International Womens Day? Bear with me....!
Since its International Womens Day March 8 (is that a collective groan i hear?!) here are some different inspiring thoughts and themes I collated that stand out (to me) that I thought id share with you (if you are out there)... some where we need to see urgent change.
-'The capacity to dream and have fun' - Urvashi Butalia, head of Kali books, India - (from the Guardian)-
"I'd be deep in a campaign, locked in discussion with the state, fiercely opposed to the fundamentalists, fighting for the rights of minorities. If he were then to ask - as young men in the21st century might well do - what I wished for Indian women in this century, I would say an end of illiteracy, poverty and hunger, and, of course, the capacity and possibility to dream and have loads of fun. In other words, not only the whole of akasha, but a profoundly transformed akasha, a whole new sky, covering a whole new world, And I'd hope that the young man wouldn't then slink off but would stay, cast off his devilish garb, and join in the campaigns and the fun..".
-343 mothers of the ghettoes speak out - France-Campaign for Mamans (Ni Putes Ni Soumises)-
"It was to us, the mothers in the ghettoes, that you turned when the riots erupted in France, to calm the rage. To tell our children that violence isn't the solution to unemployment and racism. To stop these images of civil war that ran throughout the world. It was us you asked to prove our ability to control our kids, to keep our kids (often bigger & stronger than us) inside and at home. We ask you to assist us as women first. Give us transport out of the ghettoes - where the only meeting places are cafes...for men. Creche facilities ...so that we are not restricted to homes, vulnerable to sexist violence. Help us expose and condemn polygamy, forced marriage. ...Put our academic qualifications to good use. ..Because we are the real actresses of integration, we ask you the ladies and gentlemen of Politics to stop marginalising us. It is only by being free, emancipated that we can fulfil our roles as mothers properly and make real Citizens of our children"
-'Another sexual revolution' Women's rights and healthcare advocate, New Zealand-(Guardian)-
"My second wish is to see another sexual revolution led by women. The first one was about women earning the right to say yes and now women need to fight for the right to say no - to reclaim control over their bodies. What I see now is women willingly embracing damaging stereotypes concerning their bodies and their sexual behaviour. New Zealand has a major problem with eating disorders, there's a boom in cosmetic plastic surgery, then we see people like Bernadine Oliver-Kirby, a prominent sportswoman, posing on a rugby magazine cover naked from the waist up with a rugby jersey painted on her torso. How can you expect to be treated seriously and at the same time want people to look at your tits?"
-Women with Voices Bagdad - planned and on the IWD website but not sure if this will go head -
A day planned to Inspire, Educate and Empower the international women within the International Zone..to celebrate the beautifully diverse cultures and history within the local military and civilian populations as well as women from our Host Nation of Iraq. * American military women read inspiring poetry and true stories; * The highest ranking female Iraqi military officer who is Kurdish will speak about her "Journey of Courage" and An Iraqi female physician speaks to "Vision and a Voice".
-Prostitution: What's Going On? (a UK Exhibition until 31 March) -
A provocative and challenging exhibition exploring the topical and urgent issues of prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation ....and ...elsewhere a seminar entitled Women’s Rights, the Veil and Islamic and religious laws will be held by the International Campaign in Defence of Womens Rights in Iran and with the Secular Society - at the University of London Union Thursday March 8 from 6 - 10pm.
In IRAN recently, over 30 women were arrested and charged with endangering national security, propaganda against the state and taking part in an illegal gathering after protesting outside the court where 5 women were being tried for organising a protest last June against laws discriminating against women (hat tip Harrys Place)
Thing that i am most grateful for today? That I was born here in the UK and that I can make my own informed choices about everything - and that I can make my way on merit. Thing i most hate about feminism? A man summed that up. Nick Cohen remarked in Whats Left? that if western feminists dont fight oppression in Kabul and turn their backs on, for example, Afghan women..and believe God only gave rights to free born Englishmen... then feminist beliefs wouldnt be a philosophy but...a way of obtaining advantage in the Western job market. And you could conclude that feminism was not a serious political force. I agree. (Yes i think there are issues to highlight here - rape, the justice system and the shoulder shrugging being one such issue). And i thought it was pretty poor indeed that Alan Johnson chickened out of reinforcing the recent High Court ruling on the veil in schools - leaving it to schools to muddle through that equality battle and Islamic quagmire unsupported themselves.
The pic is of a recently freed Nazanin top left and middle ex Miss UK 'role model' 'Danielle Lloyd LAID BARE Inside!' in Maxim and 'a Marianne', a celebrated woman of France - who tragically died of stomach cancer after surviving gang rape in the banlieues as a young girl and helping found Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whores nor Submissives).
There was one other on Afghanistan to add in - too tired now, later...fwiw