A dowry is the money or property that a woman brings to her husband’s family at the time of their marriage. Traditionally, dowries in India were meant to ensure that the bride was financially secure after her marriage and was seen as a type of inheritance from the bride’s parents to the bride. However, when the British colonized India, this changed. Heavy taxes meant that many families who had sons began to rely on the bride’s dowry for survival, and the husband’s family began to extort more and more money from the bride’s family.  Providing a dowry was officially made illegal in India in 1961 with the establishment of the Dowry Prohibition Act, but many families among all social classes continue the practice of giving a dowry today. Dowry killings are when a wife is killed because her parents are unable to fulfill all of the demands of the husband’s family, and these killings are unfortunately extremely common.

In 2012, 8,233 women were killed in dowry-related deaths. While the number of these deaths declined from 2011, when 8,618 women were killed over dowry disagreements, the number of abuse cases related to dowry — when a husband and in-laws abuse a bride because her parents fail to pay a “sufficient” dowry — rose from 99,135 cases in 2011 to 106,527 cases in 2012.

In the 1990s, dowry killings were not very common, with about 300 killings per year. However, with the rise of consumerism in India, dowry killings have increased. Now, goods and appliances that were originally scarce have become more widely available, prompting a wave of greed and increasing the demand for dowry. Families that previously could not have dreamed of being able to afford goods such as cars are now within reach of being able to buy one, and they rely on the bride who marries their son to help them fulfill their consumption desires.

Pravartika Gupta and her one-year-old daughter were killed by her in-laws in 2012 because Gupta’s parents were unable to afford the 15,000 pounds, Honda City car and new apartment that had been demanded as a dowry. Gupta’s case is unfortunately not unique. In 2014, 22-year-old Annu Devi and her one-year-old daughter were burned to death by Devi’s husband and in-laws because her parents were unable to pay the dowry demanded. Many in-laws continue to demand more and more dowry even in the years after their son is married, claiming that the dowry will be used to provide for children and pay living expenses throughout the years. Around 80% of bank loans in India are taken in order to meet dowry-related demands.

Dowry is also the reason for the high levels of female feticide in India. Parents kill their female babies in the womb because they do not want to spend their whole lives saving money to pay for their daughter’s dowry. This has led to a skewed gender ratio in India, where there are 933 girls per 1,000 boys.

In 2012, charges were brought in 94% of dowry-related death cases, but only 32% of cases led to convictions. Many husbands and in-laws claim that dowry-related deaths were suicides in order to escape conviction. Parents of the bride are also sometimes reluctant to bring charges against the husband’s family because they do not want to ruin their other daughters’ chances of marriage.

India has one of the fastest-growing middle classes in the world, and it has had a female president and a female prime minister. It is now common for women in India to have impressive careers. However, India still ranks as the world’s fourth most dangerous country for a woman. If India wishes to really advance, it needs to ensure that harmful practices such as dowries are not just legally unacceptable, they are also socially unacceptable.

– Ashrita Rau

Sources: International Policy Digest, CNN, The Guardian, LA Times, Telegraph
Photo:The Daily Beast

The Life of Women in AfghanistanIn 2011, Newsweek and The Daily Beast published a list of countries, titled “Best Countries for Women,” that ranked the living conditions for women in various parts of the world. Out of 165 countries analyzed, Afghanistan ranked second-to-last at 164th.

Afghanistan is well known for its cultural and religious mistreatment of women. During the height of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, fundamentalists in accord with a strict interpretation of Islam implemented a wide array of behavioral laws against Afghan women.

According to the Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), woman could be criminalized for working outside of the home, participating in any activity outside of the home (unless accompanied by a mahram, or a male relative), not wearing a burqa, wearing heels or makeup, laughing loudly, being photographed or filmed, playing sports, riding unaccompanied in a taxi, riding on a bicycle or motorcycle, looking at strangers, appearing on the balcony of her own home, receiving medical treatment from a male doctor and being educated, among others.

These regulations seriously constrain the personal freedoms of women in domestic and social realms of interaction. Women who violate or are even accused of violating these strict rules are subject to lashes, public stoning and other cruel policing tactics. Fear is used as a control mechanism to suppress women’s voices and actions on a daily basis. In Afghanistan, each woman must choose between expressing her free will and being violently punished for doing so.

