Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Women's Day

I don't know how many are aware of it, but this year is actually kind of the 100th anniversary of the International Women's Day. The first time it was ever celebrated was in 1911. Strange that that hasn't been mentioned in the media much? Or at all? Well, for one thing it wasn't on March 8th then, it was on the 19th. And it took a while for it to really catch on, so there isn't like one unbroken tradition of celebration covering one hundred years.

Not that there is much of a celebration, necessarily, this year either. :-) For me it was just a regular working day. I actually have never marched in a March 8th parade in my life. I blame my mother - or I should say my parents, of course - for never taking me to one. They never took me to a Labor Day parade either. So I never really learned that it was normal and something I ought to do. Shame on them. :-)

Anyway ... Norwegian women have it so good, anyway, we're not the ones who need this day to help us remember this and that. I'm not saying that we don't have problems here too, of course. Just that whatever our problems may be, they are minuscule, minute, compared to the problems women in so many other countries are faced with. They are usually what we call 'luxury problems' in Norwegian. This is true of most problems Norwegians have, in fact ... and it's one of the most galling things I know that so few of my countrymen are able to take this in. But today is a day to consider women. Please do so. Please take a moment to think of all the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of women who don't know where their next meal is coming from, or how they will feed their children tomorrow. Those women who willingly take the risk of being brutally assaulted and raped, because there is no other way to get hold of drinking water for their families. Those women who leave their homes and move hundreds, thousands of kilometers away to work in factories or brothels to put food on the table for their children at home. Those who move to the other side of the world, leaving their own children behind, to care for other people's children. Quite a few of the latter are actually here in Oslo.

I could go on and on with this, but you get the point. If you're on a computer and able to read this, you are already fantastically lucky. Be grateful for it and spare a thought for those less fortunate.

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