Trust Docs: Breaking Gender Stereotypes

Kung Fu Nuns Strike Back at Rising Sex Attacks In India

As dawn breaks, the sun edges over the expansive jagged mountains of Ladakh - a remote Buddhist ex-kingdom in the Indian Himalayas bordering Tibet - to reveal a world where time appears to have stood still.

The chant of monks in a centuries-old monastery can be heard in the distance. Villagers slowly emerge from whitewashed stone cottages to tend to their wheat and barley fields, and ready their goats to search for pasture. Ladakh's age-old Tibetan Buddhist way of life appears almost untouched by modernity.

Until, that is, you hear the energetic yells of scores of young women, clad in sweatpants and trainers. Fanned out in front of a majestic white temple-like structure, they stretch, lunge, jump, kick and punch on the orders of nuns.

Meet the Kung Fu nuns — women from an age-old Buddhist sect who are using their martial arts expertise to challenge gender roles in this conservative culture and teach women self-defense, as reports of rapes rise in India. Between meditation sessions, they attend gender equality lessons and they follow their prayers with jabs and thrust kicks.

"We walk the talk. If we act, people will think if: 'If nuns can act, why can't we?'" said 19-year-old Jigme Wangchuk Lhamo, one of the Kung Fu trainers, as she rested after an intense two-hour session.

Category:

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Storytelling Across the Globe

Virtual reality experiences, comic books, and architectural mapping are all forms of storytelling being used by artists and activists around the world to raise awareness of social problems. From calling out sexual assault in India to documenting war crimes in Gaza, these modes of communication are connecting people to issues across the world.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes

People all over the world are confronting traditional norms around gender and sexuality that are difficult to break. Despite opposition and discrimination from their communities, these people are armed with the courage to truly be themselves. The small steps people take to assert their role in society, can result in major leaps for future generations.

The Resilience of Children

The future of our communities lies in protecting our most vulnerable yet most resilient members: our children. But often, children are the first victims of war and poverty. Many face horrifying events and live with the trauma for the rest of their lives. Despite this, some children survive these events to become leaders of their communities and voices for peace.

Taboo Health Issues

Many communities around the world see disease and mental illness not as something to be treated, but as something to be feared. As a result, many suffering from curable conditions are stigmatized within their communities. But through education and organizing, some people are challenging these stigmas and addressing previously taboo health issues.

Green at What Price?

In the name of environmental restoration, the Ugandan government is expanding the country’s forest reserves in order to sell into the global carbon credit market. But this program comes at a high human cost as the state is displacing long established villages, forcing people to relocate, and jailing those opposing the program.

One Man, One City, Three Evictions

Rio de Janeiro has experienced several waves of development in the past century. For Altair Guimaraes the changes have affected him directly. Brought up in a favela, he has been evicted three times as a result of Rio’s developments. As Brazil tries to gain global recognition and increase tourism, locals like Altair are forced to relocate despite property titles. Now, their struggles are becoming a symbol of a global phenomenon.

  • 2017-12-17T05:30:00-08:00
    Link TV