What may help lower the incidence of rape in Darfur? Stoves. "Collecting firewood for cooking puts women in Sudan's conflict-plagued and impoverished Darfur region at risk of rape. But a simple stove that replaces traditional open fires has cut the time they spend on potentially dangerous missions looking for wood, while also helping the environment and boosting their finances, the United Nations World Food Programme says." However, scholar Samer Abdelnour criticizes "the role advocacy can play in transforming far-away crises into “manageable problems” that can be solved through simple technical solutions. A telling example is the portrayal of efficient cookstoves as a tool for preventing rape and other forms of gender-based violence, first in Darfur and now globally." [more inside]
Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone. [more inside]
Keep an eye on your mates when you're out – You look after them, they look after you. It's all about having fun and making it home safely. It's not about being a hero – it's about doing something small. (7:58) A New Zealand PSA about sexual assault prevention focusing on bystanders [WARNING sexual assault triggers abound] [more inside]
"For journalists, it's a little hard for them to be the story." A discussion on Radio Times of sexual violence against journalists (previously) and breaking the silence. With Lauren Wolfe, author of a special report on sexual violence against journalists by the Committee to Protect Journalists; Kim Barker, who corresponded from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India; and Elana Newman, research director at the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma. [more inside]
No Pity. No Shame. No Silence.
"I wondered for a moment what it would look like if just for one day, everyone who had survived sexual violence were visible as a survivor, if we could actually see the extent of it, if we could all know just how very not-alone we are. I wondered how angry and sad it would make me to know. I wondered how much power there might be in the truth."LJ user, misia decided to out herself as a survivor of sexual violence, and offer a place where people could stand up and become visible as survivors as well. The results are a compelling and haunting read.