Misogyny doesn’t get much more basic than this: taking steps to make sure that females are not born.
I’d heard about the ‘missing millions’ but had not fully appreciated the sheer scale of pro-male sex selection or the collective and individual harm it is doing.
Personal stories – like the one told by Kajri in ‘Keeping Prerna’– bring the nightmare home. But Kajri’s gutsy determination to defy her husband, keep her daughter and fight to give her a decent life, also delivers hope.
That particular story came to us via Radar (onourradar.org) an organization that trains people from excluded or isolated communities to become ‘citizen journalists’.
The democratic potential of such an initiative is tremendous. In Kenya and Sierra Leone, for example, Radar trained hundreds of people to ‘live’ report their own general elections and the organization is planning to do the same for India in 2014. Using mobile phones, citizen journalists will quickly expose any irregularities or misdoings, even in the most remote regions and among the least privileged communities.
This month we also have a special feature on Syria. As the country descends deeper into chaos, we focus not on the foreigners busy fuelling this proxy war but those who are trying to help the country’s beleaguered citizens. Photojournalist David Brunetti captures the scene as the Jordanian authorities assist Syrian refugees to safety as they cross the border at night. Nigel Wilson catches up with Maha Alasil, an ordinary woman dedicated to helping the refugees rebuild their lives.
Finally, to celebrate New Internationalist’s 40th anniversary year, we are hosting an event in London on 31 October. We’ll be talking about ‘what internationalism means today’ with a panel of leading thinkers from the field of development and social change. You can find out more at newint.org/about/events, and join us in person and/or on Twitter #newint40.
Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist co-operative.