Category: Letters from Abroad

May 31, 2011 Michael Kaufman 1 comment

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…

April 14, 2009 Michael Kaufman 2 comments

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…

November 23, 2006 Michael Kaufman No comments exist

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…

November 20, 2006 Michael Kaufman No comments exist

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…

November 19, 2006 Michael Kaufman 1 comment

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…

November 16, 2006 Michael Kaufman No comments exist

It’s a small city of 200,000, known as the home of sherry and a centre for flamenco. It’s also a wonderful example of how a city government can promote initiatives to transform the roles of men and support work among men to end violence against women. Seven years ago the city started the Men for…

December 15, 2004 Michael Kaufman 1 comment

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….

December 31, 2002 Michael Kaufman 3 comments

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…