Nick Turse

Thousands of women are being illegally held in Iraqi prisons, where they suffer torture and other forms of abuse, including sexual assault, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. HRW said that women in Iraqi prisons — the vast majority of whom are Sunni — have reported being beaten, kicked, and slapped, given electric shocks, and raped, while others have been threatened with sexual assault, sometimes in front of male relatives.

In online comments and over email, I was called a prostitute and the C-word. J. B. Handley, a critic of childhood vaccination and the founder of the autism group Generation Rescue, affiliated with the actress Jenny McCarthy, sent me an essay titled, “Paul Offit Rapes (intellectually) Amy Wallace and Wired Magazine.” In it, he implied that my subject had slipped me a date-rape drug. Later, an anti-vaccine website Photoshopped my head onto the body of a woman in a strapless dress who sat next to Dr. Offit at a festive dinner table. The main course? A human baby.
Amy Wallace — who in 2009 wrote a cover story for Wired magazine about the anti-vaccine movement and profiled Paul Offit, a leading proponent of vaccines for children — from Life as a Female Journalist: Hot or Not? - NYTimes.com
In online comments and over email, I was called a prostitute and the C-word. J. B. Handley, a critic of childhood vaccination and the founder of the autism group Generation Rescue, affiliated with the actress Jenny McCarthy, sent me an essay titled, “Paul Offit Rapes (intellectually) Amy Wallace and Wired Magazine.” In it, he implied that my subject had slipped me a date-rape drug. Later, an anti-vaccine website Photoshopped my head onto the body of a woman in a strapless dress who sat next to Dr. Offit at a festive dinner table. The main course? A human baby.
Amy Wallace — who in 2009 wrote a cover story for Wired magazine about the anti-vaccine movement and profiled Paul Offit, a leading proponent of vaccines for children — from Life as a Female Journalist: Hot or Not? - NYTimes.com
I have a daughter. Both my husband and I proudly served in the Army, and we have told our daughter of our experiences. I want my daughter (and all children) to consider serving in the military. But how can I ask her to enter the military knowing that her chances of being sexually assaulted are one in three, compared to one in six in the civilian world? Women in the military are more likely to be assaulted by another servicemember than killed in combat.
Donna McAleer, a West Point graduate, army veteran, award-winning author, speaker, and member of the Defense Advisory Council on Women in the Military at The Best Defense | FOREIGN POLICY
The New Delhi rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey, the 23-year-old who was studying physiotherapy so that she could better herself while helping others, and the assault on her male companion (who survived) seem to have triggered the reaction that we have needed for 100, or 1,000, or 5,000 years. May she be to women — and men — worldwide what Emmett Till, murdered by white supremacists in 1955, was to African-Americans and the then-nascent U.S. civil rights movement.
pulitzerfieldnotes:

(Photo: Radha Devi Swar stands in her family compound in Ridikot, Achham, Nepal. Photo by Allison Shelley. Nepal, 2012.)
MIGRATION MEDITATION
We arrived in Achham, a distant ripple of mountains in far western Nepal, only to find everyone else heading the other way.
Dotted along the terraced hillsides are homes in the traditional style, intricately carved wooden window frames, multiple stories built of stones covered in red, brown or white earth. The ceilings are low enough for tall visitors to stoop, the walls thick enough to insulate against the nightly chill. 
Three three-story homes, one more dilapidated than the next, share a single courtyard. Stately and elegant in structure, the houses look nearly haunted now. Rounded mud corners; saplings growing through the window.
In the yard, Radha Devi Swar surveys the remnants of her family compound. She points to the first house, owned by a lawyer, the second a doctor; four brothers had lived here with their families before trickling off, one by one, to the cities. 
Radha has the wizened wrinkles of a rural working woman. Toes stained and calloused from walking in the dirt, face molded from squinting against the sun.
She walks stiffly and apologizes for the state of the house; busy caring for a dying relative, she has had no time to re-plaster. The brothers return sporadically, when the temple behind the house needs attending, but not every year. So Radha battles entropy to maintain the estate. “If no one stayed here,” she said, “it would be destroyed.”
All along the twisting footpaths of Achham, houses stand half vacant. Achhami men, and increasingly the women, seek schooling, jobs and urban luxuries somewhere—anywhere—else. They venture to the plains, the capitol, Mumbai, the Gulf.
One hill over from Radha Swar’s home, another weathered woman, also named Radha Devi, but of the Kunwar family, is preparing her own departure. “Everything is nice here, fresh vegetables, fresh water, fresh air, good food,” she says, bittersweet, “but I like Kathmandu…you can travel on a bus, you don’t have to walk everywhere.”
She too will leave her tidy courtyard, the cows, the goats, the papaya trees, the spinach fields to join her sons and husband in Kathmandu. And the homestead? The farm? “We are planning to lock the house and go.”
In its place will be another crumbling legacy of the ones who left.
-From Pulitzer Center grantees Allison Shelley and Allyn Gaestel, who are in the field in Nepal.
Image by Allison Shelley. Text by Allyn Gaestel.

pulitzerfieldnotes:

(Photo: Radha Devi Swar stands in her family compound in Ridikot, Achham, Nepal. Photo by Allison Shelley. Nepal, 2012.)

