WBEZ | women's rights http://www.wbez.org/tags/womens-rights Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Taxi Gives Men a Sense of What it Feels Like to Travel as a Woman http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2016-01-21/taxi-gives-men-sense-what-it-feels-travel-woman-114548 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/taxifabric_leadimage.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p>In India, segregation of the sexes is a very real thing. Sure, men and women mingle, but we&rsquo;re singled out in the strangest of places. For instance, in malls, hotels&nbsp;and airports, women go through separate lines for security checks, which are specifically conducted by female staff.</p></div><p>In post offices and train stations there are separate &ldquo;ladies&rdquo; queues for stamps and tickets. And on every bus, metro and local train, there are separate sections for women. In fact, we not only have women&rsquo;s seats, but also entire compartments: In Mumbai, there&rsquo;s an entire train, the &ldquo;Ladies Special,&rdquo; only for women.</p><div><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/IMG_20151223_145716.jpg?itok=M8gMvIFp" style="height: 551px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="&quot;Ladies' Only&quot; seats on a Mumbai bus. (Chhavi Sachdev)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><p>It can seem nice, but women quickly realize what happens when they leave the gilded cage. One morning I jumped into the &ldquo;general&rdquo; compartment of a train &mdash; a place where women typically don&rsquo;t travel unless they are with a male companion. But the train was just about to depart, and that compartment door was closest to me.</p></div></div><p>I figured everything was going to be fine; everything was fine for the first few stops. As the train got crowded, though, I realized I had three men pressed up against me, all avoiding eye contact, all making me uncomfortable. I finally jumped off at a station and ran the length of the platform to the safety of the ladies&rsquo; compartment. It was humiliating as well as infuriating. I travel only in the ladies&rsquo; compartment now, or in a taxi.</p><p>&ldquo;When a woman travels through a public space in India, and a man travels in a public space, it&rsquo;s a completely different experience,&rdquo; says multimedia artist Roshnee Desai.</p><p>&ldquo;A woman travels with sets of rules they are conditioned to follow: Make sure cleavage isn&rsquo;t showing, your legs are covered, no one is staring, no one is trying to brush past you.&rdquo; She points out that women often carry a bag in front of their breasts like armor, protection against the groping from an anonymous hand in a crowded bus.</p><p>But Desai&nbsp;is determined to put the shoe on the other foot. She&nbsp;has&nbsp;her chance as one of 20 artists who have created upholstery for a moving art installation collective called Taxi Fabric.</p><p>A taxi with rules for men</p><p>Mumbai&rsquo;s taxis are always a treat. They&rsquo;re cheap, of course, and they&rsquo;re always colorful. The décor is generally a one-off, chosen by the driver and it&rsquo;s sometimes lovely &mdash; with abstract geometric designs in muted colors &mdash; and sometimes garish.</p><p>Desai&rsquo;s fabric has rules called Only For Men. Along with a little, mustachioed man, there is a line of text in Hindi: Be home at 7 p.m.; don&rsquo;t sit with your legs apart; don&rsquo;t look at unknown women; don&rsquo;t use curse words; cover your body with your bag; don&rsquo;t let your undershirt show.</p><p>This last one cracks me up. Desai is quick to explain: &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re in a public space, if you&rsquo;re in a train &mdash; invariably there will be a random woman who will say, &lsquo;Excuse me madam, your bra strap is showing.&rsquo; And this is the protocol: You have to say, &lsquo;Thank you ma&rsquo;am, thank you so much. You are the savior of my dignity and without you I would have been shamed.&rsquo; And that to me has been so annoying, because men have three buttons open, they&rsquo;re showing their chest hair and undershirt.&rdquo;</p><p>The conversation I had with Ramji Pal, the driver of Desai&rsquo;s &ldquo;Only For Men&rdquo; taxi was rather interesting. He seems quite proud of his unique interiors.</p><p>&ldquo;I like having this taxi fabric,&rdquo; he told me. &ldquo;When people sit in the taxi, it always gets a conversation going.&nbsp;They ask me about it. It&rsquo;s not a joke.&nbsp;They realize it&rsquo;s a serious thing.&rdquo;</p><p>Ramji plies his cab from 8:30 in the morning to about 8 at night. Every day, he carries&nbsp;anywhere between 30 and 100 passengers.</p><div><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/IMG_20151218_113501.jpg?itok=rg_j7yc_" style="height: 888px; width: 500px;" title="Driver Ramji Pal in his &quot;Only for Men&quot; taxi. (Chhavi Sachdev)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><div><p>As I get into his taxi with my headphones on and mic pointed at him, we attract a small crowd of security guards, drivers&nbsp;and even the clothes ironing man. It becomes clear that along with the men who&rsquo;ve joined us, Pal takes these rules inscribed on his taxi quite literally.</p></div></div><p>I ask them: &ldquo;It says here that men shouldn&rsquo;t sit in the front seat.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Ah, because they put their feet on the dashboard. Or they sit with their feet on the seat,&rdquo; one man explains.</p><p>&ldquo;Think about women,&rdquo; I say. &ldquo;Do they ever sit in the front seat with the driver?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;No. If she is with a driver, she sits in the back. Women should only sit in the front if they are with their husband. This is the rule,&rdquo; the driver says.</p><p>&ldquo;But it isn&rsquo;t written anywhere, is it?&rdquo; I ask.</p><p>&ldquo;It isn&rsquo;t written anywhere, but it&rsquo;s like that,&rdquo; says another male passenger.</p><p>&ldquo;What about the rule that says boys should be home by 7 p.m.?&rdquo; I ask. This makes them laugh. &ldquo;Who gets told this?&rdquo; I press on.</p><p>They don&rsquo;t answer. Men don&rsquo;t face curfews here &mdash; but women regularly do.</p><p>The whole time I have this feeling that they&rsquo;re on the verge of understanding the dichotomy, the double standard &mdash; and then at the last minute, they drop the ball.</p><p>The driver declares: &ldquo;Both men and women have rights, but they have to exercise them within limits.&rdquo;</p><p>Artistic irony and playfulness also seem to have their limits for the working-class men clustered around the taxi. First of all, these guys do not travel by taxi, and second, to them it&rsquo;s only natural that women follow different sets of rules. The tongue-in-cheek nature of this art seems lost on them.</p><p>But designer Roshnee Desai says she&rsquo;s found the response to her artwork fantastic. People tell her it made them stop to think. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s funny, but it&rsquo;s not a joke,&rdquo; they tell her.</p><p>&ldquo;Where a man has to follow the rules, even to a woman this looks really ridiculous. It makes you chuckle,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It is starting conversations, and I think a taxi is a great place for a conversation to happen.