Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day

In a way it's a shame that we have to have an International Women's Day, but we do and this year's theme “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women” reminds us that while women in the US have had the right to vote since 1920, it's been slower going for women in other countries and cultures.  And that life is not idyllic here for women either.  This is especially true if you happen to be poor or non-white.

I'm participating in a blog blast which the Gorilla Girls on Tour tweeted about today and left a link for the Gender Across Borders blog.  The folks there are asking bloggers to focus on the following:

  • What does it mean to have equal access to education, training and science and technology for women, and how do we get there?
  • Describe a particular organization or moment in history that helped to mobilize a meaningful change in equal access to education, training and science and technology for women.

  • So, let's ponder these statements.  Do we have equal access here in the US for women when it comes to education and training?  Compared to the women of Afghanistan we do!  We don't have bands of religious terrorists trying to blow up schools that teach girls and assassinate their teachers.  Although in looking at the way the GOP wants to de-fund Planned Parenthood (PP), one might think that religious folks who are anti-abortion are trying to take over.  Ironically, PP also provides gynecological health services for poor women and most of their budget goes to providing these services.  Also PP is prohibited from using federal funds for abortion services. 

    But let's go back to Afghanistan for a moment to look at an organization there which truly has mobilized a meaningful change in equal access for women - The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan.  You can get the details of how they were created and the strife they have been through.  Their main mission is to build schools and clinics for women. 

    I can't tell you how much I wish the US had partnered with this group to help the women of Afghanistan, instead of sending troops to the country to kill whatever terrorists they can find and oops, didn't mean to kill those civilians.  But then again, I've always been a radical.  After all, I'm a married woman with no children and no regrets either!

    If I were a fairy godmother, (me playing the part in a kids video series that was never released) I would wave my wand and sexism would disappear.  Since I'm not, it's up to all of us to help make the world a better place for the women coming up after us.  It's crazy to think that back in 77 I was the first female voice on KTLK radio in Denver.  It  took the National Organization of Women (NOW) filing an injunction against all Denver radio stations because there were no women on the air to get me the opportunity to work in that field.   

    Now you hear female voices on radio and TV without thinking twice.   Now, if we could only do the same for politics - local and national - maybe our world would be a better place.

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