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tv   Up Front 2018 Ep 1  Al Jazeera  January 28, 2018 7:32am-8:00am +03

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i'm finding more jobs for people he talked about cutting poverty those are three things that he really failed to resolve in the first four years in charge former leftist fark rebels in colombia have launched their campaign for upcoming elections the parliamentary and presidential votes will mark their party's election day thousands of members hand in their weapons under twenty sixteen still. it is fourteen soldiers have been killed in an army camp in mali seventeen others were wounded when the base near timbuktu was targeted the military says it killed seventeen of around thirty attackers and has reclaimed control of the base one of the world's richest men has been freed in saudi arabia prince or waleed bin talal has been held for two months on corruption allegations he's been released after agreeing to a financial settlement the finance chairman of the us republican national committee has resigned over allegations of harassment and sexual assaults several women told
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the wall street journal that steve wynn made unwanted advances and pressured them to perform sex acts when denies the allegations those are the headlines the news continues on al-jazeera but now it's up front. news has another the rule of the liberal but the message is simplistic and misinformation is rife the listening post provides a critical counterpoint challenging mainstream media narrative at this time on al-jazeera some say the harsh tag me two campaign is too white and too privileged so how there's a movement to call out sexual assault being received outside of the west and up front special.
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in two thousand and six the slogan me two started as a movement by u.s. activists to write a book as a way to show solidarity with the victims of sexual assault but that slogan went viral overnight in the wake of hollywood's harvey weinstein scandal last october which prompted women around the world to break a lot of the silence around sexual assault and harassment and begin sharing their stories with more than twelve million posts on facebook in just twenty four hours since then the hash tag has been shared at least eighty five countries around the world so why does this particular campaign prove to be so powerful and how is it being received outside of the west joining me to discuss this are mona eltahawy a journalist based between cairo in new york and author of headscarves and hymens why the middle east needs a sexual revolution run gena kumari women's rights activist and director of the center for social research in new delhi. or a gun and writer and director of communications for the ngo the association for women's rights in development thank you all for joining me on this special edition
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of outfront i want to start by asking you all how has the hashtag mean to movement been received outside of the u.s. outside of the west rangel you're a long time champion of women's rights in india what's the response to me to be like over there. the little red and the whole campaign started on social media with hash tag mean to the million women also onto the whole you know the kind of speaking out as talking about themselves and their own twenty five thousand women joined that campaign in india and also a lot of them really wanted to speak about their own experiences but when we restart the kind of expression they did not really come out with i think becoming the person that is not really got ready to happen to them but there is definitely said that they are also the stiction hardest men at work place they've also been victim of the kind of relationship that was based with their bosses with the
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professors and also the whole media became very very active police bootcamp in what really was very critical wasn't born you can see the destruction the heart of every woman that they could find a space on social media and could see that this is what's happening to me too not a recently the african union ambassador to the u.s. said during a discussion about how to take me to the quote in africa the conversation is not even begun we are nowhere near where we need to be what's your reaction to that. i very much agree with them bastards in my country ghana their conversation has been extremely muted about me too and the sense that people have not been publicly name in those who have violated them those who have assaulted them people have actually been speaking about the need for us to have this conversation but no one is really speaking up that's because the consequences for woman who name people who violates
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them is really still to hash in about a few years ago in twenty fifteen that prominent. public personality quickly changed the chua was allegedly accused of raping a young woman there were people who were witnesses to the fact that she had been abused by this man she went to hospital the doctors verified that she had been sexually assaulted the state of ghana took up a case that's this woman was vilified in the press so much she eventually withdrew the case. and this is an example of what happens when women speak up and when we've happened at this can just other women from speaking up because they can see that there's no justice for the victim and even aware. of the victim isn't just repute moner when you're listening to none and speak about gardner and some of the other african countries does that resonate with what you're hearing and what you've experienced in the middle east living in cairo travelling through the region or has be to be embraced in the arab world. has taught me to has been embracing our
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world under it arabic equivalent which is and i come in and i've seen several activists share their own experiences and say that this happens to every woman i know this has happened to me personally but i think the importance of hashtag me to . is not just about women speaking out and not been able to speak out and as the community blame the woman or not i think what this particular moment in history has done it allowed it has allowed women around the world to see each other as all being victims of patriarchy that this is an institutionalized form of discrimination that regardless of where you're from will affect every woman and will affect members of the q community we also affect men we've seen gay men who've spoken out about this so i think that as hard as it is to speak out in certain communities it's important to recognise that this doesn't just affect white actors in hollywood and it's not just white men who are supporting them we need to move
