April 12, 2010 |
Every woman at the bridal shower was drenched in color. One wore a lime green strapless gown with turquoise sequins; another a violet leopard-print caftan with scarlet lace; another a yellow, gold-beaded chemise with a neckline that would have made J-Lo blush. Was this Yemen, or a strange mirage? "Really, it is very bad," said Samira Taher, one of the women at the shower. "If you see me in Egypt, I am always wearing the latest fashion, I have my hair in a new design, and I am wearing makeup, but here, I am wrapped in black.
March 9, 2010 |
In Cameroon, some mothers "iron" their daughters' breasts to delay or prevent them from having sex. The procedure often involves grinding a very hot rock into the chest of the girl, but sometimes kerosene or hot plantain peels will do the trick. The practice, which permanently disfigures the girls, starts with adolescence because that's when girls start becoming attractive to boys. And heaven forbid that anyone expect anything like self-restraint from the boys. I'd never heard of the practice until I read about it in the Washington Post.
February 23, 2010 |
On the afternoon that Malcolm Potts and Raymond Dennehy prepared to debate abortion in a lecture hall filled with UC Berkeley students, a noisy confrontation took shape a few dozen yards away in Sproul Plaza. The Berkeley chapter of Students for Life had invited an antiabortion group that specializes in traveling photographic displays of bloody fetal parts to erect its provocative images comparing abortion to the Holocaust and lynching. It didn't take long for an angry counter-demonstration to form around a hastily painted sign: "Abortion providers are heroes.
November 13, 2009 |
Her fate was all but sealed, the wedding bells ringing in her relatives' heads. Then the bride-to-be, a little girl playing in the dirt in this impoverished village, plucked up her courage and said, "I do not." Roshan Bairwa, then 14, joined a growing number of girls defying the centuries-old tradition of child marriage in a country where nearly half of all women are married before their 18th birthday. The British Raj tried to stamp it out. Mohandas Gandhi, himself a child groom, campaigned against it. The United Nations has condemned it. And in 2006, the Indian government explicitly banned it. But child marriage remains pervasive in India, accounting for one-third of such unions worldwide and underscoring the contradictions and complexities of a society that produces cutting-edge engineers even as it clings to feudal traditions.
October 22, 2009 |
Kuwait's highest court granted women the right to obtain a passport without their husband's approval, the case's lawyer said, in the latest stride for women's rights in this small, oil-rich emirate. Attorney Adel Qurban said the landmark decision "freed" Kuwaiti women from the 1962 law requiring a husband's signature to obtain a passport. His client, Fatima Baghli, is one of thousands of women who have been petitioning courts for the right. The court found the article in the decades-old law "unconstitutional" because it goes against the principle of equal rights for men and women.
August 31, 2009
Re "The other war in Afghanistan," Opinion, Aug. 23, and "A Taliban victory?" Opinion, Aug. 25 In our great effort to demonize Iran, we ignore its state-run family planning, which is one of most progressive and effective in the world. Because a great portion of Afghanistan is linguistically and religiously an extension of Iran, could we invite them to teach family planning to Afghanistan's women? It could be more effective than dropping bombs and be more acceptable to the local Muslim population.