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Gender Identity

News > Gender Identity > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10

Haitian Women Demand Role in Rebuilding Their Country

New America Media, News Report, Anthony Advincula, Apr 08, 2010

Almost three months after the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti, women advocates and UN officials are increasingly worried that Haitian women are being sidelined in national relief and reconstruction efforts.

Escaping a Cambodian Brothel: One Young Woman's Story

New America Media, Interview, Andrew Lam, Apr 07, 2010

Editors Note: Human trafficking has become a scourge in Vietnam. It is estimated that each year several thousands of women and children are trafficked from Vietnam to other countries, mainly through Cambodia and China, for commercial sexual exploitation. Some 50 percent of them come from An Giang province in the Mekong Delta. Bong Nguyen managed to escape the brothel where she was captive and return to Vietnam. She is now under the care of Pacific Links, which provides shelter and education to at risks young women in Vietnam. She told her story to NAM editor Andrew Lam. AN GIANG PROVINCE, Vietnam - My name is Bong Nguyen. I am 21 years old. My parents work in the rice fields. We have enough to eat and enough to wear. I have two brothers, one older, one younger. In 2008, I went to Cambodia and ended being stuck there for over one year. I was in school, and after I finished exams, I was browsing on the Internet, and this guy kept trying to chat with me. I didnt know him, but he kept asking to chat, and so we talked. Theres a coffee shop in Cambodia, he said. I could make money over there. At that time, I kept fighting with my mother, and she kicked me out of the house. I was very sad. In the neighborhood, theres a person who wanted to marry me, but I didnt want to get married. My mother said, You better marry him, and I was so sad. So another girl and I, we decided to go to Ha Tien province just for a few days but we planned to come back. But the guy that I met on the Internet called again and said that we should go to Cambodia to work and make money. There was another friend I knew from school, and he just failed his school exams so the three of us we said, Why dont we go? We went by motorcycle taxi, and we went to this mans house and two men and a woman showed up and they ended up taking us via country roads through rice fields [to avoid the police] and soon we were in Cambodia without papers. When we got to this house where this man was supposed to be, he wasnt there. He was in Malaysia. But his sister was there, running the place, and she kept me and my friends there. They were also Vietnamese. They asked where we were from and we told them. The woman said shed buy me new clothes, and we were there for a month. I didnt know anything about getting paid. I wasnt thinking about money at that point. I soon realized the place was a way station for trafficking. It was a place that sold girls overseas. It was also selling lots of drugs. The white powder kind and the kind that you inject. I saw several girls who came and went. The woman was providing them drugs as well. She was waiting for more girls to show up to ship us to Malaysia. She collected money from the girls who were working, and she sold white drugs to them to smoke. She called me her girl. She told me she also owned brothels in Thailand and Malaysia. The boy I came to Cambodia with ended up smoking the white powder. I dont know what happened to him. The drugs were to keep the girls in line. It was a big operation, and there were quite a few people running the operation, but I met only four to five of them. At first I wanted to escape but couldnt. I didnt want to know what happened if I were caught, so I didnt really try. But I begged: Let us go home. We still have to go to school. And the woman there said, You wont do well in school. And you have no money. She said she was preparing a fake passport for me to go to Malaysia. But I was really lucky. One of the drug buyers was a boyfriend of the womans adopted daughter- she was selling herself at 13 but somehow was adopted by this woman and that guy was kicked out of the place for smoking drugs on the balcony. There was a big argument, and he said, After I leave, in three days this place will be raided. The next day the police came and they took everybody. I ended up in a shelter in Phnom Penh for over a year. They wouldnt let me go home because I didnt have any papers. Someone who knew about my situation back in Vietnam contacted my family, and eventually I was sent home. I was told that the woman who ran the brothel paid $100,000 to get out of jail. When I was in the shelter in Cambodia I met a lot of girls who suffered really horribly. I met 33 girls there, and many were Vietnamese, but the majority was born in Cambodia. This one girl, she was pretty, she sold herself into prostitution to help save her grandmother when she was 13. She told me how she had to serve dozens of men a day and then how she was taken out to be gang raped by 20 men. She begged them to stop, but they kept raping her. She was saved when her brothel was raided This other girl, she was a big girl, but she suffers seizures because of the beatings shes gotten. She said she resisted her customers and was beaten so badly. Now, she cant do anything without shaking horribly. She was raped and beaten so regularly that she became half crazed. There were a few women suffering mental illness. There were several girls in the shelter dying of AIDS. Who were their customers? All kind of foreigners. Americans. Thai. Vietnamese. Cambodian. I listened to their stories, and thats when I realized I needed to find a profession and education in order to survive. Now, I look back and I realize how stupid I was to listen to my friends when I went to Cambodia. I am extremely lucky. I feel so sorry for those who suffered in those terrible conditions. Most of my friends in Vietnam dont know whats going on. They dont experience it so they dont believe the news about human trafficking. Sometimes they said, Well, who told them to do that? But they dont understand how that could happen to them. I would like to tell them not listen to strangers, and to not just decide to do whatever you want on your own. To be careful. But I know my friends. They want freedom. I dont think I can convince them. In the future, I want to become a lawyer. I want to be able to help those who suffered in those situations or if they want to go trial to demand justice, I would volunteer and help them. Going back to school will be difficult, but I know with discipline and will power and faith I can do it. I will let everyone see how determined I am. I have high grades right now, but I am two years behind in school. Andrew Lam is the author of Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora. His next book is "East Eats West: Writing in two Hemispheres" due out in September, 2010. Those who want to help can send donation to http://pacificlinks.org/. The organization is dedicated to fighting trafficking in Vietnam, with focus on the Mekong Delta. Vietnamese version: Trốn thot khỏi nh chứa ở Cambodia: chuyện của một c gi Related stories In the World of Human Trafficking, Vietnam Remains a 'Supply Country' Stopping an 'Epidemic' -- Vietnamese Priest Reaches Out to Sex Trafficking Victims Human Trafficking - Food for Thought?

