The Dream and the Reality
CRIMES OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD
by Dee Finney
Food For Thought
"Creation of woman from rib of man:
|One of my favorite women is Oprah
Winfrey. I've watched a show here and there over a number of years,
and always found it interesting, but the year she planned to quit and then
didn't was a huge positive turning point for her show. She focuses
on making life better for women, to uplift their spirits and their lives..
Her show inspires me in little ways and big ways. I was excited when she started her magazine and her website. She has come a long way as a black woman who was abused as a child. She didn't tell the world about that to get where she is. She did it by sheer guts and will. But her show isn't just for black women ... she cares about ALL women.
We all need to care about ALL women.
Born in 1938, I come from an old fashioned German-ethnic background where the father is king of the household and the women and children do whatever the king wants no matter what anyone else wants. The king in our house graduated from 8th grade and went right to work, so we were probably fortunate we were allowed to attend highschool. However, I wasn't allowed to go to college, because the king in our house decided that women didn't do those things except to get husbands, so I wasn't even allowed to study the subjects one would need to enter college. My sister who is 8 years younger than I didn't get to go either. Our brother who was in between us in age, went into the Air Force and got his education there. In highschool, I had to choose only subjects that would get me a job. I was forced to go to work the very next day after graduation ... not that it was a bad thing to get a job, but I had gone to school year round every year in order to graduate early and hadn't had any summer vacations ... poor me. I thought that at the time. But I learned later how important it is never to give up on what your heart desires and the passion of your life ... no matter what the obstacles.
I wasn't allowed to travel with my school classes or with friends, because buses and cars were deemed dangerous. So I only got to go places with the king, my father, and that wasn't far. He was a traveler in his early days so maybe that's where his fear for women came from, but in any case his telling me how dangerous everything was sure rubbed off on me. He raised me full of fear. I'm still that way to this day ... full of anxiety that something might happen if I leave the house alone. When I was in my early twenties, I developed such severe anxieties I didn't leave my house for 4 full years, not even to get the mail from the mailbox. That's how traumatized I was because of my childhood training. I was by then married to a man who was just like my father. After divorcing, and marrying an even more abusive man, the psychiatrist I went to then told me that I'd keep doing that, only it would get worse and worse, unless I stopped needing to be abused. That was truly a scary thought. Wanting to be abused? Who would want to be abused? Did I need to be controlled, or could I do that for myself? I had to find out for myself.
I've come a long way since then, lived in 5 different states, but there are many things I still can't make myself do, and those that I do, I never do alone. It's still too scary. And now I'm an old woman besides that. But I learned to drive a car when I was 35 and loved driving. To control a big machine like that was a powerful feeling. And a feeling of freedom. I started college at 36 and loved it and was good at it and got straight 'A's, and got a job and they sent me to trade school and I worked for many years. I loved that too. I became a workaholic ... you can ask my kids now ... after I got divorced, I worked 3 full times jobs and had my own business on the side. Yes! I've come a long way, baby!
But, those years weren't always easy for me. I went through abusive relationships and left them, scared half out of my wits. I learned what it was to live with an alcoholic, to be beaten beyond recognition ... I know what that's like firsthand. To be totally controlled by another person is not a fun thing to go through, especially when the man is violent, drinking, and on drugs. I was controlled even when I was living by myself when he was in jail, because of the fear that he would come after me if I left. I had to promise I'd never leave in order to feel safe, even though I knew I was lying on purpose and just waiting for the chance to get away safely.
I discovered, by befriending other women through my apartment manager positions, what lives women who were forced into prostitution lived and what it took to get out of that profession and live a normal life such as they could. Ever befriend a prostitute or two? You'll learn what desparation can be. You'll learn how they long to have a healthy child and have a husband who loves them, and to live a normal life.
