As I mentioned in my first post, the EVE BLOG will “look at current events that show where we’re making progress and where we’re losing ground.” And two items in the news recently gave dramatic images of both.
Where we’re losing ground:
The way in which EVE are still targets of ignorance and cruelty was starkly demonstrated in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea recently. A 20-year-old local EVE was accused of sorcery by the family of a 6-year-old boy. When the boy died in a local hospital, a mob played out a scenario we thought was long gone from our modern world.
The young EVE was stripped, tortured, and tied up. Then, in a scene right out of the Middle Ages, she was burned alive as a witch by the mob as hundreds of witnesses, both horrified and picture snapping, looked on. And this was just the latest sorcery-related killing of EVE on this South Pacific island.
Fear and ignorance are very much a part of our Manplan world. So the emotions that led to this grisly act of mob murder are well known to us all. But the fact that EVE are frequent scapegoats for those emotions is chilling. Too often, EVE are still the ones who are thought of as “suspect” “conniving” and “disposable.” And they are usually the ones with less power, less influence, and less control. So they become convenient targets for the mob’s frustrations and ignorance.
Where we’re making progress:
On a more upbeat note, there was a fashion show held recently that was positively unique. It wasn’t big news in the world of designer clothes so this particular runway display had less media attention than those held in New York and Paris. But it must have been a monumental occasion for the EVE and men who were present. That’s because this fashion show was held in Afghanistan recently.
Local EVE walked a candle-lined catwalk in a restaurant in the capital city of Kabal to exhibit the designs of Shahar Banoo Zeerak. It was organized by a group working to empower Afghan EVE by breaking down barriers in this highly conservative society. Zeerak commented, “The situation always gets tougher and tougher every day by day, but we should not back down. We are here to move on and move forward, so I think if women step up and they show up in this field, I think they will do a good job.” (1)
Among my generation of EVE in America, many of us staged our first “fashion shows” in our living rooms or back yards when we were children. But in a country where EVE can still be subjected to “virginity exams” or jailed for trying to escape an abusive home, the staging of a simple fashion show can have serious consequences. So, let’s send a big “ATTA GIRL” to these EVE in Afghanistan who are claiming their rights to be visible and well dressed, even in this war-torn, extremely conformist society. And let’s be even more thankful for the freedoms we enjoy and determined to expand not only ours but those of EVE as well.
(1) The Lakeland Ledger, Lakeland, Florida, February 9, 2013.