MIGRATION MEDITATION

We arrived in Achham, a distant ripple of mountains in far western Nepal, only to find everyone else heading the other way.

Dotted along the terraced hillsides are homes in the traditional style, intricately carved wooden window frames, multiple stories built of stones covered in red, brown or white earth. The ceilings are low enough for tall visitors to stoop, the walls thick enough to insulate against the nightly chill. 

Three three-story homes, one more dilapidated than the next, share a single courtyard. Stately and elegant in structure, the houses look nearly haunted now. Rounded mud corners; saplings growing through the window.

In the yard, Radha Devi Swar surveys the remnants of her family compound. She points to the first house, owned by a lawyer, the second a doctor; four brothers had lived here with their families before trickling off, one by one, to the cities. 

Radha has the wizened wrinkles of a rural working woman. Toes stained and calloused from walking in the dirt, face molded from squinting against the sun.

She walks stiffly and apologizes for the state of the house; busy caring for a dying relative, she has had no time to re-plaster. The brothers return sporadically, when the temple behind the house needs attending, but not every year. So Radha battles entropy to maintain the estate. “If no one stayed here,” she said, “it would be destroyed.”

All along the twisting footpaths of Achham, houses stand half vacant. Achhami men, and increasingly the women, seek schooling, jobs and urban luxuries somewhere—anywhere—else. They venture to the plains, the capitol, Mumbai, the Gulf.

One hill over from Radha Swar’s home, another weathered woman, also named Radha Devi, but of the Kunwar family, is preparing her own departure. “Everything is nice here, fresh vegetables, fresh water, fresh air, good food,” she says, bittersweet, “but I like Kathmandu…you can travel on a bus, you don’t have to walk everywhere.”

She too will leave her tidy courtyard, the cows, the goats, the papaya trees, the spinach fields to join her sons and husband in Kathmandu. And the homestead? The farm? “We are planning to lock the house and go.”

In its place will be another crumbling legacy of the ones who left.

-From Pulitzer Center grantees Allison Shelley and Allyn Gaestel, who are in the field in Nepal.

Image by Allison Shelley. Text by Allyn Gaestel.

pulitzerfieldnotes:

(Photo: Radha Devi Swar stands in her family compound in Ridikot, Achham, Nepal. Photo by Allison Shelley. Nepal, 2012.)
MIGRATION MEDITATION
We arrived in Achham, a distant ripple of mountains in far western Nepal, only to find everyone else heading the other way.
Dotted along the terraced hillsides are homes in the traditional style, intricately carved wooden window frames, multiple stories built of stones covered in red, brown or white earth. The ceilings are low enough for tall visitors to stoop, the walls thick enough to insulate against the nightly chill. 
Three three-story homes, one more dilapidated than the next, share a single courtyard. Stately and elegant in structure, the houses look nearly haunted now. Rounded mud corners; saplings growing through the window.
In the yard, Radha Devi Swar surveys the remnants of her family compound. She points to the first house, owned by a lawyer, the second a doctor; four brothers had lived here with their families before trickling off, one by one, to the cities. 
Radha has the wizened wrinkles of a rural working woman. Toes stained and calloused from walking in the dirt, face molded from squinting against the sun.
She walks stiffly and apologizes for the state of the house; busy caring for a dying relative, she has had no time to re-plaster. The brothers return sporadically, when the temple behind the house needs attending, but not every year. So Radha battles entropy to maintain the estate. “If no one stayed here,” she said, “it would be destroyed.”
All along the twisting footpaths of Achham, houses stand half vacant. Achhami men, and increasingly the women, seek schooling, jobs and urban luxuries somewhere—anywhere—else. They venture to the plains, the capitol, Mumbai, the Gulf.
One hill over from Radha Swar’s home, another weathered woman, also named Radha Devi, but of the Kunwar family, is preparing her own departure. “Everything is nice here, fresh vegetables, fresh water, fresh air, good food,” she says, bittersweet, “but I like Kathmandu…you can travel on a bus, you don’t have to walk everywhere.”
She too will leave her tidy courtyard, the cows, the goats, the papaya trees, the spinach fields to join her sons and husband in Kathmandu. And the homestead? The farm? “We are planning to lock the house and go.”
In its place will be another crumbling legacy of the ones who left.
-From Pulitzer Center grantees Allison Shelley and Allyn Gaestel, who are in the field in Nepal.
Image by Allison Shelley. Text by Allyn Gaestel.

pulitzerfieldnotes:

(Photo: Radha Devi Swar stands in her family compound in Ridikot, Achham, Nepal. Photo by Allison Shelley. Nepal, 2012.)

