| Arts & Lettres | Poésie | Démocratie, laïcité, droits | Politique | Féminisme, rapports hommes-femmes | Femmes du monde | Polytechnique 6 décembre 1989 | Prostitution & pornographie | Syndrome d'aliénation parentale (SAP) | Voile islamique | Violences | Sociétés | Santé & Sciences | Textes anglais
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vendredi 6 juin 2008
Femaid report on Afghanistan, May 2008
DANS LA MEME RUBRIQUE
Burkini Is a Feminist Issue Too
The notion that it’s ok for disabled men to pay for sex is rooted in misogyny and ableism
Egyptian doctor living in Zurich produces educational videos about health and sexuality for the Arab world
Amnesty International and Prostitution : Not in Our Name !
Open letter to rabble.ca - Support Meghan Murphy suffered a misogynist campaign by the sex industry lobby
"Insectual - The Secret of the Black Butterfly", by Barbara Sala
Canada’s New Sex Trade Law
Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism
“Harm reduction” is not enough to appropriately analyze prostitution
True Progressives Encourage Women’s Equality, Not Their Prostitution
Sexual mutilations outside Africa : new report and new denial except the Iraqi case
FGM slowing down ? The UN asserts it, the Indonesian case contradicts it
Prostitution, STRASS and the senator - When opacity becomes relevant
Is equating prostitution and rape ‘intolerable violence’ ? Really ?
Obama, Madonna and us
After Ontario Courts rule on Bedford : a rant
Comparing Sex Buyers and Non-Sex Buyers July 2011 (Boston)
Sex resistance in heterosexual arrangements
Abolitionists of the prostitution system : who we are, what we want !
Women Living Under Muslim Laws Statement on Libya
Prostitution is a Threat to Humanity
Prostitution - Call for Australia’s prostitution laws to be tightened
Violence - An Open Letter from Black Women to SlutWalk Organizers
Nothing that is sexual can be considered criminal : hidden sexual violence in the DSK case
The Truth about Global Sex Slavery – A Book by Lydia Cacho
Why reproductive rights and prostitution are not the same thing : A response to one decriminalization argument
Prostitution - The abolitionist project within the conference Women’s Worlds 2011
Montreal - The Turcotte jury got it wrong
Reasons I Will Not Go On the Slutwalk
International Sex Industries and their Accomplices Hamper the Autonomy of All Women
Ten Critical Reasons for getting rid of Harper’s Conservatives
Real solidarity with prostituted women is in the fight for abolition of prostitution
Decriminalize prostituted persons and criminalize those who exploit them (‘johns’ and pimps)
Polygamy in Canada Should Remain Illegal
My fears of the push for indoors prostitution
We cannot be satisfied with the simple harm-reduction model
The Native Women’s Association of Canada is Worried About Himel’s Judgement on Prostitution
Ontario Court Decision Abandons Aboriginal Women and Women of Colour to Pimps
Response to the VPD review in the cases of the Pickton Murders
Speech - The effects of globalization of political Islam on Women’s Rights, the question with polygamy, the Niqab and Honour Killing
Quebec Forges Enlightened Trail on Burkas
Breast Cancer a Disease, No a Marketing Opportunity
The International Campaign To Closedown Iranian Embassies
Violation of rights in Iran, a window from my experience to a broader picture
"Sex worker" ? Never met one !
The One Million Signatures Campaign has been awarded the prestigious Global Women’s Rights Award from the Feminist Majority Foundation
Prostitution - Feminist Perspectives, a book
Prostitution : Violating the Human Rights of Poor Women
More than 1 000 american historians call for equity in the stimulus package in open letter to Obama
Order of Canada Awarded to Dr. Morgentaler - Acts of intimidation should not rule Canada
Time for Quebecers to be more open : Bouchard-Taylor report
Canadian Bar Association supports strengthening equality in the Quebec Charter
Zero Tolerance for Johns : How the Government of Sweden Would Respond to Spitzer
Politicians are responsible for toxic, misogynist environment facing girls
Spitzer - The Myth of the Victimless Crime
Goodbye To All That (#2)
The freedom to never prostitute oneself
NO legalized brothels for the Olympics 2010 - Aboriginal women’s Action Network statement on prostitution
CLES says NO to the violence of prostitution
Does Porn Make the Man ?
A Trip Into the Absurd
Mothers File International Complaint Against United States
Prostitutes are victims, not criminals
Anthology of Québec Women’s Plays in English Translation, Volume I (1966-1986)
The Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES) intervene during the upcoming provincial election
Prostitution - Three Women and a Debate
Men Favour the Apolitical Discourse on Prostitution
The Whole Truth Must be Told : Sylviane’s testimony on her experience of prostitution
Democracy and Religious Obligations : an Impasse ?
