At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime — with the abuser usually someone known to her. Violence against women and girls is a universal problem of epidemic proportions. Perhaps the most pervasive human rights violation that we know today, it devastates lives, fractures communities, and stalls development.
According to some internet buzzing, Twilight stars (that's right, Twilight is everywhere) Kristin Stewart and Nikki Reed are set to star in a new film called K-11. For those of you who are not down with prison lingo (and I will include myself here), K-11 is the official classification code for gay inmates, and Stewart and Reed will both be playing gay men in the film. That's right, gay men.
"I took my gang of several hundred women, all with leki sticks, we surrounded the police station, we beat the police officers sitting outside the station. Then other policemen came out with their leki sticks, our women then got very aggressive and starting beating the police...and then we tied them up."
It's not every morning there's a generally glowing NPR story about, well, militant grassroots uprisings against patriarchy and social injustice, but this morning's story about the Pink Sari Gang from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was certainly that...at least if you can get past the constant references to how "angry" and "vengeful" these women are.
Poking around a little bit on the web, I found an even better mini-documentary on the Gulabi (pink) Gang. Turns out that (surprise, surprise) they don't just beat up police, but have a range of programs encouraging women's empowerment and self-sufficiency, sustainability and jobs. Here's the video: