WORLD VOICE: ISIS And Birth Control

WORLD VOICE: ISIS And Birth Control

 

By BetteDavisEyes at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Sex trafficking has been a huge issue in developing countries and an alarming issue has surfaced with regard to ISIS fighters and women they’ve captured. It has come to light that ISIS fighters use birth control to continue raping their captives.

A recent article has uncovered that women who are taken by ISIS become sex slaves. These young girls are part of the Yazidi religious minority who have been taken from their homes in northern Iraq to essentially provide sex for their captors, at any time. What’s even more disturbing is that young girls who are captured are being forced to take birth control pills to avoid getting pregnant. The origins of this unbelievable method stems from an old Islamic law, whereby a man has to ensure that his victim is not pregnant before having intercourse with her.

The reason behind dispensing birth control to these girls is to allow these fighters to share or sell the girls without the risk of any pregnancy. The fighters dispense oral or injectable contraception, or sometimes both, to ensure that no girl could get pregnant.

In the case of M., a sixteen year old victim whose captor was not convinced that she was not pregnant after being questioned, forced her to ingest a version of the morning-after pill by one of her buyers, which caused her to bleed. In addition, he injected a dose of Depo-Provera, an injectable contraceptive, on her thigh, to further ensure she would not get pregnant, before proceeding to rape her. What is surprising is that out of the 700 victims who have been treated for rape, only 5% have gotten pregnant while they were enslaved.

One of the ways women could get around this obscure law was a period of sexual abstinence by the captors during a woman’s menstrual cycle. This was an option that was deemed acceptable by the Islamic law, but not all Islamic fighters followed the rule and some were unaware of it or chose to ignore it. These women never know if their suffering from these men will result in more rapes or abandonment once they’re deemed as useless.

The plight of these women are filled with so much pain and suffering. It is unconscionable that these women be treated like animals to be shared or disposed of once their purpose has been met. As a Mom who can’t imagine the danger and barbarism they are subjected to daily, I can only pray that they escape their situation without further damage to their physical, mental and emotional psyche.

To view the original article that inspired this post here.

Had you heard this story? What do you make of it?

This is an original Post written for World Moms Blog by Tes Silverman of PinayPerspective

Photo Credit: By BetteDavisEyes at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tes Silverman

Tes Silverman was born in Manila, Philippines and has been a New Yorker for over 30 years. Moving from the Philippines to New York opened the doors to the possibility of a life of writing and travel. Before starting a family, she traveled to Iceland, Portugal, Belgium, and France, all the while writing about the people she met through her adventures. After starting a family, she became a freelance writer for publications such as Newsday’s Parents & Children and various local newspapers. Fifteen years ago, she created her blog, The Pinay Perspective. PinayPerspective.com is designed to provide women of all ages and nationalities the space to discuss the similarities and differences on how we view life and the world around us. As a result of her blog, she has written for BlogHer.com and has been invited to attend and blog about the Social Good Summit and Mom+Social Good. In addition, she is a World Voice Editor for World Moms Network and was Managing Editor for a local grass roots activism group, ATLI(Action Together Long Island). Currently residing in Virginia Beach, VA with her husband, fourteen year-old Morkie and a three year old Lab Mix, she continues to write stories of women and children who make an impact in their communities and provide them a place to vocalize their passions.

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WORLD VOICE: No Woman Should Die of Cervical Cancer

WORLD VOICE: No Woman Should Die of Cervical Cancer

WomenOfTheWorld

Many of us might hear the word “cancer” and automatically think that such a diagnosis would be a death sentence.  This could be based on things we’ve heard, images we have seen portrayed in the media, or perhaps a personal experience – a friend or relative who has been affected by this “c” word.  The truth is it greatly depends on the type of cancer…how early it is diagnosed…and whether or not a person has access to treatment.

In the US, January is #CervicalHealthMonth.  Today we are talking it about it here because cervical cancer is an international issue and I’m sharing on World Moms Blog because it is an important topic to me, too.  More than half a million women around the world are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and over half of them die from the disease.  The majority of these cases and deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.(1) (more…)

Eva Fannon (USA)

Eva Fannon is a working mom who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her hubby and two girls. She was born and raised on the east coast and followed her husband out west when he got a job offer that he couldn't refuse. Eva has always been a planner, so it took her a while to accept that no matter how much you plan and prepare, being a mom means a new and different state of "normal". Despite the craziness on most weekday mornings (getting a family of four out the door in time for work and school is no easy task!), she wouldn't trade being a mother for anything in the world. She and her husband are working on introducing the girls to the things they love - travel, the great outdoors, and enjoying time with family and friends. Eva can be found on Twitter @evafannon.

