Mar. 8th, 2009

mordwen: (Default)
Another International Women's Day and no rally in Melbourne. Hmmm. Do people think the work's all been done? I don't have time to do the sort of extensive research I'd usually do for a post like this and quote stats at you all and provide links for all my references; suffice to say violence against women is still an enormous issue, from men all over the world who beat their wives and lovers to men in Pakistan who throw acid at girls who dare to go to school or walk the streets unveiled to men in England who kill their daughters and sisters for daring to love or dress in a Western way to men in Brazil only this week who get their nine-year-old step-daughters pregnant and the priests who say that nine-year-old girl should have borne the children rather than have an abortion because it's God's will. I have the statistics somewhere for the percentage of teenage pregnancies in Brazil that are due to incest. I seem to recall it's above 70%. It's disgusting.

As usual, this is not about "man bashing". It's not about all men -- we need our allies. It is about a world that's broken, a system that's broken. It's about needing to build relationships based on respect and helping girls and women grow to respect themselves enough to walk out, to stand up, to fight back.

Education is a huge part of that. Again, normally I'd get hard facts for this but educating women has one of the biggest impacts on development. That makes it even more important to help girls get to schools and help families understand that keeping girls in schools (rather than marrying them off in their early teens or bringing them back home to work) is really vital.

I'm looking at my sleeping six-week-old daughter in the arms of her father and I want a better world for her. She is so incredibly lucky -- she has books already and lives in a country where education is free, right up until University (well, completely free till high school and almost free after that). Her father is so supportive of gender equality and helping her be her best self that this morning he reminded *me* that I should remember to tell her she's smart and strong as often as I tell her she's beautiful.

For all my amazing women friends, a glass of wine I raise to you. We still have work to do, perhaps not so much for ourselves now, with our jobs and our computers and our relatively comfy lives, but for our sisters elsewhere, maybe only next door, who are suffering still.

And a special shout-out to [livejournal.com profile] anthologie , who gave birth today to yet another little girl. Strength to you, Mama. Welcome to the world, baby girl.

mordwen: (spiritual)
I rang the Merri Creek Management Committee to enquire about planting a tree for Harper near the labyrinth and was told there are plans for that area and that the labyrinth is "not an official structure". I expressed my surprise and noted that many pagan groups, including ourselves, use the labyrinth on a regular basis. The guy I was talking with asked whether the council knew that and suggested he'd pass my number along to the guy who's handling the plans. (He did say they had no problem in principle with us planting a commemorative tree and they'd just like to meet me on site to discuss its positioning...)

Shortly afterwards, coincidentally, [livejournal.com profile] subtle_eye  texted me saying there were earthworks near the labyrinth and I might want to check them out before Harper's naming ceremony.

I walked down there today and they've removed all the enormous fennel that was in front of the labyrinth (yay) but they've also levelled the mounds that were shielding the labyrinth from the path and removed *all* the rocks, big and small (including that huge one I sat on to do the belly cast). The whole labyrinth is now in clear view of any passersby. Of the little grove next to the labyrinth, only two trees are still standing.

If you are someone who uses the labyrinth or cares for it, you might want to write a letter to the council or phone them so they know it's valuable to the community. If you know someone who does (I know people who aren't our friends regularly weed it...) please let them know. I'm going to call back the Management Committee tomorrow.

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