What It Takes To Be An Albino

Albinism is a rare, genetically inherited variance present at birth[i]. It is not infectious or contagious. Inside the African societies, people with albinism look distinctly different from others as they do not have black skin[ii].  People with albinism are considered as people with disabilities. They require continuous special skin care, especially in maintaining their white skin. In Tanzania, only 2 percent of them pass the age of 40, and less than 10 percent survives the age of 30 as they die prematurely of skin cancer due to lack of melanin[iii].

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Albinos are everywhere in Africa, but they are rife in East Africa. Tanzania and Malawi have the heaviest population of people with albinism in the world. In Tanzania alone, there are approximately 170, 000 albinos, making it the country with the highest rate of these masses[iv].

Notwithstanding, there are misconceptions and conjectural myths about Albinism[v]. Most consider the albinos as ghosts. As a consequence, people with albinism are stigmatised. To be an albino means to be an outcast.  They are facing severe persecution such as discrimination, abduction, ritual abuse, mutilation, bullying[vi], and barbaric killing. Perpetrators are, for the most part, close relatives, acquaintances, and neighbours.  Ignorance and lack of educational awareness drive many to speculate that people with albinism have magical abilities. Due to endless bullying or fear of being abducted to ritual killings, some children with albinism are forced to stay away from schools and playgrounds[vii].  Most Albinos murdered were for money-scheme ritual process as there are beliefs that their body parts can usher in money, employment success, and stroke of luck[viii]. In Malawi, even after they have been laid to rest, there have been 39 reported instances of ritual killers exhuming and kidnapping the albinos’ corpses, and some arrested in possession of albinos’ bones[ix]. Some of them have had their limbs cut off for witchcraft rituals. Women and children with albinism are the most vulnerable. The adult females are cited as Machilisto[x], which means ‘cure’ in Malawian. Female albinos are being raped because of the theory that anyone infected with HIV/AIDS who have sex with them will be cured[xi][xii].

Since 2000 to date, 448 assaults on albinos have been reported in 25 African nations[xiii]. Last year, the Tanzanian police cracked down on 32 witch-doctors who were found guilty of killing almost 75 albinos for ritual[xiv]. In 2010, around 10 people were condemned to death for murdering people with albinism[xv].

Nevertheless, the persecution of albinos continues. Many of them, particularly the Malawians and Tanzanians albinos at this moment in time live in perpetual fear of terror. Some lucky ones have succeeded in fleeing their countries to seek asylum elsewhere. Under the Same Sun[xvi], is one of the NGOs helping Tanzania people with albinism.

Sadly, their governments fail to protect them[xvii]. Most shockingly, many high-level African politicians are now being accused and suspected of killing albinos for ritual in order to win their elections[xviii].  Whitney Chilumpha, a toddler with albinism was abducted at night while sleeping with her mother and dismembered[xix]. A few days ago, local residents found a bag containing the torso of a six-year-old albino boy, known as Faztudo Filipe, in the Mudzingandze province of Maputo, Mozambique[xx]. The assailants had gone off with his arms, legs and other parts of his body.

The problem is not just the focus on the failure of the concerned governing bodies to guarantee adequate security for these people. One ought not to forget that this issue has a cultural base. The discourse of superstitious regarding albinism is embedded in the African culture, and the general mentality of the people is well-grounded on the subject. If one cannot get through to the grassroots to convince the people that discrimination of the albino is a criminal offense against humanity; there is virtually little that can be done at the national level. The people’s frame of mind has to shift. Albinos are human beings, and not ghosts. Hence, they deserve the right to life. #StopkillingAlbinos

[i] (de Chazournes, 2014)

[ii] (Lund, et al., 2015)

[iii] (Global Disability Watch , 2016)

[iv] (United Nations, 2009)

[v] (Office Of The High Commissoner Human Rights, s.d.)

[vi] (Lund, et al., 2015)

[vii] (Brune-Lockhart, et al., 2013; 2014)

[viii] (Akbar, 2016)

[ix] (Foreign Affairs Publisher, 2016)

[x] (Moreno, 2016)

[xi] (Amnesty International, 2016)

[xii] (Foreign Affairs Publisher, 2016)

[xiii] (Global Disability Watch , 2016)

[xiv] (Reuters in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 2015)

[xv] (Brune-Lockhart, et al., 2013; 2014)

[xvi] (Under The Same Sun, s.d.)

[xvii] (Amnesty International, 2016)

[xviii] (Ghanaweb, 2016)

[xix] (Foreign Affairs Publisher, 2016)

[xx] (Allafrica, 2016)

Trauma and Disability 

Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) 13th Annual Hawai`i Summit 

Title: Assessing and Interviewing Traumatised Individuals with Developmental Disabilities. 