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the conversation outside of of this very very specific white us lens and make it a global one critics say that the voices of women around the world and rajan i want to ask you this question first critics are the voices of women around the world who work in factories are victims of sex trafficking minority women women in rural areas living in poverty are missing from this campaign from this movement is it fair to say that white western women especially white affluent women are still dominating this campaign and if so what do you do about that. as you know very few women are in the. social media space in and yet only about twenty seven percent of women who really are the internet users these are the the men also recruit among these twenty seven percent who have mostly working in people who are in the organized sector or people who are really in some very or the other have been capacity to raise their voices but majority of the women who are from the informal
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sector of the grounds are many tribal women should only cause women as you said classes victims prostitutes and profit driven engage in prostitution are forced into prostitution all those women have not found that space the majority of the women say about almost like ninety percent even were not a department you can participate economy who are not organized who do not have access to internet is not are they going to use fear is this kind of harassment but they're not able to use this they're not able to say it in in more form they're not able to even walk through these religiously committees that we have gone with these are all internal complaints committee so certainly there is a kind of divide that you can feel you see not a do you worry about how quote unquote white me too is a result of unfair. i mean what i would like to see more of more of a focus on movements of particularly like the most oppressed groups who have actually been workin and violence against women for
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a long time some of the work that some of my previous administrations have done such as the african women's development fund which is their great macon fund which funds particularly small and medium sized women's rights organizations across the continent you know there are numerous small community based groups that have been working to end violence against women and what i tend to see that they focus on me too is focused on yes you know more privileged white woman in hollywood more privileged white women in north america without really acknowledge him the kind of community led efforts that have been going on. and balancing why do women why do you think it is that me too has been so success from a high profile in a way that other previous campaigns against gender based violence haven't been is it because of the hollywood celebrity angle or is it something else. i think absolutely it's because of the hollywood celebrity angle and because the media attention and for me that's not a bad thing that's
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a good then but let's also use this opportunity to focus on community based organizations that have been working for decades to end violence against well and once and for all about why me too has been so successful i think it is a particular moment where we're seeing white women in hollywood confront white men who have hurt them and i think that that gives it a much more global platform than say all the individual work that we've heard about but i also think it's really important to take it out of this idea that it's only these rich and white powerful men who do that because what i worry about is that ordinary men will just kind of sit back and say you know well you know what i'm not rich i'm not powerful i'm not one of those guys and i think this is a really in valuable moment where we have an opportunity as a global community not just in our individual community spaces to say look this is about patriarchy this is about how it's institutionalised this is about misogyny and this is about discrimination against women so how does that affect every woman
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and how is every man complicit in this because i hear from a lot of men they say well i don't do any of that so this has nothing to do with me but unless you're doing something to stop that from happening your complicit and you're benefiting from that system of patriarchy so i think this has to be a daily occurrence when we talk about this with our friends with our siblings and also politically because i think that as fantastic as this hollywood moment has been we're also missing is that the president of the united states has been accused of sexual assault himself and we're not talking about that at least twenty women have accused donald trump of sexually assaulting them and if you if you just stop and think about that the president of the most powerful country in the world and we almost had a senator in the united states roy moore i mean we always had a really right we once had a candidate become a senator in the u.s. has been accused of pedophilia and this is a chance for us now i speak now again. that egyptian muslim woman who cover things issues for my people to say look we have to confront these issues in every
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community. in every community pick up on that you've written that muslim women are stuck between a rock and a hard place on the one hand you have islamophobia in europe in the united states who whenever a muslim man is accused of any kind of sex from jump on this and say it's the religion is to blame islam is to blame use it to bash the religion on the other hand you have some in muslim communities who don't want to call out mr jonas because they fear that it will give islam a bad rap and they're giving ammunition to people who already hate them they don't want the community to look bad so how do women in communities like that deal with this dilemma if you can call about the answer to that is exactly what will take us out of me to hashtag me to being a white hollywood social media moment the answer to that would be that each community has to recognize that the less we can talk about sex the less we can talk about these taboos and the less we confront these taboos the most vulnerable people in our communities will be affected and the most vulnerable people are always women children and the eligibility queue so it has to fall on the shoulders of those of
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us with privilege and to take that even further just also to defund the racism islamophobia when i talk about the middle east another one of my communities i have to talk about domestic workers i have to talk about migrant laborers because in the gulf you're talking about women who come from different very very disadvantaged countries in communities who are often sexual assaulted by their employers they have no recourse to justice as a racist and a class that lisa we have to make hash tag need to recognize race gender class able ism and actual or interesting run general motors talks about the you know the being stuck between a rock and a hard place women of quote unquote elsewhere too it's not just about religion is it for example when women fight for their rights in places like india or pakistan or parts of africa some say oh you're attacking our traditional culture values you're supporting western cultural imperialism you often do hear that kind of backlash argument. well it's always there it's been always there when ever you are talked about will fry it somewhere you know everybody who's not agreeing with you
