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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USA: China’s One-Child Policy, America’s “Anchor Baby” Controversy

USA: China’s One-Child Policy, America’s “Anchor Baby” Controversy

To-Wen One Child Policy 600

In response to China’s latest announcement on their one-child policy and the incident of a Taiwanese woman giving birth on a China Airlines flight to the U.S., Taiwan’s National Education Radio recently invited me to talk about America’s “anchor baby” controversy on their morning talk show.

An “anchor baby” is a child that born to a noncitizen mother in a country which has birthright citizenship. The term is especially offensive when viewed as providing an advantage to family members seeking to secure citizenship or legal residency.

Offensive or not, anchor babies do exist. According to the Department of State, noncitizen mothers gave birth to 35,000 babies in the U.S. last year, and 30,000 of them were born to Chinese women who traveled to the U.S. for the sole purpose of giving birth (Chinese language link).

And this, of course, has a lot to do with China’s one-child policy. For several decades, the only way for a Chinese couple to have a second child, is to give birth outside of China in a country which has birthright citizenship.

Taiwanese, though not under the one-child policy, like to have their babies born in the U.S. for a “potentially better future” for the children. It is reported that last year about 300 Taiwanese woman traveled to the U.S. just to have their babies born here.

Now, a recently announced rule allowing couples to have two children will be officially adopted on the first day of next year in China, and some Chinese couples have canceled their plan of giving birth in the U.S.

For example, a girlfriend of mine from Nanjing is pregnant with her second child, due next May. She was planning to come to the U.S. to give birth here, but she changed her birth plan after the China’s National Health and Family-Planning Association made the announcement that it was ending the one-child policy, which was instituted in the late 1970s.

She told me that many mothers from her QQ (Chinese Facebook) group “Giving Birth in America” also changed their mind about giving birth in the U.S., since the announcement.

This is good news. In fact, it is very risky for these Chinese women to travel to the U.S. and give birth here. The high demand of giving birth to an American baby among Chinese mothers has led to the illegal operation of “maternity tourism” in California, New York, and other areas where Chinese-Americans have settled.

The maternity tourism service providers arrange for the Chinese mothers to enter the U.S. on tourist visas and hide them in apartment homes, or so called “maternity centers,” while waiting to give birth. This practice is often associated with visa fraud, conspiracy, and other crimes in which women were helped to fabricate documents for visa applications and coached to falsely claim that they were traveling to the U.S. for tourism.

I followed the maternity tourism story for years as a journalist. The stories that occur in the “maternity centers” can be scary. Some of the “maternity centers” are very popular, so popular that the service providers want all the mothers to give birth and leave as soon as possible. This is so they can arrange more maternity trips for more mothers. The centers often give drugs that induce labor to the mothers, and the drugs can be harmful to the babies. Earlier this year when the Federal government raided maternity tourism in California, hundreds of mothers with little big bumps or tiny babies were throw into the street. It was horrible.

Many mothers knowingly came to the U.S. in full awareness of the risks. It’s hard to understand why they would be willing to risk their health and the the babies’ well-being. Let’s wish the trend will slowly die down with the end of China’s one-child policy.

A report I did on maternity tourism back in 2012, way before the main-stream media noticed the trend. (Chinese with English subtitles):

This is an original post to World Mom Blog by World Mom, To-wen Tseng of California, USA .

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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FRANCE: Education Is Prevention…

FRANCE: Education Is Prevention…

stop violence…and prevention is protection.

Now-a-days, we hear a lot about violence. Violence at home, bullying at school, harassment at work or on the street. Violence is everywhere. It does not define our societies or who we are but it plays an important role in our evolution and how we decide to define ourselves.

In the past couple of years, the French government put into place important measures to fight all types of violence, creating adds to show its impact on peoples lives, opening more helplines, dedicated centres to welcome the victims, creating new jobs and training programs. Many well-known artists took it over and started campaigns around the country and in the world.

Still, I think something is missing in order, if not to eradicate violence completely, at least to change the vision of men and women on the subject and prevent violence from spreading even more. Before discussing the impact of violence, people first have to be educated on what violence is, how to spot it and how to protect themselves from it.

We tend to think that violence is only physical. Is it something we learn as kids? Or are the other forms of violence too cruel to be true?

I met women who kept telling me that in their case, it was not violence. I met kids who kept telling me that other kids were just laughing at them, no big deal. I met men who kept telling me that if their bosses were that mean towards them, it was maybe because they were not that good.

If people don’t know or understand that the relationship they are in is poison, they won’t be able to get out of it or ask for help. And it will keep destroying them. Ads or campaigns won’t have any impact on their life. They will still think violence is horrible but they will think it has nothing to do with them.

