Feb 272009

Via All Africa:

As the world prepares to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, Rwanda’s preparations are already in full gear.

The Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, Dr Jeanne d’ Arc Mujawamariya, yesterday revealed that public sensitization campaigns will be carried out to educate citizens about the dangers and repercussions of Gender Based Violence (GBV).

“The campaigns will begin on the 28th of this month, coinciding with Umuganda (community work) day. We have planned that after the works, local leaders will hold discussions with residents on this year’s theme so that people contribute ideas that will help fight against violence,” Mujawamariya told The New Times, in an interview at her offices in Kimihurura.

This year’s celebrations will be held under the theme “Women and Men: United to end violence against women,” and will specifically focus on women, who form the biggest number of GBV victims.

“In most cases, men are the culprits and women become victims of this vice. So during these countrywide discussions, emphasis will be put on issues related to GBV such as, how to fight it and its types,” she added.

Events to mark the day will be held in Nyagatare District in the Eastern Province, which ranks among districts with the highest rates of GBV.

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 February 27, 2009  Posted by on February 27, 2009 Comments Off on International Women’s Day 2009: Rwanda Celebration
Feb 272009

Received via e-mail:

As part of 2009 International Women’s Day work, from 4 -11 March 2009 the Women’s Action for Change (WAC) theatre group will perform the play, ‘War of Words and Swords’ in villages in Naitasiri and Tailevu, informal settlements in the Suva–Nausori corridor and at the Community Health Centre in Tamavua.

‘War of Words and Swords’ was inspired by the work of PNG women’s peacebuilding group, Kup Women for Peace. The storyline involves individual and group conflict between people of two fictional neighboring communities. The play invites viewers to examine and discuss the intersections between women’s access to individual and community decision-making, elimination of violence against women and girls, and HIV and AIDS.

The 30 minute play has already been performed at around 70 venues around Fiji including villages, informal settlements, towns, secondary schools, tertiary centres, prisons, NGOs and the civil service. WA use scripted, Forum, Playback and other theatre, visual arts and music to produce current, relevant community action theatre accompanied byinformation and skill sharing workshops; community resourcing, solidarity actions, and network and movement-building work.

 February 27, 2009  Posted by on February 27, 2009 Comments Off on International Women’s Day 2009: Women’s Action For Change In Fiji To Perform The Play “War Of Words And Swords”
Feb 272009

Dubai International Poetry Festival 2009 to Mark International Women’s Day with Exclusive Poetry Reading Session
Critically Acclaimed Local, Arab and International Women Poets to Share Creative Expressions in Verse on 8 March

The Dubai International Poetry Festival (DIPF) 2009, an initiative of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, today announced it will commemorate the International Women’s Day on 8 March with a special poetry reading evening exclusively for women.

Critically acclaimed Arab and International poets such as, Shaikha Al Mutairi (UAE), Amal Marzooq (Bahrain), Dr. Enam Baaood (Algeria), Hala Mohammed (Syria), Huda Al Saadi (UAE), and Fatiha Murshid (Morocco) will come together at Women’s Association – Dubai on March 8th at 8:30PM to raise the creativity quotient of the evening sharing their exhaustive and compelling body of work in verse.

Ali Al Shaali, CEO of the Dubai International Poetry Festival, said: “The UAE knows no disparity between the call of creativity among men or women. This could not have been more amply testified than by the vision of our leadership to augment the role of women across every phase of the country’s growth.

“The poetry festival will be a glorious celebration of creativity and transcend beyond nationalities and genders. Among its primary objective of uniting the voices of 1,000 poets in five years, it also aims to create a platform that fosters women’s creativity. And, the International Women’s Day on 8 March serves as a fitting backdrop for allowing the world to see and hear the powerful complexity and longing that these poets so memorably articulate,.”

Historically in the male dominated poetry community, women’s contribution to this genre of literature has conventionally been denied its due recognition. However, the regional poetry movement boasts several renowned poetesses acclaimed for capturing the unseen sparks of the Arab woman’s innermost emotions, born of their experience, art and imagination.

Al Shaali added: “The participants of the women’s poetry evening will go a long way in establishing their power of evoking images and rhythms of language. However, dedicating an evening entirely for women poets will not in any manner keep them away from the other poetry nights and recitals that will define the Festival throughout its duration.”

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 February 27, 2009  Posted by on February 27, 2009 Comments Off on International Women’s Day 2009: Poetry Festival In Dubai
Feb 262009

Kudos to Patrick Greene for successfully getting the website Wifebeaters.com removed from the internet. 

Wife-beaters.com, a Dallas-based business that sold wife-beater T-shirts, has been shut down after a San Antonio man complained to the company hosting the site.

