Stories about Women & Gender from December, 2008
Zambia: Labia stretching is not mutilation
Manena discusses the Zambian tradition of elongating the labia minora, which is often classified as a type of female genital mutilation. She explains why she thinks this classification is wrong.
Cuba: Damas March for Human Rights
Both Uncommon Sense and The Cuban Triangle report that the Damas de Blanco marched through Havana on Wednesday – without incident – to commemorate International Human Rights Day.
Hong Kong: Pride Parade 2008 – Celebrate Love
In this coming weekend (13 of December), a coalition of civic groups will organize a pride parade to celebrate diverse love expression. Although Hong Kong is a global city, to organize this parade is not easy at all, the government, public service sector and conservative Christians do not even try to hide their discrimination.
Israel: Looking for Love? Start Blogging
Hadassah Sabo has a suggestion for finding love online. “Attention single guys/girls! Get a blog and write on it. Write about your dating woes!” she opines. “You know why? People eventually start emailing you with suggestions for a shidduch [love match].”
Cuba: Idealogical Monogamy
“If concepts such as ‘sick’ have now been banished from the study of homosexuality, why does the adjective ‘counterrevolutionary’ continue to be used for those who think differently”: Yoani Sanchez puts the question to Mariela Castro Espin, the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education.
DR Congo: Human Rights and Gender Violence Situation in North Kivu
Today is International Human Rights Day as well as the last day of the campaign "16 days of activism against gender violence" but in many parts of the world there's not much to celebrate on those fronts, as shown by this roundup of blogs by aid workers in North Kivu.
Fact or Fiction: Egyptian President Pardons Sexual Harasser
Egyptian bloggers are divided on whether a sexual harasser sentenced to three years in prison recently has been pardoned. Marwa Rakha brings us the story.
The Balkans: Human Rights and LGBT
Sinisa Boljanovic reviews the situation with gay rights in the former Yugoslav republics.
Saudi Girls Rock!
A group of Saudi young women are making their voices heard - in a manner unheard of in conservative Saudi Arabia. The Accolade is an all-girl rock band which is making waves across the blogosphere. Here are a few reactions from bloggers in the region.
South Korea: Comfort Women Demonstration
Michael Solis from Ohmynews! forecasts the Korean comfort women demonstration on Human Rights Day.
Jamaica: Looking Back
As the year draws to a close, Jamaica and the World looks back on the good, the bad and the ugly of 2008.
Gender imbalance in Malaysian schools
Kian Ming wants to probe deeper the gender imbalance in Malaysia's public universities.
Iran: Students Protest Dictatorship and Gender Apartheid
A group of students held a protest rally against the Iranian government and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the University of Tehran on Sunday to commemorate Student Day, the anniversary of the murdering of three students of University of Tehran on December 6, 1953.
Jamaica: National to be Awarded UN Prize
Abeng News Magazine is proud that Jamaican Dr. Carolyn Gomes “was recently announced as a recipient of the prestigious United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights for 2008.”
Jamaica: The Agony of Defeat?
Jamaican Kadene Porter, writing at Abeng News Magazine, notices that women are often less than gracious “when it comes to conceding defeat in a political campaign.”
Egypt: Dirty Sexy Secrets
Young enlightened Egyptian bloggers write about their society's sex code, racism, bigotry, and lust after scandals - all in an attempt to make Egypt a better place to live in. Marwa Rakha zooms into the Egyptian blogosphere to bring us the story.
Egypt: When Virginity is More Important than Murder
Egypt is gripped with the story of a gruesome murder, in which two university students were killed, in the upscale Sixth of October City’s Sheikh Zayed district. One of the victims is the daughter of Moroccan singer Laila Ghofran and to make the crime more interesting to readers, some newspapers started to spread rumors about the victims' lifestyle..
Barbados: HIV secrets
Barbados Free Press is outraged that the head of the Barbados Family Planning Association advocates not informing a woman about her husband's HIV-positive status. "[The FPA head] is a menace to the health of every woman on this island."
Barbados: a simple story
Living in Barbados tells "a simple story of a woman, whom we will call M", who despite many disadvantages and a lack of formal education managed to raise two accomplished daughters and lifted her family out of the cycle of poverty.
Israel: Challenges Facing Arab Businesswomen
There is a “double barrier facing Arab women – both gender and coming from a minority,” Ruth Ludlam of Reality and Fiction writes. “Thus, Arab women seeking employment are held back first by their own society's traditional attitudes and later by the discrimination against Arabs in Israeli society. However, there...
Pressure for Fiji
A visiting European Union delegation concludes that there is no reason why Fiji should not continue with the elections next year. There is also a need for more domestic pressure to implement political reforms in Fiji.