I learned firsthand what battered women went through, how it feels to have to go to a shelter ... that is once they existed back in those years ...and to have to rip their children out of school and to try to start life over again. Those were the brave women, those who left their batterers. All too many are still with their batterers, too afraid to leave, too scared to be alone, too needy, too poor, too afraid that they'll be killed if they try to leave. I know! I was once one of those women.
And what about the women who bear children out of wedlock and the fathers refuse to help raise the child? Those women didn't do that on purpose ... those women were looking for love as desparately as the rest of us. But once in the system, they were trapped by the system. Not just black women, not just white women ... but women who wanted to be loved for who they were.
All women want that. All women deserve that. Not just in the United States, but in all countries. It is time for women to help other women. It is only together that women can raise themselves up. We need to uplift each other. It's that time ... NOW!
WOMEN'S RIGHTS WORLDWIDE
In the year 2000, the movement to recognize and support women’s rights was one of the most revolutionary and uplifting forces now shaping the world, the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly was told on June 8th, in Beijing, China. The Secretary of State of the United States, Madeleine Albright, said that after Beijing, it was no longer possible to deny that women’s rights were human rights, and were indivisible from the universal rights of every human being.
The special session -- "Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-first Century -- heard from 18 high-level speakers who assessed and reviewed progress made in implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, adopted during the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995).
The call from Beijing was a call to action, Ms. Albright said, and the United States had responded. Efforts had been intensified to gain approval from the Senate of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Also, a major global initiative had been launched to halt trafficking in human beings. The benefits of globalization must be shared not just by some people in some countries, but by all people in every country. Accordingly, efforts must be redoubled to make education and training more available, so that poverty retreats and opportunity spreads.
12-28-00 - DREAM - I was investigating something ... probably politics. I discovered that whether I went left or right, it was exactly the same, the same color (red), the same depth, the same intensity. I was rather surprised to discover this.
12-29-00 - DREAM - I don't know where I was, but it seemed I was in a small town. There was no conversation. I placed a numbered peg into a box. I was number 7. When I put the peg in the box, I was at the upper edge of the box. The picture was then pulled back to show that the box was larger than I first saw and there were more numbered pegs than I thought and not only was I not the only number 7, I saw another number 7 over to the left which seemed to be on the same level as my number 7 which was on the right. From this higher perspective, I saw that the numbers went all the way up to at least 49 and that pegs were not only placed in the spaces like I had, but on top of the other numbers, so that other people with a number 7 could place their peg on top of mine, and a number 9 could place their peg on top of another number 9. There were both left and right numbers, not in any particular order though. I didnt' see that there was any sort of order, just that the numbers seemed to be placed in order ,
12-29-00 - DREAM - (This dream analyzes the above dream.) I was in my New Berlin, WI house, with my family in the livingroom. The telephone rang and it was my spiritual teacher, T.M. He told me that my dream was about 'seraph accounting' (which I knew meant angelic) and that it was about the left brain and right brain. I was writing this down on a very small piece of paper. Under that, T.M. said that if anyone asked who he was, I could say his name was Le Rou ( I was thinking Le Roy which means 'the King' ) and that for short I could call him 'h.h.h.h.h.' I hung up the phone and at that same moment, my old friend Virginia came in. She was SO happy. She told me she had met a new man and wanted to tell me about it.
Note: The name Virgina means 'pure'
(Note: The Columbia Encyclopedia: Sixth Edition. 2000. Seraph
(sr´f) (KEY), plural seraphim (m) (KEY), supernatural being. The name seems to derive from the Hebrew word “to burn.” According to the Book of Isaiah, seraphim have six wings. Scholars have suggested that seraphim were winged serpents. In Numbers, the word “seraph” denotes a “fiery” (i.e. poisonous) serpent. Like cherubim, seraphim are associated with the glory of God, as in the liturgy. )
Meanwhile the men in the room (my first husband James and son Ken) were trying to listen to some classical music on a radio and kept interrupting her. She said that the man had read her horoscope when she met him. I waved my finger under her nose, teasing her about being naughty because she was a very strict Christian before. She laughed and said, "No! He says we are naughty when we don't look at our horoscopes!" She was serious when she said it, so she didn't get that I was teasing her to start with. Then she said that they went bicycle riding and he helped her tie up her bicycle with a green length of plastic cording.
