If you are sitting here reading this article, you are very lucky indeed. Trust me, it’s not because it’s written by me or because I believe it’s such a great article. You are lucky simply because you are allowed to sit here and read, period. An estimated 4.4 billion people around the world do not or are not allowed to use the Internet. In some countries it is allowed, although is censored without mercy. More than 23 percent of the world’s population have no say in how they are governed and face severe consequences if they attempt to exercise their basic rights.
We in the west are incredibly fortunate. We are permitted freedoms far beyond the imaginations of so many others. We take freedom for granted, have grown up with it and have little understanding of a world without it. There are ongoing debates about the oppression of women in the west and let’s be serious, its women who are oppressed the most. The oppression of women in the west though is nothing compared to women in many other countries.
Imagine not having the right to an equal vote or medical care, a decent education or the right to drive a car. Imagine being forced into an arranged marriage or not being able to leave home as you wish. Imagine not being able to choose a career, not being able to take legal action against your abuser, whether to become pregnant or not. Imagine not being able to choose your own clothes, read a good book, write a nice story, view or create the art of your choice or of not having the same freedoms as men in your society. Isn’t that a terrible notion?
Her name isn’t important. She’s just a face in the crowd, another woman in another part of the world, getting by the best she can. She grew up in a home where her family were barely earning enough to support six children. Her father worked making packaging boxes while her mother cleaned toilets for a living. When she was fourteen, she was engaged to be married. It was an arranged marriage of course, and they had never really spent that much time together, although she felt sure she should could learn to love him.
Then one night though, she was attacked by three men, raped and left for dead. When her husband-to-be found out about this, she was considered ‘used’ and was no longer worthy of him. Now, pushed out onto the streets like yesterday’s headlines, she begged for food and finally, she procured a job. She became a cleaner, doing the same job as her mother had done for so many years. Living on the streets, hiding in the dark of night, each and every sound causing her heart to jump with fear, she still managed to make it to work each morning. Hunger constantly with her, she struggled through each day, each pay, each morsel, still hoping, still praying for better times to come.
At sixteen years of age she finally met and married a man. His mother had asked for her hand in marriage because she was sick and there was nobody who could cook in the home. It was a marriage of convenience, one that took her off the streets and helped an elderly woman too sick to do the housework alone. Her husband barely worked, preferring to lounge around the shabby, two-bedroom apartment.
Now living with an abusive husband, who is unreliable and who still only goes to work when he can be bothered, who takes her wages as soon as she receives such a pittance for her hours of hard work, she still fights to survive in a part of the world that really doesn’t care if she lives or dies. The violence has almost ended her life on several occasions, the fractured bones, broken teeth and miscarriages have become routine for her. Stripped of all dignity, this young lady, not yet in her twenties, looks haggard and exhausted and still she struggles in a world that doesn’t care.
Of course, this isn’t a true story… or is it? It’s not far off the truth for millions of women across this planet that we call Earth. There are an estimated 7.250 billion people on this planet. Assuming that half that number are women and that half that number again are living in countries where they have little to no worth, doesn’t that make you stop and think? It sure makes me stop and think.
So today is your lucky day. Today is the day you get to sit back, male or female and just live the dream. But remember that as you live the dream, millions of women across this planet can only dream the life.
Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions,