The other day, I wrote a post about why women’s rights should be important to skeptics and I mentioned that there might be a way for all of us to help alleviate a desperate situation. The quick summary: activists working in Basra for women’s rights are being murdered in increasing numbers, and most recently a woman was gunned down while trying to escape the husband who beat her daughter to death for expressing interest in a British soldier. The activists are now trying to pull out as many people as possible from the dangerous area, but lack the funds to save more than a few families.

Moe at Jezebel sounded the call to action. She was kind enough to put me in touch with a Guardian journalist, who put me in touch with the activists. Because the activists are so heavily targeted by religious extremists, details about their names and the organization must be kept confidential. Over the past few days, they have been kind and brave enough to give me the information I needed to be secure in the knowledge that the money we donate will actually save lives.

Obviously, this is going to be tough for some skeptics to accept, but you’re gonna have to trust me. I understand if some of you do not want to donate money so blindly, but I do want to be clear: this organization is real, these women are real, and the threats of rape and murder that hang over their heads are real.

If you’d like to help, and I hope you do, you can use PayPal to send a donation in any amount to Moe, who will collect and then wire the money to the Guardian journalist, who is currently in Iraq and able to deliver the money to the women. The info you need to donate is Moe’s full name: Maureen Tkacik, and her e-mail: I’d like it if you could tag your donation with “via skepchick” or something, just so that we might know how much we managed to contribute as a team. That’s optional, though, and is mostly for my own curiosity.

You can also help by spreading the word to anyone else who you think may want to help. Thanks, skeptics.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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  1. Profile photo of Masala Skeptic
    June 5, 2008 at 10:58 am —


  2. Profile photo of Rebecca Watson
    June 5, 2008 at 11:01 am —

    Someone has written to say they had a problem donating…please let me know if anyone else runs into issues, and I’ll check with Moe!

  3. Profile photo of SteveT
    June 5, 2008 at 11:10 am —


  4. Profile photo of neverclear5
    June 5, 2008 at 11:14 am —

    I’m the guy who messaged about the problem. It seems it was on my end and is fixed.

  5. Profile photo of AgnosticOracle
    June 5, 2008 at 11:17 am —

    Done, and thank you!

  6. Profile photo of Rebecca Watson
    June 5, 2008 at 11:19 am —

    Fantastic, glad it worked for you, neverclear5! Thanks, everyone, for donating.

  7. Profile photo of "Other" Amanda
    June 5, 2008 at 12:14 pm —

    I’m having issues with Paypal (completely my problem – I can’t remember any of my acct information, and they have my credit card number on file with that acct, so I can’t attach the card to another account… grrrrr)

    Long story short, I will have to call them later to deal with this and then I can donate. *sigh* But I will, soon.

    Thank you for doing this, by the way.

  8. Profile photo of Jen
    June 5, 2008 at 1:28 pm —

    Mine’s in too. Thanks for handling the details, Rebecca.

  9. Profile photo of Jason Brunet
    June 5, 2008 at 1:35 pm —

    Done. I also posted about this on jeffthefish. Thanks so much, Rebecca.

  10. Profile photo of Swami
    June 5, 2008 at 2:20 pm —

    Sent it. Thanks for hooking us up, Rebecca. And thanks to everyone who’s donated so far. We are actively making a difference, guys! I’m proud of us.

  11. Profile photo of writerdd
    June 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm —


  12. Profile photo of Imrryr
    June 5, 2008 at 3:16 pm —

    Done. Thank you Rebecca.

  13. Profile photo of Briarking
    June 5, 2008 at 4:03 pm —

    I “done” it, too.

  14. Profile photo of Schnacky
    June 5, 2008 at 7:12 pm —


    Thanks Rebecca.

  15. Profile photo of LOLkate
    June 5, 2008 at 8:38 pm —

    i love the ladies over at jezebel. we should collaborate for the good of womanity more often!

  16. Profile photo of buffalodavid
    June 7, 2008 at 10:56 am —

    Done…and thank you!

  17. Profile photo of rationalista
    June 7, 2008 at 2:12 pm —

    Done! Thanks so much Rebecca!

  18. Profile photo of peaches
    June 9, 2008 at 1:39 am —

    Done. Thanks for the info Rebecca.

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