Presenting CONTROLLED By Neesha Arter: THE BOOK TRAILER

PRE-ORDER CONTROLLED ON AMAZON: HERE.

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Sex Trafficking In India- New York Times/ Women In The World

Stylin’

“Who’s sari now?” Taking on prostitution and sex trafficking in an enterprising new way

Ruchira Gupta and Rosena Sammi are turning saris into jewelry to try and help millions of women and girls in India

Courtesy

COURTESY “WHO’S SARI NOW?”

“Social enterprise is useless without an education,” says Ruchira Gupta of the sex trafficking epidemic in India. Gupta, founder of the NGO Apne Aap, has partnered with jewelry designer Rosena Sammi on the new collection “Who’s Sari Now?” to empower women and children rescued from red light districts across India.

Apne Aap runs classes in small community centers for daughters of women working—by choice or otherwise—as prostitutes. The NGO, which works toward helping the girls gain admission to boarding schools outside of the red light districts, currently has 1,200 children in schools and 2,000 women engaged in income generating activities, producing “Who’s Sari Now?” items for sale. The line of accessories is made from upcycled saris, and Indian sex workers in Bihar and West Bengal are helping make the jewelry, which will be sold in Los Angeles, New York City, and online, beginning this month.

In India, the average age of a girl being pulled into prostitution is between nine and 13, and there are roughly three million prostituted women and girls in India, of which 1.4 million are children. Women In The World sat down with Ruchira Gupta and Rosena Sammi to discuss the epidemic and solutions.

Read more at The New York Times.

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New York Times/ Women In The World: Guatemala’s Brutal War Crimes

Lady law

Meet the brave woman who convicted Guatemala’s former dictator of brutal war crimes

A new documentary, “Burden Of Peace,” chronicles Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala’s extraordinary first female attorney general

The surname Paz y Paz translates to “Peace and Peace,” which appropriately suits trailblazer Claudia Paz y Paz, Guatemala’s first female attorney general and the subject of the new documentary Burden Of Peace. The film was screened at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York City on Thursday night. Paz y Paz effectively led the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Guatemala from 2010-2014, until her term was controversially cut short by seven months.

 

Read the article at Women In The World.

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New York Times/ Women In The World: International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Weapon of war

Filmmaker documents historic trial that made rape a war crime

Michele Mitchell talks about her new film “The Uncondemned,” about a landmark case that successfully prosecuted rape as a crime against humanity

Photo courtesy Michele Mitchell

PHOTO COURTESY MICHELE MITCHELL

“Mankind better stand back up on that issue if we are going to survive as a species,” a rape psychologist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo told filmmaker Michele Mitchell in an interview about her new documentary, The Uncondemned, which explores the successful prosecution by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) of rape as a war crime for the first time in history.

The defendant in question was Jean-Paul Akayesu, a former teacher who served as the mayor of Taba, Rwanda during the 1994 genocide in that country. On his watch, and with his direct involvement, Tutsi men, women and children there were systematically hounded and murdered by the Interahamwe Hutu militias. Akayesu was arrested in Zambia in 1995 and extradited to stand trial before the ICTR for crimes ranging from genocide to violations of the Geneva Convention. And, on June 17, 1997, the indictment against him was amended to include the unprecedented charge of rape as a crime of genocide and as a crime against humanity. In celebration of that historic moment, filmmakers Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel will be holding a filmmakers’ screening exactly 16 years later in Rwanda.

The tenacious team of prosecutors, activists and scholars who joined forces to win the case—Akayesuwas sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998—had help from pivotal witnesses who took the stand to recount their rapes during the genocide. After being identified with codenames during the trial, these women reveal their names in the film for the first time. The screening will be held for everyone who was a part of the ICTR: Rwandan government officials, the U.S. ambassador, and many others from the diplomatic community. Women In the World spoke with co-director Michele Mitchell about The Uncondemned, rape as a war crime, and the use of terror by Boko Haram and ISIS.

WITW: What made you want to focus on rape as a weapon of war?

Michele Mitchell: There is no ambiguity about rape as a weapon of war. It is an act of deadly intent. The victims are women and men, children and elderly. So it’s not about “sex.” It’s about power, humiliation and torture. We wanted to tell a story of what to do about it.