I suppose we have to educate people from a young age. Maybe school is the first place to start, as violence can take root there for many. Teaching kids about respect and differences. Teaching them about what is not allowed, about their body and about the importance of equality. Boys are not better than girls and girls are not better than boys.

But first, we have to teach kids about confidence. In most cases, it’s the lack of confidence that takes people down. Teaching kids that they are important, that they are valued and loved, that they are worth it, beautiful, enough. I think this is crucial and it can change many things in our world these days.

I don’t say that confident people can’t be touched by violence, but they’ll have the resources, the power to face it and say stop to it. Or they’ll know something is wrong in the equation and they’ll be able to talk about it, to raise their voice.

Because, at the end of the day, silence is really the enemy, silence is what allows violence to thrive.

This is an original post from our contributor in France, Marie Kleber.

The image used in this post is attributed to Cyber Magic. It holds a Flickr Creative Commons attribution license.

Marie Kléber

After 6 years in Ireland, a failed marriage, I started over again, back to France with my baby boy. I love to say that I am a work in progress. Life is a process and I am slowly reconnecting with who I am, learning to love and take care of myself, rewriting my dreams and making new projects, adjusting to single motherhood, trying to find my balance, and enjoying the little things. I am a life lover and I believe in the goodness of humanity, in peace, empathy, tolerance, gratitude. I try to teach my little one about these values as well as helping him connect with others without being too judgmental. “Sharing is caring” is our motto! I started a blog to connect with women engaged in a bicultural marriage. I was at a crossroad in my life and I needed some guidance. I met wonderful people and some ladies became very good friends. I felt part of a community and everybody was there when I decided to leave my abusive marriage and my country of adoption. My blog evolved with me. I do now share poetry, posts about my life and about domestic violence.

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USA: Waiting for Water After Hurricane Joaquin

USA: Waiting for Water After Hurricane Joaquin

Last week, South Carolina experienced the worst flooding is has seen in 1,000 years.  World Mom, Sophia, shares her search for clean water after the storm last week…

Today the National Guard had two posts at which troopers were giving out clean water bottles by the case. As I prepared to go get some of this water, I thought of the safest, most effective and expeditious way of getting through the line of people waiting.

Would there be a truck at which troopers would be handing out the cases? Would there just be a group of us standing there with no adhered-to order, or would there be a line? How could I carry more than one case back to my car? I surely couldn’t get to the front of the line (or group) more than once… Maybe I should take the stroller, and put as many cases of water on it as I could take. (more…)

ThinkSayBe

I am a mom amongst some other titles life has fortunately given me. I love photography & the reward of someone being really happy about a photo I took of her/him. I work, I study, I try to pay attention to life. I like writing. I don't understand many things...especially why humans treat each other & other living & inanimate things so vilely sometimes. I like to be an idealist, but when most fails, I do my best to not be a pessimist: Life itself is entirely too beautiful, amazing & inspiring to forget that it is!

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World Voice: #365DaysOn #CHIBOKGIRLS #NeverToBeForgotten

World Voice: #365DaysOn #CHIBOKGIRLS #NeverToBeForgotten

365DaysOn the Chibok Girls are never to be forgotten.

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It is 365 days today that the Chibok Girls were abducted. Exactly one year ago on 14th April 2014 276 Chibok School Girls were abducted from their school. I just cannot believe the fact that we actually allowed it to get to one year without the rescue of our #chibokGirls. How could we allow innocent children be taken away by terrorist group and do nothing. The #ChibokGirls ought not to have been taken in the first place. They were supposed to be protected to enjoy their Childhood and their innocence. We failed to protect them and also failed in the next best thing which would have been their immediate rescue. How can we live with ourselves? How do we live with our consciences? How do we face ourselves in the mirror knowing fully well that we abandoned 219 #ChibokGirls and left them with the terrorists.

What is the crime of #ChibokGirls? Is it because she is Nigerian? Is it because she is poor? Or is it because she dared to be educated? #ChibokGirls against all odds dared to be educated and on April 14th 2014 they paid for daring. A group of armed terrorists entered their school and abducted 276 of them from their school in Chibok. 57 of them escaped on their own and there are still 219 of them still with the abductors for a year today, and not a single one has been rescued. The armed terrorists group known as Boko Haram, literarily meaning that western education is forbidden, have vowed to get schools closed down and seem to be succeeding. For some children in the North Eastern States of Nigeria education has become truly forbidden as schools in some parts have been closed for over a year.

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The #ChibokGirls were writing their Final year examination after which those who passed would be able to secure admission into University. A beacon of hope for their families. Schools had been closed down in neighbouring towns and a lot of parents sent their children to be able to complete their secondary school education in Chibok.

