Saturday, 8 March 2014

You have the right to choose!

Happy International Women's Day!

I'm sure if you have used Google today that they have created another great Google Doddle in it's honour. Did you know that the world has actually been celebrating the day since 1911, amazing to think that it's mainly due to the internet that it's really come to international attention.

This years theme is Inspiring Change, in their words: 'Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme global hub and encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way.'

A positive message that made me remember an article I read early in the week in the Metro paper. If there is anything the extra journey time is giving me right now it's the time to read the free papers from cover to cover. Admittedly I used to only read the bits that interested me and by that time i'd be at work, not now I have a whole extra 20 minutes to enjoy :)

The article was on Amnesty International's latest campaign 'My Body, My Rights!' The focus is on

'You have the right to choose who you love and what kind of family you want and to live free from rape and sexual violence," said Cho. "I hope my art can help young people start a conversation about those rights."Amnesty International is calling for better, universal access to crucial health services and sex education, as well as fighting for people's right to make their own decisions about partners and children.'

Now I know this our second charity awareness post in a row but this really struck a cord with me. I think in some ways society has come on leaps and bounds in accepting homosexuality since Laura and I came out, we can now legally get married in England (well almost - hurry up March 29th) and around the world attitudes do seem to be changing. However in other ways there are still so many parts of the world where time seems to have stood still on so many issues.

There are still 83 countries where it is illegal to be gay - punishable by death in at least 4!

On other issues Amnesty International points out:
  • If present global patterns continue, around 100 million girls will be married as children
  • Complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 in developing countries
  •  There were an estimated 3 million unsafe abortions carried out in developing countries among girls aged 15 to 19 in 2008
  • More than 60 per cent of adolescents in four sub-Saharan African countries do not know how to prevent pregnancy
  • Close to 3,000 young people are infected with HIV every day - only 34 per cent of young people in developing countries can answer the five basic questions about the disease and how to prevent it
  • Assault was 64 per cent of women in the Congo's first sexual experience
The fact that stood out in the Western world was this:
  • A massive 83 per cent of girls aged between 12 and 16 in US state schools have suffered sexual harassment
It really makes you think! So on this day dedicated to celebrating women I hope that more strides are made to respected everyone's rights, everywhere. After all in this world we should have the choice to life how we see fit as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else?


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