“This is a war that is being fought on the bodies of women”

The dehumanization of woman is constantly being shared with us through the media related to the conflict in the Middle East. In recent days the behavior of using women as a commodity has been brought to attention in the press. The Guardian spoke with Zainab Bangura the US envoy on sexual violence and she declared, “this is a war that is being fought on the bodies of women”. After a recent trip to Iraq and Syria in April she confirmed that young women are abducted, sexually assaulted and abused, and then used as currency. She stated that women could be sold for as little as a pack of cigarettes or up to several thousand dollars. Isis uses these women as an incentive for recruiting young men to join their cause.

To read the complete article: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/09/isis-slave-markets-sell-girls-for-as-little-as-a-pack-of-cigarettes-un-envoy-says

When not being used as currency women are being treated like a stuffed animal in a vending machine and are given away as prizes. During the time of Ramadan, Quran memorizing contests are a common occurrence. The Islamic State recently put out an advertisement in Al-Barakah province in Syria for a Quran memorizing contest, there was a list of suras, followed by the prizes for those who did the best; instead of a monetary prize like the rest of the participants the first three prize winners will receive a slave girl. These poor young women, who have suffered, abduction, assault, and abuse will be distributed to winners like gold fish at the state fair. When we turn on the news and see the turmoil in the Middle East we get caught up in the political and militaristic aspects of this conflict. We must remember these women; these are the women who remain voiceless for whom we must fight.

To read the complete article: http://www.clarionproject.org/news/memorize-quran-get-free-slave-girl-isis-competition

Human rights activist and “Honor Diaries” participant Jasvinder Sanghera, recently toured in the U.S. She resides in Britain and has made great strides for the awareness of honor violence overseas, her plea while in the United States, was for the president and the population to become more aware that these crimes do occur here; we cannot brush off these abuses as “cultural practices” of immigrants. We must pay attention and become aware of these issues in order to save lives. She recently celebrated a victory in the UK having Prime Minister David Cameron designate July 14th as National Remembrance Day for Honor Victims. Here’s hoping that President Obama will nationally recognize that day here! In any case on July 14th The Art of Influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions team and our friends will be remembering the victims of honor violence and using their stories as fuel to keep fighting for worldwide  awareness of honor violence and the recognition of human rights for all.

To read the complete article and listen to Jasvinder’s interview: http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/honor-violence-a-huge-problem-in-u-s/