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-01-15/taxi-gives-men-sense-what-it-feels-travel-woman-india" target="_blank"><em>via PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 10:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2016-01-21/taxi-gives-men-sense-what-it-feels-travel-woman-114548 Let's tell Obama #WhatObamaShouldKnow about women in Malaysia http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-13/lets-tell-obama-whatobamashouldknow-about-women-malaysia-113787 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/obama-visits-malaysia.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/obama-visits-malaysia.jpg?itok=iGdpRZrk" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="US President Barack Obama pauses after being introduced at the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Town Hall at University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur April 27, 2014. (PRI/Larry Downing)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Selamat Datang, Mr. President!&rdquo; As a Malaysian, I would like to welcome President Barack Obama who is making his second visit to Malaysia in less than seven months.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Obama&rsquo;s last trip here in April made him the first US president to visit Malaysia in nearly 50 years. On that visit, Obama called for equal opportunities for the Malaysia&rsquo;s non-Muslim minority.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But this time his top priority will be the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive free trade deal with Malaysia and 11 other countries across the region.</div><p>However, we at Across Women&#39;s Lives would like to invite you and your friends to help Obama to look at the status of women in the three countries that he will visit in this trip &mdash;&nbsp;Malaysia, Philippines and Turkey.</p><p>Malaysia was ranked 107th out of 142 countries in the WEF Global Gender Gap 2014, one of the two worst performing country in Southeast Asia together with Cambodia. (East Timor and Myanmar were not ranked.)</p><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="http://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/PVUkQ/1/" style="width: 813.25px;" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="330" scrolling="no" src="http://admin.pri.org/sites/default/files/whatobamashouldknow-malaysia-gap.html" style="width: 813.25px;" width="100%"></iframe></div><p>A closer look at this annual index published by the World Economic Forum to measure gender equality revealed that Malaysia was given some of the lowest scores in term of women&#39;s political empowerment. The chart below shows the details.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="500" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="https://charts.datawrapper.de/agzjF/index.html" style="width: 813.25px;" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></div><div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="330" scrolling="no" src="http://admin.pri.org/sites/default/files/whatobamashouldknow-malaysia-cabinet.html" style="width: 813.25px;" width="100%"></iframe></div></div><div>The weak position of Malaysian women in the public space is further confirmed by another international gender index. The Social Institutions &amp; Gender Index 2014 published by OECD Development Center ranked Malaysia as the country with the highest &quot;restricted civil liberties&quot;&nbsp;in Southeast Asia. This includes negative attitudes toward women as public figures or as leaders.</div><p>The same index found that Malaysia has the second highest &quot;discriminatory family code&quot;&nbsp;in the region after Indonesia. &quot;Discriminatory family code&quot;&nbsp;refers to social institutions that limit women&rsquo;s decision-making power and undervalue their status in the household. This is especially true for Muslims women who are deprived of certain rights under the Sharia laws. For example, Muslim men are allowed to marry up to four women, and they are granted an automatic right to divorce, while women need the approval of a judge if they want a divorce.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="450" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="http://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/bisIa/1/" style="width: 813.25px;" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></div><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="330" scrolling="no" src="http://admin.pri.org/sites/default/files/whatobamashouldknow-malaysia-family.html" style="width: 813.25px;" width="100%"></iframe></div><p>Malaysia practices a unique dual justice system that allows the Sharia laws to run in parallel with secular laws. The Islamic laws only applicable to Muslims who make up approximately 61 percent of the population. The growing of conservative Islam since the 1970s has led to a narrower interpretation of Islamic laws and teachings.</p><p>The discrimination against Muslim women was epitomized by a recent debate over the definition of marital rape following a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/dap-rep-launches-rape-awareness-campaign-targeting-men" target="_blank">rape awareness campaign</a>&nbsp;launched in April with the tagline &quot;Rape is rape. No excuse.&quot;</p><p>But Islamic conservatives, including a state-appointed mufti, challenged the campaign, arguing that men can always have sex with their spouses even&nbsp;<a href="http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/women-must-give-husbands-sex-even-on-camels-islamic-scholar-says#sthash.qX1O4Ock.dpuf" target="_blank">without their consent</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;Even the Prophet says even when they&rsquo;re riding on the back of the camel, when the husband asks her, she must give ... So there&rsquo;s no such thing as rape in marriage. This is made by European people, why should we follow?&rdquo; Harussani Zakaria, mufti of the Malaysian state of Perak, told a local newspaper.</p><p>The muftis in Malaysia are given power to issue Fatwa which is legally binding for every Muslim.</p><p>Two months later, this view on marital rape was backed by the government when the law minister Nancy Shukri, one of the three female ministers in the cabinet, told the parliament that marital rape&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/06/10/govt-maintains-marital-rape-not-crime/" target="_blank">is not a crime</a>and there is no plan to amend the law.</p><p>The Islamic laws and religious norms also hold Malaysia back from fully complying with the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The country has made several reservations with regard to women&#39;s equality in marriage and family relations.</p><div><iframe frameborder="0" height="330" scrolling="no" src="http://admin.pri.org/sites/default/files/whatobamashouldknow-malaysia-rape.html" style="width: 813.25px;" width="100%"></iframe></div><p>Criminalization of transgender</p><p>The discrimination does not stop at Muslim women. Muslim men who want to be women are also facing growing persecution by the religious authority.</p><p>In June this year, religious officials&nbsp;<a href="http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/negri-sembilan-islamic-department-crashes-wedding-for-transgender-hunt" target="_blank">raided a wedding party</a>&nbsp;held in a private home and arrested 17 transgender women invited as guests, including a minor. One was reportedly beaten, choked and kicked by the officials during the arrest. A Sharia court later fined and jailed the 16 adults for seven days. They were put in the male prison and had their heads shaved.</p><p>The offense? Men posing as women, which is a crime under a state Sharia law.</p><p>According to Human Right Watch, while some states in Malaysia also criminalize women posing as men, all arrests to date under these laws have targeted transgender women.