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Ladies of the world who think the good fight is over and feminists are no longer needed, it is time to educated yourselves to the truth.
- Women constitute an estimated 70% of the world’s absolute poor, those living on less than $1 a day. [International Labor Organization. (2003). Facts on women at work. Geneva, Switzerland. Retrieved 9 Sep. 2009. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_067595.pdf.]
- Women work 2/3 of the world’s working hours, yet earn only 10% of the world’s income. [This data is drawn from organizations that collect and aggregate information at a global level, including the U.N. Millennium Campaign, the World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO, the U.N. Population Fund. Secondary information retrieved 10 Sep 2009 from http://www.womensfundingnetwork.org/sites/wfnet.org/files/StatusofWorldsWomen_WFN.pdf.]
- According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, it is now estimated that two-thirds of the world’s 875 million illiterate adults are women. In Southern Asia, nearly three in five women are illiterate, and it is estimated that half of all women in Africa and in the Arab region are still illiterate.
- Nearly a third of all adults living with HIV/AIDS are under the age of 25 and two thirds of them are women. [UNICEF]
- Women are responsible for producing 60-80% of the world’s food [Worldwatch Institute. (2008). State of the World: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy. Washington, D.C.: Gary Gardner & Thomas Prugh. Retrieved 10 Sep. 2009 from http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/SOW08_chapter_1.pdf.] , yet hold only 10% of the world’s wealth and 1% of the world’s land. [U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. (2005). Gender Equality, Education and Sustainable Growth. Istanbul, Turkey, Eighth Eurasian Economic Summit: Section for Women and Gender Equality, Bureau of Strategic Planning. Retrieved on 10 Sep. 2009 from http://portal.unesco.org/en/files/28477/11223842079Instanbul_July_2005_final.doc/Instanbul%2BJuly%2B2005_final.doc.]
- Over 110 million of the world’s children, two thirds of them girls, are not in school. [UNICEF]
- Data shows that at least one in every three woman is a survivor of some form of gender-based violence, most often by some one in her own family. [1999 Johns Hopkins global report]
- In countries such as Austria, Canada, Thailand, and the United States, over 30% of all businesses are now owned or operated by women. Thailand tops this list with an impressive 40%. [International Labor Organization. (2003). Facts on women at work. Geneva, Switzerland. Retrieved 9 Sep. 2009 from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_067595.pdf ]
- Girls between 13 and 18 years of age constitute the largest group in the sex industry. It is estimated that around 500,000 girls below 18 are victims of trafficking each year. [UNICEF]
- The total value of a woman’s unpaid house and farm work adds 1/3 to the world’s GNP ( Gross National Profit). [Family Care International. (2007). Women Deliver: As Mothers, Individuals, Family Members and as Citizens. New York, NY: Women Deliver. Retrieved 9 Sep. 2009 from http://www.womendeliver.org/overview/WD_The_Facts.pdf ]
- More than 80 per cent of the world’s 35 million refugees and displaced people are women and children. [UNICEF]
- Emergencies puts women at risk of extreme sexual violence and abuse. In Rwanda, for example, 2,000 women, many of whom were survivors of rape, tested positive for HIV during the five years following the 1994 genocide. [UNICEF]
- Worldwide, over 60% of people working in family enterprises without pay are women. [U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2005). Progress Toward the Millennium Development Goals, 1990-2005. New York, NY: Statistics Division. Retrieved 9 Sep. 2009 from http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mi/goals_2005/goal_3.pdf.]
- 1,400 women die every day from pregnancy-related causes, 99 per cent of them in developing countries. [UNFPA]
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, a woman has a one in three chance of dying in child birth. In industrialized countries, the risk is 1 in 4,085.
- Direct obstetric deaths account for about 75 per cent of all maternal deaths in developing countries
This global the fight has only just begun.
We are still a minority.
We must fight together for women who can’t fight alone. Check out this site to start, Women For Women. They have a bunch of things you can do globally.
Take back the night!
I said it.
