Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Not Just About Weight

This morning, the front page of the Globe and Mail featured an article on a few hundred brave women in Afghanistan who dared demonstrate against the new laws affecting Shiite women in their country: a woman must BY LAW sleep with her husband every four days, if he so wishes, with very few exemptions (if she is very ill, for example); she cannot go out without her husband's permission, etc. The demonstrators were stoned and insulted. Eventually, they ran for their lives.

This is a reality for many women in the world today.

The newspaper also ran an article on a young Canadian woman who wants to come home from Saudi Arabia with her three children. She is being held against her will by her Saudi husband. Yes, she did go willingly originally, but she was barely an adult herself and already a mother when she left for her husband's country of birth. Now she is trapped there. I suspect that she could get out herself with some help and a liberal dose of subterfuge, but she could probably not get her three children out with her. As a mother, I can only barely imagine the anguish she feels.

This too is a reality for many women in the world today.

And let's not forget the women's rights activist who was murdered in Kandahar earlier this week. Her name was Sitara Achakzai and she was killed for being a woman who defended the basic human rights of women.

No, I haven't completely changed the focus of my blog. I'm still working on myself, my attitude, my weight, my world, but I felt like I had to acknowledge the plight of women who live in desperate circumstances, with no law and no one to protect them.

Please give a thought to these women. They are our sisters and our fellow human beings.

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