</p><p>In a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/09/24/im-scared-be-woman/human-rights-abuses-against-transgender-people-malaysia" target="_blank">report</a>&nbsp;released last year, the international human rights watchdog pointed out that transgender people in Malaysia are fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, physically and sexually assaulted, and denied access to health care because of their gender identities.</p><p>&ldquo;When public officials or private individuals commit violence against transgender people, the victims face serious obstacles &mdash; and at times further sexual abuse &mdash; from the police who are supposed to be helping them,&rdquo; said the report.</p><p>The struggle for transgender right suffered a blow last month when the Malaysian federal court, the highest court in the country, overturned the judgments of two lower courts and reinstated a state law that criminalizes cross-dressing of males as females.</p><p>Rights group Justice for Sisters found that the court&#39;s decision has triggered a wave of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/317227#ixzz3r5p5u7Fn" target="_blank">raids and arrests</a>against the transgender community in several states.</p><div><iframe frameborder="0" height="330" scrolling="no" src="http://admin.pri.org/sites/default/files/whatobamashouldknow-malaysia-transgender.html" style="width: 813.25px;" width="100%"></iframe></div><p>Sex trafficking</p><p>Malaysia was identified by the US State Department and the United Nations as both a destination as well as a transit country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking.</p><p>In her&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15631&amp;LangID=E#sthash.bldkFj5x.dpuf" target="_blank">preliminary report</a>&nbsp;published in March this year after a visit to Malaysia, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, stated that trafficking of young foreign women and children particularly from neighboring countries for the purpose of sexual exploitation is prevalent in the country.</p><p>&ldquo;These young women and children mostly end up into the commercial sex trade following deceptive recruitment practices for legal work in Malaysia.</p><p>&ldquo;There is also information about women and girls from South Asia entering into brokered marriages with older men in Malaysia and subsequently being forced into domestic servitude and forced prostitution,&rdquo; her report states.</p><p>Human trafficking in Malaysia attracted international attention in May when several&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/24/mass-graves-trafficking-malaysia-perlis" target="_blank">mass graves</a>&nbsp;of suspected trafficking victims were found along Malaysia&rsquo;s border with Thailand, and again in July when the US&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-07-27/us-human-trafficking-report-called-toilet-paper-after-it-upgrades-malaysia-s" target="_blank">upgraded Malaysia</a>&nbsp;from tier three, the worst ranking in its 2015 Trafficking in Persons report, to tier two.</p><p>The upgrade was criticized by anti-trafficking groups and activists as a political decision to facilitate Malaysia&rsquo;s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership as US legislation bars Obama to fast-track the trade negotiation with countries in tier three.</p><p>A&nbsp;<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/04/us-usa-humantrafficking-disputes-special-idUSKCN0Q821Y20150804" target="_blank">Reuters report</a>&nbsp;published in August revealed that human rights experts at the State Department concluded that Malaysia should remain in tier three as the trafficking conditions in the country hadn&rsquo;t improved. However they were overruled by senior American diplomats and pressured to inflate the assessments of Malaysia.</p><p>Several US lawmakers have since called for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/28/us-usa-malaysia-humantrafficking-idUSKCN0RS2QI20150928" target="_blank">internal probe</a>&nbsp;into the controversial ranking.</p><p>On top of all this, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, who recently claimed he is the only prime minister in the world to be able to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/313831" target="_blank">play golf with Obama</a>, has been implicated in a financial scandal.</p><div><img alt="obama plays golf with malaysian prime minister najibi razak" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/obama-malaysia-najib-golf.jpg?itok=cYje0RJv" title="US President Barack Obama and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak walk off the 18th hole while playing a round of golf at th" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><p>US&nbsp;President Barack Obama and Malaysia&#39;s Prime Minister Najib Razak walk off the 18th hole while playing a round of golf at the Clipper Golf course on Marine Corps Base Hawaii during Obama&#39;s Christmas holiday vacation in Kaneohe, Hawaii, December 24, 2014.</p></div><div>Credit:&nbsp;<p>Hugh Gentry</p></div></div><p>Razak&rsquo;s opponents say he&rsquo;s capitalizing on his cozy relationship with Obama while his support within the country wavers. Hence there are more reasons for Obama to raise the issues above during his visit to Malaysia.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 13 Nov 2015 14:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-13/lets-tell-obama-whatobamashouldknow-about-women-malaysia-113787 From Black Lives Matter, activists for India's discriminated Dalit learn tactics to press for dignity http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-10/black-lives-matter-activists-indias-discriminated-dalit-learn-tactics <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/2595486616_ba91b47312_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><header><figure><div id="file-93299"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/Dalit1.JPG?itok=r7JVI9up" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Members of the All Dalit Women's Rights Forum speak at the Women's Building in San Francisco. (Sonia Paul)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><p>&nbsp;</p></div></div></figure></header><div><article about="/stories/2015-11-08/black-lives-matter-activists-indias-discriminated-dalit-learn-tactics-press" typeof="sioc:Item foaf:Document"><p dir="ltr">They were once called Untouchables. There are an estimated<a href="http://idsn.org/wp-content/uploads/user_folder/pdf/New_files/Key_Issues/Dalit_Women/DALIT_WOMEN_-_IDSN_briefing_paper.pdf" target="_blank">&nbsp;260 million</a>&nbsp;of them across the world and some 100 million women in India. Discrimination against the Dalits remains deep-rooted in India and has been&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/video-of-dalit-family-allegedly-stripped-by-police-creates-storm-on-social-media/article7742836.ece" target="_blank">making</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.outlookindia.com/article/out-damn-caste/295697" target="_blank">headlines</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tehelka.com/2015/11/a-new-wave-of-caste-atrocities/" target="_blank">in the country</a>recently. But the topic remains a difficult one for Dalits to bring up, let alone change.</p><p dir="ltr">A new campaign is taking on caste violence, though, and they&rsquo;ve been reaching out to activist movements like Black Lives Matter in the US. The Delhi-based&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncdhr.org.in/aidmam/" target="_blank">All India Dalit Women&rsquo;s Rights Forum</a>&nbsp;has just wrapped up a two month tour of college campuses and other venues, where they exchanged strategies and told some harrowing stories of people they&rsquo;ve tried to help back home.