Half the Sky- Premiere tonight on PBS

2012’s most inspirational film airs on PBS: Mon. & Tues. 9/8pm C. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression to Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide premieres tonight at 9/8pm CT. on Independent Lens | PBS!

Please share, and invite your friends to join you tonight!

Real men



For Afghan Girl, Going To School Is Act Of Bravery

Afghan girls walk home from school in Kunduz province earlier this year. Despite progress in recent years, girls who want an education face threats from the Taliban and other extremists, and sometimes even their own families.

Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty ImagesAfghan girls walk home from school in Kunduz province earlier this year. Despite progress in recent years, girls who want an education face threats from the Taliban and other extremists, and sometimes even their own families.

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September 3, 2012

In Afghanistan, girls are required by law to go to school. However, many of them never do.

Death threats, acid attacks and bombings by Taliban militants and other extremists lead many parents who support female education to keep their daughters at home.

Sometimes, it’s the families themselves who stand in the way. School officials in conservative communities say relatives are often more interested in marrying off their daughters or sisters than in helping them get an education.

If it wasn’t a sin to commit suicide, I would. Life has become very bitter.

– Rahmaniya, an 18-year-old Afghan girl whose brother says he will kill her for attending school

But some girls, like 18-year-old Rahmaniya, are fighting back.

The 10th-grader in the southern city of Kandahar province says the moments she savors most in her life are those she spends learning.

Rahmaniya, whose last name is being withheld to protect her, says she didn’t dare go to school until her father passed away five years ago. He had vowed to disown her if she tried to get an education.

These days, the slight girl with big brown eyes dreams of going to college to study journalism.

But she adds that it’s hard to think about the future when her older brother keeps threatening to stab her to death with a knife he carries in his pocket.

“Several times he has beaten me up,” she says. “He tells me, ‘You go ahead and go to school, and I’ll throw acid on you like the Taliban. I’ll go to the Taliban, and they’ll protect me if I do this in this land of infidels where girls go to school.’ ”

Driven Into Hiding

Rahmaniya believes her brother’s anger is rooted in jealousy, since he quit school a long time ago.

Her family, like many in Kandahar, is also struggling to make ends meet, and the teen says her brother wants her to marry. In Afghanistan, dowries bring in a lot of cash for the bride’s family.

“But I don’t want to get married, at least not before I finish my studies,” Rahmaniya says.

Her brother’s insistence that she wed is something Rahmaniya says she uses against him.

She explains that when he threatens to blind or maim her, she reminds him that disfiguring her will make it impossible to find a husband.

Still, the threats and beatings have driven Rahmaniya into hiding. She moves every few days from one sympathetic relative’s house to another to avoid being found by her brother.

Societal Taboos, Taliban

Last week, her mother agreed to help plan her daughter’s escape to a women’s shelter in Kabul so she could continue her studies in safety.

The plan fell apart when Rahmaniya’s mother caved in to family pressure that her daughter marry a relative.

The mother says the man will allow Rahmaniya to attend school after they wed. But her daughter believes that’s a lie and refuses to marry the relative.

Saying she feels trapped, Rahmaniya begins to cry.

“If it wasn’t a sin to commit suicide, I would,” she says. “Life has become very bitter.”

Ehsanullah Ehsan, who is director of the Kandahar Institute of Modern Studies, where some 800 girls go to school, says Rahmaniya’s case is not unique. He adds that societal taboos are oftentimes as problematic for his students as the Taliban.

“There are many other threats … extremist threats, warlord threats, tribal lord threats, family honor threats, because still there are families in which education is an honor problem. So these women who are coming here, they are brave to come here for an education,” he says.

Ehsan says that bravery has translated into a brighter future for many young women; 300 of his graduates have gotten jobs in Kandahar.

But Rahmaniya says she doesn’t want to stay in Afghanistan.

She says she yearns to go abroad, but that she’s found no one who can help her.

This Impossibly Badass Prosecutor and ‘Rape Kit’ Advocate Is Our New Hero

AUG 28, 2012 11:00 AM28,186 81

This Impossibly Badass Prosecutor and ‘Rape Kit’ Advocate Is Our New Hero

Plagued by rape fatigue? Meet Detroit prosecutor Kym Worthy, the woman who’s been leading the charge to sort through more than 11,000 untested police “rape kits” since 2009. Worthy is hellbent on getting the kits, which contain evidence of rape such as semen and saliva, logged, tested, and entered into the national DNA database — and, if it wasn’t for her dedication, the women whose kits have been ignored for years would have no support at all.

