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Female Circumcision [electronic resource]

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation, as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons." WHO estimates that 140 million women and girls around the world have experienced it, including 101 million in Africa. This episode explores the efforts to treat female circumcision as a human rights abuse. Pulitzer prize-winning author Alice Walker discusses her novel, Possessing the Secret Joy, about the response of an African woman to this cultural tradition. Also featured, "Diary from Hell" is a documentary about Manila's Smokey Mountain garbage dump, making the link between the environment and human rights; and a Sa [...]

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Leymah Gbowee - Unlock the Intelligence, Passion, and Greatness of Girls

Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee has two powerful stories to tell: of her own life's transformation, and of the untapped potential of girls around the world. Can we transform the world by unlocking the greatness of girls? Leymah Gbowee is a peace activist in Liberia who led a women's movement that was pivotal to ending the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.

Blue Ghosts [electronic resource]: Women's Rights in Afghanistan

After the September 11 attacks the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan, citing the liberation of the region's women as part of the justification for Operation Enduring Freedom. Five weeks later Laura Bush triumphantly stated that "because of our recent gains in Afghanistan, women are no longer imprisoned in their homes." But had anything really changed? As Suraya Pakzad, director of Afghan Voice of Women put it, "Village men will still trade a daughter for a dog." In this powerful program Pakzad discusses her country's ongoing struggle for women's rights. Viewers also hear from Western policy experts, and from male Afghan officials who deny that social, educational, and economic discrimination against the female half of their population remains a problem.

Syrian Diaries [electronic resource]: Women of the Uprising

Over a period of seven months in 2012, a group of Syrian women created video diaries to let the world know what living under Bashar al-Assad's rule is like. In this documentary, the six tell how revolution and war transformed their lives. "At first I was for the reforms," says Sima. "When did I change my mind? When there was blood." Although most support the anti-government revolt and have paid for that stance-Ayat's house was bombed, Khawla was imprisoned-Yara, a reporter for the official news agency SANA, explains why she still supports the regime. Viewers also meet Maria, a member of the Christian opposition, and Maya, a filmmaker who is deeply involved in the pro-democracy movement.