Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 17th, 2013

Any ideas on breaking up this war on women?

Is it still the same story all over the world?

Abusive, violent men in charge of making the laws that are supposed to protect wome?

And males using their power to fend off challenges from victims or voters

Is it time to change that. It is very feasibel.

When a 23-year-old student was brutally gang-raped on a bus in Delhi, citizen protests caught fire across the country and the world erupted in outrage.

India commissioned an official review. And this week the government brazenly says it will ignore the review’s recommendation that politicians charged with rape or similar violence against women must step down.

The 260 Indian politicians accused of such offences are fighting tooth and nail, and so far they are winning!

The only way to turn this round is a concerted, people-powered effort to banish men like this from office.

With 25,000 pledges to donate, Avaaz claims to be able to create a campaign war chest to take on the worst politicians.

The politicians in India depend on their reputations. And we intend to expose them in the news and social media, including through ads and polls.

We’ll start in India — the world’s largest democracy, which is gearing up for national elections — and then stand ready to intervene wherever there are opportunities to change politics and end the war on women! 

Here’s the plan:

1. Avaaz will identify elected representatives or election candidates who are known violators of women’s rights.

2. We’ll choose elections which, when we win, will get massive attention and encourage other abusive men to stay away from public office.

3. We’ll lay down the gauntlet!

4.  We’ll go in hard to kill their chances of clinging to power or getting elected. This could include:

  • running opinion polls to encourage their parties to choose other candidates;
  • organising actions in their local area;
  • encouraging local and national reporters to cover their crimes;
  • releasing ads in major print, TV and radio outlets;
  • hiring lawyers to ensure their victims aren’t intimidated into silence;
  • running hard-hitting campaigns to end the war on women.

Violent, chauvinist attitudes to women aren’t confined to Indian politicians.

Italy’s former PM Silvio Berlusconi could be elected again this month despite facing trial for sex with a minor.

Morocco just let off an MP sentenced for a year for raping a civil servant… then laid charges on the rape survivor!

Berlusconi owns a tonne of Italy’s media, so gets off lightly there, while in Morocco and other countries, powerful people can lean on judges and media bosses.

So people-powered campaigns are the only way to end the culture of impunity!

Worldwide, 1 in 5 women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime according to UN studies.

Until men like these are kicked out of power, we’ll never get the changes to laws and attitudes that women need.

Our power multiplies when these guys are at their most vulnerable: when they’re running for office and need every vote they can muster.

We know this strategy works.

A few months ago when Republican front-runner for US Senate Todd Akin suggested some rapes are “legitimate“, savvy bloggers and campaigners turned the story into his worst nightmare. The firestorm they created cost him the race, and the Republican Party, calling his remarks “insulting and inexcusable”, pulled his funding and asked him to step aside. It sparked a conversation about sexual violence that’s still going on in the US.

We can ensure that men like Akin can no longer get into office anywhere.

If enough of us pledge to donate a small amount now, we can launch rapid-response campaigning that could flip elections like Akin’s across the world and get other political parties to think again.

Time and again, Avaaz members have risen to the challenge of defending women’s rights:

In Afghanistan, we helped protect Lal Bibi when she spoke out about her horrific rape.

 In Honduras, we fought alongside local women against a law that would jail women for using the morning-after pill, even if they’ve been raped.

Now we can address these issues at the source, by changing who sits in parliaments and ministries, making decisions about women’s lives!

We’ve seen how much positive change pro-women politicians — male and female — can bring to our societies, so let’s make room for them!

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/end_the_war_on_women_loc/?bFAfecb&v=21809

With hope,

Mia, David, Jooyea, Michelle, Alex, Ricken, Alaphia, Emily and the whole Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION

For politicians, shaming rapists should start at home (Firstpost):
http://www.firstpost.com/politics/for-politicians-naming-and-shaming-rapists-should-start-at-home-573922.html

The Government vs. the Committee (WSJ):
http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/02/05/the-government-vs-the-committee/

Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock fall to Senate defeats (Guardian):
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/07/todd-akin-richard-mourdock-senate-results

How widespread is violence against women? (UN):
http://www.un.org/en/women/endviolence/pdf/VAW.pdf 

Miscarriage of justice: MP Accused of Rape Acquitted, Plaintiff Arrested (Morocco World News):
http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2013/01/74825/miscarriage-of-justice-mp-accused-of-rape-acquitted-plaintiff-arrested/


Why Egypt floods Gaza tunnels? Morsi wants to cut Palestinian lifeline?

