There’s an invisible war happening, and it’s been happening for many centuries, only this year it’s gotten horrifically worse. And no, I’m not talking about what the government did with the rest of the Toblerone bar #brexitbastards. I’m talking about the war against women. Sit down, grab yourself a stiff drink ’cause I’m about to dump some serious scarlet shit on yiz.
Most women know what it’s like to walk through this world and not be seen or treated as equal. I know many friends who have had abortions, most still shamed for it, many friends who have been sexually abused, lost jobs, not gotten jobs and been paid less than a male peer for no other reason than the fact that they have a vagina. I don’t know one single woman who has not been either sexually harassed or faced misogyny at some point in her life and there is no woman walking this earth who does not have an escape route mapped out in her head, as they walk home alone at night. A plan of what item in her bag she can use as a weapon if a man attacks her, (mines a lighter and some dental floss, I can’t go into details now but its lethal. I’m basically a feminist Bear Grylls).
Still, all of this is seen as the “norm.” This is the world we’re supposed to accept and what we are expected to fight against. Jaysus, it can’t be that bad? Unfortunately, it is and here’s a rundown of what’s happening around the world to paint a clear picture for you.
Turns out women are struggling for their rights whether they’re from 3rd world countries, or fully developed nations. Here’s a few snippets of what’s happening right now:
Ireland: There’s no place like home, so let’s start there. The land of 1,000 welcomes, unless you’re a woman. Ireland has one of the strictest abortion laws in the world, making it illegal for women to access abortions in cases of rape, fatal foetal abnormalities and incest. Women have been fighting to repeal the 8th amendment, which prevents access to safe and legal abortions for over 33 years. This year, after increased pressure for the government to hold a referendum, they instead formed a 99 person assembly to discuss if women should even be allowed to have a referendum over something that affects THEIR bodies. The citizens’ assembly is expected to last about 6 months, meanwhile 10-12 women A DAY leave Ireland for England to access safe abortions. 2016 saw numerous online appeals from parents forced to travel to England for health care due to fatal foetal abnormalities, the government’s rejection of the repeal bill and one woman is being brought to court by doctors because she didn’t want a c section. “Fathers4justice” a men’s group, has also hopped on the ‘moral’ bandwagon and are now trying to equate the rights of the father to that of the pregnant woman. As in, you know, if they want to keep the baby then she has to. They even have ads on busses allowed by bus eireann. I think they call that domestic violence in other countries. Here’s our timeline of Irelands historically grim treatment of women to bring you up to speed.
Northern Ireland: Think Northern Ireland has better reproductive rights because they are part of the U.K? Sorry to disappoint, hun. The catholic church’s rosary beads it seems, stretch the entire breath of our dear country. Three women this year (that we know of) have been arrested for taking abortion pills in Northern Ireland, as they have no access to legal and safe abortion. One woman was arrested after her flatmates dobbed her into the cops, and she received a three month suspended sentence and a criminal record. Another woman’s doctor called the cops on her. And they say chivalry is dead.
Poland: This year, the Polish government’s proposed plans to reverse their already strict abortion laws and make abortion illegal in ALL cases including rape, fatal foetal abnormalities and incest. This caused international uproar with some calling it nazi like and Enda Kenny saying “oppressing women is our thing, Poland, fuck off and stop trying to copy our laws.” Not ones to be threatened and suffering from a serious case of FOMOOO (Fear Of Missing Out On Oppression), the Polish government then upped the anti on Ireland, stating they would also criminalize women for having miscarriages and reduce sexual health education for women. People of Poland were obviously outraged and six million people went on strike in a much publicized #czarnyprotest. The Polish government then backtracked after this historic move and said “ah, sure we were only messing.” Katherine Zappone was overheard in the Dail bathroom screaming, “Piss off, Poland, backtracking on women’s rights is my gig.” The Polish government it turns out were not only NOT joking, but they had other FOMOOO tricks up their sleeve. In October, they decided they would start paying women to carry a fetus with fatal foetal abnormalities to term so the baby could be baptized before being buried. No, you read that right. The Polish government are paying women to carry babies who will not survive outside the womb to term, just so they can be baptized. Stephen King has officially hung up his boots. No one could write this horror story.