WITW: Can you talk about Boko Haram and ISIS using rape as a weapon of war today?

MM: Both groups have openly bragged that they are using it as a weapon of terror. And those are the two examples that we know of. We need to take rape as seriously as we do other war crimes, and we — as a society, our government — aren’t doing that.

 

Read the article at Women In The World.

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New York Times/ Women In The World: Campus Sexual Assault

Campus sex assault

“You’re more likely to have someone look into a stolen laptop than a rape”

Vice takes a look at how some U.S. universities are dealing with rape on campus

On Wednesday night in New York City, Vice on HBO held an advanced screening of its new segment “Campus Cover-up,” at Columbia University, which has been a center of media attention regarding the college rape epidemic. It is at Columbia that a student, Emma Sulkowicz, used performance art to shame a fellow student she alleged had raped her. Sulkowicz lugged a 50-pound dorm mattress with her from class to class and everywhere she went on campus beginning in September of 2014. The controversial mattress made its final appearance at Class Day last month, when both the accused and accuser graduated.

 

Read the article at Women In The World.

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New York Times/ Women In The World: An Interview With Planned Parenthood’s Latanya Mapp Frett

Weapon of war

Boko Haram rapes are compounding an already troubling problem in Nigeria

Complicating the evils perpetuated by Boko Haram is inadequate reproductive health care in Nigeria, Latanya Mapp Frett of Planned Parenthood Global says

Three teenagers who escaped a Boko Haram mass kidnapping in the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok last year./ (EMMANUEL AREWA/AFP/Getty Images)

THREE TEENAGERS WHO ESCAPED A BOKO HARAM MASS KIDNAPPING IN THE NORTHEAST NIGERIAN TOWN OF CHIBOK LAST YEAR./ (EMMANUEL AREWA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

This week, the horrors of Boko Haram’s coordinated campaign of violence against women were underscored by a new report that many of the girls and women who have been abducted by the extremist group were repeatedly raped with the goal of impregnation. Latanya Mapp Frett, who first spent time in Nigeria in her roles with the United Nations Children’s Fund and the United States Agency for International Development, spoke to Women in the World about violence against women and girls and her new mission as executive director of Planned Parenthood Global. Acute crises like the kidnappings and the use of rape as a weapon of terrorism focus the world’s attention, but sexual and reproductive health in Nigeria is precarious to begin with. Frett describes the collaborative efforts to change that.

Women in the World:  The world began to focus on Nigeria with the Boko Haram kidnappings, but it seems to be the tip of the iceberg. What is the most underreported story about Boko Haram?

Latanya Mapp Frett: Many of the rescued Boko Haram hostages are reportedly pregnant as a result of rape. They deserve access to a comprehensive package of sexual and reproductive health services including safe abortion.

 

Read more at The New York Times.

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New York Times/ Women In The World: An Interview With Katie Ford

Freedom for all

“Eight years ago, I did not know that slavery existed today”

The former CEO of Ford Models wants to end modern day slavery

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Despite abundant evidence that it still persists in modern times, many people relegate slavery to the past. But human trafficking could be found in your neighbor’s house, anywhere from downtown Manhattan to Brazil. The human trafficking trade is the second most profitable criminal enterprise after drug trafficking, affecting more than 2.45 million people daily with a total market value of $31.6 billion, according to the United Nations.

Globally, the majority of trafficking victims are women and girls — about 75 percent according to the same study. The victims’ fates range from forced labour to sex slavery. They are often brought to unfamiliar environments where they don’t know anyone or even the language, further isolating them.

Many stories make the news; ISIS has abducted thousands of women and girls, Boko Haram infamously kidnapped 276 Chibok schoolgirls, threatening to traffic them and hundreds of other girls and women they have abducted. But many stories do not make the news.

Katie Ford, a giant in the modeling world, has been working to end modern day slavery. The former CEO of Ford Models will host an annual benefit for her foundation Freedom For All on May 13 where three survivors of human trafficking from the Philippines will share their stories.

 

Read more at The New York Times.

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