You’d think that everyone could agree that prosecuting serial rapists should be a priority, but Worthy’s had to fight hard over the past few years, not only to get funding to test the kits but to get the police department to care about them in the first place. She was instantly outraged when she heard that there were thousands of untouched kits languishing in a dusty police warehouse, but the police chief didn’t take action until someone in his department leaked the news to the press. “No one really paid attention to what I was saying and yelling about ’til about four months in,” she told The Daily Beast‘s Abigail Pesta. Finally, the public took notice, and Worthy’s team received a $1 million federal grant to start testing the kits.

Worthy’s colleagues “literally had to dust [the kits] off” and “physically go through and open them to get the name of the victim, the date that it happened,” she said. But, as expected, it was more than worth the hard work: the team identified twenty serial rapists — meaning they had been involved in at least one other rape case — from the first 153 kits tested this summer, and found DNA matches for another 38 suspects. Unfortunately, the DNA matching is only the beginning; all the cases still need to be re-investigated (or, too often, investigated for the first time), old-school detective style. But hopefully the work they’ve accomplished will lead to more money — Worthy says she only has funds for about 1,600 of the 11,303 rape kits — and more attention from police. Here’s just one example that proves the testing of kits is crucial:

In one especially horrific case, Worthy says, a convicted rapist named Shelly Andre Brooks had raped and murdered five women after raping a woman whose kit was just recently entered into the database through Worthy’s initiative. If that rape kit had been tested and entered into the database sooner, the man could have been caught sooner-and five women’s lives could have been saved. “That’s why it’s so horrible, this whole thing,” she says.

Here are some other fun facts about the anti-rape superhero, who deserves a zillion awards and a major motion picture based on her life: she’s a single mother of three, the first African-American and first woman to be Wayne County prosecutor, and famous for indicting former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in 2008.

A not-as-fun fact: Worthy was raped thirty years ago, while jogging around her law-school apartment complex. She didn’t report the rape. Now, she wants to help those who do, and develop a blueprint for cities across the country to follow in her footsteps.

Rapists, Beware: Detroit Prosecutor IDs 21 Attackers in ‘Rape Kit’ Probe [The Daily Beast]

Light Gives Heat- Creating Work…Empowering Women

The 3rd Annual ‘Online’  Warehouse Sale – LGH’s Biggest Sale of the year is today only! Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

3rd Annual Online ‘Warehouse’ Sale


For 24 hours the LGH store is completely revamped! Comb through the entire store to see over 75 products at least 50% off and over 40 Products as low as $2, $3, $5, & $7!!! (+ FREE SHIPPING on ALL orders over $25.00)

As we prepare to launch our Late-Fall/ Early Winter Collection, we need to make room! Even with such low prices,  Your purchase goes directly toward offering incomes in Uganda.


No Codes Necessary. Prices as marked. (Due to the nature of our limited edition handmade products, many of the products will run out and will not be restocked) Also note: During the Sale, there will be no returns allowed unless product is defective or is mis-represented online.  for questions please call 970-242-1958 or write info@lightgivesheat.org

I do not Like it Mr. Akin

rule of a lady

Photo: You're the heroine.  You do it everyday...

Women’s rights are human rights.



August 18 2012 March on D.C. For More Info See:http://www.wearewoman.us/ To Coordinate With Others See Our State Forums: http://bit.ly/stateforums

Organizing women across the United States to march on Washington, D.C. on August 18th, 2012

Mission Statement

Our mission is to bring national attention to the ongoing war on women’s rights being fought by conservative representatives in federal and state legislatures throughout the country. We believe that women have the right to control their own bodies, make their own decisions about healthcare, receive equal pay for equal work, and be treated with respect by the men and women who represent them in their own state houses and in Washington. Women are not a special interest group seeking special privileges; we comprise 50% of the population, and we are citizens deserving of the same freedoms and protections awarded to our male counterparts. We Are Woman supports the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and the restoration of all the rights that have been limited or destroyed by governors and other legislators across the nation. It is our goal to bring thousands of men and women together at the Capitol on August 18th, 2012, to tell our politicians, “No more!” We are strong, powerful, loving and brave. We are America. We Are Woman.


