There is a website I cannot visit here in China because it’s from Amnesty International (AI).
Sad, because it deals with something that Mao Zedong helped to improve in China: women’s rights.
Now, former Chairman Mao didn’t say “women’s rights,” he said that “women hold up half the sky”.
Too bad we have to throw the baby out with the bath water on the AI website, because the following is an email I got about ensuring Mao’s divine wisdom in places outside of China. The email is about the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) bill currently supported by First Lady Michelle Obama. Because the email is from AI, I can’t visit any of the AI website links from here in China. However, some of the ideas from that inharmonious website are good, as much as some ideas from former Chairman Mao would be valid to non-Chinese people outside of China.
Maybe some good and beneficial ideas exist outside China. Maybe the teachings of supermen like former Chairman Mao have some validity to people that aren’t Chinese. How shocking a thought! (Is it legal to say that!)
Below is the email I got from AI about the US International Violence Against Women Act.
As a guest of my Chinese host, I respectfully observe local laws that prohibit me viewing a website that promotes a legislation based on an idea that was poetically endorsed by former Chairman Mao Zedong.
Michelle Obama’s trip to Haiti this week was a powerful reminder to us all how much further there is to go before Haitians fully recover from the catastrophic January 12th earthquake.
According to the most recent estimates from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), roughly 460 makeshift camps are still the homes to more than 1 million displaced people in Port-au-Prince alone1.
Conditions are horrid all around, but for women and girls in particular, the situation in Haiti has become a perfect storm for increased violence and exploitation. Before the earthquake, Kay Fanm, a Haitian women’s rights organization, estimated that 72% of Haitian girls surveyed had been raped and at least 40% of women were victims of domestic violence2. Amnesty International findings show that in the aftermath of the disaster, Haitian women and girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence.
The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) was specifically created to combat violence including in humanitarian situations such as Haiti. If passed, IVAWA would provide valuable services like rape counseling, medical assistance and even economic opportunities to women and girls in countries around the world devastated by humanitarian crisis.
Many Senators and Representatives have already pledged their full support for IVAWA. But if we’re going to help countries like Haiti combat violence against women and girls once and for all, then we’ve got to get more members of Congress standing up for women’s human rights and supporting IVAWA.
Last month, when our researchers traveled to Haiti on a mission to investigate human rights violations, what they found was appalling. Women were being forced to bathe and go to the bathroom in public Security was sparse – officers were rarely seen patrolling the camps to maintain security. The flimsy shelters hardly offered any sense of added protection or privacy.
Gender-based violence has been a problem in Haiti for many years, but the earthquake has exacerbated the problem. In fact, we spoke to one women’s organization that reported 19 cases of rape in only a small section of the large camp site located in the Champ-de-Mars3. Far too many are exploiting this humanitarian crisis and endangering the lives of Haiti’s women and girls in the process.
But by urging more members of Congress to support IVAWA, we can fight back against this dangerous reality and empower women worldwide, especially those living in times of crisis.
Thank you for your support,
(name removed for your protection)
To learn more about this from China, you can visit the US State Department (that government is not always harmonious but it would be REALLY inharmonious of China to block a US Government website), or the Wiki website.
Even current President Hu Jintao has said that China needs to improve her soft power. That is exactly what the US State Department is doing with this IVAWA bill.
For harmonious general information on women’s violence, check out UN Humanitarian Gender Based Violence website here.
The baby lives! What a surprise–it’s a girl.