Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias



Special Focus: CSW 58


CSW58 took place in New York from 10 - 21 March, 2014. Check out ourSpecial Focus Section for official and CSO statements, news, analysis and resources from the meeting.

Special Focus: Post 2015 Development Agenda


This special focus section on the Post 2015 Development Agenda aims to shed light on the process underway to shape a new development agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015. The section includes critical feminist analysis on the process and key resources including news, publications, statements, campaigns and events.

Visit the special focus section...


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Análisis especial: CSW 58


La CSW58 tuvo lugar en Nueva York del 10 al 21 marzo del 2014. Echa un vistazo a nuestra sección de Análisis especial para leer las declaraciones oficiales y de las OSC, noticias, análisis y recursos sobre la reunion.

Análisis especial: Agenda de Desarrollo Post 2015


Esta sección de análisis especial sobre la agenda de desarrollo post-2015 pretende facilitar el acceso a este proceso para elaborar una nueva agenda de desarrollo una vez que los Objetivos de Desarrollo del Milenio (ODM) expiren en 2015. La sección proporciona un análisis crítico feminista y el acceso a los recursos clave, incluyendo noticias, publicaciones, declaraciones, campañas y eventos.

Visite la sección de análisis especial...


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La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) señaló hoy el apoyo a las defensoras de los derechos de las mujeres como un "deber" de los Estados de las Américas y una prioridad para lograr la igualdad de sexos.

 La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) señaló hoy el apoyo a las defensoras de los derechos de las mujeres como un "deber" de los Estados de las Américas y una prioridad para lograr la igualdad de sexos.

Así lo indicó la comisionada Tracy Robinson en una audiencia de la CIDH, organismo autónomo de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), sobre los desafíos en la protección de las mujeres frente a la violencia cuando se va a cumplir el 20 aniversario de la Convención de Belém do Pará (Brasil).

"Destacar la protección de las defensoras de los derechos humanos mujeres es una excelente forma de llamar la atención sobre el deber de los Estados" en material de igualdad, afirmó Robinson.

"Es una forma excelente de enfatizar el resultado de nuestros esfuerzos en relación a la violencia contra las mujeres. A veces, poner el foco solamente en la violencia doméstica genera en realidad el análisis contrario sobre la situación de las mujeres", añadió.

En la sesión intervinieron ocho activistas por los derechos de la mujer que analizaron los retos para la igualdad en el marco del vigésimo aniversario de la Convención Interamericana para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Violencia contra la Mujer, firmada en Belém do Pará, que se celebrará en junio.


VEA TAMBIEN: Belém Do Pará Es Insuficiente Para Proteger A Defensoras


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The Nuestro Texas campaign shines the spotlight on lack of access to reproductive health care in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. One of the poorest regions in the U.S. and home to a large population of immigrants and Latinos, the Valley has some of the most profound barriers to health care in the entire country. It also has a highly organized network of women fighting for their human right to reproductive health care. Nuestro Texas supports the women of the Valley as they demand policies from the federal government and Texas legislature that promote their reproductive health and build stronger families and communities.



Seeking Global Justice for a Local Reproductive Injustice


Esmeralda’s Story

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In Swat Valley, a former stronghold of the Taliban in Pakistan, a group of women are taking certain legal matters into their own hands. In this fiercly patriarchal society, disputes are traditionally resolved by a meeting of elders, and that means men. This parallel justice system is known as the jirga. Until now, it was always a male-only domain, and in some cases such as honour killings, women's rights were ignored. Now a group of women has decided to speak up and create their own female jirga


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Stop Telling Women to Smile is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The work attempts to address gender based street harassment by placing drawn portraits of women, composed with captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces. 
Tatyan Falalizadeh is an illustrator/painter based in Brooklyn, mostly known for her oil paintings. Having recently branched out into public art as a muralist, STWTS was born out of the idea that street art can be an impactful tool for tackling street harassment. 
STWTS started in Brooklyn in the fall of 2012. It is an on-going, travelling series and will gradually include many cities and many women participants. 

Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street - creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe. 


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March 2014, the Center, along with the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and its Task Force on Violence Against Women, the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center (NIWRC), and Clan Star, Inc. participated in the 58th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to raise awareness about violence against indigenous women in the United States, with particular attention to Alaska Native women. Chris Foley, ILRC attorney, presented the joint statement.


Indian Law Resource Center Campaign to End Violence Against Native Women


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Co-Editor Sital Kalantry addresses the difficulties that domestic violence survivors encounter when attemtpting to fit into a classification under which they might find relief through the Board of Immigration Appeals Process.

 The Jury is Out:  Do the new Board of Immigration Appeals’ Decisions Give Victims of Domestic Violence a Stronger Basis to Claim Asylum?

 by Sital Kalantry

The Board of Immigration Appeals on February 7, 2014 released a twin set of decisions—Matter of M-E-V-G-, 26 I&N Dec. 227 (BIA 2014) and -,  Matter of W-G-Rec. 20 26 I&N Dec.20 (BIA 2014)— in which it repackaged what constitutes a “particular social group.”  In order for someone to obtain asylum, she must prove that she has a well-founded fear of persecution based on religion, nationality, race, political opinion, and particular social group.   Survivors of domestic violence must fashion themselves into a “particular social group” to be considered for asylum since gender is not included as a separate category.  Prior to these decisions, a group such as “married Guatemalan women unable to leave their relationships” would be considered a “particular social group,” if it can be shown that (1) is composed of members who share a common immutable characteristic, (2) is defined with particularity, and (3) has “social visibility.”  The Board’s recent decisions changed the requirement of “social visibility” to “social distinction.”



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Corey Rayburn Yung, University of Kansas School of Law


During the last two decades, many police departments substantially undercounted reported rapes creating "paper" reductions in crime. Media investigations in Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and St. Louis found that police eliminated rape complaints from official counts because of cultural hostility to rape complaints and to create the illusion of success in fighting violent crime. The undercounting cities used three difficult-to-detect methods to remove rape complaints from official records: designating a complaint as "unfounded" with little or no investigation; classifying an incident as a lesser offense; and, failing to create a written report that a victim made a rape complaint. 

This study addresses how widespread the practice of undercounting rape is in police departments across the country. Because identifying fraudulent and incorrect data is essentially the task of distinguishing highly unusual data patterns, I apply a statistical outlier detection technique to determine which jurisdictions have substantial anomalies in their data. Using this novel method to determine if other municipalities likely failed to report the true number of rape complaints made, I find significant undercounting of rape incidents by police departments across the country. The results indicate that approximately 22% of the 210 studied police departments responsible for populations of at least 100,000 persons have substantial statistical irregularities in their rape data indicating considerable undercounting from 1995 to 2012. Notably, the number of undercounting jurisdictions has increased by over 61% during the eighteen years studied. 

Correcting the data to remove police undercounting by imputing data from highly correlated murder rates, the study conservatively estimates that 796,213 to 1,145,309 complaints of forcible vaginal rapes of female victims nationwide disappeared from the official records from 1995 to 2012. Further, the corrected data reveal that the study period includes fifteen to eighteen of the highest rates of rape since tracking of the data began in 1930. Instead of experiencing the widely reported "great decline" in rape, America is in the midst of a hidden rape crisis. Further, the techniques that conceal rape complaints deprioritize those cases so that police conduct little or no investigation. Consequently, police leave serial rapists, who constitute the overwhelming majority of rapists, free to attack more victims. Based upon the findings of this study, governments at all levels must revitalize efforts to combat the cloaked rise in sexual violence and the federal government must exercise greater oversight of the crime reporting process to ensure accuracy of the data provided.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 60


Police Investigation of Rape-Roadblocks and Solutions,

National Institute of Justice Study (Has link to free complete pdf)

Annotation: This study involved interviews with detectives who have specialized in the investigation of sexual assaults as well as frontline patrol officers in order to determine their attitudes toward such cases.

