I was reading an article about a tea plantation worker, a woman in India, who was denied maternity leave in an advanced stage of pregnancy and forced to work….her co-workers protested and found themselves denied all wages and rations for a 3-month period. then management filed criminal charges against 12 of the workers, including the pregnant woman who collapsed in the field while working and who was denied immediate medical attention. 2 of the workers have been fired including her father. and the management continues to reject the union’s demands and responds with further threats. you can read the awfulness of it all at http://cms.iuf.org/?q=node/711
this lead me to thinking about my place as an activist in the community where I live, in the province where I work and the job that I do within the Broader Public Service and the responsibility that I have to the members that I represent in various capacities in this great union…….and that I have the privilege to serve and to speak out, to protest, to lobby, to defend an opinion, to champion human rights and to park my soapbox on any corner and share what I believe to be true…..and that I also have the privilege of participating in a political democracy in my municipality, my province and my country by simply voting or working for a candidate or becoming a candidate myself. all this is possible because I am a Canadian. And someone who went before me made this possible. and I owe thanks to generations of women who went before us and paved the way for the emancipation of women, who gave us the vote, who lobbied hard on women’s issues that resulted in a better space for us today.
of course, not everything is coming up roses. we have much work to do. but when I consider all things, I accept that the greatest moral challenge facing us in this century is GENDER INEQUALITY. you don’t have to take my word for it, there are plenty of important and articulate people out there delivering the same message, it’s not just me in my small corner of the universe. and make no mistake about it. gender inequality and poverty are inextricably linked. they are connected.
To that end, I want to share 3 websites with you that I encourage you to visit.
www.halftheskymovement.org be prepared to be amazed. it doesn’t take much to change the fortunes of our sisters around the world.
http://joinfite.org/ You can watch Sheryl WuDunn’s very inspiring TED talk on the video link on this page. some of the statistics will have you shaking your head.
the next time you have a gift to buy for a birthday or other celebration, why not consider giving a KIVA gift card? visit www.kiva.org and find out how easy it is to change a life with $25. KIVA connects people globally through lending in a strategy to alleviate poverty.
change is possible, one person at a time. and every contribution counts. there is a way for all of us to make a difference in the world, not just here at home. because, what I want for myself, I want for the world.
with warm solidarity over a cup of tea,
dora PWC Region 3