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if. Volume XXII, No. 3. MERCYHURST COLLEGE, ERIE, PA. December 14, Tableaux Through a series of tableaux explained by readers, Mary. Lou Dwyer ember 17, in the college auditor- ium. Angel. Louise Kamenjar; Isals,. Doris Moore; Zachary, Nancie. Sigmund; Three Kings, Florene .. Blessed angels!.

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Women were also asked if they had any guidance signifiers but are, in fact, potent memory traces or fragments that or advice for other mothers, which positioned these narratives as cannot be encapsulated by language. It is also critical to note stories that would be passed on and heard by others. She has never had any closure, which only their handcrafts making or textile weaving.

As the conflict has compounds her grief. She had devel- she worked with fell ill, Gulnaz was often blamed, as she was oped severe pains all over her body, whereas her husband suffered accused of bringing bad luck or misfortune to others. Gulnaz from heart problems that eventually took his life. Of his death, told us sadly that she stopped working and is even now reluctant Gulnaz related: to go to her neighbours to talk about her son.

He had walked a lot of dis- to console another mother over a similar loss. However, over tance that day. He was suffering from a heart ailment, and time these visits have been more difficult for Gulnaz. I used to lose If anything happened to any kid anywhere, he would be control for almost two days after that. He would be crying two days before We asked Gulnaz what advice she may have for pregnant wom- Eid3 every time. He must have been dear to God. He was For Gulnaz, the community has been both a source of support a very nice boy and always used to do good things.

One as well as a strain. When we asked her if she has met other wom- day we were going to [redacted] and suddenly he asked en who have faced the same kind of difficulties, she responded to go home, and when I asked why, he said that there is that there have been many and that they meet from time to time, blood there on the street. Now I tell women who have lost their God give patience to you and me, both of us. I told her at least you out to work. While she was pregnant, Shazia had been never seen nor heard from again; she was pregnant with her fourth physically assaulted by Indian Army officers.

When Shazia reported child, which she eventually miscarried. Instead, they have experienced harassment, physical husband was … they would take them to the army camp. When one tell me to leave this place but I did not leave. Does your dad come here at night? Does emotion that is evoked when describing Indian army encounters, he have a gun? Then his heart became weak, his heart became vivid imagery and sensations conjured in these recollection; it weak….

His heart would stop almost, when they would torture appeared as though Shazia and her mother-in-law were reliving him like that. As the child grew, those moments as they described them to us. They interrogated him, they interrogated him, return to her home to interrogate her, and they often resorted to here, here, here. No one at all would stay here, everyone would escape. The site of torture. Her mother-in-law described her to the common torture technique of sending shocks into the penis condition as follows: through the insertion of copper wiring. Many boys subjected to this torture suffered from kidney problems and impotency, which Her heart would get weak.

Even right now, if she does did, in fact, prevent them from eventually marrying. What could she do? So many heart prob- sent to live with distant relatives. What can a person do? What can I do, beat her, and the effects of such abuse were palpable. Shazia stated, you have to get up. I would be in one hospital and the next moment I would be in another. When we asked Shazia how else. Cook, cook, what could we cook? When blood would not even finish. Her husband left one afternoon had heard before, but one that, nonetheless, betrayed unspeakable to visit a relative and was never seen again.

Mumtaz explained to physical and emotional pain. Even the Indian army would interrogate her if she somewhere? What tally disturbed to breastfeed, Mumtaz relied on another women could I do? Then what to breastfeed her newborn. As the azaan5 from a nearby mosque happened was that a poor lady in my neighborhood gave faded away, we asked her what her fears were at that time, and me some rice to eat with onions.

Even when her husband was alive, they struggled to provide for their family, and after his death, it I would tell them that I was able to bear it and so should seemed impossible after losing even his modest wages. Following you. If there was anything to of this daughter or the other that God brought me back cook … otherwise we would just be without food. As she children have been shredding their skin, working so hard described the scarcity of food, she frequently stated that at that to support the family. What is left is an experience that remains largely mute, unsym- Mumtaz described her state when she was in her last month of bolized, and unintegrated.

