Author: Elodie Introia

WOMEN IN ASIA: A Game Changer for Saudi Women- Wadjda

ANGELINA PRAT, LAUREN SAYLOR, AND ELODIE INTROIA WRITE – In a patriarchal society that has fought to keep women unheard, Haifaa al-Mansour has found her voice.  The film Wadjda was not only the first Saudi film to be written and directed by a woman, but also was the first to be filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia. The timing for this movie could not be more relevant. In the past 12 months women gained the right to vote in the upcoming 2015 municipal elections, there was the first successful election of women into the Shura (the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia — a body that proposes laws to the King), and we witnessed the first female Olympic competitors from Saudi Arabia. Despite all the ‘bad-rap’ Saudi Arabia gets for its lack of freedom, it was important for Mansour to convey a message that instilled happiness and power into its viewers, while not attacking the government and Saudi social norms. The film stars a 10-year-old girl who tries to win the cash prize in a Quran reciting competition, so she can buy a green bicycle. Haifaa al-Mansour based the character off of her niece, a very feisty and motivated young girl, whose traditional Saudi father wanted her to conform to the traditional Islamic culture. Some of the biggest obstacles Mansour faced were being confined to the space of a van for the...

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WOMEN IN ASIA: The Plea for President Karzai to Defend Women’s Rights!

ELODIE INTROIA WITH LIZ MURRAY WRITE — President Hamid Karzai holds the destiny of women in his hands. A few days ago, the Afghan parliament passed a law banning women from seeking any sort of legal recourse in the face of domestic abuses. President Karzai is unequivocally under tremendous international pressure to scratch it off. The conservative Muslims pushing for this new law transferred it to President’s Karzai’s office for final approval. If he signs it, women will no longer be able to protect themselves from beatings at the hands of abusive husbands, and little girls that are forcibly married off by their fathers will lack agency. While most of the world moves towards gender equality, masculinist Afghans are hard at work to keep women in between four walls. Despite all his efforts to promote women’s rights, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon remains “deeply disturbed” by the “pervasive climate of impunity in Afghanistan for abuses of women and girls.” The non-profit organization Women for Afghan Women (WAW) calls on President Karzai not to sign this bill, “which eviscerates the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women” that he ratified back in 2009. Although this current law to protect women against domestic abuses remains to be widely applied, it was reported that 109 women benefited from this legislation last year alone. If Afghanistan is serious about it’s...

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WOMEN OF ASIA: Can “Dragon Ladies” be Taken Seriously?

ELODIE INTROIA WRITES – Today, 23 of the 100 most powerful women in the world are Asian. Among that group are political leaders, heads of large corporations and philanthropists. Yet, despite their different backgrounds, they all work towards redefining the role of the modern Asian woman. Although Asian women have won political elections, they often do not receive high regard in the positions they hold. In the West, such women are pejoratively called “dragon ladies:“ power hungry, cold and incapable of love. Instead, we should look at their accomplishments and learn from the ways in which they’ve been able to break the glass ceiling faster than Western women, especially in politics. Successful women in Asia do, unfortunately, face ridicule similar to that of American women. For example, the recently elected South Korean President Geun-hye Park has been repeatedly criticized for wearing the wrong kind of fashion, much like Hillary Clinton during the 2008 election. Bloggers and local newspapers charge her with the latest crimes of picking out the wrong shoes, in her case Japanese ones, and lacking femininity. Her skill in navigating  the male-dominated foreign-policy-sphere goes unnoticed, while the media shines a spotlight on her lack of fancy footwear. Would she get better reviews as a leader if she were fashion-conscious and better dressed? On the other end of the spectrum is Yingluck Shinawatra, the current Prime Minister of Thailand. Not only is she smart, but...