Note: The name James means 'Supplanter', the name Ken or Kenneth means 'Knowledge'.
At that point, I wanted to hear more about her getting married to the new man in her life, but the men kept interrupting, so I got up off the couch and took her by the hand and said we should go outside and talk. So we went through the long hallway towards the back of the house. It was strewn with small toys. I could see that my kids were still quite young. I told one of the boys to get his toys off the third step. One of them was being smart mouthed, not wanting to do what I asked and I flipped a wet dishrag down his back for it.
Just before we got to the back door, I saw that we had built on an additional room and I opened the door. It was already lit inside. I grabbed Virginia by the hand and dragged her inside. I said, "Let's hide in here. It can be our hideaway room." I was thinking it would be a great thing for us women to have our own place to meet and talk all by ourselves.
I heard the men coming down the hall behind us, on their way to the garage where they always gathered to tinker on the cars and talk shop.
I tried to quickly close the door so the men didn't know we were there, but the lock clicked loudly as the door shut, and one of the men coming down the hall heard the click and opened the door again and saw that we were inside. I didn't recognize who these men were, but they looked friendly enough.
I told him that we wanted to be alone and talk. He understood our need to be alone, so he closed the door again and locked it somehow from the inside, so the kids and the rest of the men couldn't open the door and disturb us. (He actually put his hand through the door to lock it from inside)
I saw then that the room was furnished with old furniture. I chose a big old golden brown leather couch to flop down on and she chose the brown, red, and yellow plaid couch and she stood up on the back of it, as high as she could get.
I said, "Okay! Now tell me more about getting married."
She said, "No! I was trying to tell you about the 'upliftment of women'.
I then started to wake up again, thinking about the 'seraph accounting' and remembered that at some time during the night I had tried to tell Joe about the 'seraph accounting' while we were in bed and that someone had gone through the house and turned on the kitchen light and that I had asked him if he had gotten out of bed and gone into the kitchen and turned on the light and he said , "No!" Did I dream that too? When? Or did I wake up somewhere and that happen and then went back to sleep and dreamed about Virginia? No! because T.M. had called me on the phone in the same livingroom Virginia came into. So who was the man who came through the house and turned on the light?
Note: After I woke up this morning, I remember the Oprah Winfrey show about the atrocities against women in the world. To my shocked surprise, it was repeated in the same afternoon of this dream, right when I needed to see it again. I had planned to do a page on the topic when it showed the first time, but was waylayed by other things that needed to be done at the time. As they say, go with the flow. ... See below:
|Susan B. Anthony was a powerful figure for women's rights. She devoted her life to organizing men and women to advocate for women's rights: the right to be educated, the right to vote, the right to have an occupation, the right of control over one's own body, the right to sign legal papers, the right to manage one's own earnings, and the right to administer one's own property.|
BLACK AND WHITE - TWO
|March 03, 2000.
Perils and promise on International Women's Day
by Juleyka Lantigua
On March 8, millions of women will celebrate International Women's Day. Millions more won't even notice. They will be struggling for survival.
One life and death issue is childbirth. The World Health Organization estimates that half a million women die and 8 million are disabled each year during pregnancy or childbirth.
In Mozambique 1,500 of every 100,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth, according to Pathfinder International, a U.S.-based organization that promotes women's health around the world.
Millions of women do not have reproductive freedom. In China, women undergo
forced abortions. In the 1990s, more than 100,000 women in developing countries
were subject to chemical sterilization with pellets containing quinacrine.
The World Health Organization says quinacrine may cause cancer.
In northeast Brazil, 43 percent of women resort to female sterilization as a contraceptive method. These women have to take drastic steps to exercise their reproductive rights because more reversible methods aren't available to them.
