Two days ago, some countries acknowledged, some others rejected once more the United Nations International Women’s Day (IWD). Cultural entities around the world coincided their fertile grounds for violence against women with the supposed celebration of their female populations. South Africa and India became two of the most adored objects of the media, Celebrating International Women’s Day due to “recent cases of violence against women” on their soil.
In the honor of IWD, seven injustices women around the world meet became newsworthy yet once again. Among them, China, India and Afghanistan attained considerable attention. Sex-selective abortion and infanticide brought China and India to the news, while Afghanistan, this time, competed in the list due to its lack of education rights for its females. Lesser crimes against women in relatively wide-spread coverage included no rights to drive in Saudi Arabia, far fewer rights in divorce in Egypt, restricted land ownership in Lesotho, media coverage discrepancies in Latin America and gender pay gap in the United States.
With a substantial leap from concerns over equal pay for both sexes, selected world media leaders took us to a brief tour in one of the exclusive districts of Istanbul, in quest of a public gallery constructed in commemoration of IWD following the increase in “honor killings” of women in Turkey. The displays consist of newspaper clips of stories of women murdered by the men of their families, i.e. husbands, divorced husbands, fathers, father-in-laws, brothers, brother-in-laws, uncles, etc. A large banner reading “There is no excuse for violence against a woman” functions as the onset of the news program, Beyoğlu’nda ‘Kadına şiddetin bahanesi yoktur’ sergisi.
At the risk of being ridiculed – in view of the above-mentioned violence’s scope, I claim that even one hand constitutes a brutal act when used to slap someone regardless of that strike’s force. So is using pepper spray on unarmed, non-violent, nonthreatening, defenseless people, as the following video, Kadınlar gününde kadına biber gazı documents. The clip makes history on Turkish lands since the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – on International Women’s Day, nonetheless. For, the Islamist Erdoğan administration uses police to stop women in Hatay, Turkey with pepper spray from voicing their demands for anti-violence against women in a peaceful walk.
An image from a critically-claimed cinematic production, “Osama” enters the memory:
Wasn’t it mere water, after all, that the Talibani had used on women to dissolve their quest for work to survive in their man-less households? Before ordering their murders without trial on the slightest suspense of their “misbehavior”? On behalf of Islam?
Let us have a quick fact-check against the backlash of at least a few of the relevant teachings of the Kur’an regarding some of the hereby summarized crimes against women: Driving? There is – as to be expected – no mention of it. It, thus, has no connection to Islam when Saudi Arabia or elsewhere is concerned. Rights in divorce? Equal for both genders, with a clause to more heavily support the woman; especially, if she is expecting or already a parent. Right for education? Equal for both genders.
Celebrating women? What an impossible feat as long as distortions, misinterpretations, misconstructions, de-constructions, or reconstructions of religious texts reign over humanity when at least the three “main” world faiths are concerned!
Related Articles and Images:
Joyce Stevens. “A History of International Women’s Day”
Women Watch. “History of International Women’s Day”
Women Watch. “A Promise is a Promise. Time for action to end violence against women. UN System Observances for International Women’s Day 2013”
Women’s Day. Picture images from around the world
“7 Injustices Faced by Women Around the World”
“Turkey celebrates int’l Women’s Day”
“Pain, not joy on Women’s Day, says Turkish pop icon”
“Turkish Women Underrepresented In Politics”
International Men’s Day Global Website
Definition of “violence” in English