“Occupy Gezi:” Recent Events in Turkey Are Amongst the Most Significant in Modern Turkish History. Image Credit: Global Post
At first glance, the recent unrest in Turkey could be mistaken for an uprising elsewhere in the region: People gathering in a large square, expressing their secular-leaning demands through masse protests. But look closer, and you will see that the Turkey uprisings are about issues extending far beyond the Sycamore trees of Gezi Park.
The brutally excessive police force against peaceful protesters trying to protect this park from being replaced by yet another shopping mall, however, proved to be just the spark needed to light a nation, silently building resentment towards Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian government, on fire.
Oktay Ege Kozak, a Turkish film critic and screenwriter, describes what is bringing thousands of Turks, young and old, across all ethnic and religious divides, together on the streets:
The Brutal Forces of Turkish Police Against Protesters Pushed Turks to Their Breaking Point. Image Credit: Flickr
These protests are not just about a group of trees anymore. These protests are about millions of Turkish people doing whatever they can to protect our country’s legacy of personal freedom and secularism. After ten years of their rights being taken away bit by bit, the country’s young and old banding together to remind a deluded, self-imposed king that he does not rule over the land. That the land does not belong to him, it belongs to all of us…the explosion was inevitable.
Posted in Politics Not As Usual, Women's Rights=Human Rights
Tagged Arab Spring, Erdogan, Gezi Park, Islamic State, Kemal Ataturk, Muslim Democracy, Muslim women, Muslim Women's Rights, Occupy Gezi, Ottoman Empire, Sycamore Trees, Taksim Square, Turkey, Turkish Summer, women's rights
There has been a lot of buzz since the Spring about Al-Jazeera buying Al Gore’s Current TV, effectively creating Al-Jazeera America.
Discussing the African Union on its 50th Birthday on Al-Jazeera English.
With all the buzz, it was an exciting time to return to my second home on “The Stream,” the network’s Emmy-nominated program, and co-host two fascinating shows on immigration in Korea, and the significance of the African Union (AU) on its 50th birthday.
Korea & Multiculturalism: Can the two co-exist? Discussing the Issue Live on Al-Jazeera English.
One of the first blogs I ever started writing for was The Huffington Post. It basically gave me my first big platform, and Arianna Huffington is a personal icon of mine. I love smart, powerful women who know how to manage large brands.
Discussing the Savar Tragedy on HuffPost Live on Thursday.
Of course I was excited when HuffPost Live called me this week to come on-air, and discuss the Savar, Bangladesh tragedy. We had an insightful conversation, and I brought up the specific issue of Bangladeshi responsibility, and the dangers of scapegoating such a powerful global industry.
Discussing the Role Garments Plays in Empowering & Exploiting Women.
I also explore the building collapse, and the implications it has for Bangladesh’s most profitable sector further in my Forbes Woman piece, “Made in Bangladesh, Not in Bangladeshi Blood.”
“Perhaps they were close to each other in life. Perhaps they only had a nodding acquaintance. Perhaps they were colleagues struggling to make a living through tortuous labour in the factory that crashed on them…” Image Credit: Taslima Akhter
For me, nothing captures the human tragedy of the recent building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh more poignantly than the image of the man cradling a woman in his arms, her broken body balancing upon slabs of broken factory rubble. As their dead bodies lay in an embrace evocative of a Renaissance period sculpture, the one thing that is glaringly clear is the cost of cheap labor: real human lives.
As a child in Dhaka in the 1980′s, I grew up during the beginning of the Ready Made Garment (RMG) era. As the sector quickly expanded and developed, it thrust thousands of young women into the workforce. On our way to school every morning, we would always see throngs of young Bangladeshi women flood the roads in their neon colored traditional salwaar-kameezes, bright ribbon strings tied in their hair. They were all headed to work in the factories.
I did not know it at the same time, but what was happening in Bangladesh was a social revolution, instantly empowering women by making them financially independent, many for the first time in their lives.
The Death Toll of the Savar Tragedy is Expected to Exceed 500. Image Credit: Spiegel
Posted in Violence Against Women, Women's Rights=Human Rights
Tagged Bangladesh, Bangladesh Factory Fires, Corruption Bangladesh, Fazle Hasan Abed, Garment Sector Bangladesh, Labor Rights, LR Paris, Rana Plaza, Savar Tragedy, Tazreen Garments, Textile Industry, Verane Muyeed, women's rights
Loud, Clear & Online: The New Generation of Bangladeshis Understand the Power of the Internet. Image Credit: Flickr
I never knew how active Bangladesh, as an entire country, was virtually until the Shahbag story broke out on social media this year. You can have your opinions about the movement, be dismissive or inspired, but one thing few can argue is that online activists played a critical role in using the Internet to organise and spread the story, and got thousands of young Bangladeshis to work together.
The role technology is playing in current events in Bangladesh is revolutionary. It was Bangladeshi online activists and bloggers who first protested Kader Mollah’s verdict, demanding the death sentence, used social media to spread the word, and staged sit-ins. That set off the series of events which have brought us to the present day. The recent crackdown on bloggers confirms the power online activism enjoys.
The participation of women in this movement is also unique. Many attribute this to the fact that women in Bangladesh have been organising at the grassroots level for decades. Seeing female leadership in Bangladesh is not really something new to us, despite our patriarchal cultural roots.
Bangladeshi Bloggers Have Come Under Fire Since the Beginning of the Year, Being Arrested, Targeted & Having Their Sites Blocked. Image Credit: Flickr
A Feminist & A Gentleman. US Vice President Joe Biden & I.
There are many things I love about living in Washington. From the cherry blossoms that bloom around the city’s Tidal Basin every Spring to breathing the history that the city’s monuments release.
But of course, as any Washingtonian knows, it is the politics of Washington that make DC well, DC. As a feminist policy analyst in the District for almost a decade now, seeing Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen is nothing new. Just like New Yorkers do not blink at the movie-stars who live in their midst, Washingtonians do not look twice at politicians.
However, this week I had an encounter with a politician at the Annual Kennedy Center Honors Vital Voices Awards who definitely made me look, and think, twice.
NBC’s Ann Curry Was Also a Presenter at the Kennedy Center Honors. She Told Me To Do “Great Things for Women.”
Posted in Politics Not As Usual, Women's Rights=Human Rights
Tagged CEDAW, DC, Ellie Smeal, feminism, Hillary 2016, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Kennedy Center Honors, The Women's Treaty, VAWA, Vice President, Vital Voices, Washington
@AnushaysPoint Back Co-Hosting on Al-Jazeera English.
I was so happy this month to return to Al-Jazeera’s, “The Stream.” Freelancing as Co-Host and Digital Producer on the network’s social media-driven show is always an amazing experience.
Discussing Xenophobia & Immigration Challenges in Singapore.
One of my favorite things about the Emmy Nominated program is how we always cover under the radar stories that often have a feminist edge.
Confronting Military Rape Culture in the US.
What would you like to see the Stream cover on future shows? We always want to hear from our viewers and online community that drives the show, so tweet me your pitches.
Why Are Suicide Rates Among Latina Females in the US So High?
See below for links to the complete episodes that I hosted last week.