Pakistan is only second to Yemen in a list of the ten worst countries for girls to be born in according to The Global Gender Gap Report in 2013. Women receive 43% less educational opportunities than men, there’s a 21% gender-based income gap, and only a quarter of the national labor force are represented by women. When it comes to violence against women, according to a study by The Ministry of Law, Justice, and Human Rights, just from January 2012 to September 2013, there were 860 honor killings, 481 incidents of domestic violence, 90 cases of acid burning, 344 cases or rape or gang rape, and 268 incidents of sexual assault or harassment.
In the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Northern Pakistan, girls and women are living under a tribal and Feudal system that promotes male dominance, presented as Islamic norms and values by religious groups. These traditions create even more extreme gender inequality and chance of gender-based violence as girls and women can be forced into marriage for the sake of peacemaking between tribes, are excluded from political activities, plus face violence and religious extremism when making efforts towards promoting girls and women’s rights. All of this is what sparked an international movement behind young activist Malala Yousafzai after she survived the Taliban’s targeted shooting for her promotion of girls’ rights to education.
In a place where even young school girls face extreme violence for speaking out, and “feminism” is a bold concept, Spark is thrilled to support giving these young women a voice through our newest grantee, The Young Feminists Movement.
The Young Feminists Movement was created in 2011 by young women at various local colleges from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and adjacent tribal areas focused on raising awareness around gender equality issues plus giving young women a safe space and a voice in an oppressed society. They provide 5-day trainings for girls ages 15-25 around equal rights, reproductive health and abuse prevention, plus they promote activism around girls’ and women’s rights and gender equality. From these trainings and other activities, they form “Girls Power Clubs” which continue the cultivation and promotion of feminism and activism. So far, they have successfully organized a group of 23 young women who speak for equal rights and are equipped with the knowledge and tools to challenge the patriarchy, plus they have influenced many more through their activist activities.
A Spark grant will cover:
- 50 scholarships for girls to attend the training program, and
- Volunteer services in the areas of development plus organizational and financial management.
If you are interested in being a part of providing these volunteer services, we would love to hear from you. Email email@example.com.
We are so excited to feature this progressive and innovative organization at our upcoming Cocktails For A Cause event!
Please join us at SparkSF’s Cocktails For A Cause event on April 23, 2014 at Mr. Smiths in San Francisco to help raise funds for the young feminists of Pakistan. #MoreMalalas
Posted in Advocacy, Events, Gender-based Violence, Girls Education, Grantees, Human Rights, Women's Rights
Tagged cocktails for a cause, equal education, feminism, feminist, forced marriage, Fundraising, gender gap, gender income gap, girls, girls education, honor killings, I Am Malala, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, income gap, international education, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, malala, Malala Fund, malala yousafzai, northern pakistan, pakistan, Spark, SparkSF, Women, women's rights, young feminists, young feminists movement
Modern-Day Chastity Belt, Swedish Movie Ratings, and Google Shockers. This is your Spark News Digest.
Read, Discuss, Share.
By Spark Fellow: Linn Hellerstrom
ENTERTAIMENT: Rating Feminism
Move over Rotten Tomatoes. Last week, Swedish movie theaters started a new rating system for films. Does the movie have at least two female characters? Is there at least one scene where women discuss something other than a man? If yes, congrats! You get an A. The goal of the rating system is to encourage more multi-dimensional female characters in film.
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GLOBAL: British emergency funding helping women and girls
We’ve seen it in Syria, Haiti, and now, in The Philippines. In countries in crisis, women and girls are disproportionately impacted. Gender-based violence increases dramatically. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has recently announced a £21.6 million in funding for protection and support of women and girls in crisis. The project will fund simple investments that reduce the risk of violence against women.
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WOMENS RIGHTS: Let Girls Lead
Puberty is tough enough. Going to school often means dealing with sexual advances and peer pressure. Let Girls Lead started a video contest as a part of their global movement to encourage girls to lead social change. The contest allows girls to share their own stories around solutions and successes. The winners get to be the next Sofia Coppola, creating their own short films.
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BUSINESS: Modern-Day Chastity Belt
Will a pair of anti-rape underwear provide security when we are “putting ourselves in potential risky situations”? The NY based company AR Wear created lockable shorts that aim to prevent rapes from completion. Successful or not, the product sparks controversy. Is this just another way of teaching women how not to get raped versus addressing the root issue?
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TECHNOLOGY: The Dark Side of Google Search
Type in the word “feminism” or “feminist” into Google. Watch the auto-complete results. Shocking? Here´s PolicyMic´s version of the results, together with the faces of the women that won´t accept it.
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Posted in Gender-based Violence, Girls Education, Uncategorized, Women's Rights
Tagged feminism, girls, Google, Haiti, People, Rape, violence, Violence against women, Women, women's rights
By K. Kerr
K. Kerr is a lawyer, human trafficking activist and Director of Programs for Freedom House, the first transitional shelter dedicated to supporting survivors of human trafficking in the San Francisco area. K. Kerr has been a Spark member since 2009.
I have spent the last five years in the fight against human trafficking. I have worked and written on this topic and still I am left with a lot of unanswered questions. In this, I am not alone. I can repeat what the U.S. Government, United Nations and various nonprofit organizations report. I can tell you what I have seen in working with populations vulnerable to trafficking and survivors of trafficking. Despite this, key questions around scope and solutions, remain unanswered.
Posted in Advocacy, Grantees, Housing, Human Trafficking, Slavery
Tagged activism, community, girls, housing, Human Rights, human trafficking, illegal, labor, prostitution, slavery, Women
I have found jobs, roommates, apartments and the chair I am sitting in on Craigslist. I have used your services while living in three cities on two continents. It is fair to say that one of the ways that I engage with my community is through Craigslist.
It is for these reasons that I am empowered to write: Craig Newmark, I am disappointed in you. Last year, you took bold action when you announced that you would remove the erotic services section from Craigslist. It is a well-known fact that your website is used for the illegal sale and trafficking of minors—both girls and boys. But, then, you replaced erotic services with adult services which contains the same content. It is the SAME content. The language is a bit different. The pictures are slightly less graphic. But it is essentially the same. Craig, you have to change more than the name. Continue reading
Posted in Gender-based Violence, Human Trafficking
Tagged ads, adult services, boys, community, craig newmark, craigslist, gender-based violence, girls, human trafficking, illegal, prostitution, sex, sex trade, violence