The Human Impact

Gender identity a top theme at Tribeca Film Festival

April 29, 2014

Music may have been the biggest theme at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, but movies exploring gender identity and sexuality also made a strong mark at the event, which wraps up on Sunday in New York.

Is wartime rape inevitable?

April 28, 2014

The mass rape of hundreds of thousands of women and girls from Bosnia to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo has reinforced the conventional wisdom that rape and sexual violence are an inevitable feature of war.

Can a mother truly hate her own son?

April 23, 2014

One line in Bad Hair, which had its U.S. premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York, has made me uncomfortable for days.

Election day, a time of hope – and concern – over Indonesian women’s rights

April 10, 2014

Tri Widayati is the first woman in her family – and her village too, she thinks – to find employment. At 18, soon after graduating from high school, she left her small village in Klaten regency in Central Java for Bekasi, a satellite town of the capital, Jakarta.

Why coexistence doesn’t equal reconciliation in Rwanda

April 6, 2014

One Hutu killer describes feeling “like two different people” as he took part in the genocide: a man who obediently slaughtered his Tutsi neighbours because the mayor told him to, yet who hid one of their daughters in a grain basket to save her from the machetes.

Did you know that supporting gay rights is good for business?

March 27, 2014

People often approach the issue of gay rights (if one can even call it an issue) from the “doing the right thing” perspective, meaning that supporting the rights of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people is the right thing to do because everyone should be free to be who they are without facing discrimination of any kind.

Girls for sale: “A Day in the Life”

March 26, 2014

A diverse, fresh-faced group, the 20 American girls standing still and expressionless on stage create a striking opening tableau. Between the ages of 13 and 17, they could be anyone’s daughter or sister or cousin – or any sex trafficker’s prey.

Can the world get rid of tuberculosis?

March 25, 2014

It would be easy to think that tuberculosis is under control. TB, one of the world’s top two infectious disease killers, has been declining slowly but steadily and in some parts of the world it has been almost eradicated.

Where does human trafficking happen? Right in front of you

March 24, 2014

Human trafficking has many faces and forms. There’s the pimp enslaving and exploiting young girls in cities across the United States – where an estimated 100,000 girls are trafficked at present. There are the men who buy young boys in Ghana, forcing them into lives of servitude and hard labour, spending long days in flimsy boats in the Lake Volta region, hunched over their fishing lines under a scorching sun.

Ms Kalashnikovs: Meet Congo’s fearless women fighters

March 20, 2014

Copyright and all photographs taken by Francesca Tosarelli.

Brutalised. Repeatedly raped. The first to gather the children and flee attack. Weak, poor and uneducated.