   

 Date: 29th March 2016

   

 Location: Hawai`i Convention Center

   

  

  

 Speakers: Steven Choy & Robert Geffner 

   

 
Understanding the earning and communication process 

1. Receptive function 

2. The ability to receive 
RECEPTIVE AND PERCEPTIVE FUNCTIONING. 

1. Receptive, perceptive and integrative functioning. 

2. Expressive functioning 

3. Perceptual learning problems ( Inadequate/damaged receptors) 

4. What is this sound? 

5. What do you see? 

6. Auditory perception is the ability  

7. Visual closure: inability to perceive 

8. The ability to get information and convert it to our own understanding. 

Societal Depreciation of Women with Disabilities

Conference CSW60 14-24 UN Headquarters, New York

Parallel Event: Sustainable Development Goals or Sidelining Disabled Girls:? Making The SDGs Stand For All Women and Girls 

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Time: 14:30p.m — 16:00p.m

Date: 17/03/2016

Location: CCUN Boss 8th Floor, New York

Organisers: Women Enabled International, Sisters of Frida, Women with Disabilities India Network.

  1. Disabled rural women are less privileged than the urban disabled women.
  2. Disabled women
  3. It seems contradictory for disabled women to push for rights to the health facilities
  4. Many believe that people with disabilities cannot make concrete decision about themselves, which is incorrect.
  1. Disabled women have tough times accessing legal justice
  2. Rape against disabled women is decriminalised.
  1. Law enforcement agencies in the UK don’t believe disabled women when they report rape or sexual assaults.
  2. 505 disabled women were sterilised in Columbia
  3. Sterilisable of disabled women started with the consent of their legal guidances.
  1. A national survey of demographic and health that help to gain sexual reproductive health care and services for women with disabilities.
  2. Data gathering of information on disabled women in Columbia.

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Who has a right or not to plead self-defence? (2)

“If women were human…would we be beaten nearly to death, and to death, by men with whom we are close (Mackinnon, 2007, p.41)?

 Jacqueline and Bernadette received their judgment, in respective circumstances. The former got ten years’ imprisonment for killing her husband with three gunshots from the rear. And Bernadette received a five-year suspended sentence. This is where the accounts of these women became confused. We agreed they were victims. We agreed they killed their perpetrators in self-defence. Nevertheless, the French justice failed to see Jacqueline as indeed a battered woman. This is puzzling. What other evidences the judge needs to see Jacqueline Sauvage, as she should be? A victim. What worked in favour of Bernadette and not of Jacqueline? Who holds a right to plead self-defence and who has not?

Jacqueline Sauvage’s daughters and supporters, held a large public demonstration on 23 January (Le Monde.fr, 2016). Likewise, prominent French politicians joined in the signing of a petition that ask President François Hollande to grant her a presidential pardon. Luckily, he awarded her (Delacroix & Robin, 2016). Albeit that does not clear Sauvage of all accusations retained against her. She is still considered a murderer under the French law. Aside from that she cannot walk out immediately away from the prison based on the pardon. She will have to undergo a series of psychological and medical assays to confirm she is not a risk to the public. This calls for another question on what constitutes liberty. On 8 February, Jacqueline checked out of the prison, she was before. At present, she is at the National Evaluation Centre in Réau, Seine-et-Marne region (Schulz & T.M, 2016). She has already passed two years and four months in prison out of the ten years and will be in that centre until April.

Both women’s cases have created huge media attention and debates on soliciting self-defence. Even though they are the victims, battered women who kill their perpetrators have always struggled with the difficulties of falling within the scope of complete self-defence (Gausden, 2011, p.11). Sauvage’s condemnation falls into the category of what Teays (1998, p.64) denominates, imperfect self-defence. She states that, “A imperfect self-defence rests on an unreasonable belief in the imminence of a threat to life or great bodily harm, leading to the decision to defend oneself with lethal force.” The Court’s speculation falls in the line of argument the long-term effect of abuse that battered women experience in a continuous period will not cause them to act abruptly (Zaman, 2015, p.5). In other words, the courts rarely accept a defence of provocation from the victimised woman. For instance, in England and Wales a new partial defence of loss of control replaced the partial defence of provocation in the law of murder (McAviney, 2011, p.1).

There are two factors a person charged with murder has to meet when referring to provocation. Virgo (1999, p.7) explains below,

(To be continued in the Next post)

 

Works Cited

Delacroix, C., & Robin, C. (2016, February 6). Jacqueline Sauvage : la grâce enfin! Retrieved February 8, 2016, from ELLE: http://www.elle.fr/Societe/News/Jacqueline-Sauvage-la-grace-enfin-3031687

Gausden, A. C. (2011). Defences to Murder: A Woman-Centred Analysis . Durham University, Durham Law School. Durham: Durham E-Theses.

Le Monde.fr. (2016, January 23). Manifestation de soutien à Jacqueline Sauvage, en prison pour avoir tué son mari violent . Retrieved February 2, 2016, from Le Monde.fr: http://www.lemonde.fr/police-justice/article/2016/01/23/manifestation-de-soutien-a-jacqueline-sauvage-en-prison-pour-avoir-tue-son-mari-violent_4852487_1653578.html

Mackinnon, C. A. (2007). The Promise of CEDAW’s Optional Protocol. In C. A. Mackinnon, Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues (1st Edition ed., p. 65). Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

McAviney, V. (2011). Should Anger Mitigate Murder? An Examination of the Doctrine of Loss of Control. Durham University, Durham Law School. Durham: Durham E-Theses.