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CALIFORNIA, USA: An Ordinary Mother

CALIFORNIA, USA: An Ordinary Mother

DSC_0811

The writer interview with World Moms Blog asked what made me unique as a mother.

I could not answer the question, for I am not unique. I am an ordinary mother with a child, a husband, a job, and a station wagon.

But, still, every ordinary mother has a story. This is mine. (more…)

To-Wen Tseng

Former TV reporter turned freelance journalist, children's book writer in wee hours, nursing mom by passion. To-wen blogs at I'd rather be breastfeeding. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

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NEW ZEALAND: Innocence

NEW ZEALAND: Innocence

beastvboyOn Saturday night, I had the privilege of hosting three of my 13 year-old son’s friends for a sleep-over. They are lovely boys, and all I have to do is feed them and ignore them. I don’t mention things like showers or teeth-brushing, and in return they pretty much keep to themselves and don’t expect me to converse about Minecraft, Clash of Clans or Team Fortress II.

I teased them a little about not letting girls in while I drove my 9 year-old to a birthday party. I didn’t make a big deal of things when one of them smuggled in cola. I laughed with them, when on my return from the party drop-off, they were trying to stuff MacDonalds packaging into my kitchen rubbish bin. They pushed their limits with bedtime, of course. And they declined the offer of mattresses to sleep on (too much work for them to get them into our lounge) and slept on the carpet…. because, they’re 13 and their bodies still bend in ways mine don’t.

It was both innocent and, I felt, an appropriate mix of mischief and compliance.

Then, on Sunday, I heard of other 13 year-olds who had been in online chat rooms, talking about anal-sex and rape. Not in general terms, but in…. I shall be doing this to you terms…. These are kids who come from great homes and who have very loving families. I immediately thought: there but the Grace of God go I.

Children easily get caught up with what their friends are doing, or those who they emulate. My 13 year-old could have easily been one of those involved and I have no doubt all three of my boys will make stupid mistakes as they move from childhood to adulthood. Just not this time. Thank goodness.

The biggest worry, for me, was that there was at least one unidentified person in the chat-group who could, quite literally, have been anyone. It’s probably another 13 year-old, a friend or acquaintance but it could just as easily be a predator who was scoping for a target. And that makes it all the more scary.

The same is true of a local man who is hanging around liquor stores offering to buy alcohol and cigarettes for underage kids, 14 and 15 year-olds. He does this for a while. Then he offers drugs. Then it’s parties at his house. This is a whole different scenario from the stranger-danger I taught my boys when they were small.

We’re talking about people who are consciously befriending those kids who want to seem older than they are, and who are ready to break rules. They are grooming relationships before they pounce. They are feeding the teenage need to belong and the teenage need to experiment and do things that their parents may not approve of.

So we hit the teenage years, and now I find parenting is not so black and white.

No, I don’t want my kids drinking alcohol or smoking but do I buy them a few beers to take to a party, so that creeps don’t target them and they go behind my back? No, I don’t want my kids smoking pot but if they choose to, should I allow it when they know who grew it, rather than have them turn to those who lace it with P?

No, I don’t want my kids to be suggesting they will rape someone or perform anal sex on them, but I also don’t want them to be excluded from other things their peers are doing.

Suddenly, a conversation about Minecraft seems pretty appealing afterall.

What do you do or have you done to deal with these aspects of parenting?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our writer and mother of three, rapidly growing boys in New Zealand, Karyn Willis.

The image used in this post is attributed to JD Hancock and holds a Flickr Creative Commons attribution license.

Karyn Wills

Karyn is a teacher, writer and solo mother to three sons. She lives in the sunny wine region of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand in the city of Napier.

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BRAZIL: Children and Social Media – A Risky Relationship

BRAZIL: Children and Social Media – A Risky Relationship

3975852051_997e28826a_zImagine the scene: an eight year old girl with a Facebook account – allowed for by her parents. I will call her Maria. Maria’s parents both work full time and after school she stays at home with the maid. She has full access to the computer and knows how to navigate the Internet quite well.

Several hundred kilometers away, a grown man creates a fake Facebook account using childhood photographs of a famous teenage singer. He contacts Maria and she accepts him as her online friend. They chat. At one point he says he loves going to the beach and sends her a picture of the singer, when around age eight, at the beach. “I also love going to the beach!” she says and, when prompted, sends him a picture of herself at the beach wearing a bikini.

The friendship progresses over several days. Maria is happy because she and the cute boy seem to have a lot in common. One day he asks for her phone number. He says his birthday is coming up and he wants to invite her. Using a child’s voice, he talks to her briefly and then asks if she can talk to his father. The “father” says the “birthday” will be a lot of fun: he will pick her up at school and take them to the mall, to the movies, for ice cream and other fun things.