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MYANMAR: “Our Walls Bear Witness” of the Rohingya Genocide

ELODIE INTROIA WRITES – The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is exposing the world to the suffering of the Burmese Rohingyas. The Rohingya are a Muslim minority that represent 4% of Myanmar’s population. Though they’ve lived in Myanmar, also called Burma, for many generations, the country’s most recent Constitution denies them basic rights, such as citizenship, the right to have more than two children, to travel, marry freely, and more. As a result, more than 140,000 Rohingya have been displaced and forced to live in confined camps.  The museum’s nighttime photo exhibition premiered on the day Myanmar’s president Thien Sein was “working for democracy” at the White House. The black and whites on the museum’s walls depict the struggles of the Rohingya, and the extreme conditions in which they live. Human Rights Watch released a new communiqué to President Obama expressing concern that sanctions on Burmese human rights violators may be lifted. In light of Myanmar’s opening up to foreign investors, it’s crucial that the names of those individuals on the U.S. blacklist remain until things improve. The list contains the names of people and companies that have an affiliation with terrorist organizations, human rights records, arms trading, and, in this case, the identities of those involved with the military junta that ruled Myanmar until 2011. According to this latest report, since 2012 the administration has waived numerous sanctions against Myanmar and...

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The ‘Big Guns’ of Journalism Show More Than Just Courage

ELODIE INTROIA WRITES – On October 23, three Asian and Middle-Eastern women were recognized for their journalistic bravery. It is well known that being a reporter is one of the most dangerous professions. But for women, the risks are even greater.  The women who were honored with the Courage in Journalism Award risked their lives to report the news in dreaded parts of the world, penetrating a gender-centric field with excellence. One of the awarded women is Nour Kelze, a 25-year old Syrian English teacher turned journalist who became well known for her coverage of the Syrian conflict. While her beauty could easily make her look weak, don’t be fooled. She is tough and dedicated to sharing the destruction Assad’s government inflicted on her people. Her typical day includes walking through the torn up streets, bullet proof vest and helmet on, clicking pictures of the war-torn scenes. When asked if she was ever scared to die, she answered without a blink, that in Syria all is already rocks and dust. People get killed just for being in their own homes. The real fear is if no one ever hears about it. Another women, Najiba Ayubi, a 45-year old Afghani journalist received the award for her continuous fight for a free media in her home country. She is a successful businesswoman and director of Kabul’s Radio Killid, the country’s largest independent media...

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Asia Media International Staff

ASIA MEDIA INTERNATIONAL is a student-driven publication of Loyola Marymount University’s Asia Media Center – a vital part of LMU’s Department of Asian and Asian American Studies (AAAS)

MANAGING EDITORS:
Savannah Nunez
Sabrina Verduzco

Executive Editor:
Jay Seo

Website Editor:
Peyton Cross

Curriculum Coordinator:
Yi Ning Wong

Senior Writers [Beat]:
Katelynn Barkley [China]
Caitlin Bostwick [Korean Pop Culture]
Katrina Crosby [Profiles]
Alexis Cruz [Qatar]
Adrian Narayan [India]
Miranda Pak [Hong Kong]
Fassa Sar [Film]
Jay Seo [North & South Korea]
Lamiya Shabir [Pakistan & Islam]
Elizabeth Soelistio [Indonesia]
Yunfei Suo [China]
Clementine Todorov [Bangladesh & Vietnam]
Katie Trinh [Vietnam]
Ryan Urban [Singapore]
Yi Ning Wong [Asia Culture]

Associate Director of Development:
Simon Bleeker

Special Correspondent:
Eriko Lee Katayama

Senior Researcher:
Clementine Todorov

Emeritus Managing Editors:
Mary Grace Costa
Kelcey Lorenzo

Contribuing Editors Emeritus:
Robert Dylan Fields
Ryan Lippert
James Royce [Australia]
Erisa Takeda [Japan Politics]

Emeritus Associate Publishers:
Jeremiah Fajardo
Brian Chris Canave

Emeritus Executive Editor:
Lexie Tucker

Executive Senior Editor:
Ben Sullivan

Executive Assistant to the Founder and Editor-in-Chief:
Jay Seo

Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Prof Tom Plate

ASIA MEDIA INTERNATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE:
Gareth C.C. Chang, Gene Park, Tom Plate, Jennifer Ramos, Kal Raustiala, Jeremiah Fajardo, Ben Sullivan, Greg Treverton