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or all these kurdish militia forces fundamentalists forces which are really around us always blame us for an autograph picking up from this is not what in the end is not what our culture is all about and that the silence that has been imposed on women is also because it feel that if they will speak out they will be targeted they will be seen as the people who are responsible for what is happening to victim blaming all the time so so even to muster the courage to speak there already is you know in some sense punished for speaking out now you know we're all working very hard to change of are certainly the whole thing about you know you are a pig the rest you are trying to create the kind of in london than our country where women are now becoming very free they just don't want to follow any tradition and you are responsible so we are certainly very very important but let me tell you one thing in india the situation is very very different now because we are far from
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right to enter the temple we are together as women fall in addition and supporting each other so that is something that is helping us to count towards the flight bag with all the fundamentalist force forces you want to come in earlier. yes i did because i think you know women have have been actually speak an app for ages about the need to end violence and i think as of this moment. i don't want people i don't know moment to feel like they have to put themselves out there we have to name the people who have perpetrated violence especially when the repercussions as though syria i think the focus needs to be and how do we change the societal context and the culture which leads to this harassment which leads to this continuous violence that women face how do we change this rape culture which is really the problem and it's so endemic everywhere so i would love for us to have a bit of a conversation around that give us one of your suggestions and tell us something
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positive of what can be done because this is a very depressing cover they should give us tell us what community. i mean i feel like a couple of things that need to be done you know the conversation as well but i really feel like we need men to step up we need men to be speaking to each other and we need we need men to be holding themselves responsible you know i feel like too much of the onus is on women and balance we really need men to step up and take responsibility for their own role in this situation and i want to see some of that happen and some of that change interesting that never talks about the men stepping up which is obviously important jobs crucial but the backlash against me too in the west and there has been a backlash hasn't just come from men it's even come from some women to french actress catherine deneuve along with nearly one hundred other french women wrote a letter defending men's quote freedom to pastor response to let alone in this
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climate it was outrageous maybe i couldn't believe it and it was an important moment to remind everyone with a moment to remind everyone of just how powerful internalized misfortune is these are women who have internalized patriarchy and the power of patriarchy and these are women who are white and privileged and very affluent and very telling to me that they are white privileged affluent women who are basically saying the men who have the right to pester are white and affluent because while catherine deneuve are we saying this we're talking about the rise of a horrendous fascist right wing across europe that wants to prevent migration especially on the basis of this so-called right or freedom to pester because the queues the hordes of men and these black holes of men are basically going to europe to rape white women so it was an outrageous letter to publish not only was it basically a policy they were apologists for this kind of violence that we're fighting against
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but they were also just talking about the men they are not talking about these are not working class women these are not poor women these are not women of different abilities in. these are not women and they are not talking about men who live in the inner cities in france who lives in various communities in europe who are vilified with this. yeah but it's also important to recognize that in europe brown and black men are accused of increasing the rates of rape because they want to rape white women so i think this letter was very dangerous and i think that this kind of position is exactly why hashtag need to has to move out from these absolute white hollywood actresses you wanted to come in mona i want to support you with that you know this is what the privilege women even talk about in our own country is that you know all this never happened to me i've never faced any kind of discrimination what are these very activist talking about these families are really trying to ruin the relationship in family getting the family i think need to campaign is extremely
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important in one sense that it has at least given the kind of why you believe that it's not just happening to us middle class we went travelling by buses and walking in small places where people are going to exploit and trying to harass but also it's happening at the at the highest level at the discrimination in terms of age batted the discrimination in terms of you know sexual habits meant all kinds of you know many privileges really that's what is the problem that men are men who are in these positions of power considered that are that entitlement so that has been question and challenge and that has to come down who will go level up a village woman who's working in somebody who farms of the field that has to come down who were labor women who was trying to walk in the construction industry or building that role and getting it righted by the contractor so i think this is this is one thing which you have to see in as the strength of this campaign. i very much want to agree with angela because i think what this moment also calls for increased
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supports that women's movements and women's rights of the legislations have been calling for you know women know themselves the solutions to the child. it is the phase and they are very often able to work on those solutions but women's rights organizations and women's rights movements. are so underfunded this is part of the work that my organization has been leading. in some research that we did the fabric of the twentieth home should the most women's rights organizations exist on twenty thousand u.s. dollars or less a year these are their movements and these are going to is ations they're actually working to end violence and small communities from village levels to communities to the regional level and this is really where we need to place the efforts this is really where the change needs to happen and now you've written about the difficulty in defining issues like sexual consent getting agreement on those issues when things are sometimes not clear how does
