Monday, 22 December 2008

Peace only for some…

Beyond disgusting - an eight year old girl has been sold in marriage to a 58 year old man….

Relatives who did not wish to be named told AFP that the marriage had not yet been consummated, and that the girl continued to live with her mother. They said that the father had set a verbal condition by which the marriage is not consummated for another 10 years, when the girl turns 18.

The father had agreed to marry off his daughter for an advance dowry of 30,000 riyals (8,000 dollars), as he was apparently facing financial problems, they said.

This sickens me. This father considers his daughter no better than a cow or a tractor to sell off in the tough times. And this is only one story we hear about. How many other young girls are treated like they are less than human that we never know about? How many are raped before they even hit puberty? What can we do? I personally would be happy to go and smack the father around the head with a 2-by-4 but that would change nothing. Male dominated societies have been around for time and memoriam. Laws need to change. Who makes the laws? The judges in these stories who are men. We need more women in positions of power in these countries. How does a woman rise to power in a nation where men rule? I would imagine through sheer thick skinned persistence. And how hard would that be when someone sees you as inferior? It’s a vicious circle of discrimination. It’s beyond sad when whether you have a penis or not defines your place and power in a community or country. No, I don’t care what religion you are. Believe what you feel strongly in but don’t inflict your opinions and archaic practices on the weak. Give them a chance in life. Imagine if you or I had been in this girl’s position? If you were the mother of this girl? How do you beat male dominated prejudice like this?

Yes, I will continue to mention stories like this because we need to know. No, it’s not a pleasant topic for this time of the year but while we are running around trying to find the ‘perfect’ gift or over-stuffing our faces with food, maybe stop and think for a moment of young girls who are sold into slavery like this. Peace on earth and good will to all men? I can’t see it. Greed and selfishness rules whatever the season.
Go Ahead:Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?