Category Archives: Sex

India’s Daughter: Banned by India’s government

Watch it while you can, before the powerful documentary is pulled from YouTube once again. India’s Prime Minister is desperate to prevent the film from being viewed in Indian because it reveals deep and abiding violent sexism in the nation which proudly proclaims itself to be the world’s largest democracy.

The focus is on a violent and fatal gang rape, and criminals who justify their action on that hoariest and most deplorable of rapist excuses, “She was asking for it.”

We had planned to post a better quality version from Vimeo, but that company has removed all copies of the video. While YouTube had originally also withdrawn videos, copies are again available, though at lower resolution than the Vimeo version we had seen.

From BBC’s Storyville via vlogger Sourabh Anand:

India’s Daughter Storyville, BBC Four, Full Video

Program notes:

India’s Daughter – Storyville, BBC Four

The documentary on ‘Nirbhaya’ gang rape that happened in Delhi on December 16, 2012. Directed by Leslee Udwin and broadcasted on BBC Four Storyville.

The documentary was supposed to be broadcast on March 8, 2015 (International Woman’s Day) but the date was brought forward and it was televised on March 4 following a ban on the television broadcast of the documentary by the government of India.

The ban was imposed apparently due to a controversial interview of one of the convicts by the name of “Mukesh Singh” who showed no remorse for the crime he had committed.

Some background on the ban, via the Guardian:

Indian government remains defiant over ban on BBC rape documentary

  • BBC film India’s Daughter, about the fatal gang-rape of a Delhi student, was banned in the country, with government threatening legal action against BBC

The Indian government has remained defiant over its ban on a BBC documentary about the 2012 fatal gang-rape of a student in Delhi despite a groundswell of acclaim for the film from prominent Indians who watched it online.

After India’s Daughter broadcast in the UK on Wednesday night, the hour-long film surfaced on YouTube, where the Guardian was able to view it on Thursday afternoon despite reports in Indian media that the government had ordered it be taken down.

India’s home minister, Rajnath Singh, has threatened to take action against the BBC, though did not elaborate on what form this may take, save that “all options are open”.

Police in Delhi continue to pursue the investigation against filmmaker Leslee Udwin, who has left the country, and her Indian crew. Officers visited the homes and offices of Indian crew members on Thursday in a bid to collect the entire footage of the film.

We have no admiration for Modi, a man who is eager for his country to adopt GMOs because, in part, his literal readings of ancient Indian religious texts have convinced him that his ancestors had genetic modification, stem cell research, space ships, automobiles, and the like thousands of years ago.

His favorite example and proof of genetical technology is the elephant-headed god Ganesh.

From the Independent:

That Modi supports theories such as Ganesh’s head is well known. He has spoken about them before and propagated them in schools when he was chief minister of Gujarat, writing the preface of a book that claimed the ancient inventions of motor cars, airplanes and origins of stem cell research.

In a similar vein, Modi’s water resources minister, Uma Bharti, has revived a geological search for the mystical River Saraswati, which is mentioned in Vedic texts and is alleged to flow roughly parallel to the Indus from the Himalayas to the Arabian sea.

Even under the recent Congress government, the Archaeological Society of India, an official body that is in charge of ancient monuments and sites, last year authorised a (fruitless) dig under an old fort in Uttar Pradesh after a seer had dreamed that 1,000 tonnes of gold were buried there.

The notion of women as equal, creative, and positively sexual beings doesn’t appeal to Modi or for that matter Muslim, Christian, and Jewish fundamentalists, who all agree that women are better seen than heard — and when seen must be concealed behind garb that leaves everything to the imagination and nothing to the eye, and have no place in realms traditionally dominated by men.

All agree that women are sexually dangerous, object to be covered and sequestered, as in the case of America’s stalwart ally, Saudi Arabia, where women aren’t allowed in public without male escorts and must never, ever drive themselves anywhere.

Women who defy conventions, in the eyes of fundamentalists, are simply asking to be raped, and in a country like India where female foetuses are regularly aborted to avoid the high costs of dowries, the resulting sexual imbalance ensures an ample supply of men with no marital prospects and high levels of testosterone. Combine frustration with beliefs that facilitate blaming the victim, and stories like those in the documentary become increasingly likely.

Modi’s efforts to ban the BBC documentary are hardly surprising.

