Kurdish women fighters against IS

kurdish women fighters

“We either die or win. No fighter is leaving,” Esmat al-Sheikh, leader of the Kobani Defence Authority, told Reuters. “The world is watching, just watching and leaving these monsters to kill everyone, even children…but we will fight to the end with what weapons we have.”

Some people have more motivation than others. Those people include women. A very large percentage of the YPG fighters are  women. (YPG: the Kurdish People’s Protection Units)

I asked her about YPG’s women’s wing, the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units), and the women fighters coming from Turkey. She said Kurdish women were as equally involved in defense affairs as in social services. “We have set up training camps for women in all three cantons. Women are active in all fronts,” she said. “Of the first 20 martyrs we had when IS attacked Kobani, 10 were women. Last year, of our 700 YPG martyrs, 200 were women…”

I reminded Nimet of the legends we hear of IS militants fearing to encounter women fighters. She replied, “This is not a myth but reality. I personally met IS fighters face-to-face. They believe they won’t go to paradise if they are killed by women. That is why they flee when they see women fighters.”

From The AlterNet

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi awarded Nobel Peace Prize

▶ Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi Awarded Nobel Peace Prize – YouTube.

Malala Yusafsai is the youngest ever Nobel Peace prize winner, whereas Kailash Satyarthi is in his sixties. She comes from Pakistan, he comes from India: their countries are close neighbors yet have often been at war since the Partition of India in 1947. She is a woman, he is a man, but both fight for the rights of children (all children!) to freedom and education. She is a Muslim, he is a Hindu: the proof that different religions can agree and work together towards a humanitarian goal that is common to both. Their joint prize is a message of hope for the world!

Emma Watson makes UN speech for gender equality

Emma Watson Tells Men It’s Time To Fight For Gender Equality – YouTube.

Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson delivered an emotional and powerful speech at the United Nations headquarters on Saturday to help launch the HeForShe gender equality campaign.

Here are some extracts from her speech asking for equal rights for men and women:

We want to end gender inequality and to do this, we need everyone involved. This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN. We want to try to galvanize as many men and boys as possible to be advocates for change”

the more I’ve spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.”

for the record, feminism, by definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”

I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.”

But sadly, I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights. No country in the world can yet say that they have achieved gender equality. These rights, I consider to be human rights”

Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued les by society despite my needing his presence, as a child, as much as my mother’s.”

We don’t want to talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are. “

We should stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by who we are. We can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.”

If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists that I spoke of earlier and for this, I applaud you.”

I am inviting you to step forward to be seen and to ask yourself, ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?'”

Maasai women in Kenya try to stop ritual excision

Maasai-young-girls

52 young girls of a Maasai village, including the chief’s daughters, recently took part in a new ritual (the Alternative Rites of Passage). They did not have to suffer the pains of excision, as their older sisters and mothers had. Instead, they had a new ceremony: they stayed for two days in their classroom, wearing traditional black dresses and colorful crowns, with three women who talked to them about what being a woman means.

Female circumcision, widely known as female genital mutilation, is illegal in Kenya and is punishable by law, yet it is still practiced in many villages. Many regions in Africa and some countries in Asia and the Middle East widely practice the ritualistic procedure.

Traditionally, young women who had not yet been circumcised were rejected in their villages. The women who had endured the procedure were considered acceptable members of society and suitable for marriage.

Instruments traditionally used to perform the cut are sharp metal tools, knives, and other crude objects, and the procedure is usually not carried out by trained medical professionals. The effects of excision often bring on medical complications, going from local infection to death.

The physical pain resulting from the practice has immeasurable psychological impact on these young girls.

The scars left by the cutting often leads to complications later when women give birth, causing sharp pains, rips and often making a caesarean section necessary.

As the suffering of young women continues to surface across the globe, studies and personal opinion continue to find no sensible reason for female circumcision, considering it to be an act of violence against women.

It is estimated that 100 million–140 million women and girls have already been subjected to some form of female genital mutilation.

“Female mutilation is against the law, but people are still dying from it,” said Ikoluba, a volunteer for the Campaign Against Female Genital Mutilation in New York City. “Just earlier this year, one girl died from the bleeding and her sister ran away.” She herself was excised when she was 13 years old. “I wanted to run away, but my mother assured me that I should not be scared. She said she would hold my hand and that I would be okay”. “I felt as if I were going to die. It was very painful to urinate after the cutting. I had infections and fever and lots of nightmares.”

If you want to read more, read the full article here: The Epoch Times.

 

Malala Yousafzai: Girls in Nigeria are my sisters

Malala Yousafzai, the girl who fights for girls’right to education, who was shot by Talibans last year and survived the attacks, is interviewed about the 250 Nigerian girls who have recently been abducted.

“Girls in Nigeria are my sisters, and it’s my responsibility that I speak up for my sisters…A girl is a human being, and no one can deny the rights of a girl…These terrorists are afraid of women, and that’s why they are kidnapping women. So, in my opinion, the international community needs to stand up. Because if we remain silent, this will spread and this will happen more and more…The best way that we [can] protect ourselves is [when] we speak up.”

She says that the group Boko Haram, which kidnapped these girls in Nigeria, does not understand Islam.

“They are extremists, they are abusing the name of Islam, because they have forgotten that Islam means Peace… I think they haven’t studied Islam yet, they haven’t studied Quran yet, and they should go and they should learn Islam.”

— Malala Yousafzai, to CNN, on the ‪#‎BringBackOurGirls‬ movement.

