V-Day 14 Feb. 2013

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One in Three women world-wide WILL be RAPED or BEATEN in her lifetime! (this is probably an understatement)

This is a difficult statistic to read, its shameful, its an ATROCITY!

And the violence will be done mostly by men.

KARACHI, Pakistan — At the age of 11, Malala Yousafzai took on the Taliban by giving voice to her dreams. As turbaned fighters swept through her town in northwestern Pakistan in 2009, the tiny schoolgirl spoke out about her passion for education.  She was shot for her courage of speaking her dreams.

“If you wouldn’t have been there on that night, this wouldn’t have happened to you” Judge Jaqueline Hatch told a woman sexually assaulted in an Arizona Bar.  The offence was committed by Police Office Robb Gary Evans, yes a man, but not just any man; a man in authority who should be protecting women not beating and raping.

But that’s not the end of it.  The sentence was 30 months imprisonment but was reduced to 100 hours community service work as the guilt was passed to the victim.

But those are the extreme cases.  Violence happens in the homes in our communities.  Its not class specific, its not specific to a particular religious faith and not specific to an ethnic group, it happens no matter what.

But violence against women affects men.  These women are our wives, partners, mothers, sisters, daughters… We cannot leave women to fix this problem on their own, that’s just not possible, its a man thing.  Men run the Police, run the Courts, run the Government, they set the rules  If they really wanted men could stop this on-going atrocity, change the dynamic.

It is a brutalized view of the world if men see this only as a women problem.  Addressing this problem is empowering for men as well as women, it’ll be liberating.  There are some men (and women it must be said!) who feel threatened by women’s campaigns like International Women’s Day.  It’s as if it’s conceding to women something we men are not able to have for ourselves, but is that really a problem anyhow? It has been International Men’s Day in most of the world for most of the time (another understatement?) .

By addressing the issues and being truthful with ourselves women’s lives may well improve to that of men.  This is not (although it is in some ways) about criminality, its about equality, decency, sharing our common goals, aspirations and hopes.

I urge any man to join with women in 1-BILLION RISING

ONE BILLION RISING IS:

A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being

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