Afghan women activists who try to rebel against this unfair treatment are often threatened with death in order to suppress their voices. Human Rights Watch reported in 2015, “Other setbacks for women’s rights in 2014 included a continuing series of attacks on, threats toward, and assassinations of, high-profile women, including police women and activists, to which the government failed to respond with meaningful measures to protect women at risk. The implementation by law enforcement officials of Afghanistan’s landmark 2009 Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women remained poor, with many cases of violence against women ignored or resolved through ‘mediation’ that denied victims their day in court.”

Women for Women International is one of several organizations working to help women suffering from abuse, marginalization, poverty and lack of human rights due to war and conflict in Afghanistan.

They state on their website, “Decades of violence in Afghanistan have left millions of women and girls displaced or widowed. Common discriminatory practices, amplified by extremist groups, often make it dangerous for women to seek education, healthcare services, employment, or, in some cases, even to leave their homes.”

The Afghan Women’s Mission, founded in 2000, is another such organization created to support the humanitarian and political efforts of RAWA. Their website states, “Projects include many programs run by Afghan women including Malalai Clinic, schools, orphanages, agricultural programs, demonstrations and functions in support of women’s and human rights. We are an all-volunteer organization based in the United States.”

Despite the noble efforts of organizations like these, the situation remains virtually the same since the Taliban regime. Just earlier this year, the violent burning and murder of several women’s rights activists in Afghanistan shocked the world. If the situation for women is ever going to get better, meaningful reform needs to happen now.

– Hanna Darroll

Sources: Afghan Women Mission, Trust in Education, Scribd, Women for Women, Human Rights Watch,
Photo: RT


Bangladesh is a small South Asian country which borders India, Myanmar, and the Bay of Bengal. Since it gained independence in 1971, Bangladesh’s economy has been growing about 6% annually. However, while the economy in Bangladesh is becoming more progressive, socially, Bangladesh still has room for advancement. Patriarchal customs mean that many women in Bangladesh face threats of violence.

Some main acts of violence committed against women include dowry killings, rape, sexual harassment and stalking, acid attacks, physical and mental abuse and sex trafficking. Nearly two out of every three women in Bangladesh are victims of some form of violence.

Gender based violence is on the rise. In 2004, there were 2,981 cases of dowry related violence; women are beaten or killed because their parents fail to pay the dowry that her in-laws request. This number rose to 4,563 cases in 2012.

Gender discrimination also leads to women having less opportunities. The literacy rate for women in Bangladesh is only 43.2%, while 61.0% of Bangladeshi men are literate. The unemployment rate for women is 70.7%, much higher than the 12.4% unemployment rate for men. Even though many women help in the agricultural sector, 73% of those women contribute what is considered as unpaid ‘family labor’ and do not receive a salary. This is problematic because even if women work for their family, patriarchal values dictate that many of the women are not given control of the property or the family income, and therefore the women are not able to spend the money they earn as they see fit.

Many women in Bangladesh fail to report violence committed against them because there persists a stigma surrounding rape, abuse, and domestic violence in the country. The police are also likely to blame the victim and favor the side of the abuser. From 2010 to 2012, the Bangladeshi police received 109,621 complaints about violence against women. However, the police determined that only 6,875 of these complaints were ‘genuine’ and should be further investigated. The inspector-general of police, who is responsible for investigating crimes involving violence against women, told the Inter Press Service news agency that “On many occasions . . . the law was used to harass the accused. It does seem that not all complaints are genuine”.

The stigma surrounding violence against women means that many women do not get the justice they deserve. In 2011, there were 420 recorded cases of rape in Bangladesh, and only 286 reached the prosecution stage.

Luckily, there are laws and programs being implemented to help reduce the amount of gender based violence that is taking place in Bangladesh. A joint program with the UN has instituted a three-tier strategy to help reduce this violence. The first part of the UN’s program is designed to enhance the capacities of the government and to support NGO’s in order to help prevent violence against women and protect victims. The program also aims to protect survivors of violence and to change social attitudes, which lead to much gender based violence.