You can watch a video of Malala’s interview here:

Malala Yousafzai: Girls in Nigeria are my sisters – Amanpour – CNN.com Blogs.

Muslim Hipsters show a new face of headscarves to the tune of a J-Zay song

Late last month, Rattani and a group of Mipsterz (= Muslim hipsters) released a video to the tune of the Jay-Z song “Somewhere in America” .

The video shows diverse Muslim women who choose to wear the hijab, or head covering, and do so with individual style. The women are also seen doing quirky, random things like skateboarding, walking around a forest, and other hipster-esque escapades.

These women are lawyers, doctors, athletes, mothers, shoppers, but above all they are powerful Muslim American women… and they are hipsters!

The video has sparked huge amounts of commentary, both positive and negative.

Click on the link to view the video:

Muslim Hipsters Turn A Joke Into A Serious Conversation : Code Switch : NPR.

Women are to be respected

Today is International Women’s Day.

Every day, women are harassed in the street simply for being women. In other words: Every time we step out the house, we run the risk of being shouted at, catcalled, or assaulted.

Brooklyn (New York) artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is using street art to take a place where women feel uncomfortable and turn it into a place where we cannot be ignored.
women-not for entertainment

women-outfit not invitation
These two posters have a clear message. The first one means that if a woman is wearing a short skirt or a sexy dress, it does not allow men to treat her differently. Her clothes are NOT an invitation to strangers to approach her or make comments!
The second one means that a woman who walks in the street is just a PERSON who walks in the street, she is not there for strange men to look at her or talk to her.

International Women’s Day March 8th

International Women Day
Here is a message from the UN (United Nations) about International Women Day:

“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

This year’s theme, “Equality for women is progress for all” emphasizes how gender equality, empowerment of women, women’s full enjoyment of human rights and the eradication of poverty are essential to economic and social development. It also stresses the vital role of women as agents of development.”

international-womens-day

Discrimination

anti-humanism

Shirley Chisholm (1924 – 2005) was an American politician, educator, and author. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, to immigrant parents. In 1968, she became the first African-American woman elected to Congress. On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. She fought for human rights and was an inspiration to many women.

Malala Yousafzai awarded European prize for freedom of thought

(A video from The Guardian is after the article – click on the link to view it)malala-europe

16 years old Pakistani schoolgirl and campaigner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago after campaigning for better rights for girls in Pakistan, has received the EU’s Sakharov human rights prize at a ceremony in Strasbourg.

The 50,000 euro ($65,000) prize is considered Europe’s top human rights award.

“I am hopeful the European Parliament will look beyond Europe to the suffering countries where people are still deprived of their basic rights, their freedom of thought is suppressed, freedom of speech is enchained,” Ms Yousafzai said.

“Many children have no food to eat, no water to drink and children are starving for education. It is alarming that 57 million children are deprived of education… this must shake our conscience.”

She began her speech with a famous quote from 18th Century French philosopher Voltaire: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

She said children in countries such as Pakistan “do not want an iPhone, a PlayStation or chocolates, they just want a book and a pen”.

MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) gave her a standing ovation.

You can see her and listen to parts of her speech here :

Malala Yousafzai awarded Sakharov prize for freedom of thought – video | World news | theguardian.com.

I am Malala : a rap song about freedom for girls.

Lyrics :

Look, I wanna make a nation proud, one day we’ll say things loud and be free

with the power of our speech we can change our world and how it’s perceived

we’ve got doubts and beliefs but not one thing’s truly out of our reach

don’t tell me the sky’s the limit cause nothing can pull me down

when I dream I’m working on turning ‘em into a reality and opening eyes

and sharing a vision with every person who had chosen to be blind

I wanna focus their minds to show that despite we’re broken inside

we can stand powerful together without a cloak or disguise

I hope in the future that I can look back on a new generation that’s peaceful

that’s grateful they’re equal cause those before made a change for the people

with paints and an easel we picture perfect drew our attention to making the most of our time

creating more than useless inventions

I’m only young so I guess it’s down for you to decide

would you choose to fight for what you believe in would you do what is right

if I needed you would you stand tall with me right here by my side

be the change you want to see, take a look through my eyes

I am Malala I am infinite hope I am Malala, I am, I am, I am I am Malala I am infinite hope

I am Malala, I am, I am, I am I am Malala

They say the harder the culture, they say the harder the girl

I say the smarter the girl, then the stronger our world

from a country where we made fortunes of others’ misfortunes

and betray our own people then we mourn for a portion of time

always taught to fight for my rights

Malala fought for education then she fought for her life

it’s hard to strive to be better when oppressed by the suppressors

treated like the lesser, just be clever ignore the ignorance

from the ignorant society is ridiculous but it’s the world that we’re living in

chauffeurs our drive and denies our desire being silent doesn’t help,

it adds fuel to the fire how can somebody young like me even find any truth

when nobody’s looking for truth in the youth life isn’t a choice,

so who are we to say what’s void and Malala gave a voice to me cuz…

hard work and talent equals infinite growth

in school a child and a teacher equals infinite hope…  🙂

Malala Yousafzai goes back to school – YouTube

Malala Yousafzai, the teenager who was shot in the head by Taliban in Pakistan for advocating girls’ education, attended her first day of school in Birmingham, England, weeks after being released from hospital.

The 15-year-old, who is among nominees for this year’s Nobel peace prize, described her return to school as the most important day of her life, as she joined other students in Birmingham.

“I am excited that today I have achieved my dream of going back to school. I want all girls in the world to have this basic opportunity,” she said.

Malala Yousafzai goes back to school – YouTube.