Jun. 15th, 2011

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Violence against Women surges when war is done


Rosemary Gonzalez was murdered in 2009, the victim of a war that ended in 1996. One day, 17-year-old Rosemary said good-bye to her mother Betty, walked out of their small house on the outskirts of Guatemala City and was never seen alive again.
Rosemary and Betty lived together in the poor neighborhood of Barcenas, under the constant shadow of violence. Across Guatemala, nearly 5,000 women have been killed in the past decade, attacked for the simple fact of being women. The women of Barcenas know well this fear—they live at the epicenter of this crisis.

In Guatemala, generations of women have faced murderous violence, but at its core is war. Now, the same dynamic is emerging in Iraq.
Some description of rape and murder and torture under the cut. )
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PAKISTAN: Women Shield Children From Extremism


VIENNA, Jun 13, 2011 (IPS) - When Farah’s 16-year-old son began to disappear for several nights a week without saying where he went, she was naturally worried. After he returned one day and shattered the television screen in their Peshawar home, the mother of three decided it was time to quit her job as a teacher and to find out what was making her youngest child so angry.

To her horror, the schoolteacher - who requested that her real name not be published - discovered that her son was spending time in the company of people belonging to terrorist groups in Pakistan’s Swat Valley where Farah’s family originally comes from. The boy’s newly found friends were teaching him that it is a sin for his mother to leave home to work everyday and for his sister, a medical student, to talk to friends on the phone.

The teenager, whose name is also withheld for security reasons, was made to believe that it is a sin for good Muslims to watch television as it can distort their way of life and religion. He was being groomed to protect Islam - even if it meant with his life.

"This happened two years ago and I still don’t have the entire story from him," Farah told IPS. Farah was here along with six other mothers from Egypt, Yemen, Nigeria, Israel and Palestine to participate in Mothers MOVE (Mothers Oppose Violent Extremism), a panel presentation hosted by the Vienna-based Women Without Borders (WWB).

"Farah is a perfect example of how educated mothers can act as an early-warning signal to stop radicalisation in its tracks," Edit Schlaffer, founder and head of WWB told IPS.

Farah agrees that more women must be educated to ensure that they are able to creatively guide their children away from dangerous influences. At present the literacy rate of women in Pakistan is 45 percent, in comparison to 69 percent amongst the male population of the country.

Farah appeared at the open house panel presentation in a veil that revealed little else but her eyes, and she told the audience that she would not reveal her real name as she does not want to attract the attention of those she has successfully stopped from brainwashing her son.

What is common amongst Farah and the other women who also shared their experiences with terrorism is the conviction that the personal is political, and that peace starts at home.

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PERU: Humala Pledges Justice for Sterilisation Victims


LIMA, Jun 10, 2011 (IPS) - Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala will push the legal system to investigate and prosecute those responsible for a massive forced sterilisation campaign targeting poor indigenous women carried out by the government of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), said the spokeswoman for Humala's party, Aída García Naranjo.

"Humala will live up to the Peruvian state's commitment to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to prevent impunity in the case of victims of female and male sterilisations, which we consider a crime against humanity," García Naranjo told IPS.

"Democracy is not possible in a country where an absence of justice and a sense of collective amnesia are promoted," said the representative of the Gana Perú party.

Under a friendly settlement agreement reached in 2003 with the IACHR, the Peruvian state acknowledged its responsibility, recognised the abuses committed under the family planning programme, and undertook to investigate and bring to trial the government officials who devised and implemented the campaign that carried out tubal ligations and vasectomies among mainly impoverished native rural highlands populations.

In 2010, however, the representative of the Peruvian government announced to the Washington-based IACHR that the attorney general's office had shelved the case. MORE
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Kucinich files suit over U.S. involvement in Libya

Antiwar Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) filed suit in federal court Wednesday seeking to halt the U.S. military action in Libya, saying it is unconstitutional.

Kucinich and Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, another longtime war critic, led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the latest challenge to the White House's authority to conduct the campaign without seeking congressional approval under the War Powers Act.MORE



White House sees no need for congressional approval on Libya


Calling the U.S. military operation in Libya "limited," the White House says that congressional authorization is not required to continue involvement in the coalition effort there.

That determination was explained in a 30-page memo sent to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, just shy of the 90th day of the engagement of U.S. assets in the Libya campaign.

Lawmakers have become increasingly uneasy over the administration's interactions with Congress about the scope and duration of U.S. involvement in the NATO-led mission.MORE


Truth dispatch: Updates from Libya

Read more... )




In Libya's Gasoline Shortage, Women Get A Break

Read more... )


Libyan rebels wrest western mountain villages

Read more... )

African Leaders Demand Halt to NATO Bombing Campaign in Libya

Read more... )

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