Watch this powerful video --
"BUCHANAN, Liberia — Imagine an elementary school where students show up, but teachers don’t. Where 100 students squeeze into a classroom but don’t get any books. Where teachers are sometimes illiterate and periodically abuse students. Where families pay under the table to get a “free” education, yet students don’t learn to read.
That’s public education in many poor countries.
And it’s why the hostility of American teachers unions and some of their progressive supporters to trials of private management of public schools abroad is so misconceived. This country, Liberia, is leading an important experiment in helping kids learn in poor countries — and it’s undermined by misguided Americans, including some of my fellow liberals.
“The status quo has failed,” George Werner, Liberia’s education minister, told me. “Teachers don’t show up, even though they’re paid by the government. There are no books. Training is very weak. School infrastructure is not safe.
“We have to do something radical,” he added."
Read article by Nicholas Kristof from The New York Times.
"The number of new mothers who die from birth-related complications is on the rise in the United States. The rate is now higher than any other major industrialised country. Experts say that this is related to lack of free and low-cost healthcare, and the issue is especially worse for African-American women."
View John Hendren's report from Al Jazeera.
"In May 2011, I drove a car in the city of Khobar, Saudi Arabia, to protest the kingdom’s ban on women driving. As a result, I was arrested, taken from my home in the dark of night and jailed for nine days, during which time I was interrogated, strip-searched and accused of being a traitor and a spy. I was released only after my father begged King Abdullah, the ruler at the time, to pardon me.
Many people in my country shunned me afterward. Clergymen called for me to be whipped, stoned, even killed. Within a year, I was forced to leave my job. Then, fearing for my safety, I left the country where I had been born and grew up, and where I had begun to raise a family of my own.
Women before and after me have also been arrested, lost their jobs and been jailed for the simple act of getting behind the wheel of a car.
We protested the ban on driving by women because its effects went far beyond cars and roads. The prohibition meant that we were unable to take our children to school; we could not drive loved ones to a doctor or hospital; we could not commute to a job or go to the grocery store on our own. The ban meant the loss of the most basic form of dignity and control over our lives.
This is why for the women of Saudi Arabia, Sept. 26, 2017, the day the monarchy announced that it plans to overturn the driving ban, will be remembered as our Emancipation Day."
Read article by Manal Al-Sharif from The New York Times.
"'Let the black women lead,' organizers shouted as hundreds of demonstrators marched up Pennsylvania Avenue. 'If you are not a black woman, you should not be at the front.'
As two marches converged in the District on Saturday, protesters streaming past the Capitol toward the Justice Department sought to highlight racial injustices and the disadvantages faced by black women in particular. The March for Racial Justice and the March for Black Women held independent rallies in the morning, then met in the Capitol Hill neighborhood to march together, eventually ending on the Mall.
Farah Tanis, one of the organizers of the March for Black Women, said the timing of the simultaneous events was intentional — she heard about the March for Racial Justice and wanted to host a separate march to focus on struggles black women face. Tanis, who came to the District from Brooklyn, said she appreciated the recognition black women were given on Saturday.
'That didn’t happen in the civil rights movement, or in the women’s rights movement,' Tanis said as she marched, a quartet of drums playing in the background. 'It shows we are going in the right direction.'"
Read article by Rachel Chason from The Washington Post.
"ORAN, Algeria — Who is still waging revolution in the Arab world? Not the Islamists, who have trapped themselves in violence or extremism. Not the left-wing elites, now aging, disarmed and discredited after the debacle of their nationalist movements. Not the young bloggers who were at the forefront of various uprisings of the Arab Spring: They are held back, sometimes frozen, by intimidation or censorship (throughout the region), police surveillance (in Algeria, Morocco and Saudi Arabia), prison (in Egypt) or death (in Syria).
The only person who seems exempt from this harsh assessment is an elderly North African, a lawyer by training and a former militant in the anticolonialist movement: Béji Caïd Essebsi, the president of Tunisia. The good Arab revolutionary of the moment is a 90-year-old head of state.
If this statement sounds surprising, it’s because people in the West have yet to take the true measure of this man’s political finesse, including his ability to slowly consolidate a difficult consensus between democrats and Islamists. Tunisia admittedly is experiencing some problems, especially economic ones, as well as an intense controversy about a law — supported by Mr. Essebsi — that grants amnesty to former officials accused of corruption. But the president of Tunisia has also become the leading figure of reformism in the Arab world by advocating equal inheritance rights for Muslim women and their right to marry non-Muslim foreigners."
Read article by Kamel Daoud from The New York Times.
"Genetic testing to find out the sex of an unborn baby is illegal in Montenegro, but it is not unusual in a society that values boys over girls - and for clinics, it’s a profitable business.
'If it had been a girl, I don’t know what I would have done,' says Amela as she recalls waiting to find out the sex of her unborn baby.
Ten years ago, Amela, who is now a 43-year-old mother of three in Bijelo Polje, in northern Montenegro, was hoping for her first son.
Keen to know if she really was carrying a boy and not another girl, Amela took the road that many women from Montenegro follow.
In the first weeks of her pregnancy, she went to the Serbian capital Belgrade to take a genetic test at a private clinic to determine the baby’s sex.
'Luckily, it was a son. I wanted a son to please my husband,' she says.
Giving birth to a son to avoid criticism and even condemnation from both family and society is an obligation that many women in Montenegro have faced for centuries.
Read article by Svetlana Slavujevic from BalkanInsight.
Japan's reluctance to fully take responsibility for human rights crimes against Korean "comfort women" -- 70 years after the fact -- is disturbing. Clearly, Japan's (male) leaders continue to place honor ahead of justice . Paradoxically, by objecting to the statues, they throw these crimes back into the headlines and shine a brighter light on them.
Read article by Eric Johnston from The Japan Times.
"Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday that it would allow women to drive, ending a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the oppression of women in the ultraconservative kingdom.
The change, which will take effect in June 2018, was announced in a royal decree read live on state television and in a simultaneous media event in Washington. The decision highlights the damage that the ban on women driving has done to the kingdom’s international reputation and its hopes for a public relations benefit from the reform.
Saudi leaders also hope the new policy will help the economy by increasing women’s participation in the workplace. Many working Saudi women spend much of their salaries on drivers or must be driven to work by male relatives."
Read article by Ben Hubbard from The New York Times.
"After the killing of Qandeel Baloch last summer, Nighat Dad reached breaking point.
Visiting colleges and universities across Pakistan, Dad had been building quite a reputation for herself and her work. She was spreading the word about the Digital Rights Foundation she established in 2012 to help Pakistani women deal with the new phenomenon of online harassment.
But when Baloch, a famous social media celebrity, was murdered by her brother, there was a spike in the number of young women in Pakistan who said they felt increasingly unsafe online and wanted to do something about it. More and more women began seeking out Dad to relate terrible stories of online harassment, revenge porn and men doctoring photographs of women in order to extort money from them. She felt herself struggling under the weight of responsibility.
“I reached my limit, where I was like, ‘I don’t think that I can deal with this,’” she says. “It was impacting on my emotional health. The guilt I felt that if I’m not going to respond to this call or the message which I’m getting in the middle of the night, maybe this person will lose their life or maybe there is a fear of violence.”
Recognising there was an urgent need, Dad expanded her operations and launched Pakistan’s first cyber harassment helpline. Now, Dad and her team of 12 – including a counsellor – field up to 20 calls a day."
Read article by Halima Ali from The Guardian.
Gendercide Awareness Project is a nonprofit dedicated to increasing awareness of the problem of gendercide, the elimination of females.