By: Selam Abdella
The Girls of Meru premiered on September 16th 2018 at the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival. In this film, Andrea Dorfman, director of the Emmy nominated film Flawed, shifts her lens to document the Equality Effect’s campaign on the 160 Girls Project— a legal initiative that aimed to achieve justice and protect against rape for girls in Kenya. This is issue amplified by barriers such as the lack of representation in international organizations and the deeply ingrained sense of outsiders’ hopelessness about Africa.
On the 23rd of February 2018, WHOI, held a live show called Anarcha’s Legacy as part of Black History Month. The purpose of the event was to draw to attention to obstetric fistula, by honouring and telling the story of Anarcha, an enslaved black woman from the 19th century who was forced to endure medical experiments by a surgeon named Dr. Marion Sims who endeavoured to perfect a surgical technique used to treat obstetric fistula.
updates from popular culture: weinstein, trump and violence against women (international day for the elimination of violence against women)
Last week on December 9th 2017, as part of the United Nations 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, WHOI collaborated with the Global Health Office, Dalhousie University, to put on a panel discussion about violence against women. The annual 16 Days campaign kicked off on November 25th—the International Day to End Violence Against Women and ran until December 10th, Human Rights Day. Dalhousie's 16 Days campaign theme for this year was: SOLIDARITY NOT SILENCE. Speakers included WHOI founder, Habiba Cooper Diallo, Bintou Kaira, Yolanda Roberts, and Zaahirah Qazi. Each speaker addressed a different aspect of violence against women such as: the rapes of women on their way to or from work in the early hours of the morning, the sexualization and extreme degradation of women in music videos like Blurred Lines, and the dismissal of black women's claims of sexual violence.
An innovative young adult ficitonal book about fistula which follows the protagonist, Yeshialem, on an epic journey across the Sahara as she learns more about the condition.
WHOI is delighted to welcome Maggie and Mariam from Canada World Youth (CWY) to our programs. Over the next few months, the two volunteers will be doing a work placement at WHOI around their program theme in health before going to Abiriw, Ghana to continue their volunteer work. During their placement at WHOI they will undertake research pertaining to Black women’s access to health services in the Maritimes (eastern Canada) with a specific focus on Nova Scotia. They will also support our Fistula and Empowerment Program (FEP) and help with administrative activities. Welcome to the WHOI family Maggie and Mariam!
We are happy to announce that our Fistula and Empowerment Program (FEP) is back in session. The program was very successful in its pilot stage (April to June 2014). Participants meet on a weekly basis to educate themselves and build awareness about obstetric fistula (a devastating childbirth injury) as well as to self-empower by addressing issues of sexual health, race, and political issues affecting women and girls.
FEP is off to a fresh start and we have an exciting line-up of guest speakers in addition to a host of new activities specifically designed to increase participant engagement, and community involvement in our programs around obstetric fistula and women’s health.
Stay tuned because there’s lots to come!
Late last month the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) Campaign to End Fistula published an article written by our founder, Habiba Cooper Diallo, on her journey to build awareness about fistula. Join WHOI in our effort to eradicate fistula.
Click here to read the article!
WHOI is off to an exciting new year with the launch of the Fistula and Empowerment Program (FEP). FEP, which began on April 10th 2014, is comprised of young women from the Halifax area who meet weekly to partake in obstetric fistula education and to self-empower through discussion, film, workshops, and other activities that address health and social concerns such as mental and sexual health, shadeism, the use of misogynistic language in schools, and issues of cultural displacement and a sense of belonging in Canadian society.
The innovative weekly sessions are participant-led and incorporate audiovisual media, guest speakers, and activities such as spoken word as way to explore several avenues of self-empowerment.
So, stay tuned for more news on FEP!