• Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty

    Armenia

    Mrs. Clooney vs. Genocide Deniers

    Can the celebrity human-rights lawyer buck the tide and get recognition of the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians?

    LONDON — This time Amal Clooney is taking on one of the greatest war crimes of the 20th century.

    The star human-rights lawyer is appearing at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, this week in the name of the victims of the Armenian genocide, a slaughter that saw some 1.5 million people murdered 100 years ago.

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  • Reuter

    MIRACLE WORKER

    Iran’s ‘Virginity’ Suppositories

    In a culture where women who do not bleed on their wedding night may pay with their lives, there’s a creative way to fool the groom.

    By Mahrokh Gholamhosseinpour

    When I was growing up in southern Iran, there were many dark and painful stories about young women and girls whose loss—or whose alleged loss—of virginity effectively became a death sentence.

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  • Thousands gather to protest the ISIS militants' persecution of Kurdish people in the Syrian town of Kobani. (Peter Maclaine/Newscom)

    Holdouts

    The Girls Training To Fight ISIS

    The refugee camps in Turkey are prime recruiting grounds for the defenders of Kobani—when Ankara permits.

    SURUÇ, Turkey — Jalilia Shikho, 50, has been living in a plastic-sheet tent camp next to a warehouse here close to the Syrian border for four months. When she fled a village near the besieged town of Kobani with her family, her 16-year-old daughter stayed behind to fight. The two were briefly reunited in December after her daughter was brought to Turkey to recover in a Kurdish-run municipal hospital after being wounded in the hand and leg.  But after the girl’s clandestine treatment and a brief stay with her mother in the camp, Shikho’s daughter decided to return to the front.   

    “Girls should go to school, but in Kobani they have to take up arms,” says Shikho with a mix of anxiety for her daughter’s safety and pride in her sense of responsibility to her community. Shikho has had no contact with her daughter since she returned to fighting and has no idea if she is even still alive. While the mother is clearly distraught by the threat to her child’s life, she was unwilling to stand in her daughter’s way in such desperate circumstances.

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  • ayaan hirsi ali reacts to charlie hebdo murders
    John Van Hasselt/Corbis

    SOLIDARITE

    Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive

    The author of ‘Infidel’ on the Paris massacre, memories of Theo Van Gogh, and why the Western media should reprint the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

    God, I thought yesterday, how could this possibly happen? Charlie Hebdo is not new to this. They had reprinted the cartoons of Muhammad from 2006. They were under police protection for a good long time. They moved from their offices to new offices. So my first thought was, how could this even happen? How could the entire staff of Charlie Hebdo be gone—murdered in cold blood?

    And then came the memories. In Holland, when my friend Theo Van Gogh was killed just over 10 years ago, what followed—after the initial shock—was that a lot of people started saying that he was a provocateur, and that he had offended Muslims. For me, it was morally very clear. You were morally very confused if you thought that somebody who uses speech, who uses words, who uses the pen, should be killed for that; if you thought that the only way to have a dialogue is for one side to use words while the other side uses violence to make their point. Everyone out there who says, “Charlie Hebdo provoked,” is making the same fundamental error.

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  • Thanassis Stavrakis/Pool/Getty

    Hanging Judges

    Amal Clooney vs. Egypt’s Courts

    Cairo should have listened to Amal Clooney last year when she recommended judicial reforms. Now she’s representing a jailed Al Jazeera journalist. Things could get ugly.

    PARIS—When Amal Clooney was still known as Amal Alamuddin, and her fame was limited mainly to matters of international law and human rights, she put together a report on Egypt’s brutally politicized judiciary that recommended major changes in the way it operated.

    The document, published last February by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (PDF), was cool and analytical, and, as a result, all the more damning.

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  • Photo Illustration by Emil Lendof/The Daily Beast

    Business Leads

    The Women Battling an Islamist Strongman

    As Turkey’s president restricts free speech and ignores domestic violence, the country’s businesswomen are pushing back.

    ISTANBUL—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision last week to arrest the editor in chief of an opposition newspaper is the latest crack in this country’s image as a modern, Westernized country. But it’s not the only sign of an erosion of rights.

    Turkey has had more than a decade of economic boom, and is now the sixth-most-visited tourist destination in the world. Yet, beyond the glittering skyscrapers and nightclubs, persistent questions remain over human-rights abuses and, in particular, the country’s increasingly unequal treatment of women.

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  • Spencer Platt/Getty

    Sister Act

    The Vatican’s Rare Nod to Nuns

    The Catholic Church released its final report on its investigation into ‘feminist’ American nuns—and it took a softer stance toward the sisters.

    VATICAN CITY—Six years ago Pope Benedict XVI aimed to curb “a certain feminist spirit” and “secularist mentality” that the Church fathers discerned, to their dismay, in the ranks of American nuns. On Tuesday, when the Vatican under Pope Francis delivered its final report on the subject, those concerns were nowhere to be found.

    The report was the fruit of an investigation into 341 American congregations guided by Mother Superior Marie Clare Millea, a matronly sister who became tearful at times, in front of a packed pressroom, while describing how she went about collecting her data.  Only the cloistered convents were excluded, and not all of the religious orders complied with the visitors’ requests and questionnaires, though Millea was unable to recall just how many or what percentage of American nuns refused to cooperate.  

