Book Review: “Normal Calm” by Hend Hegazi

Cover of Normal Calm. [Source].

According to statistics provided by RAINN, the United States-based Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, “1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.” The organization further notes that women who have experienced sexual assault are at higher risk for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and thoughts of suicide.Such important consequences of rape led American writer Hend Hegazi to tell the story of a rape survivor in her fir … [Read more...]

How Not to Discuss Sexual Violence against Third World Women

Source

Last week I was invited to the Dutch embassy to celebrate the launching of the Nobel Women’s Initiative’s report on sexual violence against women in Sudan. The report is titled “Survivors Speak Out: Sexual Violence in Sudan,” and it is meant to address the situation of “mass rape” and other forms of sexual violence against Sudanese women of all religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.As a Masters student interested in issues of gender and gendered violence, I was quite excited to be on … [Read more...]

On Sexual Violence and Media Portrayal in Pakistan

Years ago, loose gravel on a trail up Margalla Hills landed me in the emergency room with a sprained ankle.  All I remember at the time was the excruciating pain radiating from my ankle and worrying if it was broken and whether I'd be able catch a plane on time to return to university.  My mother and I were waiting for the doctor to finally see us when we heard a commotion in the main foyer.  A muffled siren could be heard just outside and medical personnel whizzed by us, yelling orders, but ev … [Read more...]

Highlighting Cases of Wartime Sexual Violence in Bosnia

It's been 20 years since the start of Bosnian war. All year, journalists have used this anniversary not only to revisit their coverage of the region, but also to highlight how communities and individuals continue to experience the aftermath of a conflict that uprooted families from their homes, saw widespread wartime sexual violence and resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 people between 1992-1995. Unprotected, a recent documentary by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, looks at the harr … [Read more...]

Revolution and Resistance in Egypt and Syria

Women injured in the fighting in Homs. Image via Women News Network.

Revolution never arrives without its victims. The lives it changes and swallows within its jaws are the same lives who endured decades of violence, decadence, and impoverishment by the very systems that it wishes to replace. The revolutions in the Middle East deeply reflect the contradictions between the joy and pride of toppling a dictatorship and the disheartening emotions of chaos and uncertainty. In the process, deepening class, sexual, ethnic and other social divides can bring a nation to … [Read more...]

“Lost” Girls Are Not Sex Objects – Whatever Their Race: Part II

In light of several interesting comments to my previous post on the Rochdale “grooming” case, I decided a follow-up piece was in order.Much of the furore surrounding the case has been with respect to race and its alleged role in the attack, specifically: does the “Asian” (Pakistani and thereby Muslim) origin of the attackers play a role in the crime? As stated previously, sexual abuse occurs across all ethnic/racial, socioeconomic and religious groups.  Worldwide, women and girls (in particul … [Read more...]

“Lost” Girls Are Not Sex Objects – Whatever Their Race

A group of nine men of Pakistani and Afghan origin were sentenced to jail recently for using alcohol and drugs to “groom” white British girls for sex.  The abuse took place in the town of Rochdale, near Manchester in northwest England.  The men, aged 24 to 38, were employed as taxi drivers, and included a religious studies teacher and a takeaway worker who were indicted for assaulting victims as young as 13 years of age.  Since then, another two people have been arrested in connection with anothe … [Read more...]


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