We are a group of people from different backgrounds and different locations in the country who are joined together in a common cause. We no longer want to sit quietly as decisions are made that affect our lives and bodies without our say or consent. We want to be seen and heard. We will be taking this time to research and reach out as effectively as possible; doing all that we can to ensure out march is well organized and successful. If you would like to sign up to help us in this effort please send an email to: Volunteer@wearewoman.us and we will contact you shortly.

General Information
Do you need to coordinate rooms or rides to the August 18th We Are Woman march on Washington? We just set up state forums as a tool for you to use. Click Here > http://bit.ly/stateforums

We are marching for Rights affecting:
Our bodies
Our health

Our families
Our livelihood
Our future
Women’s rights are human rights.

Our Goals and Inspirations
Erin Nanasi of Mad Mike’s America helped to craft the following:

Since November of 2010, over 1,100 pieces of legislation have been introduced that have nothing to do with jobs or the economy or solving any real problems in America. These 1,100 pieces of legislation are all about one thing: ending women’s rights as we know them.

Birth control, health care, the right to choose, attaching stigmas to single mothers, reducing or eliminating WIC, SNAP and Medicaid: All of these have been the focus of the new Congress and State Legislatures. From Missisippi to Michigan, governors have been treating women more like livestock to be regulated than human beings to be respected.

We Are Woman is inspired by those 1,100 pieces of legislation. We are inspired by plans for the National Women’s History Museum. We are inspired by the hundreds of emails we receive every day, joining with others all over the country to stand shoulder to shoulder and shout, “NO MORE”. We are inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft, Abigail Adams, Phyllis Wheatley, Margaret Fuller, Sojourner Truth, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Blackwell, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Sarah Winnemucca, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ida B. Wells, Jane Addams, Mary McLeod Bethune, Carrie Chapman Catt, Margaret Sanger, Inez Milholland, Alice Paul, Frances Perkins, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Chase Smith, Rosa Parks, Betty Friedan, Coretta Scott King, Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisolm, Barbara Jordan, Sandra Day O’Conner, Wilma Mankiller, Geraldine Ferraro, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton. We are moved by the stories of women who fought, often beaten, sometimes killed, for equal rights, voting rights, and the right to protect our own health. We are called to action, complacent no longer.

The goal of We Are Woman is to draw national and worldwide attention to the facts. In just the past two years, we have seen 1,100 pieces of anti-woman legislation, have heard women being called “sluts” and “prostitutes,” have seen birth control attacked, Roe v Wade threatened, and the rise of personhood laws that criminalize miscarriages and demonize women. The facts are clear: This is a war on women, and we will fight back. We Are Woman is firm in our resolve and committed to a non violent protest and march on Washington, DC. In order to be heard, we need not be violent and we must not be destructive; we will be more effective if we are the polar opposite of the new Congress and State Legislatures.

Message from Erin Nanasi
Posted Monday 2-20-12

Last week, I made a video for Mad Mike’s America called “We are Warriors.” I named it that in reference to Liz Trotta’s incredibly ignorant and hateful comments on Fox about women being raped in the military, and her accusing feminists of wanting to be warriors and victims at the same time. I read from a script I wrote, because when I’m really angry, it’s hard to just shoot from the hip, so to speak.

When I was writing the script, an idea popped into my head. Why not march on Washington DC? Why not show these misogynists and Dominionists and haters of women exactly what warriors we really are? The Suffragette Movement changed America, the Equal Rights Movement changed America, why can’t this generation change America? Why not? So, in the video, I call people, all people, not just women, to march on Washington. I posted the video, Mad Mike approved it, and I went to sleep.

When I woke up the next morning, I realized what I had done. I had pretty much just begun organizing a march on Washington DC. So, I named it, combining the We Are Legion idea with the Helen Reddy anthem “I Am Woman.” I emailed my husband as soon as I had a date; he responded gleefully with “ROAD TRIP!” Today, I created The We Are Woman March on Washington DC, April 28th, 2012 Facebook page. My dear friend and fellow writer/activist/snark master, Lee Golden (he is Golden in so many ways) immediately volunteered as an admin, we posted a few photos, details and writings, and have at last count, 8 likes. I expect that number to rise (hint, hint).

See Erin’s video “We Are Warriors”

Not A Feminist? Caitlin Moran Asks, Why Not?

“What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man that you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Vogue by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that stuff just get on your nerves?”

-Caitlin Moran -How to be a Woman