News / Arts & Entertainment

    Documentary Spotlights on Pervasive Issue of Violence Against Women

    Documentary Explores Pervasive Issue of 'Honor Violence'i
    X
    Tabinda Naeem
    March 28, 2014 7:38 PM
    Thousands of women and girls around the world are subjected to forced marriage, mutilation, attacks and even murder — all in the name of "honor." A new documentary, "Honor Diaries," features nine women's rights advocates with connections to Muslim-majority societies. VOA's Tabinda Naeem has more.
    Tabinda Naeem
    I am a survivor of FGM," says Jaha Dukurek, a young Muslim woman originally from Gambia.

    A survivor of both genital cutting and child marriage, Dukurek refuses to believe her traumatizing experiences are a requirement of her Islamic faith.

    Yet female genital mutilation — or FGM, as it is called — is practiced in more than 20 countries, many of them Muslim, around Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

    "I went through FGM when I was a week old," she says, giving voice to a vast diaspora of women whose harrowing accounts of culturally-sanctioned violence are brought to light in the recently-released documentary "Honor Diaries," the product of a joint effort by 30 women's rights groups.

    As the documentary shows, thousands of women and girls around the world are subjected to forced marriages, mutilation, attacks and even murder — all in the name of maintaining the "honor" of the perpetrator, family or community that condones it. "Honor Diaries" features nine women's rights advocates with connections to Muslim-majority societies, and also lends support and encourages sponsorship and promotion of The International Violence Against Women Act.

    But according to Dukureh, the practices aren't restricted to far-flung corners of the globe.

    "Whenever you have immigrants that migrate from other countries, they bring their culture and traditions with them and these are the things they practice on their daughters," she says, explaining that genital mutilation even occurs in some immigrant Muslim communities in the United States.

    Regardless of geographic locale, Dukureh says one way to change attitudes is by raising awareness and getting people and government agencies involved. By providing support services for these girls, she says, it gives them hope and lets them know that people really do care.

    For Paula Kweskin, a human rights attorney the documentary's producer, the central purpose of the documentary is to spark a public discourse about practices many perceive as taboo.

    "This is an issue that is swept under the rug time and time again," she Kweskin. "There is a paralyzing sense of political correctness — not only in the United States but in many countries around the world — where they feel that if they are talking about issues such as violence against women that are sometimes condoned by culture and religion, they are not allowed to talk about it.

    "That's primarily and specifically, why we should be talking about it," she says.

    A joint effort by 30 women's rights groups, Honor Diaries, Kweskin says, is more than a movie, but a movement to engage people the world over.

    "We want to have the film translated and shown all over the Muslim world. We have translated the film into Arabic, Farsi, [and] Urdu, and we hope to have it shown and distributed as widely as possible," she says. "We are also raising money to hopefully enact a text line and help-line here in the United States that could potentially serve as a refuge for women and girls at risk."  

    The producers hope the documentary will help more people break the silence and open an honest dialogue on the issue of violence against women, which — they say — is the first step to promote change.

    You May Like

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    April 02, 2014 12:59 PM
    A joint effort by 30 women's rights groups? Why don't you mention the real backer of this movie? The Clarion Fund.

    by: violet savona from: australia
    April 01, 2014 6:14 AM
    Great idea, and good to see it started. It is such an important matter, very fundamental human right violation.
    Good luck, .

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures