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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Are We Speaking Gnomish? Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Dana Gowland, Canada Jan 15, 2007
Culture , Human Rights , Peace & Conflict   Opinions


The average height of a gnome is 15 cm. The average height of a human is 5' 8". The average gnome's intestines are longer than those of an average human. The average gnome's liver is more robust and the average gal bladder is smaller than a humans. Gnomes are midlife at 275 years of age, humans are midlife between the ages of 37 and 45. The biggest difference between gnomes and humans: all gnomes have a sense of responsibility for their wellbeing and the wellbeing of other creatures.

An in-depth study on violence against women that was published by the United Nations Secretary-General on July 6 of last year states that, "Violence against women persists in every country in the world as a pervasive violation of human rights." It states that the gender-based violence women experience is a major road-block between here and gender equity.

Various threads in online youth forums discuss whether "women have become more equal than men," as one thread puts it. But these questions and beliefs extend beyond the online forums.

The Secretary-Generals report supports what feminist groups and organizations have been saying for decades so a) why are people even beginning to doubt that women worldwide are still being treated as "lesser than men" and b) why is very little, on the government level, being done about it?

President Bush is spending $10 million U.S on a "war against terrorism" but terrorism is taking place in his country right under his nose. He's spending $24 million a day on a war that undoubtedly is having a major impact on women. His turning of a blind eye, his cold shoulder that he turns towards women's' issues within his country is not unusual amongst the world's leaders on the issue. It was late 2006 and early 2007 before the Pakistani parliament even glimpsed at a bill that would both make rape illegal and protect its victims. In the U.S, one third of all women experience sexual assault on some level before their sixteenth birthday celebrations. In armed conflicts women experience all forms of physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated by government and non-governmental persons. Murder, unlawful killing, torture, abductions, maiming, mutilation, forced female combatants, rape, sexual slavery, arbitrary detention, sexual exploitation, forced prostitution, forced marriage, forced abortion, forced pregnancy and sterilization are just a sample of the acts carried out against women in war-time. Rape has been used to extract information, willingly spread HIV and as a form of torture amongst others and still is used for these reasons. Cases of forced sterilization have been reported to have happened to indigenous women in the US and Canada. The above mention treatments of women during armed conflicts have been reported in many countries. The above-mentioned treatment of women knows no racial boundary on a world-wide scale, in fact, it knows few boundaries at all. These acts of violence against women have been reported in Afghanistan, Burundi, Chad, Columbia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Peru, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Chechnya/Russian Federation, Darfur, Sudan, northern Uganda, the former Yugoslavia and many more.

If we have this information out there, along with action plans and several statements about international obligation, and if this information is so readily available, why has little or no change happened in the world in recent years?

With no statistics available in some countries about the status of women and violence against women in that country it is expected, but not acceptable, that no change would take place. It is unacceptable because not having any information makes it so very easy to say "I don't need to recognize that this is a problem as I have seen no statistics or studies to support this idea." It is too easy to turn a blind eye on the situation. The Secretary-Generals report outlines ways in which "the State" can collect information and then address the issue of violence against women.

There has to be a change. With millions of women and girls being harassed, abused and assaulted every day, it is unacceptable to stand by and watch it happen with no attempt for change, and no change.

Gnomes are 300 grams, 15 centimetres tall, have longer intestines and are 7 times stronger than man, and they have more of a sense of responsibility per inch than humans. Let's get with it and produce change. It is the responsibility of every man and every woman on this earth to address this issue and eradicate violence against women for good. If you see something, hear something, say something. One small step for a woman, one giant leap for womankind.



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Dana Gowland

I've been working actively for about two years now to protect womens' rights and to advocate for more womens' rights as well as those of the LGBTT2IQQ community. Much of my advocacy has been through writing and spoken word.
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