Girl Raped For 43,200 times

An innocent girl was forced into human trafficking industry of Mexico. Now she speaks about her agony and the brutal acts she had to go through.

Meet the brave girl, Karla Jacinto (23). She believes that she has been raped for almost 43,200 times. She was forced to have sex with at least 30 men every day continuously for four years, CNN reports.

After getting out of that hell, she shared the story of her survival via press conferences, public events etc. She also spoke to the Pope Francis at the Vatican and urged to the US Congress to prevent other young girls who might be dragged away from their loved ones.

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Ms. Karla Jacinto.

A 22-year-old trafficker targetted Karla when she was just 12. He took her away from her family in Tenancingo. Tenancingo, Mexico, widely considered as the sex trafficking capital of the world and is the single largest source of sex slaves sent to the US, according to the US State Department. In an interview with CNN, Karla told that she stayed with her trafficker for three months, after which she was transported to Guadalajara (One of the nation’s largest cities) before being dragged into prostitution. She said, “I started at 10 am and finished at midnight. Some men would laugh at me because I was crying. I had to close my eyes so that that I wouldn’t see what they were doing to me so that I wouldn’t feel anything.”

 

Story Teller,

Manjiri Ghatge

 

 

 

 

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The Hungry Eyes

111Every day, every hour, every second women are being harassed by men in this society. There are many types of Harassment but the most common and irritating one is STARING. This shameful act is being normalized by our society in the form of patriarchal freedom. It is clear enough to understand the root cause of this rising issue, which is Patriarchal society. This male dominant society has introduced a culture of Gender based discrimination. Moreover, women are considered as subordinates of men and the power only belongs to men. This discriminated culture has distributed the rights of freedom inequitably.

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Thus, men are enjoying extra freedom than women. Unfortunately, the misuse of the freedom is considered as an honor of a brave man. If a man stares women, he is considered as a daring man. If a boy is flirting a girl, he is considered to be very smart and it is an honor for him. If a man is enjoying multiple relationships, he is considered very cleaver. These all boost up the confidence of man to cross the limits. Being a girl, I am experiencing this harassment on daily basis. It is really difficult for me and other women to even cross a street alone or with anyone. These hungry eyes are ready to stop our way, to catch and to crush our dignity, our respect, our confidence, and our privacy.

Is this a social issue or psychological disorder/ perversion?

How this harassment can be minimized?

I am doing a survey on this harassment. Let’s be the part of this issue and sort it out together.

Both males and females can fill this survey form and add your contribution to eliminate one of the social issues.

To fill the Survey form please clicks here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1__XaIr52T-ntGahzGCCVVROXvUnvrUXjQTN4r2X8aeA/edit

First Step Towards “Students Against Sexual Violence”

imagesThe Harmony Theater starts the first step of

its campaign “Students Against Rap” with a

bilingual speech contest on the topics

related to sexual violence. the last date for

registrations is 11th September, 2015.

It has been observed that many young students showed interest in this contest,

therefore the management of Harmony Theater decided to organize auditions for

the selection of participants on 13th of September, 2015. Top 6 participants (3 for

English speech, 3 for Urdu speech) will be selected for the final contest which will

held on 20th September, 2015. Furthermore, winners of both English and Urdu

speech will receive cash prizes, shields and certificates.

Note: All participants of auditions will also receive participation certificate on the

last day of contest. 

Harmony Theater to present a campaign

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“Harmony Theater Group” to present a campaign  “Students Against Rape”. The Theater group is going to arrange Series of seminars, documentaries, plays etc for awareness regarding sexual & gender-based violence issues in  the society.

So, the first part of the series will be a Speech Contest on “Preponderance of Sexual Abuse”.

Be the part of Awareness!