As the Times of India reports, more than half of the Indians surveyed believe a husband has every right to beat a wife.

But as the paper reported in another story Thursday, things may be changing:

Rape accused dragged out of jail, lynched in Nagaland

A man, accused of raping a girl, was beaten to death today after being pulled out of a jail by a mob at Dimapur in Nagaland.

A mass protest rally against the rape was held at Dimapur this morning after which students and angry people forced into the district jail and managed to pull out the accused.

The accused had allegedly raped the victim several times on February 23 and was arrested the following day following a complaint lodged by the victim.

The police resorted to blank firing and fired tear gas shells but failed to control the situation, officials said.

Lynching isn’t the answer, but the mass action itself indicates the growing frustration of many in a country where sexual violence, bothing in beatings and in rapes, is all too readily condoned.

American law enforcement, Ferguson style

From the scathing Justice Department investigation [PDF] of racism in the Ferguson, Missouri, police, justice, and governance system, examples of idiocy committed to digital form:

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 11.21

Chart of the day: Where women feel most positive

And where they don’t, via Gallup:

BLOGG Eufeminine

EbolaWatch: Politics, cases, food, fraud, schools

And more, starting with sex, via Reuters:

Fear of Ebola’s sexual transmission drives abstinence, panic

Worries over sexual transmission risk adding to the stigmatisation Ebola survivors already face, and are protracting the emotional burden of families often struggling to overcome the deaths of relatives.

While men like Pabai have taken the WHO’s advice a step further by separating themselves from their loved ones, some traumatised communities have imposed more draconian measures.

“We’ve got people being treated horrendously,” said Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman on Ebola for the WHO. “In Sierra Leone particularly male survivors have been put in a form of concentration camp.”

Harris said men had been detained in Bombali, a district northeast of the capital Freetown, highlighting how public hysteria had become a real danger.

From SciDev.Net, a failure to engage:

Ebola struggle hit by failure to involve local people

Efforts to save lives in the West African Ebola outbreak have been undermined by a failure to involve local people more closely in communication about treatment and ethical decisions about trials, says a report published last week (17 February).

The report’s authors, who are all involved in Ebola vaccine work, made recommendations focusing on Ebola vaccine research, manufacturing and the process of getting vaccine approval in the developed world. They were convened by UK medical research funder the Wellcome Trust and the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, United States.

Considering real human and social factors is vital for stemming the Ebola outbreak, says Clement Adebamowo, the chairman of the Nigerian National Health Research Ethics Committee and one of the report’s 26 advisers.

The New Dawn in Monrovia, Liberia, covers visitors:

US Health officials Visit Liberia, Guinea

The U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, Karen DeSalvo,  Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs, Jimmy Kolker, and Deputy Chief of Staff Dawn O’Connel will visit Liberia and Guinea for three days this week to visit Ebola response sites in the region, the U.S. embassy here has disclosed.

In Liberia, they will tour the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU), a 25-bed field hospital dedicated to providing care to health care workers who become infected with Ebola, and the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research, one of only a few laboratories in Liberia where Ebola specimens are sent to be tested. They will also meet with key representatives from the Government of Liberia, the World Health Organization and additional U.S. agencies involved in the Ebola response.

The MMU is staffed by the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, an elite uniformed service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. U.S. Deputy Surgeon General RADM Boris D. Lushniak is currently the commanding officer of the MMU.

From StarAfrica, the newest hot spot:

Liberia: Four new Ebola cases discovered in Margibi County

The Margibi County Health Team has disclosed that four new confirmed cases of Ebola have been discovered in the county.Margibi Community Health Services Director Joseph Korhene told the county weekly Ebola Taskforce meeting in Kakata that the new cases could be traced to a lady, who brought her sick husband from Monrovia to the county on February 4, this year.

Korhene told stakeholders at the meeting that the lady took her husband to a local clinic in Kakata upon their arrival in the county on a commercial motorbike and then to a village known as Gaygbah Town in the county where he later died.

He said in line best practice, Gaygbah Town and nearby villages have been quarantined by the County Health Team (CHT) and that the victims are currently receiving treatment at the Kakata Ebola Treatment Unit.

From FrontPageAfrica, a notable number:

509th Patient Recovered From Ebola in ELWA III in Liberia

For the 509th time an Ebola survivor has left ELWA3, the Ebola Centre managed by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Monrovia. A thirteen year-old boy was driven home by a MSF vehicle on 19February to be reunited with his big sister and two younger brothers.

