Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Horrors of the Home: Nanny Burning

Shweyga Mullah worked as a nanny for two of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's grandchildren. When she couldn't keep one from crying, Aline, the wife of Gadhafi's son Hannibal, poured boiling water on her head. When Mullah was found her attacker and husband had fled the scene and she was left with bruises, scars and much patchwork to be done. Even though the burns were inflicted three months ago, she was still in considerable pain. The wounds and pain she feel can never be erased, but she rejoices at the fact that she is loved by god and have been blessed to have people support and help her. The Libyan health Minister, Naji Barakat stated "I think it's a crime against humanity," which indeed is true, this is absolutely disrespectful, immoral and completely degrading to any human to disregard them in such a way. She is only human and she cannot control the emotion of a child at all times. Sometimes children cry and if you cannot stop it does it mean we go around burning those who help us when we are in need. This act of dehumanization completely aggravates me and I refuse to see this SURVIVOR not see JUSTICE.

This was not only a horrific act to put someone through, but as well not the only time that this Aline had portrayed such hateful behavior towards servant of the Gadhafi household. As said by CNN, A man too frightened to reveal his name led CNN reporters to another one of Hannibal Gadhafi's properties, a gated, high-walled villa-like house, where the man said more abuse was meted out to staffers. This masked man stated, "Shweyga is not the only one," describing a Sudanese man who was also scalded with water after he burned an undershirt he was ironing, "Foreign staffers bore the brunt of the abuse." Another woman describes basically a prison cell that she had stayed in as a care giver to the family. This behavior is a form of discrimination, hatred, racism, and enslavement. These people were not given proper meals, dormitory or respect and that is the worst thing you can do is disrespect someone. I feel the most sympathetic to all these beings and wish nothing more than happiness for all of them.

Back at the burn hospital, Mullah faces months of recuperation and surgery. Her story generated enormous public response. So far, people have donated more than $16,000 dollars for her care. CNN is making sure that she receives proper care to be eligible to return home to her family. This relates primarily to the Women's Center because not only is it an act of violence against a woman, but against multiple workers because of their race and against servants in general because of the stigma attached to how people treat lower level classed workers. As an activist and advocate for the Women's Center this relates extremely to our mission of advocating for a violence, harassment free environment, as well creating an anti-racist, non-sexist queer-affirmative space for all to feel free, but I cannot ever truly feel free knowing in the world such acts are still occurring. I pray that all the places in the world like us fight as diligently to stop these acts.

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