i’ve written this because i have the freedom to do so…

… and it feels like not writing it would be an abuse of that freedom.

Catherine Deveney wrote about International Women’s Day in yesterday’s Age newspaper.

An estimated 20 million unsafe abortions are performed worldwide every year, resulting in the deaths of 70,000 women. Each year an estimated 2 million girls suffer genital mutilation. Twenty to 50 per cent of women experience some degree of domestic violence during marriage. The majority of women earn on average about 75 per cent of the pay of males for the same work.

In most countries, women work approximately twice the unpaid time men do. Of the world’s nearly 1 billion illiterate adults, two-thirds are women. Women hold 11.7 per cent of the seats in the world’s parliaments. Nearly 70 per cent of the world’s 1.3 billion poor people are women. Between 75 and 80 per cent of the world’s 27 million refugees are women and children.

[link]

each of those sentences takes my breath away – i’m sure yours too. and if you’re struggling to find a reason for having International Women’s Day – which is celebrated today – just imagine a woman you love in each of those situations and then remember those women who do live in them who have no voice – no way of speaking, and no-one to speak for them.

i had a long post written about IWD in relation to alt worship, emerging church and contemporary theology… but then i realised that it would take about the same time for anyone to read it as it would for them [you?] to, for example, send an email to the president of Chad, protesting the use of rape as a weapon of war. just a suggestion… it seems our strongest voice needs to be for this. the rest of the post can wait one more day.

[update: the second email address suggested on the Amnesty site appears to get through.]