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  Violence against women  

February 09, 2013 12:41      

permalink   A good news-bad news update 

First, the good news. Remember that Pakistani girl I told you about?

The 15-year-old girl that stood up to the Taliban? (photo left) The girl those Taliban thugs shot in the face because she wanted girls to get an education? [For details, see my earlier post ] Well, I'm happy to report that Malala Yousufzai has been discharged from a British hospital.

In 2011 Malala received Pakistan's National Peace Award for her bravery in speaking up for girls. But in October 2012, she was riding home in a school bus with her female classmates. Two Taliban thugs, hiding their faces behind hoods, stopped the bus, shot Malala in the head and wounded two of her classmates. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility. "Let this be a lesson to her," he said, adding that if she survived they would keep trying to kill her. But he didn't have the guts to say it for the TV cameras. He hid behind a written statement. Brave, those Taliban thugs.

Gravely wounded, Malala was flown to the UK, mostly to receive expert treatment but also to protect her from more attacks by those cowardly Taliban thugs. Surgeons had to operate several times to reconstruct her skull and do a cochlear implant to restore her hearing. On February 8, 2013, Malala was discharged from the hospital. And she's as feisty as ever. Listen to what this brave girl says HERE.

Malala and her father, who founded an all-girls school in Pakistan, will receive the 2013 Reflections of Hope Award from the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. They are being honored for the hope and courage they displayed in the face of political violence.

Now, the bad news

Unfortunately, many women and girls around the world, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and other countries in the Middle East and Africa, still fear for their lives.

Afghan girl beheaded for refusing marriage proposal

In December 2012, two men attacked and beheaded a 14-year-old Afghan girl for refusing to marry one of the men. The attack occurred in Kunduz province, the 15th deadly attack on a female there in 2012. A similar attack occurred in October when a young woman was murdered after refusing to work as a prostitute. But wait, it gets worse.

A gang rape in India

In December 2012, a 23-year-old female medical student riding on a bus with a male friend was brutally gang raped. For more than an hour six men raped and sexually assaulted her with an iron rod, and threw her off the bus to die.

Her companion tried to stop them but was severely beaten.

This brutal attack took place in New Delhi, India's capital, sparking outrage and protests around the world. For two weeks, the woman fought for her life in a hospital, having suffered massive injuries to her genitals and intestines. And then she died.

A culture of violence against women

In India, male aggression is routinely accepted. Many view rape as a personal shame, not a violent crime. Blaming victims of sexual assault is common. Some authorities encourage families to marry off their daughters at a young age to prevent sexual violence. Wow, what a concept.

Instead of prosecuting the rapist, they blame the victim for daring to walk alone, take public transportation or wear certain clothes. The men are not responsible, the women lured them into it! Sort of like when Eve tempted Adam with the apple.

A scathing report

A judicial panel investigated and issued a damning report: In India, politicians, police and the military fail to protect women and children. The report said police frequently fail to report or investigate rapes. Worse, some police officers are involved in child trafficking. Worse still, some male lawmakers have sex-crime charges pending against them.

The report recommended that India's outdated rape laws be overhauled, that marital rape be criminalized, and that sexual assault of homosexuals be criminalized. It also recommended harsher punishments for rapists: doubling the minimum sentence for gang-rape and imposing the death penalty when the victim is killed or left in a vegetative state.

Five men have been charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of the female medical student. They pleaded innocent; if convicted, they face the death penalty. A sixth man will be tried separately as a juvenile.

But the rapes continue.

On February 6, 2013, New Delhi police arrested four men for the kidnapping and gang-rape of a 24-year-old mother. The men pulled her into their car and attacked her. But they failed to stop at one at one of the new checkpoints set up after the December 2012 attack. Police officers chased the car and caught them. Two days earlier, police arrested a man for shoving a metal rod down the throat of a 22-year-old woman during an attempted rape in her home.

How bad is it? In 2011, 24,206 rapes were reported in India, but activists say those numbers represent only a fraction of the total, due to the stigma attached to reporting such crimes.