Some important achievements of the UN’s program have been increased access to healthcare for women, a decrease in the rate of child-marriages and dowry-killings and more awareness about the lesser-known forms of gender based violence, such as sexual harassment in the workplace.

There are also specific laws which have been instituted by the Bangladeshi government in an effort to prevent violence against women. Some of these laws include the 2010 Domestic Violence Act and the 2000 Suppression of Violence against Women and Children Act.

The 2010 Domestic Violence Act criminalizes domestic violence. This was a landmark act because many Bangladeshi women face cruelty by their husbands. A 2007 report stated that 53% of married women in Bangladesh were physically and/or sexually abused by their husbands. If the court deems that domestic violence is likely to occur, it can either relocate the victim to a shelter or evict the perpetrator of the violence.

The Suppression of Violence against Women and Children act was passed in 2000 and makes clear that there will be harsh punishment for those convicted for committing violent crimes. The law targets rape, trafficking, and kidnapping.

Though legislation is an important step toward ending violence against women in Bangladesh, in order for significant change to occur, societal attitudes must change in order to end the stigma and victim-blaming that women face when they report violence carried out against them.

– Ashrita Rau

Sources: MDG Achievement Fund, IPS News Odhikar, Department of Women’s Affairs, Bangladesh UN, CIA CIA World Factbook, OHCHR
Photo: Women Deliver

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 25 percent of women and 8 percent of men have been raped and/or physically assaulted by a spouse, friend or acquaintance. This means that “each year about 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner.”This issue is severely under-recognized. The National Association of Social Workers does its part to both prevent and find solutions for domestic violence.

Social workers are directly involved with victims, whether it be through counseling individuals, aiding in the judicial process or finding new homes for those abused. The issue of domestic violence exists outside of the U.S. There are countless foundations all over the world aimed at providing a support system to those affected by domestic violence. For example, the Global Foundation to Eliminate Global Violence (GFEGV) is a nonprofit aimed to both eliminate domestic violence and to support those who have already been claimed as a sufferer. Trying to escape the throngs of violence can be the hardest part for most victims, who may either rely on their abuser for financial stability or may have emotional ties to them. Having the courage to escape can often result in not only loneliness, but also poverty. According to the GFEGV’s website, the annual cost of health-related domestic violence issues in the U.K. is $23 billion. In the U.K., one in four women will be abused, while men have a one in six risk.World Bank data reports that “women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria.”Here are some quick facts from the U.N.’s UNITE website about domestic violence:

  • In South Africa, a woman is killed every six hours by an intimate partner.
  • In India, 22 women were killed each day in dowry-related murders in 2007.
  • In Guatemala, two women are murdered, on average, each day.
  • In the U.S., one-third of women murdered each year are killed by intimate partners.

The dowry-related murders mentioned above involve the murdering of a new wife, or wife-to-be, if she fails to meet the dowry requirements of her husband’s family. It is a practice that occurs in various cultures worldwide.

Donating money to organizations and becoming educated is important to improving and ultimately eliminating domestic violence worldwide.

Kathleen Lee

Sources: National Association of Social Workers, EDV, UNiTE
Photo: Trade Arabia

Women in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is an island in the South Pacific located just north of Australia, with a population of around 7 million. It is a developing country, ranking 156 out of 187 countries on the UN Human Development Index. 

Papua New Guinea suffers—like most developing nations—from high levels of poverty and corruption within the government due to vast oil and gas reserves.

But Papua New Guinea doesn’t simply have to deal with the normal problems of a developing country. Sadly, in recent years this island nation has become known for rampant and increasing violence against women.

It has been reported that 68 percent of PNG women suffer from violence. What is worse is that one in three women have reportedly been raped. As with most rape statistics, that number is often low, as many women who have been raped do not report it.

Violence against women in Papua New Guinea is not always of a sexual nature. Women are often accused of sorcery, and violence is used as retribution. In February 2013, there was a highly publicized case of a 20-year old woman accused of sorcery. As punishment, she was burned alive. 

Domestic violence seems to be the most prevalent form. It is often the result of the male’s desire to assert authority over his female partner because he may perceive that she is acting insubordinate or lazy. 

