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Upstream Journal

magazine on human rights & social justice

Posts Tagged / women

  • Jun 08 / 2016
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Journal

Uruguay – Truth, Justice, and Gender Inequality

2009 protest

May 20th, 2009 – Annual March of Silence to honour the victims of Uruguay’s last dictatorship. Photo: Flickr user Nae

Fifty years ago, Beatriz Benzano was a member of Uruguay’s militant leftist Tupamaros.  The Tupamaros, made up predominately by middle-class youth, sought to redress the country’s rising rates of inflation, unemployment, and bureaucratic corruption through violent insurrection.  In 1972, Benzano was captured by state forces and confined in Punta de Rieles Prison for four years.

She recounted her prison experience in a lecture to the Faculty of Law at the University of the Republic in 2014, in which she spoke about the degradation she and her fellow female dissidents were subjected to. “Forced nudity, exposed to the gaze of troops and officers; fondling and groping; degrading and offensive insults; the violation of one’s body, again and again, with sticks or bugs, with electric prods on the genitals, and with huge dogs snooping the breasts and genitals.” Continue Reading

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  • Nov 24 / 2014
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Journal

Update: Iran’s female political prisoners

In May 2010, The Upstream Journal ran an article about the imprisonment of women who had organized the “Million Signatures” campaign for women’s rights in Iran. Now we revisit the situation of those women…

bahareh-hedayat-campaign

Poster from Iranian rights group. There are at least 50 women imprisoned for their politics or religion (several are Bahá’í). Here is one example, picked at random: Nasrin Sotoudeh – lawyer and human rights activist, six-year sentence, has served three years. Mother of two. Has launched four hunger strikes behind bars in protest of the unlawful treatment of herself and her family members.

Iran recently executed young Reyhaneh Jabbari. She was hanged on October 25, 2014 after spending seven years in prison for killing a man who attacked her.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard about Iran when it comes to human rights abuse and especially its treatment of women. In May 2010 the Upstream Journal published the story of Bahareh Hedayat and Mahboubeh Karami, among other activists, imprisoned in 2009 for advocating for the “One Million Signatures” campaign to abolish laws discriminating against women. Continue Reading

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  • May 01 / 2012
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Journal

Microfinance a development model in crisis

“As she took out larger loans and built up her savings, Melvis was able to purchase some equipment and hire two additional staff. She now sells thirty cakes a week, and has her own street side shop.

“As she took out larger loans and built up her savings, Melvis was able to purchase some equipment and hire two additional staff. She now sells thirty cakes a week, and has her own street side shop.” Photo courtesy Opportunity International

Brady Josephson, national director of Opportunity International Canada, a charity providing financial services to the poor in developing countries, is eager to talk about how microfinance can succeed.

“Melvis is an unbelievable baker, amazing, who was selling, on average, eight cakes a week before she joined Opportunity. She had a great talent, but spent so much time collecting ingredients, baking without proper tools and having to do the entire cake herself she was unable to grow her business. Continue Reading

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  • May 01 / 2012
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Journal

The Trafficking in North Korean women

North Korean Women

Many North Korean women in China live with local men in de facto marriages, Some trafficked into marriage or prostitution. Even if they have lived there for years, they are not entitled to legal residence and face the risk of arrest and repatriation. Many children of unrecognized marriages are forced to live without a legal identity or access to elementary education. (Human Rights Watch 2012) The North Korean woman in this photo is anonymous. Photo: Joseph Ferris.

Mi-Ran Kim says she defected from North Korea to China for the first time when she was thirty-six. Driven by hunger, she crossed the border without the help of a smuggling broker, but was caught and sold to an older man. Refusing to live in a forced marriage, she returned to North Korea.

When Kim escaped again, she was forcibly repatriated to North Korea and sent to a Bowibu prison, a political gulag, where she was beaten, violated and tortured. “While my hands were tied behind my back, they kicked my sides and my breasts,” she said. “I couldn’t even feel the pain because I was losing my mind.” Continue Reading

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