Sunday, October 22, 2006

Violence against Women and Inequality of the Sexes

UN figures show that in the world, 1 in 3 women are brutalized or forced to have sexual relations. In the developed world, violence against women presents usually as domemstic abuse but in parts of the world where wars are raging, and in the aftermath of such civil unrest, there is often widespread abuse and raping of women at large. This is the situation in Congo as was shown on a TV documentary recently, where in the villages women endure recurring gang rape by out-of-control soldiers and rebels, with no protection or recourse from their governments.

In many places in Africa we have a lot to do to curb violence against women, and to legally and socially grant women equal standing and respect in society. Traditionally, such rights have not usually been accorded women. Neither have these same rights been given women anywhere in the world without a fight. If it is a fair statement to say that African men usually adore their mothers, then it is fair to say that they are as an overgeneralization somewhat unable to extend that same respect toward their wives. This basic discrepancy between sexes must be addressed from a legal, social, religious and spiritual point of view. This basic human right must be taught in schools. Women should not be considered fortunate when they find succesful and equal relationships, this is the way it must be.

Whatever religion one practices, God did not create inferiority in one sex versus the other, only different strengths. We cannot reiterate this often enough, if we are to possess a better world. Civil rights belong to all. Here's another of my poems on the topic.


Should the showers fall tonight
We will lie out in the rain
Let lightning tear up the middle skies
Into shards and shreds of dignity and hope
Like the bloodied flesh in which we lie
Tainted by the sons we bore
May thunder echo against valley walls
Summon the panic that beat in our chests,
And mothers hear what the sons have done
By the stories we tell under the light of the moon
The other night not too long ago
When womb was slain by tens and billions
The rebel army retreated at dawn
At the blast of a whistle
To hide vampire teeth from the light of day
At dusk be not deceived!

Should the showers fall tonight
May they wash away our yesterdays
And sweep them with the current,
Out of sight, out of mind
To join the waterways of the deep
And mingle with the salt of the sea
Where we stand knee deep in turmoil
With the ocean all around
May healing return to us again
With the surge and sway of synchronized waves
Sent by the wind from the far side of the shore
Mix in powders of bark and herbs
And the roots of drifting green seaweed
Add to this the healer’s words
The songs of the mighty archangels

Should the showers fall tonight
We must hear the refrain of earthly choirs
Sister to sister, sing my song
Stand with us by the unbroken wall
I let drop my tears in a river of hope
reaching out to your store of strength

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