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The lonely girl and the giraffe

Indonesian film “Postcards from the Zoo” has been selected for the final competition at the Berlin film festival. The film narrates the story of a girl who is abandoned by her father and grows up in a zoo.

The title of the film is “Kebun Binatang”, in Bhasa Indonesia, the Indonesian language. It means “Postcards from the Zoo.” In an interview for the Berlinale, Edwin, the director of the film, explains why he chose to use the word “postcards” in the title. He says, “I suppose the word ‘postcards’ comes from the way I perceive cinema. I enjoy fragmentary films that are able to break free from their own structures, films that allow the viewer to exit the narrative, invoking or triggering memories of personal experience.”

Date

17.02.2012 | 10:16

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Bangladesh teenagers commit suicide on Valentine’s day

A 16-year-old girl and her 17-year-old lover committed suicide in southern Bangladesh on Valentine’s Day after the girl was forced to marry another man.

According to the police, the bodies of Mitu Molla and Soud Sheikh were found with “each of their hands tied together with a scarf” after they jumped from a mobile phone tower in Gopalganj district. Police inspector Sarojit Biswas said, “They died on the way to a clinic. It appears that the teenagers, who are from two neighbouring villages, had a love affair and they chose Valentine’s Day to kill themselves.”

He said Molla’s family took her to a town 200 kilometres  away from her village two months ago and married her off to a man twice her age against her will after the affair with Sheikh became public.

Date

14.02.2012 | 15:00

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A Pakistani author speaks out against sexual harassment

Talking about sexual harassment remains a taboo in Pakistani society, where women usually choose to stay silent for fear of repercussions. But now, there is one woman with the courage to speak out. It took her three years to report and ten years to write about the sexual harassment she had faced at work.

Dr. Fouzia Saeed, author of “Taboo,” a story about the culture of prostitution in Pakistan, has recently launched her second book, “Working with the Sharks: Countering Sexual Harassment in Our Lives” in Pakistan. The book was officially launched in Islamabad on December 22 to coincide with the National Day for Working Women. It is an account of the author’s personal experience of sexual harassment by a senior male colleague when she was working at a senior administrative position at the UN Gender Program in Pakistan and how she and her eleven female colleagues took up the case against him.

Date

10.01.2012 | 14:54

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Women at work: breaking social barriers in Afghanistan

Women in Afghanistan are slowly becoming financially independent

Just until a few years ago, Zulfia did not have any option other than giving up her studies and staying at home in Kabul. Now, with the help of NAZO, a German organization she teaches young women to become independent.

21-year-old Zulfia says, “I couldn’t keep going on with my education due to financial problems, so I had to stay home. At first I was not so courageous. I had nothing to say. My social contacts were few. I was a shy girl. But I was interested in working outside my home.”

Atifa Mansori, the head of Afghanistan’s business union in Herat says: “Due to the traditional discrimination against women and the country’s current social, political, cultural and economic condition, women have less job opportunities. Few are allowed to work outside their homes.”

Date

30.12.2011 | 20:28

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Asian leaders discuss violence against women

Asian leaders are meeting in New Delhi to discuss why, despite the economic boom and rapid progress, women on their continent still remain victims of violence and the traditional patriarchal mindset.

“Preventing and Responding to Violence against Women and Girls: From Legislation to Effective Enforcement,” is a forum, taking place September 15 to 17, where Asian parliamentarians are meeting to discuss challenges faced by women in Asia. The event was organized by the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Parliament of India.

In the conference, members of parliament from China, Cambodia, Japan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Iran

Date

29.12.2011 | 21:08

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Women’s rights groups slam Dhaka’s inaction

One year after the Bangladesh Supreme Court issued an order criticizing the government for failing to protect it citizens, there has not been a great deal of change, criticize women’s rights groups.

Last year in January, Hena Akhter, an adolescent Bangladeshi girl, received 100 lashes for an alleged affair with a married man. It had been ordered by a “shalish,” a makeshift village court, in Shariatpur district in the Dhaka Division. Six days later, the 14-year-old died in hospital. Before her punishment she had reported that she had been sexually abused.

Date

29.12.2011 | 20:52

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Rape victims or war heroes: war women in Bangladesh

Hundreds of thousands of women were raped during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. As the country celebrates 40 years of independence, these victims of war, known as Birangonas, continue to suffer.

In Bengali, the word Birangona means “brave woman.” The Bangladeshi government gave this title to women who were raped by the Pakistani army in the nine months of the Liberation War of 1971. But the title has come to mean “dishonored” or “violated woman” and is synonymous with rape, abortion, suicide and war. According to Bangladeshi freedom fighters, the Pakistani army raped over 200,000 women during the war. Many of them migrated

Date

29.12.2011 | 20:33

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