I have been reading and thinking about the Hejab lately. Here’s a blog post on the topic I thought was fascinating.
This whole notion that women wear the Hejab by “choice” is so perplexing to me.
How can wearing the Hejab be a choice if it’s the only option? For something to be a true choice, don’t you have to be as free to say “No” as you are to say “Yes”?
Or am I missing something huge?
“Several hundred men eventually attacked the protesters. Several of the women who stood their ground with considerable courage were stabbed as they chanted slogans for equal rights.”
There are really only two reactions to this that I can imagine: 1) sheer hopelessness or 2)doubling down on the fight for fairness.
What’s it gonna be?
Question of the day: How do we in the West pay constructive attention to the plight of girls in cultures so different from our own?
Remember the story of Nujood Ali, the ten year-old Yemeni child bride who, against the most serious of odds, got herself a divorce?
She thought the divorce would be the end of her struggles. She was wrong…
Her story has significant parallels with Dexter Filkins piece in the New York Times about his frustrated efforts to help Shamsia Husseini, one of the Afghan girls who was wounded in an acid attack while she was on her way to school.
“There is no change at all since going on television. I hoped there was someone to help us, but we didn’t find anyone to help us. It hasn’t changed a thing. They said they were going to help me and no one has helped me. I wish I had never spoken to the media,” Nujood says bitterly.”
“And so it had come to this. The Taliban, or someone who thought like them, had thrown acid in the faces of a number of girls, and a number of readers in the United States and other countries, filled with generosity, had given their money to take care of one of those girls and the school. And now the girl’s family, for reasons I could barely comprehend, was telling me, in effect, that they wanted something else.”
The challenge, of course, is that what stirs our interest of the West are stories – stories about individuals, stories with pictures. And yet, that kind of interest, well-intentioned as it is, generates a temporary spike in monetary donations which often doesn’t translate into a better life even for the individual for whom it is intended – much less for all the girls like her.
So what’s the solution? How do we in the West channel our attention in truly effective ways?
To me, what is needed is a vehicle for sustained attention and a committed group of individuals willing to wrestle with the challenge of how best to foster change from far away.
“This distrust is further aggravated by the Western journalist’s reluctance to seek the expertise of local people. A common complaint of people of the developing world is that they only appear in Western stories as subjects — either as poor, hopeless victims, or as savage creatures in need of the West’s moral intervention. They are never considered vital ingredients in the problem-solving recipe.”
We’ve allgotta eat,right?
“This shows how artists and bearers of noble causes transcend politics.”
“Yes, I believe that the public protest, with women voices loud and clear was instrumental in ensuring that justice is done,” The Uganda Association of Women Lawyers’s (FIDA) Chief Executive Officer, Maria Nassali, told IPS.”