Justice for India’s Women: A Long and Dangerous Road

Protesters have come out in force to demonstrate against India’s treatment of its women. Source: wikimedia commonsA series of recent high-profile rape cases has drawn international attention to the widespread problem of sexual violence faced by India’s women. A rape is recorded every 21 minutes, with many thousands more unreported. The challenges faced by Indian women are not contained to sexual violence, however, with India recently ranked as the worst G20 country in which to be female. So, has anything changed in the wake of recent events?

by Hazel Davies

At most one girl, at least one boy

Dr. Mary E. John. Photo: Svalorna (www.svalorna.org)When one hears the word gendercide China is the first thing that comes to mind. Strict government-imposed policies have decreased the birth rate from 6 to 1.5 children per every woman. This has resulted in sex selective abortions and the abandonment of millions of girls. However, a similar tragedy is happening in the second most populous country – India. According to the last census India’s child sex ratio, the number of females 0-6 years old per thousand males, has fallen. In 1991 there were 945 females per 1000 men, ten years later this number decreased and is now averaged at 914. Mary E. John, a prominent Indian scholar working in the field of women’s studies and feminist politics, was invited by UPF Lund to give a lecture. Yana Brovdiy asked Dr. John a few questions about the causes and solutions to the problem of the sex selective abortions in India.

by Yana Brovdiy

The German GEMA: Avenger of the Righteous or Outdated Monopoly?

Protesters outside GEMA’s office in Frankfurt. Photo: Juska Wendland on flickr. It was 23.55, on Saturday, June 30, when DJs in clubs throughout Germany turned off their music for five minutes. This gesture was supposed to symbolize the German saying “fünf vor zwölf“, which literally means “five minutes to twelve”, but is understood as “it is almost too late“. In this case, it is almost too late to start a thorough debate about the actions of the German performance right’s organization, GEMA. Since the 1950s, GEMA has been collecting money from people who use music for public events, and passing this money on to the composers, issuers and songwriters of the music.

By Anna Scholz

Flippin’ Hell

Dolphins have a tendency to bring out the compassion in humans all around the world. Yet while their adorable faces may make many gawk, and emotional and logical intelligence continue to wow scientists (they are considered the second most intelligent animal on the planet), in some places, they are killed in huge numbers in brutal fashions. Such actions has brought particular international attention and condemnation of the government of Japan.

Building Belo Monte

Brazilian President Dilma Vana Rousseff. Photo: Pablo Manriquez. flickr– One of the Amazon’s most controversial development projects  

The Brazilian government is moving ahead with plans to build what will be the world’s third largest hydroelectric project – the Belo Monte Dam. The Belo Monte project is highly controversial, and has been challenged by indigenous groups and environmental organisations for more than twenty years. Nevertheless, it is now one of President Dilma Rousseff’s most prestigious projects – but what are the costs for the region and its inhabitants?

The original plans for the Belo Monte project date back to the 1980’s, when Brazil was ruled by the military. Ever since, the following governments have unsuccessfully tried to speed up the project by creating various types of national investment programs. However, the project has begun to move forward more rapidly over the past two years.

The Belo Monte project as a whole includes the building of two dams, two canals, two reservoirs and an extensive system of dikes along the Xingu River, located in the northern state of Pará. With an estimated cost of over 16 billion USD, proponents of the Belo Monte project call it the most competitive alternative for generating electric energy and present it as a clean, modern way of addressing climate change.

“You Can Listen, You Can Talk”

CARSICK CARS PERFORM AT EMO’S ANNEX IN AUSTIN, TX. PHOTO: MEHAN. FLCKR

–  Music and Politics in China

A few years ago a sleazy, run down bar called D22 was one of the few places where Chinese underground bands in the capital could get a chance to try their wings. Its location  in the middle of Beijing’s northwestern district, in close proximity to several of China’s biggest and most prestigious universities, would prove perfect for attracting Chinese youth. The bar quickly became an outlet for the developing local underground music culture.

Hina Jilani – Women’s Rights in Pakistan

HINA JILANI AT THE SECOND SESSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, GENEVA IN 2006. PHOTO: UNITED NATIONS INFORMATION SERVICE. FLICKR

Last week Hina Jilani was invited by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and the Lund University to give a lecture in the memory of the late Swedish Foreign Minister – Anna Lindh. Ms. Jilani has been fighting for the human rights for over 30 years, not only in her home country, Pakistan but around the world. She has served as the Special Representative to the UN Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders from 2000 to 2008. Her work has been recognized with many international human rights awards. In our interview we paid special attention to the situation of the women rights in Ms. Jilani’s homeland.

Juliano Mer-Khamis

JULIANO MER-KHAMIS. PHOTO: BADUMS. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS.

The conflict in Israel is one still causing great tragedy for its inhabitants today. Beginning when the state was founded after the Second World War, many see no end to the turmoil caused by the division between the Israeli and Palestinians. Juliano Mer-Khamis, a half-Palestinian, half-Israeli actor, director, playwright and political activist, sought an end to the conflict through the arts. For that, he was brutally murdered.