Mumtaz what should I do? She said that she went we lost food, we lost money. Before this I was very happy, then there it properly…. I thought anything could happen. When that she felt at this time. I did it myself. I invite the reader to reflect on these levels as it pertains to In Kashmir, the danger associated with mothering creates a sense the narratives that have been presented.

The role I do not want to objectify these narratives any more than I of the mother as a provider becomes severely compromised, as already have by presuming to know what is most salient to the the physiological, psychological and material challenges presented women who shared these stories or to the reader.

Instead, I want to by militarization cannot be met. As illustrated by Mumtaz, the stay true to my promise to the women I interviewed that I would inadequacy felt by mothers paralyzes them as their surroundings share their stories with others so that we may bear witness to their crumble under a crushing force that they cannot contain. To the best of my ability, I have tried to reproduce their stories. I cannot, however, make any claims on their behalf reflections of the meaning that they have attributed to their own experiences or how others should understand their story.

I can only begin to In penning this essay, I have rewritten my discussion of these make meaning of my own experience as a witness to these narra- narratives over and over again. Nothing I write can adequately tives and my own individual testimony. A part of me has wanted the strength of these nouf women and the horror that they have endured to stand on their own through their words. I have cringed each time I have inter- From the moment that I started this project, I felt in over my head.

When cataloging of their grief and trauma. I do not pretend that these I started, everyone I met treated me with nothing but kindness. I testimonies would otherwise have provided an unfettered lens into think it is because I lacked the sophistication or confidence to ac- the lives of these women.

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Lila Abu-Lughod notes that storytelling tually arouse suspicion or to intimidate anyone. I know that I have had a hand in mediating the telling of said thank you every few minutes before I was begged to stop. I these stories. They hugged me and shared the and rush to resolve the complex tensions explored within A few smiled through their tears and told me that witness to these narratives.

Dori Laub notes the following levels I reminded them of their own daughters. Although the weight of these experiences have forever changed me and that it breaks me to know that there pale in comparison to the load carried by these women, I know it is little that I can do to alleviate even an ounce of their grief and is my pain to bear, my small load to carry. One part of these stories that has struck me the most is just how notes central the role of faith, and having faith, is for these women.

After the horror Mumtaz endured when her husband disappeared and 1 Interview methodology, questions, and consent protocol were she and her children had no food to eat for days, her response reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board IRB that only God remained by her side in those moments still shakes at New York University to protect the rights and welfare of in- me. As my father and I sat in our kitchen in New York listening terviewees.

I of us could even comprehend that level of faith and strength. All I know is that throughout their testimonies, tomary. They frequently called out to God or the Prophet Muhammad when it seemed that the shock or pain of the traumatic experience works cited left them otherwise speechless. Berkeley: University of California Press, Another thing I noticed among almost all of the interviewed Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons apdp. Half Wid- women is that they had a similar response when I asked them ow, Half Wife?

The majority of the women used the Explorations in Memory. Cathy Caruth.

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Print or carry. Baltimore: Johns survive—an intention each day to not crumble under the weight Hopkins University Press, Print of their grief but to continue living through their suffering each Das, Veena, Arthur Kleinman, Mamphela Ramphele, and Pamela day, over and over again.

Reynolds, Eds. Violence and Subjectivity. Berkeley: University As a witness to these testimonies, I have felt horrified by the of California Press, I have been in awe of the strength and sur- Duschinski, Haley. LaCapra, Dominick. Writing History, Writing Trauma. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, Print 3. Laub, Dori. Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub. Narratives and Counter-Narratives New York: Touchstone, Van der Kolk, Bessel A. Burn, My son, Burn with my rage, Burn through this shroud of lies.

