Women leaving their home countries, fleeing war, domestic and social violence, poverty and political, gender and religious persecution, find that even their journeys are fraught with violence, abuse and exploitation. Eighty percent of women and girls leaving Central America for the US are raped or abused. It is such a common occurrence, they take birth control along to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Women in many parts of the world, setting out for a new life, are grabbed and caught by elaborate networks of sex trafficking, one of the three most lucrative illicit businesses internationally (the other two are drugs and illegal arms dealing). Surely safe passage is an important issue for feminists.
Every day women around the world spend 200 million hours collecting water for their families. While they walk, private ownership of water, excessive use of water for vast mono-cultural agribusinesses, deforestation/desertification practices, and climate change go unchecked, creating and worsening this situation. Their paths are not romantic, safe or easy. They can walk for hours then trip, fall and lose their days work. Their backs, internal organs break down from the incessant, cumbersome weights they carry, sometimes three times/day at all hours. Surely, this is something that must be attended to.
Every war is fought long after the last physical battle. It is the sustained battle for a dominating, ruling story about that war. Why did we go to war? How did we fight? Who were the righteous and glorious? The evil and devious? Who were the victors? What were the costs? War after war, a repeating pattern. In this United States, it is a lethal pattern propelling us into acceptance of the next war — and the next. The ghosts of war ask us to be skeptical.
Remembering Earth Day 1970. The energy, excitement, determination. How have we done?