He also tells her not to worry about talking to her parents. He will call them later and they will work everything out.

The day of the “birthday” arrives. The man gets to Maria’s school and tells the porter he is her uncle. The porter says he will have to call Maria’s parents to get permission for her to go with him. “No problem,” he says, “while you call I will go pick her up in her classroom”. Her parents deny the story and the man is not able to leave the school grounds with Maria. At this point the school staff has started to get suspicious and they are able to record the number of his license plate and inform the police.

The man is later intercepted at the state border. He has a criminal record and has already spent time in prison for molesting children. Unfortunately, as there was no formal accusation, the police are not able to arrest him.

The scary situation I described above is a true story that happened to the daughter of one of my husband’s colleagues. The topic came up in a talk how nowadays children are so computer savvy, and my husband commented on how we limit the kids’ screen time: we have no TV set at home; the eldest has limited time on the Internet and no social media or e-mail accounts; and, more recently, we have cut all screen time for the two smaller kids (both under four) with the exception of days at grandma’s and the rare trip to the movie theater. At that point the co-worker stated that nowadays it is impossible to control kids’ screen time and recounted what happened to his girl.

Valdemar Setzer*, a professor at the Computer Science Department of the University of São Paulo (USP) researches the impacts of screens on children and advocates that kids – for lack of maturity – should have no access whatsoever to the Internet (teens included). I recently heard him talk and a lot of what he said only confirmed my own opinions and reinforced the hard decision of eliminating all screen time for my two youngest kids at home.

On the other hand, it also got me thinking about how part of the problem doesn’t have to do with the screens themselves: it is much more about parents and children who spend way too little (quantity) time together, parents who overwork to make ends meet and are (understandably) too tired to play or do outdoor activities with the kids and the end of the day or during the weekends, or simply parents and kids which communication needs to improve a lot.

I am not trying to be judgmental here – I am grateful my job is flexible and allows me to have a lot of time with my kids, but I know other parents are not so fortunate.

However, even in my case stories like this make me once again rethink my priorities and find ways to organize our family life, as there is always room for improvement. After all, there is nothing more important to me that my children, and I believe that is the case for most parents. Also, despite all the benefits the Internet and other new means of communication have brought about (such as bringing together mothers from around the world in this blog!), for me real, active life is always better than the passive life that goes on “behind the screens” – not only for children, but for adults too!

And you, do you control your children’s screen time? If so, how? Please share your story!

[*] Prof. Setzer’s website is loaded with information on the effects of screens on children, including stuff in English – http://www.ime.usp.br/~vwsetzer/

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Eco Ziva of Brazil. Photo credit: Sinistra Ecologia Libertá. This picture has a creative commons attribution license.

Ecoziva (Brazil)

Eco, from the greek oikos means home; Ziva has many meanings and roots, including Hebrew (brilliance, light), Slovenian (goddess of life) and Sanskrit (blessing). In Brazil, where EcoZiva has lived for most of her life, giving birth is often termed “giving the light”; thus, she thought, a mother is “home to light” during the nine months of pregnancy, and so the penname EcoZiva came to be for World Moms Blog. Born in the USA in a multi-ethnic extended family, EcoZiva is married and the mother of two boys (aged 12 and three) and a five-year-old girl and a three yearboy. She is trained as a biologist and presently an university researcher/professor, but also a volunteer at the local environmental movement.

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ONTARIO, CANADA: Raising Men Who Respect Women

ONTARIO, CANADA: Raising Men Who Respect Women

4372040121_d4b16e6a9a_zIt’s not often that I get riled up over things that happen in the news, especially in Canada. Yes, we have some outrageous things happening here, but for the most part, Canadian society is reasonably civilized.

However, a story that’s currently unfolding has me feeling a little sick. It is the story of Jian Ghomeshi, a popular radio show host who has just been fired amid a storm of allegations. (more…)

Kirsten Doyle (Canada)

Kirsten Doyle was born in South Africa. After completing university, she drifted for a while and finally washed up in Canada in 2000. She is Mom to two boys who have reached the stage of eating everything in sight (but still remaining skinny). Kirsten was a computer programmer for a while before migrating into I.T. project management. Eventually she tossed in the corporate life entirely in order to be a self-employed writer and editor. When Kirsten is not wrestling with her kids or writing up a storm, she can be seen on Toronto's streets putting many miles onto her running shoes. Every year, she runs a half-marathon to benefit children with autism, inspired by her older son who lives life on the autism spectrum. Final piece of information: Kirsten is lucky enough to be married to the funniest guy in the world. Connect with her on Facebook and on Twitter @running4autism. Be sure to check out her personal blog, Running for Autism!

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