</p><p>First, though, the activists have to explain India&rsquo;s 3,000-year-old history with the caste system, especially Untouchability. It&rsquo;s the practice of upper-caste people not touching anything that has come into physical contact with Dalits. The practice is now outlawed, but the activists say its history still leads to everything from discrimination to outright crimes against Dalit people &mdash; especially against women and girls.</p><p>According to India&rsquo;s National Crime Records Bureau, the<a href="http://www.newslaundry.com/2015/10/26/sexual-assault-rape-top-crimes-against-scheduled-castes/?utm_content=buffer0dd50&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_source=twitter.com&amp;utm_campaign=buffer#" target="_blank">&nbsp;top two crimes last year</a>&nbsp;against lower-caste people were sexual assault and rape.</p><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="540" scrolling="yes" src="http://admin.pri.org/sites/default/files/total-crimes-dalit.html" style="width: 847.017px;" width="620"></iframe></div><p>&nbsp;</p><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="540" scrolling="yes" src="http://admin.pri.org/sites/default/files/top-crimes-dalit.html" style="width: 847.017px;" width="620"></iframe></div><p dir="ltr">At the University of Texas, Activist Sanghapali Aruna Lohitakshi explained one of the cases the group got involved with three years ago, that of a 12-year-old Dalit girl who had been raped by 16 men. The men actually videotaped their crime, Lohitakshi says.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Then they took the footage of the rape and then circulated it in the whole village so that she will be humiliated, her family will be humiliated, and she will not be sent to the school. After the footage was shown to her family, her father committed suicide,&rdquo; Lohitakshi says.</p><p dir="ltr">It&rsquo;s the kind of incident so horrible that some people, both in India and in the US, might not believe it. But just as video evidence is forcing the US public to contend with police brutality against blacks, it&nbsp;<a href="http://www.caravanmagazine.in/vantage/was-dalit-family-dankaur-really-stripped-police" target="_blank">can make</a>&nbsp;the reality of caste violence in India much more apparent. Still, Lohitakshi says, prejudice against Dalits is so pervasive, even video is not always enough.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This girl took this footage as an evidence in the courtroom to show that she was raped, gang-raped. And then the judge said &mdash; he laughed out loud &mdash; and he said, &lsquo;Wow. We know. You enjoyed the act. And you should be glad they touched you,&rsquo;&rdquo; she says.</p><p dir="ltr">In this case, the Dalit women activists helped the girl move to another village, where she now lives with her grandmother. She&rsquo;s enrolled in school there. But the lack of justice in her case is all too typical, they say. There&rsquo;s even a saying in some parts of northern India: &ldquo;A man does not know his land unless he has had the women who work on that land.&rdquo; Historically, caste governed where a person lived and what she did for a living. Lower-caste people lived in poorer places and had the most menial and labor-intensive jobs, such as working in the fields owned by upper-caste men.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When somebody is raped, it is said that she has lost her respect, her respect is stolen, or something like that &mdash; you know, looted,&rdquo; Lohitakshi explains. &ldquo;So, rape is associated with respect.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Often when a Dalit woman is raped, she says, &ldquo;Nobody bothers. Not even the police, not the administration, not the doctors, not the state. Because how can you take away respect from someone who doesn&rsquo;t even have the respect? Who is actually made for that?&rdquo; she says, her voice trembling.</p><p dir="ltr">So to talk about sexual violence in India without mentioning caste would be like talking about rape during the time of slavery without mentioning slavery, the Dalit activists say. But they find many people in India are reluctant to talk about the problem of caste violence at all.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Everywhere we go, the moment we talk about caste, no one wants to talk about it,&rdquo; Lohitakshi says.</p><div><img alt="Say Her Name" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/Dalit2.JPG?itok=Jnshu1TL" style="height: 233px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Jay­Marie Hill of Say Her Name performs a song during the San Francisco discussion with the All India Dalit Women's Right Forum. (Sonia Paul)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><p>The Dalit women see a parallel between this discomfort with caste at home and the discomfort in the US around race. A big reason they raised money to come here was to exchange strategies with US activists.</p></div></div><p dir="ltr">In San Francisco, they spoke at the historic&nbsp;<a href="http://womensbuilding.org/" target="_blank">Women&rsquo;s Building</a>&nbsp;with members of Black Lives Matter and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aapf.org/sayhernamereport/" target="_blank">Say Her Name</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">Brianna Gibson, a movement leader in the Bay Area, says the similarities to their experiences are striking.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;So, someone saying you know, &lsquo;We&rsquo;re post-caste,&rsquo; versus &lsquo;post-racial.&rsquo; It&rsquo;s like &lsquo;Wow, that&rsquo;s exactly the same thing.&rsquo; Or they&rsquo;ll tell you, &lsquo;You&rsquo;re being divisive.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The exchange between the two groups was at times emotional, but also really educational, Gibson told the audience during the discussion.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I know in my experience, growing up in deep East Oakland, everybody who was South Asian or Asian in general were wealthy people in my mind, because that is what I was taught,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;That they all came here as tech workers and that they didn&rsquo;t understand our struggles. Well obviously, we&rsquo;ve been lied to.&rdquo;<br />The San Francisco meeting ended with a rousing chant and the historic civil rights song &ldquo;We Shall Overcome&rdquo; in both English and in Hindi. But the Dalit women know they have a lot of difficult work ahead of them. But they say the fresh energy and support from activists here has given them new ideas to train more women back home &mdash; so they can continue to raise their voices.</p></article></div><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-11-08/black-lives-matter-activists-indias-discriminated-dalit-learn-tactics-press" target="_blank"><em> via The World</em></a></p></p> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 12:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-10/black-lives-matter-activists-indias-discriminated-dalit-learn-tactics How Suffragists used cookbooks as a recipe for subversion http://www.wbez.org/news/how-suffragists-used-cookbooks-recipe-subversion-113690 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/suff.JPG" alt="" /><p><div id="res454332896" previewtitle="Members of the women's suffrage movement prepare to march on New York's Wall Street in 1913, armed with leaflets and slogans demanding the vote for women."