Gender Terrorism

I came across the term ‘gender terrorism’ while reading about acid attacks in Bangladesh – it seems like an appropriate name to call it – and other atrocities, based on so many of the forms of torture, injury and murder women and girls face. Here’s the article:

Bangladesh praised for reducing acid attacks

Whether the attacks follow a perceived wrongdoing or are simply the response of a spurned suitor, thousands of women in the South Asian region around Bangladesh have had sulphuric acid sprayed or poured onto their faces, eliminating facial features, causing blindness and fusing skin together, forcing them into a life of health problems and social isolation.

(Sometimes the acid is directed towards their genitals, as well.) 

Do you remember the case of the woman in the US who splashed acid onto her own face in order to get sympathy? It made national news – however, the media failed to take advantage of this time to talk about acid attacks against women (and sometimes men – usually pertaining to land disputes) in the world. The same thing happened when the woman (named Babbat, I believe) cut her husband’s penis – there was more attention over the cutting of this ONE man’s penis than the cutting of millions of girls’ clitorises.

Here’s another article similar in nature to the first:

Set on Fire – New Form of Sexist Violence in Argentina

Victims of femicide in Argentina are stabbed, strangled, shot, drowned, beaten to death — and more recently, set on fire.

In 65 percent of the cases of femicide, the murderer is the woman’s partner or ex-partner. And many of the killings occur after the courts have ordered the partner to leave the home or have issued a restraining order to keep him away from the victim of domestic violence.

Last year “we saw a veritable epidemic of women who ‘accidentally’ caught on fire,” Fabiana Tuñez, who heads La Casa del Encuentro, told IPS, pointing out that the number of cases rose from six in 2009 to 11 in 2010. 

 

 

Women ignored

Excellent article in the New York Times about sexual violence against Bangladeshi women. Just makes me wonder – how can the NY Times keep ignoring women’s human rights violations at the same time they print such an illuminating article on how this issue gets ignored?!?

Note the use of the term “women raped” – this is a passive construct that ignores the perpetrators and highlights the undesirable status women being victims.

Bangladesh war’s toll on women still undiscussed 

As the 40th anniversary of the 1971 war approaches, the Bangladeshi government has set up an International Crimes Tribunal to investigate the atrocities of that era. But human rights advocates and lawyers fear that the mass rapes and killings of women will not be adequately addressed. They hope to ensure they are.

There has been a denial by certain political groups of the history of the war, and a failure to account for the crimes of sexual violence against women,” said Sara Hossain, a human rights lawyer based in Dhaka.

For years, the experiences of women — the independence fighters, the victims of rape, the widows — during the war received little attention, their stories seldom told, the violence they experienced rarely acknowledged.

“As a young teenager in 1971, I had heard a lot about female university students, young village girls and women being raped and held captive, effectively forced into sexual slavery, in the military cantonment. But after the war, very soon, one heard nothing more,” said Irene Khan, former secretary general of Amnesty International.

Irene Khan also says this,

A conservative Muslim society has preferred to throw a veil of negligence and denial on the issue, allowed those who committed or colluded with gender violence to thrive, and left the women victims to struggle in anonymity and shame and without much state or community support.”