To accompany The DiA Blog’s recent interview with the Tamil poet, we are pleased to reprint two of her poems, with the kind permission of OR Books. Breathing was the first of Salma’s poems to be published in a local magazine, when she was still in captivity at the age of 16. Contract is the work of a more mature woman, and tells of the strain, inequality and compromise of married relationships. Continue reading »
Like every other woman in her village in Tamil Nadu, at the first sign of puberty Rajathi Salma was confined within the four walls of her family home. Deprived of any further education or social contacts, she began to write. After 25 years of isolation, a twist of political fate saw her elected to lead her local panchayat (village council). This was followed by four years as the head of the state’s Social Welfare Board. Today she is considered one of the most outspoken women poets in India.
Following on from our review of Kim Longinotto’s documentary, Salma, at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Blog Editor Louisa Jones talked to this inspirational woman about the challenges of talking openly in a conservative society.
Politics might have kept the Democratic Republic of Congo’s civil war off the global agenda for more than a decade, but the scale of the violence calls for decisive action on multiple fronts, says Sabrina Marsh.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – located in central Africa – has suffered from a crippling civil war since 1998. Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, fighting continues, hindering any progress in the embattled country. The violence has resulted in the deaths of around 5.4 million people, making it the world’s deadliest documented conflict since World War II. The prevalence of rape and other sexual violence is described as the worst in the world, with 15,996 new instances recorded by the United Nations across the nation in 2008 alone, of which 65% of the victims were children.
Yet, despite its incredible scale – and its destabilising effect across the entire region – the conflict in DRC has been largely ignored by the global media and ranks low on international government agendas. So why has the ‘African world war’ gone unnoticed? Continue reading »
We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead at The DiA Blog with the arrival of our new Blog Editors, Louisa Jones and Richard Moran.
As well as our usual roster of guest posts we plan to organise a number of mini-series showing differing viewpoints on topics in international development. Continue reading »
DiA blogger Joe Corry-Roake comments on the dangers of volontourism.
As a new academic year starts there will be a wave of people beginning their gap years. For some it will be a chance to go on holiday, while others see it as an opportunity to gain skills which they are increasingly being told are integral to give them a chance in an ever more globalised, and therefore competitive, world. Many of them think volunteering in a developing country will help them also do good at the same time. Continue reading »