On Monday, 28th of September, the military gunned down civilians attending a peaceful pro-democracy rally in the West African country of Guinea. Over one hundred and fifty people were killed and women were stripped and raped in the streets.
The Guinean people are crying out for democracy and firm pressure is needed from the international community to ensure military rule is brought to an end, more innocent people do not get killed, and violence does not spread to other fragile democracies in the region.
If we can push the African and European Unions to apply targeted sanctions on the ruling elite, this could be the quickest way to get the military to step down, with out hurting the Guinean people. Sign the petition below and spread the word – and it will be delivered to the EU and AU leadership this week:
To learn more, read the email below:
Here’s the original Avaaz email:
Last week, over 150 civilians were killed when the military opened fire on a peaceful pro-democracy rally in the West African country of Guinea. Women were raped and people were bayoneted on the streets as they tried to escape — a terrifying message to a nation crying out to elect a democratic, civilian government for the first time.
In spite of the international community’s condemnation of the violence and calls for the regime to allow elections, the junta is clinging to power, warning ominously that the army is acting beyond the chain of command. The tense situation threatens to spiral into inter-factional fighting or a counter-coup, which would likely see violence spill over and destabilize the whole region.
We need to act fast. The international community must send a clear message that unless the regime agrees to step down and allow a peaceful democratic transition, they will face immediate, tightly-targeted sanctions. The African and European Unions have discussed invoking travel sanctions on the ruling elite, who love to fly and shop: this could be the best chance to have quick impact, without hurting Guinea’s people — who desperately need our help. We’ll deliver this campaign to European and African leaders before they meet later this month — click the link below to sign the petition and forward this email:
The military ruler of Guinea, Capitan Moussa Dadis Camara, seized power in a military coup last year. He had agreed to step aside and allow for democratic elections next year — but after months of tension, recently reneged on that promise. The people of Guinea have suffered over 50 years of brutal and corrupt dictatorships. Tens of thousands of civilians who attended last week’s rally were clamouring for an end to military rule and opposing his candidacy in elections.
The violence against civilians was brutal. A human rights watch witness stated: “I saw the Red Berets [an elite unit within the military] catch some of the women who were trying to flee, rip off their clothes, and stick their hands in their private parts. Others beat the women, including on their genitals… the women were crying out.”
Firm action is needed not just to make clear that we reject the violent repression of people anywhere who stand up to demand democratic and accountable government, but because what happens in Guinea will affect dozens of other fledgling democracies across Africa, where would-be dictators are closely watching the response from the international community. Years have been spent establishing a fragile peace in neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia. If Guinea blows, they too could be at risk.
An international inquiry is needed into the violence and the army must return to barracks. But a week after the massacre, opposition leaders remain in military detention, and Capitan Camara is shirking responsibility for the violence, blaming the opposition and banning all public ‘subversive’ meetings — sending a clear signal that he isn’t going step aside easily or bend to initial international declarations.
The regional body, Economic Community of West African States, has nominated a negotiator for Guinea. But any talks must be backed up by clear international pressure — otherwise the mineral-rich regime could hold on, ruling through the biggest army in the region. A policy of targeted AU and EU travel bans, affecting the leadership personally, could be pivotal — not only could it help halt more bloodshed, it could start to lay the foundation for a democratic transition.
Guinea’s people desperately need international help and solidarity today. Let’s stand with them, send a clear message to the Guinean military and forces across Africa who seek to rule by the gun that the time for repressive military rule is over. Sign the petition and send it on to family and friends:
Alice, Luis, Benjamin, Ricken, Graziela, Paula, Pascal, Iain and the whole Avaaz team.
Guinea massacre tolls put at 157, BBC, 30 September
Human Rights Watch witnesses from the rally:
Capitan Moussa Dadis Camara says army is out of control:
ECOWAS negotiator nominated:
Violence in Guinea threaten the whole region:
Guinea’s Capital Fades Into a Ghost Town After Soldiers’ Rampage, New York Times, 30 September
Guinea’s military leader banned all gatherings and demonstrations until further notice, AP, 30 September
Guinea asks Russia to block UNSC sanctions
African Union statement on Guinean massacre