There had been series of attacks within some neighbouring villages and yet the #ChibokGirls went to school. Even those who were not boarders went to stay in school because there was electricity there and they wanted to have a place to read for their exams. Sheer determination to get an education which they knew would be their key to breaking the shackles of poverty. For the #ChibokGirl education meant everything. It was the path that could lead to an end to the vicious cycle of poverty. Like one of the #ChibokMothers said to us when we invited them to one of the Sit Outs we had, said her daughter had promised to go to school to get an education and wipe away her tears. The mother asked us; “If my daughter is in the hands of terrorist how she will wipe away my tears?

For most of these parents their children are everything, including a future source of livelihood. What makes the #ChibokGirls issue so saddening is that a lot of children, especially the Girl-Child from the region of Nigeria they come from, hardly ever go to school. They are the most educationally disadvantaged and it takes a lot to get them to school, especially the girls.

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One of the #ChibokFathers put it this way: ‘The government fines us if we do not send our children to school. Now that our children have been abducted while in school who will fine the government?’ A #ChibokFather wept at the Unity Fountain in Abuja where we have the daily Sit Out to demand for the rescue of  our #ChibokGirls when he told us the story of how his daughter was driven home because she had not paid 300 Naira (Less than 2 Dollars) for testimonial. He struggled for days to get the 300 Naira and when he was able to, he took her back to the school only for her to be abducted the very next day. I ask again! What is the crime of the #ChibokGirl? Is it because she is Nigerian? Is it because she is poor or is it because she dared to be educated?

If these are crimes many of us would be guilty. I grew up poor in an environment where education was not seen as important.

I went to school in the morning without breakfast and came back home without expecting lunch.By the time I was aged 11, I had no friends to play with because they were all married off. I was taunted and ridiculed and what kept me going was the thought that if I am able to get an education I would one day be able to ride a car and escape the life of poverty I was born into. At the age of 24 when I got married my friends were grandparents, and by the time I turned 40 they had become great grand parents.

Anytime I think of the fact that if I was taken when I was writing my exams my parents would have been unable to speak out for me because poverty had rendered them voiceless, and if nobody else stood for me where would I be today? Probably dead! With that in mind I can never give up on the #ChibokGirls because to give up on them is to give up on the who I was 24 years ago.

IMG-20150413-WA0023

The #ChibokGirls with all the disadvantage they were born with decided that they would dare to take themselves out of the station that they were born into, and for daring to dream have been with abductors for a year. The world seems to have turned its back on the #ChibokGirls. The world seems to move on after the initial flurry of activity with the world saying #BringBackOur Girls. It was glamorous for people to hold the banner and say #BringBackOurGirls in the early days. People have moved on with their lives but for the #ChibokGirls and their families there is no moving on, not for a second for 365 days. Today it is exactly one year. My daughter has volunteered to be a #ChibokGirl Ambassador who would stand for the voiceless #ChibokGirls here in Abuja, and make demands that the government rescues the #ChibokGirls. This is what she had to say:

I see my parents every day and I feel guilty because 219 school girls haven’t seen their parents for one whole year. They live in fear of not knowing what is going to happen next whether they would live to see the next second, the next minute, the next hour, the next day. They have lost all hope especially in their country.

I feel sad that I live in a country, where 219 girls would be abducted and kept in captivity for 365 days and yet nothing is done, yet no attempt is made to rescue them, and everyone just moves on as if nothing ever happened. Why? They are kept in the hands of monsters that go around killing people and think they are practicing Islam, but Islam is a religion of peace not violence.

What if it were I that was abducted will everyone just move on and forget about me.

Bring Back Our Girls Now And Alive.

As long as the #ChibokGirls are left with abductors we have failed the children of the world especially the Girl-Child whom we tell is important and that she should dare to dream. Action, they say, speaks louder than words. The Girl-Child knows that it is all a lie because she can see the #ChibokGirls who dared and what happened to them.

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By failing to rescue the #ChibokGirls we have failed children all over the world. We have allowed terror be what they go to school expecting could happen to them, and this is not how it should be.

Due to what has happened to the #ChibokGirls and many others in that region a lot of parents are refusing to send their children to school where they are still open, and some are saying they would not send their children even when schools are opened. No parents should be made to choose between sending a child to school or their safety.

Work needs to be done to ensure that parents do send their children to school, lest the terrorist will have succeeded with their ideology of western education being forbidden. We must remember injustice to one is injustice to all. Terrorist attack to one is terrorist attack to all. Terror attack to anyone anywhere in the world is terrorist attack to everyone everywhere in the world.

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This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Aisha Yesufu in Nigeria. All images provided by Aisha Yesufu.

 

 

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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