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Members of the women's suffrage movement prepare to march on New York's Wall Street in 1913, armed with leaflets and slogans demanding the vote for women." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/03/gettyimages-2667800-0419d9d916a3f0bcfb40103d684acb437c368c36-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="Members of the women's suffrage movement prepare to march on New York's Wall Street in 1913, armed with leaflets and slogans demanding the vote for women. (Paul Thompson/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>In the new Meryl Streep period movie&nbsp;<em>Suffragette</em>, Englishwomen march on the streets, smash shop windows and stage sit-ins to demand the vote. Less well-known is that across the pond, a less cinematic resistance was being staged via that most humble vehicle: the cookbook.</p></div></div></div><p>Between 1886, when the first American suffragist cookbook was published, and 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women the right to vote, there were at least a half-dozen cookbooks published by suffragette associations in the country.</p><p>These books were the descendants of the post-Civil War charity cookbooks, published to raise funds for war victims and church-related issues.</p><p>The suffrage cookbooks came garnished with propaganda for the Great Cause: the fight for getting women the right to vote. Recipes ranged from basic guidelines on brewing tea and boiling rice, to epicurean ones for Almond Parfait and the ever-popular&nbsp;<a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Lady-Baltimore-Cake-">Lady Baltimore Cake</a>, a layered Southern confection draped in boiled meringue frosting. Occasionally, there was a startling entry, such as that for Emergency Salad: one-tenth onion and nine-tenths apple with any salad dressing. But the bulk comprised a soothing flow of soups, gravies, breads, roasts, pies, omelets, salads, pickles and puddings.</p><div id="res454333920" previewtitle="Cover of The Woman Suffrage Cook Book, published in 1886. Hattie Burr, the editor, noted proudly that &quot;among the contributors are many who are eminent in their professions as teachers, lecturers, physicians, ministers, and authors — whose names are household words in the land.&quot;"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Cover of The Woman Suffrage Cook Book, published in 1886. Hattie Burr, the editor, noted proudly that &quot;among the contributors are many who are eminent in their professions as teachers, lecturers, physicians, ministers, and authors — whose names are household words in the land.&quot;" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/03/book43_cover_custom-b9ce0dc3eac54f9c7c18ffe409a2667cfc654be4-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 826px; width: 540px;" title="Cover of The Woman Suffrage Cook Book, published in 1886. Hattie Burr, the editor, noted proudly that &quot;among the contributors are many who are eminent in their professions as teachers, lecturers, physicians, ministers, and authors — whose names are household words in the land.&quot; (Special Collections/Michigan State University Libraries)" /></div><div><div><p>Today, some might ask: What were feminists doing printing cookbooks? Wasn&#39;t their whole movement aimed at empowering women beyond home and hearth?</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;Women used what they knew, what they could to champion their causes,&quot; eminent culinary archivist Jan Longone explained during a 2008<a href="http://lecb.physics.lsa.umich.edu/wl/carma/2008/20080921-clements/20080921-umwlcd0011-150544/flash.html">&nbsp;lecture&nbsp;</a>at the University of Michigan, where she is adjunct curator of the&nbsp;<a href="http://clements.umich.edu/longone-archive.php">Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive</a>. &quot;If that meant baking a cake or cooking a dinner or writing a cookbook, they did that. I need not remind the audience that for most of the 19th century, a woman had no control over her own money, her own children, her own destiny.&quot;</p><p>But, as Longone points out, these cookbooks were also a strategic rebuttal to the snide jokes and hurtful innuendo directed against suffragists, who were painted as neglectful mothers and kitchen-hating harridans, busy politicking while their children starved. The assertion these books sought to buttress was that &quot;good cooking and sure voting went hand in hand,&quot; to quote the 1909<em> Washington Women&#39;s Cook Book</em>, which opened with the couplet:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>Give us the vote and we will cook<br />The Better for a wide outlook</em></p></div></blockquote><p>On Dec. 13, 1886, America&#39;s first suffragist cookbook,&nbsp;<em>The Woman&#39;s Suffrage Cook Book</em>, was launched on a drizzly but sold-out evening at a fundraiser at the Boston music hall. The hall was decorated with a white banner bearing the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association motto, &quot;Male and female created He them, and gave them dominion.&quot;</p><p>Members included the novelist Louisa May Alcott, who would become the first woman registered to vote in Concord. Though she hadn&#39;t contributed a recipe, Alcott had just published&nbsp;<em>Jo&#39;s Boys</em>, the final book of her&nbsp;<em>Little Women</em>&nbsp;series, into which she had slipped in a droll description of a statue of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, sporting a &quot;Women&#39;s Rights&quot; slogan on her shield and a helmet ornamented with &quot;a tiny pestle and mortar&quot; &mdash; a divine nod to the compatibility between cooking and voting.</p><p>Recipes were contributed by regular housewives who carried a &quot;Mrs.&quot; before their name, as well as a parade of prominent suffragists who didn&#39;t.</p><p>Irish Stew, for instance, came courtesy of Cora Scott Pond, a militant prohibitionist (she declined fermented communion wine) and real-estate investor who had refused to wear a corset starting at the age of 16.</p><p>Chicago obstetrician and gynecologist Alice Bunker Stockham, the fifth woman to become a licensed doctor in the U.S., sent in an elaborate recipe for Coraline Cake, which called for the cake to be split and infused with strawberry or raspberry juice, then filled with boiled custard to make a sort of &quot;French pie.&quot;</p><p>Dr. Stockham was anti-alcohol and anti-corset but &mdash; extraordinarily for her time &ndash; pro-masturbation. She publicly endorsed it as healthy for both men and women. Her unorthodox stand positioned her as the antithesis to Sylvester Graham, the Presbyterian reformer who believed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/looking-to-quell-sexual-urges-consider-the-graham-cracker/282769/">rich food inflamed sexual appetite</a>, and who invented the Graham cracker (made with unrefined flour) to help Americans tame their sexual desires. By the Rev. Graham&#39;s standards, the Coraline Cake was positively orgiastic.</p><div id="res454333389" previewtitle="Among those contributing to the first suffragist cookbook, published in 1886, was Alice Bunker Stockham, a Chicago obstetrician and gynecologist who sent in an elaborate recipe for Coraline Cake. Stockham was anti-alcohol and anti-corset but — extraordinarily for her time — pro-masturbation."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Among those contributing to the first suffragist cookbook, published in 1886, was Alice Bunker Stockham, a Chicago obstetrician and gynecologist who sent in an elaborate recipe for Coraline Cake. Stockham was anti-alcohol and anti-corset but — extraordinarily for her time — pro-masturbation." