Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Where are our rights?

By: Adrianna M, 10A

Abstract: Women all over the world are experiencing domestic violence, rape, female genital mutilation and sex trafficking. About 60-80% of the crime is domestic, and the majority of cross-border sex trafficking is regional. Not only is it common in third world countries, but in the United States as well right under our noses. The Government fails to protect women’s rights and to make people aware of what is happening.  

    For hundreds of years women have been seen as the “lower person” in society. Men were, and still are idolized in today’s society. A lot of people in the world are not made aware of the violations of human right’s happening all around the world. There is sex trafficking, domestic violence, rape, and female genital mutilation happening every day. According to trafficking for sexual exploitation by Martti Lehti and Kauko Aromaas statistics, between 70 and 90 percent of trafficking in Women and Children in Europe and Asia is related to prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation. It starts around the ages of 13, even five years old. Some children run away from home into prostitution themselves, are kidnapped or lured in by the men by being told they will get a career, or give them a fake proposal by a man. But, some women are forced into sex slavery by their father, brothers, husband and even their grandfathers. 

    When I first heard about what was going on, I thought to myself, if I can find out this is going on and realize right away this is a huge problem, why hasn’t the Government? As Amnesty International also points out, “Governments are not living up to their promises under the Women’s Convention to protect women from discrimination and violence such as rape and female genital mutilation.” Now, i’m not saying that men are not involved in prostitution as well but women and girls make 80% of the estimated 800,000 people trafficked annually, with the majority, which is 79% trafficked for sexual exploitation. Approximately 100 to 140 million girls and women in the world have experienced genital mutilation, and over 60 million become child brides under the age of 18. In the United States 83% of girls ages 12-16 experience some form of seuxal harrasment in school. 

    In Half The Sky written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, A group of women travel the world and see what is going on in countries like Cambodia, Africa, places in Asia and a lot of third-world countries. It isn’t as if rape and sex trafficking is some taboo in these places, it has become something a lot of girls and women are taught since they are young. Half of the sky states “One of the reasons so many girls are kidnapped, trafficked, raped, and otherwise is that they grin and bear it...acceptance of any decree by a man - is drilled into girls so much of the world from the time they are babies, and so they often do as they are instructed, even when the instruction is to smile while being raped twenty times a day.” (page 47 Half The Sky) Now, they aren’t blaming the victims, but one thing we really should think about is how do we unteach that rape is “okay” in any circumstance.

    As a female high school student, when reading the statistics about this happening to girls who are my age and younger, should surprise me but does not. It truly is up to us youth to help make awareness of the problem. Yes, there are organizations such as Say NO that we can donate to, to help prevent these girls from getting HIV and STDS or an organization such as Half the Sky Movement to end the oppression of women. But really, there is not a lot of awareness going on. You never hear on the news about the act of sex trafficking or about the millions of girls who experience female genital mutilation. Us as young girls, us as independent women need to make everyone, globally, regionally, even friends and family aware of what is happening. As Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Our voices need to be heard, Their voices need to be heard, one way or another. We can make people aware of what is happening to women like us all around the world. We as women, have the power to make the change.  


1 comment:

  1. You have good pathos. I could understand and see what you were feeling. Good job. Just make your logos clearer.