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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Birthed from Scorched Hearts: Women Respond to War; Book Review

by Tom Kerr

In a new book anthology, Birthed from Scorched Hearts: Women Respond to War (Fulcrum Books 2008), the phenomenon of war is insightfully explored by more than 60 award-winning women writers. War, as experienced, observed and defined by the writers, is skillfully interrogated with wisdom and unapologetic honesty.

Editor and compiler MariJo Moore, also a contributor, explains her motivation for creating the anthology in an introduction: "These writings will go deep into readers’ psyches, past the nonverbal consent caused by desensitization, to reawaken and bring to the surface the innate realization that we are all …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Birthed from Scorched Hearts: Women Respond to War; Book Review

On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Killing planeloads of pregnant Nigerian women

by Elisa Slattery

Fifty-nine thousand women die every year from pregnancy-related causes in Nigeria, a number second only to that of India. One Nigerian professor equated the frequency of maternal death with “a planeload of Nigerians crashing everyday without survivors.” If a plane full of pregnant women fell out of the sky every day in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world, there would be outrage and calls for government action. Yet maternal death is frequently ignored, although in most cases it is preventable. Fortunately, maternal mortality is increasingly being recognized as a human rights catastrophe.

A human rights lens looks beyond the medical and socio-cultural factors typically cited …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Killing planeloads of pregnant Nigerian women

On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Zambia: Curbing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

by Nada Ali

The news of the opening of a hospital-based crisis center in Kabwe, Zambia, to address the complex needs of women survivors of sexual and gender-based violence was music to my ears; given that in 2007 I listened to heart-wrenching accounts by Zambian women, including women living with HIV. Gender-based violence devastated the lives of many of those women.

One woman I interviewed in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, whom I will call Mercy, told me:

“I got married in 2004 and my husband started giving me STDs [sexually transmitted diseases]….He goes out with women. When I ask for a condom, or go to the clinic to get treatment, he starts beating me. In January 2006 I went …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Zambia: Curbing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Reading The Times

by Merle Hoffman

It was interesting to open the Sunday New York Times and see that Nicholas Kristof had discovered the differing meaning of terrorism in women’s lives. His column, Terrorism That's Personal, filed from Islamabad, described acid attacks that left women disfigured, blind and outcast.

“It’s a kind of terrorism that becomes accepted as part of the background noise in the region,” writes Kristof, obviously moved by his interview with a Pakistani woman severely burned from acid thrown by her ex-husband. The Online version of the story even shows a full-color picture of the woman’s …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Reading The Times

On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Filming to Shatter the Stigma

by Jennifer Baumgardner

I was finishing a writing and film project breaking through the contemporary silences about abortion experiences when a photographer acquaintance said, "You know what else is a common secret? Rape." I knew she was right.

The goal of the abortion project, I Had An Abortion had been to encourage people to "come out" about abortions for political and personal reasons. It's political because abortion occurs in one in three women's lives, as well as the lives of many men. I filmed women and let them tell their stories. We photographed women in simple tee-shirts that said "I Had An Abortion."



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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Filming to Shatter the Stigma

On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Re-enslaving African American Women

by Loretta Ross

I have spoken on many campuses in the wake of the “Genocide Awareness Project,” which displays posters at colleges to create controversy among young people about Black abortion. Students are understandably confused when presented with seemingly fact-based information that claims that Black women are the scourge of the African American community. I provide accurate historical and contemporary information about Black women’s views on abortion.

African American women who care about reproductive justice know that the limited membership in the Black anti-abortion movement doesn’t represent our views and we are not fooled into thinking that they care about gender justice for women. …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Re-enslaving African American Women
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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Stopping the Terror: A Day to End Violence Against Prostitutes

by Annie Sprinkle

In 2003 “Green River Killer” Gary Ridgeway confessed to having strangled ninety women to death and having “sex” with their dead bodies.

He stated, “I picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught.”

Sadly, some Seattle area prostitutes, their boyfriends or pimps, knew the Green River Killer was Gary Ridgeway for years. But they were …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Stopping the Terror: A Day to End Violence Against Prostitutes
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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Justice still awaits terror victims in Algeria

by Malika Zouba

Years of terror at the hands of religious fundamentalists have left bruises beyond remedy for women in Algeria , even as women led the struggle to fight back against their vicious tactics seeking to enforce gender inequality.

