Remain vigilant and never assume human rights are protected forever! This is such an important message and it applies everywhere not just Muslim countries. We don’t need to look to far to see that many policies even in the western world are trying to wind back equality for women. Recently the new Pope was reported as saying men are the leaders of the church and a women’s role is as the ‘supporter’. Many US states are trying to repeal domestic violence laws and putting in place policies that take away a women’s right to choose (contraception and abortion), or are putting in place policies that make it difficult for women to access affordable contraceptives.
In Australia we still have some draconian ideas about child care and equality with some policies and taxes making it harder for women to easily return to work because they are penalized by the tax system as the ‘second’ income earner. Meaning that for many it is hardly worth going back to work. Many older woman like me have been trying to raise this issue for sometime, but the problem is that so many younger women think they already have equality. But take note of this photograph, if it does not scare you, then it should.
The Guardian March 18, 2013
” Who doesn’t want to end violence against women?
More than a few nations and conservative organizations, apparently. Under the cover of culture, religion and tradition, they have attempted to impede consensus on a simple agreement to solidify the rights of women to be free from abuse. With violence against women endemic – one in three women worldwide will be on the receiving end of violence in her lifetime – appeals to culture or religion don’t just ring hollow; they’re reckless, cruel and expose how brutally misogynist our world remains.
The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women brought hundreds of international leaders to New York to discuss strategies for ending violence against women. After two weeks of debate, it concluded with a communiqué stating the principles agreed upon at the gathering – something it failed to do last year. (Disclosure: I have done some consulting work for UN Women.)
The principles initially proposed by UN Women head Michelle Bachelet were not particularly radical. They simply asserted that governments have an obligation to make sure women in their countries are protected, that women in every corner of the world have a right to bodily integrity, and that religion, custom or tradition are not excuses for governments to skirt their obligations to protect all their citizens.
In other words: women are people, and governments must take reasonable steps to ensure that women are not beaten, raped and abused with impunity.
Nonetheless, many of the usual suspects (and some new ones) were unwilling to adopt the “women are people, not punching bags” framework. The Vatican, Iran and Russia tried to strip out the language that would block governments from using the “it’s our custom/religion/tradition” excuse. They also hedged at language suggesting that a husband doesn’t have the right to rape his wife.
I remain flummoxed as to why the Vatican, Russia and Iran want to publicly associate raping and abusing women to their own traditions and religious beliefs, though I suppose there’s something to be said for putting honesty ahead of basic human rights.
But here is the honest truth: systematic violence against women maintains the male monopoly on political, economic and social power. When women live in fear of violence – when women live with actual violence – it maintains a system of free female labor within the “traditional” family, and keeps half of the population from competing with men for paid work or social capital. Women, as it turns out, are just as smart and capable and hardworking as men, which is why keeping women disempowered and vulnerable requires large-scale coercion and violence.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE
Something I was told by an older woman when I was just started out has stuck with me ever since and it is the way that women often refer to their husband or partner ‘helping out’ with childcare, (as mentioned in this article) or housework. This woman said to me that by saying that you want your partner to ‘help’ you with something assumes that it is your job when in fact, it is a parents job to raise children, not just a mothers. Similarly, when you are asking your partner to ‘help you’ with the housework, it translates to him as it being ‘your job’ and he is just ‘helping you’ on this occasion. Given our propensity to speak like this, it is not surprising that women then take this underlying internal and external commentary into their workplaces.
I have heard many women ask a male colleague to “help with the minute taking in this meeting”, and then the same women wonder why they end up doing the minutes again and again. Its because the male thinks that he was ‘helping’ you do ‘your’ job! This is one of the internal barriers that many women put up for themselves and then their language just embeds the ‘external barrier’ even more.
Perhaps it stems from an underlying belief by women ( I would say through socialisation) that it is their job to do the housework, the bulk of the childcare and the support work at the office. Whatever the cause, this is one barrier that we can all break ourselves by changing our language and how we feel about it.
See this article I have referred to by Natalie Bickford
From the Siasat Daily Wednesday, 19 December 2012
“Sydney, December 19:
Almost two-thirds of Australian working women said that they are not considered for executive roles because their male bosses only refer their mates.
EWA director Tara Cheesman said executive positions became vacant every three years on average, and bosses tended to look internally to fill roles, news.com.au reports.
“Usually because of the fact the other people in the [executive] roles are men, they are referring men,” she said.
According to the report, Cheesman said men who had male friends working in the same field often structured their relationship around helping each other with their careers.
