International Women’s Day and Somalia

International Women’s Day is March 8th. Like “Earth Day” and “Earth Hour”, it’s not a space of time that is nearly enough for the gravity of the subject and issues it wants to address. It might not even be better than nothing, because it then gives people a license to ignore women’s issues the rest of the year. Women’s issues? Been there, done that — on International Women’s Day. But forgive my cynicism. By all means, participate in International Women’s Day if you feel it will make a difference. Unfortunately, the theme this year is in part, “a more gender inclusive world”.  That is such a low bar. But,  here is the website.

Similarly brief attention is given to the the organized events for “breast cancer research”. Do you really believe the Susan Komen organization is funding breast cancer research with jogging and walks and pink merchandise? (Please don’t believe that.) Be smart, everyone, that’s all I ask. Be inquisitive. Don’t necessarily believe all the feel-good hype around these one-day and one-month events. There are mothers in Somalia right now listening to their starving children’s last breaths right now due to famine and lack of UN and world assistance. Do you think they believe International Women’s Day is going to help them? Here’s some info on the women in Somalia and what they are going through.

I’d rather see a woman president and 5X the amount of women in governments in all countries, especially the United States, than designating a “feel-good” day for women.We have a male president right now who just banned anyone from Somalia from entering the United States. This is going to have a deleterious effect on people’s attitudes towards Somalians, and towards helping the Somali people survive this famine. It would help women more to replace the “bad dudes” in government with compassionate women who will actually help people.

Maybe what we should all do instead of what’s suggested on International Women’s Day’s website is this: vow to run for office, vow to convince a female friend to run for office, vow to save a woman and her child in Syria or Somalia or Yemen; and/or vow to vote for women in government.

What caused the famine in Somalia/Sudan? Not women.  Most of it has been caused by male-domination, war and fighting. It’s also partially being caused by drought, which is being caused by climate change, which is rampaging our world because men refuse to do anything about it.

Women and children, as usual, do most of the suffering.  The new UN chief just toured a portion of Somalia:

“Visibly shocked by the suffering of malnourished Somalis and cholera victims during an emergency visit, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged international support to alleviate Somalia’s worsening hunger crisis.

“Every single person we have seen is a personal story of tremendous suffering. There is no way to describe it,” Guterres said after seeing skeletal men, women and children in a cholera ward in Baidoa, 243 kilometers (151 miles) northwest of the capital, Mogadishu.

Somalia’s prolonged drought has caused widespread hunger, and the shortage of clean water has resulted in cholera.

On his first field trip since becoming the U.N. chief, Guterres said Somalia’s famine crisis requires a massive response. He said 6 million people, or almost half of the country’s population, need assistance.

“People are dying. The world must act now to stop this,” he tweeted on his arrival in this Horn of Africa nation.

Read more.

Women deserve more than one day of action and recognition. And the people in Somalia deserve help and compassion, not being banned from the United States, and especially not during a famine when so many will die!

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