Amnesty International states that this type of violence “includes rape, being burnt with hot irons, broken bones and fractures, kicking and punching and cutting with bush knives.”

There have been some attempts by the government to deal with this issue. In April of last year, the 1971 Sorcery Act, which criminalized sorcery, was repealed.

In September 2013, the parliament in PNG passed the Family Protection Bill, which made domestic violence illegal. 

However, many women still do not know of the existence of this law, and implementation has been difficult and not very far reaching. The same is true of the sorcery law, which is in the appeals process and does not change the pervasive cultural view of the existence of sorcery.

Women’s groups from within and outside PNG continue to try and spread awareness of this issue and work on programs that attempt to eradicate these grave human rights violations.

Statistics and research on this subject are hard to find though. Women’s rights groups have a difficult time funding further research because no raw data exists. Papua New Guinea is low on the international radar.

Awareness and further research on this issue is needed in order to help the women of Papua New Guinea escape this terrible cycle of violence.

– Eleni Marino

Sources: Child Fund, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Islands Business, Human Development Report, United Nations,
Photo: ABCNews

food aid
Over 40 tribal elders in the Bannu region of Pakistan voted to ban women from collecting food aid for Internally Displaced Persons fleeing the military offensive in North Waziristan, Pakistan. Witnesses report seeing men slap women who had joined the line for food rations. The women reportedly left quickly after experiencing such violence, but the question remains as to how widows or women unaccompanied by men will receive aid. One man distributed leaflets discouraging women from attempting to attain food rations with a warning to husbands who fail to keep their women at home. The Bannu region is especially conservative, where women wear full-length burqa robes and rarely venture outside their homes.

Violence and discrimination against women in Pakistan have plagued the country, as recently as on July 23 when unknown assailants threw acid at two women at a shopping center in Baluchistan. A similar attack occurred one day earlier when four women were attacked with acid. In both attacks, the perpetrators rode past on motorcycles spraying their victims with acid. Officials believe the crimes to be the work of religious extremists in the area.

In March, the Council of Islamic Ideology, a body that provides legal advice to the Pakistani government, said laws that ban child marriage are “un-Islamic.” Current laws require boys to reach the age of 18 before marriage, and girls the age 16. Chairman of the Council Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani continued, “Sharia allows men to have more than one wife, and we demanded that the government should amend the law.”

Child marriage in Pakistan, according to experts, explains the country’s high infant mortality rate, as early marriage results in frequent pregnancies with inadequate preparation. The country also has lower reproductive and maternal healthcare coverage for women than its neighbors India, Bangladesh or Nepal.

Over 990,000 people left the North Waziristan following the June airstrikes known as the Zarb-e-Azb operation, and 84 percent of these IDPs have fled to the Bannu District. North Waziristan has long served as a haven for militants in Pakistan and although the Pakistani government claimed to have targeted all militant groups equally, the U.S. and many locals say Pakistan protected the Haqqani group, which has been based in Waziristan for decades. Many accuse the Pakistani military of allowing Haqqani militants to escape before the operation began. The U.S. sees the Haqqani as a threat to stability in Afghanistan, and is withholding $300 million in aid to Pakistan until the Secretary of Defense determines Pakistan to have “significantly disrupted” the Haqqani network.

The Pakistani military has used militants as proxies in Afghanistan and India for decades. Experts believe the operation — which has killed over 450 since June — is intended to primarily target Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, central Asian and Arab militants in the region that militants have traditionally used to launch attacks on Afghanistan.

The U.S. military has since joined Pakistan with its drone strikes on Saturday that killed 15.

– Erica Lignell

Sources: Reuters, International Business Times, Business Standard, New York Times, Wall Street Journal
Photo: Reuters

Last month, two girls were found hanging from trees in India’s Katra village. Another woman claimed she was gang-raped by four police officers. India has had a women’s rights problem for a while now, yet it is only increasing, despite more strict laws. The body of a 19-year-old was just recently found hanging by her scarf from a tree in Uttar Pradesh, making her the state’s fourth female victim in only two weeks.

