Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation

WELDD's blog

The Military and Violence Against Women: The Aceh Experience, Part 1

Day 2 of the 16 Days Blogging Series:

Aceh is Special Territory of Indonesia situated on the island of Sumatra. Between 1976 and 2005, an insurgency was waged in Aceh by the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, or GAM), who wanted independence from the rule of the capital Jakarta, and from Indonesia. After the devastating tsunami in December 2004, GAM declared a unilateral cease-fire, and in 2005 a peace agreement was reached, granting Aceh special autonomy within Indonesia in return for GAM’s disarmament. Here Donna Swita Hardiani, from Solidaritas Perempuan (Women’s Solidarity) recalls her experiences in Aceh during the immediate years after the peace agreement.

WHRDs in Egypt: Between the Junta and the Islamists

Day 1 of the 16 Days Blogging Series:

I wake up every day to find the street displaying the polarization in the country. I see all the walls covered by pro Muslim Brotherhood words or by words inciting nationalism and supporting the army and President Sisi. I walk by the massive amount of military tanks and soldiers with heavy guns, covering their faces.

What the WELDD training meant to me

Being raised in a family that could be described as relatively “open minded” in a patriarchal society, I was able to see and feel the pain of many women around me who don’t have such a privilege as mine. On the other side I always felt responsible for opening their eyes to that reality. The chance to participate in the WELDD workshop wasn't merely a coincidence as it might seem. I've always known that I’ll find an entry into women’s activism; I just never imagined that it would be so magnificent!

Honour and Shame

Reading the stories of women’s rights activists across the world in the 16 Days blog series has been an empowering experience. The experiences of violence, extra-judicial punishments and honour-based abuse taking place in countries such as Yemen, Iraq and Pakistan are humbling and give us an extra appreciation of the relative security and peace we have here in the United Kingdom.

Iraqi women’s resilience: in search of a new story

Under the ruins which was a city

and the stones which were a home

with the burnt trunks which were trees

and the dried blood which was a person

look there

Laying down the arms; hearing battered women’s voices

‘Give women free guns!’ - It was one of those headlines that catches your eye, but not in a particularly good way. I read on with a feeling of unease I have learnt to associate with discussions of domestic violence in Turkey.

Disciplining Bodies in an Era of Militarism

What does the recent death of Renisha McBride, a 19 year old black girl shot when she approached a stranger’s house (in a white neighbourhood in Detroit) for help, or the incarceration of Marissa A


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