Most popular tweets on #ClimateChange : Week 21-28 June, 2015

This week the Lancet Commission Report got a lot of attention, providing the very link between climate change and health.

The Dutch court did what should have been done long time ago by many other countries:

African progress panel showed how much Africa is contributing in heating up the climate.

World Economic Forum came up with a better research: Eat less meat

Last but not the least, US national parks got share bit of attention:

Blogger, rape and refugee: a boat in Bangladesh part 2

Part 1

A Garo girl was gang-raped in Dhaka on her way back home from work a month ago. The incident reminded everyone of the brutal gang rape in Delhi few years back. Also this took place after April 14 incident where women were sexually assaulted during New Year’s celebration. Earlier this month, a female student was allegedly sexually assaulted at a school within Dhaka for which the Vice-principal was relieved of her duties.

The victim, a 22 year student, worked in sales in a mall near Kuril Bus Stand.

The victim told the police that five men forcibly hustled her into the microbus from Kuril Bus stand area of the city around 9:30pm. The ash-colored microbus stopped in front of her and two young men came down from the vehicle, and forced her to get into the bus. They raped her on the moving vehicle for about an hour and a half while the microbus slowly circled the Kuril Biswa Road several times before discarding her at Uttara’s Jashimuddin Road around 11pm.

A case was filed on Friday by the victim’s family after efforts of trying to file a case as two police stations turn them down stating jurisdictive limitation.

Violence against women, including latest police brutality in Bangladesh has caught much social media attention. Protesters on May 10 marched towards the police headquarter in a recent demonstration against sexual assault on New Year but were physically abused by Police injuring University students and activists. Anyone is yet to be arrested for New Year’s incident though police recently released CCTV footage for information regarding the offenders with rewards.

Now, a recent study has found that 82 percent of rape victims are under the age of 20 as I quote Daily Star,

Many of them minors. More than half of the victims were schoolgirls who were raped on their way to or from school. About twenty-two percent were sexually abused at home.

What is more alarming is that this research, based on The Daily Star news reports, reveals that around 80 percent of the rapists were known to the victims, neighbours or men who live in the same locality as the victims. It is therefore surprising that most of these perverts escape arrest and punishment. These findings allude to the fact, one that has been corroborated before by human rights organisations, that the arrest and conviction rates of rapists are very low.

Authorities’ in-activeness and exemption of crimes are encouraging the sex offenders to become ruthless. Long judiciary process, unwillingness to lodge a case and traditional society often discourage victims to step forward and bring perpetrators to justice. Rape is often used against minorities to carryout political vendetta. During anti-Hindu violence shortly after the 2001 elections, the gang rape of a Hindu schoolgirl did shock the nation. A court sentenced 11 men to life in prison for that crime in 2011, which is often taken as a positive notion as “Justice delayed/prolonged, but not denied.”

(part 2 of 5 part series)

Image

We got food. What our future generation got?

Once the fourth largest lake in the world, the Aral Sea has been shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by irrigation projects. The sea spans the border between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the south.

Aral Sea 4 decades time frame. Photo: UNEP
Aral Sea 4 decades time frame. Photo: UNEP

The Shortest-Known Paper Published in a Serious Math Journal

shortest-math-paper

Euler’s conjecture, a theory proposed by Leonhard Euler in 1769, hung in there for 200 years. Then L.J. Lander and T.R. Parkin came along in 1966, and debunked the conjecture in two swift sentences. Their article — which is now open access and can be downloaded here — appeared in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society. If you’re wondering what the conjecture and its refutation are all about, you might want to ask Cliff Pickover, the author of 45 books on math and science. He brought this curious document to the web last week.

Why history repeats for women

Each day, there is news on ISIS. Either, of their brutality or their capacity to raise money like a mafia.

One such report took me to the Amnesty International Report which describes horrifying accounts of physical and psychological assault on woman. Which takes me back to 1971, when women became alike victim of war.

Many, often doubt the statistics of 1971. Point them to look at IS situation for a second. It is not context or geo-political situation in focus for me. Simple fact—Women are being tortured (the word itself is nothing compared to whats happening there, just I have limited vocab).

I often say the numbers that are usually stated for 1971 is much less than the actual. Because of certain factors which can be seen first hand in IS atrocities. When society is dictated by honour, customs and inequality, the numbers will always be less, no matter how technologically advanced we become or how free the media works.

