equalitic

Media's coverage of equality in politics

Month: March, 2013

Feminism in Arab countries

It seems that FEMEN is creating world-wide awareness as their radical way of protest has spread around the globe. The Iranian Communist Party and the Organization Against Violence on Women in Iran staged a topless protest in Sweden.

FEMEN support this demonstration and posted pictures of the Iranian’s women’s topless protest on their website. They have been urging Muslim women to ‘get naked’ and use nudity as a sign of protest against hijabs.

It is great to see pro-feminist Islamic movements, but this particular one is very controversial it its nature. According to religious laws Muslim women are expected to cover their heads and chests, to lower their gaze while walking past men and to walk in a way that does not attract attention. If a woman does not do this she is not considered religious. Therefore the women who took part in this protest are subjected to severe criticism. Another criticism of protest is that  the ideals of Western feminism is being thrust upon Muslim women and they are not getting the opportunity to develop their own ideals.

It is a highly contested subject and I am unable to say whether I agree or disagree with this particular protest. I just know for certain that change and the empowerment of women is necessary.

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FREE PUSSY RIOT

FREE PUSSY RIOT

The feminist punk-rock band Pussy Riot, like FEMEN, became known for their radical forms of protest. This band formed in August 2011 and consisted of about eleven females who wear brightly coloured balaclavas. Their lyrics are in support of feminism, LGBT rights and in strong opposition against Vladimir Putin, the Russian President.

Pussy Riot advocates LGBT rights even though the majority of members are heterosexual. This advocacy is viewed in a negative light by the Conservative Party. The morals and ideology of the Conservative party are linked to those of the church.

One of their typical unauthorized performances took place in February 2012 at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. They turned the live footage of the performance into a music video entitled Punk Prayer- Mother of God, Chase Putin Away. This song was in opposition against the Church’s support of Putin during the election period.

Two members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alykhina, were initially arrested followed by the arrest of a third member, Yekaretrina Samutsevich. They were charged with hooliganism and were sentenced to two years imprisonment. However, Samutsevich sentence was suspended and she was freed on probation.

The charges against the members of Pussy Riot attracted a lot of attention and so the Free Pussy Riot movement was born. The objectives of this movement is the demand that all charges are dropped against Samutsevich Tolokonnikova and Alykhina. It also demands the unconditional release of Tolokonnikova and Alykhina.

The severities of the charges have caused an unrest, especially in the west. Many celebrities including Madonna and Anthony Kiedis is openly in support of this movement. This case has successfully connected the music world with human rights as many were appalled  at this violation of Human Rights. 

FREE AMINA!!

As a part of the FEMEN protest movement a Tunisian activist, Anima Tyler has uploaded a topless photo of herself. Rumors that she is missing and that she has been admitted to a psychiatric ward have been circulating the internet. However, these rumors are false as she is safely at home and no charges have yet been filed against her (http://www.tunisia-live.net/2013/03/25/amina-safe-at-home-says-lawyer/  ). However, support for Amina has spread rapidly online after Adel Almi’s statement that she deserves to be stoned to death.  More than 80 000 people have signed a petition  on change.org , demanding that Amina’s  “life and liberty are protected and that those who have threatened her be immediately prosecuted.”

Pro feminism vs enforced feminism

It seems that FEMEN is creating world-wide awareness as their radical way of protest has spread around the globe. The Iranian Communist Party and the Organization Against Violence on Women in Iran staged a topless protest in Sweden.

FEMEN support this demonstration and posted pictures of the Iranian’s women’s topless protest on their website. They have been urging Muslim women to ‘get naked’ and use nudity as a sign of protest against hijabs.

(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/15/femen-topless-protests_n_2885681.html )

It is great to see pro-feminist Islamic movements, but this particular one is very controversial it its nature. According to religious laws Muslim women are expected to cover their heads and chests, to lower their gaze while walking past men and to walk in a way that does not attract attention. If a woman does not do this she is not considered religious. Therefore the women who took part in this protest are subjected to severe criticism. Another criticism of protest is that  the ideals of Western feminism is being thrust upon Muslim women and they are not getting the opportunity to develop their own ideals.

It is a highly contested subject and I am unable to say whether I agree or disagree with this particular protest. I just know for certain that change and the empowerment of women is necessary.

FEMINism

Ever since women’s liberation there have been various women empowerment movements. One movement that really stands out is FEMEN, mostly because they are radical in every way. FEMEN first started out in 2008 in Ukraine. They adopted the slogan Our God is women, our mission is to protect, our weapons our bare breasts. This organization is infamous for their topless protest rallies against all forms of sexism and gender inequality.

The movement was founded by Anna Hutsol after she noticed that there was a lack of women activist in society. The goal of FEMEN organization was initially to start a women’s uprising in Ukraine. Since its establishment in 2008 it has branched out to other parts of the world including Belarus, India, Spain, Italy and most recently France.

I previously mentioned that FEMEN is a very radical movement.  FEMEN is a very hands-on in your face organization that is internationally known for their drastic protests. This movement fights against the patriarchal system and challenges the conventional roles of women. Furthermore, they protest against discrimination of the LGBT community and against religious institutions that implement gender conventions and belief systems.

They justify their radical often violent behavior during the protest and demonstrations as necessary to bring about change. They believe that passive actions such as peaceful protests will not inspire the change that is essential in our society. They aim to be the biggest and most influential feminist movement in Europe. They serve to bind women and protect their rights.

(Source: http://www.facebook.com/Femen.UA?ref=ts&fref=ts)

FEMEN is accusing the government of inaction against widespread prostitution in Ukraine. They are also rising up against sex tourists who visit Ukraine purely to engage in the sex industry. Despite FEMEN’s success in raising awareness of gender inequality and the increasing sex tourism in the Ukraine, they still have various stumble blocks to overcome.  They are also subjected to a lot of criticism. Some believe that their controversial means of protest gives feminism a negative connotation. The argument is that they behave like prostitutes while protesting against it. FEMEN retaliated by stating that they are not a feminist movement, but that they use eroticism in their approach. This, however, does limit the extent of their support.

(Source: http://observers.france24.com/content/20090828-how-they-protest-prostitution-ukraine-femen-sex-tourism?page=1)

I personally support this movement because I believe that a drastic change is necessary. Gender conventions are continually reinforced which supports patriarchy. Patriarchy is not only harmful to women, but also to men as they are always expected to act in a certain way. Radical movements are needed to bring about change.

Welcome

Recent events, such as the rape and murder of Anene Booysen, have placed gender inequality on the foreground of South Africa’s media. It has become evident that in order to put an end to violence against women and children, South Africa first has to put an end to gender inequality.

 However, what the media often neglects to cover is the discrimination against homosexuals. The need to reform attitudes towards homosexuals has arisen. 

This blog aims to explore these inequalities and how they are combated. It will also investigate how these issues are combated.