Egyptian and Palestinian officials said that Egypt government forces have flooded smuggling tunnels under the border with the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down.

The network of tunnels is a vital lifeline for Gaza, bringing in an estimated 30% of all goods that reach the enclave and circumventing a blockade imposed by Israel for more than 7 years.

A tunnel owner, who identified himself only as Ayad, fearing reprisal, said:”Egyptian measures against tunnels have worsened since the election of Mursi. Our Hamas brothers thought he would open up Gaza. I guess they were wrong.”

“Perhaps 150 or 200 tunnels have been shut since the Sinai attack. This is the Mursi era,” he added.

Nidal al-Mughrabi posted on Feb. 13, 2013 on Reuters:

Reuters reporters saw one tunnel being used to bring in cement and gravel suddenly fill with water on Sunday, sending workers rushing for safety.

Locals said two other tunnels were likewise flooded, with Egyptians deliberately pumping in water.

“The Egyptians have opened the water to drown the tunnels,” said Abu Ghassan, who supervises the work of 30 men at one tunnel some 200 meters (yards) from the border fence.

An Egyptian security official in the Sinai told Reuters the campaign started 5 days ago.

“We are using water to close the tunnels by raising water from one of the wells,” he said, declining to be named.

Dozens of tunnels had been destroyed since last August following the killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers in a militant attack near the Gaza fence.

Cairo said some of the gunmen had crossed into Egypt via the tunnels – a charge denied by Palestinians – and ordered an immediate crackdown.

The move surprised and angered Gaza’s rulers, the Islamist group Hamas, which had hoped for much better ties with Cairo following the election last year of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist who is ideologically close to Hamas.

A Hamas official confirmed Egypt was again targeting the tunnels. He gave no further details and declined to speculate on the timing of the move, which started while Palestinian faction leaders met in Cairo to try to overcome deep divisions.

CRITICISING CAIRO

Hamas said on Monday the Egyptian-brokered talks, aimed at forging a unity government and healing the schism between politicians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, had gone badly but had not collapsed.

While Gaza’s rulers have been reluctant to criticize Mursi in public, ordinary people in Gaza are slightly more vocal.

The tunnelers fear the water being pumped underground might collapse the passage ways, with possible disastrous consequences.

“Water can cause cracks in the wall and may cause the collapse of the tunnel. It may kill people,” said Ahmed Al-Shaer, a tunnel worker whose cousin died a year ago when a tunnel caved in on him.

Six Palestinians died in January in tunnel implosions, raising the death toll among workers to 233 since 2007, according to Gazan human rights groups, including an estimated 20 who died in various Israeli air attacks on the border lands.

Israel imposed its blockade for what it called security reasons in 2007. The United Nations has appealed for it to be lifted.

At one stage an estimated 2,500-3,000 tunnels snaked their way under the desert fence but the network has shrunk markedly since 2010, when Israel eased some of the limits they imposed on imports into the coastal enclave.

All goods still have to be screened before entering Gaza and Israel says some restrictions must remain on items that could be used to make or to store weapons.

This ensures the tunnels are still active, particularly to bring in building materials. Hamas also prefers using the tunnels to smuggle in fuel, thereby avoiding custom dues that are payable on oil crossing via Israel.

(Additional reporting by Youssry Ahmad in Egypt; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Angus MacSwan)

Note: After the military coup on Morsi in 2013, the new government is resuming the shutting down of the tunnels in more forceful manners. Why? The military government wants to eradicate the salafist “terrorist” elements who are resisting the presence of the army in Sinai Peninsula, and the Palestinian Hamas is blamed for that increase in terrorist attacks in Sinai.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

February 2013
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