It would be a happy day indeed if we no longer needed an International Women’s Day, but alas, much misogyny/violence/discrimination abounds. This year the theme of IWD is Women and men united to end violence against women and girls. Here’s some tip of the iceberg stuff topical for IWD, I’ll start locally and go international.
From the ABC:
Unions are highlighting pay differences between the sexes ahead of International Women’s Day. The ACTU says Australian women on average earn 16 per cent less than men, but that it varies between states. ACTU president Sharon Burrow says Victorian women earn 14 per cent less than men, while in Western Australia women earn 28 per cent less because of the mining boom. Ms Burrow says the gap will widen as the economic slowdown continues. “We’re seeing women, young people simply being told their hours are being cut or in fact they’re not required anymore,” she said. “That will simply add to the income disparity for women – we’re very concerned that the pay gap will simply widen as a result of the global financial crisis.”
Brazil’s influential Catholic Church raged against an abortion carried out on a nine-year-old girl who had been pregnant with twins after allegedly being raped by her stepfather. An archbishop for the northern region where the termination was conducted, Father Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, said the church was excommunicating all those responsible for the abortion: the medical team and the girl’s mother. The operation – carried out because of doctors’ fears the slender girl might die if she carried the foetuses to term – was a crime in the eyes of the church, he said. “God’s law is above any human law. So when a human law… is contrary to God’s law, this human law has no value,” [said] archbishop Cardoso. “The adults who approved, who carried out this abortion, will be excommunicated,” said the archbishop for the Recife region.
And, of course, the Vatican backs the Bishop. Now might be the time to announce that there goes the lasting lingering threat of my Catholicism. Where is the compassion for the poor girl who could have died if she carried the twins to term? Where is the excommunication/denunciation of the creep who raped and abused her? God didn’t cause this pregnancy her stepfather did and the pontificating judgment should be directed at him and not at those trying to save the girl’s life.
From the horrific to the ridiculous - from here, I discover that there is a 75 000 strong petition on facebook to get pole dancing included as an Olympic sport for the 2012 games. FFS.
In other news, and this is trivial in comparison to what the women in countries such as Indian and Iraq are facing, but Barbie turns fifty tomorrow, and still looks as young and perky as ever. Thus we see (and remember we are barely scratching the surface here) a continuum of issues faced by women, running the gamut from economic disadvantage, to intense struggle for survival and to live unmolested, right through to ideological struggles against a culture that emphasises women’s passive and ornamental sexuality at the expense of all else. *sigh*