Rape in India is a rising problem, yet one that is not easily solved. According to official statistics, around 25,000 rapes are committed every year in India, though the number is thought to be much higher due to a common fear of punishment and social stigma. Simply, the problem lies in attitude, not a lack of legislation or protection. “Even though the laws are there, many people feel they can get away with anything, an attitude that some of our politicians have gone out of their way to encourage,” said Ranjana Kumari, a prolific women’s rights activist in New Delhi.

Certain politicians have only exacerbated the problem. Earlier this June, Madhya Pradesh state Home Minister, Babulal Gaur (who oversees police,) claimed that rape was a “social crime,” which depended on the man and woman. “It is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.” Gaur’s statements came just months after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav opposed the death penalty for rape, claiming “boys will be boys. Sometimes they make mistakes.”

The most recent victim was thought to have been raped and murdered by two men who she told her family had been bothering her. While they have filed a report claiming their suspicions in her death, the case is basically smoke and mirrors: a district police officer told the New York Times that a preliminary postmortem examination found no evidence to suggest rape.

Unfortunately, this ability for men to “get away” with their crimes is exactly what has caused it to spread to this extremity. “This is not something that is particular for Uttar Pradesh,” said Amnesty International India’s senior researcher, Divya Iyer, on the most recent death. “These sporadic news of rapes bring the issue to the fore, but it is important to see it as a continuum. For every case of rape, there are many more that are not reported, because of the stigma attached and the fear of reprisals. It is important to hold politicians accountable for their statements in order to send the right signals to the community.”

— Nick Magnanti

Sources: Fox News, Religion News, Time, NY Times
Photo: Asia Society


Two 12 and 15-year-old girls were lynched last week in western Uttar Pradesh in India after being abducted, gang raped and hanged by their attackers. The Indian village, known as Katra in the Badaun district, is one of the world’s most impoverished areas.

Most of its citizens work as tillers or take up small, part-time jobs in order to make a living. With hardly any money, most cannot afford a functioning toilet, so they relieve themselves in nearby fields.

Yet this is exactly what would lead to the death of two young cousins after being abducted by three men in the fields of their village. Their attackers hanged the two girls on a tree in the village, which would be on display for the entire community.

Thought by medical experts to have been hanged alive, many are wondering how and why these gruesome attacks could have taken place in a day and age where feminism is, in most parts of the world, on the rise.

India has had a history of women’s rights problems for years. After the gang rape case of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi in 2012, in which four men were all found guilty and given the death penalty, India has been making a concerted effort to tighten their rules regarding violence against women.

Yet this has by no means actually prevented or improved cases of violence against women in the country; in most cases, police insensitivity has been proliferated by patriarchal attitudes of those in governmental power.

The Samajwadi Party is just one example of misogyny’s power in Indian politics. The senior Samajwadi Party leader, Ram Gopal Yadav, spoke of the most recent incident, stating, “[In] many places, when the relationship between girls and boys come out in the open, it is termed as rape.”

Two months ago, party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed that “boys will be boys” and vehemently opposed the death penalty as punishment for acts of rape.

The three men responsible for the two teenage girls’ deaths in Katra have been arrested, and two policemen are being held on suspicion for trying to cover up the crimes.

This is not an uncommon occurrence: while a rape is reported every 21 minutes in India, law enforcement failure often results in crimes not being reported or investigated fully. Yet as the case rises in power, world officials are continuing to speak out against these acts of misogyny.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who stated that he was “appalled” by these recent acts, is just one of many to have spoken out. “We say no to the dismissive, destructive attitude of ‘boys will be boys,’” he said. As the government continues to crack down on these acts, many hope its citizens will listen.

 — Nick Magnanti

Sources: The Diplomat, ODT, Scroll, Times of India 1, Times of India 2
Photo: The Story Exchange

On April 14 approximately 276 girls were abducted from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria, by the militant group Boko Haram. The international attention and social media activism that have followed since have all been indicators of universal outrage. But most importantly they have underscored the instability which has crippled Nigeria in recent years.

With a $6 billion national annual budget for security forces, Nigeria’s recent mass kidnapping might seem surprising, but it is indicative of a broader spectrum of disarray. Nigeria is the most populous state in Africa and its leading economy, laying claim to the 26th largest economy in the world. However, its citizens are often bound by dire living constraints.