Unfinished Domestic Violence in Pakistan

Evidence shows most men make excuses, calling temporary anger and verbal abuse normal while shrugging off the seriousness of financial control as punishment
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In the shadows behind the curtains,in the murky depths of despair and in the black of night, domestic violence continues to ruin lives in Pakistan.Inside the disturbed minds of those who commit these crimes they are not desperate to escape. Those who have the power to prevent and/or punish this violence through religion, law or custom openly or tacitly approve it. For every high-profile case, more victims die shrouded in silence and countless others endure the daily torture of not knowing when it will happen again. In the emptiness of abuse all alone, frozen in fear, victims stand in the cold dark alleys of torture and violence for the sake of their lives and children. The question is: when will they feel safe?
Far too often we as spectators fail to see it. Even worse, we turn a blind eye. It is time to shine a light on domestic violence.This remains a national tragedy for a country that purports to be civilised, tolerant and safe, or at least what politicians and leaders of the country claim to be the case.By placing domestic violence atop the national agenda they can expose and erase the dark underside of home life while helping victims find the warmth and optimism they deserve. But change will require recognition of the extent of the damage by those who behave as though it is still the dark ages.

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Gender-based violence has recently been emerging as a pervasive national issue. Existing statistics suggests that profound physical and psychological sequelae are endemic following intimate partner violence. The presentation of domestic violence in our country is culture specific. A new lexicon, prompted by the expansion of psychological analysis, describes particular threats to women, including dowry deaths, honour murder and disproportional exposure to HIV/AIDS as well as globally generic perils including abuse, battering, marital rape and murder.
The relevant statistics are truly alarming. According to the statistics of violence against women contained in a report to parliament by the ministry of law, justice and human rights, there were 860 ‘honour’ killings (mostly women), 481 incidents of domestic violence, 90 cases of acid burning, 344 cases of rape/gang rape and 268 incidents of sexual assault/harassment. That is just the official toll. Less than half of abuse is reported.
These are mothers, daughters, sisters and wives; these are the people who live next to you. These are real people and they are horrifying numbers. Behind the veneer of social respectability across all demographics, women are suffering from physical, psychological, manipulative and controlling behaviour by dangerous, sick men. It emanates from a mind-set that blames the victim and tolerates disrespect for those who are of another gender, background, lifestyle or are simply powerless. It does not stop there; children are even being assaulted, traumatised and used as weapons in the middle of this social pathology. Change will require challenging the culture of saying nothing. Change will mean recasting many of the myths about what a significant minority of men regard as being mard (macho): rugged,powerful, dominant and the breadwinner, able to apply double standards to being faithful, fearless and allowed to embrace loss of control and physical violence as a birth right.

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When interviewed, most women who had been abused felt it was a private matter or feared retribution. Most live in fear of being tracked down by their abuser. True, more women today are economically independent and most know there are services out there to help if partners become abusive but only few take the risk of speaking out and refuse to be demeaned. But fewer still make the flight to safety or use the support of courts and the police to remain in their own homes. There must be more protection of whistle-blowers who lift the veil of secrecy. For how long will the fear of social ostracism or economic desolation dissuade women in particular not to report their dire situations?
While still fragmentary, data reveals strengthening associations between domestic violence and mental health. Depression, stress-related syndromes, anxiety, drug dependency and suicide are consequences observed in theshort-term context of violence in women’s lives. Sadly, though, many women develop long-term mental illnesses, often driven by a husband’s jealousy linked to low self-esteem. They try to destroy the confidence of a victim to the point where she feels like a prisoner dependent on the captor.In these cases, early signs of abuse are even harder to identify. The process can be so insidious that sometimes women are murdered without having endured a single act of physical violence up to that point.Change will require the courage of society to stop allowing men to make excuses along the lines of“it will not happen again; they were stressed and now they are sorry”. No, they are committing criminal acts and they should be punished.
Evidence shows most men make excuses, calling temporary anger and verbal abuse normal while shrugging off the seriousness of financial control as punishment. Women in our society, particularly from poor families, are prone to regard domestic violence and abusive behaviour by husbands as the norm too. Many men have grown up in families that functioned peacefully yet many remain deeply affected.The spread of cyber bullying and trolling on social media only makes the task harder when it comes to showing young boys, who soon grow into men, that disagreements can be settled peacefully and personality clashes need not become abusive. This intergenerational problem remains, despite some changed attitudes on the role of aggression in marital conflicts. The fact is that the children of families that endured domestic violence are more likely to offend as adults.Society needs to tackle these long grained infected cultural legacies and domestic abuse because there is a common link: disrespectful attitudes towards women.
There are some glimmers of hope.Emerging social, legal, medical and educational strategies, often culture specific, can offer novel local models to promote social change, beginning with raising the status of women. The ubiquity, gravity and variability of domestic violence across the culture compel that additional efforts should be made by parliamentarians and leaders of the country to promote the recognition, intervention and prevention of domestic violence that are both locally specific and nationally instructive.
There is a long way to go before the abuse and the killing are wiped out. That is why it is critical that advocates such as civil society champions and local governments work even harder with mental health professionals to find better domestic violence strategies.Can we count on our policy makers to do just that?

