8 March 2011

a question of need?

Today is International Women's Day. It's an interesting concept, and in light of blog comments a few days ago one that can't pass unmentioned in this blog. One such comment was:
Domestic violence, restricted educational and financial opportunities, lack of voting rights, female circumcision, honour killings, female infanticide, trafficking and sexual exploitation, all these things and more still exist in so many countries around the world, including developed nations.
Sadly, this is very true. This is a tragic case in point: the earthquake in Christchurch has increased domestic violence at a time when refuge homes or safe houses have been destroyed.

Here in Italy it is the Festa della Donna. A quick google turned up some sites I'd rather not have seen, or should I write sights I'd rather not have seen? It's not that I am a prude at all, but it is sad when the original purpose of a celebration is lost and commercial hype and sexual innuendo take the place of serious recognition and debate about the issues facing women even today. You could argue that these strip shows are about equality for women, but human rights and the safety of women are far more important to me.

I wonder, are the women of Rome who protested recently about the predilictions of their prime minister engaged in strip shows and the like this evening? Or might they prefer the Wikipedia version of the day (which has information not included in the English Wikipedia).

The mimosa is only just coming into bloom; it has been too cold I think. There are still heavy dumpings of snow quite low on the hills around me. From the other side of the valley it is picturesque; here on my cold floors a more appropriate word is freezing! Despite the cold I will always think of Australia on 8 March as the advertising for the Festa della Donna always includes the mimosa, or wattle flowers.

Today I am grateful for
serious conversations.

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