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Today we’re following up on a theme we touched on yesterday. We made mention of Women Under Siege, an initiative to draw attention to sexualized violence as a tool of genocide and conflict.
Well, today we have two stories further illustrating the seriousness of this issue.
Firstly, an article by Maria Caspani offers an in-depth look at the operations of gangs sexually assaulting women during the protests in Egypt’s Tahrir Square.
… a mob of 200 or more men forms two lines and advances through the square, in search of one or two isolated women.
Once the “preys” have been singled out, the group surrounds them, locking them inside a three-line human circle.
“The men in the circle immediately surrounding the woman begin to strip the girl, the second circle includes men who claim that they are helping the girl (while) the third circle try to distract the people in the square from what is happening,” Hatem Tallima, an activist and member of the Revolutionary Socialists organisation, told Ahram Online.
As the mob gets bigger and messier, the assailants mingle with men who are genuinely trying to rescue the woman. This is meant to confuse the victim so that she can’t distinguish between who is trying to harm her and who is trying to help her.
Since the Egyptian revolution erupted on Jan 25, 2010, episodes like this have become fairly common during demonstrations and public gatherings in and around Tahrir Square, the most iconic symbol of the uprising, according to Ahram Online.
Moving along, Women Under Siege reports that compared with other areas of Sudan, Darfur suffers from the most systematic rape, due to the ease with which government forces can target women in Darfur’s internally displaced persons camps.
According to Women Under Siege, one reason sexualized violence is used as a weapon of war is for ethic cleansing:
Women Under Sage also reports:
“Oil revenues account for a majority of Sudanese government income, and therefore are instrumental in financing genocide,” according to a 2006 report from Yale University.
Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic has said he believes priests should be able to marry if they wish to do so, according to the BBC.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien claims he’s going into the process of choosing a new pope with an open mind.
“It wouldn’t matter to me whether he was black or yellow or brown or white as long as he was the best man,” O’Brien said.
This promise of open-mindedness comes from the cardinal who made inflammatory remarks against homosexuals as Britain inched closer to same-sex marriage.
Tomorrow marks a thousand days of of imprisonment without trial for PFC Bradley Manning, who allegedly released classified information to WikiLeaks.
According to Bradley Manning dot org:
In response to this historic abuse, supporters around the country and around the world are planning demonstrations, rallies, and marches on February 23. From California, to Florida, to Italy, to Germany, supporters of PFC Manning will make their protests known.
Here are a few of the events:
The Washington Post reports that more than 25 percent of teenagers who dated said their love interests threatened or harassed them online or using texts, according to a recent study.
Donna St. George writes:
Teenagers reported that their social networking accounts were hacked without permission, that they were texted about unwanted sex and that they were pressured to send sexual or naked photos of themselves.
In the study, published online Wednesday in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, researchers concluded that digital technology was not the cause of abuse by teens in a relationship, but it provided a 24/7 platform for abuse, often outside the view of adults.
“The technology opens up a wide avenue for someone who wants to be abusive toward their partner,” said Janine Zweig, lead author and researcher at the Urban Institute. “It’s another tool abusers can use to be relentless.”
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