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Gender & Human Rights

You Are Here — Dimming the Red Lights in Turkey: Sex work has long been legal in Turkey, but the Islamist AKP government is taking steps to slowly and stealthily wipe it out.  A report from one of Istanbul’s last remaining brothels.  New York Times Magazine, August 2011.

Firebrand lawmaker fights for the rights of the disabled: Newly-elected opposition MP Safak Pavey is kicking heinie on disabled rights, starting the night of the elections, when she called out an AKP opponent’s empty rhetoric on national television. LA Times Middle East blog, June 2011.

Why Turkey is Backsliding on Women’s Rights: The ruling Justice and Development Party’s policies on women’s rights look great on paper, but feminists are disappointed at the lack of implementation, and horrified at Prime Minister Erdogan’s patriarchal rhetoric.

Turkey’s Many Disabled, Long Shunned by Society, Play New Role in Politics: Turkey’s 8.5 million disabled citizens have long been ignored by politicians and shunned by society.  In this year’s general elections, political parties running disabled candidates tried to appeal to this long-neglected sector of the population., June 2011

Is Rape Inevitable in War?: When the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced he was investigating mass rape by Libyan forces, one had to wonder: does conflict necessarily give rise to mass rape?  Several researchers have found predictors that go beyond the usual explanations., May 2011

Prominent During Revolution, Egyptian Women Vanish in New Order: How did the Egyptian Revolution go from equality-fest to sausagefest? I asked a dozen activists, analysts and women’s rights advocates who were in Tahrir Square to explain how the physical and political space once claimed by women disappeared so rapidly., April 2011

The Mainstream Media: Still Not Embracing Women: Reporting for Ms. magazine from the 2011 National Conference on Media Reform in Boston, where panels on media policy, reality TV and the oversexualization of young girls illuminated how hostile the mainstream media still is towards women. Ms. blog, April 2011

The Berlusconi in Us All: Bunga Bunga’s Real Meaning: You’ve heard the term, but do you really know what it means? A nosedive into the racism, sexism and corruption embodied by Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga” party lifestyle. Published in, April 2011

An Interview with Nawal El Saadawi: The great Egyptian feminist, prolific novelist and playwright, and all-around ass-kicking 80-year-old spoke with me about gender relations in Egypt, how the media covered the protests, and how to get authoritarian assclowns to stop being so assclown-y (answer: it’s hard.)  Published in The Nation, March 2011.

The Squirmy Ethics of Breast Milk Ice Cream:  Most of the reaction to a London shop’s peddling of “Baby Gaga,” an ice cream flavor made with human milk, focused on whether it’s weird to drink cow dairy as opposed to human dairy.  I look at the way a growing market for human milk — for frozen confections, or fetishists — opens up similar questions that linger around issues like sex work, surrogacy and organ donation., March 2010

Biodiversity Projects Start to Benefit Rural Women: An integrated development approach called Population, Health and Environment (“PHE”) brings family planning to women in remote areas. Women’s eNews, Dec. 2010

Griswold’s Journalism Started with Honor Killings: Profile of reporter Eliza Griswold, author of “The Tenth Parallel,” Women’s eNews, Sept. 2010

Minoui Reveals Sage of Yemen Divorce at Age 10: Profile of Delphine Minoui, Middle East Correspondent for Le Figaro and author of a book on Nujood Ali, the Yemeni child bride who demanded a divorce, Women’s eNews, July 2010

Embattled Gender Analyst Leaves Post at Amnesty: Leading women’s rights activist Gita Sahgal leaves a senior post at Amnesty International over its collaboration with terrorism suspect Moazzem Begg, Women’s eNews, April 2010

CO2 Releases Wary Talk of Population, Gender: Can the climate change discussion discuss demography without raising the ghosts of coercive population control mechanisms from the 1950s and 1960s? Women’s eNews, March 2010

Chakarova’s “Price of Sex” Reveals Sex Marketplace: Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova went undercover as a trafficked woman to document the experience of trafficked women from Eastern Europe. Women’s eNews, August 2009

Lebanon Snubs Women’s Nationality Campaign: The Lebanese government breaks promises to grant women equal citizenship rights, particularly the right to pass Lebanese citizenship on to their children, Women’s eNews, June 2009

No magic wand for Lebanon’s migrants: Arabic-language children’s books about the countries from which Lebanon’s domestic workers hail are not enough to combat rampant abuse, from the Guardian’s Comment is Free, May 2009

Onal Found Remorse Among Turkish “Honor” Killers: Men who’ve killed their family members expose the myth of “honor” killings, telling journalist Ayse Onal that their act has taken two lives: their victims’ and their own.  Women’s eNews, May 2009

Ayse Onal Shines Light on Turkish “Honor” Killings: Turkish investigative journalist Ayse Onal looks at the issue of honor killings – from the point of view of the killers. Women’s eNews, May 2009

Pro-Choice Activists Rally as U.K. Mulls Rollbacks: At the Global Safe Abortion Conference in London, activists from Latin American countries discussed legal strategies for pro-choice wins, while the British Parliament discussed new restrictions on abortion.

British Women Decry Growing Tolerance of Rape: Rape conviction rates in the UK are at an abysmal 6%; women speak out at a mock trial, which found the Crown Prosecution Service “guilty” for failing women. Women’s eNews, Oct. 2008

Cairo Could Be Wrong City to Report Sex Assault: Sexual harassment and assault are on the rise in Cairo, but the government is loathe to acknowledge it. Women’s eNews, May 2007

Yemeni Activists Couple Contraception With Islam: Does Islam support reproductive rights?  That’s how Yemeni activists are spinning it, and it’s working — Yemen’s notoriously high birthrates are falling.  Women’s eNews, March 2007

In Rio Rush Hour, Women Relax in Single-Sex Trains: Do single-sex trains keep women safe from harassment?  Rio decides to take the plunge. Women’s eNews, May 2006

Me Too! Me Too! All Girls in NYC Once had BDD: A first-person piece on the dismaying ubiquity of body dysmorphia disorder in New York City.


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