In some countries, like in Chile, abortion is illegal under all circumstances. And close to 80,000 women die each year from unsafe abortions, according to the World Health Organization.
Poverty is a global women's issue. The AFL-CIO estimates that women constitute 70 percent of the 1 billion people living in poverty in the world today.
As more women are displaced by rampant poverty, the trafficking and prostitution of girls and women is escalating. Japan is now home to more than 100,000 Thai and Filipino sex workers. Activists estimate that there are at least 1 million women and girls working in Thailand's sex trade. Colombia's Department of National Security estimates that 50,000 Colombian women are dispersed throughout European and Asian sex markets.
And all over the world, women face terrible situations of domestic abuse and sexual violence. According to the World Health Organization, one in five women in the world is physically or sexually abused in her lifetime. Violence against women is as serious a cause of death and disability as cancer, and causes more ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined, according to the World Bank.
In parts of the Islamic world, such as Kuwait, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, women are regarded as second-class citizens. Religious texts are invoked to deny women equal rights and to enforce strict laws against divorce, adultery, education and employment. An Islamic court in the United Arab Emirates recently ordered a pregnant Indonesian domestic worker to be stoned to death for adultery.
Women in the industrialized world face many obstacles to equality, as well. A survey by the Foreign Press Center, a nonprofit foundation that supports foreign journalists in Japan, showed that 35 percent of Japanese women who responded felt that sexual harassment at work was one of the major problems they faced. Another 47 per cent said they were subject to discriminatory treatment at work.
Women in the United States still earn, on average, 75 percent of men's pay, according to the AFL-CIO. And the United States is one of very few countries that does not have a national policy mandating paid maternity leave.
There are spots of hope. Just last week, women in Egypt won the right to divorce their husbands. India now has national laws in place that reserve a third of the village council seats and village chief positions for women.
But the picture is still dire. We must face our collective failure in protecting and uplifting women.
This June, at a special session of the United Nations entitled "Beijing +5," participating nations will show the world exactly how they've improved women's lives since the 1995 women's conference in Beijing. At that conference, the Beijing delegates concluded that a change in "values, attitudes, practices and priorities at all levels" was necessary.
We have a lot of work yet to do.
Juleyka Lantigua is completing a Master's in journalism at Boston University. She has worked for the European Parliament in London, been a Fulbright Scholar in Spain and taught in Japan.
Copyright 2000, Juleyka Lantigua. Re-print or electronic distribution without permission is prohibited. Call the Progressive Media Project for information, 608-257-4626.
THE ATROCITIES AGAINST WOMEN IN THE WORLD
V-Day is Valentines Day
A Global Movement to End Violence
September 29, 2000
Lifting Up Women Left Behind
Eve Ensler is an award-winning playwright, poet and activist. Her work as an activist has taken her around the world to war zones, refugee camps, prisons and homeless shelters. Eve just completed a tour of 14 countries, where she interviewed women about their bodies how they mutilate, fix, hide and reshape them to fit into their culture.
In 1997, Eve began an event called V-Day. The idea came about through Eve's work on stage in The Vagina Monologues. After her performances, people would come up to her and share their personal stories of rape, mutilation and torture. It became too much, and Eve knew something had to be done. Celebrated on February 14, it's a call to action for women to rise up and put an end to violence. The idea is to empower women to say: "You have the power."
September 29, 2000
Murdered in the Name of Family Honor
Imagine being killed for falling in love, or for being the victim of rape. For women in some Middle Eastern countries, this is a constant fear. In these countries, men have the power of life or death over their female relatives. Thousands of women are killed because men believe they have brought shame to their family.
One woman, desperate for freedom, ran away from her family and an arranged marriage she didn't want. After being coaxed out of hiding, she was killed by her older brother. He describes the act: " She was asleep. She recognized my voice. I strangled her. She didn't fight back. It took a couple of minutes, and then she died. She was close to me, and I was close to her, but there was no choice for me but to kill her."
