Women
Honduras: When Engagement Becomes Complicity

Honduras: When Engagement Becomes Complicity

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Honduras on March 6 with a double mission: to quell talk of drug legalization and reinforce the U.S.-sponsored drug war in Central America, and to bolster the presidency of Porfirio Lobo.

The Honduran government issued a statement that during the one-hour closed-door conversation between Biden and Lobo, the vice president “reiterated the U.S. commitment to intensify aid to the government and people of Honduras, and exalted the efforts undertaken and implemented over the past two years by President Lobo.”

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The Drug War’s Invisible Victims

The Drug War’s Invisible Victims

There are many kinds of war. The classic image of a uniformed soldier kissing mom good-bye to risk his life on the battlefield has changed dramatically. In today’s wars, it’s more likely that mom will be the one killed.

UNIFEM states that by the mid-1990s, 90% of war casualties were civilians– mostly women and children.

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The Nobel Prize and The African Woman

Three women are sharing the 2011 Nobel Prize for Peace. One is Yemeni human rights leader Tawakul Karman. The other two are African: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia’s current president and Africa’s only female democratically elected head of state, and her countrywoman Leymah Gbowee who is a peace activist and spellbinding challenger of the ultra-male, brutality-wielding world of warlords. 

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Wambui Otieno’s Mau Mau

Although she was never elected to parliament, Wambui is one of the few ex-Mau Mau who rose to public prominence in post-independence Kenya. As a young, Christian Kikuyu girl, Wambui, who was distantly related to Jomo Kenyatta, joined the Mau Mau at the start of the Emergency in 1953 as a scout and urban guerrilla, moving through the ranks until she had taken all 15 warrior oaths. In many instances she reported directly to the movement’s War Council. After the Mau Mau effectively lost the war in 1956, Wambui became a member of the resurgent trade union movement and worked closely with Tom Mboya and other trade unionists, becoming notorious for her activism against the colonial government.

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Women’s Exclusion Worsens Somali Crises

Women’s Exclusion Worsens Somali Crises

On July 22, 2011 the newly appointed Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, a Harvard-trained professor of economics, announced his 49-member cabinet. There are only two women in it: one minister and one vice minister. Yet, Somali women and children are the primary victims of ongoing conflict and deepening drought and famine in Somalia. According to UNICEF, a child dies every six minutes in the areas hard hit by drought in the Horn of Africa. In addition, all international studies show that women and children are the most vulnerable groups in societies under stress.

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Saudi Women Get Behind the Wheel

Saudi Women Get Behind the Wheel

Women in Saudi Arabia have long withstood extraordinary oppression – including male guardianship laws, prohibition of driving, and the lack of educational, economic, and political access – which they are working to dismantle. Earlier this year, social networking platforms served as a launch pad for the Saudi Women Revolution, which laid out a number of requests for increased freedom and rights – the right to drive among them.

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Ending South Korea’s Child Export Shame

Ending South Korea’s Child Export Shame

South Korea is on the verge of changing its reputation as the world’s leading baby exporter to a world leader in grassroots adoption reform. The first-ever birth mother, unwed mother, and adoptee co-authored bill is moving toward a National Assembly vote with government sponsorship.

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Domestic Workers at the ILO

Domestic Workers at the ILO

I’m on my way home from a week of discussion and debate about the “Decent Work for Domestic Workers” convention at the International Labor Conference in Geneva. This is the first international convention on domestic work. Getting here has been a long road, more than 10 years in the making.  But we are now in the final hours of the journey to gain recognition in the international arena for domestic workers. 

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