 Abstract:One conclusion from the findings is that most police officers, whether detectives or first responders, are aware of the basic, well-known “rape myths,” and the “politically correct” answers that challenge those myths; for example, they know that women who dress revealingly can be raped, that women can be raped by men with whom they have previously had consensual sex, and that it is wrong to assume that women share some blame for being raped. Still, the findings from administering the rape scale to the officers indicate that despite many years of training, a large number of police officers still hold attitudes and opinions that undermine their ability to treat rape victims well. The officers were almost unanimously opposed to changing to a system of investigation and case processing that gives priority to protecting victims. Although this study had the objective of identifying “best practices” in police investigations of rape, the study concludes that there are no “best practices” worthy of replication or widespread use. Among the police officers in this study, there was virtually no interest in and some strong resistance to examining innovative and improved ways of investigating and managing rape cases. The dominant theme in current investigative techniques is the presumption that victims are lying and the initial job of the investigators is to expose it. The study recommends that police training in rape investigations be based in solid research and be related to the types of cases most often encountered, i.e. acquaintance rapes rather than stranger rapes. Interviews were conducted with 49 detectives who specialized in sexual assault. Samples of campus and municipal police officers were included in interviews with first responders. Tables, figures, 65 references, and appended interview instrument


Advocating for Victms of Sex Crimes During the Police Investigation


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 Lawmakers and civil society leaders from over 30 countries are calling for universal access to safe, legal abortion.

The declaration, released in Washington on Wednesday, comes in the context of a 20-year review by the United Nations of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo. That landmark conference called for safe access to abortions in countries where the procedure was legal, while Wednesday’s declaration calls for the decriminalisation of abortion in all countries.

The declaration also anticipates the post-2015 development agenda. Advocates are calling to expand the discussion on women’s health to include abortion rights when determining the next round of global development goals, following the expiration of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).

“True gender equality cannot be achieved without access to safe, legal abortion,” it says. “In the last two decades, roughly 1 million women and girls have died and more than 100 million have suffered injuries – many of them lifelong – due to complications from unsafe abortion.”

One of the MDGs, number five, does aim to reduce by three-quarters the maternal mortality ratio and to achieve universal access to reproductive health. However, it does not include access to safe abortions in its definition of access to reproductive health.


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Most trafficking victims in the United States do not have access to justice. In 2003, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which gave trafficking victims the right to sue their traffickers for damages. But in the 10 years since the law was passed, fewer than 100 civil cases have been filed under the civil human trafficking statute. Trafficked persons have significant rights under U.S. law, but they cannot exercise these rights without competent legal counsel. Pro bono attorneys can assist trafficking victims in participating fully in criminal cases against traffickers, and in launching civil suits against the perpetrators.

The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center serves as a clearinghouse for victims and law firms, bringing trafficking victims together with highly-competent, well-trained pro bono attorneys. The Center offers training and mentoring to attorneys handling pro bono trafficking cases, ensuring that strategic litigation in this area has maximum systemic impact.

Since its inception, the Center has provided training to hundreds of pro bono attorneys. In addition, the Center’s staff has placed 20 trafficking cases with pro bono attorneys from high-profile law firms. By leveraging the resources and talents of private sector firms, The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center seeks to completely change the playing field for human traffickers.


A Project of Tahirih Justice Center

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Witness intimidation is "behavior which strikes at the heart of the justice system itself." United States v. Mastrangelo, 693 F.2d 269, 273 (2d Cir. 1982). When intimidation is permitted to occur, and when it is not effectively addressed by the justice system, victims and witnesses suffer additional harm, defendants escape accountability for their actions, and the general public becomes cynical and loses confidence in law enforcement. Effectively addressing the problem of witness intimidation requires the participation of law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, advocates, health care, social services, corrections professionals, and probation or parole officers-all of whom may come into contact with victims or witnesses who are vulnerable to intimidation or with defendants who intimidate.