What is liberation ? Feminism past, present and future
Books by Andrea Dworkin
Globalization, Militarism and Sex Trafficking
Muslim Groups Denounce the Cultural Relativism of a Certain Left
Canadian Muslim leader alleges her veil views sparked vandalism
Prostitution : CATW’S Post-World Cup Statement
NOW to denounce so-called parental alienation
Prostitution : for an Abolitionist Bill
The dimensions of trafficking for purposes of prostitution
"Charm is a Guise ; Batterers Belong in Jail, Expert Says"
Interview with Catherine MacKinnon : Are Women Human ?
Danish cartoons - Doing away with the Enlightenment ?
It’s happening next door : from incestuous girls to alienating mothers
Green Light for Pimps and Johns
Buying Sex is not a Sport
Prostitution is Violence Against Women
The Ideal Site for the Crime
Tell me, what does "gender" really mean ?
Gunilla Ekberg : « The best thing we can do for our sisters is to support them to get out of prostitution »
Interview with Catharine A. MacKinnon : « They haven’t crushed me yet. »
Decriminalizing prostitution, a magnet for pimps and johns
Declaration on Religious Arbitration in Family Law
Prostitution : Towards a Canadian policy of abolition
Prostitution inseparable of violence against women
The need for a public debate on prostitution and its social consequences
Prostitution of First Nations Women in Canada
270 000 $ granted to Stella for a four days event on sex work
IN MEMORIAM : Andrea Dworkin or The passion for justice
Decriminalizing prostitution will not improve the security of prostituted women
Dworkin - Taking Back the Night
Backlash and Whiplash : A Critique of Statistics Canada’s 1999 General Social Survey on Victimization
Helping the prostituted women or promoting prostitution ?
The Need for a Public Debate on Prostitution and its Social Consequences
The legalization of prostitution and its impact on trafficking in women and children
Prostitution Links, Women’s Justice Center
"If you don’t take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits"
Sweden Treating Prostitution as Violence Against Women
Forced marriage as crime
Why Women Must Get out of Men’s Laps
International Campaing Against Shari’a Court in Canada
Decriminalize prostituted women, not prostitution
Canada Contributes to the Sexual Trafficking of Women for Purposes of Prostitution
Fathers’ Rights Groups in Australia and their Engagement with Issues in Family Law
Women Rage Against ’Rape’ in Northeast India
Sexual domination in uniform : an american value
Tribunals Will Marginalize Canadian Muslin Women and Increase Privatization of Family Law
The sexual sadism of our culture, in peace and in war
Queer theory and violence against women
The Legalisation of Prostitution : A failed social experiment
Globalization and the Sex Trade : Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children
Will Paternal Paranoia Triumph ?
Ode to Survivors
Court confirms any woman’s human right to organize with peers
Program produces motherless kids
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN Labour Organization (ILO) Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part One)
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN International Labour Organization Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part Two)
Elisabeth Badinter distorts feminism the better to fight it
Prostitution : Rights of Women or Right to Women ?
The "Stolen Feminism" Hoax : Anti-Feminist Attack Based on Error-Filled Anecdotes
Hormone Replacement Therapy, the "Magic Bullet" Ricochets
For the sake of the children : the law, domestic violence and children contact in England
Friendships between women good for health
Children of divorce need our protection
Divorce Bill’s flaws inadvertently aid abusers
Problem isn’t little boys, it’s little minds
A report from Status of Women Canada about the discursive denial of gender inequalities
Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution
Poem for Peace
Peace Rally Speech of a 12 year old American Girl
Good clone, bad clone ?
Canadian Women’s Health Network
So hard to say goodbye
I have just returned from three weeks in Afghanistan, which turned out to be spent in Kabul only, because of security reasons. My Afghan family and friends were terrified by the prospect of me being kidnapped to the point that I was not allowed to take a taxi on my own. Naturally, from their point of view, my presence, however welcome, was a liability and a heavy responsibility. I nevertheless managed to work on the Library project in Farah, teach a course on ‘Women at War’ at the new Gender Studies Institute at Kabul university, research maternal mortality (still one of the worst in the world) and start work on a programme trying to limit this catastrophe. And I lived Kabuli style, as usual, with my family sharing meals, laughter, Indian video-clips on TV, homework, housework, outings as well as limited electricity and water, open sewers and the ensuing stench and the daily restrictions which befall this brave population.
Kabul in May 2008
I was expecting the worst, conditioned by what I- and everyone else- had been reading in the media. It was bad, I nearly have to add ‘of course’, but I have seen worse in this country. Far worse. Despite the noise, the filth, the pollution, the bustle, the intense misery, the obviously paracolonial aid installations, things are changing and moving. There are roses growing everywhere for a start, carefully tended. In a messy chaotic way, one step forward two back and a side-way shuffle here and there, but the movement is there and the people of Kabul- if not the rest of Afghanistan- are making it happen. In the West, it is fashionable to blame international humanitarian aid for all the ills in post-war and reconstruction zones. Yet, even if I am to be called a politically incorrect harridan, I have to say that some of this aid- if not all - has been producing positive, indeed invaluable results. There are hospitals and clinics in Kabul, schools and universities have been renewed, perhaps not to Western standards admittedly, and the principal beneficiaries have been the local population. Much of this aid is patchy and has been uncoordinated, but it is better than none at all. Girls in cities are returning to school, but certainly not enough and figures never take account of the alarming drop-out rate. Naturally, this does not mean that I automatically condone military intervention and operations, the real problems are well beyond military fireworks and out of reach of any Kalashnikov or Stinger missiles : these are the contradictory expression of cynical politics that are decided upon in plush distant boardrooms and padded armchairs. They are in the domain of power distribution and political alliances.