Marry your rapist?

Believe it or not, in Morocco, forcing women to marry their rapist is common. The penal code allows men convicted of "corruption" or "kidnapping" (meaning sexual assault or rape) of a minor to go free if they marry their victim. Judges encourage this to spare the victim's family shame. These folks think it's okay to force an already-traumatized girl to marry the man who raped her! Sometimes this had tragic consequences.

In March 2012, a judge coerced 16-year-old Amina al-Filali (photo left) into marrying the 23-year-old man who raped her. Seven months later, she took poison. Death was the only way for her to escape her rapist.

Why did the judge and her parents force her into the marriage?

To protect the family "honor." In the Middle East, India, Afghanistan and many third-world countries, the loss of a woman's virginity outside marriage is considered a stain on the family's honor. The legal age for marriage in Morocco is 18, but judges routinely approve forced marriages of much younger girls.

Prodded by women's rights advocates, the Islamist-dominated government is considering plans to outlaw this barbaric practice. Let's hope they do, and soon.

The latest outrage: Misogynistic clerics in Egypt

Hard-line Muslim clerics in Cairo sparked an uproar recently by saying Sharia law justified the mob sexual assaults on female protestors in Cairo's Tahrir Square. One cleric, Ahmed Mohammed Abdullah, said: "They are going there to get raped." He depicted them as loose women with curly hair, saying they "speak with no femininity, no morals, no fear."

Here's what I want to know. Why have no religious leaders in the US spoken out to condemn this? Where are the Catholic and Episcopal Archbishops? Where are the Protestant clergy? Where are the Muslim clerics and why are they not speaking out against this outrage? Here's my take: If these religious leaders are not part of the solution, they're part of the problem. 

What do you think?

Not all the men in these countries are misogynistic. As you can see in the photo at left, plenty of men support women's causes. But the others need a wake up call. They need a crash course in what sexual assault and rape are like. They need to take a vacation, not on the French Riviera, in the slammer. I'll probably get some blowback for that, but hey, I can take it. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think! NOPD homicide detective Frank Renzi signing off. And just in case you think I'm making this stuff up, here's a list of my sources.

[Sources: Pakistani girl's shooting sparks widespread rage," various AP stories: 10/12 through 10/15







 Violence against women   comments (2)

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[ Posted by sherry fundin, February 13, 2013 17:48 ]
     As I sit here, I'm thinking, I don't know what to say. I know about this stuff. I've seen it on TV, documentaries, read about it, heard it on the news......I guess that is why they call them third world countries. They refuse to come into the 21st century. That's because the men will actually have to act like men, instead of the animals they are.

It's so disgusting that I cannot even think of all I want to say. I am really at a lost at the feeling of ..........I cannot even think of a word bad enough.

But, if we don't talk about it, how will it ever change?

[ Posted by admin, February 14, 2013 8:06 ]
     Thanks for the comment, Sherry. Yes, it is difficult for us to believe. Yes, women do get raped in the US, but judges don't compel them to marry their rapists. And thank you most of all for your comment: "if we don't talk about it, how will it ever change?" I totally agree. Where is the outrage in the media here in the US? Where is CNN and Fox News on this? Sadly, they prefer to cover the excitement du jour, like the ex-cop fugitive in LA.

[ Posted by Roderick Craig Low, February 19, 2013 4:00 ]
     Whilst these stories are not new, they are absolutely dreadful and you are doing a great service repeating them. It seems to me to be part of a male-dominated, religious 'mafia' that no one really wants to stand up against. Churches don't 'rat' on other churches, nor do they feel it is their place to criticise. And politicians are scared to say too much. But they know, lack of action now will only make the situation worse in the future. I think they are gambling - 'with a bit of luck it won't boil over during my watch'. Well, one day it will. And then, God help us...

[ Posted by admin, February 19, 2013 7:29 ]
     Thanks for the comment. Your view of the religious and political world is pretty accurate, I think. But I really am surprised, and angry, that the media world has not focused on this. CNN and Fox News have tremendous clout through their viewership.

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