So I'm a day late for the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day. You can find out about it at this website: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/
And if you don't know already, here's a newsflash. There are still areas in this world where women are treated as less-than-livestock. Check out CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). And please note who hasn't signed onto this document, which is known as "the international bill of rights for women."
I am absolutely ashamed to say that the US has not signed this. Nope. Believe it or not, it's been around for over 30 years, and the US has apparently decided (so far) that it's not necessary that we sign onto this. Really?
How can we go into another country on any kind of human rights mission and hold our head up? How can we say to Afghanistan, for example, "You have to treat your women better" when we haven't seen fit to endorse something as simple as this legislation which calls for women to be treated equally to men.
Notice, I said "equally" --- pay parity, access to education, health care and the other "benefits" of living that men take for granted.
My state senator, Dick Durbin, is trying hard to get this treaty passed. See this clip:
See the lovely company the US is in?? Really - we're right in there with Sudan and Iraq in our reluctance to sign this treaty. And as Durbin said, this is hardly a new issue, since CEDAW has been around for at least 30 years.
Anyway, back to International Women's Day. We celebrated at my Zonta club last night (see http://www.zonta.org/ for more information) and indicated that we were going to help Afghan women, via donations, to attend school. How wonderful that we can bring Zonta's mission, Advancing the Status of Women Worldwide, to an immediate situation such as this. Helping women in a war-torn country go to school so that they can support their families - I can't tell you how happy this made me when we voted to begin this project.
Think about the women in your life. Don't they deserve equality in their own lives? My oldest son has a t-shirt -which I did not buy for him, and I'm proud that he wears it proudly.
It says: Feminism is the radical notion that women are people, too.
Couldn't have said it any better myself. I'll have to find out where he got that shirt!