"I suppose there are people who can pass up free guacamole, but they're either allergic to avocado or too joyless to live."— Frank Bruni

Thursday, March 08, 2012

where mah girls at

Today is International Women's Day. I wish I was more optimistic about the advancement of women, and I wish I was in a more celebratory mood, but thanks to backward-thinking individuals (mostly men), recent events have dampered my spirit a bit. Call me a soothsayer, but about three weeks ago, I began compiling a draft post temporarily titled "How men are ruining the world." Below is the text of that draft post:

How men are ruining the world. Let me count the ways.
- pic of all male panel
- war
- this link
- women's health

Of course, that draft was written hastily in the midst of frustration and was never posted, but with constant news coverage of the debate over women's health and reproductive rights, the interjections of the Catholic church on that subject, the Israel/Iran conflict, and the brutal and barbaric attack on the Syrian people by Assad, it's hard not to wonder how much different (dare I suggest better?) the world would be if all institutions (government, religious, etc.) were run by women.

I also think of stories of women like this one, who, if she were educated, or a man, would have a better life for herself and her children, but instead has little opportunity to improve her current situation. But, I also think of Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, that not only helped many people out of poverty through microloans, but empowered many women to improve their lives through independence (since most of the impoverished who benefit from the program are women).

And I think of Nic Kristof and the Half the Sky Movement that spawned from his book of the same name. As it says on the movement website, and to echo the age-old yet under-recognized concept, empowering and educating women and girls is the most effective way to battle poverty (and apparently extremism).

Then I read this about our current president in today's Times...how apropos. ...I stand reminded that some men aren't that bad (yes, that's a tongue-in-cheek comment).

And then there are all the countless, fearless women who have fought and continue to fight on behalf of all women - too many to name... so although it's disconcerting when we seem to take a step back in debates that are about things that we thought were in the bag (i.e. birth control), I suppose we should all take this one day a year to remember all the advocates, what process we have made (and have kept), and all the hope we have in young girls to make the world a better place...if we set it up for them to even have a chance to do so.

(Though it's interesting to note how International Women's Day is an official holiday in some countries that are not the brightest stars when it comes to women's rights and equality (e.g. Afghanistan). Apparently, they celebrate by buying women gifts, when really what they need more are equal rights, empowerment and opportunities.)

No comments:

Post a Comment