I was taking the bus the other day, every day now since my license was temporarily suspended because of unpaid parking tickets, and I noticed a sign advertising the fact that at night, if asked, the bus driver will stop between two stops in an attempt to make it safer for women taking public transportation at night. On one hand, I think it’s an interesting service, but on the other it kind of annoys me as well.
It annoys me that we live in a world where such measure are needed. It annoys me that it is a service designed for women. Oh, I’m sure they would also stop for men who would like to stop closer to where they live or to where they are going, but I wonder how many people actually make us of this service. I mean, the underlying assumption is that the person making the request is in need of extra protection and by definition weak. I think it’s hard for anyone to ask for that extra help, to show that they are vulnerable to exterior circumstances that may or may not come to be. I know I’ve always tried to play it cool, to pretend that it didn’t matter that I’m a woman and that I could go anywhere or do anything alone.
NAIROBI, 27 January 2010 (PlusNews) - In a community hall in Korogocho, a slum in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, an instructor takes his students through their paces, but unlike the usual fitness fanatics, today's class is a group of elderly women learning self-defence techniques.
I'm Worth Defending (IWD), which conducts the training, teaches self-defence to school-children, young men and women, and most recently, to elderly women in Korogocho and other Nairobi slums.
Frida Wambui*, 60, is one. Two years ago, three drunken young men broke into her home in the middle of the night and brutally raped her.
"They knew I lived alone... they broke [down] the door and came in and covered my eyes with a blanket, then they raped me... and left me there just lying on the floor," she told IRIN/PlusNews. "I can't believe people young enough to be my grandchildren could do that to me.
MBABANE, Nov 12 (IPS) - It is one of the world's oldest professions, dating so far back that it is even mentioned in the Bible. But in the deeply cultural and religious country of Swaziland, Senator Thuli Msane stirred a hornet's nest when she publicly challenged a new strict bill opposing prostitution.
Msane spoke out against arresting sex workers, when she said government should first address the humanitarian challenges that drive them into the trade.
She was responding to the new proposed legislation, the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill, 2009. The Bill imposes a six-year imprisonment on conviction, or a fine of approximately 2,000 dollars, on people who earn a living from sex work.
The Bill, which will be debated in parliament soon, also imposes a maximum sentence of 25 years and a fine of just over 13,000 dollars on those who perpetuate the trade through running brothels and using children as sex workers.