Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Half the Sky

I have written before about the under-appreciation of girls and women worldwide. I do think women in the U.S. have an incredibly good situation with lots of opportunity for education and economic advancement and certainly it is clear this is the case when you compare how women do in the U.S. to many foreign countries. I do think we still have some lingering sexism issues especially when you consider how little the oppression of women and girls worldwide makes it into the news.

Mitch pointed me in the direction of an amazing article in today's New York Times chronicling the many ways in which girls and women are mistreated worldwide and how this poor treatment is a loss for these women, their families, their local economies, their countries and the entire world. It is an amazing article and you should read it.

Sometimes I think about what I will do in another life, or in my second career after I retire. Sometimes I think I would love to work in a progressive zoo (how cool to interact with the animals that close up), or work to return orphaned otters to the wild (ahh the furry people), or form an over 50 female rock band (first I've got to learn to play an instrument). Today I'm thinking, volunteer for an international non-profit that works on iodizing salt, or giving school girls in Africa new uniforms, or fixes obstetric fistulas. Anything to be the small amount of oil that lubricates the global economy to give girls and women just that little bit of hope and opportunity that they need to help hold up their half of the sky.

1 comment:

TiffanyB said...

Hi C., it's amazing how women and girls are oppressed in so many other parts of the world -- especially when societies are so improved when they are not oppressed. The spirit of women in these places is unbelievable.

I've given money before to Eve Ensler's V-Day organization so I get their newsletter, which of course reports mystifying and horrifying stories of the ways women and girls are treated in other places. For instance, in Afghanistan recently, Karzai passed a law that "contains provisions where a woman can only leave the house with her husband's permission if she has a "reasonable legal reason." Husbands have the right to starve their wives if their sexual demands are not met." I cannot fathom such laws and customs. We are indeed lucky here and should do what we can to fight for equality and fair treatment of sisters around the world. (What an understatement.)