Dr Fawad Kaiser

March 09, 2015

Activist Sabeen Mahmud Killed for Highlighting Baluchistan

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A leading Pakistani human rights activist has been killed in a drive-by shooting in Karachi after hosting a talk on allegations of torture in the province of Balochistan.

Sabeen Mehmud was shot dead as she drove home with her mother, who was also attacked. Ms Mehmud had been the subject of death threats before.

Ms Mehmud was a director of the charity The Second Floor, also known as T2F.

T2F regularly holds seminars on human rights issues. It houses a cafe and book shop where Karachi’s liberal activists and students can meet.

The seminar on torture in Balochistan was held at T2F, having been cancelled by university authorities in Lahore, where it had been due to take place in the last few weeks.

Taliban militants, Baloch separatists and other groups fight in Balochistan, which borders Iran.

Shortly after leaving the event, Ms Mehmud and her mother were shot. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that Ms Mehmud died on her way to hospital, and that she had been shot five times.

BBC.com

Marx on Gender and the Family; A Critical Study

images (3)Heather Brown’s new book Marx on Gender and the Family: A Critical Study is an important contribution to a renewed discussion about gender, class, and women’s oppression. Debates about feminism and its relationship to Marxism are nothing new, but Brown seeks to overcome the old dichotomy by developing what she calls a unified theory of Marxist feminism.

Brown explores some of Marx’s well-known works, as well as more obscure ones, on the topics of gender, sexism, and women’s rights, tracing the development of his ideas over time. She places special emphasis on his time as a crusading journalist, explores theoretical and methodological differences between him and his closest collaborator, Friedrich Engels, and breaks new ground by exploring never-before-published fragments of Marx’s work and correspondence that sheds new light on certain questions. 

Brown’s introduction places Marx squarely in the political context of today’s wholesale neoliberal crisis and worldwide fightback, from Egypt to Occupy. She writes, “In recent years, especially since the anti-globalization movement exemplified in the protests in Seattle in 1999, scholars and activists have begun to return to Marx’s critique of capitalism.” Brown contends that this return to Marx ought to include insights into his work, which points toward the necessity of women’s liberation as a central plank in any genuine platform of anticapitalism.

The combined task of exploring women’s lives under capitalism while theorizing women’s oppression itself as an important category of capital’s domination is the driving force of the book. Brown argues that Marx’s writing demonstrates an understanding that socialists must understand and confront the real conditions of women under capitalism. She also argues that Marx’s methodology equips us today to theorize women’s oppression further, even in areas that he did not explore theoretically. 

Or, as she puts it,

I argue that Marx’s discussion of gender extended far beyond merely including women as factory-workers. Although Marx did not write a great deal on gender and the family, it was for him an essential category for understanding the division of labor, production, and society in general. Moreover, there are potential openings within Marx’s overall theory of society that may be amenable to a feminist interpretation.

In other words, Brown believes that Marx developed an understanding of humanity’s relationship both to the natural world and to social development that puts human liberation at the center of his system. This perspective implies the centrality of overcoming the conditions that give rise to—and perpetuate—women’s oppression as a precondition for any potential liberatory socialism. She aims to show this by reading Marx’s work with an eye toward explicit references to gender, as well as examining those works that explicate his understanding of the two issues noted above: nature and social development. 

In her chapters on Marx’s early writings, she examines the 1844 Manuscripts, The Holy Family, and The German Ideology, as well as a journalistic article for the Neue Rheinische Zeitung Politisch-Ökonomische Revue, the magazine Marx edited in exile following the defeat of the 1848 German Revolution. While none of these texts take gender and the family as their main points or arguments, Brown makes a convincing case that important examples of Marx’s understanding of women’s oppression are woven through them. She explores themes of morality, the oppressiveness of religion, and alienation and argues that in these early writings, “Marx points out the necessity of women’s full liberation and equality with men as a prerequisite to a truly socialist society.”

