In 1979, newly recruited policewoman, Asha Hassan Hussein, was the first female to ride a police motorcycle to patrol the streets of Mogadishu. Three decades later in a nation devastated by conflict, now a Captain, Asha specialises in tackling violence against women as head of the Somali Police Force’s (SPF) Gender Based Violence Department.
At the age of 15 Halima Ismail Ibrahim was already advocating for women’s rights at her high school in Afgoye, 30 km from Mogadishu. With or without a functioning state, as a passionate and committed human rights activist and recently appointed the Co-Chair of the Technical Selection Committee (TSC), Halima has been working for the poor, human rights and with youth for decades.
The idea of a hard edge to feminine fashion is nothing new. But this is different.
Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to work as a journalist – since 2006, 67 journalists have been killed and 14 have disappeared in the country.
What does it matter if a guy makes a comment on your looks in the street? Is it really such a huge issue if somebody assumes your male colleague is your boss?
Victims of forced marriage now know that what is happening to them is wrong, illegal and can be stopped
By making forced marriage a crime , the Government is sending a clear message to these families that their actions will no longer be tolerated. They will now be held accountable before the law and they could end up in prison.
Banter is a very odd thing. As an activity it provides a handy shelter for bigots to flex their anti PC brigade muscles and to prove to their friends that they fell out of the funny tree and hit every branch on the way down. What it is not alledgedly is subjective. Anyone who questions the banter status quo is immediately deemed humourless. I’ve seen it used to shield people from accusations of racism, homophobia, disablism and sexism and it’s the latter, which as a 45 year old woman, I’ve witnessed most.
Pronouncements on sexual inequality in the UK are normally met with an eye roll by my generation. As the babies born at the tail end of the Thatcher era in the late eighties and early nineties graduate university and begin to enter the real world, the fight for female social equality is all too often regarded as a fight that their mothers had already won. Inequality is seen as a relic of a past and those who continue to talk about it are merely causing trouble.
Perusing Facebook recently, I stumbled across a cartoon that could be said to represent the relativist view of women’s rights. The cartoon was of two women, one of whom was dressed in a bikini while the other was wearing a niqab.
Last week, two men were arrested after undercover investigators from the Sunday Times filmed medical professionals in the UK offering to perform female genital mutilation (FGM) on girls as young as ten. They have denied any wrongdoing, but it is estimated that 100,000 women living in the UK have survived FGM, with a further 22,000 girls under 16 at risk. I spoke to Nimco Ali from the Bristol-based organisation Daughters of Eve about her work to eradicate this harmful practice and support survivors of FGM.
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