Watch out boys!

World Cup final Canada, USA against Japan

Valerie Achille

The recordbreaking 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup has finally come to an end. The United States triumphed over Japan in a stunning 5 to 2 victory becoming the first nation to win 3 Women’s World Cup titles. The 2015 WWC was filled with some of the biggest upsets, the most fantastic goals and arguably the best football the women’s game has ever offered.

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Illegal abortions in Indonesia, the story of a brave woman.

I’m pregnant. I need someone to talk to.

Sanne van Oosten

A quaint house in the middle of a rice field, not really the place where one would expect the headquarters of the Indonesian women’s reproductive rights movement to be. But it is. When you walk inside, women’s rights posters from all over the world decorate the house. The founder and leader of Samsara, Inna Hudaya, welcomed us into her house in the middle of a rice field. She lives in a small remote village to be able to be as anonymous as possible. The village doesn’t know about her work, and she’d like to keep it that way. They think she works in educating women on sexuality. For her own safety, that’s all they should know.

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Should having a cleaning lady make me feel awkward?

Kitchen Burma Sook_BloggersWithoutBorders


We like to take trips to far-flung places for encounters with the new-and-different. We love to take in natural wonders and stare in amazement at architectural feats, while we shudder at the thought of fried insects as a delicacy or the amount of chillis that smile at you when food is served. You don’t even have to go far. On the other side of your country’s border you can already stumble upon the most unexpected situations.

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Are You Sure You Are Pretty?

Whitening lotion

Efi Yanuar

We all know that the media always has their own perspective about the perfect girl/woman. But, I hope you will not get bored if I tell you how media in Indonesia always change their ideal girl/woman.

For the past, maybe, 10-15 years, media in Indonesia changed the criteria of beauty several times. No matter how many times it changes, I’ve never matched their criteria.

When I was 10-12 years old, there was one commercial that I still remember untill now. There were twin girls, Santi and Sinta. They were walking by the beach, but Santi didn’t feel comfortable to walk with her sister. The main reason is she is not as white as Sinta. All eyes (read: boys) are on Sinta.

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Liberia, the land of signs

Graham Askey

I’d hesitate to recommend a decent and well publicized war as a development policy, but ten years of aid after Liberia’s horrors there are improvements due to foreign agencies which would never have occurred otherwise. If there is one thing aid agencies love doing it’s making sure everyone knows what they have been up to. Thus, crops of signs have sprung up everywhere promoting their good deeds. Even driving through small villages you can pass a cluster of them, counts of the toilets provided or the worthy provision of a school building. Elsewhere signs advocate good health and hygiene practice ( the words pee pee and poo poo spelling things out in language everyone will understand) and combatting violence against women and children. It’s a striking contrast to the crumbling wreck of Guinea where the characteristic white 4×4′s of aid agencies are a rare sight indeed, despite the evident need.

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Myanmar or Burma, what’s in a name?

Sanne van Oosten A rose by any other name will still smell as sweet…? Well, Shakespeare, you might just be wrong about that one. The two names Myanmar and Burma are often used interchangeably but have incredibly different implications. Burma was the name that came into fashion during the British colonial period in the second half of the 19th century. Myanmar was the replacement of that name instated by the military junta in 1989. Opposition leader and Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi prefers the name Burma because, as she has stated in various media: “the name was changed without any reference to the will of the people.” Even though I tend to side with Aung San Suu Kyi on just about any issue concerning the country’s politics, I think using the  name Burma requires some rethinking. This name might just not smell as sweet to all of the people living in Burma/Myanmar. Read More…

FIFA: Being A Woman Is A Disability


Valerie Achille

FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) constantly pats itself on the back for promoting women’s football. One of FIFA stated missions is to “promote the development of women’s football and pledge to support women’s football financially.” Yet, controversial statements in the official “Laws of The Game” documentation has left people questioning whether this is another example of FIFA’s never-ending sex discrimination.

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pixadores Lotte van Geijn

Last week, I went to see  Pixadores on the IDFA-festival (the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam). It was the world- première. The director was present. He said that he started his project in 2010 and it eventually led to this documentary. A small part of his formal script included ‘train-surfing’, but because this does nor occur in Helsinki, the place where he lives, he decided to go the Brazil. In Sao Paulo he met a group of four guys. They showed him how to train-surf.

When you train-surf, you climb out of the window of a moving metro onto the roof. When you are on the rooftop you take the pose of ‘surfing the metro’, with your nose in the wind. It is a moment you can leave all your problems behind and just enjoy the kick and the adrenalin rush.

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A reaction to: Brunei, the most loved repressive regime in the world?

Teah Abdullah

An introduction by the editor: In recent days Brunei has been in the international news for implementing Sharia law including laws that allow publicly stoning homosexuals to death, cutting off limbs by the justice system and floggings for robbery. A few years ago a blog by Sanne van Oosten was written about this subject. Even though these specific laws weren’t implemented then yet, severe punishments for seemingly small or non-existent offences did already exist. Despite these laws, Sanne van Oosten was amazed by the love with which the people of Brunei spoke of their country. One could say that they are afraid to state their opinion as the regime is so repressive, but that really didn’t seem to be the case here. The people of Brunei really love their country. The blog was received with a host of angry reactions from inhabitants of Brunei, thus underlining the main hypothesis of the article. One reaction, however, was very interesting and enlightening. That was this reaction by Teah Abdullah.

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Jakarta on top

Efi Januar

People say the number of skyscrapers in a city’s skyline is a sign of development. The more skyscrapers a region has, the more developed it is. Is it true? I spent almost all of my life in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. I lived in the outskirts of Jakarta. The highest building I see the most is the tip of the mosque in neighborhood, if we put the tower of base transceiver stations aside. Being in my neighborhood is bliss for me. Why? Because we “stay” on the ground, me and my neighbors are equal, we stand on the same ground.

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