But, Brown argues, Marx does not just situate women’s oppression within the working class. He observes that the oppression of women occurs not just in the workplace but also in the family, proletarian as well as bourgeois, pointing to the French Revolution as an example of a political revolution that did not alter the oppressive dynamics within the family. To illustrate the negative consequences of this oppressive and alienating dynamic of the family, he discusses the example of female suicide in bourgeois families in remarks based on an essay by contemporary French writer Jacques Peuchet, seeing it as symptomatic of the powerlessness of even bourgeois women within the home but also as a significant (if desperate) act of resistance against their oppression. This discussion shows that, for Marx, analyzing the oppression of women inside the family is central to understanding women’s oppression as a whole. Brown uses this example to push back against the critique that Marx focuses only on productive labor. 

Brown argues throughout the book, quite convincingly, that, while Marx’s writings did not cover all aspects of women’s oppression, his overall framework and methodology provide us with the tools to fill out his analysis of capitalism with an analysis of gender. In the chapter “Political Economy, Gender and the Family,” Brown applies this method in a discussion of social reproduction theory. This theory was developed in the 1980s, most notably by Lise Vogel, in an effort to develop a political economy of domestic labor while developing a unified theory of women’s oppression under capitalism. 

Brown shows how Vogel challenges a dualistic view of productive and reproductive labor as two separate, autonomous spheres, a view which, Brown argues, Marx rejected in favor of a dialectical analysis that considered all social relations under capitalism as one part of an overall totality. While this dualism has marked many feminist trends (e.g., patriarchy produces sexism; capitalism produces exploitation), Brown notes that Vogel traces it back to none other than Marx’s closest collaborator, Engels. 

Brown acknowledges that the bulk of Marx’s political economy is focused on production (that is, how exploitation takes place at work), but she makes a strong case that the framework he set forth in Capital also provides us with the tools to understand domestic labor and the reproduction of labor in the home. This is one of the strongest and most relevant arguments in the book. Brown acknowledges the limitations of the Marxist analysis insofar as it prioritizes production (see the decades of effort Marx put into unlocking the keys to exploitation), but then uses Marx’s own method to elevate reproduction to an equivalent significance for understanding the totality of the workings of capitalism. 

She explains:

He argues that the private sphere could only be understood with a reference to production. Moreover, if the two spheres really do interact to a significant extent, then the same would also be true of production itself: production could only be truly understood once the specific relations involved in human reproduction were understood. . . . The relations of production may have analytical priority over other relations; however these relations must be understood as dialectically related to the whole in order to understand the capitalist or any other mode of production. Marx’s lack of interest in human reproduction should not deter us from exploring these issues within his own framework.

This is an important observation that makes real the possibility of developing a theory of women’s liberation that can be fully woven into Marx’s framework.

In the final two chapters, Brown develops what may be the more controversial of her arguments. She focuses on notes that Marx scribbled while studying different anthropological works on pre-class societies, as well as during his research on revolutionary dynamics in developing societies. Here is where she posits the great divide between Marx and Engels. 

Engels’s famous work The Origin of Family, Private Property and the State is often regarded as a central socialist text with respect to women’s oppression under class society, yet, Brown argues, the text is flawed by an economic determinism that is not present in Marx’s exploration of the same topic, even though Marx’s (informal) commentaries take much of the same anthropological evidence as their starting point. Arguing that the rise of class society and private property were concurrent with the institutionalization of the monogamous, patriarchal family, Engels links women’s oppression and the relegation of women’s work to the private domestic sphere to the rise of class society. In making this case, he relies heavily on nineteenth-century anthropologist Henry Morgan’s work. Engels asserts that the institutions of monogamy and patrilineage constitute the “over-throw of mother-right” and usher in the era of women’s oppression and institutionalized sexism that persists today. 

Brown challenges this framework, arguing that Engels’s analysis “was marred by an overly deterministic framework and by an inadequate focus on the social elements of change.” Engels’s book traces historical eras with corresponding family forms that Brown finds linear; she critiques him for not considering cases of women’s oppression in early pre-class societies. 

