Women under threat world-wide (still); demand action now.

The personal is, really is, political.  So when will modern political leaders (almost all male) wake up and begin, properly,  and resolutely, to protect the basic human rights of people (mostly women) who remain in fear of their lives and physical well-being?

Why is there so little clamour against the barbaric brutality which girls and women especially continue to face in various parts of the world, even our own?  Politicians unwilling to challenge barbarism – even at no personal risk to themselves – are deeply culpable, as are we all if we remain mute.

Remember what Dietrich Bonhoffer and Martin Niemoller said way back in World War II about the fear of defending others (quotes below); and demand action, now.

Please sign and forward this e-petition (for UK citizens), posted 25 June 2012 on the HM Government website:

STOP Female Genital Mutilation (FGM / ‘cutting’) in Britain

If you have a Twitter account and would like to draw more attention to this issue, please use the hashtag   #NoFGM   and follow  @NoFGM1.  Thank you.

Whether we consider

* the brutality of Egyptian soldiers who beat protesters and (until the judiciary intervened) submitted women to ‘virginity tests’,

* ultra-Orthodox Israelis who (despite protests by national leaders) spat at small schoolgirls adjudged to be inappropriately garbed,

* British families who send their daughters ‘home’ to undergo genital mutilation,

* extreme Right Americans who through the notion of ‘personhood’ want to deny their female fellow citizens any entitlement to self-determine their own fertility, or

* fanatical Iranians who suggest it’s OK to execute women alleged to have had adulterous affairs,

the challenge remains:

How best must powerful and influential people in the free world speak in defence of those whose personal self-determination is so fundamentally threatened?

Versions vary, but there is a quote attributed to two writers, both of whom suffered greatly under the Nazis for their humanity and decency, which says it all:

They came for the Communists, and I didn’t object – For I wasn’t a Communist;
They came for the Socialists, and I didn’t object – For I wasn’t a Socialist;
They came for the labor leaders, and I didn’t object – For I wasn’t a labor leader;
They came for the Jews, and I didn’t object – For I wasn’t a Jew;
Then they came for me – And there was no one left to object.

[Martin Niemoller, German Protestant Pastor (1892-1984)]

First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.

[Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Lutheran Pastor and Theologian whose involvement in a plot to overthrow Adolf Hitler led to his imprisonment and execution (1906-1945)]

This is not ‘just’ about women’s rights, though it is indeed about these as well.  It is about the core requirement to see how the personal connects with the political.

As Bonhoffer and Niemoller acknowledged to their own great cost, we all have a duty to protect each other, whether in our personal lives or across divides of culture and geography.

Any politician in our comfortable western society who is unwilling to defend with heart and soul the individual liberty of innocent others in grave personal danger, is a politician unworthy of support.

To repeat: The personal really is political.

If you have a Twitter account and would like to draw more attention to FGM issues, please use the hashtag   #NoFGM  and follow  @NoFGM1.  Thank you.

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3 Responses to Women under threat world-wide (still); demand action now.

  1. Pingback: Campaigning will shift the climate, to end FGM in Britain | Strictly Politically

  2. Brian says:

    You all will surprise to note that out of 30 Patients 1 dying dunrig Pregnancy in the Rural areas of Pakistan.Women facing lot of grievances in these area and studies have shown that infant mortality rate is higher in rural areas than in urban areas. This is because of the following reasons• Rural women receives delayed or no prenatal care or less adequate care when it is available. This is a major concern in rural areas as risk factors for infant death include delayed or no prenatal care. It contributes to a higher rate of infant mortality in rural areas.• Low education of mother, which is correlated with poverty. Rural poverty rates have consistently been higher than urban poverty rates.• Its shocking to know that maternal smoking dunrig pregnancy, is higher in rural areas. Teen pregnancy rates are often higher in rural areas.Here in Pakistan several agencies and individuals are working on this issue but it is a big challenge. After my Retirement as Government Officer, I have reserved myself in this mission and cause. I m engaged in the activities of Pakistan Medical Association, surveys and participation in Rural Area Camps. Now I have established my own NGO in the name of Saharo Welfare Organization, we are now working in the rural areas and trying our best to provide relief etc., to the Rural area Women. Here so many Agencies and Individuals encouraging us and helping us technically, morally and financially but it’s a big task I need help from the International Community. I am looking forward to International Organizations/Individuals to please support me morally, financially and technically.Mehtab Qureshi

  3. Shafeer says:

    Female Genital Mutilation is an barbaric and phylacilsy traumatic expererience that does not have a place in today’s world. The education and awareness of this culture should be spread to as far and as wide an audience in Africa. Happy to support such a laudible cause in any way possible.

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