Saturday, June 22, 2002

Being a Woman is Often No Treat
This post and this one on Blog Sisters have drawn attention to the fact that religious fundamentalists around the world are joining forces to halt the efforts of women around the world to ensure their rights as autonomous human beings.

Back in 1975, the First world Conference on Women in Mexico City called for a Treaty for the Rights of Women. I still have in my jewelry box the pin that I bought to assert my support of that still U.S.-unratified Treaty and of the (finally) official acknowledgement by the United Nations of International Women's Day (which was first established in 1911). The bird-in-flight design of that pin is the logo for the current web site of the Treaty for the Rights of Women.

I am asking that all who read my weblog take action and overwhelm our government "leaders" with statements of support for this Treaty. Why? Because (as the Treaty site indicates) even though the lives of women in some countries have improved, there is still much that needs to be done on these issues:

-- Female genital mutilation: 130 million women are victims worldwide;
-- Maternal mortality: 510,000 women die each year from pregnancy-related complications;
-- Obstetric fistulas: some 2 million girls suffer uncontrollable leakage of urine and feces through vaginas damaged in obstructed labor, most because of forced early marriage;
-- Sex trafficking: 2 million girls are sold into sexual slavery each year;
-- HIV/AIDS: women are four times more vulnerable than men, and 1.3 million die each year;
-- Violence: an estimated 25 to 30 percent of all women experience domestic violence;
-- Discrimination: millions of women lack full legal and political rights.

Today, the headline of an Associated Press article by David Crary announces Bitter Divisions Resurface Over Global Women's Rights Treaty That U.S. Has Never Ratified. There is great pressure being exerted by Americas religious fundamentalists to join with kindred soul-less males throughout the world to to destroy the spirits of women by defeating the Treaty for Women's Rights.

Just who's really in control here?
b!X posted the other day "about a recent poll from blowhard William Bennett's new pro-war group." As usual, my erstwhile son presents the issue better than I might, ending with:

Although I do find it interesting, as always, that apparently those who make themselves allegedly subservient to a God who commands against killing might be the most willing to go unquestioningly off to kill at the behest of their government. Which, I guess, means that it's not about God -- because, well, you know, you're suppoed to obey his commandments and all -- but about a preference for being under someone else's control.

And so, again, yet another affirmation of the wisdom of my remaining an irreverent non-believer and equally irreverent citizen.