Cbeyond, a communications company based in Atlanta, said it shut down the site Monday after receiving a complaint last week.

The site was removed because its customer violated its contract by reselling Web hosting services to Wife-beaters.com, said Bill Weber, CBeyond’s general counsel. The content of Wife-beaters.com also violated Cbeyond’s acceptable use policy, which prohibits “objectionable information of any kind.”

The Web site sold white tank tops, commonly referred to as “wife-beaters,” and gave a discount to anyone who could prove they were convicted of wife beating.

The site includes photos of a male playfully spanking a laughing female, both clad in wife beater wear, plus a “Wife Beater Hall of Fame,” spotlighting famous batterers Tommy Lee and Ike Turner. The final touch is a “buy one, get a second at half price” offer those who can prove their official batterer status. As the site puts it, “You must enclose proof of conviction, court records, restraining order, probation officer’s phone#,… photos are NOT acceptable.”

“We are not going to host a site like that,” Weber said.

But the fact remains that indeed they did, even though the site was offensive enough to have been covered by the media years ago, such as in this piece in USA Today.  It wasn’t until Greene started filing complaints with the FBI, Texas Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau that the site was removed.  Lest you wonder just how offensive it was, in responses to a complaint by a visitor to the site, the company sent this response:

Who’s (sic) site is the #1 most disgusting so we can better them. Thanks for supporting Wife Beater T-Shirts by visiting our web site. By doing so you help keep us in the Top 10 of Yahoo and other search engines.
All publicity is GOOD publicity. We need feminist organizations to help keep our bad name in the media. We can’t buy publicity like that! Feminists are to Wife Beater T-Shirts what Tipper Gore was to musicians who had ‘offensive lyrics’ on their c.d.’s. Tipper Gore lead a campaign to label certain c.d.’s with ‘EXPLICIT LYRICS’. Result: sales of those c.d.’s go up. Without feminists Wife Beater T-Shirts might die a quiet death and nobody would come to our funeral. But with feminists’ support, even without success, we’ll go out with a BANG…either way we’re confident that feminists will be there to give our eulogy.

Rush Limbuagh supports wife-beaters.com !!!
See www.rushlimbaugh.com
This is an auto-response

Couldn’t find documentation of the Limbaugh reference, but speaking of Rush…Jill Miller Zimon reports that himself took a look at some poll numbers that show that women have a low opinion of Rush (possibly based on the fact that Rush has a low opinion of them, just saying) and has decided that he wants to know what women want. Well not really but he’s gonna pretend real hard. In response to Limbaugh’s claim that it takes 6 weeks to “get the gist of him”, Zimon writes:

No way, no how and no 90 hours just to get the gist of Rush. You lost us at “Ladies and gentlemen.”

How about we just take Rush off the air.  Stay tuned.

Update:  Just in case you have any doubts just how much of a misogynist Rush is, Echidne of the Snakes has posted a marvelous list of  quotes that leave no doubt, this is one of my favs:

So the question is this: Will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?

Sure beats the heck out of listening to Rush getting more juvenile by the second.

 February 26, 2009  Posted by on February 26, 2009 1 Response »
Feb 262009

And Obama plans to address this how?  From RAWA:

Residents of northeastern Badakhshan province said that two pregnant women and five children were died due to lack of facilities in the provincial hospitals.

The people who tried to transfer their patients to Faizabad civil hospital from Ragh district said that two women and five children were died on their way to hospital in the past week.

Abdul Azim, a resident of Raghistan district said that he transferred his wife to Yawan district hospital in three days, but there was also no gynecologist.

“I was compelled to once again take her to another hospital in Faizabad in a critical condition,” he complained.

He added that the infant died and health condition of his wife was critical.

Azada, a woman, who was admitted into Faizabad civil hospital said she was brought to the hospital by her husband and villagers in over 12 hours and her newborn died despite surgery.

She said it was her third child who died due to lack of gynecologist in the district hospital.

Dr. Hajera, head of gynecology- obstetrics at Faizabad civil hospital said that nine pregnant mothers have been brought to the hospital from Ragh district in the past week. She said they could save the lives of the mothers but their babies did not survive.

She said there was no doctor at Yawan district.

Zabihullah Atiq, member of Badakhshan provincial council said that two mothers and ten children were died in last two weeks on their way to hospital.

Pneumonia, severe cough and fever are considered most prevalent diseases in the Ragh and nearby areas due to severe cold.

According to Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), 1600 out of 100000 mothers die during delivery in Afghanistan and in each 1000 children aged fewer than five, 197 die due to diseases which are preventable.

 February 26, 2009  Posted by on February 26, 2009 Comments Off on Afghanistan: Women and Children Dying Due To Lack Of Medical Care