“He has been our only confirmed patient for a few weeks. The entire medical team was caring for him,” said Gloria Lougon, head nurse in ELWA3. “All our energy and determination was put into helping this boy fight the virus and recover.”

As the young patient is a football lover, the team organized the screening of a legendary football game (Brazil – Germany in the World Cup 2014). Three days later his blood sample finally tested Ebola-negative, meaning the kid could be brought home. Before leaving ELWA3, the last survivor left his tiny handprint on the walls to remind everyone an important message: yes, it is possible to beat Ebola.

SOS Children’s Villages Canada covers a complication:

Lack of clean water takes toll on Ebola-stricken Liberia

As schools in Liberia start reopening after nearly six months of closure due to the Ebola epidemic, one challenge still looms: access to clean water.

In response, SOS Children’s Villages is constructing a hand pump for Managbokai Elementary School. The school offers formal education to 200 children from marginalized families in a rural region of the country.

“This is the only school for children in Bomi County,” said the vice principal of the school, Kona Goll. “We appreciate the contribution of SOS Children’s Villages Liberia. The installation of a hand pump at the school is vital for the health and academic achievement of everyone here.”

Even before the Ebola crisis, access to safe water was a challenge. Managbokai Elementary School only had four teachers and the problem of water added to this difficulty and the progress of the students. Teachers would have to leave their classrooms and walk with student for 10 minutes to get drinking water. Students were also becoming ill from drinking the unsafe creek water that runs through the village. Fortunately, access to clean water will soon improve for children living in Bomi County, Liberia.

And FrontPageAfrica covers education in education:

Liberia’s MCSS Schools Get Ebola Prevention Training

In continuation of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, especially with the resumption of schools, the Monrovia Consolidated School System, a conglomerate of public schools in collaboration with Lone Star cell MTN Foundation is currently conducting a three day workshop in Monrovia on Ebola prevention.

Speaking during the start of the workshop, the Superintendent of the MCSS School system, Benjamin Jacob said the workshop is aimed at providing training for employees and staffs of the MCSS to enable them deal with any possible Ebola related cases.

“We are trying to run safe schools in the midst of Ebola by enlightening teachers, principals and other administrators. Doctors will be talking about the preventative methods, to all those people who are in the MCSS schools” Jacob said.

While the News covers an ongoing weakness:

Our Laboratories Had Challenges Before Ebola

… Coordinator

The National Laboratory Coordinator of the National Incident Management Team, Henry Kohar has highlighted the challenges laboratories in Liberia faced prior to the Ebola outbreak.

Mr. Kohar told the Ministry of Information regular press briefing Tuesday that operational funding was a serious problem for laboratories in the country.

According to him, prior to the outbreak, laboratory technicians had problem with the maintenance of equipment, noting “you will find out that most of our microscopes and other machines were non-functional due to the lack of maintenance.”

He disclosed that most of the laboratories machines were broken down due to the lack of electricity.

The National Coordinator also cited the lack of water supply as one of the problems technicians were faced with prior to the Ebola outbreak.

StarAfrica covers another:

W/Bank wary of Liberia food shortage

The World Bank has warned that food shortages will persist in Liberia where nearly three-quarters of households are worried over enough harvest to eat.The Bank issued a statement Tuesday noting that despite improvement in the outlook over the Ebola epidemic, agriculture remains a concern as nearly 65 percent of agricultural households surveyed in December believed that their harvests would be smaller than it had been in the previous year.

The fear is based on 80 percent labour shortages and the inability to work in groups due to Ebola infection which continues to pose a problem for agricultural households.

The bank also recalled the lack of money by households for food as a cardinal problem in buying enough to feed their families.

On to Sierra Leone and a call for vigilance from the Sierra Leone Concord Times:

In Kono: VP Sumana admonishes more vigilance as Ebola ebbs

Addressing hundreds of stakeholders at Kaiyima in Sandor Chiefdom, and Kangama in Gorama Kono Chiefdom while on his social mobilization tour of Kono district, Vice President Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana thanked the Chiefdom Ebola Task Force, nurses, contact tracers and Paramount Chief Sheku A.T. Fasuluku Sonsiama III, and chiefdom authorities for their tremendous role in the fight against Ebola.

