A long, strange trip led me to India’s factories, camera in hand.
It started with a photograph Lewis Hine took in a garment factory in New York some 90 years ago. It was of an eight-year-old boy in front of an industrial sewing machine, back when child labor was legal in the U.S. There were beads of sweat on his forehead and above his lips. His eyes were big and wide. He was bent over like an old factory worker. His sallow skin hung from his bones. The image was both disconcerting and, oddly enough, hopeful. It compelled me to see for myself what conditions are like today in a place where a lot of kids are still working in factories. I headed to Asia and Southeast Asia to document what I found.
Soviet domination meant Islamic religious zeal was suppressed in Central Asia, even as women advanced educationally and professionally under socialism. Religious revival has not been kind to women and military action is likely to hurt women most.
Ever since moving to Hong Kong, I feel like I’m back in my freshman year of college, when my three roommates and I, crammed into a single room, squabbled about everything from sink space to how to divide up the refrigerator drawers. After growing up in a roomy house in suburban New York, the tight quarters got on my nerves. We tried to avoid each other by carving up the space with Chinese screens and scrappy curtains. But in the end, we still fought and went our separate ways.
by Amy Wu
Editor’s Note: The following is a commentary. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily the views of Women’s Enews or NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.
In forging an anti-terrorism alliance with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the United States has sided with three nations that may not be as brutal as the Taliban in Afghanistan but which routinely violate the human rights of women.
Imagine a country where a woman who is raped must produce four witnesses to the crime or else be locked up in jail as an adulteress.
There was a time during my one-year stint in Mongolia’s capital city when I would return home to my apartment and find my freezer unplugged, the door wide open and a bloody hunk of meat thawing messily inside.
This happened several days in a row. Each time, I would throw out the food that had been spoiled by dripping red goo, shut the door and plug it back in. The next day, it was the same thing — wide open door, bloody dripping meat.