Domestic minors fall prey to sex traffickers: Misled, Coerced, and Abused in L.A.

October 11, 2019

BY RAISA OSTAPENKO – Melanie Danae Williams, then 22, danced at an intersection on Gage Avenue in Los Angeles, brandishing a gun in her right hand and rocking her body back and forth to Mozzy’s Anti Freestyle, a hip-hop song blaring through an open car window. This October 2018 footage would be the last that Williams, a California native, would post of herself on her public Twitter account before pleading guilty…


Flushing Law Enforcement Cracks Down on Immigrant Sex Workers inside Fake Massage Parlors

June 11, 2019

BY YILUN CHENG – Right next to the entrance to the Long Island Rail Road in the heart of downtown Flushing, is 40th Road, a 0.1-mile stretch of pavement, once known as “Restaurant Row.”  The tiny stretch features more than 20 restaurants and food courts, attracting foodies from all over New York City. But ever since the New York Times published an article last April on the death of Yang…


Child Marriage is a Reality in the U.S.

June 6, 2019

BY TAMARA SAADE – Aliya was 20 when she was pregnant with her daughter and playing with her one-year-old son in her uncle’s basement, in Maryland.  She was trying to persuade her uncle to allow her out of the marriage she was forced into. “The only way you’re going to get out of this marriage is if you die, he told me,” Aliya said. In January of 2002, Aliya, who asked…


Consumers Continue to Pay for Nail Service from Trafficked Technicians

May 14, 2019

BY MIRA SEYAL – Lien Glankler, born in Laos and raised in Vietnam, held a focus group of potential customers in the summer of 2017 to test her new business plan: a nail salon in Sacramento, California that would break with the increasing dependence on human trafficking to supply workers in the nail salon industry. The reaction to that plan was an unpleasant surprise. The potential customers didn’t find the…


Egypt Remains Among the Middle East’s Worst Countries for a Woman to Seek Divorce

May 13, 2019

BY MIRNA ALSHARIF – Amina asked her husband of three years for a divorce in Cairo in 2012. He refused. What followed was a process Amina, 35, described as time-consuming, unfair, and humiliating. “My ex and I sat down with the patriarchs of our families and a ma’zun [religious notary] who tried to convince me not to go through with the divorce,” said Amina, who asked that her last name…


MeToo: Global Movement or American Fantasy?

May 11, 2019

BY RONNIE LI – Japanese student Arika Matsu said the unwanted touching of her breasts at a business meeting two years ago led to her mission to empower women. Matsui has always dreamed of being a contestant a beauty pageant ever since she was young. A full-time student at Trinity College Dublin, Matsui competed in Japan for Miss Universe during her summer break. Always passionate about enhancing gender equality, Matsui…


Yemeni Women Push for Peace in Taiz, Despite Threats of Violence and Arrests

May 6, 2019

BY YILUN CHENG – Muna Luqman, a Yemeni human rights activist, has been assisting local women since rebel Houthis took over her city, Taiz, in 2014. Years of advocacy work against war and violence have taught her how dangerous it is for women to take part in peace building. But that does not stop her. “Women are most affected by the war, so we take the most risks,” she said….


Venezuelan Women Spend Hours and Hours on Food Lines

May 5, 2018

BY MARIE PAULINE GENTRIC — It’s only 3 p.m. but Mary Limonta knows exactly what she and her daughter, Ann, will eat tonight – rice and vegetables. Yesterday, it was the same, and tomorrow, and even after tomorrow, it will be the same too. It’s been like that for a while. Since 2013, Venezuelans like Limonta have been trying to survive the most severe recession and food crisis in the country history. National production and imports have plunged and supermarket shelves are almost always empty. Prices rose 6,147 percent in the 12 months ending in February, according to estimates by the country’s opposition-led National Assembly. In this crisis, women are the ones looking for food. They spend between eight and 14 hours a week in line to get food, according to the report “Mujeres Al Limite,” released by four Venezuelan NGOs in 2017.