Many protestors thought the victory was fraudulent and called for Ahamdinejad to step down. Flaskerud Developing from this, I propose that there are by epistemologies, or discourses, that constitute the value, lack four things of importance in the Mothers of Martyrs series that of value, or even a lack of recognition of different human lives. Mus- who is elected by the public. The annual commemoration 38 , an epitome of bare life. Martyrdom is an established discourse in post-revolutionary Iran, The purpose of the graphic novel is to deconstruct and reconstruct and this was especially so during and after the Iran-Iraq War.

The these narrative frames of grievability through the representation conflict was fuelled by disputes over territory and resources, the of his mourning mother: Zahra. The Iranian experience of the war was marked on the initial construction of these frames by the state during the by a cultural-religious outlook that had been present in the Islamic Iran-Iraq war. These commemorative tools signify that the public spaces of cities. In the example taken from Persepolis, that serve to support the political-religious sovereign discourses it is not just the martyr that is visualized but also the mourner.

The of the regime of the Islamic Republic. The political enactment of simultaneous visualization of martyrdom and grief serves as an grievability works to establish continuity and strength within the instrument of the state. In particular, the visualization of the act national community.

These images the nation and instils this into national collective memory. In each image from the series, Tavakolian has pho- hood and The Story of a Return, depicts a series of panels of the tographed a mother, holding the framed image of their martyred avatar Marjane travelling through Tehran in the aftermath of the son, killed during the Iran-Iraq War. Alireza Korangy notes traditions. One panel situates Marjane in that although maternal loss might be politicized, motherhood and the bottom corner of the image while a mural towers above her, maternal love are universal conditions.

Furthermore, in all these depicting a woman holding a dead martyr in her lap. This cases, maternal identity is not lost with the absence of her child figure, who dominates the space in the panel, might be perceived as but is rendered visible through the act of grief and remembrance. Her act of making eye contact with Marjane and her elevated exist both within and outside of state-endorsed rhetoric.

Varzi ties the production of photograph represents a moment of stasis. The mourning mothers are the preeminent Cuts The mourning mothers not only elicit pain through their presence and interruption of the photographed martyr but perform it, as evidenced by their grieving facial expression. Mothers of Martyrs. Newsha Tavakolian Photography. Reproduced with permission from Newsha Tavakolian. The martyr inhabited a state of bare life.

The violence and execution is framed by the presence of his grieving mother. In the cemetery, death is lifted from both the organic death is negated within state discourses. Shahla Talebi recounts and the spiritual, and into the digital. The murals and other it is scientific Taghi states, and centrally framed.

In a panel where Hassan takes a photograph of the Lot, her son in the aftermath of the protests. At the end of the chapter, both the physical and visual are compounded As a profile that is either Life In ungrievable—and his absence is continually reflected by his shad- state narratives, and also in state silence, Mehdi is first sacrificed owy presence in the text.

The state compose a powerful counter-narrative, which draws attention to attempts to devour Mehdi and make his true actions invisible. As Mehdi as a dissident martyr and calls for the grievability of her son. Zahra occupies the majority of the panels in throughout the graphic novel is representative of how he and his this final chapter, sometimes appearing multiple times in a single cause of martyrdom exist outside of the epistemological frame of one.

However, when Hassan locates previously hidden evidence one. In these pages, ric. Better than visibility in these panels see figure 2. Her words, inked on the we ever gave mothers of martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war! Zahra proclaims a dirge and a chant, a pledge and a prayer. Illustrated by Khalil. All Rights Reserved. Mehdi is re-envisioned through the eyes of his mother, who sees him forever as her child.

Grief and, more notably, a discourse a counter-nar- rative of grievability are preeminent.

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They occupy and overpower the space, dominating in both written text and visual art. Where the lost and absent son is unable to establish his presence, the mourning mother reintroduces visibility and value into the life of her son and others like him. Reprinted by permission of First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of rize her grief but also to qualify the terms of that grief as separate Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.

