Sunday, March 08, 2009

This Day

I make no apology for leading with this pathetically evocative symbol on this, international women's day.

The disgusting practice of Female Genital Mutilation is a reminder that women still have a long way to go to achieve full human rights in many parts of the globe. Their fate is even worse in war zones where rape is increasingly being used as a weapon of war.

At home too, they still have a long way to go, despite substantial progress in the last half century. More often than not they are still the residual partner when it comes to pursuing careers, or, they are obliged to leave home for the labour market to pay a joint mortgage and children are farmed out to crèches.

This is a mad mad world and the struggle for equality still has a long way to go, no matter where you are.

And let us not forget the men!

This day is also the anniversary (43rd) of the toppling of Nelson from his pillar in the centre of Dublin city in 1966, in the run up to the 50 year commemoration of the 1916 rising.

There is an obscure link between these two subjects. After his fall, Nelson's head was used in a fashion shoot on Killiney beach. The height of female progress at that time seemed to be a "nautical outfit with midriff portholes".

Perish the thought.

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