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Entries in women's rights (122)

Friday
Oct102014

Angelina Jolie Honored With DCMG By Queen Elizabeth For Work To Stop Violence Against Women

Anne of Carversville’s founding muse Angelina Jolie received a wonderful honor at Buckingham Palace today, making her the consummate Smart Sensuality woman — smart, sexy and with great heart.

Queen Elizabeth awarded Jolie the Insignia of an Honory Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George. “The DCMG honour is in recognition of her campaigning against rape in war zones and services to UK foreign policy,” writes the Daily Mail.

Jolie’s long-standing campaign for women culminated in a landmark international G8 summit held in London in April 2011, in which Jolie joined British Foreign Secretary William Hague (pictured with Jolie and husband Brad Pitt below) Listen to Jolie’s speech here.

Hague and Jolie announced a USD 35.4 million international agreement for action against sexual violence in war zone. 

“Our goal must be a world in which it is inconceivable that thousands of women, children and men can be raped in the course of a conflict, because an international framework of deterrence and accountability makes it impossible,” Hague told his fellow G8 foreign ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US in the run-up to the annual summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland in June.

It’s high unusual for the oward to be bestowed on an American and at the young age of 39. Jolie cannot use the word ‘Dame’ as part of her name, although she is allowed to use the initials DCMG after her name. Her audience with Queen Elizabeth was private, but husband Brad Pitt and their six children met the queen afterwards.

Tuesday
Oct072014

Scholarly Evidence of Amazons On Vases | Kurdish Women Fight On In Brutal ISIS Battles | Fashion's Warrior Woman Moment

Amazon Vases

Amazon Warriors’ Names Revealed Amid “Gibberish” on Ancient Greek Vases National Geographic

Amazons were thought to be solely mythological until archaeologists unearthed Scythian burials of real women warriors, says (Adrienne) Mayor, a visiting scholar at Stanford University and author of the just-released The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World.

“Amazons were clearly exotic and exciting to the Greeks. Clearly there is respect and admiration mixed with ambivalence,” says Mayor. “Women lived much more separate and unequal lives in the Greek world, so the notion of women who dressed like men and fought like them was pretty exciting to them.”

Sunday
Sep212014

Kurdish Women Fighters In Syria Say ISIS Fears Women Soldiers So Much They Shake

YPJ soldiers carry the casket of Evrim, a female soldier who died while fighting ISIS militants, during her funeral in Derek City, Syria. About 24 soldiers from the YPJ and the YPG, a men’s unit, were buried during the month of August in this cemetery. Family members consider it an enormous honor when their children are killed in combat, calling the soldiers “Sehid” which means “marytr” in Kurdish. A popular saying in the community is “Sehid na merin,” which means “The martyr will never die.” Image by Erin TriebIn a media world assaulted with ISIS videos and threats of yet another beheading, the most fabulous story of heroism has emerged around a group of about 7,000 young Kurdish women in Syria who have armed themselves and joined the Women’s Protection Unit, or YPJ, “which grew out of the wider Kurdish resistance movement.”

I’ve covered this story in small bullet points on Eye, but this NBC News feature of dramatic images by New York-based photographer Erin Trieb are an inspiration for our ISIS media-weary souls.

Unlike the Iraqi soldiers who ran from ISIS, the Women’s Protection Unit is fighting to keep their people safe against attacks from Bashar Assad’s government, ISIS militants and the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

YPJ recruits cry and embrace a fellow soldier who they thought had been sent to the front line. Image by Erin Trieb

The BBC writes that around a third of the Syrian Kurdish force is comprised of women, who fight alongside the men, exposing themselves to all the same dangers.

“Women are the bravest fighters,” says Diren in her BBC interview, taking refuge from the scorching heat in the cool of an underground bunker.

She and three comrades are having lunch: flatbread, cheese and watermelon. Many of the fighters, like Diren, 19, are still teenagers.

“We’re not scared of anything,” she says. “We’ll fight to the last. We’d rather blow ourselves up than be captured by IS.”

Unintentionally, perhaps, Diren points out the greatest weakness of the ISIS fighters.

Diren says that, to the fanatics of IS, a female fighter is “haram”, anathema: a disturbing and scary sight.

“When they see a woman with a gun, they’re so afraid they begin to shake. They portray themselves as tough guys to the world. But when they see us with our guns they run away. They see a woman as just a small thing. But one of our women is worth a hundred of their men.”

Update Oct. 5, 2014 Dirren means ‘resist, the name chosen by Ceylan Ozalp. I’ve been tracking these young women each week and my heart dropped for a moment just now. Ceylan is ALIVE and is not the brave young Kurdish woman who committed suicide in Kobane last week, rather than be captured by ISIS fighters, say the newest reports. Just to confirm how integrated the women fighters are against ISIS, seven men and three women fighters were beheaded in Kobane earlier in the week. End of update.

Update Oct. 7, 2014 Definitive reports about the status of Ceylan Ozalp remain hard to some by. Follow the story on AOC’s home page End of update.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper writes today of major fighting between ISIS and the YPG fighters in the area near Kobani, Syria Turkey opened its border on Friday so that 60,000 Syrian Kurds could flee the area in a period of 24 hours. See also Kurdish fighters rush to Syria to stand with brethren against Islamic State via Haaretz.

YPJ soldiers eat a breakfast of peppers, tomatoes, cheese, flatbread and tea at their post in Til Kocer, Syria. Their meals are often modest since most of their supplies, including food, are donated by the local community. Image by Erin Trieb

 

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