Vogue Highlights the Design of Dictators

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One of the most electrifying outcomes of the recent protests in the Middle East and North Africa has been the shattering of myths about Arabs and Muslims that have for too long been fed to the West: that the women are voiceless, passive creatures apathetic about their country’s political processes. Of course now the truth […]

The War on Women Knows No Borders: Why Funding the UNFPA Matters

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As new blows keep coming in the Republican domestic war on women, it’s easy to forget that they’ve also launched a global assault on women’s reproductive health and rights–but we ignore it at millions of women’s peril. House Republicans not only proposed to cut U.S. assistance to international family planning funding, they also want to […]

Italian Women To Berlusconi: Basta!

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Recently I have been writing on how Arab and Muslim women have taken to the streets in political protest, shattering stereotypes in the process. Over the weekend we saw another group of women do the same, this time in Italy. Under the official banner of “If Not Now, Then When,” thousands of Italian women protested […]

Murder Investigation Opened in Bangladeshi Girl’s Death

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A murder investigation has been opened in the death of Hena Begum, the 14-year-old old Bangladeshi girl who was publicly flogged after being accused of having an affair with her cousin–who actually raped her. The BBC reports that after an initial autopsy found no injuries on the young girl, Bangladesh’s High Court had Begum’s body […]

Bangladeshi Rape Victim Flogged To Death

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Hena Begum, a 14-year-old old Bangladeshi girl, was publicly flogged recently in Shariatpur, 35 miles outside of the capital, Dhaka after being accused of having an affair with her 40-year-old old married cousin. According to the BBC, a village court made up of Islamic clerics and elders sentenced Begum to 100 lashes under Islamic Sharia law. […]

Middle Eastern and North African Protests Shatter Myths About Muslim Women

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Anyone remember one of the most striking images to surface from Iran’s uprising last summer after the country’s so-called elections? Yes, Iranian women protesting, playing a huge role in shaping this revolt against their government. Why should people be surprised? Iranian women, who make up 65 percent of university students in the country, are also […]

My Big Fat Feminist Wedding

My fabulous bridesmaids and I. Choosing the right women to surround you is the key to a successful, and sane, wedding. Photo by Samier Mansur.

I never wanted to get married. Yes, I was that woman. My mom loves to tell stories of how even when I was a little girl I would bemoan how much more women do than their husbands, and how they were never even thanked for their work. As an adult I became more adamant about […]

United Arab Emirates: Where It’s Okay To Beat Your Wife and Kids

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Seems like Emiratis have been working so hard over the past decade to make sure one main message gets across to the international community: We are modern, we have money, come build in our desert. Not enough water for you? We will import it in. Too hot for your liking? We will create 30 tons […]

The Best Place to Be a Woman

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I had the opportunity to speak with Saadia Zahidi, head of the World Economic Forum’s Women Leaders and Gender Parity Program and one of the authors of its annual Global Gender Gap Report. It looks at 114 countries around the world and analyzes “how well they divide resources and opportunities amongst male and female populations, […]

Zulu Tradition Fuels Virginity Myths in South Africa

Zulu Girl, South Africa

The first time I heard about “baby rapes” was almost eight years ago. Someone had dropped a report on my desk about the widespread belief in South Africa that having sex with virgins would cure HIV/AIDS. The myth was causing a surge in the rape of young girls and even infants, some as young as […]