This Week in Women’s Rights 2017–10–22

Image Credit: Wikipedia.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Original Publication in Humanist Voices.

“As allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein re-ignite discussions about sexual violence, the global advisor of the United Nation’s Global Safe Cities Initiative says Winnipeg is taking the right steps to help curb sexual violence.

Winnipeg became the first Canadian city to sign onto the UN’s initiative to reduce sexual violence against women and girls in 2013, and the program’s global advisor, Laura Capobianco, was in the city this week as part of the UN Women Safe Cities Initiative.

She told CBC News she’s been impressed by the efforts Winnipeg has undertaken since joining the initiative, which has since been adopted by 27 cities around the world.”

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/sexual-violence-united-nations-winnipeg-1.4366218.

“Every so often in the United States, a scandal erupts to temporarily demolish the country’s marketed image as a pioneer in gender equality and related rights.

The name of the current scandal is, of course, Harvey Weinstein — the millionaire Hollywood film mogul accused of sexual assault by an ever-expanding number of women, as his decades-long impunity appears to be coming to an end.

Weinstein, however, is merely the tip of the iceberg. In a recent New Yorker piece titled All the Other Harvey Weinsteins, actress Molly Ringwald writes about her own history as a victim of sexual harassment in the film industry, noting, “I never talked about these things publicly because, as a woman, it has always felt like I may as well have been talking about the weather.””

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/face-epidemic-sexual-harassment-171020091640079.html.

KOBANE, Syria — The battle to take Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the Islamic state (IS) group, is almost over. But one of the main challenges that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) face after IS is not only the huge destruction but also how to expand their model of women’s rights to conservative tribal areas in northern Syria and ban people from marrying more than one wife.

Since the war broke out in 2011, there has been an increase in the rates of child marriage and polygamy, both in the country and among the refugee population. The amount of marriages registered as polygamous in Damascus has risen from five percent in 2010 to 30 percent in 2015.

The opposite has been true in areas controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria, and a drive for equal rights for women has seen the practices largely abandoned.”

Source: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/kurdish-fight-women-rights-faces-challenges-syria-1018812004.

“100 Women: The male movie star campaigning for women’s rights

Farhan Akhtar is not only massive in the movie world, he’s also the founder of a movement to get men to support women’s rights.

He talks to Asian Network’s Haroon Rashid about why men need to take responsibility for their actions and raise their children to respect women.”

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-41673358/100-women-the-male-movie-star-campaigning-for-women-s-rights.

“The inaugural Animation is Film Festival supplied a family night of fun and culture on Friday at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatre in Hollywood.

Among the guests to arrive at the opening night and U.S. premiere of “The Breadwinner” was producer Angelina Jolie, with children Shiloh and Zahara in tow. Before the screening of the fest’s first premiere, Jolie-Pitt introduced the film she described to be “so exquisitely done and very important.”

The animated film is based on Deborah Ellis’ children’s novel of the same name, which follows a young girl in Afghanistan who disguises herself as a boy to provide for her family.

“There are few countries in the world where it is harder to be a young girl, where barriers between girls and their dreams and their rights are so high and so painful to experience and observe,” Jolie said, adding that the story was also able to highlight Afghanistan’s “deep humility, rich culture and a resilient warm people.””

Source: http://variety.com/2017/scene/news/angelina-jolie-the-breadwinner-animation-is-film-festival-1202595769/.

“Laura Boldrini, president of Italy’s Chambre of Deputies, breezed into her boutique hotel in Old Montreal on Saturday followed by an entourage of elegantly dressed Italian diplomats and assistants.

She wore her newly acquired “Je parle féministe” sweatshirt.

“I didn’t know there would be a photographer,” she said, slightly embarrassed. “I could get you other photos of me, if you like.”

But the sweatshirt was a signpost for the conversation that would follow with Boldrini — a journalist turned refugee advocate turned politician — taking on fake news and Facebook, Harvey Weinstein and the (continuing) fight for women’s rights.

“Fake news is like drops of poison that we drink every day with water and in the end we get sick and we don’t even realize it,” Boldrini began. “It pollutes public debate and it’s dangerous to democracy.””

Source: http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/italys-laura-boldrini-on-scourge-of-fake-news-womens-rights-and-facebook.

“Faculty at Okanagan College in Kelowna are speaking out on behalf of students after a recent anti-abortion protest on campus left some students feeling harassed, threatened and unsafe.

On October 11 and 12, an anti-abortion group called Expose the Reality demonstrated in a high-traffic area of the Okanagan College Kelowna campus carrying large, graphic signs showing aborted fetuses.

“Many of our students experienced [the signs] as very traumatizing. They experienced those signs as harassing,” said Sasha Johnston, an English professor at Okanagan College and the status of women representative for the faculty association.”

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/anti-abortion-protest-okanagan-college-harassment-1.4362653?platform=hootsuite.

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