Monday, 8 March 2010

International Women's Day

There is so much going on in the world for women, about women and by women. It's a brilliant time to be a member of 51% of the human race. Today is a day to celebrate that and show support for other women.

We can be bitchy and fight with each other at times but I have never seen the support a woman can give be topped by anything. In the first world, we talk about issues of equality in relationships, the work place and on the sporting field. Equal pay. Equal respect. Equal opportunity. In the third world and places in our own society, there are women who are suffering and struggling too much to even sit and discuss such lofty issues.

I am Papua New Guinean, on my mother's side. The culture and guidance that have made me who I am today is shaped by that small nation. The women there are amazingly strong and inspiring to me. They start with nothing and produce something of value - beit in their children; their work achievements; or in their community. Unfortunately, I am personally aware of the violence and abuse they experience on a daily basis. Domestic violence has always been part and parcel of living as a Papua New Guinean woman, in PNG.

"Across Papua New Guinea (PNG), two thirds of women experience physical violence at the hands of their husbands. In at least one region, it is close to 100 per cent. And 60 per cent of men have admitted to being involved in at least one gang rape."

Amnesty Australia has put together an online petition to show the PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare that the world is watching. Please sign it. Real people can be helped by this. My aunties and sisters have suffered with broken jaws that needed to be wired; miscarriages due beatings and lifetimes of mental and emotional abuse on top.

If you get a chance, find a woman who means something to you and let her know that she is a light in your life.

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