I know that I said I was going to write about some of this drivel that Condolesa Rice has been putting out, but I came across this cartoon yesterday (If you click on it, it will produce a better copy in the editor, it didn’t do too well here) and it kind of stirred me up so I made a course correction for today’s post.
I get enough of her (Condolesa) anyway, and let’s face it, she really doesn’t seem to have anything worthwhile to say or listen to. Another talking head in the Bush administration so far out in right field that she doesn’t even know when to come in.
If you want to read it, here is the link.
I got to looking at the above cartoon and it made me think that although we believe we have made great strides in this country in recent years concerning equal opportunity for the sexes, it just isn’t that way. There are a lot of things wrong here in the U.S and throughout the world we live in, when it comes to the treatment of women.
The world doesn’t look good for women. The world right now doesn’t look good for any species really, but for women and society, it is apparent that women are being held back. Held back by restrictions on “their choices,” opportunities and participation. Each year, women undergo 20 million unsafe abortions, which result in the deaths of 80,000 women.
More than one in three women has been beaten, abused or coerced into sex. One in four was abused during pregnancy. It also might be worth mentioning here, that possibly one of the estimated 55 million babies aborted, could have been the one who found the cure for cancer or AIDS, one of those babies could have been our next great leader or statesman.
Might think about that.
As many as 5,000 women and girls are victims of so-called “honor killings” by member of their own families. One woman a minute — 1,400 per day — dies of complications from pregnancy or childbirth. In this day and age, it is still desirable to have a “boy baby” and girls are routinely disposed of at birth in some cultures. Barbaric, but true. A high number never get a shot at life at all. Only slightly more than half the deliveries in developing countries take place with a doctor, nurse or midwife present.
As many as 50,000 women a year are brought into the USA and forced to work as prostitutes, laborers or slaves. Worldwide, as many as 2 million girls ages 5 to 15 join the sex trade each year. In India, desperate to legitimize this nasty trade, they give them the name of sex employees, trying to sanitize it I guess? About 80 million pregnancies each year are unplanned. Chronic disease, malnutrition and advanced age add to a woman’s risk of dying in childbirth.
But as grim as these statistics are, discrimination against women also involves more mundane and widespread forms. In many countries, women are still denied equal access to education, equal pay and legal rights. Women are just now receiving the right to drive an automobile in some Arab states. The idea of a “woman’s place” is still solidly embedded in many cultures. Here at home, women with the same degree of education, the same experience, are traditionally paid less in the workplace, and this is simply not right.
Thus, million of women are denied the chance to develop their full potential. Not only does that create a toll in human waste, it retards the opportunity to solve the other societal assaults against women that take place daily.
Better pay for women boosts the welfare of their families with a “greater and more immediate impact” than increased earnings by men, who tend to spend more of their money on themselves. Governments are beginning to champion enhanced rights for women, from guaranteeing reproductive rights (South Africa) to outlawing sexual discrimination (Ecuador and other countries) to cracking down on sexual offenses (China and other Asian nations).
Perhaps the biggest and toughest challenge exists in changing attitudes. Perhaps it is time to start outlining the magnitude and severity of the problems that women face in this day and age. Cartoons as effective as the often are, are still not enough to alleviate or highlight the problem.
Lip service just isn’t enough … as usual, actions would speak louder than words.