The vice president informed the large crowd that the Ebola virus may be gradually declining in size, strength and power across the country, yet the battle against the invisible enemy was still raging as “the virus still exists with us and we are in the most dangerous period of the fight”.

He thanked His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma “for his fabulous work in leading the fight against Ebola”, thus admonishing the people of Sandor, Nimikoro and Gorama Kono chiefdoms to be more vigilant “during this causal period in the fight against the Ebola virus”.

StarAfrica covers a crisis of corruption:

S/Leone parliament to discuss Ebola funds report

Sierra Leone’s parliament is set to begin looking at a controversial report on how funds meant to fight the Ebola epidemic were used. Deputy Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in parliament, Komba Koydeyoma, was quoted in local media Tuesday saying that they would start hearings on the Ebola audit report on Wednesday.

It followed heated debate after the report was released earlier this month revealing how millions of US Dollars went unaccounted for after been used without proper documentation.

The report has set the government, particularly MPs, against the public, after the House of Representatives attempted to prevent public discussion of its details. The MPs argued that the PAC must first look at it and makes its own findings before it could be public document.

And some praise, via the Sierra Leone Concord Times:

Defence Secretary praises UK troops for efforts in Salone

UK Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, has said that UK personnel have made a vital contribution to tackle Ebola, during a visit to Sierra Leone.

Arriving in Freetown, Mr. Fallon met with President Ernest Bai Koromo at State House. Their meeting began with an ‘Ebola handshake’, a greeting now widespread in Sierra Leone where elbows are offered to avoid any potential transmission of the disease through body contact.

Mr. Fallon then visited sites where the British military has provided key support, including the Kerry Town Treatment Unit (KTTU) where regular and reserve military medics are treating healthcare workers with Ebola; the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Argus which deployed in September and has been providing reassurance and aviation support to the people of Sierra Leone; and the District Ebola Response Centre (DERC) in the northern town of Port Loko.

And on to Guinea with the Thomson Reuters Foundation:

First Ebola survivors talk of hope and despair in Guinea

Lying in an Ebola treatment centre in southeast Guinea, hidden behind thick plastic sheets and surrounded by nurses in yellow protective suits, Rose Komano feared she would not survive the virus that had robbed her of so many loved ones.

“Everyone before me had died, I was terrified,” Komano recalled.

But the 18-year-old became the first person to beat Ebola in the region of Gueckedou, where the latest outbreak of the disease was initially detected in March 2014.

Almost a year after she was released from a treatment centre run by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Komano, who contracted the virus while caring for her sick grandmother, still mourns the deaths of her relatives.

Map of the day: Where America’s singles are

From CityLab and compiled by the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute, a look at how relative gender imbalances stack the dating game across the country. At the link, you’ll find more maps charting the differences by age group, with all circles. save for one tiny blue dot in California’s Central Valley,  glowing pink for would-be senior daters:

BLOG Single

Chart of the day: Sex in the executive suite

One of many fascinating charts from a very interesting new report [PDF] from the Pew Research Center focusing on perceived essential differences between men and women and how folks believe they affect the abilities of men and women to hold positions of high responsibility in politics and business:

BLOG A role

EbolaWatch: Blame, hope, vaccine, impacts

We begin with a report from RT:

IMF policies blamed for aggravating spread of Ebola

Program notes:

A year since the Ebola epidemic took hold in West Africa, the number of fatalities has reached 7,500, and the toll is still piling up. But according to a new report – International Monetary Fund policies have only made matters worse.

In other words, it’s the austerity that played a leading role in the severity.

Next, a cautiously optimistic look ahead from the Los Angeles Times:

Efforts to stop Ebola are gaining ground, but the fight isn’t won

As 2015 approaches, there is reason to hope that what at first was a plodding international response is finally catching up with the virus. In Liberia, where just a few months ago bodies were left in the streets for days and patients were turned away from treatment facilities because there weren’t enough beds or personnel, the number of cases has been dropping rapidly. There are also signs that the disease may be slowing in Sierra Leone, which has overtaken Liberia as the country with the biggest caseload.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters Monday that he was hopeful about stopping the epidemic but cautioned, “This is going to be a long, hard fight.”

