Welcome to the Pixel Project VAW e-News Digest – Edition 4 (aka our Christmas Edition)!

As usual, we have collated the most relevant news on Violence Against Women (VAW) across the world that came out over the past 2 weeks. Each headline summary is hyperlinked and will click through to the full article.

Over the past two weeks, two incidences related to honour killing in the West have surfaced: the prosecution of two fathers who murdered their own daughters for supposed ‘crimes’ against their ‘honour’.

They have raised very uncomfortable questions for others. Everyone recognizes that crimes against honour are wrong. No one wants to appear racist. The debate is undertaken by Poorna Shetty on a commentary in The Guardian, who tells her readers to stop tiptoeing around the issue of honour violence, as the United Kingdom seeks for ways to address the issue of honour violence through respective communities, such as the launch of Practical Solutions.

Around the world, we find stories that are downers – a case of suspected honour killing in Canada will only come to the courts in 2011 – and stories that put a big smile to our face, such as the possibility that the United States may grant victims of domestic violence political asylum. It needs to be understood that the value of a human life is not an issue of culture. As activists of Indonesia have pointed out, you must not confuse culture or customs for human rights.

A matter of less media attention, but extremely important, is the marking of December 17, the international day to end violence against sex workers. The oldest profession in the world is also the most dangerous — sex workers, many of whom are women (cisgendered or transgendered), and many of whom are minors, are susceptible to rape, psychological and physical abuse, as well as exposure to life-threatening STDs. Read the facts about prostitution here.

In our section on sex trafficking, we highlight cases paid attention to by mainstream media sources around the world concerning the underground trade of human beings — often minors — for purposes of sex. Apart from coverage by mainstream media, I highly recommend paying attention to this article on 7 key sex worker activist projects in the United States, which seeks to address the level of exploitation in prostitution — including the high level of gender-based violence — by addressing important issues about their work.

So, think about how you can help prevent, stop and end VAW. It could be a gesture as small as sending The Pixel Projectany links and VAW news you wish us to include in forthcoming editions of The Pixel Project VAW e-Newsletter. Please email our archivist, Catalina Rembuyan, at catalina@thepixelproject.net if you’d like to do so.

In the meantime, do enjoy our fourth e-Newsletter and do feel free to share it around! And if you prefer to get breaking VAW news from us in real time, please follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/PixelProject).

With best regards,

The Pixel Project team


General violence against women

“Violence against women is the hugest epidemic on the planet.” An interview with Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, on violence against women and her new book, Insecure at Last.

December 17: Sex Workers and Allies Mark International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

December 17: Global Voices Online posts a video for the December 17th international day to end violence against sex workers, with a summary of the discussion.

Afghanistan: The root of the extreme violence against women in Afghanistan is not rooted in Islam, but in the tribal culture of the people of the region, codified in a system called the Pashtunwali.

Egypt: A three-day conference organized by the German Technical Organization (GTZ) and the Network of Women’s Rights Organizations to study the challenges of women’s rights organizations in the region.

Egypt: What women need – a recent Cairo conference suggests that sexual harassment of women is becoming a pan-Arab phenomenon.

Ethiopia: Call for Ethiopia’s campaign against gender-based violence to be enhanced.

Ghana: The link of HIV / AIDS and violence against women in Ghana.

India: A unique ‘man’ date – when men educate men on violence against women, it is more effective.

Indonesia: “You don’t use women as bargaining chips; you don’t confuse culture, customs or autonomy with human rights”. An analysis on the Islamization of Indonesia, in particular of the Aceh province, and its relationship to women’s rights.

Iraq: The cycle of violence in political conflict in Iraq, affecting everyone, including women.

Malaysia: Man power needed to curb violence against women. In 2008, Malaysia saw a 130% increase in reported rapes, with 70% of them involving those below 18 years old.

Serbia: Politicians seek initiative to minimize violence at all levels of society.

Uganda: The sad tale of HIV positive women.

United States: Brutality and domestic violence up during recession-hit 2009, victims are up to six times as likely to be killed by their partners when trying to separate from them.

United States: 30 Years of Fighting Discrimination Against Women – it’s time the US stepped up.

Yemen: Eliminating violence against women is ‘a humanitarian necessity, religious priority and social duty’.

Domestic violence

Actor Charlie Sheen arrested under suspected domestic violence.

Botswana: Police lament lack of shelters for abused women.

Pakistan: Due to lack of attention from the government, Pakistan’s domestic violence bill, which has not been passed as law, is lapsing.

Pakistan: The same story; report from DAWN.com.

Saudi Arabia: Domestic violence the real reason behind many runaway girls.

United Kingdom: Domestic violence victims urged to not suffer in silence; the number of reported incidents of domestic violence tend to rise over the Christmas holidays with increased levels of stress, alcohol and debt as frequently contributing factors.

United Kingdom: Domestic violence has been identified as the biggest killer of women in Wales.

United Kingdom: Police reprimanded over serious domestic violence failings.

United States: The volatility of domestic violence calls makes them the most dangerous situations police encounter.

United States: The Obama administration may allow survivors of domestic violence to seek political asylum in the country.

United States: The case of Rody Alvarado, the woman from Guatemala who sought political asylum in the United States for domestic violence.

Forced Marriages

United Kingdom: 17-year old charged for raping 12-year old ‘wife’. “If you have been forced into a marriage or have been a victim to such sexual abuse, there is help out there. The police will help you. Do not feel frightened to speak out” – UK police.

United Kingdom: Extent of forced marriage problem revealed. How serious is forced marriage in the United Kingdom? According to the statistics of women seeking help in the Waltham Forest area, one in four have been seeking help from forced marriages.

United Kingdom: Victims of honour violence – forced marriage or violence based on ‘honour’ – can turn online for help with the launch of Practical Solutions, a website to assist them based on the charity of the same name which has been assisting victims of honour violence for a decade.

Honour Killing

Canada: Honour killing trial will not start until 2011.

United Kingdom: Acid attack victims need support, by Nadeem Badshah of The Guardian.

United Kingdom: ‘Stop tiptoeing around honour killings’ says Poorna Shetty, commenter in The Guardian.

United Kingdom: ‘My people refuse to talk about honour killings’. A Sikh speaks up on honour killings to the British media.

United Kingdom: Tulay Goren’s father, Mehmet Goren, will serve a minimum of 22 years for killing his own daughter.

United States: A father who drove over his daughter for being ‘too westernized’ has been charged for first-degree murder.


Armenia: Never-ending rape – a look into the rape of women during the Armenian genocide by Turkey, and a self-critical look into the ‘devaluing of women and girls in Armenian society’.

Australia: Athlete is suspended for rape.

India: In a high-profile case in Goa, a taxi cab driver who has been accused of the attempted rape of two Russian tourists has been charged with molestation instead.

United States: A key witness to the brutal gang rape in Richmond High School speaks up.

Sex Trafficking

Cambodia: After the financial crisis, tens of thousands of Cambodian women flooded the streets of Phnom Penh to make a living – they are exposed to exploitation, including sexual ones.

Ghana: Nine Chinese nationals and a Ghanaian have been busted for their involvement in a sex trafficking ring.

Indonesia / Malaysia: Many women still fall victim to sex trafficking.

United Arab Emirates: A couple was busted for trying to traffic a 17-year old girl into prostitution.

United States: Tennesee woman sentenced to 15 years of prison for forcing two minors into prostitution.

United States: 9 people, including one woman, indicted on sex trafficking charges in San Diego.

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