Well, today we take a day to celebrate women around the world. It’s like a birthday, I suppose. [a very Happy Birthday to my dear friend, Baby A, today!] Although as every day of life should be celebrated, so should every woman, every day.
There was a demonstration planned today on a tour into a few Arab towns. I was planning to attend after finishing my school day with my friend Sally. It was organized by Women against Violence. I was looking forward to standing on a street in the middle of Akka, an mixed Arab-Jewish town that Ali and I just visited this weekend, with signs reminding society to stop violence against women, pay them more, equality among the sexes, etc. I left the house this morning with a kiss from Ali and a, “Make sure you don’t get arrested.” I was excited about my adventures ahead. My first protest, and concerning something extremely important to me.
Don’t worry, this blog is not about how I got arrested by the Israeli police. It’s about how I didn’t get to attend the demonstration for various reasons. Long story short, instead, I write this from the office, with my red bouquet of flowers from Masar, in celebration of International Women’s Day. And I look up news stories about what other women of the world are doing to Stop the Violence.
I first went to Asia. Where in Bangledesh women get acid thrown on their faces from rejected suitors. Where a woman in the Punjab province was repeatedly raped for over an hour because of something her brother had done. One of the six men will serve a life sentence, the rest walk free. Where women are forced into the sex trade industry in a number of coutries, take your pick. Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, India, Malaysia, Vietnam…Where in a number of Arab countries, Pakistan included, women are killed in “honour crimes.” A man can kill his wife, sister, mother, for a crime he calls an honour crime, adultry for example, and he walks free.
Without reference to any news article, I must take a moment to remind my readers about the women in Africa who undergo FGM (Female Genital Mutulation) and women in Palestine who also suffer from the above mentioned “honour killings/crimes.” In Israeli society, these same circumstance killings are referred to as “romantic killings.” And how about the women in Iran, who are married off at the age of nine, before they have yet become women. And in every country, there is domestic violence. In some, the situation is worse than others, like in Latin America and Spain. Instead of declining, recorded cases of domestic violence have risen in some of these areas.
I only found one article from a newspaper in the states, and all the quotes were from women in other countries. Interesting that the most progressive environment for women doesn’t feel the need to celebrate them. And if you are from the states, the situation with violence, attacks, inequality, ETC. exists there too.
And if you want to read about the roots of women’s day, read here.
I guess I digress.
So, celebrate the woman in you, the women around you and all the women of the world. We certainly do deserve it. STOP THE VIOLENCE.