This morning I received a letter written by Alyaa Al Ansari, the executive director of Bent Al Rafedain Organization (BROB), a women’s organization in Babylon, Iraq. She wants everyone to hear her message, so I’m publishing her letter here.
Every year, on the 8th of March, the world celebrates women; honoring them, reminding the importance of their rights, the vitality of a respectful life for them, and encouraging all those who neglect women to revaluate their ideas and consider them as a person with equal rights even if from a different gender.
But I wonder, how would the world celebrate women this year? And which woman will the world celebrate? The Iraqi woman? The Syrian woman? The Yemeni woman? The Lebanese woman? The Egyptian woman? The Libyan woman? The Burmese woman?
These women have been celebrated through preparations and assemblies to murder them and their husbands, to captivate, displace and kidnap them. Isn’t it the world which assembled ISIS and Alkayida, financed them and provided them with weapons, political power and media and paved the way for all this to happen?
Didn’t the silence of this world against what is happening in our country and other countries, against the violation of human rights, contribute to the violation of the women’s rights and destruction of their lives? For what crime should the Burmese woman and her children be burned alive or hanged because they are Muslims? Where do the international human rights foundations and United Nation stand against the murder and displacement happening in Burma? For no reason other than their religion?
Don’t we believe in the freedom of belief, opinion and speech in this era? Would the world keep this silence if the Burmese women had any religion other than Islam?
Who would the world celebrate for? For these women? Or for itself, to justify that it supports human rights and democracy and that women deserve more?
I am not against celebrating this day. On the contrary, I would be a part of this celebration. But what I demand is for it to be a real, honest celebration arising from the women’s misery; I want it to be celebrating their bleeding wound, their futile rights
, their ever vulnerable gender, their homeless children with no shelter or future, their ever anticipating eyes, which fear that the future will take away what is left from the past.
Let us celebrate this day by visiting the camps of the displaced women along the borders of our Arabic world, celebrate by financially supporting women through job opportunities, hope opportunities. Let us celebrate this day by putting a smile on their exhausted faces through a kind word or sympathy.
Let our celebration this year be solidarity with all the agonized women who are mourning their families, their countries, their dignity, and themselves, the women who are mourning their birth in this part of the world.
Bent Alrafedain Org. (BROB) *** Babylon City, Iraq *** Mobile: + 964 07810072762 ***