March 8, 2015 marks International Women’s Day. The UN and the majority of the nations of the world need to co-operate together to place pressure on the United States to pass laws to give women in the US a real voice in the running of America.
Since the Founding Fathers gained their independence from British colonial rule in the late 18th century, there is little rule sign in the US of equal opportunity and equal rights for the women of America.
There are three primary areas that show the plight of half of the population of the USA, who have little hope of exercising their power and authority in either the political or corporate world of America.
- United States ranks 93rd in the table of nations in the UN in terms of representation of women in the upper and lower chambers.
- Out of the top 500 corporations in the United States, there are only 26 women who are CEO’s (Chief Executive Officers).
- Domestic violence upon women in the United States occurs in one in every four homes.
It is time for women in Arab countries, Muslims worldwide and people in African nations, not to only to develop further women’s rights in their home countries, but also to launch international appeals on behalf of women in the USA who have less than 20% representation in terms of political seats and less than 5% representation as bosses of the most powerful corporations.
Sexploitation in America
Millions upon millions of American women endure domestic violence. Women of America are marketed as sex objects for men. According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1 in 6 U.S. women experience an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Most women of all ages have to face various forms of sexual, physical and verbal harassment at school, college, university, home, work, social venues and on the streets at night.
The American company, Google, offers its web based services to make available for viewing every conceivable male sexual fetish, via the online porn industry. An entire culture engages in sexploitation of women to promote advertising, entertainment, fashion, music, cinema, the media and lifestyle. Media men get young, female singers with little natural talent, or otherwise, to exploit their sexual selves through body, speech and action so the media takes notice of them. None of the above is unique to the US, of course, but it is the sheer scale of sexploitation in America.
It is hardly surprising that millions of Muslims worldwide wish to protect their women from the Western male sexploitation of girls, teenagers and women in the US and elsewhere. We may strongly disagree with the methods Muslims employ but we can perhaps understand the sentiments and the fears for their women if they start to follow the American way of life.
Thoughtful women and men in American dedicated to gender equality find themselves helpless in bringing about meaningful change. America is a deeply rooted patriarchal society. Are many of the questionable pleasures of men at the expense of women? Millions of American women have gone to enormous efforts to bring about gender equality along with respect and concern for both sexes. The privileged and elite 1% of rich, influential and mostly white women in the USA know they are powerless to stop male sexploitation of women. It requires changes in the law but the men still hold the power. World opinion brought to bear on America may be a step forward.
There is little indication of any widespread substantial movement towards authentic gender equality in every level of American society. The majority of American men, and their female counterparts, prefer to cast their unresolved dark shadow of American life onto Muslims to give justification to the wars on Muslims. Run by American generals and the weapons industry, it is mostly American men waging war upon Muslim families in a dozen countries. In the USA, the government, police, judiciary, FBI, other agencies and secret services continue to be male dominated that ensures minimisation of the voice of women.
Need for Women in the World to speak up
The Inter-Parliamentary Union on the basis of information provided by National Parliaments in January 2015 listed the percentage of women in the lower or single House among the countries of the world. It is on this list that USA comes 93rd.
With such little real political and corporate representation for American women, we need the women of the world to speak up on their behalf. The 92 countries above the USA in the world list, which have greater representation of women voices in their Parliaments, have a particular responsibility to give support to American women.
These countries, where parliaments offer a bigger percentage of women’s voices in the corridors of power, include in alphabetical order.
- Saudi Arabia
Governments, political parties of the above nations, as well as the international media, along with European nations, Canada, Mexico, Australia, countries in South America and elsewhere, need to put out an urgent appeal for the plight of American women still living largely in a MENocracy and slipping further down the list of nations, who are making slow gradual but important progress towards gender equality.
The Rule of MENocracy
In the matters of women’s rights, the USA is a backward country. It certainly takes time for a country to develop. To be fair, democracy only began in the USA as recently as 1920 when men finally granted women the opportunity to vote. Before 1920, democracy did not determine the central politic institution of the USA but rather it was MENocracy. MENocracy ruled with all the prejudice and discrimination that that one would expect in any institution of silk ties and smart suits where women, native American Indians, slaves, Afro-Americans, minorities and the desperately poor were expected to keep their place. With rare exception, the second class citizens were denied access to the corridors of power in the Senate, Congress and the White House.
There certainly has been some progress since 1920 towards gender equality but it is slow, painfully slow, after 95 years voting for both sexes.
Sadly, progress in society is not a strong feature of the American way of life and the American dream. Progress only occurs after decade and decades of campaigns at grass roots level. American women desperately need an equal place in government and powerful corporations to change the domestic and foreign agenda of the government.
There is widespread abuse of power in the American home. American women have to endure domestic violence upon themselves and/or their children. Abuse of drugs, alcohol, debts, childhood trauma, gambling, divorce, pornography, frustrated ambition and unresolved personal issues occur in every street in the USA. This has a frightening impact in the home. These issues facing women occur worldwide, of course. It is the hypocrisy of American foreign policy in such matters that triggers so much reaction elsewhere in the world especially when the American President preaches to the world about democracy, equality and justice.
US military return home from their recent wars upon Muslims suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, guilt, depression and other psychological problems. The largely male run media in the US likes to show happy soldiers hugging loved ones upon returning home from overseas duty. The wives, girlfriends and others suffer abuse from these same officers and soldiers alike returning home with unresolved mental health issues and with little support from the military. Out of fear, many women remain silent or run away from such horrors at the hands of their menfolk.
Two Examples of Ongoing Progress Elsewhere
American women need the support of the international community, as well as political inspiration showing progressive developments for gender equality.
Here are just two recent examples of the growing power of women in Sweden and Germany. These two countries are decades ahead of women’s rights in the USA.
- Germany passed a law last Friday to give women 30% representation in the country’s boardrooms of the biggest corporations, including Mercedes, Deutsche Bank, BMW and Siemens. Norway, France, Spain and other European countries have set the minimum representation at 40%. 3500 companies in Germany have to submit their plans to increase women’s presence in the boardroom to the government for approval. The German Green Party refused to vote because 30% was too low
- The Swedish government plans to establish a gender based foreign policy this summer which will place women’s rights at the very top of foreign policy. The Swedish government point out that the agenda of powerful male corporations misrepresents the social interests of women and thus the whole of society. All Swedish embassies will be provided with a gender equality plan of action on peace, trade and security, as well as addressing forced marriage, the sex trade and various kinds of abuse of women and girls worldwide.
We can only appeal to women from Africa to Asia to Europe to express concern for women in America. We can only appeal to Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist and secular women to increase their campaigns for change in their own social, political and religious institutions and, equally, support their American sisters denied a real voice in the shaping of the present and future America.
MAY ALL BEINGS LIVE IN PEACE
MAY ALL BEINGS LIVE IN HARMONY
MAY ALL BEINGS LIVE IN PEACE AND HARMONY