Monthly Archives: February 2012

Short Documentary on Pakistani Women Disfigured by Violence Wins Oscar

Pakistani director, Shameen Obaid Chinoy, won Pakistan’s first oscar for the short documentary, Saving Face, about Pakistani women disfigured by violence and their fight for justice. The film features women victims of acid attacks, burnings, and other violence and the efforts of many to make such acts crimes punishable by life in prison. It also features the inspiring work of a Pakistani plastic surgeon who found new ways to rehabilitate the victims. This is a well deserved award for a courageous director and the women who were willing to share their stores. The link below highlights the film. I hope everyone can see it.

The Women’s Foundation of Nepal

When I was doing research for our papers, I also came across an interesting fact about women in Nepal; many people in this area have not adopted modern beliefs and still hold on to their superstitious ideals, which prevent women from moving up in status.  Instead, women’s primary function is reproduction and the care of children in the household.  Very few people who disagree speak up.

From this I decided to research other issues occurring for women in the area of Nepal and came across The Women’s Foundation of Nepal and was particularly intrigued when I saw a section entitled Witch Hunting.  Although they do not go into great depth, the term “bokshi” or witch, refers to widows and they are subjected in inhumane treatments.

The Women’s Foundation of Nepal

Reading suggestion by classmate

After reading the “fictional” perspective of Jewish famly during early years of Iranian Revolution, here is an account of Baha’i persecution (Septembers of Shiraz):

Olya’s Story (1993)

By Olya Roohizadegan

Olya's StoryOlya is a Baha’i woman from Shiraz, Iran who was sent to prison at the beginning of Iranian revolution in 1979 solely because she is a practicing Baha’i. After miraculously being released from prison, Olya wrote this autobiography in order to fulfill a promise she made to herself and to nine young women who had been killed. This book tells a true story of events; its heroes and heroines were ordinary people living ordinary lives until the course of events brought them face-to-face with choices that few of us are ever asked to make. The choices they made changed the course of their lives and, consequently, the lives of countless others who have heard their stories.


15-year-old Wisconsin girl found starved and sexually abused in basement

This article I found on just goes to show you how harsh and horrible people can be, even here in the United States. A 15-year-old girl was found starved and sexually abused by her own father, step-mother, and step-brother. If that isn’t one of the worst acts of cruelty, I don’t know what is. If you want to learn more, here it the article link:

Mexican Woman Resorts to YouTube When Police Refuse to Help with Sexual Harassment

Nancy Rojas Pastelin is a 28-year old fashion designer living in Mexico City. She attempted to seek help from police when a man who had been harassing her verbally became more aggressive and began to stalk her. The police accused her of exaggerating about the man’s “flirtatious” behavior and said that they could do nothing unless the man grabbed or raped her. Outraged by the lack of police response, Pastelin decided to tell her story on YouTube. She posted a video titled, “Where is the Law for us Women?” that was linked to her Twitter account and viewed by more than 300,000 people. The video also got the attention of news media outlets and women’s groups in Mexico and the pressure eventually led police to pursue the harasser. Pastelin has now removed the video as her legal case goes forward. She says the results were mixed. She received many supportive comments and it did help get her case attention from the police but it also opened her up to abusive comments and the misuse of her photos and comments. Her utlimate question: why do women have to go to such lengths to be taken seriously when harassed?

Education: Freedom or Oppression? (Villachuato, Mexico)

While looking for articles to help me validate beliefs I had on increasing literacy for females and the benefits linked with literacy I stumbled across an article by Susan V. Myers entitled ” ‘ They didn’t tell me anything’: women literacies and resistance in rural Mexico.”  The approach taken to gather data for this article was a Reflexive Critical Ethnography, which included personal interviews and participant observation.  It encompasses the struggles women in the area of Villachuato, as well as one case study from the United States, have to overcome in order to reach a higher level of autonomy and increased social status.

Women literacy in Rural Mexico (The link should work, but if not just go to go to database and select social science: sociology and select “SociIndex with full text” and type in Susan V. Meyers, its the first article that pops up.  It is lengthy but the important sections are the case studies that appear on p. 862-868)

Also as far as modern education efforts go in the urban areas here’s a video that provides the whole view and affect on boys and girls: Improving Education in Mexico


United Nation’s Women’s Treaty

This treaty is meant to eliminate the discrimination against women, based on their sex world wide. It would require all governments to take several measures in order to ensure women’s civil rights. The issue with this Treaty, is that not every country agrees with it’s views. Many feel that this would work against the law of religion and would harm their traditional way of life. Already, 44 countries have said they will not implement certain provisions of the treaty on political, constitutional, cultural or religious grounds.

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