From symbolic annihilation of women’s bodies by forcing them to cover their bodies or faces to rapes and assassinations, fundamentalists sought to enforce their views. For ten years, acts of terror included threats on female schoolteachers, seamstresses, hairdressers, singers and journalists who were killed or abducted and subsequently assassinated. Kidnapped women were forced into sexual slavery and went through unspeakable sufferings. As one women …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Justice still awaits terror victims in Algeria
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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
The Dangerous Complacency of Victory

by Merle Hoffman

In the midst of my elation, shared with so many others, over the election of Barack Obama -- the transcendence of the moment, the breaking of the racial barrier and a new puppy in the White House -- I remembered that there is a complacency that can result from victory. This is the sensation that allows people to say, “I have won, job well done, now I can rest."

Since the election, I have heard many people say, "Now, I don't have to worry about the Supreme Court," as if the opposition to women's reproductive freedom will be secured because there is a "friend in the White House." But, as I noted in an

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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
The Dangerous Complacency of Victory
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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
San Francisco Could End Terror, Witch-hunting and Criminalization for Prostitutes with Prop K

by Rachel West

On election day many hope for a transformation away from the politics of war, greed and repression. Many San Franciscans also hope for a transformation for sex workers and our families, away from violence and criminalization.

Proposition K on the San Francisco ballot calls for the decriminalization of consenting sex, and for laws against rape, coercion and other violent crimes to be vigorously enforced regardless of whether the victim is a sex worker. It aims to increase women’s safety and make it easier for sex workers to report violence without fear of arrest.

Prop K is a remedy for the daily terror that sex workers face. Terror of not knowing how we are …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
San Francisco Could End Terror, Witch-hunting and Criminalization for Prostitutes with Prop K

On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
The Terror … and Error … of Sarah Palin

by Writers Kathryn Joyce, Esther Kaplan and Sunsara Taylor share their thoughts about Sarah Palin, below, with an introduction by Cindy Cooper, editor.

As I stood listening to Sarah Palin speak inside a stadium of 6,000 or so in Colorado Springs, Colorado on October 20, the theme of What is Terror for Women in this edition of On The Issues Magazine, came to mind. In this setting, the most frightening thing was watching a girl next to me held high on a man’s shoulders to get a really good view of Palin reading her text.

Palin stood out on the platform, readily visible in a tight red-leather shortwaisted jacket. Her text had a red tinge, too, casting Senator Obama as a socialist. The speech was laced with red meat anti-abortion messages about the importance of the …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
The Terror … and Error … of Sarah Palin
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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Art and politics: Interpretations by Women

by Linda Stein, Art Editor

In this edition of On The Issues Magazine on What is Terror To Women, the artwork of Martha Rosler is featured, as well as selections from several other artists -- Siona Benjamin, Anne Sager and Carol Hunt -- whose work relates to the theme. These works represent a commitment by On The Issues Magazine to expand thinking about topics of concern by incorporating visual expression.

Martha Rosler’s works consist of six photomontages -- Point and Shoot, Trophy, Running Women, Scatter, Balloons, Hooded Captives and Gladiators. Some work is new; other …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Art and politics: Interpretations by Women

On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Terror in Our Homes: Violence Against Women in Zimbabwe

by Tawanda Mudzonga

Zimbabwe has always been ruled by fear and violence. Our political history reveals government again and again forcing its will on the people. This has had an unlikely trickle down effect into each and every household where women fight a losing battle for their humanity.

Ian Smith was the first pioneer of terror in Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia. Under his government, Smith patented a brutal style of violence that provoked a guerrilla war of liberation against white colonial rule. Decades later, Robert Mugabe found Smith's laws and tactics useful as liberator turned oppressor on his own people.

From its origins as Rhodesia up to this very moment, Zimbabweans …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
Terror in Our Homes: Violence Against Women in Zimbabwe

On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
The Water We Swim In: Rescuing Ourselves

by Ellen Snortland

Women are terrorism experts. Females all over the world, in developed and developing countries, deal with the possible threat of male-on-female violence daily — it is the most common, insidious and often unexamined form of terrorism there is. And yet, how many of us know how to defend ourselves with the only thing that is with us at all times: our own bodies? Far too few. Wake up, sleeping beauties! The prince ain’t coming, and sometimes he’s the problem.

As the author of Beauty Bites Beast:


Awakening the Warrior Within Women and Girls, christened a “how-come” book as opposed …


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On The Issues Magazine - Fall 2008
The Water We Swim In: Rescuing Ourselves

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