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imageWe have recently celebrated International Women’s Day and the history behind the Suffragette Movement has been in the news.  I have to say I felt no celebration  in  either events  and I would think the women of the suffragette movement would be pretty disappointed in the distance we have come.

The fact that over a hundred years ago they fought for the right for women to be able to vote, also makes me sad as so many women don’t even bother in modern times. Maybe there is a lack of teaching our history in schools who knows, but I am astounded by the amount of people I encounter who know nothing of the history! They take their freedoms for granted and are unaware of the women around the world suffering as our ancestors did, classed as second class citizens, no more than chattel and belongings for men.

This leads me onto how little people seem to care in how women fare around the world today. There are in fact a long list of countries where, if you are a woman, it is downright dangerous to be a citizen.

In a recent poll by The Thompson Reuters Foundation, the list of the top countries most dangerous for women due to threats ranging from violence and rape to dismal healthcare and “honour killings”, rank in the following order

1. AFGHANISTAN

Battling insurgency, corruption and grave poverty, Afghanistan ranks number one and came out worst in three issues , health, non sexual violence and economic discrimination

  • Women in Afghanistan have a one in 11 chance of dying in childbirth
  • 87% of women are illiterate
  • 70-80% of girls face forced marriages

2. CONGO

Still recovering from a 1998-2003 war and humanitarian disaster that killed 5.4 million, The Congo ranks second mainly due to staggering levels of sexual violence

  • About 1,150 women are raped every day, or some 420,000 per year, according to a recent report from the American Journal of Public Health
  • The Congolese Women’s Campaign Against Sexual Violence puts the number of rapes at 40 women a day
  • 57% of pregnant women are anaemic

3. PAKISTAN

They cite cultural, tribal and religious practices harmful to women, including acid attacks, child and forced marriage and punishment or retribution by stoning or oner physical abuse

  • More thank 1,000 women and girls are victims of “honour killings” every year, according to Pakistan’s Human Rights Council ( but this figure is thought to be conservative and you can think of a figure ten times more)
  • 90% of women in Pakistan face domestic violence.

4. INDIA

imageFemale  foeticide, child marriage and high levels of trafficking and domestic servitude make the world’s largest democracy the fourth most dangerous country for a woman to live

  • 100 million people, mainly women and girls, are involved in trafficking in one way or another, according to the Indian Home Secretary
  • Up to 50 million girls are “missing” over the past century due to female infanticide and foeticide
  • 44.5% of girls are married before the age of 18

5. SOMALIA

One of the poorest, most violent and lawless countries, Somalia ranks number five due to a catalogue of dangers, including high maternal mortality, rape, female genital mutilation and child marriage

  • 95% of women face FGM, mostly between the ages of 4 and 11
  • Only 9% of women give birth in a hospital or health facility
  • Only 7.5% of parliament seats are held by women

IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK

imageA story that touched me deeply this week, was of the young 28 year old woman Farkhunda who was lynched by a mob in Kabul, Afghanistan. New reports initially mentioned she may have been mentally ill ( a story given by her father as he was afraid for the rest of his family, however, he later retracted these claims), we find now she was a smart woman training to be a teacher. She was seen arguing with the mullahs at a shrine, as she disagreed they were encouraging women to waste their money on amulets peddled by the mullahs for the shrine.

imageBased on their lies, that she had burned a Quran and was therefore no proper muslim, she was then beaten, hit with bats, stamped on, driven over and her body dragged by a car before being set on fire.

I cannot begin to describe my horror and disgust at the animals that did this. They were fathers, brothers, sons and supposed Muslims, I have no words. If you believe in a religion that excuses human beings behaving  in this way then I say…. shame on you!

imagePolice have arrested 18 people over this murder, in addition 13 policemen have been suspended for having failed to do enough to stop the attack and the police are searching for a further 8 men in relation to this crime.

Please look at the faces of those murder’s and never forget the atrocity they exacted on this woman. I hope every damn one of them is arrested and get the most severest of punishment’s. I would hate to think they are free and had control over their mother’s, wives and daughters lives! They are not fit human beings for such a role.

“This is not just an attack on Farkhunda, but on all Afghan women. They have killed us all..” said Shukria, a woman visiting the shrine on Monday

The attack near the Shah-Du-Shamshaira mosque and shrine, is thought to have been the first of it’s kind in Afghanistan – let’s hope it is the last!

As an Atheist I base my ideas of religion on facts, I am still waiting for any proof at all that women are respected and equal to men in the Islamic Ideology. Anything less than equality is unacceptable , we are no longer living in the Middle Ages.

AND IF YOU THOUGHT WESTERNERS WERE SAFE, THINK AGAIN

THE TOP 16 UNSAFE PLACES FOR WOMEN TO TRAVEL ALONE

As female tourists we are not free to move around the world as we wish, the top 16 cities unsafe women are as follows and some may surprise you :-

  1. Bogota, Colombia
  2. Mexico City,Mexico
  3. Lima, Peru
  4. New Delhi, India
  5. Jakarta, Indonesia
  6. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  7. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  8. Bangkok, Thailand
  9. Moscow, Russia
  10. Manila, Phillippines
  11. Paris, France
  12. Seoul, South Korea
  13. London, England
  14. Beijing, China
  15. Tokyo, Japan
  16. New York, USA

I will leave you with the words of Henrik Ibsen, which sadly ring true  even today :-

A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society, with laws framed by men and with a judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view

Please take a look at the women below, they should be given the respect they deserve and not treated like animals…….

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Find out more about SON and the shows that make up the network at Secular Outreach.com

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