Women carry the bulk of the burden when it comes to poverty - literally.
In countries throughout Africa and Asia, women carry, on average, 20kg at a time in water and firewood - the weight of the standard airport luggage allowance.
Walking for miles to collect basic necessities is a responsibility which usually falls upon women and girls. Tasks which take seconds in the UK can mean backbreaking work in poor communities, preventing girls from attending school and women from paid work.
This comes at a high cost. In some countries, a girl is more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than finish primary education.
All across our global community there are women struggling in a harsh and unforgiving climate of hostility, fear, mistrust and insecurity.
They are treated like second class citizens and denied the freedom that we take for granted.
This is not acceptable in 2012. We must act to stop this betrayal of humanity. We must ensure that Human Rights prevail and that Justice, Fairness, Freedom and Truth are not denied.
We must not allow anyone or any being to suffer cruel and inhumane treatment at the hands of regimes or individuals who seek to control, stifle protest and target dissenters.
We must strive for social change that resists the establishment when it exploits and promotes harm to Any individual or sentient being and betrays their trust.
As any readers to this blog will know by now, my passion lies in promoting a change in attitude and beliefs towards the way we treat our fellow creatures with whom we share this planet. I believe that we cannot stand back and witness cruelty to animals anymore than our forebears who worked for the abolition of slavery and other blatant injustices such as aparthied and torture, and those who work to combat the appalling suffering endured by women, children, and indeed men, all over the world.
So, although I invest my energy and concentrate my focus on campaigning for a revolutionary approach to overthrow the systems that enforce a lifetime of agony and frustration for animals, my compassion is not limited and myself and my family sponser, through PLAN UK, a young girl from Senegal. Her name is Awa and she is 12 and lives with her mother and father and 2 siblings. Her mother was 16 when she married her father. Awa does not go to school because her parents do not think that it is important for her to do so.
We support Plan's "Because I am a girl" campaign which aims to support four million girls in developing countries to have more choices about what they can do with their lives and to move from a life of poverty to a future of opportunity.
"Currently, 75 million girls around the world are being denied the right to an education, every year, 10 million girls in developing countries are coerced or forced into marriage under the age of 18, with thousands of girls each year giving birth when they are still children themselves"
From Plan's Wesite: http://www.plan-uk.org/
Free Speach is a basic Human Right and those of us who are blessed and have the right to Freedom of Expression need to exercise this right and stand up for those who are Oppressed.
So, today on International Woman's Day, March 8th 2012, do something to raise awareness for those women, for whom survival is an uphill struggle.
£100 can help build a water pump close to a poor community, saving a girl's gruelling daily walk and giving her a fighting chance to fulfil her potential.
She is an Artist and an Activist, two qualities that I admire and strive to be. She is dedicated and dignified in her campaigning and that's why she is the UN Aids International Ambassador, Global Ambassador on Women's issues for Oxfam and Leader of the EQUALS coalition which is a partnership of charities lobbying to end gender inequality.
Annie Lennox saw the huge discrepency in woman's rights in Africa and knew she had to do something. Her achievements are many and she has drawn public attention to the plight of women and children who endure chronic and endemic poverty. She campaigns against the disempowerment of women and for their right to access basic healthcare in a world where HIV and Aids are the biggest killer of women.
After reading this post, please watch this interview with Annie Lennox on BBC News
and feel her passion, anger, frustration and above all desire to keep working for change.
She is ONE TRULY AMAZING WOMAN!
(oh, and one more fact before I finish which I feel I have to add.........................at the end of the above interview, Annie Lennox gives us the following fact:
In the western world, we spend 3 times MORE on BOTTLED WATER than we do on Development Aid....
Now that's something none of us should be proud of)
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMAN'S DAY TO ALL YOU WONDERFUL WOMAN OUT THERE, MY FRIENDS HERE IN PERSON, AND THOSE OF YOU IN BLOGASPHERE LAND! YOU ARE ALL AMAZING, ARTISTIC AND PASSIONATE AND TOGETHER WE CAN BE THAT COLLECTIVE VOICE FOR CHANGE!