A Tribute to Womanhood
Welcome to "I Am Woman"...a tribute to all those women who had the courage and perseverance to stand up and fight for their rights. Thanks to those who came before us we enjoy a freedom unknown to women not too long ago. But, sadly, in many parts of the world, women continue to be repressed. In fact, even in this country there are women living today under the threat of violence...completely controlled by a violent spouse. Some may make it; others won't. Hopefully, one day ALL women will be free. May that day come soon.
Global Violence Against Women
With Mother's Day right around the corner, we have much to be thankful for. We've come a long way from the time
when women were not allowed to go to school or cast a vote...and we have many strong, special women to thank for this....but,sadly, not all women have been as lucky as we are. Throughout the world, many women are still out there just struggling to survive as they are ....beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other way...and most often by someone they know, someone they should be able to trust.
This gender-based violence not only reflects the inequalities between men and women, but also compromises the health, dignity, and security of its victims. It leaves deep psychological scars amongst its victims and in some instances, even results in death. It serves to perpetuate male power and control. And only recently have governments and the international community begun to acknowledge the prevalence and the scope of violence against women and girls; meanwhile, on a daily basis, women and girls continue to endure debilitating and often fatal human rights abuses.
Sexual violence: Between 12 and 25 percent of women around the world have experienced sexual violence at some time in their lives. In the United States alone, some 700,000 women are raped or sexually assaulted annually...and most often by someone they know and trust. In some countries, such as Uruguay and Ethiopia, rapists can escape punishment if they agree to marry their victims.
Trafficking in women and girls: Did you know that an estimated 4 million women and girls from around the world are bought and sold into marriage, slavery, or prostitution? International trafficking has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Victims are procured in many ways. Some victims are abducted; others are deceived by offers of legitimate work in another country; and some are sold by their poverty stricken parents. Once abducted, these women and girls suffer from unspeakable human rights violations.
Honor killings: As many as 5,000 women and girls are murdered by family members each year in these so-called 'honor killings'. These killings are reported in Brazil, Equador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, and even in the United Kingdom. These crimes are socially sanction in some countries, and some country even legally sanction these crimes. The killers are treated with lenience because what they did was for the family honor.
Acid burning: In several countries such as Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Cambodia, women and girls have been attacked with acid as a result of family disputes or rejected marriage proposals. Those who survive are permanently disfigured or blinded, and perpetrators frequently escape any kind of punishment.
Female genital mutilation: More than 100 million girls and women around the world have undergone this painful genital mutilation, a traditional practice that involves either the removal of the entire clitoris and the cutting of the labia or the removal of all external genitalia and the stitching together of the two sides of the vulva, leaving only a small vaginal opening. This very painful act is commonly practiced in various countries in the middle east and Africa.
So, as we celebrate this Mother's Day, let us remember to light a candle and say a prayer for our sisters who are still out there struggling. May one day, they all find peace. The following are some organizations you might be interested in:
A Woman's Voice
End Violence Against Women
Amnesty International USA