Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Women, together with men, and apart

julie jacobson ap
Recently, Peggy (age five and a half) was on the tube with her mother, and she saw some teenage boys passing the time by drawing on a newspaper with silver and gold markers. Back home, she wanted to have a go. We had no silver or gold pens, so she used bright blue on an old copy of The International Herald Tribune.

Here are two of the three photos she chose to draw on, from the issue dated Monday August 17th, 2009. The third photo was from Kashmir, of a young boy on the lap of his aunt. His mother and her sister in law had been raped and murdered.

The top photo was from an article on how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have changed women’s roles in the US military. There was a follow-up article the next day giving more personal stories. There are also a couple of related posts on the New York Times’ At War blog by journalists Lizette Alvarez and Steven Lee Myers.

omar sobhani reuters
The bottom photo was from a story on the elections in Afghanistan. A more recent story in the paper was a follow up to the widely reported acid attack on Afghan schoolgirls last November. Journalist Dexter Filkins wrote of the flood of donations he received after the original story was published, and the difficulties involved in using the money to help the attack victims and their school.

That story was part of a special issue on women’s rights and development, the main feature of which was a very substantial article by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Highly recommended.

Finally, and away from the papers, I’d like to point to a blog post by Flesh is Grass, on the recent furore in the UK over segregated weddings, her personal experiences and resolutions.