The stories of women from diverse communities told through features, investigations and in-depth pieces.

“An experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy…” Lebanon’s prisons: yet another space for the torture of women

Many women’s crimes are simply the result of the general state of violence in laws and communities that are used against them and the stereotypical distribution of gender roles. This all leads to even more torture in terms of the lack of services, delayed trials, and indefinitely denying women access to their most basic rights, as if they are just another unimportant issue on a long list of unimportant issues.

The women of Tarantism: possessed, healers, musicians...

Until a few decades ago, in Salento, “Italy’s heel”, it was believed that the sting of a poisonous spider induced states of possession that could be cured with a ritual of choregraphic and musical exorcism. The phenomenon mainly concerned women, who, oppressed by a patriarchal and authoritarian society, could vent privations and repressed suffering through catharsis.

Wartime rape: a millennial shame

Sexual violence in times of war is an “ancient and habitual evil”, wrote Saint Augustine after the sack of Rome in 410 AD. Numerous studies confirm that abuses and kidnappings were already widespread among Neolithic tribes. Over the centuries, the atrocities committed by the armies have maintained the same ferocity. Today, their dissemination still reveals an identical brutality.

“The art of marriage” or the veiled rape practiced against tribal women in Syria and Iraq

To this day, tribes impose patriarchal authority on their communities, specifically women, treating girls as nothing more than assets of the tribe. The tribal female then simultaneously becomes the so-called “honor” and “commodity” under different names used to describe what is essentially the same type of marriage: forced marriage, followed by rape.

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