Saturday, April 30, 2011

Abusive Husbands? Are you listening? "Wife-beating is unacceptable", says Dora Byamukama. So, men: stop beating women already!!!!

image is from here

It's not that hard to get, men. If you think women believing in their own inferiority entitles you to beat them, then you need to be removed from the home, permanently.

What follows is from NewVision: a leading feminist website. Click on the title to link back.

Wife-beating is unacceptable

Wednesday, 27th April, 2011

By Dora Byamukama

ACCORDING to the World's Women and Girls 2011 Data Sheet, Uganda records the highest percentage of women internationally who agree that wife-beating is acceptable if a wife argues with her husband. This state of affairs is totally unacceptable.

Sadly more women than men find wife-beating acceptable! One wonders why this is so. India was ranked second with 30% and Ghana came third at 21%.

In the East African region Ugandan women are considered gentle and submissive. Whether this is a positive or negative trait is a subject for debate. This notwithstanding, when gentility and submission have the potential to contribute to self-hate then this attitude calls for change. Change can only be effective when the causes are known otherwise whatever action is taken may be like mopping a wet floor, when the tap is left open.

Causes of acceptance of violence against women are several. These are basically beliefs and practices that treat women as inferior human beings and thus undermine their self-esteem. These beliefs and practices perpetuate an attitude that makes men and women believe that women are inferior and less intelligent--thus the need to punish them for arguing with their husbands.

Beliefs and practices permeate the human soul to the extent that women who are likely to be harmed by such a negative attitude internalize it and thus not only accept the degradation but also pass on the same to their children over time.

It is, therefore, not uncommon for a woman to be told to endure violence in a marriage by her mother on the basis that this is the wear and tear of marriage. While growing up, I heard of a story of a woman who reported such violence several times to her parents who kept sending her back to the marriage until their daughter was sent back to them in a coffin! In fact the coffins were two because the woman had been eight months pregnant.

Beliefs and practices that wife-beating is acceptable are rooted in several factors which include religion, culture, social pressure as a result of war, poverty and alcoholism. Most religions emphasise that women are inferior to men. Christianity, however, categorically states that all human beings are made in the image of God.

When some religions read texts to support oppression of women out of context then the resultant effect is to misinterpret and misapply the very same religion that is fundamentally based on respecting the person created in the creator's very image.

Religion shapes attitudes fundamentally because it is personal and the frequency with which one is exposed to it on a daily and weekly basis ensures that the belief is sustained and that is enforced through social pressure.

Culture is another aspect that shapes attitude that may promote women's tolerance to wife-beating. Culture is a form of religion because it dictates a person's way of life, and shapes what is socially acceptable. In fact most cultures do not condone wife-beating but because domestic matters are considered private, this privacy is abused and used to commit crimes.

Culture is dynamic and is also shaped and influenced by globalization through internet interaction, videos and films. Globalization has introduced what is termed as modern culture, which has large doses of violence and in some instances is spiced with witchcraft. One such good example is the growing consumption of Nigerian films in Uganda.

When one is exposed to such films over and over again, the resultant effect is that they will copy and put into practice what they see.

The World's Women and Girls Data Sheet also indicates that 31% of Ugandan women and 19% of Ugandan men said that it is acceptable for a man to beat his wife if she refuses to have sex with him. This indeed is an interesting and deeply disturbing finding. The question is, if after a beating the woman agrees to sex, does it make the man feel any better?

Apart from wife-beating being a human right abuse and a crime it also has the potential to spread HIV/AIDS and other venereal diseases.

In most cases when one talks about wife-beating people imagine that it is a mere slap. A mere slap has the potential to cause the destruction of an eye. More importantly no one has capacity to pre-determine the kind of beating that may be meted on a woman in any given circumstance.

The anger of a spouse can lead to grievous harm and even murder! Wife-beating also has the potential to turn the victim into a violent person with the potential to avenge the torture any time.