Initiative on Witness Intimidation (IWI)

Commenced in September of 2010, the Initiative on Witness Intimidation (IWI) is a field-initiated project funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. IWI's mission is to improve the quality of justice and safety of victims and witnesses susceptible to witness intimidation by developing, evaluating, and refining justice system practices that raise community awareness and increase victim safety and offender accountability. Three pilot sites were selected for the project: Duluth, MinnesotaKnoxville, Tennessee; and San Diego, California. AEquitas staff, in partnership with the Battered Women's Justice Project and local practitioners in Duluth, Knoxville, and San Diego used the Praxis Safety and Accountability Audit Tool Kit to observe court proceedings, courthouse activity, and offender groups; interviewed victims and justice system practitioners; and reviewed prosecution files and sentencing reports. They reported their findings, identified gaps in witness safety and offender accountability, and made recommendations to address those gaps. Links to the findings and recommendations from each site, and additional resources produced as a result of the project, are below.



Webinar Recordings

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March 24, 2014
Jocelyn Samuels
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division, US Dept. of Justice
Washington, D.C.
Michael W. Cotter
United States Attorney
Missoula, Montana
Open Letter Re: District Attorney Obligations and Accountability to Victims of Violence Against Women
Dear Ms. Jocelyn Samuels and Mr. Michael W. Cotter,
     Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
We have read and re-read your February 2014 U.S. Department of Justice Letter of Findings regarding the Missoula District Attorney’s mishandling of rape cases, and we’ve passed it on to others in hopes it will be widely used as the groundbreaking legal tool it is.
You’ve done an extraordinarily valuable service to women by trail blazing a solid legal path to district attorney obligations and accountability to victims of violence against women, where before there was only the seemingly impassible thicket of anti-women court decisions dating back decades and right up to present day.
Like the Missoula district attorney, there are still way too many district attorneys around the country who believe their official powers of discretion give them carte blanch to ignore, disregard, ditch, discriminate against, and deny justice to women, as they wish, and with impunity. Indeed, until your findings, a district attorney’s systematic denial of justice to women has been deemed untouchable, and has stood as a key and intractable obstacle in the struggle to end violence against women.
The legal foundation you establish in your findings is so commonsense, rigorous, and thoroughly constructed that women anywhere can stand securely on your argument to demand equal justice from their local district attorneys. Its great strength is that you have forged this foundation squarely within the framework of women’s fundamental constitutional rights. And it’s especially helpful that you’ve accompanied your legal citations with brief, plain-language summaries that can be understood by all.
In addition to cementing a district attorney’s prosecutorial obligations to victims of violence against women, your coverage of related obligations is also extremely helpful, such as your construct and foundation for a district attorney responsibility to investigate these cases, as well as prosecute, when police have failed to properly do so.
Your Letter of Findings was also immensely gratifying personally for your use of the year 2000 9th Circuit Court decision in the case of Macias v. Sheriff Ihde as a pillar in your findings. Myself and colleague Tanya Brannan were the advocates on that case, and we have always pondered why it lay dormant for so long. As you can imagine, we are ever so pleased you have built on Macias and other cases to greatly and so solidly advance the cause of justice for women.
Thank you again.
Marie De Santis, Director
Santa Rosa, CA

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Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Time: 2:00pm - 3:30pm (Central Time)

Registration Ends 4/29/2014 or when filled.

Presenters: Joyanna Silberg, Ph.D., Senior Consultant for Child and Adolescent Trauma at Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore Maryland and the Executive Vice-President of the Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence and Stephanie Dallam, Research Associate, Leadership Council; former Pediatric Surgery and Trauma Nurse Practitioner, University of Missouri Health Sciences Center.

