Female Eco-Activists Live in ‘Constant State of Fear’ in Latin America

“In 2015, after receiving anonymous death threats and requesting police protection, community leader Maria das Dores Priante was kidnapped, tortured and executed with multiple shots to the face after being involved in land disputes in Brazil. Earlier this year, two men were charged with her murder. In 2016, Peruvian farmer Maxima Acuna and her husband…

France’s Prostitution Ban: One Step Forward or Two Steps Back?

The French have a long history with prostitution. From Madame du Barry to the paintings of Degas and Picasso, prostitution has been celebrated as an inherent, and even glamorous, part of French culture. But in 2016, the reality of the practice is starkly different. Now, the majority of prostitutes are trafficked, often immigrants fleeing political or economic…

A Preventable Tragedy

Obstetric fistula is a complicated term for a simple, devastating condition. Caused by prolonged labor or difficult births, obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and the rectum. When a baby’s head is pushed against the walls of the bladder or vagina during labor, it cuts off the blood supply to the area. In…

Know Your Enemy

In the continuous struggle against gender based oppression, the media likes to present a black and white version of a story. It is far simpler, not to mention more comforting, when we can label good and evil and pit set heroes against set villains. Yet reality is far more complicated than the two warring camps of the enlightened…

Making Monsters

Silvio Berlusconi’s trial plays like a melodramatic soap opera. A powerful politician, lavish sex-fuelled parties, and an exotic foreigner with a shady past – the media couldn’t ask for a more sellable story. Indeed, Berlusconi’s trial has been splashed over newspapers and grabbed headlines worldwide since the scandal broke. Yet several aspects of the Berlusconi…

See No Evil – Why the Justice System Ignores Rape

Much has been said about the rape culture that exists in today’s society, without a full definition of what rape culture is. To many, it refers to the general acceptance of trivializing sexual violence, from the popular use of rape as a term of competitive jest (for example, “I totally raped that exam,”) or the…

Violence Against Female Migrants

In a time of global upheaval, from economic catastrophes to devastating civil wars, the issue of immigration is gaining importance the world over. The UN reports that last year, there were an estimated 232 million migrants worldwide, a sharp increase from previous years. Additionally, the face of migration has morphed. While the typical image of a…

Maternal Mortality: When Numbers Speak Volumes

The clinical nature of the term ‘maternal mortality’ makes the importance – and the humanity behind the concept – hard to fully grasp. It evokes images of statistics, of numbers and of distant percentage rankings that seem to have little to do with the women we know and meet. Yet, the issue of maternal health…

Mental Health and Women’s Health

Mental health has attracted little attention considering the huge size of the problem. Ranging from mild depression to major psychosis, it is estimated that one in four people suffer from a mental illness, and estimates from the World Health Organization state that around 400-500 million people worldwide are affected. Among sufferers, many go undiagnosed and…