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The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice of Saudi Arabia just announced that Saudi women are allowed to ride a bike. The news comes after the internationally award-winning Saudi film Wadjda, written and directed by Saudi female director Haifaa al-Mansour.
The film is telling the story of Wadjda, a 12-year-old girl growing up in traditional society in the suburbs of Riyadh. When Wadjda sees a beautiful green bicycle for sale, she wants it desperately, but her mother won't allow her to have it, fearing repercussions from a conservative society, so Wadjda decides to raise the money herself by participating to a Koran recitation competition at her school to get the cash prize.
Haifa Al Mansoor, the 38-year-old director, had to hide in a van in some of the more conservative areas where locals disapproved of a female film-maker mixing with men on set, and at times had to direct her male actors via walkie-talkie.
Wadjda won three awards at the Venice Film Festival and the top prize at the ninth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival : Haifa Al Mansoor, walked away with the $50,000 Best Arab Feature prize, while Wadjda’s lead actress, the 10-year-old Waad Mohammed took home the Best Actress award in the same category.
Only 26 percent of women in Pakistan are literate. Many families do not educate their daughters because of societal and religious pressures and in the last 6 years Islamic militants have blown up more than 600 schools across the country, forcing thousands of women to stay at home.
"Humaira: The Dream Catcher", second provocation film of Chime for Change campaign for women’s and girl’s empowerment, chronicles the life of a young woman who is fighting to educate girls in her community. Through sheer determination, she has set up a school that now educates over 1200 children for one cent a day.
"I wanted to show the martyrdom that women like me live. To denounce the silence of those who know but conceal. And to answer to those who wonder why a beaten woman has so much difficulty to leave her torturer."
A mother of four, Alexandra Lange, 33 years old, was acquitted for the murder of her husband by the Douai criminal court on March, 23rd 2012. In Law, an act now bears her name.
In her book, "Acquittée - je l'ai tué pour ne pas mourir" ("Acquitted, I killed him to live"), she tells about the blows, the insults, the humiliation, the fear. By recognizing her case as self-defense, French justice cast a light on victims of domestic violence.
This decision is not only a victory for Alexandre Lange, it also represents a hope for all women who, each day, undergo the same sufferings.
(Acquittée - je l'ai tué pour ne pas mourir, Ed. Michel Lafon)
This multimedia interface will be made of a web-documentary “Web, les voix du silence” (Web, voices of silence) and a website to call for sexually assaulted women’s testimonies.
Implemented on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, next November 25, this platform aims to encourage other victims to talk, denounce and confess freely.
France televisions will also issue two documentary films on the same topic: on France 5, “Viol, double peine” (“Rape, double charge”), followed by a debate with the Ministry of Women’s Right, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. Then, on France 2 : “Viol, elles se manifestent” (“Rape: they talk”).
What if Women’s Rights established itself in the media? That's the ambition of “Femmes en résistance”, the new French magazine co-launched with Pierre-Yves Ginet, a photojournalist: highlighting those who fight to put an end to violence against women, whether domestic, economical or societal. N°0 issue gives a voice to Razan Ghazzawi, a Syrian blogger, Ni Yulan, a Chinese lawyer, and to many other women, from here or elsewhere, anonymous or famous, who make things change.
This first edition in French is exceptionally available online for consultation