Tuesday, June 7, 2011

  • Trapped in Gaza: Rafah Crossing Closed to Palestinians Soon After Egyptian Pledge to Reopen It

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    In the Gaza Strip, the Hamas government has asked Egypt to drop restrictions on the Rafah border crossing, just days after the checkpoint opened last week. In a major policy shift, Egypt’s transition government had unsealed the Rafah border after years of closure under ousted Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak. But less than a week later, Egypt imposed a cap of 400 people per day, turning back busloads of people that had been cleared for passage. On Saturday, the border was sealed completely, causing angry Palestinians to storm the gates in protests. Democracy Now!’s Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar were one of the few teams of foreign journalists to witness the scene at the Rafah border, and they file this report from the Gaza Strip. [includes rush transcript]

  • “There is a Women’s Spring Beginning”: Playwright Eve Ensler and Congolese Activist Christine Schuler Deschryver on Gender Violence in Congo

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    A newly published study in the American Journal of Public Health estimates more than two million women have been raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2006. But women’s advocates say there is also positive news coming from the DRC. The group V-Day, a global movement to stop all forms of gender-based violence, recently held the opening ceremony for the City of Joy, a groundbreaking new community that will be run by women survivors of gender violence in the Congo. We speak with V-Day founder, Eve Ensler, the bestselling author and playwright behind The Vagina Monologues, about gender violence in DRC. We are also joined Christine Schuler Deschryver, director of V-Day Congo and the City of Joy, about the growing number of rape prosecutions in DRC. “The Congolese women are taking their power, because we told them that they don’t have to be ashamed for these rapes. The ones who are doing it have to be ashamed,” says Schuler Deschryver. We also ask Ensler about the growing rate of violence against women in Haiti and get her reaction to the sexual assault charges filed against former International Monetary Fund director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. [includes rush transcript]

  • Eve Ensler Responds to Sexual Assault Charges Filed Against Former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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    On Monday, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a housekeeper, a Muslim African woman, working at his New York City hotel. "I think what’s amazing is that a woman has come forward to prosecute and that a female judge held it, and I think that is where the world has changed," says our guest, V-Day founder Eve Ensler. [includes rush transcript]