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/03/alice_stockham_custom-2589fd7eff1c32458ac3c1bdfca9d65a5699672f-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 510px; width: 340px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Among those contributing to the first suffragist cookbook, published in 1886, was Alice Bunker Stockham, a Chicago obstetrician and gynecologist who sent in an elaborate recipe for Coraline Cake. Stockham was anti-alcohol and anti-corset but — extraordinarily for her time — pro-masturbation. (Wikimedia Commons)" /></div><div><div><p>Julia A. Kellogg, star student of novelist Henry James&#39; father, contributed a veal sausage recipe. Though Henry James Sr. was in favor of universal suffrage, he forecast that &quot;women wouldn&#39;t avail themselves of it when it was granted.&quot; When Kellogg disagreed, they quarreled, according to Alfred Habegger&#39;s&nbsp;<em>Henry James</em>&nbsp;and the <em>&#39;Woman Business.&#39;</em></p></div></div></div><p>Anna Ella Carroll,&nbsp;a political writer&nbsp;from Maryland&nbsp;who freed her slaves when Abraham Lincoln was elected president, and who advised him during the Civil War, sent in gruesomely explicit advice for Terrapin Soup. (<a href="http://www.saveur.com/history-of-turtle-soup-hunting" target="_blank">Turtle soup&nbsp;</a>was once an American delicacy.)</p><p>&quot;Decidedly, the terrapin has to be killed before cooking, and the killing is no easy matter,&quot; she wrote. &quot;The head must be cut off, and, as the sight is peculiarly acute, the cook must exercise great ingenuity in concealing the weapon.&quot; The decapitated terrapin was then to be &quot;boiled until the feet can be easily pulled off.&quot;</p><p>Sold at fairs, bazaars and women&#39;s exchanges, these cookbooks not only raised funds for the suffrage movement, says Longone, but also&nbsp;helped women network, and gain new skills in the fields of publishing, advertising and sales.</p><p>In 1891, the Equal Suffrage Association of Rockford, Ill., published&nbsp;<em>The Holiday Gift Cook Book</em>. At the time, the state&#39;s constitutional law stated: &quot;Idiots, lunatics, paupers, felons and women shall not be entitled to vote.&quot;</p><div id="res454333079" previewtitle="Martha Gruening, a suffragist leader, distributes literature on the movement to passersby in New York City, circa 1912. She later earned a law degree from New York University and was active in the civil rights movement."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Martha Gruening, a suffragist leader, distributes literature on the movement to passersby in New York City, circa 1912. She later earned a law degree from New York University and was active in the civil rights movement." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/03/gettyimages-3087723-6ab5c755bc28e45d96b6bda2d442a4a53d4be0db-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Martha Gruening, a suffragist leader, distributes literature on the movement to passersby in New York City, circa 1912. She later earned a law degree from New York University and was active in the civil rights movement. (Paul Thompson/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>Recipes were interspersed with pro-suffrage quotes by famous people such as British politician William Gladstone and abolitionist author Harriet Beecher Stowe. &quot;Of these, the most poignant plea is that of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross,&quot; says Longone.</p></div></div></div><p>Barton, a legendary Civil War nurse known as the &quot;Angel of the Battlefield,&quot; wrote, &quot;When you were sick and wounded I toiled for you on the battlefield. Because of my work for you, I ask your aid. I ask the ballot for myself and my sex. As I stood by you, I pray you stand by me and mine.&quot;</p><p>Perhaps the most fascinating of these cookbooks came from Pittsburgh in 1915.&nbsp;The <em>Suffrage Cook Book&nbsp;</em>was a sumptuous cake layered with recipes, celebrity endorsements, photographs and saucy jokes.</p><div id="res454334817" previewtitle="Recipes from the Woman Suffrage Cook Book, including one for &quot;Graham Bread&quot; attributed to Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Beecher Stowe's sister Isabella Beecher Hooker was a founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Recipes from the Woman Suffrage Cook Book, including one for &quot;Graham Bread&quot; attributed to Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Beecher Stowe's sister Isabella Beecher Hooker was a founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/03/10311203585_bd98a36878_o_custom-7b67d9dfb965a79c6c1047d34c008765a4ea9ec4-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 504px; width: 540px;" title="Recipes from the Woman Suffrage Cook Book, including one for &quot;Graham Bread&quot; attributed to Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Beecher Stowe's sister Isabella Beecher Hooker was a founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association. (Schlesinger Library/Flickr)" /></div><div><div><p>The blue cover featured a silhouette of Uncle Sam piloting the ship of state with a wheel that has only 12.5 spokes. &quot;The 12 spokes were for those states where women could vote before the 19th Amendment &mdash; all Western states,&quot; explained Longone. &quot;The half-spoke was for Illinois, which, at the time, allowed women to vote only in school board elections.&quot;</p></div></div></div><p>Its pages were sprinkled with recipes carrying playful titles like &quot;Hymen Cake,&quot; &quot;Mother&#39;s Election Cake,&quot; &quot;Suffrage Salad Dressing,&quot; &quot;Suffrage Angel Cake&quot; and &quot;Parliament Gingerbread (With apologies to the English Suffragists).&quot; There were satirical recipes, too, such as &quot;Pie for a Suffragist&#39;s Doubting Husband,&quot; whose ingredients made for a doleful litany:</p><blockquote><div><ul><li>1 qt. milk human kindness</li><li>8 reasons:</li><li>War</li><li>White Slavery</li><li>Child Labor</li><li>8,000,000 Working Women</li><li>Bad Roads</li><li>Poisonous Water</li><li>Impure Food</li><li>Mix the crust with tact and velvet gloves, using no sarcasm, especially with the upper crust. Upper crusts must be handled with extreme care, for they quickly sour if manipulated roughly.</li></ul></div></blockquote><p>Another recipe, for &quot;Anti&#39;s Favorite Hash&quot; &mdash; &quot;anti&quot; being shorthand for those against the Great Cause &mdash; called for a generous handful of injustice, a pound of truth thoroughly mangled, a little vitriol for tang, and a string of nonsense to be stirred with a sharp knife.</p><p>The contributors were all women, apart from a few celebrity male feminists like writer Jack London, who sent in two recipes: roast duck (&quot;the plucked bird should be stuffed with a tight handful of plain raw celery&quot;), and a version of stuffed celery, which called for Roquefort cheese, softened with butter and sherry, to be &quot;squeezed into the troughs&quot; of the celery sticks.</p><p>Exhibiting political savvy,&nbsp;The <em>Suffrage Cook Book&#39;s</em>&nbsp;editor, Mrs. L.O. Kleber, had invited endorsements from governors of eight states that had passed female suffrage laws (Wyoming, Arizona, California, Kansas, Idaho, Illinois, Washington and Oregon). These eminences were fulsome in their praise of women as intelligent, diligent and patriotic voters &mdash; but only up to a point.</p><p>As Idaho Gov. Moses Alexander wrote: &quot;The impression that Woman Suffrage inspires an ambition in women to seek and hold public office is altogether wrong. The contrary is true.