May 2011

Afghanistan Stories:
Written at Risk, Edited With Care



Karla Peterson
The San Diego Union-Tribune
May 28, 2011

From her condo in North County, local writer Barbara Field can look into the corners of Afghanistan that don’t always see the light of our news-cycle day.

Like many of us in this military town, Field thought she had absorbed enough images and information to give her a clear mental picture of this war-wrenched country. Then she began hearing from the women who live there, and a whole new universe came into focus.

Field is a volunteer with the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, which pairs women in Afghanistan with female mentors in the United States for online writing workshops.

To read the full article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, click here.

Visit the web site of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, here.

A poster in Monrovia, Liberia, encouraging women to seek assistance if they have been raped (Keystone)

Rape as a Weapon of War

May 17, 2011

Media reports are becoming more disturbing by the day as we learn how rape is being used as an everpresent tool of war against women.

The following links represent some of the current stories in the media:

Libya Troops Using Rape as a Weapon?   May 17, 2011

STUDY: 1,152 Women Raped Everyday In DRC Totally Free May 12, 2011

Congo Study Sets Estimate for Rapes Much Higher  The New York Times May 11, 2011

STUDY: Estimates and Determinants of Sexual Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo

“Fallen” Soldiers:
Unsolved Death Cases of Black Women in the Military


The Fresh Xpress
April 28, 2011

As I was looking up black women in the military who have fallen I began to notice a trend. Not every woman has “fallen” in the sense of valor as may we may associate with soldiers. In the two dozen that I have discovered, a disproportionate amount have died in non-combat circumstances.

This got my conspiracy nose to twitching. “Is this another case of those who serve and protect, but are not being protected?” I asked. And yep, my gut was right in some instances.

The military sounds good and may look good in the commercials, but it is a very hard profession and one that trains ordinary folk into killers. And many times, the soldiers kill their own. And in many instances, the women who are in the military are the first target before any enemy.

To read the full post at The Fresh Xpress, click here.

Thanks to H-Net Minerva and Noonie Fortin for the article link.

Video capture, YouTube/RepBruceBraley

End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women in the Military, says Iowa’s Braley

Lynda Waddington
The American Independent
May 3, 2011

In mid-April U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) introduced HR 1517, the Holley Lynn James Act, to encourage the military to provide more accountability for sexual assault and domestic violence. Monday he took the cause one step further by directly asking President Barack Obama to use his authority to implement certain provisions in the bill.

“I want to make sure the President recognizes the need to address this crisis, to ensure that charges of sexual assault and domestic violence are treated seriously, and that the rights of victims are protected,” said Braley.

The bipartisan bill, which has been submitted to both the House Judiciary and Armed Services committees for further review, is named after Holley Lynn James, a constituent of Braley who was killed by her husband while both were in the service. James had filed complaints against her husband, who was supposed to be restricted to his barracks the night he murdered her.

To read the full post at The American Independent, click here.