In this online campaign, format offers both visibility and vocalization. What is particular- back to the s. The one lost is the son; the one left behind is the mother; Laleh Park. Zahra also represents all those mothers left behind. All the faces and the faces of the oric, but it is not as simulated through sovereign discourses but gravestones are bare. This can be read in such a way that Zahra rather grounded in the raw emotive collective of the citizens, the is giving voice to the faceless, voiceless, and, of course, the dead. The Islamic Republic validates grievability lost and martyred children.

Although religious-political discourses based on its utility to politicized state discourses. In particular, the graphic novel, particu- affective narratives to facilitate their political discourses. Martyrdom in Islam. Cambridge and New York: also lost their lives, with perhaps the most globally recognized Cambridge University Press, Flaskerud, Ingrild.

In Palestine, following the second Intifada, the memorialization of the martyr was also politicized and Fromanger, Marine. Howe, Sara Eleanor.

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Barthes YouTube, 13 July Algeria Cuts: Women and Representation, to the Present. Stanford: Stanford University Press, Agamben, Giorgio. Khanna, Ranjana. Daniel Heller-Roazen. Stanford: Stanford University nance. Khosronejad, Pedram. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. Edinburgh: Anthropology Edinburgh University Press, Korangy, Alireza.

Moallem, Minoo. Islamic Fundamentalism and the Politics of Patriarchy in Iran. Web Comic. The Real Candidate. Amir and Khalil. Maternal Thinking: Towards a Politics of Peace. Satrapi, Marjane. London: Vintage, Second, Talebi, Shahla. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography.

Infinite Responsibility. Richard Howard. London: Vintage Books, Africa and the Middle East Bressanin, Anna. Frames of War: When if Life Grievable? London: Visual Anthropology Verso, Tavakolian, Newsha. Photo exhibition. Butler, Judith. May Durham: Duke University Press, Malaysia uses both common and syariah legal systems in family matters, and the syariah system is only applied to Muslims. Women in this study acquired divorce through the syariah Islam- ic legal system. In a conference presentation in which I addressed identity con- struction among divorced middle-class Malay women with chil- dren, I indicated that a majority of women with whom I worked in the metropolitan area of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, believed Islam to be empowering, validating, and liberating, especially in the context of a social and cultural environment that otherwise stigmatized divorced women.

A colleague queried my findings. They are constructions the difficulties [with marriage and social stigmatization as a result supported by what Aiha Ong and Michael G. Peletz describe as of divorced status] that we have. Malay women women from social and cultural obstacles that have little to do recognize that middle-class identity consists not only of access to with the religion.

Divorced women also made the case that Malay material wealth but also includes access to religious and class- women in general have engaged in development agendas NEP , based knowledge. Combining key cross-listed elements of social achieved higher education, built professional careers, and gained elevation and social capital—namely religious piety and maternal political aspirations. They have formulated ethnically conscious practice—they redefine lived experience and personal choices as identities, participated in an Islamic religious revival known as fulfilling key social and religious expectations.

Divorced women the dakwah movement, and assumed public and powerful roles in particular emphasize relational analyses with bordering social as new members of the middle and upper-middle classes Hassan. By mulation of the nuclear family are social, cultural, religious, and constructing positive images of their own maternal practice and political ideals, as depicted by national development and economic by comparing themselves to former spouses and fathers that they strategist rhetoric within the country.

In her exploration of do- interpret as inattentive or not dependable, divorced women with mestic labourers in middle-class Malaysian households, Christie children restake claims to valued social capital and positions in B. Interplay of the Arabic-derived concepts of akal10 vorce, which permits a court to grant a divorce without evidence rationality or self-control; henceforth referred to as akl and nafsu11 that one or both parties have violated a marital contract, is not desire or passion; henceforth referred to as nafs 12 are considered present.

Both men and women may initiate divorce. Although the in discussions of familial relationships and gendered behaviour. Men, in contrast, have greater access the part of one or both parties lack of restraint and expression of to divorce, and may or may not be required to justify such appli- excessive passion or desire is popularly associated with the causes cation before divorce is granted Peletz, Reinscribing and Islamic; for divorce. Marital infidelity, excessive spending on material goods, Hassan and Cederroth; Jones.