Description: In this presentation, new information will be presented about the results of a case analysis of 27 custody cases involving the abuse of children. In these cases, a judge initially ordered the children into unsupervised contact with an abusive parent and then a later judicial decision protected the children from abuse. This sample is illustrative of failures common in family court where signs of child abuse are ignored and theories which blame the mother, such as accusations of parental alienation are relied upon. The case analysis shows that it is often the court-ordered custody evaluators who recommend access to the unsafe parent and experts in child abuse and domestic violence who correct the information for the court. This presentation will present recommendations derived from this case analysis about how to approach allegations of abuse in contested custody cases so that children are more consistently protected.

Registration Details: This webinar is open to OVW Grantees and the general public.
  • GTEAP (Arrest) GRANTEES: you are REQUIRED to enter your OVW-issued grant number when registering for this training. 
  • If you are not an Arrest Grantee, no grant number is required. 
A webinar is an on-line seminar and requires access to the internet to connect.

Audio options are: 
1) Teleconference (Your standard long distance charges will apply); 
2) VoIP (free audio through the internet, speakers are required, a headset is recommended).

    Do you require closed captioning? BWJP requires 5 business days notice and you MUST request it upon registration.  

    ***You will receive a confirmation email from emailservice@ilinc.com immediately after registering.  If you don’t see it in your inbox, please check your spam or junk mail. Please keep this email as it contains the webinar and audio information needed to join the webinar.  You will receive a reminder email the day before the webinar as well. ***

    Questions of a technical nature or regarding your grant or eligibility for the webinar should be forwarded to BWJP (technicalassistance@bwjp.org).



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    Figures show nearly 4,000 patients treated in capital since 2009 after suffering female genital mutilation


    Last year, health experts warned that the health and social care system was failing young girls who were at risk of FGM – which is classed as torture by the UN.

    They said more needed to be done in the UK to safeguard young girls and babies at risk of the brutal procedure.

    A report by experts from the Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the human rights organisation Equality Now and the trade union Unite said there were "gaps in responsiveness" to addressing FGM in the health and social care system.

    Officials did not know whom to turn to if they suspected it had been carried out, and if a girl suspected to be at risk was referred to social services the issue may be dropped because some care workers did not feel that FGM lay within their remit, the report said.

    There was no accountability in performance of health and social care workers and a lack of consistent data about the issue, the report found. There have been no prosecutions for FGM, even though it has been banned in the UK since 1985.


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    There has been no end of tricks and slights of hand in Santa Rosa's efforts to bypass community involvement in the selection of the city's next police chief, and ultimately install ex-chief Tom Schwedhelm's hand picked choice. The latest maneuver has been to put the whole process on hold until at least next September.  
    These closed door ploys couldn't be coming at a worse time. Santa Rosa desperately needs a new can-do chief right now who can reform a department that is plagued by years of misconduct, million dollar lawsuit payouts, and discriminatory practices. (see here) The public needs to step in and take the reigns.
    With public support we were able to stop the anti-democratic, insider succession planned for last December, and it can be done again. But first, some background.
    Last October, when then Chief Tom Schwedhelm announced his upcoming December 2013 retirement, unofficial word was that he had hand picked his successor from the white male cadre of ranking officers, the same officers who have presided over the years of problems. 
    Official word was just as bad. City manager Kathy Millison would be naming the new chief, without community involvement, or even involvement of elected city council members. No one doubted that she would merely be a rubber stamp for Schwedhelm's choice.
    Following community outcry, in December Millison was constrained to naming an acting chief only, Santa Rosa's now acting Chief Hank Schreeder. In mid January, the city contracted executive search firm Ralph Anderson and Associates, ostensibly to find candidates for the position of chief.  But the text of that contract, however, put city manager Millison right back at the helm of steering the search.
    Then in February, during her performance evaluation, and in the wake of her autocratic rule, city manager Millison tendered her retirement, effective next September.
    The contract, along with the search for a new chief, was suspended. The plan now is that the new chief will be selected by the new city manager, but not until that person is hired and in place, at earliest next September.
    Manifest Perfidy
    This is a terrible plan. Not only are we back to square one with the new chief set to be selected by a city manager, without input from the community or from elected council members , but the long time lag serves to slide the current acting chief into permanent position by no other virtue than habituation of time.
    Then comes this disturbing news..former SRPD chief Tom Schwedhelm, - the chief who applauded his officers  putting real assault weapons in the hands of children, who never promoted a female officer, who presided over disastrous violence against women statistics, and other misconduct of the last four years, - former chief Schwedhelm  is currently running for a seat on Santa Rosa City Council and is expected to win. There he will join ex-SRPD Lt., now council member, Ernesto Oliveras in consolidating ever more police power over the city .
    What the Public Can Do:  
    This railroad back to yesterday needs to be stopped. The public can insist that Santa Rosa City Council install a democratic process now to select a new chief. At minimum, there should be a representative citizen's committee - with veto power - to oversee the selection process from start to finish.
    Women's Justice Center

