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International Women’s Day

International womans day

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day was celebrated on Sunday March 8th.  This day represents and still represents working women who campaign for equal rights, respect and to be treated fairly.  International Women’s Day was first celebrated in New York in 1909.  It was organised by the Socialist Party of America to commemorate the strike of the International Ladies Garment Workers in 1908.  Since the last century, the majority of countries around the world have progressed towards equality and the rights of women.  However, women are still earning less despite doing the same job and working the same hours as men. The majority of domestic chores are also still expected to be done by women. While the potential of women is recognised at an international level” says World Health Organisation Director-General Margaret Chan, “this potential will not be realised until conditions improve often dramatically in countries and communities.   Too many complex factors, often rooted in social and cultural norms, continue to hinder the ability of women and girls to achieve their potential and benefit social advances.”

In third world countries around the world women are suppressed and dominated by patriarchal societies who treat them atrociously.  They beat them, rape them and basically keep them as slaves.  They have no rights and they are not allowed to receive an education.  They are viewed as baby making machines.  In parts of the Middle East, Egypt, India and Africa parents are afraid to send their daughters to school in case they are kidnapped and raped. One woman dies in childbirth every half an hour in these countries due to the poor healthcare facilities available for them.  About 15 million girls under 18 years old are forced into arranged marriages. In certain countries in the developing world, one in nine girls is married before her 15th birthday and some child brides are as young as eight or nine.  They are raped and become pregnant.  They often die during childbirth because their immature bodies are too undeveloped to cope with the strain of childbirth.   They have a greater risk of becoming infected with HIV/AIDS. They suffer from constant domestic violence.  They are not allowed to receive an education and rarely can work which adds to the financial strain on their already poor family.

“On a rural lake in Zambia, I met a woman who had not told her husband she was HIV-positive,” says David Morley, CEO of Save the Children Canada. “She was already living on the edge because she had no children. If she told him, she would be kicked off the island and sent alone to the mainland. She felt she had no choice, because she had no power at all.”

Women’s lives are unbearable in these countries.  Suicide is common in women in developing countries because they are forced into arranged marriages at a young age, and they are put under tremendous pressure to produce a male offspring. They are financially dependent on their husbands due to the fact that they are unable to work.

In many Middle Eastern countries, women are seen as prisoners.  They are not allowed to leave the house unless they are accompanies by a male relative or husband. When they do go outside they are expected to cover themselves from head to toe in black, which may cause them to have a vitamin D deficiency or dehydration. They are seen as property by the males in the family. Men make all their decision for them.

Here are some charities that can help women in developing countries.  Womankind Worldwide is an international women’s rights charity working to support the lives of women and girls in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Womankind Worldwide is passionate about creating equality for women.  They have supported women’s rights since they were first founded on International Women’s Day in 1989.  Plan International’s “Because I am a Girl” is a global equality movement which transforms communities in developing countries by empowering girls. Plan International’s global initiative is to educate girls across the developing world. A girl’s income can increase by 15% to 20% for every year she stays in school.  Emerge Poverty Free Organisation has partnered with organisations in Uganda, DR Congo, and Burundi to start projects which encourage women to develop new skills so that they can earn a living and find their way out of poverty.

In this writer’s opinion women’s rights are non-existent in developing countries,  I think treating women like that in this day and age is barbaric. I personally won’t step foot into a country which treats women with such disrespect and animosity.  Some men in these countries will beat women for the most trivial of reasons.  They beat them if they burn their dinner, go outside without telling them or argue with their husband. In Egypt, surveys revealed that men believed it was appropriate for them to beat their wives if they refuse to have sex with them.  What makes this matter worse is that the woman believes she deserves to be punished for this.  She doesn’t know any better. Men continue to oppress women in many parts of the developing world.  By awareness and supporting women’s rights charities we can help to make a difference to the lives of these women.  I feel women should be thought of in an extremely positive way.  Sexual reproduction is a two way street with women shouldering the physical pain.  Our society should reflect our biological symbiotic relationship, equality should be a right for all.

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