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The war that must be lost

Published:Sunday | March 6, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Dr Glenda P. Simms, Gleaner Writer

In every religious domain, every geographical sector of the world, every culture and in every organised human endeavour, the 'maximum patriarch' has historically declared war on everyone who was privileged to be born with a vagina.

This unholy, cruel, oppressive, evil, anti-development, well-organised and systematically executed war has used every weapon in the patriarch's arsenal to remove the inherent human rights and dignity of every woman in the global village.

Of course, the historical records of this universal war against the female of the species has been noted, documented and passed on in the religious tracts, the oral history, the artefacts, legal records and other documented facts from generation to generation.

In more recent times, the areas in which the women of the world have blunted the patriarch's weapons have not only been documented but have set the stage for strategising around the female war plans in the continuing search for effective antidotes to relieve battle fatigue and the conservation of the positive energies to neutralise the enemy forces through love, compassion, determination and the best qualities of the human spirit.

Frustration

On March 8, this new wave of combating the war against the women of the world will mark 100 years of pitched battles, dramatic skirmishes, international shadow games, national deception, ineptitude and much frustration.

On the other side of the battle lines in many societies, women have seen the shattering of glass ceilings and concrete edifices, the push against the creaking doors and the fossilised ideas that dominate much of the corridors of the academy, and the efforts of feminist thinkers, academics and activists to revisit, reinterpret and lay naked the ideas of all the soldiers and mercenaries in the patriarch's armies.

These include the foot soldiers who continue to perpetuate the lies about women through the religious texts of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, obeah, Rastafarianism, indigenous shamanism and all others who purport that to interpret God's plan for the women of the world.

A review of the last 100 years will give many women cause to rejoice.

Many would have had the opportunity at different points in time to celebrate the courageous actions of very ordinary women in the activities that set in motion that which has been described by many as 'the struggle for women's rights' across ethnic, religious, cultural, linguistic, economic and other divides.

In 1911, all of these conscious forces organised in the workplace, the homes, the religious spaces and on the streets of the cities in Europe and North America to set the stage for the establishment of a special day for women in March.


Over the last 100 years, the United Nations has worked tirelessly to put in place the systems that should help every nation state to ensure that the women of their societies enjoy full equality with men in both the private and public spheres.


In 2010, it became clear to the United Nations that in spite of the good intentions of the current instruments and conventions that significant numbers of state parties have signed and ratified, the majority of women of the world continue to be the most marginalised, the poorest, and the real victims of wars, sexual violence and are the recipients of powerlessness as their legacy in every domain.


Women's issues


Against this well-researched and scientific database, the United Nations (UN) on July 2, 2010 reorganised all its agencies that had responsibility for women's issues and created a new entity - UN WOMEN (The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women).


The main areas of focus for this super international entity include the following:


Violence against women


Peace and security


Leadership and participation


Economic empowerment


National planning and budgeting


Human rights


Millennium Development Goals


While these goals are achievable, the quality of the leadership of the organisation will determine the success.


It is, therefore, encouraging to note that this entity is headed by a remarkable, highly qualified, distinguished and committed feminist.


Every woman should brace for the battles and make a serious commitment to support Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile, who has been described as a long-time advocate for the rights of women, gender equality and the empowerment of women at global, regional and country levels.


She is the leader of UN WOMEN. This time we must get it right. The patriarch must lose his war. The women of the world must never surrender.


Dr Glenda P. Simms is a gender expert and consultant. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and glendasimms@gmail.com.