Monday, January 23, 2006

The War on Women....

On AJOB's blog, Sean Philpott talks about the perceived "War on Boys" (tongue-in-cheek) -- and although some of the comments try to define this as a liberal vs conservative issue, the real point is being missed. When I was in India a few years back as part of a Rotary Club exchange program, one of the lawyers who graciously hosted us, told us this about the role of women and baby girls in India and Southeast Asia: That each family in India or Southeast Asia needed to have eight children, because out of eight, four would die of childhood diseases. Out of those four, two would be girls and therefore, "worthless" (because you have to pay a dowry to get them married off) and out of the two remaining boys, one was bound to be lazy or shiftless, leaving one boy to support the entire family.

Ouch -- what a commentary on the status of women. Will this change as the sex ratio shifts? Reports are that they already have. Some argue that this will make a women a precious commodity and lead to the abduction and trafficking of women in prostitution.
The restrictions on the use of ultrasound for the purposes of termination of pregnancy based sex selection don't seem to be working; making abortion illegal won't turn things around either -- especially since female infanticide is not uncommon. Aside from the obvious answer of "education", I'd really like to hear and learn about what can be done to stop this devaluation of women.

3 comments:

Karama said...

We women must value ourselves. We'll make progress on this concomitantly with the work to end domestic violence, reconsider and revalue "women's" work, eliminate education disparities and more. It's hands-on work and we all can (should) contribute.

James Nightshade said...

One idea:
Pressure the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to stop its active support for government programs which force women to have an abortion and/or to use an IUD.

Linda MacDonald Glenn said...

That may be a start, but that's only one part of it -- until we can somehow hold men accountable for their attitudes and abuses towards women, forcing women to carry unwanted pregnancies isn't enough.