&quot;</p><p>Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Jan Brewer, Nikki Haley and a host of other women would surely chuckle at that.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/11/05/454246666/how-suffragists-used-cookbooks-as-a-recipe-for-subversion?ft=nprml&amp;f=454246666" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 06 Nov 2015 16:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/how-suffragists-used-cookbooks-recipe-subversion-113690 Meet the cool girls at a high school in Kabul: #15Girls http://www.wbez.org/news/meet-cool-girls-high-school-kabul-15girls-113391 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Hadia Durani is 15. She says she wants to be president when she grows up..jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res448694687" previewtitle="Hadia Durani is 15. She says she wants to be president when she grows up."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Hadia Durani is 15. She says she wants to be president when she grows up." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/14/hadia01_custom-30a5b6cbf8ca93c67bf60f94c203845f0f119e2f-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 350px; width: 620px;" title="Hadia Durani is 15. She says she wants to be president when she grows up. (David Gilkey/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Hadia Durani is one of the cool girls at her school in Kabul. She&#39;s chatty and gets good grades, and when she grows up she wants to be president.</p></div></div></div><p>In class, Hadia is outgoing, but once she leaves the schoolyard, things are different. She says men and boys yell at her when she&#39;s walking to and from school. They tell her she should stay at home, and call her mean names, and when that happens, she just keeps her head down and ignores them.</p><p>&quot;It will just start an argument,&quot; she shrugs. &quot;And [the girls] get blamed.&quot;</p><div id="res448694560" previewtitle="These girls are the lucky ones — they've been able to stay in school while many of their peers have dropped out."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="These girls are the lucky ones — they've been able to stay in school while many of their peers have dropped out." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/14/class2_custom-d46048eca69e4af879b44879be532b5cf940a2df-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="These girls are the lucky ones — they've been able to stay in school while many of their peers have dropped out. (David Gilkey/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>The heckling gets to her friend Layli. &quot;I just want to punch them in the face,&quot; she says. But she never has.</p></div></div></div><div id="res448691893"><div><p>Take part in our social media campaign for #15Girls&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/10/07/445368034/share-your-story-what-was-the-hardest-thing-about-being-15?source=test2inset">here.</a></p><p>Read all the stories in our #15Girls series&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/series/446115168/-15girls?source=blog">here</a>.</p></div></div><p>These 15-year-olds are both students at the Tanweer School in Kabul, Afghanistan. It&#39;s a private K-12 school in a lower middle-class neighborhood on the south side of the city. Their very presence in school is a sign of the progress girls are making in Afghanistan.</p><p>But teenage girls in Afghanistan are in a peculiar spot. They&#39;re better off than their mothers &mdash; for one thing, more and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.uis.unesco.org/literacy/Pages/literacy-data-release-2014.aspx" target="_blank">more young women can read</a>&nbsp;&mdash; but their dreams for the future may not align with the opportunities available to them.</p><p>At the same time, there are still not enough opportunities for young women to continue past high school and on to careers.</p><div id="res448694939" previewtitle="Tanweer School is a private school in a lower middle class neighborhood on the south side of Kabul."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Tanweer School is a private school in a lower middle class neighborhood on the south side of Kabul." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/14/assembly_custom-6f2c62bc8463a93119bca0324ba9b51cf7df7f67-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Tanweer School is a private school in a lower middle class neighborhood on the south side of Kabul. (David Gilkey/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>The students at the Tanweer School, whom I interviewed for our series on girls at 15, know they&#39;re especially lucky to be able to attend classes. A lot of girls their age have dropped out because there&#39;s too much social pressure from their families who want them to spend their time in the home after they reach puberty.</p></div></div></div><div id="res448925335"><div><p>We interviewed these girls &mdash; and some of the boys at their school as well &mdash; on video. You can see that and more photos from their school&nbsp;<a href="http://n.pr/1LPmQyV">here.</a></p></div></div><p>At 15, they&#39;re full of dreams. Somaya Rahmanzai is a math and science nerd. In geometry class, she stands up confidently to volunteer the formula for the area of a circle.</p><p>&quot;My school has a laboratory!&quot; she says. &quot;We can learn biology and mathematics. We have many rooms and teachers. I love school.&quot;</p><div id="res448694907" previewtitle="Somaya Rahmanzai is 15, geeky and crazy confident. Her career of choice: brain surgeon."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Somaya Rahmanzai is 15, geeky and crazy confident. Her career of choice: brain surgeon." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/14/somaya02_custom-9b7c8bd6d3079f1b9ff3f2f70b9aa120830a4a7f-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Somaya Rahmanzai is 15, geeky and crazy confident. Her career of choice: brain surgeon. (David Gilkey/NPR)" /></div><div><p>By contrast, her mother&#39;s school had one room and one teacher, and she wasn&#39;t able to continue past the sixth grade.</p></div></div><p>&quot;When I grow up,&quot; Somaya says, &quot;I want to be a brain surgeon, so I can inject people.&quot;</p><p>&quot;And also make them better,&quot; she adds.</p><p>There&#39;s a lot of uncertainty in Somaya&#39;s future. To be a brain surgeon, she needs to go to college. Same with Hadia and Layli. When they graduate in a couple of years, all the girls I talked to said, they want to continue their education.</p><p>But that probably won&#39;t happen. According to Afghanistan&#39;s Ministry of Education, for every available college slot in Afghanistan, there are about five students who want to go.</p><div id="res448694986" previewtitle="This is something you never would have seen under the Taliban: Girls walking to school."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="This is something you never would have seen under the Taliban: Girls walking to school." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/14/walking_custom-bd53e97f0d6d9aca548436cb38b938e741113e34-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="This is something you never would have seen under the Taliban: Girls walking to school. (David Gilkey/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Plus, with each passing year the pressure to leave school and get married will increase.</p></div></div></div><p>Yet their excitement about their futures is undiminished. They don&#39;t seem to know how hard it will be to accomplish everything they hope to. Or maybe they believe their sheer determination will carry them through.