Oct 312007
 

163 million women are ‘missing’, the result of sex selective abortions and other techniques that favor male offspring. The problem is the worst in China where the sex ratio at birth (SRB) is 100 girls:120 boys and in India where the ration is 100 girls:108 boys. Other countries such as Nepal and Vietnam may be at risk as well.

As Renuka Chowdhry, India’s junior minister for women and child development explains,

“When there is no economic recognition to women’s work and no social value attached to this particular gender, when resource sharing remains inequitable, when women are paid less then it becomes easier to do away with this gender.”

The ramifications of these imbalances will lead to the “masculinisation” of Asia. As the article points out,

“There will be a vast army of surplus males causing a ‘marriage squeeze’ with the most underprivileged the worst off. With fewer women of marriageable age, men will have to delay marriage; it may also lead to a backlog of older unmarried men.”

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 October 31, 2007  Posted by on October 31, 2007 Comments Off
Oct 302007
 

Who knows how many glossy photos the Bush brigade has sent out showing smiling girls in Afghanistan and Iraq going to school, all thanks to our heroic efforts to bring ‘democracy’ to their countries.  Too bad reality says that oops no, it is actually getting harder for girls to go to school.

In the Shindand district of the province of Herat in Afghanistan, 1500 girls have stayed home after their school was attacked with grenades by unknown assailants on Oct. 19. According to IRIN,

“Since 8 October, four attacks on schools have been reported in the restive district, none of which harmed students or school staffers, according to Haji Shah Alaam, Shindand district governor.

Two of the schools belonged to girls, Alaam said.”

The report says that while many more students have been brought into the education system since the fall of the Taliban, only 35% of them are girls.  In rural areas, the discrepency is far greater,

Continue reading »

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 October 30, 2007  Posted by on October 30, 2007 Comments Off
Oct 292007
 

With the huge caveat that this is an unconfirmed report, Muhammad Adham al-Hamd, the General Secretary of the Union of Political Prisoners and Detainees in Iraq has issued a statement saying that,

“the US occupation administration in Iraq relies on systematic rape, torture, and sadistic treatment of Iraqi women prisoners in its prison camps in the country.”

“Muhammad Adham al-Hamd made the comments in a statement regarding reports that confirmed the presence of large numbers of women in the American-run prison camps – women who are detained solely to be raped and abused in order to bring pressure upon their husbands, brothers, sons or fathers.
Al-Hamd declared that the women prisoners are subjected to strip searchs, torture, rape, and psychological and physical humiliation by the police and prison administrators. Their clothing is removed and they are deprived of food and water for days in order to break their will.”

While this has not been confirmed, it is consistent with other reports of how women have been imprisoned and abused in detention that have surfaced since the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and should be immediately investigated.

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 October 29, 2007  Posted by on October 29, 2007 6 Responses »
Oct 252007
 

I’m going AWOL for the rest of the week, so no new posts for a few days.  Also please note that any comments will not post until I get back.  Sorry for the delay.

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 October 25, 2007  Posted by on October 25, 2007 Comments Off