The men who commit these "honor killings" often show no regret, and are rarely prosecuted. When they are arrested, they can serve as little as six months in jail, because the government views them as the victims. These men, who have redeemed their so-called "family honor" walk the streets with pride, and are regarded as heroes.
How Can This Happen?
Zainab Saldi, activist and founder of Women For Women - International, says the practice of honor killing continues because families and governments support it. Accusations are often based on rumors in the community, witnesses are not sought, and women have no opportunity to defend themselves. Worse still, the law states that if a man kills in defense of his honor, he is exempt from punishment. Families are not ashamed of this practice, and often the other women in the family cooperate with the perpetrators. They know that if they try to defend a woman, their own morality will be questioned.
September 29, 2000
Acid attacks are becoming more common in countries like Bangladesh and India. If a man feels snubbed in any way by a woman or young girl, he seeks revenge by throwing acid on her face and body. The acid melts through flesh and bone, leaving the victim disfigured.
Ten year-old Nurjahan was sleeping peacefully when she became the victim of a brutal acid attack that destroyed her face. She remembers waking up to a terrible burning sensation, and thinking that she was going to die. The acid was meant for her 13-year-old cousin, who had rejected the marriage proposal of a 45-year-old man.
Half a world away from her own family, Nurjahan lives with a host family in the U.S. while she undergoes a series of surgeries to restore her face. When she returns home, Nurjahan faces an uncertain economic future. In her country, if a woman cannot be married, she could starve. Nurjahan is not the only girl in her village who has suffered such an attack, and she says this knowledge is what has given her courage. Still, she hopes that a change will come, so that this terrible act does not happen to anyone else.
The Truth Behind the Attacks
Zainab Saldi, activist and founder of Women For Women - International, says the intention of the acid attacks is to disfigure the woman's looks, so that no other man will want her. The woman's family may suffer as well, because an unmarried daughter is an economic burden.
At its heart, the attack is an assault on the woman's father, damaging his "property." The suitor makes the marriage proposal to the father, but takes revenge for a rejection on the innocent girl.
For information on becoming a host family to victims of acid attacks and other crimes, contact Healing the Children-Florida at Healing the Children-Florida/Georgia
September 29, 2000
A Scar That Doesn't Heal
Africa is a continent with rich cultural traditionÆbut one ancient ritual has wounded an estimated 130 million girls. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), or female circumcision, evolved out of the belief that a woman's sexuality should be controlled. The procedure involves cutting off the clitoris and sometimes sewing the opening of the vagina shut. Often performed with unsterilized razors and no anesthesia, FGM is excruciatingly painful. Not only do women experience intense bleeding, dangerous infections, and possibly infertility they also carry emotional scars that may never heal.
Saving Her Daughter
"Mary" is from West Africa. When she was 12 years old, five men held her down and cut her genitals with a dull, dirty razor blade. The pain, she says, was so intense that she couldn't eat, drink, or speak; even to this day, it's painful for Mary to urinate. When her village threatened to cut her daughter, Mary sought and received asylum in the United States.
Escaping To Freedom
Fauziya Kassindja had a happy childhood growing up in Togo, a country in West Africa, but her father's sudden death left her in the hands of traditional-minded relatives. They arranged for 17-year-old Fauziya to marry a man 30 years her senior and to undergo FGM. Only hours away from being cut, Fauziya escaped and left the country. After waiting 16 months for asylum, she finally became free. Find out more about Fauziya's journey in her book, Do They Hear You When You Cry?
If you'd like to be a part of the fight against Female Genital Mutilation - visit http://www.equalitynow.org
Crimes of Honor attracting national and international attention. Legal reform imminent.