Latin America: Latin America continues to be the most dangerous place in the world for women. It has the highest rate of female murder in the world. On average, one woman is killed in domestic violence cases every 36 hours in the country. Half of women in Latin American cities will have experienced at least one sexual assault in their lifetime. This year women in Argentina, Peru, Chile and Mexico went on strike after the rape and murder of 16year old Lucia Perez, who was drugged with marijuana and cocaine before being raped. A foreign object was thrust into her anus and caused pain so severe that she went into cardiac arrest. Lucia died shortly after she was taken to hospital.
Latin America protests on October 20th, 2016
Nigeria: 20 million woman and girls have undergone female genital mutilation in Nigeria, the practice of removing external genitalia for non-medical reasons. It’s usually done to “control women’s sexuality.” There are believed to be 200 million women alive today who have had FGM.
Kenya- Sexual assaults against women are so common in Nairobi that grannies there are training themselves in karate to fend off sexual predators. GRANNIES. Seen as easy and safer targets because they are older and less likely to carry HIV, these grannies are having to protect themselves and each other from sexual attacks.
Saudi Arabia: Women are not allowed to drive a car, swim in public swimming pools, face criminal charges if found “mixing” with men they are not related to, cannot compete freely in sports or try on clothes when shopping. Oh, and in Saudi Arabia, if you are raped, YOU will be punished. That’s right. The victim. *Takes Saudia Arabia off bucket list*
Afghanistan: 0ne girl under the age of 15 is married every 7 seconds.
India: It didn’t get it’s ‘rape culture’ status by accident. A new case of rape is reported in India every 15 minutes. In 2012, a 17 year old village girl was drugged and gang raped in Northern Punjab. She committed suicide after a police officer pressed her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers. In February 2016, an Indian woman, within hours of giving birth by c-section, was raped in a hospital near New Delhi.
If that wasn’t horrid enough, 64% of girls will drop out of school before the 8th grade.
Yemen: Women can’t leave the house without their husband’s permission and are considered only half a witness in court.
Swaziland: Women cannot wear pants. I’m not gonna lie, I can essentially still go here, as I only wear totes amaze dresses.
Canada: On average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner. 1,181 indigenous women in Canada have gone missing or been murdered since 1980.
America: 2016 saw America elect a racist, sexual predator that has not only boasted about grabbing women by “the pussy” just because he can, but has also been accused of rape many times, including by his ex-wife Ivana, who claimed he raped her in the early 90’s and pulled out some of her hair during the attack. She later retracted the claims, but many more women since have come forward. Trump also said he essentially fancies his daughter and plans to limit access to planned parenthood & abortion for women, an institution in America that allows reproductive healthcare and cancer screenings for women. America elected this man instead of a highly qualified (albeit controversial) woman to the highest position in the land. On January 21st, the day of Trump’s inauguration, there will be a Woman’s March on Washington and worldwide, with an expected one million women marching the streets to protest his election and to take a stand for women’s rights.
Russia; Feminist group Pussy Riot were arrested in 2012 for staging a protest against the Russian government’s stance on women and the LGBT community. Three of them were sentenced to two years in prison for holding a forty second protest in a church. 40 seconds.
Turkey: This year the Turkish government proposed a plan that would pardon men for raping underage girls if they married them. The Turkish government withdrew these plans after protests.
South Korea: Women can literally lose their jobs for being a feminist. This year, game company, Nexon fired voice actress Jayeon Kim because she wore a t-shirt reading “Girls do not need a Prince.” Protests were also held in South Korea last month against the proposed increase in penalties on abortion laws by the government. South Korea protests on October 30th,2016
I could literally write all day about the horrifying statistics on violence against women. Dissecting the why’s and what’s. But the fact is we need to start taking ACTION.
Here’s ways in how you can help: websites to donate to
planned parenthood (you can donate in the name of Mike Pence, VP-elect who thinks funding planned parenthood is like funding the devil itself)
abortion rights campaign in ireland solidarity is our weapon!
Let’s not lose hope though. Mariah Carey is still alive and gifting us of scarlet on the daily.