Raising awareness of what is happening to women around the world today is a vital step towards improving their situation. You may be surprized at some of the things that are forced upon women simply because of their gender.
Put yourself in the place of the women who have suffered these injustices. Why do the perperators mistakenly feel that they have the right to inflict these shameful acts on other human beings?
Female Genital Mutilation “I was only 7 years old when five women grabbed me by the hands and legs and placed me on the table. The cutting was not very painful, but the needle they used to stitch me up was terrible. As I screamed and called for help, the women encouraged me to remain calm. They kept saying that the same thing had been done to my mother and that I had to act bravely like her.” Saphia (name changed to protect her identity) experienced female genital mutilation (FGM), sometimes called female circumcision. The process involves trimming or removing the clitoris and in some cases, stitching the vagina closed, leaving only a small opening for fluids. The tradition has been passed down for many generations in Somalia, where Saphia lives, and in other African countries. Those who perform the “surgery” view it as a rite of passage into adulthood. But FGM at the least causes pain, infections, childbirth complications, infertility, and at worst, death. – World Vision Magazine – Spring 2007This barbaric practice still survives in the 21st century.
Restricted Freedom of Movement In some countries, women are not allowed to leave their homes unless accompanied by either their husband or their father. They are limited as to who they can speak to , touch, or even look at.
Harrassment by “Morality Squads” In Iran, for example, armed men and women patrol the streets in SUV’s looking for violators. Any woman not matching their definition of “morality” can be detained, searched, subjected to “virginity checks”, or even jailed or executed.
Infanticide In India and many other developing countries, boys are valued more highly than girls. Girls are less likely to help support their families economically, and when a girl marries, her parents must pay a dowry to the husband’s family in addition to paying for the wedding. The boy’s family gains wealth, while the girl’s family often spirals into debt. Facing this dilemma, many families kill or abandon daughters after birth. An estimated 39 million women and girls are “missing” in India alone due to infanticide and sex-selective abortions. – World Vision Magazine – Spring 2007