Using marital infidelity as an example, infor- family—are all cited often as examples of perceived lack of akl mants argue that although more women than men cite infidelity in and excessive nafs Banks; Peletz, Reinscribing and Islamic. They application for divorce, women are often still perceived as respon- are used as evidence in divorce applications to support a perceived sible for marital breakdown on these occasions because it is the lack of restraint associated with those who divorce.

In , The New Straits Times reported a doubling of behaviour on his part. Groups such as the Obedient Wives Club, Malaysian divorce proceedings between and , of which launched in June by the conservative Islamic order, Al-Arqam, Muslim divorces comprised 82 percent. Teen sexual activity, drug usage, or lack ered and socially valued roles as independent women and mothers. Lack ciencies in mothering and maternal practice because of divorce. As a result, Malay middle-class allotment of social and national development, and by gaining social capital. These deficiencies highlight her inability cial-class status and social capital to individuals with financial and either to control nafs passions and desires, in this case for material material evidence of upward mobility, with performance of social and personal gain or to use akl intellect or reasoning in decision and gender roles in accordance with the idealized nuclear family, making.

Final divorce decrees that designate husbands as petitioners and with command of religious knowledge. Because many divorced in divorce further identify wives as deficient partners because the women experience significant reduction of wealth post-divorce and husband has been granted his request for divorce. Prevailing patriarchal attitudes in the identity construction. She has Kausar. She can justifiably argue, therefore, the right to recode religious The physical location of this blame—the religious courts—further identity based on successful and religiously appropriate mothering solidifies the social marginalization of single mothers.

The result and marital behaviour. This is particularly important given the is stigma experienced at the public, family, and personal levels. Confident in her knowledge of gendered against women and not syariah law that permitted her husband and marital roles in a proper Muslim marriage, Khadijah researched to delay divorce proceedings and restricted her ability to move contexts under which a woman could seek divorce within the syariah forward.

Nine years after she initially filed for divorce, the sultan system. Mariam, a fifty-two-year-old advertising the household, and had violated the marriage contract. The preceding cases divorce me. If there illustrate that women identify success in divorce proceedings as [had not been] witnesses, the court would have denied my case and indicators of righteousness and piety; successful divorce cases he would have been allowed two [wives]. Cases also establish former husbands as less rm13, [ringgit] [approximately usd 3, at time of divorce] religiously aligned because they were not victorious in quests to and rm60 [usd 13] per month per child for child support.

It was nothing … I rejected the offer. Kassim, in Walk Through Life: Issues and Challenges Through the Eyes of her personal narrative on life as a Malay single mother, quotes the a Muslim Woman identify religious passages and interpretations advice of the Prophet Muhammad to support this point. The religious responsibilities as husbands and fathers.

Counter-narratives also highlight asked the man. There was no bias. That profile, with ciated with living in accordance with Islamic principles. According positive maternal practice, often built in relation to familial obli- to Hew, the term has also been more broadly applied to include gation and in opposition to paternal practice of former spouses. These designations, however, are ones that primarily focus ical and emotional needs, and she argued that their father refused on marital status rather than motherhood status.

Government to pay child support and did not engage them emotionally. She programs—such as the National Social Policy and the Family First: provided financial and religious guidance as would a male head Bring Your Heart Home family unity campaign— quickly adopted of household, and she believed that her actions on behalf of her the use of ibu tunggal and began to underscore the central role of children were fulfilling her fate.

By stressing motherhood, the term I did not care for them? In comparison, she said, her ibu tunggal recognizes emotional bonds between parent and child former husband did not interpret his insufficient child support and aligns single mothers with the designated authority and dignity and guidance as a lack of conformity to social-class expectations accorded mothers in Islam, regardless of marital status Elegbede. Once his failure to comply with a court In this context, divorced mothers argue that the stigma that they order was brought to public attention, her former husband claimed receive in divorce is unwarranted, and that they should retain the Rahimah caused him shame.