Uganda has set the trend in the East African region for the empowerment of women significantly since the NRM came to power in 1986. The law is clear. Wife-beating is a crime prohibited by the Constitution, the Penal Code Act and the Domestic Violence Act. All people have a right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The fact that less men than women find wife-beating acceptable is cause to celebrate. However, more work needs to be done in order to make wife-beating totally unacceptable by religious and cultural leaders and the media.

Champions that promote and practise respect for the dignity of the person are needed at all levels of society--beginning with you.

From CODE RED: Struggles for Children's and Women's Rights Must Challenge Men's Rights and Fathers' Wrongs

image is from here

What follows is from CODE RED, reprinted here with permission.
CODE RED is a feminist collective of Caribbean women and men. 

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Spotlight on Paternity Testing During Child Month

In Barbados between April 1, 2010, and February 28 this year there were 737 cases of child abuse involving 1,061 children. Of that number 199 children suffered physical abuse, 151 sexual abuse, 612 neglect, 97 emotional abuse and two were abandoned.   Of course these figures do not reflect the countless other cases of child abuse that go unreported and the other institutionalized and normalized practices of child abuse that are not even considered such.

May is child month.  I learn today that the activities for Child Month include: the launch of a campaign against child abuse, a men’s forum to discuss DNA Testing And Implications For Men And Children, in addition to a forum for the youth on the topic Teenage Pregnancy: Life Before, Life After.

Just who is setting the children’s rights agenda in Barbados? With 1000+ children reported to have been abused  and the countless other cases which go unreported, how is a “a men’s forum to discuss DNA Testing And Implications For Men And Children” a legitimate child month activity? Just how do men’s rights and responsibilities with regards to paternity and paternity testing fall within the remit of an organisation set up to respond to the needs of children? Where are the children’s voices?

I’m not dismissing the relevance or usefulness of paternity testing.  Neither am I dismissing the premise of a men’s forum to discuss it.  Yes, men and women, mothers and fathers have a key in ensuring that children’s rights are not denied.  But theirs interests and agendas cannot be assumed to be the same.  I just think that child month should be about the issues which deny our children their right to a good life and also about the issues which our children define as important to them.

The UNICEF report on “Perceptions of, Attitudes to, and Opinions on Child Sexual Abuse in the Eastern Caribbean” revealed that:
a significant number of people consider that childhood ends at 13 years. This may help to explain why, in the focus group discussions, some men indicated that they considered girls to be legitimate sexual targets once girls have gone through puberty (this phrase was taken to mean that a girl had begun menstruating);
The bible says that when a woman goes through puberty she is ready, so if it happens at 11 she is ready (Male Focus Group Participant).
It also revealed that the majority of respondents agreed that ‘girls draw men’s sexual attention by the way they dress’.  While respondents may have been stating that they believe this to be a fact or that they in fact believed that girls actively seek men’s attention through their choice of dress, it is a belief that ultimately relieves men of their responsibility for their own behaviour and contributes to victim-blaming in cases of rape and sexual abuse.

Another key finding is that the majority of respondents said that if an adult in their family was sexually abusing a child within the family, they would always report it to the police.  However, when asked a related question, a significant number of people said they would try to sort out such a problem without informing the police.   Men were twice as likely as women respondents to state that they would sort it out without going to the police (34% of male respondents said this as compared to 17% of female respondents).

Clearly we have a long way to go towards recognising the right of all children to a good life. This includes moving away from viewing children as the property of their parents, a view that is very much prevalent in the Caribbean.  We also need to recognise that children’s rights must be addressed on their own terms. We cannot allow the children’s rights agenda to be hijacked by groups whose aims are often inimical to the rights of children.

We need children’s voices on the Children’s Rights agenda.  

Indigenist Event and Action Alert: Mining Corporations vs. the Oglala Lakota Oyate and the Earth. Who will win? See this for more...

image is from here
Genocide and ecocide are all around. But few people wish to see it who aren't experiencing the devastation, such as in Alabama and Mississippi--due to ferocious hurricanes directly caused by Global Warming by the White Man. Even fewer wish to do anything about it. That's a tragedy and a failure of white humanity to be humane--again.

