Tag Archives: international

Yorm Bopha

by Daniel Mattes, ’12

Daniel has been working since September 2012 as a monitor of the international tribunal for crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

I had no work at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal yesterday and I decided to join my friend who works for ADHOC — one of the largest and most active domestic human rights NGOs in the country — at the Cambodian Supreme Court for the bail hearing of a land rights activist and political prisoner named Yorm Bopha. She is a member of the activist Boeung Kak community. Boeung Kak was a beautiful lake within the city of Phnom Penh that was filled in with sand after the land was sold to Shukaku Inc., a Cambodian-Chinese corp owned by a ruling party senator in 2007. It is now a desert, and no construction has taken place because the owners are waiting for the land values to rise before ‘developing’ it. The people who had lived on the lake and fished it for their business and sustenance began an immediate movement for reparation, but they were later evicted from the edge of the lake. This has evolved into a very active and rather well-known activist movement led mostly by women. Most recently, in Spring 2012, 13 Boeung Kak women were violently arrested. One of these women, Tep Vanny, is going to Washington DC to receive a human rights defender award from Hillary Clinton on 5 April from the Vital Voices Foundation — founded by Clinton when she was still First Lady — so they have received a good amount of international attention. Tep Vanny is also traveling in Europe now to promote this documentary, the trailer of which I suggest you watch if you want more information on Boeung Kak.

However, the case of Yorm Bopha remains. Continue reading

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On Global Womanhood

by Lan Anh Le, ’15

hairIn Afghanistan, a new Internet café for women will have its opening in honor of International Women’s Day. Young Women for Change, the NGO that is hosting the event, aims to make the café a space that will help Afghan women communicate and connect. In Sierra Leone and Uganda, female soccer players gather to celebrate of this year’s International Women’s Day, at two events that aim to raise awareness of issues related to gender equality and women’s empowerment in sports. In Ireland, a public reading of short stories featuring women from James Joyce’s Dubliners, sponsored by UN Women, is held in celebration of International Women’s Day.

All around the world on March 8, International Women’s Day is being celebrated in various different forms, from large festivals with booming music and colorful flowers, to marches that involve big banners and megaphones, to dance performances, to public events and conferences. Continue reading

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Will 2013 Be a Banner Year For Gender Equality Around the World?

by Jessica Pham, ’13

This piece was originally posted on PolicyMic.

At the end of January, as Hillary Clinton prepared to leave her position as U.S. Secretary of State, she emphasized how crucial expanding women’s rights and equality would be to current and future U.S. foreign policy. The need to focus on gender equality was not only a moral obligation, she explained, but important for international security and stability:

“[I]t’s not a coincidence that virtually every country that threatens regional and global peace is a place where human rights are in peril or the rule of law is weak. More specifically, places where women and girls are treated as second-class, marginal human beings. Just ask young Malala from Pakistan. Ask the women of northern Mali who live in fear and can no longer go to school. Ask the women of the Eastern Congo who endure rape as a weapon of war … [T]he jury is in, the evidence is absolutely indisputable: If women and girls everywhere were treated as equal to men in rights, dignity, and opportunity, we would see political and economic progress everywhere. Continue reading

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Kambale Musavuli Comes to Campus

by Jeff Mandell, ’13

kambale-musavuli

At Stanford STAND, the student coalition against genocide and mass atrocities, one of the major challenges we face is staying informed about all of the conflicts we cover. Currently, we do educational events, advocacy, fundraising, and other activism related to Syria, Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan. It’s definitely not easy for a full-time student to keep up with the news in all of these countries, let alone acquire and maintain the level of knowledge needed for truly informed activism. When you consider that most of us have never been to any of these countries and have little awareness of their varied cultures, you might wonder if it’s even possible for us to be informed.

The answer I’ve come up with after being involved in STAND for four years is that while we may never know as much as we should, we can still do good work as long as we are always trying to learn more. Continue reading

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Why is Big Money Invading My Activism?

by Jared Naimark, ’14


About two weeks ago, two events I attended brought me out of my usual comfort zone and had me interacting with Silicon Valley’s über rich philanthropists.  I ended the weekend with lots of thoughts swirling around in my head, but didn’t have time to get them into any cohesive format until now.  So here goes.

On Friday, September 28th, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the San Francisco Freedom Forum along with five other members of human rights group, Stanford STAND.  I had been personally freaking out about this conference all summer, because human rights icon and Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would be speaking there as part of her first U.S. visit in over 20 years.  So that Friday I ditched the activities fair, forsook my shorts and flip-flops combo, shaved my beard, and put on a suit.  I hate dressing up – but I had to look good, right?

Anyways, we had no idea what was going to happen at this conference, other than that we were really lucky to get a seat through connections with Stanford professors. Continue reading

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Burma Storytelling

Dinner, Music, and Spoken Word Performances in Honor of the Burmese Liberation Movement

Thursday, February 9th
6-8:00pm
Toyon Lounge

Stanford STAND is hosting a storytelling event that spotlights unheard perspectives on the regime’s oppression and people’s liberation movement. Stanford Storytelling Project and Stanford Spoken Word Collective will perform testimonies by Burmese refugees, compiled in Voice of Witness‘s book, Nowhere to Be Home: Stories of Survivors of Burma’s Military Regime.We will also hear from Burmese Stanford students and Myra Dahgaypaw, Campaigns Coordinator for U.S. Campaign for Burma. Join us for an evening of Burmese stories, music, dance, and dinner!

Homemade Burmese food will be served!  Continue reading

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