Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ka-BLOG Day 14: Hope in faraway places

There are so many stories about which I've almost posted during this 16 days campaign. I don't want to forget to share them with you! The following stories do pertain to gender-based violence or feminism, but some are downright...umm...what's that word? Oh yes...hopeful!

Dalit women are determined to transform their pain into power:
In South Asia, Dalits – known as ‘’untouchables” and “outcastes” - have endured caste discrimination for centuries. The situation of Dalit women, one of the largest socially segregated groups in the world, is shocking. Dalit women are among the poorest; they face ‘triple discrimination’, as Dalits, as women and as poor. The caste system declares them intrinsically impure and “untouchable” and generally they are subjugated by men. Dalit women comprise the majority of manual scavengers, labourers who clean human excrements from dry toilets. Dalit women are targets of extreme violence, including sexual assault and forced prostitution.
[...]In the [Hague Declaration on the Human Rights and Dignity of Dalit women] the participants of the Hague conference call upon the governments of Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to support the women in asserting their rights. The governments are called upon to address the failure of the justice system to protect Dalit women and to implement measures to close the vast socio-economic gap between Dalit women and the rest of the population.
"Giving Thanks to Voices of Women's Revolution: Up from Chiapas"
In her latest collaboration, 'Dissident Women,' published the week before Thanksgiving, [anthropologist Rosalva Aída Hernández] is one of several editors and writers who offer fresh studies about the ongoing indigenous women's revolutions of Southern Mexico, including a first-time-in-English publication of the 1994 Mayan document, 'Women's Rights in our Traditions and Customs.'
[...] "It is better that we women put down on paper that there are some customs that do not respect us and we want them changed," reads the Mayan document of 1994. "Violence-battering and rape-is not right. We don't want to be traded for money."
"The Shape of Water": (h/t
In an intimate encounter with five very different women in Brazil, India, Jerusalem, and Senegal (narrated by Susan Sarandon with introductory narration co-written by Edwidge Danticat) THE SHAPE OF WATER offers a close look at the far reaching and vibrant alternatives crafted by women in response to environmental degradation, archaic traditions, lack of economic independence and war. The documentary weaves together the daily life stories of Khady, Bilkusben, Oraiza, Dona Antonia, and Gila who, through candor and humor, infuse their communities with a passion for change. The women:
  • spearhead rainforest preservation (women working as rubber-tappers in the Brazilian rainforest);
  • sustain a vast co-operative of rural women (India: SEWA: the largest trades union in the world with 700,000 members);
  • promote an end to female genital cutting (FGC) (Senegal: communities abandoning FGC);
  • strengthen opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestine (Women in Black in Jerusalem);
  • maintain a farm, Navdanya (in the foothills of the Himalayas) to further economic independence and biodiversity by preserving women’s role as seed keepers.
Before I go, please take a moment to visit 'In the Company of Wolves' and all of the other Ka-BLOGGERs out there. I'm really overwhelmed at how much effort they've put into this campaign. :) Lots of love, GDK/H&O.

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