March 22, 2013

'women remain the beasts of burden'

went to a big market this morning where i saw many young women carrying heavy loads on their heads, oftentimes with worn out flip flops or uncomfortable sandals.. with my eyes, local greetings and smile, i offered my heart's love and respect for their hard work, bringing smiles to their once hardened faces.. with awe i sat down, watching them pass by, and thought of how incalculably hard their lives must be:

"In developing countries, but, of course, not in these countries alone, women remain the beasts of burden. It is they who must bear the children, grow the food, care for the home, travel to the market, obtain the fuel, carry the water, and then serve their men. This hugely unjust expectation of the female population also denies them the right of participating at the decision-making level and so in promoting actively the cause of human rights in their locality, for they have neither the time nor the energy. What we must attempt is a conversion of this source of inequality into a spring of positive energy. One way of approaching this is to recognize the rootedness of women in the basic survival processes of society and to channel such experience into the development of rural, and urban, societies. This implies female participation at all levels of development, whether it be in the home, at work, in administration, or in leisure. Moreover, if the benefits of such knowledge are to be most effectively diffused throughout society, then the appropriate authorities would do well to consider giving first priority to the education of women and girls, not just as a priority over the education of men, but as a priority among the general concerns of their domestic policy."

(Baha'i International Community, 1990 Feb 09, Right to Development)

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