In the hardest-hit countries, the effects of the outbreak could be felt for years. Healthcare systems have collapsed, schools closed, fields left untended and commerce curtailed. The virus has ripped through families, leaving thousands of orphans, many of whom are stigmatized.

Want China Times covers the latest vaccine news, in this case a genetically engineered creation:

PLA to test Ebola vaccine this month

The Chinese military has developed and will test an Ebola vaccine on human subjects this month, a defense ministry spokesperson said Thursday.

Spokesperson Yang Yujun said at a regular press briefing that the vaccine had been developed by a research team at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences.

“The vaccine has recently passed appraisal by state and military authorities and will begin clinical tests in December,” Yang said.

Yang said the Chinese-developed Ebola vaccine was the third one to have been put into clinical tests in the world. It is also the world’s first 2014-genetic mutation Ebola vaccine.

CCTV America covers another impact of the outbreak:

Ebola weakens West African mining industry

Program notes:

A year ago, West Africa’s mining industry was seen as a potential boost to the region’s economy. But with the ebola outbreak, the industry has seen setbacks and even pullouts by investors.CCTV’s Stephanie Fried reports from a hard hit diamond mine on the Guinea-Sierre Leon Border

Next to Sierra Leone and another complication from Al Jazeera America:

In Sierra Leone, loving in the time of Ebola

  • Ebola, spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, sparks concern over intimacy and sex

The deadly virus ravaging Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, including semen, saliva, sweat, diarrhea and vomit. Fear over contracting or spreading the virus has transformed romantic relationships and affected how people interact in general.Men who survive Ebola also have to take precautions in the months after having the virus. According to the World Health Organization, Ebola can be present in the semen of survivors for up to three months after they have recovered. The organization advises Ebola survivors to abstain from sex for three months to protect their partners from infection.

Lansana Conteh, the program manager in the health education division for the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, said it is raising public awareness about the practices of safe sex through radio announcements and by having counselors talk to survivors.

“We want people to know the risk involved, and we tell them with condoms, there are still risks involved, so it’s better to abstain altogether for the three months, if possible,” he said.

He added that the ministry is starting programs to provide therapy for couples dealing with Ebola.

On to Liberia with the World Health Organization and front line fighters drawn from the classroom:

Liberia – local students become active Ebola case finders

Program notes:

Ever since the closure of the university due to the Ebola outbreak, Robbin George, criminology student at the University of Liberia, has been trying to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus in his country. He joined the team of active case finders to go from house to house to find out if sick people are being treated.

From the Liberia News Agency, when soaring hospital admissions are a sign of recovery:

Grand Gedeh Records Increase In Number Of Patients At Health Facilities

The Grand Gedeh office of the  Ministry of Health (MOH)  has reported a dramatic increase in the intake of patients at health facilities across the county.

Making the disclosure to the Liberia News Agency recently in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County  MOH Chief Administrator Mrs. Eugenia Huntington, attributed the increase in the number of patients at medical facilities to the rapid decline in the number of new Ebola cases.

Huntington pointed out that during the peak of the Ebola outbreak, people from across the county including health workers, abandoned all the nineteen public health facilities in Grand Gedeh that provided delivery, emergency and out-patient services to patients in the county.

She told LINA that the increase in the number of patients at public health care facilities demonstrates renewed confidence in the county’s health delivery system. She stressed the need to respond to this renewed confidence by providing the necessary services from diagnosis to the dispensing of drugs for treatment.

And the Monrovia Inquirer covers a contribution:

Chinese Medical Team Pledges To Help Build Liberia’s Health Sector

The head of the Chinese Medical Team has pledged that his team will help the Liberian Government rebuild its public health sector.

Mr. Wang Yungui observed that the Liberian public health sector is in dire need of resuscitation, and that as a very good partner to the Liberian government and people, they will help rebuild it to enable it provide adequate healthcare for citizens.

According to the Liberia News Agency, Mr. Yungui made the pledge Monday at the Bong Mines Hospital during a one-day workshop on the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD. He said in the absence of a good public health system, disease outbreaks can be very devastating.

Finally, on to Christmas fears in a land only lightly touched by the hand of death, via CCTV Africa:

Ebola: Low Turnout Over Ebola Fears in Mali

Program notes:

In Mali’s capital city Bamako, the festivities have however been overshadowed by the threat of Ebola which has killed thousands across West Africa.