Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekend Reflection/Save the world: International women's Day

Women have come a long way in many Western Countries. But for the rest of the world, a woman's role is still in the kitchen.

I heard this saying last week," Everyday is children's day, Everyday is men's day, but everyday is a working day for the women." You may disagree.

Helen Clark, the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand in three successive terms from 1999 to 2008. Forbes magazine ranked her 20th most powerful woman in the world in 2006.
Helen came to our school as our MP. She was very nice and shook all our hands. She was very obliging when some of the teachers and staff wanted to have a photo taken with her.
Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization.

Today is International Women's Day. A day first declared in 1911 and designed to draw attention to the claims of women around the world for economic independence and political equality.

Women in New Zealand< had achieved the right to vote in 1893, many in Europe were still fighting for their political rights in 1911. And in New Zealand, women could not stand for election to Parliament until http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif1919.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

But all this is history.

The women's liberation movement has been and gone, and women appear to have cracked the glass ceilings in politics and business.

The New Zealand Census of Women's Participation highlights our successes: we have had two women governors-general, two women prime ministers and 43 per cent of our NZSX top 100 companies include women as directors.

And yet, all is not yet equal in the world of politics and business.

Women make up around 13 per cent of national leaders, they constitute 19.5 per cent of elected politicians globally, and within New Zealand, women made up only 9.3 per cent of all directors in 2010.

On Friday, March 2, we prayed specially for Malaysia, for the injustice in the country. I read Irene Fernandez Story. The organiser told me if I could, it would be great if I wore a Malaysia dress. I had been out of Malaysia since 1975, and become a new Zealand citizen. But my roots are Malaysian, so I wore this Nyonya Kebaya. It is the first time I wore this top, because it was Malaysian.

What was more important was the story I read.

Irene is a woman who has fought for the cause of justice. The story I read was a true story in her own words.

"My name is Irene Fernanadez. I am a social worker. I worker among the migrants and other poor and oppressed people in Malaysia. In 1991, I helped establish Tenaganita (women's force), a grassroots organisation committed to establishing "protective tools" for women."

Irene was arrested for "maliciously publishing false news," and sentenced to one year of imprisonment. I looked up for more facts about Irene.

Tenaganita Womens Force http://www.facebook.com/tenaganita
How many times have we seen domestic workers balancing dangerously on ledhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifges at the orders of their employers to *clean windows*? This happened in Singapore, but it could have easily happened in our own backyard. We don't demand this of ourselves, our children, our spouses - so why do we so easily make domestic workers do things we wouldn't? Are the livhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifes of migrant women worth risking for shiny windows? Treat others as we want to be treated - that's not asking for too much, is it?
Maid clung onto hands of duo before death plunge
If I was in Malaysia or in Singapore, I would be a member of Tenaganita Womens Force . I can proudly say that when I was living in the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, I was a friend and a champion of the domestic workers which they call maids.

Budget 2012: We will require a weekly rest day for foreign domestic workers and provide employers the flexibility to compensate their FDWs with extra pay if the FDW agrees to work on their rest day.
By: Singapore Ministry of Manpower

These women who are lucky to have received an education.

These two women of contrasting background. Anne Endogan went to Singapore as a university lecturer's wife. E went to Singapore as a domestic worker. Anne and me were known as the 2 Anns. We were champions for these domestic workers. We complained to the authorities when we found that the workers were abused by their employers. Oh, for the power of the pen. I loved writing. Many of these workers so crudely called maids have a college education.




rainfield61 said...

When can I have international men's day?

I believe we should need one.

Leovi said...

I love these photos with excellent framing, beautiful colors and very good portraits.

Lew said...

More power to the women! You have touched on one of the major problems of our world - the treatment of women in so many cultures.

Carroll Creek is a natural creek that flows through the city of Frederick. It also floods from time to time. After a damaging flood in the 1970's, the city built a flood control project through the business district that takes the flood waters under ground. What you see in my photo is the above ground flow of water and through a concrete creek bed. Along this portion of the creek is a park that I have shown in many of my posts.

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm impressed that women have had the right to vote in NZ for so long. WOW!

Gattina said...

I think there is still a lot to do and we need more women in politics ! In Belgium we have a few, which is good ! Yes in some countries the right of vote was only agreed for women in the 60/70 !! imagine !

Melbourne Australia Photos said...

Lovely photos, Ann. Here is my post (on my "other" blog) about International Women's Day:


In answer to Rainfield's comment, there is a Men's Day and it's celebrated on November 19.