Picture of the Day. A work of graffiti done by Shamsia Hassani and Qasem Foushanji, an Afghan street art duo who make art depicting the situation of women in Afghanistan, shows a woman slumped on a stairwell. Hassani says of this piece: “She is wondering if she can get up, or if she will fall down. Women in Afghanistan need to be careful with every step they take.”
Related News: Women’s rights in the Afghan governance and transition process are facing a new setback: a 150-member religious council is encouraging a strict (or by many standards, simply incorrect) interpretation of Islam that requires women to wear a face covering and keeps them separated from men. A translation of their statement by the Afghan Analysts Network says: “Men are fundamental and women are secondary.”
Photo Credit: Mohammed Ismail/Reuters. Via.
it must be hard to be strong under such oppression: be strong ladies.
$100 or $1,000? What Does Birth Control Cost?The high cost of birth control may prevent women from seeking the most reliable options.(From Time)
The presidential bully pulpit isn’t as effective as one would think. Evidence shows that the louder a president speaks to support an issue or bill, the more committed the opposing party will be to ensure that it won’t pass:
To test her theory, she created a database of eighty-six hundred Senate votes between 1981 and 2004. She found that a President’s powers of persuasion were strong, but only within his own party. Nearly four thousand of the votes were of the mission-to-Mars variety—they should have found support among both Democrats and Republicans. Absent a President’s involvement, these votes fell along party lines just a third of the time, but when a President took a stand that number rose to more than half. The same thing happened with votes on more partisan issues, such as bills that raised taxes; they typically split along party lines, but when a President intervened the divide was even sharper.
“As I’m talking to you now, they’re dying.” Injured Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy gives Sky News an interview from his hospital bed. This is a really important interview. His descriptions of what’s happening in Homs are painful and terrible. He spoke of the scheduled regularity of the shelling, beginning with horrible predictability at 6:00 every morning.
I’ve worked in many war zones. I’ve never seen, or been, in shelling like this. It is a systematic … I’m an ex-artillery gunner so I can kind of follow the patterns… they’re systematically moving through neighborhoods with munitions that are used for battlefields. This is used in a couple of square kilometers.
He described the state of fear in Homs, calling it “beyond shell shock,” and the actions of Assad’s forces “absolutely indiscriminate,” with the intensity of the bombardments increasing daily. Conroy’s detailing of the inhumane conditions and the position of the Syrian citizens and the Free Syrian Army is important, because we don’t have as many journalists who have been able to tell us what it was like to be there as we have had elsewhere. He tells us that “The time for talking is actually over. Now, the massacre and the killing is at full tilt.”
I actually want to quote his entire interview about the people who are living without hope, food, or power and his conviction that we will look back on this massacre with incredible shame if we stand by and do nothing. In lieu of that, you must must must watch every bit of this interview.
Here is the Doonesbury comic that multiple newspapers refuse to run.
Woman: Excuse me, is this where I get the sonogram?
Doctor: Yes it is, miss… Would this be your first pregnancy termination?
Doctor: Then you’ll need to fill out this form. Please take a seat in the shaming room.
Woman: In the what?
Doctor: A middle-aged, male state legislator will be with you in a moment.