CANADIAN, interested in History?

A century ago, a bloody war on foreign soil helped forge a Canadian identity and write a remarkable chapter in the nation’s history. Join us in a journey through those years, with images and stories from the home front and the front lines of battle.

‘Been raped never reported’: Why 90% of sex assault victims stay silent rather than face trial by ordeal

Sex assault in Canada

460,000: Estimated number of sexual assaults each year

90%: Proportion of those assaults that are unreported

12: Number of incidents for which charges are laid for every 1,000 sexual assaults that occur

3: Number of convictions for every 1,000 sexual assaults that occur

300: The median number of days it takes for a sexual assault case to make its way through the judicial system in Canada. (Only murder and attempted murder take longer.)

90%: Proportion of female sex assault victims. (Women are 11 times more likely than men to be a victim of a sexual offence.)

75%: Proportion of women sexually assaulted in 2011 who knew their attacker

25%: Proportion of sexual assaults against women committed by a stranger

Source: Statistics Canada


Senegal Arrests Five Women Under The Country’s Draconian Anti-Homosexual Law


640px-Coat_of_arms_of_Senegal.svg900px-Flag_of_Senegal.svgWe have been watching with alarm as African nations pass more draconian anti-homosexual laws. Senegal has added its name to his ignoble list. President Yahya Jammeh signed a new law that establishes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts. Jammeh is a vehemently and vocal anti-gay leader who told gays and lesbians in 2008 to leave the country or risk decapitation. Five women have now been arrested as accused lesbians in what human rights groups are calling a national campaign of terror and torture by the police.

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Mike Nichols made films about women – sadly a rarity in Hollywood

Mike Nichols made films about women – sadly a rarity in Hollywood

From Silkwood to Working Girl, you can trace the rise of female equality in the films made by the director, who died this week. Many of his collaborators were female, and his movies portrayed his subjects as more than just pretty faces
MIKE_NICHOLS on the set of Who'se Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Early films portrayed women frustrated about the limitations of their lives … Mike Nichols, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton on the set of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Photograph: Allstar

If you count success in Oscar nominations, then Mike Nichols certainly didn’t fulfil his early promise. His 1966 debut film, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, got 13 nominations and won five. His second, The Graduate, got a mere seven nominations and one win. The 20 other films he went on to make managed 22 nominations and one Oscar between them, for best song. …

Ebola Kills Pregnant Women, Even if They Don’t Have It

Bausch DG, Towner JS, Dowell SF, et al. Assessment of the risk of Ebola virus transmission from bodily fluids and fomites. J Infect Dis. 2007;196:S142-S147. doi: 10.1086/520545. Available at: DJ, Uyeki TM, Callaghan WM, et al. What obstetrician-gynecologists should know about Ebola: a perspective from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obstet Gynecol. 8 Sept 2014. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000533. Available at:

Mupapa K, Mukundu W, Bwaka MA, et al. Ebola hemorrhagic fever and pregnancy. J Infect Dis. 1999;179(Suppl 1):S11–12. Available at:

World Health Organization. Addressing sex and gender in epidemic-prone infectious diseases. 2007. Available at:

World Health Organization. Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Zaire, 1976. Bull World Health Organ. 1978;56:271-293. Available at:

World Health Organization. Study warns swift action needed to curb exponential climb in Ebola outbreak. 22 Sept 2014. Available at:

Indonesia: ‘Virginity Tests’ for Female Police

Indonesia: ‘Virginity Tests’ for Female Police

‘Testing’ Applicants Is Discriminatory, Cruel, Degrading
November 18, 2014
“The Indonesian National Police’s use of ‘virginity tests’ is a discriminatory practice that harms and humiliates women. Police authorities in Jakarta need to immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it.”
Nisha Varia, associate women’s rights director

(Jakarta) – The Indonesian government subjects female applicants for Indonesia’s National Police to discriminatory and degrading “virginity tests,” Human Rights Watch said today.

Human Rights Watch interviewed female police and police applicants in six Indonesian cities who had undergone the test, two of them in 2014. Applicants who “failed” were not necessarily expelled from the force, but all of the women described the test as painful and traumatic. Policewomen have raised the issue with senior police officials, who have at times claimed the practice has been discontinued. But the test is listed as a requirement for women applicants on the official police recruitment website, and Human Rights Watch interviews suggest it is still being widely applied.

“The Indonesian National Police’s use of ‘virginity tests’ is a discriminatory practice that harms and humiliates women,” said Nisha Varia, associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Police authorities in Jakarta need to immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it.”
The tests contravene National Police principles that recruitment must be both “nondiscriminatory” and “humane,” and violate the international human rights to equality, nondiscrimination, and privacy. Coerced “virginity tests” can also constitute cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment prohibited under international law.

Between May and October 2014, Human Rights Watch interviewed eight current and former policewomen and applicants, as well as police doctors, a police recruitment evaluator, a National Police Commission member, and women’s rights activists. Interviews were conducted in the cities of Bandung, Jakarta, Padang, Pekanbaru, Makassar, and Medan. All of the women who had undergone the test said it was applied to all other women in their police class as well.

The “virginity tests” are conducted under Chief Police Regulation No. 5/2009 on Health Inspection (Pemeriksaan Kesehatan) Guidelines for Police Candidates. Article 36 of the regulation requires female police academy applicants to undergo an “obstetrics and gynecology” examination. While the regulation does not specify that a “virginity test” is to be administered as part of the exam, two senior policewomen told Human Rights Watch that it has long been the practice. The test is given early in the recruitment process as part of the applicants’ physical exam. Police Medical and Health Center (Pusat Kedokteran dan Kesehatan) personnel conduct the tests primarily in police-operated hospitals. Human Rights Watch found that the examination has included the discredited and degrading “two-finger test” to determine whether female applicants’ hymens are intact…