“Equality for women is progress for all.” Is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day. From the brief recap of International Women’s Day (IWD) on the United Nation’s Website, IWD is supposed to coincide with the Millennium Development Goals for 2015.
"The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) - which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 - form a blueprint agreed to by all the world's countries and all the world's leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world's poorest."http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/bkgd.shtml
Extreme Poverty and Hunger
Universal Primary Education
Gender Equality and Empower Women
HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases
Women should be empowered to know what they are capable of and what their body is capable of doing if we just leave it alone. 60 years of “casual” use has left women ingesting a Class 1 Carcinogen. A Class 1 Carcinogen as defined by the American Cancer Society is a substance “known to cause cancer in humans.”
Lower on the page you can find a list of what those substances are. Included as a Class 1 are alcoholic beverages, asbestos, benzene, coal, Coke production, (I am looking at my empty bottle of Diet Coke a little afraid) estrogen-progesterone oral contraception and menopausal therapies, hematite mining, and tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. I have been exposed to many of these in my life, including hematite mining, but the exposure to those I have control over, I make as minimal as possible.
The inconvenient truth about abortion is that it kills children. A wise pregnant friend when asked by my husband if she knew what she was having replied “eventually, contractions.” She knew we meant boy or girl but it was a clever way to tell us no, she did not know the gender of her child. The same goes for another mother when asked the same questions replied “I’m hoping for a healthy baby, my two year old is hoping for a puppy.”
You may find the above funny but the truth is, a pregnant woman will give birth to a human child. As a woman, I could not give birth to puppies, kittens, or any other form of mammal, the result will always be human.
Endangered species across the world have more rights and protections than a child in the womb of it’s mother. If the UN is truly committed to reducing child mortality rates, they also must call for the end of abortion across the world.
Access to abortion and birth control is currently touted as a fundamental right for women’s health. Many friends who have recently given birth have often been asked by their discharging physician what their plans for birth control are after leaving the hospital.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the ability to be an authority on Maternal Health, I have never been pregnant long enough to “need” Maternal Health Care. On the flip side of Women’s Health, why then is access to birth control and abortion a woman’s right, but trying to check for reproductive problems and repair them is not a right. I would love to be able to check if my husband and I have fertility issues, but they are not covered by my insurance until we have hit our $2600 deductible. It isn’t worth it to go further in debt to try and become healthier.
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases
This past fall I had the awesome opportunity to witness Pam Stenzel speak to a packed house of nearly 750 youth and parents. A few alarming statistics I picked up from her presentation. 1 in 3 people under the age of 25 are infected with a Sexually Transmitted Disease. Sexually active teens and young adults are at a 50% risk of contracting an STD each time they have sex. Most STD’s are not treatable with antibiotics. Most of our parents and grandparents only knew of 5 STD’s there are 30 in existence today. Some STD’s are not detectable through normal means of screening and some are not detectable until a person has been infected for five years.
While Malaria is a serious problem, there are ways to keep it contained through preventative medication, mosquito nets and reducing standing water. Looking at the above statistics, condoms, pills and abortions are not doing anything to lower these numbers. HIV/AIDS and STD’s can be prevented through education and abstinence.
By education I don’t mean telling girls to use the pill, patch or ring, and teaching teens how to put a condom on a banana. Sharing the above statistics would have been enough to teach me not to have sex with multiple partners. Handing out condoms like collector cards and pills like candy won’t prevent anything, it will just continue to create a generation who will not be able to have children when they choose.
The sexual liberation of the 1960’s to the present haven’t done anything to liberate women. We have seen the normalization of sexual deviant behavior. Women rather than choosing to be independent have become reliant on their sexualities not as something beautiful and empowering, but as a currency that has increased the amount of pornography, human trafficking, and the spread of countless disease. Children are seen as a commodity rather than a precious gift and a burden if not “chosen”.
On this International Women’s Day, I am empowered by knowing that I have value in myself because I am who God created me to be. I know what my body is capable of, and am awed and inspired by what I can do intellectually and physically. I don’t want to have anything mucking it up now that I’ve finally gotten “right”. There are those who would say that trying to eliminate the pill and abortion is asinine. To them I would remind that women voting, having a fair paying job, being able to raise a family as a single parent would have been asinine too, all it took was support, empowerment and education to see us through.