MIGRATION MEDITATION

We arrived in Achham, a distant ripple of mountains in far western Nepal, only to find everyone else heading the other way.

Dotted along the terraced hillsides are homes in the traditional style, intricately carved wooden window frames, multiple stories built of stones covered in red, brown or white earth. The ceilings are low enough for tall visitors to stoop, the walls thick enough to insulate against the nightly chill. 

Three three-story homes, one more dilapidated than the next, share a single courtyard. Stately and elegant in structure, the houses look nearly haunted now. Rounded mud corners; saplings growing through the window.

In the yard, Radha Devi Swar surveys the remnants of her family compound. She points to the first house, owned by a lawyer, the second a doctor; four brothers had lived here with their families before trickling off, one by one, to the cities. 

Radha has the wizened wrinkles of a rural working woman. Toes stained and calloused from walking in the dirt, face molded from squinting against the sun.

She walks stiffly and apologizes for the state of the house; busy caring for a dying relative, she has had no time to re-plaster. The brothers return sporadically, when the temple behind the house needs attending, but not every year. So Radha battles entropy to maintain the estate. “If no one stayed here,” she said, “it would be destroyed.”

All along the twisting footpaths of Achham, houses stand half vacant. Achhami men, and increasingly the women, seek schooling, jobs and urban luxuries somewhere—anywhere—else. They venture to the plains, the capitol, Mumbai, the Gulf.

One hill over from Radha Swar’s home, another weathered woman, also named Radha Devi, but of the Kunwar family, is preparing her own departure. “Everything is nice here, fresh vegetables, fresh water, fresh air, good food,” she says, bittersweet, “but I like Kathmandu…you can travel on a bus, you don’t have to walk everywhere.”

She too will leave her tidy courtyard, the cows, the goats, the papaya trees, the spinach fields to join her sons and husband in Kathmandu. And the homestead? The farm? “We are planning to lock the house and go.”

In its place will be another crumbling legacy of the ones who left.

-From Pulitzer Center grantees Allison Shelley and Allyn Gaestel, who are in the field in Nepal.

Image by Allison Shelley. Text by Allyn Gaestel.

globalpost:

Reports of a man beheading his sister in an apparent honor killing in India have garnered attention recently.

On Dec. 7, 29-year-old Mehtab Alam dragged his sister out onto the street, cut off her head in one stroke and walked to a police station with her head in his hand. The Times of India said it was the first honor killing to happen in Kolkata in decades.

Read more: Man beheads sister in broad daylight in India

The horrific news came as Indians protested in favor of stronger safety measures for women, after the 23-year-old victim of a brutal gang rape died last week.

India wasn’t the only country in the news for women’s issues.

In the United States, for the first time in 18 years, Congress did not reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

House leadership chose to let the bill expire, balking at new provisions that would extend protections to undocumented immigrants, Native Americans and LGBT individuals.

In Indonesia, the city of Lhokseumawe ruled that female passengers are only allowed to ride side-saddle.

But after all that bad news, here’s a look at what women did achieve in 2012:

A year in women: notable female achievements of 2012, from Malala to Hillary

newyorker:

Women and Violence in El Salvador, a slide show: http://nyr.kr/Q8mN46

pulitzercenter:

In Japan, a hostess is a young woman who entertains men at bars or clubs. Customers pay large sums of money to these women for pleasure of their company, i.e. for flirting but not sex. Once frowned upon, the hostess job has been gaining popularity among young women. Despite the Equal Opportunity Law of 1986, Japanese women’s employment opportunities are often limited to low-paying, dead-end jobs or temp positions. Only 65% of college-educated women are employed and women’s salaries are a third less than men’s. Though women can only work as hostesses when they are young, many young women see this profession as one of the few jobs that provide financial independence. Photojournalist Shiho Fukada is collecting stories about disposable workers. Comment below or on her story http://bit.ly/disposedJPN. Image by Shiho Fukada. Japan, 2012.

pulitzercenter:

In Japan, a hostess is a young woman who entertains men at bars or clubs. Customers pay large sums of money to these women for pleasure of their company, i.e. for flirting but not sex. Once frowned upon, the hostess job has been gaining popularity among young women. Despite the Equal Opportunity Law of 1986, Japanese women’s employment opportunities are often limited to low-paying, dead-end jobs or temp positions. Only 65% of college-educated women are employed and women’s salaries are a third less than men’s. Though women can only work as hostesses when they are young, many young women see this profession as one of the few jobs that provide financial independence. Photojournalist Shiho Fukada is collecting stories about disposable workers. Comment below or on her story http://bit.ly/disposedJPN. Image by Shiho Fukada. Japan, 2012.