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  • AP Photo

    Cooties!

    9/11 Mastermind Is Afraid of the Ladies

    The accused mass murderer has a rather, um, unusual life in captivity—from the body scanners to the anti-sniper netting to the demands that female guards stay far, far away.

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE—On days when self-described 9/11 attacks mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed appears before the war court, he is removed from his cell at the detention facility here and moved swiftly into an area designated Area of Operations Patriot. 

    Inside AO Patriot is the so-called Expeditionary Legal Complex and a $3 million courtroom, where pre-trial proceedings for KSM and his co-conspirators have been taking place since 2011. KSM enters the complex through a “Sally Port,” a series of gates designed to allow just one vehicle in at a time. Barbed wire is ubiquitous. The vehicle containing him pulls up alongside five reinforced trailers, holding cells for each of the five charged with conspiring to perpetrate the 2001 attacks. 

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  • Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

    Risking Everything

    Meet the Women Kicking ISIS’s Ass

    It’s not enough for some Kurdish mothers to send their sons off to war against Islamic State. Their daughters are going, too.

    SULIMANIYA, Iraq—Every morning when veteran fighter Lt. Col. Nasreen Hamlawa walks into her office, the first thing she sees is her daughter’s martyr poster. Snapped on the front lines outside Kirkuk just days before she was killed, Rangin Hamlawa, 26, dressed in classic beige peshmerga fatigues and holding a sniper rifle, stares hard into the camera.

    “I’m glad my daughter died for a cause,” Hamlawa said calmly, referring to the duty of the peshmergas (described as a “regional guard force” in the Iraqi constitution) to defend Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. “It’s a cause, beliefs that I share,” she said, “and now all I want is to return to the battlefield to continue that work.”

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  • Facebook

    BIG EYES

    Russia’s Creepy Child-Model Circuit

    When a mother puts stunning pictures of her little girl up on social media, she may make her a star. But she’ll also attract the human refuse of the Web.

    MOSCOW — Do you know any children with 2,500,000 “likes” on their Facebook pages? A nine-year-old Russian girl living in Moscow, Kristina Pimenova, just topped that number.

    She’s probably a very likeable kid, in fact, but the popularity is all about the pictures. One fashion blog named her recently as “the most beautiful girl in the world,” full stop. And while the “beautiful” is evident, especially those penetrating grey-blue eyes, there’s an uncomfortable edge to some of the photographs that blurs the difference between “girl” and “woman.”

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  • Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty

    Face to Face

    Why I Removed the Veil

    One of Saudi Arabia’s preeminent activists, who led the right-to-drive movement, describes her decision to take off the niqab.

    No piece of cloth throughout history has sparked more controversy as the veil. Many Muslim women are forced to wear it daily. The hijab has a spectrum, of course, from its most radical embodiments, the niqab, which covers the entire face, to loose fitting headscarves.

    Saudi Arabia comes come second only to Iran in using the power of the stick (the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice or the religious police) to impose a particular form and color of hejab on all our women. And when I say all our women, I mean all: Saudi and non-Saudi, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

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  • Author and feminist activist Gloria Steinem, left, speaks with actress Eva Longoria in the program segment, "The Face of Feminism" during the Women In The World Texas Forum, presented by Tina Brown Live Media, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. (Robin Jerstad/DA Media for Women in the World)

    WOMEN IN THE WORLD

    Live From Texas: Women in the World!

    Tina Brown’s signature event traveled to Texas to take on the issues important to women around the globe. From Ebola to immigration, from honor killing to the strains of military life, the forum covered it all.

    America’s seventh largest city was the site of the latest meeting of Women in the World. A sold-out crowd of 800 (mostly) women packed the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in San Antonio to take part in the event. “Your hearts are big, your wits are sharp,” Tina Brown told the crowd at day’s end. The event, with Toyota as presenting sponsor, was co-hosted by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, journalist Marie Brenner, Aaronetta Hamilton Pierce, Ambassador Karen Hughes, Sonya Medina Williams, Guillermo Nicolas, Toyota’s Sandra Phillips, City Manager Sheryl Sculley, Gloria Steinem, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor and designer Diane von Furstenberg.

    The program began with a performance by singer, songwriter, activist Omntia Hegazy and percussionist Natalia Perlaza, followed by San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor. #WomeninWorldTX became a trending topic on Twitter just moments after the day began.

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  • Shah Marai/AFP/Getty

    How We Lied To Afghanistan’s Girls

    One reason given for the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was to educate girls. But as the Western military shrinks there, so does the funding for those schools.

    KABUL, Afghanistan — The girls of Afghanistan have been betrayed. When Taliban rule ended almost 13 years ago, international donors rushed in to promise that young women would no longer be denied an education. Western governments spent a decade patting themselves on the back for what they touted as exceptional work supporting schools for the beleaguered girls of Afghanistan. They talked about bringing women out of purdah, literally as well as figuratively, so they could help their families and their country to prosper.

    But the closing of one school after another exposes the hollowness of those promises. In fact, the state of education in Afghanistan is still so shaky that only about half of Afghan girls manage to go to school, and those numbers are set to decline.

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