Category: Letters from Abroad

Letter from Scotland

After four days of heavy rain and battering winds on the west coast of the Highlands, the weather is glorious.  I’m now speaking at a conference outside of Inverness, still in the Highlands, but far from the rugged interior: here the countryside is rolling hills, dotted with prosperous towns and gentle farms. In spite of the Read More …

Letter from Rio de Janeiro

I looked around the meeting hall, full of energy, full of some courageous women and men working in dangerous and challenging circumstances, and others, just like myself, who simply believed we could make a difference in the world. We had gathered from eighty countries, 450 men and women, together with one objective: to improve the Read More …

Letter from Riga, Latvia

There are many deep shadows along the cobbled streets of Riga. Shadows not only from the low sun on these short days of early winter, but the ones that cut much deeper from the years of Nazi and Soviet occupation. Those shadows are mine to see for I think of my Grandmother on these streets Read More …

Letter from Italy

In the end it was the boys. I was in Parma, the sixth of ten cities during my two weeks in Italy, itself the fourth and final country on this speaking trip. The events in Italy were starting to blur: the eighteen workshops for teachers or students, the ten speeches and press conferences, interviews on Read More …

Letter from Istanbul, Turkey

This city rises up the hillsides on both sides of the Bosporus, the wide channel from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, the divide between Europe and Asia. It is a city of domed mosques and pencil minarets, of the old bazaar and new shops selling Boss and Channel, of rambling old streets jammed with Read More …

Letter from India

There is a collection of brothels at the side of the highway an hour outside of Agra. Young women, some really just girls, stand at the roadside doorways, hoping their make up and smiles will bring in the $3 customers. In the poorest neighbourhoods of the cities, sex might cost thirty cents or a buck. Read More …

Letter from China

At the invitation of the United Nations agency, UNIFEM, I travelled to Beijing at the end of November 2002 to give a series of talks and discuss the development of a campaign in China to end violence against women. No large-scale surveys exist of the extent of violence against women in China. Small studies and Read More …