And I have to repeat that Kabul is not representative of the rest of Afghanistan, the standard of living of its population of two and a half million is completely unequal and founded on revenue.
Exile and return
Afghanistan has particularly suffered from the loss of its most educated and skilled population which left the country during successive waves of exile, during the Soviet intervention (December 1979 onwards) but also after the withdrawal of Soviet troops and the pro-communist government (February 1989) which heralded the breakdown of health and education and the departure of doctors and teachers, male and female. The ensuing factional fighting during the Civil War permanently scarred the city reducing it to rubble so that the Taliban were welcomed with relief when they came to Kabul in 1996. But many artisans and those who deemed they could make a living in nearby Iran and Pakistan scrambled out.
Few Kabulis stayed out of sheer patriotism, many remained out of despair and unwillingness or incapacity of being able to tackle the ardours and expenses of exile, especially as city-dwellers with no rural roots or homes to fall back on.
The state of the country reflects the hotchpotch of population which has returned, inter-acting sometimes painfully with those who remained, as after any war. Most regret the more comfortable and safe conditions in Pakistan or Iran, despite the obvious hardship of being unwelcome and shunned. The most skilled professional have established themselves abroad, unwilling to sacrifice their lives and their families for such a hazardous return. The new elite is composed of Anglophone exiles, those who benefited from an English-language education in Pakistan, especially those who have been in the US as well. Apart from the strong Afghan-American community, the US is giving out a number of scholarships to bright students, encouraging girls especially to apply, the same way the Soviets had done in the 1970s. Elites are created from the outside, to replace the tribal and family power structures which nevertheless still exist in parallel, functioning through influence (Ibn Khaldoun’s ‘Assabya’) and tactical alliance.
A middle-class is steadily growing, especially amongst the young (boys, but also girls) eager to study and gain well-paid jobs with NGOs. As in Sarajevo, the elite find themselves working for foreign aid and the Civil Service suffers badly as a consequence. Teaching attracts the least competent candidates and, as a nation-wide consequence, the level of education is abysmally low. Indeed, why teach school for $ 80 to $100 a month when you could be working in front of a computer in an air-conditioned office for eight to ten times that amount at age 23 ? The young often say they cannot financially and morally afford idealism in a society where everyone has to fend for himself, prices are soaring and health care, like everything else, needs to be paid for. Families in the city are increasingly subsidized by their young unmarried members. The twenty-something year-olds are the ones dutifully bringing in their pay and shouldering all the expenses, especially the astronomical rents in the city. As Farid, a returnee, said : “I came back from Pakistan hoping to build up this country my family had dreamt about all these years. Now, I don’t care anymore, all I want is to make money anyway I can, pay the hospital bills for my mother, the rent for my family ( 6 brothers and sisters) and when all that’s taken care of, think about something else, even get out of the country”. Yet having said that, I have occasionally observed the opposite with women. In Herat this has been the consistent stance of the incredibly courageous lone female attorney Maria Bashir (who, as I have been saying for two years, I really think should get the Nobel Prize in Afghanistan, save that she does not have PR machinery to get her name around). She has refused to work for NGOs in order to continue to defend women. Also my young friend Zala who speaks perfect English has accepted to be vice-principal of a school because she knows that will make a difference in the children’s lives, whereas she could have had a job anywhere in the city.
Kabuli women today
In the streets of Kabul, there are far fewer blue-shrouded women than I had observed a couple of years ago. The burqa has become more than anything a class marker, principally indicating poverty and unemployment. And there are many desperately poor women in Kabul, some begging with their children, huddling in the middle of thick traffic. Cars swerve at the last minute to avoid them, drivers shooing away beggar children clawing at the windows. But as a Kabuli friend observed, these people are not homeless, no-one sleeps openly in the streets as you find in Paris, London or New York. There is always somewhere to go, however miserable, at least for the night, a glass of tea, a crust of dry ‘nan’.
Yet all the different groups are united by their strict attitudes to women as vessels of family honour : at every level of society, women remain subservient to men, their marriages arranged, vital decisions taken by fathers, brothers, husbands and reinforced by the all-powerful mother-in-law. The right to study, to work, to go out, to seek medical aid are privileges that may or may not be meted out by the males of the family, be they vegetable vendors or ministers. Suicides by self-immolation or the slashing of wrists are the ultimate resource of girls of every background.
Read full story on the Femaid Website or in word document.
On Sisyphe, June 6, 2008