Today, November 25th the International Violence Against Women Act comes to the world’s attention. IVAWA was introduced into Congress on November 22, for the fourth time. Why would the Congress of the US hesitate to vote to protect women’s rights? But they have voted it down three times!
In the distant past, women were revered for their reproductive and nurturing abilities. Archaeological excavations have found clay and stone figures of rotund, full-bellied, full- breasted, wide-hipped female figures. These figures represented Gaia, the ancient Earth Mother, the source of all life.
The Greeks honored several female dieties: among them:
Hera, the Queen and Goddess of marriage
Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth
Athena, Goddess of War and Wisdom
Nike, Goddess of Victory
Aphrodite, Goddess of love and beauty
Artemis, Goddess of the hunt, nature, birth
Themis, Goddess of justice and order who possessed the gift of prophecy
Others were Eos (Dawn), Persephone (Underworld), Iris (Rainbow), Goddesses of music and the arts, and many others.
How far contemporary societies have fallen! Today, women starve them selves until they look like 10 year old boys, not fecund women, capable of birthing and nurturing a child. Without children, there is no future.
Violence against women around the world is epidemic. Women and girls are forced into unpaid labor and into sexual slavery. They are denied to right to property and to make decisions about their own bodies. In wars they are raped. In the US there is a reported rape every 62 minutes. One fifth of women will be raped in her lifetime. There are 26,00 sexual assaults in the US military each year. Forty percent of US births are to unmarried women. Today, one fourth of pregnant women are physically or sexually abused. In South Africa, a woman is killed by a partner every six hours! Violence brings 84 women per hour into emergency rooms. These sick statistics apply to all races, nationalities, religions, social and economic classes. And what is the cost to society?
What kind of male attacks a woman carrying his child? Hits a woman who loves him? Abuses his mother, sister, daughter? Have they no honor? No integrity? No understanding of the source of life?
There IS a War on Women, around the world and in the US, and in our local community. Women and Men of Good Will need to support shelters, need to strive to end violence, and need to Demand of their elected officials that the Violence Against Women Act be passed. No excuses. We are regressing, not progressing. It is long past time to respect and protect women (and their children).