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In addition to status of mothers and mothering in Islam, women Each of these examples illustrates positive maternal practice and look to individualized parenting as support for resisting stigmatized religious responsibility in family constructs. Women claim finan- associations. Divorced women in this study are acutely concerned cial and emotional investment and sacrifice as evidence of quality that children are able to access the same class-based attributes of maternal care.

Recognizing changing gender roles in household higher education and extracurricular opportunities that they would dynamics post-divorce, with particular attention to decreased have received had their parents remained married. This, women household income and the necessity not just option for women argue, becomes representative of quality parenting and is key to to work outside the home as heads of households, women recode fulfilling both religious and class-based parental responsibilities personal sacrifice and change gendered expectations as continua- to children.

Although work outside the home prior Mariam explained, for example, that after her divorce, she needed to divorce may have been perceived by the Malay community as to prove to herself, her family, and her ex-husband that she was an individual desire for self-aggrandizement and as an inability capable of caring for her children and her household. Having forsaken child support social recognition for the divorced mothers. The to maintain her apartment and transportation.

The women in this study acknowledge stigmatizing to support claims to piety and Islamic morality as accomplished beliefs about divorced women with children and recognize that Muslim mothers. Graduate School at Brown University. I am grateful to the women Women draw on religious resources as roots of personal power and who shared their lives and stories in the course of research. For identify specific experiences within Islamic contexts as religious invaluable feedback on this essay, I thank Bruce Mouser, Nancy validation to combat social marginalization. Having achieved Mouser, and Munsifah Abdul Latif.

Portions of this paper were religious validation in the syariah court system, divorced Malay presented at the th Annual Conference of the American Anthro- women construct counter-narratives that combat social stigmati- pological Association in Montreal, Canada in Pseudonyms zation by using the sanctified role of mother and the performance have been used to protect the identity of research participants. By also comparing Any errors are my own. More generally, it is characterized by economic indicators, children, the women in this study provide counter-narratives that and includes various management, administrative and government substantiate claims to social and religious position.

I argue that in larger Malaysian society. As including English proficiency, technological knowledge, interna- a result, mothering remains a source of communal and religious tional experience or knowledge, and familiarity and comfort with validation, for self and social placement. Articulating actions understanding and utilizing various religious interpretations in using a culturally salient yet flexible rubric, middle-class divorced state-based venues, such as the syariah court.

They further dove- or denied members by others of the community. Malays are almost constructions and the nuclear family is so strong, however, that exclusively Muslim. Women often perceive this stigma as a risk to class-based pur and the suburban areas of the Klang Valley, including, but not status and are, thus, compelled to emphasize areas of middle-class limited to, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Damansara identity to which they continue to lay claim.

Heights, and Ampang. Although a ma- outside of family and moral matters are addressed using the com- jority of my sources have been from the Malaysianist perspective, mon law system, regardless of religious affiliation. This was once and my work was conducted within the Malay population, akl and the case across the nation. In recent years, however, the states of nafs will be used throughout this piece to remain consistent with Kelantan and Terengganu have encouraged and implemented ele- other contributions to the volume.

Malaysia into industrialized status. Included in such economic 14 The Malaysian syariah court system does not enumerate divorce programs are the eradication of poverty, technological development, rates based on income or class. It should also be noted 7 All interviews were conducted in English. This idyllic vision may not be supported by dominant Dual income households are not uncommon, and represent some religious interpretation in Malaysia but may stem from marginal of the demand for domestic work, as discussed by Chin.


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Women religious interpretations within Malaysia or elsewhere in the Muslim usually retain professional positions after divorce. In the Ma- of women in Islam. For more information, see Sisters in Islam. The first scenario is if the husband is 9 April, Islamic Revivalism in Malaysia: Dakwah Among support his wife for three consecutive months, or abandonment or the Students. Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk, The second scenario is if the Banks, David J. Malay Kinship. Philadelphia: Institute for the wife offers to provide financial compensation in return for mari- Study of Human Issues, Carter, Anthony.

