"Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more." (IWD Website)
The theme for the 2009 International Women's Day is "Women and men united to end violence against women and girls." It seems difficult for me to believe that the world actually has to set aside a day to think about the fact that women and girls should not be abused, but sadly, it's true. The truth is that violence against woman and girls is on the rise - just watch tv. Apparently, even famous people who are constantly in the public eye don't think twice about beating up their girlfriends. It's wrong - just plain wrong. There are very few issues I get worked up enough to be passionate about, but this is one. I've volunteered in domestic abuse shelters for long enough to know that this issue is not going away, and it won't, until everyone in the nation stands up and says "We will not tolerate this any longer."
Today, on International Women's Day, I pray once again for and end to the violence.
“Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return. It is estimated that approximately 3 million incidents of domestic violence are reported each year in the United States.”
-- Dianne Feinstein
“Domestic violence does not only happen to adults. Forty percent of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend, and approximately one in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.”
-- Dianne Feinstein
"If the numbers we see in domestic violence were applied to terrorism or gang violence, the entire country would be up in arms, and it would be the lead story on the news every night."
-- Rep. Mark Green
"One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time.”
-- Nicole Kidman
"There can be no better measure of our governance than the way we treat our children, and no greater failing on our part than to allow them to be subjected to violence, abuse or exploitation."
-- Jessica Lange
"Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.”
-- Herbert Ward
For more information:
Family Violence Prevention Fund
End Violence Against Women
Voices and Faces
Sisterhood is Global
Blogs of note:
One in Three Women
People Working to End Violence Against Women