Please support Indigenous activism and anti-genocide and pro-Earth events and organising. What follows is from Censored News, with thanks to Brenda. Please click on the links just below to visit to that website about this and many other Indeginist actions taking place that need support.

Wounded Knee, SD Environmental Film and Forum
Environmental Awareness Film Presentation and Forum

Location Wounded Knee District School Gym
Saturday, May 7, 1 pm to 7 pm

"The condition of Mother Earth is approaching a crisis for all human beings. Sacred water has been under attack for generations now and only in isolated pockets around the world are people fighting to preserve water. This is especially true in Indigenous communities where sources for clean, safe drinking water are under threat by mining. On the Pine Ridge reservation on the Northern Plains of North America, the Lakota people are taking a stand against uranium......"

All people are invited to participate in this event which includes the presentation of three short films, dialogue on the condition of sacred water and health, a live performance by the band SCATTER THEIR OWN whose performance will include their latest song about Mother Earth, and presentations by environmental activists as well as tribal officials regarding environmental impacts by mining corporations to the Oglala Lakota Oyate and all human beings, water, air, land, and all of sacred life.

Open microphone for participants to voice their concerns and comments about protecting our sacred Mother Earth.

Refreshments will be provided at the conclusion of the event.
Sponsors include Owe Aku, Vic Camp, 407-7808; Lakota Media Project, Rosebud White Plume 319-1367; H.E.L.P. Autumn Two Bulls, 441-7369; Looks For Buffalo Foundation, Floyd and Natalie Hand, 867-5762.

An Environmental Awareness Film Forum will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 1pm at the Wounded Knee District School in Manderson, SD. Three films will be screened, followed by Guest Speakers to present updates on the environmental protection work they are involved in. The films include Water Is Life by Art Is Action, which is an 8 minute show that chronicles the impacts of uranium mining to the drinking water and health conditions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and that examines the dwindling drinking water supply in this area; the 28 minute film Poison Wind by 220 Productions, which shares the voice of the Navajo Nation and other tribal peoples in the southwestern United States who are impacted by uranium mining; and a work in progress by Prairie Dust Films which documents support for and opposition against uranium mining in Nebraska and in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Guest speakers include the film makers, governmental and health officials from the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Indian Health Service and environmental activists working in this region. Oglala Sioux Tribal President John Yellow Bird-Steele has confirmed his attendance. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal staff will be present to address cultural and historical preservation work in the area regarding the proposed tarsands XL Keystone oil pipeline of Transcanada, Inc. which is planned to skirt the boundaries of the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. Plaintiffs in the case against the Canadian-based corporation Cameco, Inc. will be present to discuss their case regarding current and proposed In Situ Leach Mining near Crawford, Nebraska. State officials have been invited and it is hoped they will be in attendance.

Live music will be provided by the popular group “Scatter Their Own”, headed by Oglala Lakota Scott Clifford, who will perform a recently released song about Mother Earth and the Black Hills. A local drum group will open and close the Film Forum with traditional Lakota music.

Open microphone time at the forum is available so those present can make comments or share environmental protection work they are involved in. All people are invited and encouraged to attend.

The Film Forum is free and open to everyone, refreshments will be served. The event is sponsored by Owe Aku, (Bring Back the Way), the Lakota Media Project, Project H.E.L.P., and the Looks For Buffalo Foundation. For more info please call Vic at 407-7808, Rosebud at 319-1367, or Autumn at 441-7369.

Indigenist Action Alert: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties don't apply to All People: PROTECT GLEN COVE (Vallejo, CA).

Photo Corrina Gould. Photo is from here
Tribal members fulfilled their part of what was thought to be an interim agreement, including taking down tents used for sleeping during the around the clock ceremonies. GVRD however has now refused to do anything they had agreed to do, while stepping up the police presence and monitoring of the ceremony.