Escaping a Cambodian Brothel: One Woman's Story

New America Media, Interview, Andrew Lam, Apr 06, 2010

A young Vietnamese woman's chance Internet encounter led to a year of captivity in a Cambodian brothel. She escaped, but thousands of young women and children like her are ensnared every year in a thriving sex trafficking network. Here is her story.

New America Now: Stormy Weather, I Got Thunder, Paula West

New America Now, Audio, Apr 02, 2010

This week on New America Now - A special on black entertainers: James Gavin talks about his book Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne, Lashonda Barnett looks at black women songwriters and their craft in I Got Thunder, and local singer Paula West reveals some of her favorite jazz musicians.

Gay Couples Marry in Mexico City

La Opinin, Gardenia Mendoza Aguilar, Mar 16, 2010


Gays Protest Jamaican Raggae, Not American Rap

New America Media, Commentary, Brent Calderwood, Mar 13, 2010

Middle-aged gay white men tried to stop Jamaican artist Beenie Man from visiting the United States yesterday, instead of looking at the homophobia in their own backyard.

Latinos Support Drive to Rid Military of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Hispanic Link, News Report , Luis Carlos Lpez, Mar 04, 2010

Half of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus supports repealing the Dont Ask Dont Tell law fro gays and lesbians serving in the military.

Jazz Favorites of Paula West

New America Now, Audio, Sandip Roy, Mar 03, 2010

Renowned Jazz vocalist Paula West talks about some of her favorite jazz musicians. She is appearing at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco now through March 14th.

carty linda death row

Gender Bias: Linda Carty's Last Hope on Death Row

New America Media, Commentary, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Mar 03, 2010

Linda Carty is the rarest of rarities. Shes a British subject who once sang for the Prince of Wales. Shes a subject in a film documentary. Shes garnered massive international media, as well as legal and political attention and support. She worked as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency. She's also a death row.

Angelita Kelly-NASA-small

Filipina Is NASA's FirstWoman Mission Operations Manager

Asian Journal, News Feature, AJ Presss, Mar 02, 2010

She holds the distinction of being the first woman NASA Mission Operation Manager for a major flight project and currently manages the EOS monitoring of hurricanes and cyclones from outer space.

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