Women Worldwide, November-December 2017

by Artemis

From the November-December 2017 issue of News & Letters

On Sept. 30, the anniversary of the 1919 massacre of 100 Black activists in Elaine, Ark., Black Women’s Blueprint, Trans Sistas of Color Project and Black Youth Project 100, held a Black Women’s March in Washington, D.C., which converged with the March for Racial Justice. They marched to the Justice Department because, as one marcher stated, “The Justice Department has become a mechanism to make injustice the law of the land.” Organizers stated the march was to denounce “state violence and the widespread incarceration of Black women and girls, rape and all sexualized violence, the murders and brutalization of Trans women and the disappearances of our girls from our streets, our schools and our homes.”

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In 2002 Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) members made news by refusing to shake women’s hands for fundamentalist religious reasons. On Sept. 30, Meltem Cumbul, an actress hosting an awards ceremony, caused a media furor by refusing to shake the hand of a director who supported the right-wing President Erdogan. Her statement “I refuse to shake hands—which is a ritual of greeting and intimacy between equals—with those who marginalize people who are not like them or those who use the power of the rich against the poor, who side with the powerful and humiliate the weak” received 29,500 likes and 7,600 retweets on twitter. The pro-AKP media labeled Cumbul’s refusal to shake the director’s hand an “act of fascism” and a “hate crime.”

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In Canada, two Indigenous women filed a class-action lawsuit over being coerced into sterilization procedures at a hospital in Saskatchewan. Their lawyer, Alysa Lombard, stated that she has been contacted by 40 women from the province with the same experiences. She said this violates the UN convention on the prevention and punishment of genocide. She said, “When you talk about genocide, no one wants to think Canada…I have to call it that, because that’s what it is.”

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