Schulz, N., & T.M. (2016, February 8). Jacqueline Sauvage quitte sa prison de Saran. Retrieved February 8, 2016, from Europe1: http://www.europe1.fr/faits-divers/jacqueline-sauvage-quitte-sa-prison-de-saran-2664555

Teays, W. (1998). Standards of Perfection and Battered Women’s Self-defense: Imperfect Self-defense. In Violence Against Women: Philosophical Perspectives (1st Edition ed., p. 64). Ithaca, USA: Cornell University Press .

Virgo, G. (1999, March). Defining Provocation. The Cambridge Law Journal , 58(1), 7.

Zaman, K. (2015). Is the defence of loss of control a ‘better’ defence for female victims of domestic abuse than provocation? . (S. Elfving, Ed.) Student Law Journal, 1(1), 5.

Opening Session CSW59— Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Event: Opening Session of the CSW59

Location:  United Nations Headquarters, New York

Speaker: Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Summary:

  1. 2015 is a crucial year for achieving gender equality.
  2. Women and girls must be at the centre and front of the debate.
  3. Women continue to suffer disproportionately.
  4. Assaulting a woman means attacking a human.
  5. Women are not merely the victims, but that they are carriers of the blame.
  6. The need to tackle the radicalisation of youth.
  7. The completion of the Beijing20 foundation.
  8. The goal must be 50-50 by 2020.
  9. To recognise the crucial roles of women in all aspects of life.
  10. We need to shift the mindset of men on gender because without this, women will continue to be victims.
  11. The world cannot realise its goals if 50% of its population have not achieved its potentials.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

We could have pretended that all is well. We could have just sat back and fold our hands as if all is well. And when we do this, then it means we are extremely selfish. Many a times, there are incidents that can propel us or even compel us to always take action and one of those is the troubling story of Sakineh.

I wouldn’t want us to go into the detail, as you all knew the fate of this woman. All l am going to emphasise here is that it is high time we did something to save Sakineh. She is like every woman. She wants to be free. She desires the freedom that you have gotten so abundantly.

Life is so full of bliss and dark side. Often we believe we are not doing the best in our capacity but that’s where we are wrong. The truth is that we give back the best in us to life. We don’t need to stand by and wait until events turn in our favour. The reason is, it is not all the time that this can happen. We have to go for it. On this term I am mentioning again Sakineh. Whatever she must have done, I believe she has a right to her life. She has the right to determine how she should live her life. In a society whereby freedom is at cost, then it does not worth it.

Let me bring to your attention, today, what we have at hand is the death penalty that Sakineh is facing. Tomorrow, it may be another woman. It may be your turn. It may be mine as well. We are not just going to help Sakineh out of her problem. We are also going to focus on the need to stop this death threat melt out by the Iranian government.  Life is not a joke. Life is about love and where there is no love, then there is a problem. A life taken by force is a crime and it is sinful in the eyes of God. Iran should not be a threatening zone for women. Every society should be a place of peace and serenity for every woman.

A woman is not a dog. She deserves the best out of life. She is a treasure with abundant potentials inside of her. She is a flower waiting to blossom. A woman does not want her life to be at stake. She sees life different from her male counterpart. What she sees is forgiveness, liberty and the airiness of continuity. For her, she believes everything should come so easily without any distractions. A woman is ready to take many risks in other to ensure that life goes well not only for her but also for those around her. A woman is gift that no one can ever buy. The heart of a woman is imbibed with indescribable passions that show in whatever she does.

Let us go back to Sakineh. I want you to put yourself in her shoes. And then I want you to ask yourself some of these questions, what if I am the one awaiting this death sentence? Will I ever come out of it? Do I deserve this punishment? To what level is my crime that I should die by hanging or stoning? Does this sentence justify the means?

It is nearly five years that Sakineh is imprisoned. She has not been able to see the light or the streets in her country. She is closed up, and shut up in a cell like an animal. Each day, she’s been interrogating as if she is the worst criminal on earth. She has no right to go out to say hello to her friends or family unless they visit her.

As you put yourself in her position, you will come to understand that Sakineh is suffering daily. For all reason, Sakineh does not deserve to die. She is not a criminal. She is a woman just searching for love, though she might have searched in the wrong place and at the wrong time.

Let us act to save Sakineh. She must not die. Let her live to give the best to her children. Let her live to enjoy the best of days ahead of her. Let her live to embrace the liberty. Let her live to sees the lights and the warmth of the day. Let her live to love and be loved in return.

I would like to thank you heartily for reading this bulletin. Thank you so much for your understanding. One more thing I require of you is, PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY. The more this circulates, the faster help will come for Sakineh. Once again, I thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I am just a woman like you working to ensure that the earth is free of violence and abuses against every women, be it young, old, fat, skinny, educated, illiterate, rich or poor, strong or weak.

Best Wishes,

Help the Punching Bag Team

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