Tag Archives: women

Help Me Keep Oil In The Lamp

I’m still struggling with my post from yesterday. About female suicide bombers. I can’t get it out of my head. And I want to apologize for it’s length, or more precisely the lack of depth to my inquiry. It was a mere 394 words. Typically, when I am charged about something I have to be careful not to create a short novel. I’m constantly editing myself, narrowing my focus to keep it a readable length.

But yesterday, I sat there, in shock, in front of the computer screen, still trying to wrap my head around the information I found on the internet. And I found myself typing my thoughts and then stopping short. It was hard to plow through. It’s a difficult subject to understand emotionally. I’m well aware that I was lost in a stereotype. Desperately wanting to believe in that stereotype.  I wanted to tell myself this can’t be real.

And in my search for information there was a short little blurb that struck me:

“Five days after the death of Jabbar, the Awakening leader, his wife gave birth to a daughter. Last month, Baidaa Muhammed, 30, sat in their living room, in front of a gold-framed photo of her husband. The baby was named Hibatullah, or “gift from God.”

As Hibatullah rested in her lap wrapped in a white blanket, Muhammed, her face streaked with tears, declared: “I hate women.””

I hate women.

Why would she say that? Did she feel abandoned? Worthless? Angry? Possibly. Her husband was Naeem Jabbar. He was the leader of a U.S. security group, Awakening, trying to improve conditions in Iraq. For about four months Jabbar had given food and money to a 19 year old woman begging in the streets. Because of their relationship, albeit limited, security never considered her a threat. But on an evening in July 2008, as he approached her as he had many times, she detonated a bomb that killed him, herself and four others.

Now, Baidaa Muhammed is a widow. In a country that does not cherish women. Her husband died trying to rebuild a broken country. And a woman is at the root of her loss. A fellow woman left her a widow and her child fatherless.

Jennifer, from My Wildlife’s Words, asked an important question yesterday: “What else has changed for women in the last 20 or so years?” I don’t know. But I wondered that, too, as I was writing and researching yesterday. I’m going to sit on that and someday I might have an answer.

But until then I feel the need to do something.

I don’t want Baidaa to feel abandoned. I don’t want her to feel alone. Most of all, I don’t want her to hate women or hate being a woman. I want Baidaa to feel loved, cherished, valued and empowered in a positive way. Empowerment shouldn’t mean strapping on a bomb to get revenge or to join your brothers with Allah or atone for your sins.

I did a search for best non-profits for women and tried to find some of the best ones. I realize, sadly, that not all organizations are legit. But I’ve done the best I can to provide a short list here that look promising. Please give, but not without educating yourself first. And if you know of other good organizations, please mention them in the comment section of this post.

We need to band together and try to stop this madness. We can make these past 25 years merely a blip on radar. One simple step can make a difference.

“If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” ~Mother Teresa

Women For Women International – Helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives.

Care – Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. A humanitarian organization that focuses on poverty, especially poor women.

Americares – They deliver medical supplies and medical care here in the U.S. or around the world in times of disaster, civil unrest or daily struggle.

VDay – A global movement to end violence against women and girls.

Polaris Project – An organization committed to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

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China’s Sex Selection And One Child Policy Bites – Seriously

I knew it would bite them in the butt sooner or later. I read this headline on Yahoo News, “Skewed Birthrate To Leave 24 Million Men Single” and smiled wryly. No, I’m not happy that Chinese men will find difficulty marrying and insuring that their name will live on. But what do you expect? Especially where sex-specific abortions are condoned. Now I’m not going to turn this into an abortion rights debate. And please, you don’t either. Let’s look at the bigger picture here.

My sister, a more active feminist than I, will often bring up injustices that women suffer around the world. I’d listen politely. I’d nod and smile (or frown if the conversation warranted it.) But as soon as the conversation was over I’d go make dinner, tie a shoe, read a story to my kids or watch my favorite show. I don’t get involved or even educate myself. How could lil’ ol’ me make a difference?

The only time sex specific births made an impact on me was when I was in the throes of adoption. Oooooo, I’d think, chances are we’ll get a girl, or another girl, as the case may be. Someone to get girly with! What fun! And then a flash of concern would enter my mind and I’d think, for a few minutes or two, how horrible it must be to be unwanted in your own country, your own family. How terrible little girls are treated in countries that favor little boys. I might even stop to think where those countries might be: China, Korea, India, Iran. But those are sad thoughts and Pollyanna Jane doesn’t tolerate sad thoughts for very long.

But maybe I should have tolerated them. Maybe I should have nurtured them and seen where they may have taken me.

The article further states that men in poorer areas will probably have the most difficulty finding mates. That this difficulty has already led to abductions, trafficking, illegal marriages and prostitution. That  a wider age gap between couples will be common. (I’m thinking forced marriages – similar to those in polygamist cults) How will this affect the young women of this country? What will be the fall-out?

China implemented its “one child” policy back in 1979. When ultrasound technology became more widely available in the 80’s, sex selection became more prevalent. A recent Chinese study determined that this ” policy has averted 400 million births.” Averted. Interesting word. To prevent. Turn away. Avoid.

Avoiding having 400 million sweet, adorable little daughters. I understand the population problem over there. I do. I don’t have another answer. I’m just greatly saddened that this policy, technology, and family choices have created such a problem.

A problem that only makes it worse for the women already there.

All over again.

Check in tomorrow, for the inaugural guest post during Won’t You Be My Neighbor Fridays!


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