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       Basta de acciones aisladas en cada país, alertan expertas

    El 18 por ciento de los nacimientos anuales en América Latina (AL) y el Caribe corresponden a una madre adolescente, por lo que para frenar las altas tasas de embarazos tempranos se debe implementar un plan estratégico regional y no acciones aisladas en cada país.
    Así lo señalaron expertas y especialistas en la materia durante la “Reunión internacional sobre evidencias actuales, lecciones aprendidas y buenas prácticas de prevención del embarazo adolescente en AL y el Caribe”, que concluyó hoy en Managua, Nicaragua.
    El encuentro fue impulsado por el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) y la Iniciativa Salud Mesoamérica 2015, a fin de crear una agenda de prevención y atención al embarazo en adolescentes, cuya tasa en la región es de las más altas del mundo.
    A nivel global hay 53 nacimientos por cada mil mujeres jóvenes entre 15 y 19 años, mientras que en AL la tasa es de 66 nacimientos, lo que se traduce en que aproximadamente el 18 por ciento (un millón 980 mil) del total de nacimientos que ocurren en la región corresponde a jóvenes en ese rango de edad, cifra a la que se suman 66 mil nacimientos al año correspondientes a adolescentes entre 10 y 14 años.
    De acuerdo con cifras de la Iniciativa Mesoamericana, en el primer lugar de los países de la región con más nacimientos en madres adolescentes está Nicaragua con 103 por cada mil jóvenes; seguido por República Dominicana con 101 nacimientos, y Guatemala con 99. En México la tasa es de 65 nacimientos por cada mil jóvenes.  
    Estas altas tasas de fertilidad tienen como consecuencia que las jóvenes abandonen la escuela, no se desarrollen económicamente, y sean más vulnerables ante la violencia física o psicológica por parte de sus parejas.



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    from The Belle Jar

    I am tired of talking about feminism to men.

    I know that I’m not supposed to say this. I know that as a good little third-wave feminist I’m supposed to sweetly explain to you how much I love and value men. I’m supposed to trot out my husband of nearly five years, my son, all of my male friends and relatives and display them as a sort of badge of honour, proof that I am not a man-hater. I’m supposed to hold out my own open palms, prove to you how harmless I am, how nice I am. Above all, I’m supposed to butter you up, you men, stroke your egos, tell you how very important you are in the fight for equality. This is the right way to go about it, or so I’ve been told. As my mother would say, you catch more flies with honey.

    But still. I’m tired of talking about feminism to men.

    I’m tired of explaining to men that the feminist movement will, in fact, benefit them as well as women. I’m tired of trying to hawk gender equality like I’m some kind of car salesman showing off a shiny new sedan, explaining all of its bells and whistles. I’m tired of smiling through a thousand thoughtless microaggressions, tired of providing countless pieces of evidence, tired of being questioned on every. single. damn. thing. I’m tired of proving that microaggressions exist, tired of proving that I’m unfairly questioned and asked for proof. For a movement that’s centered around the advancement and empowerment of women, why do I feel like I’m supposed to spend so damn much of my time carefully considering how what I say and do will be taken  by men?


