Feminist voices from Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz women face numerous obstacles in achieving equal rights with men. Non-consensual bride kidnapping and domestic violence are the most serious social problems. I introduce a few brave initiatives that pretend to releave women and girls from the weight of the past.

A couple of years ago I volunteered in a small village in Kyrgyzstan where I witnessed at first hand a myriad of discriminatory practices based on gender. One girl was abducted and forced into a marriage against her will since her parents did not want her to bring dishonour to the family. Continue reading “Feminist voices from Kyrgyzstan”

Children-404: The (in)visible pride of Russian LGBT teens

Russia represents a blatant illustration of state-sponsored homophobia. I interview Yelena Klimova, a founder of an online support group Children-404, to reveal the main challenges for LGBT activists in Russia. In such a hostile context, a simple like is a sign of enormous courage to publicly express one’s solidarity with the often ignored LGBT community.

Russia represents a blatant illustration of state-sponsored homophobia. Enacted in 2013 with an approval of the President Vladimir Putin, the ban of propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships to minors, triggered a wave of hate crimes against sexual minority groups. The discriminatory legislative initiative Continue reading “Children-404: The (in)visible pride of Russian LGBT teens”

Digital solidarity with the Rohingya refugees

My post discusses a variety of social media uses in the context of the ongoing Rohingya crisis: it can be seen as a tool for organizing public support and advocating for humanitarian causes as well as strengthening political leadership or implementing censorship on highly sensitive topics.

As a Communication for Development student I am shy to admit I was not aware of the severity and extent of the Rohingya refugee crisis until this September when Nobel Laureates urged the UN Security Council to intervene in putting an end to human rights abuses and brutal violence in Myanmar. Furthermore, more than 400 thousand people supported this humanitarian cause by signing an online petition on Change.org. In addition to this, my Facebook friends have massively started customizing their profile pictures with a frame that reads Stop Killing Rohingya Muslims.

Continue reading “Digital solidarity with the Rohingya refugees”