Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Day

So, actually I didn't want to write the gadzillionth blog entry concerning this topic, but after I spent the last couple of hourse browsing through LOTS of wikipedia articles on women's rights, I decided to post something anyway.

Living in a part of the world where as a woman - when you set your mind on it - you can reach about everything, celebrating this day might seem a bit out of place. But even I, an example of the modern, educated woman, have experienced discrimination. There are things that as a woman I have to fight for harder than any man would have.

Even in European countries, suffrage has not been a given until not very long ago. In Switzerland, women only were allowed to vote in federal elections in 1973. Most countries introduced those rights earlier, but still. For a very long time, patriarchal order was considered to be the natural order, the order meant by God. Only when missionaries found Native American tribes led by women, "civilized" women started to demand equal rights.
Not a long time ago, rape in marriage was not considered rape by law. Men exercised the marital rights.
Not a long time ago, birth control was not available to women.
Not a long time ago, women were not given the possibility of abortion.
But there are not only these "hard facts", there's also more subtle stuff. Why is a woman who has many sexual partners considered a slut, while men are encouraged to do the same? Why are women who engage in feministic activities derogatively termed "Kampflesbe"? (I tried hard to find a good translation for this one, but I didn't find anything appropriate).
But I'm optimistic, I'm optimistic that we will achieve equal pay for equal work.
Women in the "fertile period of life" will as likely be hired as men.

But what about other parts of the world?
There are places where education is not available for women.
There are places where women's genitalia are mutilated to ensure they remain virgins and take away any pleasure in sexual encounters, then are sold to the highes bidder.
Places where forced marriages, prostitution, slavelike work are normal fate for women. This list can be continued for quite a long time.
Women more likely are victims of human trafficking, of domestic violence, of rape.

Yes, there is still a lot of work to do, and I'm not quite sure if this work is done the right way. Lots of efforts that are made simply cost money that could be spent more effectively elsewhere. I don't think that it makes society more equal if traffic signs show characters wearing skirts instead of pants ...

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