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Take part in our social media campaign for #15Girls&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/10/07/445368034/share-your-story-what-was-the-hardest-thing-about-being-15?source=test2inset">here.</a>&nbsp;</em><em>Read all the stories in our #15Girls series&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/series/446115168/-15girls?source=blog">here</a>.</em></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/10/15/447570460/meet-the-cool-girls-at-a-high-school-in-kabul-15girls" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 16 Oct 2015 16:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/meet-cool-girls-high-school-kabul-15girls-113391 Special Series: Global Activism - 'Worldview' Visits India http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-09/special-series-global-activism-worldview-visits-india-111888 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/India-series%20620%20good.JPG" title="From bottom l to r - Sonal Chaturvedi, co-director of Pravah, Nila Vora of India Development Service, Steve Bynum and Jerome McDonnell of WBEZ with the NGO Community Youth Collective in Delhi on Feb., 1, 2015 (Photo by Nilesh Kothari)" /><em>Worldview</em> took <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/water/special-series-global-activism-worldview-visits-india-111888">Global Activism</a></em> to India! And we take you along for the ride. For years, India Development Service <a href="http://idsusa.org/">(IDS)</a>, a Chicago-based investment NGO, has brought from India Global Activists to <em>Worldview&nbsp;</em>who work there to make life better. So IDS brought us to India to talk with people doing service and development projects on-the-ground. IDS guided us through big cities like, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, as well as to remote villages and towns. We met people working to overcome challenges like illiteracy, abuse of women and children, class issues and water security.</p></p> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-05-09/special-series-global-activism-worldview-visits-india-111888 Political unrest in Iraq http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-11/political-unrest-iraq-110629 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP911464245376.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri Al-Maliki, is due to be replaced, but is fighting for a third term despite his loss of support in Iraq and internationally. As the U.S. pressures Al-Maliki to peacefully step aside, it continues airstrikes against ISIL near Erbil.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-political-unrest-in-iraq/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-political-unrest-in-iraq.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-political-unrest-in-iraq" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Political unrest in Iraq" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-11/political-unrest-iraq-110629 Global Activism: SowHope http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-sowhope-108192 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/P1000718 (3) (2).jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F102594517&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Museo Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 24px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Former White House photographer Mary Dailey Brown was eager to work for a non-profit focusing exclusively on women, so when she couldn&rsquo;t find one that met her criteria, she decided to start her own. She and her husband, Doug, decided to sell farmland Doug had inherited in order to start&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.sowhope.org/" style="color: rgb(56, 118, 178); font-family: 'Museo Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 24px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" target="_blank">SowHope</a><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Museo Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 24px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&nbsp;in 2006.</span></p><p><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Museo Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 24px;">&ldquo;It was like diving off a cliff,&rdquo; Mary says. </span></p><p><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Museo Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 24px;">Mary joins us to talk about what it took to get her organization off the ground and what SowHope has been able to accomplish.</span></p></p> Thu, 25 Jul 2013 14:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-sowhope-108192 BBC Assignment: Forced Sterilisation in Uzbekistan http://www.wbez.org/worldview/2012-04-17/segment/bbc-assignment-forced-sterilisation-uzbekistan-98307 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/UzbekSterilization.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In a government effort to control the population, women in Uzbekistan are being sterilized -- often without their knowledge. Many women have fled the country to escape the practice. The BBC <em>Assignment</em>'s <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/crossing_continents/7334433.stm" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">Natalia Antelava</a> details the plight of Uzbek women in her documentary, <em>Forcible Sterilisation In Uzbekistan</em>.</p></p> Tue, 17 Apr 2012 10:30:34 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/worldview/2012-04-17/segment/bbc-assignment-forced-sterilisation-uzbekistan-98307 Global Activism: Helping destitute Afghan women become artisans http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-10/global-activism-helping-destitute-afghan-women-become-artisans-93935 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-10/afghan1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Every Thursday in our <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalactivism" target="_blank">Global Activism</a></em> series, we introduce you to a local individual who’s trying to change the world.</p><p>In Dari, the word <em>arzu</em> means “hope.” It’s also the name of an organization that employs Afghan women in remote provinces to weave fair trade artisan rugs. <a href="http://www.arzustudiohope.org/home" target="_blank">ARZU</a> helps women build a better life through access to education, healthcare and job training.</p><p>This holistic support is desperately needed. Afghanistan was recently named the world’s most dangerous country in the world for women, according to a <a href="http://www.trust.org/trustlaw/womens-rights/dangerpoll/" target="_blank">survey</a> by TrustLaw, part of the Thomas Reuters Foundation.</p><p>ARZU founder <a href="http://www.arzustudiohope.org/home/story/team" target="_blank">Connie Duckworth</a> says she's trying to apply her private sector experience to grassroots development.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>To hear more stories of people making a difference, check out the </em><a href="wbez.org/globalactivism" target="_blank">Global Activism</a><em><a href="wbez.org/globalactivism" target="_blank"> page</a>, where you can also suggest a person or organization for the series. Or, email your suggestions to <a href="mailto:worldview@wbez.org">worldview@wbez.org</a> and put </em>“Global Activism”<em> in the subject line. </em>Global Activism<em> is also a <a href="wbez.org/podcasts" target="_blank">podcast</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 17:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-10/global-activism-helping-destitute-afghan-women-become-artisans-93935