Pointing to what she calls a “deterministic assessment” of women’s oppression, she finds fault with the following passage from Engels:

The first class opposition that appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male. Monogamous marriage was a great historical step forward; nevertheless, together with slavery and private wealth, it opens the period that has lasted until today in which every step forward is also relatively a step backward, in which prosperity and development for some is won through the misery and frustration of others. It is this cellular form of civilized society in which the nature of the oppositions and contradictions fully active in that society can be already studied.

There is some truth to Brown’s claims that Marx explored gender and the development of the family differently than Engels did, but she goes far beyond pointing out a difference in emphasis between their two analyses. Brown implies that Engels’s method is so deeply flawed that it corrupts the entire work. 

It is worth noting that she is far more forgiving in her critique of Marx. For example, she chastises Engels for not acknowledging agency and the role of a political struggle for women’s liberation separate from the struggle for socialism, or at least the need to link the two together explicitly. She argues, “More problematic, however, is Engels’ close association of gender- and class-oppression. Since he views them as developing simultaneously and from the same causes, he automatically assumes that, with the end of private property, gender oppression will end as well.” This automaticity is inferred in Brown’s reading of the text but, arguably, is not clearly based on Engels’s actual argument.  

Likewise, she points to a mistake that Engels does certainly make but which could just as easily be attributed to Marx: that is, their joint assumption that the movement of women into paid labor in the public sphere would serve as a means to equalize relationships between men and women.  This mistake was, in fact, premised on two theoretical missteps.  First, neither Marx nor Engels theorized the “double burden” that women endure as workers in both the domestic and the public spheres.  Second, Marx and Engels paid relatively little attention to theorizing the particularities of women’s oppression and work at this time because they both believed that revolutionary change was imminent—that is, they tended to underestimate capitalism’s adaptability, especially its ability to remake the working-class family unit.  

Engel’s work is not without flaws, as acknowledged above, yet it provides a useful and clear framework for understanding the concept that women’s oppression is a social (and historical) phenomenon, constructed and perpetuated by an economic system which benefits from both free labor in the home and exploited labor in the workplace.  Additionally, while Engels makes some assumptions about sexuality (specifically, adhering to a heterosexual framework and assuming that a higher form of monogamy, rather than alternatives to monogamy, will become the norm for human sexual relationships), his entire book is a testament to the idea that human relationships are shaped by society in an oppressive but also potentially liberatory way.  

In a notable quote from Origin, Engels argues:

What we can now conjecture about the way in which sexual relations will be ordered after the impending overthrow of capitalist production is mainly of a negative character, limited for the most part to what will disappear. But what will there be new? That will be answered when a new generation has grown up: a generation of men who never in their lives have known what it is to buy a woman’s surrender with money or any other social instrument of power; a generation of women who have never known what it is to give themselves to a man from any other considerations than real love, or to refuse to give themselves to their lover from fear of the economic consequences.

It is possible to read economic determinism into this statement, but it is also possible to read it as a condemnation of the way capitalism limits and distorts human sexuality for its own ends, with a hopeful rejoinder—albeit not a program—that human relations without the weight of capitalism will be able to develop in forms yet unknown.

Brown’s decision to counterpose Marx to Engels is unnecessary. Here, perhaps, her readily acknowledged roots in the Marxist humanist political tradition overgrow their usefulness. As pioneered by Raya Dunayevskaya, this trend fruitfully emphasizes Marx’s insistence on dialectical processes, working-class agency, and the concept of alienation as central to his philosophy, but it also proposes (less helpfully) a theoretical gulf between Marx’s and Engels’s points of view. 

As Brown convincingly argues, much of Marx’s writing itself leaves us wanting when it comes to women’s oppression, yet as a whole it is valuable, if not vital, to building a women’s liberation movement. This same could be said of Engels; given that, in life, Marx and Engels were friends and collaborators, the posthumous attempt to uncouple them does not seem to be a necessary exercise. Both make valuable political and methodological contributions to theorizing the struggle for women’s oppression and are useful in our toolbox as we rebuild a women’s movement built on radical, class politics. 

This critique, however, is not meant to take away from the insights that this book makes in advancing our understanding of women’s oppression, both theoretically and politically. Brown has made an invaluable contribution in bringing Marx’s previously ignored writings on women’s oppression to light and demonstrating that his method enables a new generation of Marxists to develop theory to help guide the fight for women’s liberation as an inseparable part of the fight for socialism.