The hysterical womb: pathologising abused mothers

Since time immemorial, women who did not comply with male-prescribed behaviour norms were diagnosed as hysterical on account of their wicked, wandering womb. The prevalent laws punished them in many cruel and degrading ways.

We look back on that history with horror but the modern version is histrionic personality disorder. Although debunked as pseudo science, it is still commonly used in family courts to separate mothers and their children when domestic abuse by fathers has been alleged.

It is a legally-sanctioned injustice that ruins the lives of thousands of children and their mothers and families worldwide.. An example of structural state-sponsored violence against women despite the days of gender equality we are supposed to be living in.

Circles of impunity: why sexual violence by humanitarians and peacekeepers keeps happening

Why does sexual exploitation and abuse continue to happen in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations worldwide? What must be done to break the circle of impunity?

What is the point of speaking up?

When confronted by egregious human rights abuses, or war crimes and crimes against humanity including genocide, does speaking up make any difference? Especially if words are not followed by action? There are at least four reasons why it is still crucial to speak out, and how doing so can be effective. Also what matters is the pedestal of the speaker. The higher that is, the greater their responsibility to speak out. Of course,the rhetoric-reality gap is often vast and it is easy to get cynical. But silence or ambivalence kill and destroy much more. So, speak up clearly and loudly to wake up even the dead.