Some disgusting facts have come out recently about some women’s lives around the world. Afghanistan, Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia are thought to be the worst possible places to be a woman, although it is important to remember that these things go on around the world in most countries, even those considered ‘western’.
87% of women in Afghanistan are illiterate; in Congo, 1150 women are raped every day; 90% of women in Pakistan face domestic violence; in India, 50 million girls are “missing” over the past century due to female infanticide and foeticide; and in Somalia, 95% of women face FGM.
These facts are ridiculous. It seems impossible that the world we live in today can still be so unfair, and so backwards. In Britain, the percentage for illiteracy is barely 3% and the comparison between here and Afghanistan is appalling. No wonder western countries such as ours face so much immigration, when there is so much to try and get away from. Something needs to change. This is not just sexism, this is hundreds and thousands of people all over the planet being denied basic human rights. Female infanticide would be unthinkable in almost any developed country, yet it continues to happen on such a mass scale. Yet it is important to consider that it has largely been ignored that it occurs in China, as people consider China ‘developed’.
But what can we do? Well something has to be done. It seems to me that the obvious way forward in these countries is information. Inform the men of women’s rights in other countries and cultures, and inform the women to help them see that they don’t deserve what they are being put through, and give them access to information. I expect that the women being raped think it is what they are meant to endure (or at least have no one to help them), illiterate women don’t think that they should be able to read, and domestic violence is often seen as a given in marriages, especially in cultures where arranged marriages are common. Free access to information here is the only way forward.