Monday 11 January 1999
In the fall of 1998, two major United States television networks (CNN and ABC) began working a story on “honor killings” in Jordan. Among the people whom both networks interviewed were members of the Police Department’s Family Protection Unit, Jordan Times reporter Rana Husseini, Former President of the Jordanian Women’s Union Asma Khader, Head of the National Institute of Forensic Medicine Dr. Mo’men Hadidi as well as women who are in prison at Juweideh for their own protection and men who have committed honor killings. Her Majesty Queen Noor agreed to participate in this program a few weeks ago to contribute as balanced a perspective as possible, particularly with respect to Islamic and constitutional principles.
Queen Noor, in her interviews, affirmed that “this type of violence against women is not consistent with Islam or with our constitution … this area is being reviewed and amendments are being proposed to make these laws more consistent with Islamic law and the constitution.” She added that she has “very strong personal feelings as a Muslim, as a woman, as a wife and as a mother about this form of violence and every form of violence against women.” The Queen praised the efforts of the police department who have founded a Family Protection Unit adding that they are going to be “partners with the UNDP and UNIFEM and our Ministry of Social Development in establishing a women’s shelter that is geared to counsel, to rehabilitate and to protect women and their children who may be potential victims of these crimes. That is because they are very concerned that these crimes be prevented that these women be given a chance for protection until the pressures are relieved on their family.” Queen Nor noted that His Majesty King Hussein in his 1997 opening address to parliament condemned violence against women saying that it was clearly not consistent with Islamic law and the spirit of our constitution, which since 1952 has guaranteed equality before the law for men and women in the country. She added that the King “as a Muslim has made that commitment and as a head of state and head of the larger Jordanian family.”
In November 1998, the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights condemned the practice of honor killings. The two articles in the Jordanian Penal Code, which apply to crimes of honor, are the exonerating law: a section of article 340 in the Jordanian Penal Code (no 16, 1960) stating that "he who discovers his wife or one of his female relatives committing adultery and kills, wounds, or injures one of them, is exempted from any penalty”; and Article 98 that states: "He who commits a crime in a fit of fury caused by an unrightful and dangerous act on the part of the victim benefits from a reduction of penalty.” Only men can benefit from the reduction of penalty or total exemption, women in the same situation are not entitled to them. In her interviews, Queen Noor affirmed that there is no “gender discrimination” in Jordan’s constitution and in Islamic Shari’ah, which do not “distinguish between men and women, male and female, who have committed crimes.”
According to Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh, in view of the changes that have taken place in Jordan’s “social and economic environment and the development witnessed in humanitarian concepts and social relations”, the Ministry of Justice is preparing a draft new modern Penal Code, which would replace Law no. 16 for the year 1960. The articles pertaining to “crimes of honor” are also being reviewed as part of the government’s comprehensive legal reforms. When the draft Penal code and its amendments are ready, they will be presented to parliament.
© 1997-1999 Copyright The Hashemite Royal Court of Jordan
Webmaster Note: "Obviously politics moves slowly!!!"
|Uplifting does seem to be a purpose built into what I write. No matter
what the topic is, by the end of the writing it always attempts to inspire
by lifting up the reader (usually me) into a higher manifestation of self.
This is what love does. To me, Inspiration is both a noun and a verb that's
always linked to a raise in vibration. Any corresponding concept or movement
connected to that "uplift" encompasses and is based in the broader spectrum
of a higher vibration. Concepts then can be communicated higher, more open,
more loving, truly accepting, and encouraging.
Federal Legislation and Regulations on Violence Against Women
NOW and Violence Against Women
Feminist Gateway on Violence Against Women
UN Commission on Human Rights
WHO - Violence Against Women
for Battered Women Shelters
Locate your own state or country for help
Women and Imprisonment in the U.S.
The State of Women and Media in Asia: An Overview
Bibliography for Black Women
Poems for Women
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This goes for Women Too
WORLD PEACE 2000
SCHEDULED MEDITATIONS FOR PEACE
ALTERNATIVE HEALTH LINKS
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GREATDREAMS MAIN INDEX
I am woman, hear me roar
Oh yes I am wise
You can bend but never break me
I am woman watch me grow
Oh yes I am wise
I am woman