Because I am a girl

For all the sexism that still exists in Australia – in our legal system that believes a victim’s outfit made someone break the law, in our workplaces where telling HR that your boss grabbed your arse hurts your career more than it hurts his, and in our media, which is the main focus of this blog – I feel very fortunate to be living here.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep kicking and screaming for true equality, and it also doesn’t mean that Western feminists are letting down their sisters overseas when they focus on problems at home. It just means that through absolutely no effort on my part, I was born in Australia.

Today is the International Day of the Girl. At least, it could be if we make it happen. Plan Australia has a petition to take to the Government, asking for September 22 to be the National Day of the Girl. India has one. Bangladesh has one. And if we have one then we’re one step closer to the UN declaring September 22 as the International Day of the Girl.

This is not about “reverse sexism”. This is about the fact that in Afghanistan, mothers are “failures” if they have daughters but not sons, and 87% of women are illiterate. This is about the fact that in India, girls can have battery acid thrown in their faces as revenge for turning down a date. This is about the fact that rape is a weapon of war. This is about the fact that in Yemen, pregnancy is the leading cause of death in 14-19 year old girls. This is about the fact that at any one time, 2.5 million people from 127 countries are being trafficked around the world, and almost half are children. This is about the fact that in London, twisted fuckheads will pay £50,000 to have sex with a 13-year-old virgin. This is about the fact that 100-140 million women and girls alive today have had their genitals mutilated for no medical reason.

Plan has released their 2010 Because I am a Girl report:

Plan recognises that discrimination against girls and women is one of the main underlying causes of child poverty. Girls and boys have the same entitlements to human rights, but they face different challenges in accessing them. Girls are more likely to be pulled out of school, have less access to medical care, and are often fed less. They also experience more violence and sexual harassment just because they are girls.

This lack of opportunity and care is unfair and unjust. Yet investing in girls and young women has a disproportionately beneficial effect in alleviating poverty for everyone; for the girls themselves, for their families, communities and entire countries.

It’s tough reading – girls living in slums have to choose between going to the toilet in a plastic bag or risk being raped if they go outside to the toilet. But please, sign the petition because we have to start somewhere, right?

11 responses to “Because I am a girl

  1. Pingback: The future Dr Nips has a question | the news with nipples

  2. Can I sign the petition even though I am not a girl? I was pondering specifically your point that rape is used as a tool of war and was unfortunately reminded of my visit to the Kissing House in Balibo.
    This would have to be the single creepiest place I have ever been to and made me feel physically ill (I wasn’t alone)
    If it is inappropriate for me to sign I will instead pledge my support for the advancement of the condition of girls throughout the world, so that such horrors may never be revisited.

    • Kimsonof, of course you can sign it. Everyone can sign it.

      Tell me more about the Kissing House…

      • Well essentially it is a house in Balibo where the Indonesian Military would take women and young girls. They would make them apply lipstick and kiss the wall before pack raping and often murdering them. It still stands and the kiss marks are still there, it’s a fucking awful place and proof that there are a lot of sick fucks in Indonesia.

        • Fucking hell. That’s disgusting. I don’t have any more words for it.

          • As I said it made a lot of us physically ill. There is also a beautiful massive tree in the town which rises up about 8 to 10 metres to the lower branches which spread out what seems like an eternity. This is the hanging tree where the Indos/ Militia hung many many Timorese. A drive past the graveyards in any village will reveal an overwhelming majority of black crosses, which are used when the dead was a victim of foul play. Just near the kissing house is what the locals call the death house. This is where a few of the Balibo 5 were executed. One was shot in the main street near ‘the castle’ and the other two were shot in the back as they ran down into the valley near beside the castle. A lot of locals who were there know exactly what happened at Balibo yet our government has always been too timid to take action. In any case 5 Australians seem to have the publics attention at times, yet most Australians seem not to care about the 250,000 – 300,000 Timorese who lost their lives between 1975 and 1999.
            Balibo is a place which makes a young man grow up very quickly.

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