Susan Greenhalgh. Cambridge: Cambridge University impotent, insane, has serious health conditions such as leprosy Press, Cruez, Annie Freeda. The syariah family court system in Malaysia, Djamour, Judith. Malay Kinship and Marriage in Singapore. Lon- therefore, differs from state to state, without federal standardization, don: Athlone, Muslim Matrimonial Court in Singapore. London: structural and Malay subjective in nature. Athlone, Michelle Walks and Naomi make the request. In the Malaysian context, women usually retain McPherson. Bradford, on: Demeter Press, State-Led Modernization and the New parental rights.

In addition, the state-based syariah system retains Middle Class in Malaysia. London: Palgrave, Nakamura Mitsuo, Sharon Siddique, and Omar Fa- and by permitting husbands extended flexibility with financial rouk Bajunid. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, obligations to children. For greater detail on the various levels Managing Islamic , Sharifah and Cederroth, and Jones. Richmond: Routledge Curzon, Omar, Roziah. Roziah Omar and Azizah Hamzah. Kuala Lum- ization and Single Mothers. Omar, Roziah. State, Islam and Malay Reproduction.

Australian National University, Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit Fajar Bakti, Peletz, eds. Bewitching Women, Pi- Legal Change. Berkeley: 2 : , University of California Press, The authors found that the link between breastfeeding and malaria varied in relation to age and use of cotrimoxazole. Insufficient data were available for children HIV-unexposed between the ages of six months and not breastfeeding to evaluate an association between breastfeeding and the risk of malaria; the majority of children in this category breastfed for 15 months or more.

No significant difference in the incidence of malaria was seen in this category of children HIV-unexposed aged months whether they breastfed or not 7. Following policy guidelines these children did not get co-trimoxazole prophylaxis. Breastfeeding, however, was associated with a significantly lower malaria incidence rate in HIV-exposed children taking co-trimoxazole aged between months 1. Since most children in this category stopped breastfeeding before 15 months of age, in accordance with guidelines, there was insufficient data to evaluate the association between breastfeeding and malaria.

HIV-infected children taking cotrimoxazole showed a greater variation of when breastfeeding stopped compared to the other groups. In those aged between months breastfeeding was associated with a significantly lower incidence of malaria 1. Why breastfeeding is protective in the younger age group and not the older is uncertain. The authors also found, unlike in adults, no association between HIV and the risk of malaria in children aged months of age and taking cotrimoxazole prophylaxis.

They suggest this is because of an immature immune system; infants have still to develop partial immunity characteristic of adults after repeated exposure. They stress the need for further research to confirm their findings as well as explain how breastfeeding is protective against malaria. Vora N et al. Breastfeeding and the risk of malaria in children born to HIV-infected and uninfected mothers in rural Uganda. Abstract and full text link. Julianne Bores, a GlaxoSmithKline representative who worked alongside formula representatives in hospitals since , described a culture of financial dependency, where if doctors want to go to expensive medical conferences — held mostly in lavish hotels or abroad - they would always ask the milk companies for sponsorship, and were occasionally allowed to bring their spouses.

All these practices are a violation of Philippine law. While formula can be necessary as not every woman chooses or is able to breastfeed, the barrage of marketing, advertising on TV and social media, and persuasive free gifts ensures that misinformation is rife. They are very persuasive, they make it sound like their products are very good for the mothers and the babies. The Save the Children report shows how global pro-formula campaigning is. In statements to the Guardian, all companies denied any wrongdoing. We take all reports of non-compliance seriously. Any reports received by Mead Johnson are investigated according to the facts and information, per our rigorous compliance programme.

Acting responsibly is core to our purpose. For those on the ground advocating for the benefits of breastfeeding, the pressures from above and below could make it seem like a Sisyphean task. Asked if he thought they were winning the battle for breastmilk, Parawan laughed, though a little dejectedly.