Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng made international headlines last year when he escaped house arrest, foiling guards and security cameras around his home in rural China, to flee to Beijing where he took refuge in the U.S. embassy. He was eventually given permission to go to the United States to study.
But before his dramatic escape, Chen, one of China’s best-known human rights icons, came to national prominence in 2005 when he accused officials in his home province, Shandong, of forcing pregnant women to undergo late-term abortions to comply with China’s strict family-planning policies.
The particular problems that one group of individuals face at such times seem to be greatly under-reported.
Margaret Thatcher is famously on record as saying she didn’t think there’d be a woman prime minister in Britain in her lifetime. She, of course, eclipsed her own expectations and became the country’s first, and so far only, elected female leader.
But a feminist icon she was not – as many commentators have pointed out.
“Her notion of women’s rights – to compete, fight, and succeed on equal terms with men – did not fit the orthodoxies of contemporary feminism,” Paul Vallely said in the Independent.
There was a moment while watching “Alma: A Tale of Violence” when I wanted to hit the pause button and take a breather.
Thousands of miles away in India, it’s the shy, young woman left at the mercy of an agent who finds her a job as a maid but takes her earnings. In Bahrain, it’s the Filippino domestic worker who, abused and exploited by her employer, cannot leave.