Texas’s new abortion law subjects women to heightened surveillance and the whims of private parties. If the US Supreme Court upholds the law, it will set back gender relations to an era that precedes the living memory of most Americans.
In 1984, the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a lecture on why Roe v. Wade, the Court’s 1973 decision recognizing a constitutional right to abortion, was wrongly decided. The case, she explained, should never have been framed as a matter of privacy or reproductive choice alone: Abortion was at bottom a question of gender equality.
Thirty-seven years later, Texas is proving Ginsburg’s point with its draconian and potentially transformative abortion law. If the Supreme Court upholds the law – it just heard oral arguments on whether to permit two legal challenges to proceed – it will set back gender relations to an era that precedes the living memory of most Americans.
We recently had the pleasure of sitting down virtually with Mansoor Adayfi, author of Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantánamo. Mansoor is an activist and former Guantánamo detainee now residing in Serbia. At the age of only eighteen, he was kidnapped in Afghanistan and sold to the U.S. government. Held in Guantánamo for fourteen years, he was tortured and deprived of his basic human rights.
We talked with Mansoor about what he would go back and tell his younger self, his life in Serbia, and his recent college graduation. Now the Guantánamo Project Manager at the NGO CAGE, Mansoor and fellow former detainees, or “brothers,” have published an eight-point plan to instruct President Biden on how to properly close Guantánamo. Wearing a bright orange cloth around his neck out of solidarity for his brothers, Mansoor explained his plans to advocate for the closure of Guantánamo until they were free. As he spoke with conviction and humor, calling silence “a tool of the oppressors,” it became increasingly clear: Mansoor’s voice will be a powerful instrument of justice for years to come.
Mansoor Adayfi’s 2021 memoir, Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantánamo, transports readers to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to a world in which children and adults are routinely tortured by the United States. Guantánamo Bay has been a naval base in U.S. possession since 1903. Adayfi spent his childhood in the idyllic mountains of Yemen1 with dreams to study in the United Arab Emirates.2 When Adayfi was eighteen years old, he traveled to Afghanistan on a research trip for an important sheik in Yemen who promised him a university reference letter in exchange for his work.3 With the United States offering bounties for Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters, Adayfi was captured and sold by warlords who instructed him to say he was a member of Al-Qaeda, or else the Americans would kill him.4 The Americans, in turn, took a nineteen-year-old Yemeni boy and reinvented the narrative of who he was. They convinced themselves he was an older Egyptian general (“they even believed [the general] had plastic surgery to look young and different, I guess to look like me”) and tortured him for years in search of information he couldn’t possibly possess.5
Colombians need political leadership that responds to the current anger in the streets with effective strategies to tackle the country’s social and fiscal crises, while relying on increased vaccination to defeat the pandemic. But with the radical right and populist left on the rise, expecting this anytime soon is wishful thinking.
While the United States and other advanced economies are returning to normalcy, Colombia reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths to date during the last week of June. Since early May, the country has been recording one COVID-19 death per 100,000 people per day – three times India’s rate.
By Nicole Tirado, Paula Gamboa, Tatiana Valenzuela, Yuliana Aborda, Roxanna Barrera and Diana Carolina Ortiz
Our history teacher says that, in the twenty-first century, citizens do not engage with political parties because what moves them now is the analysis of concepts and narratives that shape them as political subjects—as citizens with voices and rights. This implies awareness and the memory that, in Colombian history, fear has lived with us as another citizen. Part of Colombia’s origin has been violence, and with it comes fear; we know this, as do those who govern us. For this reason, nowadays we’re going through a national strike whose main slogan is fear. Current events are nothing other than the repetition of Colombian history: fear of death, missing people whose mothers mourn their absence, corpses that cannot be identified, and speeches that endorse violence by armed forces, who profess to defend the public good but not the public, not the people of their own country.
Thisarticle was originally published hereon The Atlantic Council’s blog, the New Atlanticist, on March 23, 2021.
The 110th International Women’s Day, celebrated this year, hailed the achievements of women. It encouraged people to raise awareness about gender-based issues and call for further action toward gender parity in a post-COVID-19 world. There is one group of women, however, that has been left behind in these conversations: trans women.
Gender and sexual minorities remain among the most vulnerable groups worldwide, and this is particularly true for trans women. Three hundred and fifty trans and gender-diverse people were murdered globally in 2020, a 6 percent increase from 2019, according to data gathered by Transrespect Versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvT)’s Trans Murder Monitoring project. That continues the trend of year-over-year increases in murders since 2008.Nearly all, or 98 percent, of those murdered were trans women or trans feminine people. Eighty-two percent of all those murders happened in Central and South America. Forty-three percent happened in Brazil alone.
But anti-trans violence is not contained to any single region and often coincides with belonging to another marginalized group. In 2020, 79 percent of the 28 trans people murdered in the United States were people of color, and 50 percent of the 11 trans people murdered in Europe were migrants. As TvT has explained, it is impossible to estimate the number of unreported cases because most countries fail to collect systematic data and authorities, families, and the media often misgender victims. To begin to address the gamut of challenges and threats trans and gender non-conforming people face, countries will have to promote and protect trans rights globally as well as advocate for and support increased trans political representation.
In the headlines: Deforestation in the Amazon increases under Bolsonaro, Ecuador fights illegal mining, Haitians demand President step down over corruption, Italian court sentences 24 to life sentences in Operation Condor trial, and more.