In Nigeria’s Borno state, home to capital city Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram, the per capita income is $1,631 compared to $4,000 in political capital Abuja. It is evident that poverty has planted the seeds for violent extremism. Since 2009 Boko Haram, in their quest to create an Islamic state in Nigeria, has been implicated in the deaths of over 12,000 Nigerian citizens. In 2013 they were officially declared a terrorist group by the United States government.

Despite Nigeria’s trouble with internal uprisings, it has become clear that its government has been troubled by its own internal issues. Recent Nigerian media reports have revealed that 10 generals and five other senior officers have been court martialed and found guilty of supplying info and ammunition to Boko Haram. This level of extremist sympathizing, while detestable, is not altogether shocking given Nigeria’s current state of affairs.

Corruption on the level of high-ranking government officials has long been linked to poverty throughout Africa. Nigeria has been operating at annual levels of around seven percent economic growth over the past few years but its correlation between national economic growth and increasing living standards has become tenuous at best.

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has framed his country’s growing poverty problems as a problem of wealth distribution. Considering the highly concentrated nature of wealth and political capital amongst the country’s oil barons, this assessment is worth considering. With oil reserves of upwards of 37 billion barrels, only second to Libya in all of Africa, Nigeria is surely not pressed for revenue generating natural resources. However, its influx of oil revenue has not made it a wealthy state.

By 2030 Nigeria’s population size is expected to increase from its 2010 level by upwards of 60 percent, making it the world’s eventual fifth largest population. There are currently over 160 million people living in Nigeria, 42.8 percent of whom are age 14 or younger. However, of the school age children who actually begin formal education, only two-thirds complete primary school. Like the rest of the world, lack of education coupled with the presence of poverty makes for a corrosive pair. It will surely take increasing levels of stability and government accountability to fend the two off.

On June 9, 20 more girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram in the northeastern town of Garkin Fulani, Nigeria. The abductions took place only a few miles from where the 200-plus girls were kidnapped in Chibok in mid-April. This most recent example of Nigeria’s internal security woes comes after President Goodluck vowed to protect this vulnerable and embattled area of Nigeria. Instead, another instance of atrocity has once again marred a Nigerian community still reeling from the effects of the past five years.

 — Taylor Dow

Sources: CNN, BBC, Global Public Square, Tribune, Business Day
Photo: The Indian Express

American Jewish World Service
As an organization dedicated to promoting human rights through advocacy, American Jewish World Service aims to “advance the health and human rights of women, girls, and the LGBT community, to promote recovery from conflict and oppression, to defend access to food, land, and livelihood, and to aid communities after disasters.”

The organization endeavors to uphold the Jewish value of “tikkun olam” which literally translates as fixing the world. Much like The Borgen Project, American Jewish World Service understands the enormous impact U.S. legislation can have on the developing world, and therefore, spends much of their efforts on urging representatives to support both economic and social justice in these regions.

American Jewish World Service focuses their work primarily on the Americas, Africa and Asia, and collaborates with other like-minded organizations in order to best promote their cause. Some partners include the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Rights, which provides a rapid response to areas that are experiencing increased violence against women, The Disability Rights Fund, which aims to support people that are disabled, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, which helps support rights for the LGBT community and the International Network for Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, which supports grassroots organizations by helping facilitate communication between various organizations.

American Jewish World Service’s most recent efforts, however, are aimed at pressuring the Senate to pass IVAWA (the International Violence Against Women Act), S.2307. Passing this act would secure an effective portion of foreign aid toward ending the struggle against gender-based violence. The act itself aims to put programs into action that will do the following: work with women to combat violence while also working to reduce the violence committed against women, stop violence so girls and women can go to school, work and collect food without fear of sexual and all forms of harassment and establishes fighting violence against women as a main concern of U.S. foreign policy.

If you would like to take action in combating violence against women, you can use the following link to email your senator to encourage Congress to pass the IVAWA.

Jordyn Horowitz

Sources: AJWS, Congress, Futures Without Violence, UN Women
Photo: KeyD Media