Mar 8, 2007

Women Should be Honored & Celebrated Every Day of the Year--With EQUAL RIGHTS--in a Humane & Free World

Domestic violence kills and injures more people in the developing world than war, cancer or traffic accidents

By looking at the condition of women in a given country, you can tell a great deal about that country--its economy, politics, and culture. On March 8th, some people observed the international Women's Day, I didn't, sort of. Any instance that brings attention to an important issue, I welcome, though I wonder if, on that day, there were any specific actions that may result in some positive change in the condition of women. I hope there were such actions, though I'm not sure. I have a problem when people become romantic just because it's Valentine's Day, or remember their mother because it's Mother's Day. I believe it has to be a way of life, an attitude to behave nicely, to be an enlightened person, to treat other human beings with respect and afford them dignity. Unfortunately, not every country is a liberal democracy [the only truly free society we know today], and many haven't arrived at the 21st century yet...

Even in the United States there are problems, not always limited to domestic violence against women, or job discrimination. There's human trafficking here too! Hard to believe, but it's true. [read more about it in this post on Pace Polity by Elizabeth]

UK's The Independent has a great article about the condition of women in the world today. The British government in cooperation with human rights groups have found some very disturbing facts:

  • Two-thirds of the world's 800 million illiterate adults are women as girls are not seen as worth the investment, or are busy collecting water or firewood or doing other domestic chores.

  • Two million girls aged from five to 15 join the commercial sex market every year.

  • Domestic violence kills and injures more people in the developing world than war, cancer or traffic accidents.

  • Seventy per cent of the world's poorest people are women.

  • Violence against women causes more deaths and disabilities among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents or war.

  • Women produce half the world's food, but own less than two per cent of the land.

  • Of the more than one billion people living in extreme poverty, 70 per cent are women.

  • Almost a third of the world's women are homeless or live in inadequate housing.

  • Half of all murdered women are killed by their current or former husbands or partners.

  • Every minute a woman dies as a result of pregnancy complications.

  • Women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, yet earn only a tenth of its income.

  • One woman in three will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.

  • 43 million girls are not able to go to school.

  • Last year, one million HIV-positive women died of AIDS-related illnesses because they could not get the drugs they needed.

  • Human Rights Watch, in reports on 15 countries including Afghanistan, Brazil, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Togo and South Africa, has identified violence against schoolgirls, child domestic workers and those in conflict with the law as on the rise.

  • Women across the developing world are the victims of systematic abuse.
I know that, in my lifetime, I won't see a world where true humanism and enlightenment are universally practiced, but for every life we change today, we can affect thousands in the future. Yes, every person can make a positive difference, big or small. Oscar Schindler saved about 1,200 human beings, who went on to have families, children, grandchildren, and so forth, for generations. I think it's rather basic, it's respect for human life, in the here & now, when it actually matters!

Women are our mothers. They deserve everything, and more, than we--the children, the men--enjoy today. It makes sense, it's good for the world, it's humane!