Section: The Woman’s World

The Woman’s World

Da Zhowand Merman – Swara

Bridging Troubled Waters

‘Swara’ examines and comments on the Pakhtun practice of giving minor girls in marriage as reparation for serious crimes such as murder committed by the child’s father, brother or uncle.

Director: Samar Minallah
Pakistan, 2003, 40 min
Producer: Aurat Foundation
Director’s Contact:

Die Helfer und die Frauen

The Peacekeepers and the Women

‘Die Helfer und dis Frauen’ is about military formations and political organizations trying to solve problems for which they are partly responsible. The problem: Trafficking of women for forced sexual exploitation. The military formations: NATO SFOR and KFOR units. The political organizations: The United Nations (UN), the International Police Task Force (IPTF) under the direction of the UN, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and others. The locations: Moldovia as one of the countries of origin of the women, Bosnia and Kosovo as countries of destination, where at first military forces, and afterwards the U.N. and international aid agencies, tried to regulate things. The structure: circular. Trafficking of women and girls for forced prostitution has become a booming industry in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Members of international armed forces and aid agencies posted there are among their solvent customers. Avoiding the usual victim/perpetrator perspectives, the film concentrates on the way the interviewees present themselves before the camera.

Director: Karin Jurschick
Germany, 2003, 80 min
Director’s Contact:

Jab’r ki Shadi – Vilayat Mein

Forced Marriage – Abroad

Every year, some 250 cases of forced marriage are reported in Britain. Last year the British High Commission in Islamabad dealt with 155 such cases. The British Foriegn Office, police, religious scholars and lawyers are actively working to curb this menace. The British government is taking strong measures to curb the practice of forced marriage, including several long overdue steps that women’s rights groups in the UK have been clamouring about for some time. But this is also leading to further immigration control measures. A Geo special report by Beena Sarwar.

Director: Beena Sarwar
Pakistan, 2003, 10 min
Producer: Geo TV
Director’s Contact:

Narrow is the Gate

For the few Serbs who remain in Kosovo after the NATO bombing of Kosovo in 2000, Gracanica Convent is an island of peace, guarded not only by the prayers of the nuns inside, but also by the NATO tanks that guard the convent walls. At the gateway between these two worlds is Sister Teodora, who with a joke and a tear tries to balance her hostility towards Albanians with her religious calling to love them.

Director: Kersti Uibo
Estonia, 2002, 65 min
Producer: Trinity Films
Director’s Contact:

Search for Freedom: A Story about Four Afghan Women

‘Search for Freedom’ explores the lives of four Afghan women based in Pakistan and tells how the lives of these women were affected by the political turmoil in Afghanistan. Each woman represents different religious sects, ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Princess Shafiqa Saroj, the last of the royalty, fearlessly championed Women’s Rights from the 1950’s till the 1990’s. Khadija Parveen, the first female singer of Afghanistan, is known as the ‘Mother of the Nation.’ Mohsina is a war widow and a mother of four children. The last character, Sohaila, is a medical student and represents the voice of modern and well-educated Afghan women. The film offers an in-depth insight into the human stories of the Afghan political conflict, linking the personal to the political. It includes human rights atrocities and extra judicial killings by the Mujahideen and the Taliban regimes. The prominent theme is that women can shape their own destiny even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Director: Munizae Jahangir
Pakistan/USA, 2002, 54 min
Director’s Contact:

The War is Over, Why are You Still There?

‘The War is Over Why Are You Still There’ begins with Austin Women in Black, stating why they continue to stand in weekly vigils for peace. You will hear from people on the street, offering their opinion on why 9-11 happened. Judith, a Jewish American, gives her views on the Israeli/Palestinian issue, and Sylvia, a Palestine woman and Woman in Black, tells her personal story. You will learn about the effects of economic sanctions. You will hear about the Project for a New American Century, also called PNAC. PNAC is comprised of a group of men who currently advise our president. Bette Stockbauer will explain the facts and history of this group. She refers to the document published by PNAC that outlines the PNAC agenda for war. And finally, you will see some wonderful images of peace activists from around the world, standing together in peace on February 15.

Director: Austin Women in Black
USA, 2003, 57 min
Producer: Austim Women In Black and Full Circle Productions
Director’s Contact:

Unlimited Girls

‘Unlimited Girls’ is an exploration of contemporary engagements with feminism in urban India. The film is told through the conversations of the narrator, Fearless, who starts accidentally in a chat room and embarks on a journey where she encounters diverse characters. The film uses a personally reflective, playfully eclectic form and mixes non-fiction to ask questions about feminism in our lives. Why must women always lead double lives being feminist but not saying they are? If feminism changes the way we live, then do we change the meaning of feminism as we live it? And then how do we separate true feminists from false ones? Will X-ray vision work better than female intuition – or is there a common set of principles in this multipally-interested philosophy? How do we make sense of love and anger, doubt and confusion, the personal and the political in the enterprise of pushing the boundaries, of being unlimited – the enterprise we call feminism?

Director: Paromita Vohra
India, 2002, 94 min
Producer: Sakshi
Director’s Contact:

Wishing for Seven Sons and One Daughter

The traditional Azerbaijani wedding wish serves as the title to this film appears to be just a flowery ritual formula. Yet the colorful ethnographic scenes reveal a tragedy that has lasted for ages. In this patriarchal society, girls are unwanted and considered useless. In the past, newborn girls were often simply killed; yet since the development of ultrasound, women have been compelled to seek abortions. Such an attitude towards women occasionally results in terrible family tragedies, one of which shook Azerbaijan a few years ago.

Director: Ali-Isa Djabbarov
Azerbaijan, 2002, 26 min
Source: Phoebe Schreiner
Source Contact:

Women’s Struggle for Freedom in Iraq

In ‘Women’s Struggle for Freedom in Iraq’, Iraqi Feminist Yanar Mohammed talks about the New World Order and the impact of political Islam on women’s lives.

Director: Liz Miller and Jennifer Fasulo
USA, 2003, 15 min
Director’s Contact:

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