The report includes interviews of captive, released and escapees from ISIS. Between September and November 2014, an Amnesty International researcher in northern Iraq interviewed 42 women and girls who had escaped from the IS, and was able to contact four others, by phone, who remain in captivity. Amnesty International also interviewed scores of displaced Yezidis whose female relatives were or remain in IS captivity, Yezidi community leaders and activists, and medical and humanitarian workers. Several families have provided lists of names of their captive relatives, among them hundreds of women and girls.

Since August 3, 2014 thousands have been killed and taken hostage by ISIS. In a matter of weeks the IS carried out a deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq. Up to 300 of those abducted, mostly women and children, have managed to escape IS captivity, while the majority continue to be held in various locations in Iraq and in parts of Syria controlled by the IS.

The victims accounts in the report are formal and gruesome. We often do not understand (we would never be able to understand the trauma they go through completely) because the words only convey specific image in front of us.

The document itself backs what I am trying to say here. Women are primary caregiver in our societal system (anywhere) and they care as well as suffer. As one victim describes, “They said that if we killed ourselves they would kill our relatives.”

There are many layers behind that sentence.

First let’s look at the customs. According to Yezidi customs, marriage with members of other faiths and sexual relations outside marriage are not accepted. Such practices are considered to be shameful for the whole family, and in the past women and girls believed to have had relations with men of other faiths have been victims of so-called “honour killings”.

After the first women and girls escaped from IS captivity in late August 2014, the Yezidi spiritual leader, Baba Sheikh, reportedly called on members of the community not to punish or ostracise women and girls who had been victims of sexual violence at the hands of the IS, or those who were forced to convert to Islam, and to welcome them back and support and care for them.

But that did not take away the taboo that the Yezidi society has been holding on for centuries. So, even though these women face torture, rape and care for their relatives, they can not be open to their relatives due to shame.

Many survivors of sexual violence, therefore, find themselves in a catch-22 situation. Their relatives are their only source of support, but because of stigma and shame, they do not feel able to share with them what happened, or to seek their help in accessing the services they urgently need.

This inherited problem does not go away even if you become educated or live in a different culture. That is reflected in the next part of the report:

Four women and girls said they had been held in the homes of two Australian fighters of Lebanese origin, one of whom was living with his Australian wife (also of Lebanese origin) and children. Most were in their 20s and 30s, some were older, and few were considerably older, up to mid-50s.

While many would try to put it in a way that sounds like fighting ISIS would be fighting Muslims, rather it is not. Many of the statements made in their DABIQ are often goes against Muslim beliefs:

one should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffār [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharī’ah…It is permissible to buy, sell, or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property, which can be disposed of…

And the customs vary with society even though the religion might be same. The customs worldwide possess threat to women in any unwanted situation like war, natural disaster etc. Such has been seen throughout history and that makes me feel disappointed.

In this 21st Century, when we can already say in 10 years we will be in Mars and where diseases are conquered and new achievements unlocked each and everyday, we can’t place woman equally among us. We can’t make sure they will have the same freedom a man has, that they do not have to be victims of ‘honour killing’. Then how can we make sure to have a sustainable future?

Silk: another British masterpiece

image
Silk: great show

I love British films and filmmakers. Its not easy while traveling to watch series as you have lots of things to deal with. But silk and black mirror have kept me awake for last few nights.
I am gonna talk about silk here, cause I  just finished the first season. I usually fast forward films if they are not that interesting to me. Series on the other hand, are more likely to go down that ally. Silk, fortunately, made me watch every bite.

Why? Pure wit. British are stunning me with their makings. Martha Costello played by Maxine Peake, is a perfect british honest lawyer in the series. She portrays present day working woman, with highest esteme. The series in its first season showed how women in a country like England still face obstacles in climbing up the ladder, how they are defined by their gender, vulnerability, family and other discriminating criteria. Martha tries to uphold justice in between personal and professional life conflicts.  She is pregnant with child of a colleague who is a charming playboy. Most importantly they are both contenders for silk which gives them freedom to practice, working in the same firm. They both have pupils who make things more complicated.
Martha guides audience towards true and just features, shows there are more to which we think as naked truth. As in the fifth episode a judge puts it, “as a prosecutor, you dont win or lose. You just present the facts.”
I rated the series 8 on imdb. I would like to encourage all to see it.