Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Glass Crack: Many Skirts

(originally posted 10/08 at wordpress)

by Gwen Davis

This morning as I sat comfortably at my desk I began to reapply my mint flavored Chap Stick. I usually scan The New York Times and try my hardest to click on a topic other than politics. This morning I found an article in the World section of particular interest entitled “In Poverty and Strife, Women Test Limits.”

Click Here for a link to article.

In summation, the article highlights the incredible advancement of women’s rights in certain regions of Afghanistan over the last decade. Fear of militiamen and the Taliban has lessened in the scarred town of Bamian and been replaced by “a quiet revolution” that is allowing women to drive, to work, to make decisions in the community and to consider a life not wholly controlled by a man.

After putting my Chap Stick away I noticed all the conveniences around me and considered the extraordinary advantages I take for granted everyday. This is not to say I am not aware of this fact, I am. What I can not quite wrap my head around is the fact that women in this country have come so far while women in other countries still have a really long way to go. Imagine feeling pride in driving a car. Imaging having to patch the same skirt everyday because it is the only article of clothing left. Better yet, imagine being brave enough to acknowledge the possibility of being killed but show up to work anyway.

I have been able to drive since I was a little girl farming in Texas. This morning I got to choose between wearing jeans and wearing a skirt and on my walk to work the only thing I felt was cold. How did we get here? What do we do? Can we do anything? What is wrong with humanity?

Perhaps a majority of the work must be done by the women in those countries like in the ‘60s and ‘70s in the United States, yet I still feel like the situation is very different. The terror, the fear, the violence is much more prevalent in Afghanistan. Though this is a localized step in the right direction, it has gotten the country moving. Perhaps one day they will be as close as we were to putting a woman in the highest office, but for now they are content with gradual progress and more skirts.

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