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    "A Call To Action," a new book by President Carter available March 25 (Simon & Schuster), urges the end of discrimination and abuse against women, calling it the number one challenge in the world today. The book builds on the work of faith leaders and courageous human rights defenders who met last summer at The Carter Center to mobilize faith groups worldwide to commit to advancing women's rights. Religion, they said, should be a force for equality and human dignity not oppression.

    In his new book, President Carter argues that people's actions are guided by international agreements as well as their own moral values, most often derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Bible, the Koran, and other texts that proclaim a commitment to justice and mercy, equality of treatment between men and women, and a duty to alleviate suffering. He also asserts it is not possible to address the rights of women, the human and civil rights struggle of our time, without looking at factors that create an acceptance of violence in our society — violence that inevitably affects women disproportionately.

    Large-scale crimes against women enumerated in "A Call to Action" include: slavery, genital cutting, infanticide, child marriage, rape, honor killings, and economic and social deprivation. He calls on everyone to study these violations of basic moral values and take corrective action. President Carter writes, "My own experiences and the testimony of courageous women from all regions and all major religions have made it clear that there is a pervasive denial of equal rights to more than half of all human beings, and this discrimination results in tangible harm to all of us, male and female." A commitment to universal human rights is desperately needed if humanity is to escape the cycle of war, poverty, and oppression. 

    Tell Us What You Are Doing

    The suffering of women and girls can be alleviated when individuals take forceful actions, which can impact larger society, asserts President Carter in "A Call to Action." Political and religious leaders share a special responsibility, but the fact is that all of us can act within our own spheres of influence to meet these challenges.

    Join President Carter's call to action.

    Tell us on our blog how you are working to fight discrimination against and abuse of girls and women in your community, nation, or worldwide.

    In "A Call To Action," President Carter suggests 23 steps that can help blaze the road to progress:

    1. Encourage women and girls, including those not abused, to speak out more forcefully. It is imperative that those who do speak out are protected from retaliation.

    2. Remind political and religious leaders of the abuses and what they can do to alleviate them.

    3. Encourage these same leaders to become supporters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other U.N. agencies that advance human rights and peace.

    4. Encourage religious and political leaders to relegate warfare and violence to a last resort as a solution to terrorism and national security challenges.

    5. Abandon the death penalty and seek to rehabilitate criminals instead of relying on excessive incarceration, especially for nonviolent offenders.

    6. Marshal the efforts of women officeholders and first ladies, and encourage involvement of prominent civilian women in correcting abuses.

    7. Induce individual nations to elevate the end of human trafficking to a top priority, as they did to end slavery in the nineteenth century.

    Click here to read more >

    8. Help remove commanding officers from control over cases of sexual abuse in the military so that professional prosecutors can take action.

    9. Apply title IX protection for women students and evolve laws and procedures in all nations to reduce the plague of sexual abuse on university campuses.

    10. Include women's rights specifically in new U.N. Millennium Development Goals.

    11. Expose and condemn infanticide of baby girls and selective abortion of female fetuses.

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    La iniciativa de Femen se hace pasar por una web que ayuda a “la adopción de los bebés abandonados en contenedores” por la reforma impulsada por el ministro de Justicia

     Enviar por email  Versión imprimir Enregistrer au format PDF Guardar en PDF

    Madrid, 18 marzo. 14. AmecoPress. Bebesdecontenedor.com circula por las redes sociales. La web se presenta como una “startup española que te facilita la adopción de los bebés abandonados tras la reforma del aborto”. De este modo, la organización feminista Femen España planta resistencia a la reforma de la actual normativa que regula la interrupción voluntaria del embarazo en nuestro país que pretende llevar a cabo el gobierno popular. Se apoyan en el humor, la sátira y el desparpajo de mostrar lo evidente.




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    Among the eight Millennium Development Goals were women's empowerment and gender equity. This lecture, marking International Women's Day, focuses on the Latin American region, assessing the progress that has been made, and the obstacles that women still face in achieving greater equality and justice, sexual and reproductive rights and measures to tackle violence against women.