“When the boss comes and says ”Do you know somebody great for this job?” they think ”If I can do this job, he can do it. If I get along with this person, he will fit in at work too,”” she said.
And while men don”t deliberately sideline women, Cheesman said it was an outcome of the perpetuating “boys’ club”.
“A lot of men don”t see themselves as the person who”s going to help their female friends in their career,” she said.
The survey of 500 EWA members found women think the second and third biggest barriers to executive positions are that men are better self-promoters than women.
According to the report, the survey found that business women think the most effective way to increase the number of females executives in the workforce is to give more flexibility to executive managers.
Women also think more networking would help, with 50 percent saying managers should network with executive women so they are considered in the referral process, the report said.
See the original article here
Today I received the usual WordPress update into my email in box and I must say I look forward to receiving these because they always contain some great handy hints that I can use on my blogs. So this one was no different, except in the language that it uses. See if you can pick up the difference.
by Jeff Bowen
For all of you stats junkies — you know who you are! — we’ve added some holiday cheer to your WordPress.com Stats Page. In addition to the number of views your site receives, you can now keep tabs on how many unique visitors come to your site, all on a single, easy-to-read chart.
A visitor is a unique user or browser/device that views one or more posts or pages on your site. When your friend checks out your site from her laptop and then again from her phone, that’s two visits. If she clicks on four different posts, that’s four views.
read the rest of the article here
On November 26, 2012, an international symposium on Femicide (the killing of women and girls because of their gender), was held by the UN-ACUNS in Vienna, Austria, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
The 50 Million Missing Campaign founder, Rita Banerji, was a speaker at this symposium and talked about the various forms and extent of femicides in India (video and details of the symposium the program below).
Check out Kiva and change the world one women at a time!
Kiva are a “non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.”
Here are some details from the Kiva website.
“Change a woman’s life with a loan.
When a woman has the opportunity to start a business, she earns and learns. That’s why Dermalogica is providing $100,000 in Free Trial loans so new Kiva users can empower women to get the training and experience they need to thrive.
Sponsored by Dermalogica
Dermalogica is helping women achieve financial independence through education and entrepreneurship with the joinFITE program
When you lend, she learns
As millions of children head back to school all over the world, we’re reminded that women are often the driving force behind their children’s education – and their future.
When a woman has the opportunity to learn, she is better equipped to help her children follow in her footsteps. And the virtuous cycle of change begins.
Learning happens in many ways, and Kiva and Dermalogica are helping women to learn through the experience of starting or growing a business. Whether it’s the financial literacy training she receives with her loan, or the lessons she learns by testing new products and strategies, she is gaining invaluable skills that will open new doors.
Consider the facts:
- There are 876 million illiterate adults in the developing world – over 65% are women.
- 76 million primary school-age children are not in school – 60% are girls.
- Over 1 billion people live in extreme poverty – over 70% are women and girls.
But when she has the opportunity to learn, the story changes:
- A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five.
- Every additional year of education for a girl can yield up to a 20% increase in her future earning potential.
- Research shows that when a woman contributes to her family’s income, she reinvests at least 70% of her earnings to build a better future for herself and her children.”
Women around the world are turning to their own business and the numbers are increasing. Whether it be through necessity, through donation to help them out of poverty like the Kiva initiative, or because they don’t want to participate in the corporate workplace, women are adding to the economic future of the globe. This is Gender Economics in action!
- Micro Lending and How You Can Help with Kiva.org (positivelybeaming.wordpress.com)
- My Week with Premal – Kiva’s President visiting borrowers and partners in Nicaragua (fellowsblog.kiva.org)
- Make a Difference – Give a Loan (davehershey.wordpress.com)
- Kiva Innovating in the Field of Education by Microlending To Students Around the World (educationviews.org)
- Kiva: Loans that change Lives. (theglobalheroes.com)
- Free $25 loans to give on Kiva: make a difference now! (ready2bloom.com)
Being a woman means having immeasurable strength to deal with the many twists and turns of life. It means knowing when to continue and when to turn away and choosing to continue with the hardest but most necessary decisions. It means that you are the sounding board of life’s problems, the person who is able to see, hear, and experience everything that can go wrong but still be strong enough to remain unbroken.
Being a woman can often seem like every action and expectation is contradictory, regardless of where you live. You’re expected to be street smart, but vulnerable. You will be stereotyped as either helpless or stubborn. People will ask you questions, then smile, and look to whatever man you’re with for validation that your response was correct. Yet at the same time, women are supposed to be strong and independent.