Midtown New York for the past two weeks has been a colorful place, as thousands of concerned women from all over the world have been attending the annual session of the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women. The older attendees came with hopes of recreating the “fire” — as one activist put it — that pulsed through them in Beijing 20 years ago, when the Beijing Platform for Action on women’s issues was created. The younger ones came with hopes of joining an inter-generational revolution.
The British government is scrambling to find three of its female citizens traveling to join the ranks of foreign recruits to the Islamic State (IS or ISIS). These young women are not alone. According to one recent study, more than 500 women from Western countries have traveled to join the extremists in Iraq and Syria.
A narrative nonfiction essay that examines the way we intervene into the lives of women and girls affected by violence, from the intimate perspective of Sri Lanka. https://www.guernicamag.com/features/narrating-crisis-in-sri-lanka/
A policy snapshot examining the role of repression for female fighters, especially the Al-Khansaa Brigade of the IS movement in Iraq and Syria. Full piece available at foreignaffairs.com.
Please see also the follow up conversation on MSNBC’s The CYCLE on August 21st, where I joined the conversation live. http://www.msnbc.com/the-
Why might the failed suicide bomber, Sajida Al-Rishawi, be of value to ISIS and what we don’t (want) to know about her. http://www.cnn.com/video/data/
While regime change in Sri Lanka is welcomed, its democratic merits cannot be celebrated just yet
As the old guard in Sri Lanka was dramatically toppled in the recent presidential elections, best wishes were offered not only to the opponent, Maithripala Sirisena, but to a hopefully imminent resuscitation of a suffocated democracy.
Most of the recent Senate report on the CIA’s use of torture after 9/11 is gruesomely detailed. But one thing is missing. In the report, it seems that all of the detainees subject to torture were men.
The true idealist and the apolitical pacifists of the world often convince themselves that the corrupt world of politics exists in a vacuum detached from pure humanitarian work. Continue reading
A fictionalized account of torture, and the intrusive search for information.
We surrendered to the Army in waves. There was a palpable relief that one act of the horror show in the theater of war was over. But we were terrified of our saviors. Exhaustion was ignored as everyone became suddenly alert, and obedient. We were ordered to remove our clothes and walk naked down a dusty runway lined with sandbag walls that protected our captor’s bodies, revealing only their eyes. It would not be the last time I had to choose between dignity or death. Continue reading