Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
There are apparently more inhumane ways the narrow-minded rulers did to women. This is one of the worse. Read on and weep, thanking the gods that we are far away removed from such monstrosities.
The Plight of Afghan Women: A Disturbing Picture
I was quite taken aback when I saw the picture in the cover of Time. I haven't taken a sip of my coffee but I was jolted awake by the photo - in a way perhaps much more intense than caffeine normally do to my system. After reading through the various Time articles on her, I googled her and this is her story.
The Grossman Burn Centers Provides Care and Hope for Bibi Aisha from Afghanistan
At 16, her father promised her hand in marriage and she was handed over to a large family, who she claims were all members of the Taliban in Oruzgan province. "I spent two years with them and became a prisoner," she says. Tortured and abused, she couldn't take it any longer and decided to run away. Two female neighbors promising to help took her to Kandahar province. But this was just another act of deception. When they arrived to Kandahar her female companions tried to sell Aisha to another man. All three women were stopped by the police and imprisoned. Aisha was locked up because she was a runaway. And although running away is not a crime, in places throughout Afghanistan it is treated as one if you are a woman. A three-year sentence was reduced to five months when President Hamid Karzai pardoned Aisha. But eventually her father-in-law found her and took her back home. That was the first time she met her husband. He came home from Pakistan to take her to Taliban court for dishonoring his family and bringing them shame. The court ruled that her nose and ears must be cut off. An act carried out by her husband in the mountains of Oruzgan where they left her to die. But she survived. And with the help of an American Provincial Reconstruction Team in Oruzgan and the organization Women for Afghan Women (WAW), she is finally getting help. The United Nations estimates that nearly 90 percent of Afghanistan's women suffer from some sort of domestic abuse. "Bibi Aisha is only one example of thousands of girls and women in Afghanistan and throughout the world who are treated this way. Aisha is reminded of that enslavement every time she looks in the mirror. But there still times she can laugh. And at that moment you see her teenage spirit escaping a body that has seen a lifetime of injustice.
“To know that so many can breath easier and live a better life because of your support is to know that we have all succeeded. The gift truly does belong to the giver.”
- Rebecca Gray Grossman, Chair – The Grossman Burn Foundation
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Just watched Alec Baldwin's Youtube video and personally, I'm not offended. It was said in jest (he even mentioned Russians too) -but I don't see it as insulting. Tasteless and crude yes, but not that bad to merit the brouhaha it has generated. Baldwin even made fun of more Americans, including his brothers and President Obama in the latter part.
It's quite strange that we pat each other in the back whenever Filipinos are mentioned positively in international media. It's as if we are all part of the achievement. But mention something negative, and all blame is cast on the unfortunate soul who dared said it. We don't blame the government - which at the very least should be doing something about the problem - or ourselves, as we perhaps are contributing to it. I guess it's a culture thing, wherein we prefer to sweep dirt under the rug rather than address it properly. Methinks this is one reason why we're not progressing culturally, as the more we avoid taking concrete actions, the more we become stained.
In Baldwin's case, he certainly didn't invent the idea of Pinay mail order brides - they are a reality that even Philippine laws can't curb. So why shoot the messenger? Isn't it more appropriate to look inwards and see what makes Filipino women grab at any chance to get out of what they believe is a wretched situation in this country. Why not address widespread poverty and offer more opportunities here, so that try as Baldwin might, he wouldn't find a Pinay who would willingly become his mail order bride.
The other interesting point that need to be said is that by making noise over those 'slights' - imagined or otherwise, we're dealing ourselves a double jeopardy. In the case of Baldwin - he is virtually unknown to Filipinos a few days back but has become well-known even to ordinary people just because he joked about an overly-sensitive race. I'll bet that with this incident, Google and Youtube searches for his name here and abroad will increase, along with a slew of Filipinos who bash him publicly. Interest in his work, movies and shows would certainly spike up, and that is good for him. It was good for Chip Tsao a few months back too - he was an unknown catapulted to instant celebrity just because Filipinos reacted adversely to his moronic article.
Yet hapless Filipinas still leave the country as mail order brides or domestic slaves in droves. Nothing came out of the brouhahas, except that the 'offenders' and some opportunists gained media mileage. Enough said.