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a movement like hash tag me to empower women in particular but to feel more comfortable about setting boundaries about being clear about consent about saying no how can it teach men to respect women's choices and women's communications on this issue because it's now broadened out beyond workplace harassment and sexual assault. absolutely and actually i think right now it's also the moments where men really need to take time to learn what consent really means and to know that consent should always be enthusiastic consent should be given them all to pull ways confirm confirm should be fair and several times you know i feel like the way men have been socialized traditionally have especially in my context especially in ghana you know we often speak of men chase and woman rights like women have to be pursued and men always assume that women are being core or they need to be persuaded no i don't think that should be the case and men need to recognize that
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women have agency women can speak up and say when they want to take part in a sexual activity or when they do not want to take part in a sexual activity and men and women you know packing this should always get consent a very believe and none variable from their pack and you have to confirm that several times in the united states in the wake of the recent controversial allegations around the u.s. doctor as these i'm sorry and quote unquote sexual misconduct is a phrase used among many others there's been much debate about what belongs in the me to debate you know where does the spectrum of rape assault harassment misconduct begin and end to my question to you is how does a movement like me to move forward when there are already these accusations oh it's going too far and certain things don't belong it right whenever we have this historic moment where we're going through incredible change and where you're hearing voices that you haven't heard before there will always be people who are pulling this back and saying you've gone too far stop stop and we have to ignore
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those voices because they say that because this is an uncomfortable moment and discomfort is important for social change revolution is uncomfortable and i consider this a revolutionary moment one of many not the only obvious thing and i think that that this spectrum is exactly the best way to describe it this isn't. asked about your boss exposing himself to you or your boss demanding that you have sex with him or her so that you could continue to work this is also about very intimate conversations and relationships and i think in order for that for that spectrum to be fully explored and deconstructed we have to be able to talk about sex comfortably and i think that here in united states too we don't talk about sex comfortably deafen in egypt where i come from and in the middle east and north africa they're very conservative societies and as a muslim i know how difficult it is for muslims to speak about sex inside and outside of marriage and the same and i think we need hashtag me too has done is it's created this leveling off moment where people even in the united states where
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they thought they had had a sexual revolution where they thought they were sexually liberated they are now confronted with the reality that they are not that this so-called sexual revolution of the one nine hundred sixty s. has not dismantled patriarchy and women are still being pursued as nana said and men still think that they will score so i think what we need to do is we need to have a very very honest conversation about sex my question is how long do you have to make to get those conversations off the ground how long as me to have you call a revolutionary moment but a lot of revolutions other peter out or there's a counter revolution the counter revolution has begun you're seeing with the catherine deneuve than the christian summers and so many other people the counter-revolution is definitely here but how long do we have we have forever we're dismantling a system called patriarchy that has existed forever i think when nona talks about men and how they have to step up i think men must understand that this is patriarchy hurts them to patriarchy places the burden of what we now call toxic
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masculinity on men surely there are men that around and i believe this because i know them who don't want to score who don't want to pursue women who want to have sex whether it's inside marriage whether it's outside of marriage whether it's with another man or another woman in a way that both partners or all partners involved are enjoying it and no one takes the next day as grace texted thousands and sorry to tell him that she felt violated and very exposed to let me ask you that question about the revolutionary moment moments of the revolution or do you believe this is a revolution a moment if so how long does the house. i think it's a particular moment but i actually think the revolution has been going on for a long time what i'm speaking up about sexual violence it's not new woman have been pressing for laws against sexual violence for laws against domestic violence for laws against my little rape in many countries around the world for a long time so it's just that me too as a campaign to have hits the global limelight at this particular moment in time but it's part of ongoing work to dismantle the system to oppress this woman and it's
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work that it's going on and will need to continue to go on and needs to be funded and needs to be supported donna run mono we'll have to leave it there thank you very much for having this is gushing i know we need many more discussions like this but you're taking time out that's our show up front we'll be back next week. and. the arrival of refugees is debated in the european parliament's. but the journey itself is little understood. to syrians document the route that is claimed so many lives searching for sanctuary to people in
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power at this time on al-jazeera the nature of news as it breaks the u.s. cut the funding has cemented the feeling that the u.s. is now part of the problem and it's picked the israeli side with detailed coverage the nigerian government insists negotiations are ongoing to secure the release of the girls and hundreds of others. from around the world three decades on chileans are still thinking about abuses but this time those committed by the church. marketing.
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zero. where ever you. as which crab is sorcery killing spreads across papa new guinea when east exposes shocking human rights abuses. of the specific missions dark started when used at this time on al jazeera. the suicide bombing of one of kabul.


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