close hide page

Archive for May, 2015

Questions from Uganda stump Newcastle schoolgirls

Many of the questions read out during assembly at Newcastle High School for Girls reflected the everyday concerns of teenagers: career ambitions, family, the weather.

Others, less so: HIV infection, rape and how to avoid being forced into marriage before the end of school also came up.

When Hilary French (pictured, centre left), headteacher of the Newcastle upon Tyne independent school, was invited to accompany representatives from the girls’rights charity Plan UK on a trip to Uganda, she asked her pupils to compile a list of questions for their Ugandan counterparts.

“They wrote the kinds of questions you’d expect secondary school girls here to ask,” Mrs French said. “What do you like reading? What subjects do you like at school? What’s your favourite food? Do you go to the cinema? What do you want to be?” She took the questions with her during her  visit to a girls’ school in Kamuli, a rural area of Uganda. And, along with the answers, she returned to Newcastle with a list of reciprocal questions from the Ugandan teenagers.

Some of the questions were exactly what the Newcastle pupils might have expected: “What’s the weather like in your country?” and “Is your country as beautiful as ours?” And then there were others. “My parents want me to get married, and I’m only 13,” one Ugandan girl wrote. “What do you think I should do?”

Read More:

Woman’s fight against genital mutilation, honor killing gets big boost from #Google boss

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an internationally known women’s rights advocate and a best-selling author, but now she has some Silicon Valley muscle behind her in her battle to end two of radical Islam’s most barbaric practices.

Ali, a Somali-born activist who went on to become a member of the Dutch parliament and now lives in the U.S., won over Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, along with his personal pledge of $100,000, in her fight to put a stop to female genital mutilation and honor killings.

“I don’t see how anyone who believes in the rule of law and the rights of women could do anything other than support efforts to end female-genital mutilation, forced marriage and honor-killings — practices that have no place in the 21st century,” Schmidt told Ali after the two met at a recent conference.

Ali, whose courageous fight against radical Islam and the toll it takes on women has earned her a spot on Al Qaeda’s hit list and gotten her disinvited to a Brandeis University ceremony in which she was to have received an honorary degree, said Schmidt’s backing is a huge boost to her AHA Foundation.

“I feel massive gratitude,” Ali told Fox News. “I find him to be incredibly brave when so few people, especially in his league, make this choice. I think he has a very sound understanding of the creed of liberalism.”

Read More:


Police are investigating dozens of suspected #forcedmarriages in Australia… and almost all of them involve girls younger than 18 – and one who is just NINE

The Australian Federal Police are investigating the allegations, adding to the other 33 other cases they are looking into across the country since forced marriages were criminalised in 2013. In the past 12 months, a total of 28 referrals have been received by AFP and 21 have been further investigated, according to a statement provided to Daily Mail Australia.

Out of the 42 reports police had received from the community about suspected cases of forced marriages, they had whittled them down to 34 to pursue further.

Almost 30 of the cases had been involved a child under 18 years of age.

An AFP spokeswoman confirmed officers were looking into the suspected case of the nine-year-old but no more information could be provided as investigations were ongoing.

Read more:
Follow us: @halo_project