This link gives a detailed description about the rhetoric surrounding the banning of the veil in France from the perspective of a female protester and a French Imam. The female protester believes that women should have the right to express their personal identity in what they wear; whereas, the Imam protests that the veil is not a part of Islam and that individuals should not wear a veil since it is not written in the Quran. The Imam views the veil as being oppressive to women and as representing Al-Qaeda.
Aljazeera has created a special series about maternal health in the world. The website has videos with detailed stories about maternal health issues around the world. It has detailed facts about the social problem. The social facts state that maternal morality is the greatest health disparity in the world. 99% of maternal morality happens in the developing world. Pregnancy is the biggest killer of women age 15 to 19 in the developing world. Girls under 15 years old are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their twenties. A girl in Chad has the same percentage chance of dying in childbirth as they do of going to secondary school.
CNN has created a projected called ending modern-day slavery. On the website for ending modern-day slavery there is detailed information about the problems. The websites says that there are between 10 to 30 million slaves in the world now. There are updates about news related to slavery, such as an interview with an India official who claims that bonded labor in India is not slave labor. There are stories about how slaves have become free, and how they have become leaders in their villages. There are solutions given on how individuals can become involved in the social problem. One solution involves avoiding buying products that could have been made by slaves, and the information about what products could have been made by slaves is given at ProductsofSlavery.org.
With the transition from extended families to nuclear families, elderly women have lost their support from their children. Money, contraception, and education has changed the institution of the family. Elderly women are showing up are orphanages that were traditionally for children. Now, the orphanages are becoming packed with elderly women without family members to help them. The government has not done anything to correct the social problems that are been created from the transition of the extended family to the nuclear family. Private donations have been keeping the orphanages operating. The elderly women constantly talk about the change in values of the culture that has lead to them having to live in the orphanages.
During the Sydney gay and lesbian Mardi Gras, the majority of the floats protested with signs demanding for same sex marriages to be legalized. Religious leaders have been against same sex marriages because marriage is a sacred union between a male and a female in the Bible. Politics in Australia are traditionally conservative, so there is not a lot of support for same sex marriages. The people who are for same sex marriage are saying that the existing law that makes same sex marriages illegal paints homosexuals are being inferior to heterosexuals.
Even though men and women equally participated in the revolution of overthrowing Mubarak, women are not being represented in the transitional process. No women are on the constitutional drafting team, and there are not any women assigned as cabinet ministers. This is very important because this will lead to having the interests of women ignored in laws the male officials are creating. The UN is putting pressure on Egypt to allow women to have a voice in the creation of the new government, and in pushing for women to run for political offices. The women of Egypt know that this moment in history could transform the rights women have if their voices are heard.
Girls who leave their families are being promised a paying job as a domestic worker or as a babysitter, but they end up being used as cybersex chat girls in the Philippines. The Philippines is an established sex trade country, because of high levels of poverty and because the population can generally speak basic English. In the Philippines, internet sex is such as pornography is illegal, but the National Bureau of Investigation has a hard time enforcing the law. First, the places where girls are living in and talking on the cybersex chat rooms are hard to find. Second, informants are the best way to find where the girls are being kept, but usually the informants are girls who have escaped. The girls who work in the cybersex industry are underage, which in the Philippines is 18 years old. Law enforcement officials say that the population does not understand how much sex trade is hurting their country, and they say that the laws on enforcing illegal acts are out date so much that it makes it hard to fight against the industry.
Girls who desire to finish their schooling usually have to live far away from their villages and families in cheap huts called ghettos. The ghettos are buildings without electricity, water, and security for the girls living in them. This has made the girls a prime target for men who want to rape them. It is believed that the 20% drop out rates of girls between 13 and 17 years old is mainly caused by pregnancies from being raped. Usually the ghettos are too far from authorities to stop men from raping the girls, and when girls scream for help no one comes to help them. The girls in the ghettos live in fear that makes it hard for them to sleep and study for their classes. Aid Organizations are working to build dormitories, but there is an understanding that the culture needs to be changed in order to protect women from rape. In one case two men were caught for raping girls in the ghetto, but they were never convicted.
This link is a group interview from three professors with one from Egypt, London, and North Carolina. They talk about the issues facing women in the Middle East. They describe that the western media have portrayed Middle East women as passive and oppressed, but during the revolutions in the Middle East women have been at the center of the movements. They talk about how the western media has relied on non-Middle Eastern journalist to give their perspective about the revolutions.
The professors talk about how the group in Egypt that are writing the new constitution does not include any women, and they say that that could undermined the rights of women or other groups who are not represented. They think that after the revolution in Middle Eastern countries are over that some groups of people will still not have the equal rights they wanted because they are were not represented in the groups who are creating the new governments.
There are an estimated 2 million widows in Afghanistan because of war that ends up killing their husbands. Women are also widowed because of low life expectancy and early marriage that leave women widowed in their 20s and 30s. When women in Afghanistan who become widows do not come out into public spaces, so a unit of military women has formed in order to help widows start businesses and get jobs. The female military unit has formed because the Afghan widows cannot talk to the male military soldiers. Communities have been suspicions of the motives of the female military units, but there have been some success; for example, a woman named Saragama is being trained to become a police officer that will give her more money than working as a cleaner. The military is hoping that by empowering women that Afghanistan will become a more stable country.