Support for the efforts of tribal members to protect the site continues to grow. Last night over 50 people gathered for ceremonies and to welcome Mohave and Chemehuevi visitors from the Colorado River Indian Tribes who came to express their solidarity and encouragement.

Sunday evening begins Yom HaShoah, or Nazi Holocaust Remembrance Day. Which means we who are U.S. Jews--as well as non-Jews--ought not forget the genocides happening all around us.

Genocide has lots of components: stopping specific groups of people from living their lives is part of it. Also: occupying their land, preventing people from practicing their religion, from being able to gather and protest. And threatening specific groups of people with cultural and physical extinction is also part of it. How it is that we allow genocide in this country--this allegedly GREAT country that portrays itself as against things like genocide and racism--is beyond me.

I see this move by the Greater Vallejo Recreation Re-destruction District as a violation of people's civil rights and civil liberties to gather peacefully and to protest, and to practice their religion. This is part of a genocidal war against Indigenous people in the U.S. 

Please support the protest.

What follows is being cross-posted from Censored News with thanks to Brenda.


Protect Glen Cove Day 15: More Civil Rights Claims Filed

Sacred Site Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSP&RIT).

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 28, 2011
Contact: * Corrina Gould 510-575-8408 * Morning Star Gali (510) 827 6719 *Norman “Wounded Knee” Deocampo 707-373-7195 * Mark Anquoe (415) 680-0110

Day 15 : Spiritual Vigil and Gathering to Protect Glen Cove Sacred Site Enters 3rd Week as Greater Vallejo Recreation District Breaks Agreement to Negotiate in Good Faith

SSP&RIT Files More Civil Rights Claims Against GVRD for New Violations as Threats Against Spiritual Ceremony and Sacred Site Escalate

By Protect Glen Cove

Vallejo, California – As the spiritual gathering and vigil being held by local tribal members and supporters at the sacred burial site at Glen Cove in Vallejo entered its third week, Native Americans working to protect Glen Cove filed more complaints this morning with the Attorney General of California in response to new and serious violations of civil rights by the Greater Vallejo Recreation District.

The organization Sacred Site Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes today filed an addendum to the civil rights complaint filed on April 13, 2011 with the State Attorney General in response to GVRD’s attempt to intimidate and limit the number of participants in the spiritual ceremony, attempts to restrict certain ceremonial practices including songs, and GVRD’s refusal to negotiate a resolution of the dispute. The new complaint also further documents the presence of cremations as well as burials at the site, highlighting the risk that bulldozing the hill poses to the ancient human remains.

In a major development, GVRD has informed the United States Department of Justice that they will not sign a proposed agreement allowing the ceremony to temporarily continue without threat of arrest, and GVRD has failed to follow through on their agreement to meet with tribal members to try to resolve the burial site dispute.
Tribal members fulfilled their part of what was thought to be an interim agreement, including taking down tents used for sleeping during the around the clock ceremonies. GVRD however has now refused to do anything they had agreed to do, while stepping up the police presence and monitoring of the ceremony.

Support for the efforts of tribal members to protect the site continues to grow. Last night over 50 people gathered for ceremonies and to welcome Mohave and Chemehuevi visitors from the Colorado River Indian Tribes who came to express their solidarity and encouragement. Hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters have pledged to peacefully defend the sacred site in response to any attempt to desecrate the site or remove the ceremony. “I dont believe any of our tribal people would agree to outright grave robbery and disturbing sacred sites. We will not allow it to happen,” said Fred Short, Spiritual Leader of the American Indian Movement and a participant in the spiritual gathering at Glen Cove.

Glen Cove is located near the intersection of South Regatta and Whitesides Drive in Vallejo. For more information and directions:

A copy of the Civil Rights Complaint and Addendum is available by contacting Bradley Angel at Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice

(415) 722-5270 or