude Photo Revolutionaries Calendar is being launched in homage to Egyptian atheist, student and blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy who posted a nude photo of herself, announcing the post on Twitter under the hashtag, #NudePhotoRevolutionary.

To Download the Calendar, click here.

The calendar is the idea of campaigner Maryam Namazie to support Aliaa Magda Elmahdy and join her ‘screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy’.

Namazie says: ‘What with Islamism and the religious right being obsessed with women’s bodies and demanding that we be veiled, bound, and gagged, nudity breaks taboos and is an important form of resistance.’

The calendar is designed by SlutWalk Co-founder Toronto, Sonya JF Barnett who says: ‘I felt that women needed to stand in solidarity with Aliaa. It takes a lot of guts to do what she did, and the backlash is always expected and can quite hurtful. She needed to know that there are others like her, willing to push the envelope to express outrage.’

Others who join the ‘scream’ include mother and daughter Anne Baker and Poppy Wilson St James, teacher Luisa Batista, We are Atheism Founder Amanda Brown, atheist bloggers Greta Christina and Emily Dietle, FEMEN activist Alena Magelat, photographer Mallorie Nasrallah, actress Cleo Powell, freethinker Nina Sankari , writer Saskia Vogel, and Maja Wolna. The women are photographed by Julian Baker, Adam Brown, Grzegorz Brzezicki, Lucy Fox-Bohan, Agnieszka Hodowana, Ben Hopper, N. Maxwell Lander, Mallorie Nasrallah, Mark Neurdenburg, Vitaliy Pavlenko, and Michael Rosen.

On nudity and the calendar, Mallorie Nasrallah says: ‘When a tool of oppression can be turned in to an assertion of power, it is a beautiful thing. Nudity when celebrated harms no one, and when made shameful and barbaric harms everyone.’ Nina Sankari says: ‘In solidarity with Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, I would like to stress that our bodies (and thoughts) belong to us and to nobody else.’ Anne Baker says ‘Men in frocks constrain, control and intimidate women the world over in the name of God … it has to stop.’ Greta Christina says: ‘Sexual freedom is an important freedom — but it’s one that commonly gets ignored or trivialized.’ Maja Wolna says: ‘Irrespective of sex, sexual orientation, religion or culture we are equal. Personal dignity is a foundation of human civilization.’ Amanda Brown says: ‘Dogma will never determine where I sit, what I wear, or how I live’ and Poppy Wilson St. James says: ‘I find it strange that it is more acceptable to seen on screen violence and guns than even a nipple. There is something wrong with our mindset if that is what we accept as the norm and shy away from nudity which is a completely natural state’.

Saskia Vogel says: ‘This calendar hopefully will reach people who are uncomfortable with empowered female nudity, and encourage them to reconsider their feelings about the nude figure.’ Luisa Batista says: ‘I think the calendar is important, because it may help to open people’s eyes and hearts. Women – and men – who are afraid, may find courage and feel supported by the quotes and faces and bodies of the people in the calendar.’

According to Emily Dietle, ‘If it weren’t for people who took a strong stand against misogyny and for free-expression, we’d still be in an age where showing your ankles was taboo.’ Alena Magelat says: ‘Our naked body is our challenge to patriarchy, dictatorship and violence. Smart people we inspire; dictators are horrified’.

The women in the calendar stand firm in solidarity with Aliaa Magda Elmahdy and the countless women across the world who are denied basic rights, freedoms and dignity.

Join the ‘Scream’ on Facebook and on Twitter under the hashtag #NudePhotoRevolutionary.

To purchase a copy of the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar check the link below. Your support is important. BUY A CALENDAR TODAY! Proceeds will go towards supporting women’s rights and free expression.

via http://freethoughtblogs.com/