Thursday, 26 April 2012


Yesterday, whilst we ate a delicious lunch of baked potatoes and cheese, we took a break from our heavy work schedule and we watched an American talk show, which dealt with the subject of abusive relationships and women's rights in general. Then we read a quote from a speech by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to the UN, that to many, women's rights are a foreign concept.

It is interesting to us that women are still being treated so badly around the world. Sexism or the oppression of women is something that we find very interesting (as well as very shocking). We find it shocking because every single person in the world regardless of their religion has a mother. We find it shocking that fathers are happy to stand by and see their daughters brutalised. In certain parts of the world, in fact on certain continents, it is commonplace for women to be raped, beaten and denied even the most basic of rights. Although it is important to note that women are being increasingly more protected at government level, in many offender states, the situation on the ground is often very different. 

Like homophobia, many women are victims of oppression from the moment that they are born to when they die. Of course, so much of the oppression of women is based on certain societal norms (such as China and the one child policy, but more on that later) but that shouldn't impact on our ability to speak out on behalf of these poor, downtrodden people. We must step away from intellectualising oppression and realise that it impacts on people's lives. 

Here are some startling facts regarding the treatment of women, just like your mother, sister, aunt, friend, lover:

  • 'Gendercide Watch', an organisation which monitors murder based on gender, states that hundreds of thousands of baby girls are murdered due to their parents wanting a boy because of China's One Child Policy.
  • 35,000 female sex slaves are imprisoned in Thailand.
  • Hundreds of thousands of women are raped in conflicts in countries such as Congo, every year.
  • 70% of the 1.5 billion people who live in poverty are women.
  • Women are completely under the control of men in countries such as Saudi Arabia, where they are not even able to open a bank account without the consent of a man.
  • 140 million women in the world have had their genitals mutilated, meaning the clitoris is removed without anaesthetic. 
  • One hundred thousand women have had their genitals mutilated in the UK.

These facts are just a snapshot of the oppression that women face around the world. Although it seems to us, that a majority of the oppression of women takes place in certain areas such as Africa and the Middle East, we must not be afraid of criticising certain cultural practises for the fear of offending. Cultural practises must not supercede the rights of the individual. Just as we have spoken about standing up against the oppression of homosexuals, the rights of these women around the world must be protected.

We must not site idle while generation after generation of women are having their lives destroyed. Think of your own mother, your sister, your friend, your girlfriend and think what kind of a life you would want for them, or what kind of life you want for yourself. We are guessing it isn't what we have described today.

1 comment:

  1. I've just completed my essay on feminism and female oppression so im glad to see we have similar ideas and research - gives me confidence that i didnt bullshit