This week I stumbled across two excellent reports, which I encourage you to check out:

Harmful Traditional Practices and Implementation of the Law on Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan, by UNAMA and OHCHR. It’s quite long but a really comprehensive report on using the law to eliminate violence against women in Afghanistan. For anyone working on these issues or interested in how a legal framework can be used to promote human rights in a concrete way, very much worth reading! This is really my find of the week and I hope to get through this report over the weekend.

Our bodies are still trembling: Haitian women continue to fight against rape, by IJDH, MADRE and CUNY School of Law. I skimmed this one but it’s a helpful update on the situation of gender-based violence against women in Haiti, one year after the earthquake. In the wake of the one-year anniversary, it’s a good read. It also provides some policy recommendations for the future.

Articles and Blog Posts

I discovered and fell in love with the new “Fixes” column in the NYT. Written by David Bornstein,  author of “How to Change the World,”, which I loved, the weekly column explores innovative solutions to social problems. Some of my recent favorites are “A Light in India” about Husk Power, a company using rice husks to provide access to electricity in rural areas.  Also enjoyed “A Plan to Make Homelessness History” and “The Street Level Solution,” both of which describe the important paradigm shift towards a housing-first model.

No helping hand to people perceived at fault, by Andrea Zak. She raises a good question, one which I have pondered too. She asks “But how do we appropriately assign responsibility for poor life outcomes and provide the necessary support to break the cycles of poverty and crime, when we instinctively blame the person stuck in the cycle?” It’s important to realize that we have to get away from blaming the poor for their poverty, and understand the broader systemic challenges that may have put people in such situations.

And now, for something completely unrelated – Why Chinese Mothers are Superior, by Amy Chua (I know, I was surprised too, that this renowned political science scholar had turned to writing about parenting…) But all that aside, a really excellent article on “Asian” parenting. It works, yes, to produce cookie-cutter incredibly talented people, but does it foster unique talents that set people apart from the pack? I’d wager, no. But her methods do seem helpful to instill in children the value of not giving up and working really, really hard.


Illinois Senate votes to abolish death penalty – how exciting!

Haiti, one year later – in pictures.


Social Justice Camp 2011: I’m hoping to attend this “unconference” (my first one!) this weekend and if you are in D.C., you should too! What better way to join with activists, advocates and non-profiteers to honor the legacy of MLK?