The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1 says,
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
A woman in her 30s got arrested at a hotel in Southeast Asia for having a beer. She was sentenced to six lashes and a fine of $1,400 for consuming alcohol. Caning is a dreadful corporal punishment for men that tears apart skins and leaves scars on the skin.
13 women were arrested while having a meal at a local restaurant in the Middle East. Their charges were to wear pants in the public place. These women were sentenced to 40 lashes and a fine of $200.
In some countries, it is against the law for women to walk the street alone. Besides these unbelievable cases, most of women in the world face discrimination.
Women take up 2/3 of labor hours in the world. While making only 10% of global income. Women face even severer discrimination in finding jobs. Not only that women find it hard to take up high-ranking or high-paying positions, but they also cannot compete in a level-playing field in terms of political participation and decision-making.
To produce sweet chocolate, child slaves in cacao farms in Africa have to work over ten hours a day, starting from 7 a.m. In Côte d’Ivoire, 310,000 children are exploited in heavy labor for meager pennies or for nothing to the extent that even adults find it hard to bear.
There lived a little girl born and raised as an orphan in Cambodia. When she turned 10, she was sold to an old man as a sex slave. When she reached 14, the old man sold her again to another man in his mid-twenties for marriage in orcer to pay off his debts. Soon after, her newly-wed husband left her and she was once again sold to somebody else and grew in the hell of violence and sex trade.
Many children in the world are being deprived of their rights, rights to receive education, rights not to be exploited, to be protected against violence, and rights to compete in a level playing field. A host of nations, organizations, and individuals are working hard to provide protection for women and children facing pain and discrimination.
On February 1, 2010, in the 14th African Union summit held in Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia, UN Secretary General Ban Kimun pointed out that protection of women and children is a pressing issue that requires international attention.
In 1923, Bang Jeongwhan, who designated Children’s Day for the first time in Korea, declared Children’s Charter saying that every child has the rights to receive education and protection from a nation, society, and family.
- Mukhtar Mai, 1972~
Pakistani women rights defender/Became a victim of a gang rape as a form of honor revenge/ Won a three-year-long lawsuit at the risk of her life/ Found a school on the behalf of NGOs and with compensation.
- Jane Addams, 1860~1935 /www.hullhouse.org
Social Activist/ Founded Hull House which is the first social welfare organization in North America in 1889 / Dedicated her life to protect the poor, children, women, immigrants and African-American people/ Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
- RAWA /www.rawa.org
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan/ Founded to enhance women’s rights and freedom in 1977 by Meena/ Struggling for women in Afghanistan and spreading materials about the political and social situation to international community.