    Maxine Molyneux was born in Pakistan and grew up in India and Latin America. She is Professor of Sociology and Director of the UCL Institute of the Americas where she supervises doctoral students on Latin American development policy, gender and politics, social policy, memory and migration.

    Prior to joining UCL in 2012 she was Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the School of Advanced Study, London University. Until 2011 she also served as the Chair of the Steering Group of the Human Rights Consortium of the School of Advanced Study.


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    “You see the Afghan tradition of having basically boys dance for grown men and they give them money and the guy who gives the most money gets to take the boy home. We are partnering with guys who are basically screwing the neighbors’ kids, 6- and 7-year-olds, and we are supposed to grin and bear it because our cultures don’t mesh?” Rudolph said, his voice rising. “When I really want to fuckin’ strangle those dudes?”

    Stephen Canty during his time in Afghanistan.(Courtesy of Stephen Canty)

    Stephen Canty, now 24, is living in Charlottesville, Va., and trying to make sense of his own wartime experience. He told of manning a vehicle checkpoint one day, when along came a middle-aged man on a moped with two bruised little boys on the back. They had makeup on and their mascara was running because they were crying, and the Marines knew they’d been raped. “So you check ‘em,” Canty said of the men and boys, “and they have no weapons, and by our mission here they’re good to go – they’re OK! And we’re supposed to keep going on missions with these guys.

    “Your morals start to degrade.”


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    750 S.E.2d 868 (2013)

    Nature of the case:

    Child abduction and felonious restraint involving thirteen-year-old female victim.

    Facts and Issues on Appeal:

    The defendant was charged with kidnapping, child abduction, and felonious restraint. The defendant was the victim's neighbor. She occasionally played with the defendant’s dog outside. Even after the victim's family moved a few miles away the following year, the defendant maintained contact with her whenever she visited friends in her old neighborhood. He also gave her his number and regularly spoke with her on the phone. A couple of years later, he convinced the victim to sneak out of her house in the middle of the night to see him, so that he could give her a cell phone. Her parents confiscated it, not knowing whose phone it was, but the defendant still maintained telephone contact with her. When she was thirteen, the victim moved with her family to North Carolina. The defendant sent her inappropriate gifts and asked her to send back nude photos of herself. He also continued to communicate with her by phone, in which he told her that he loved her and wanted to have sex with her. The victim informed the defendant that her brother had sexually assaulted her, and that after moving back home, he tried to enter her locked bedroom. The defendant drove to North Carolina to pick her up and take her back to his home in Florida. Shortly after they arrived, the defendant raped her. He and his mother then lied to the police, claiming that the victim was not there and that they did not know where she was. The jury acquitted the defendant of kidnapping, but convicted him of child abduction and felonious restraint. On appeal, regarding the felonious restraint charge, the defendant argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss. He claimed the evidence was insufficient because he did not use physical force to get the victim into his vehicle or keep her from leaving, and he did not make any threats. The Court of Appeals disagreed, reasoning as follows:

    Ruling & Rationale:

    Felonious restraint can be effectuated by fraud, not just by force or threat. The court highlighted the inappropriate secret relationship the defendant maintained with the young victim – and the defendant's illusion of "rescuing" her from abuse at the hands of her brother – as evidence of fraud. Although the defendant claimed he made his sexual intentions clear to the victim, a reasonable juror could have concluded that this particular victim would not have understood that he intended to force her into a sex act. 

    Editorial Comment

    Although the defendant's convictions were ultimately upheld, this opinion is troubling because of its suggestion that individuals who forcibly kidnap children for the purpose of committing a sexual assault may escape responsibility for their actions by asserting as a defense at trial that there was no force because the child "knew" the adult wanted sex. Prosecutors should be arguing against the evolution of this defense as a doctrine in criminal common law, and urge courts to embrace instead, the policy position that if a thirteen-year-old cannot consent to sex, it strains all reason to permit the same aged child to consent to being kidnapped for the purpose of sex. 

    Submitted By: Ericka McFee -- Law Student


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