Where we’re making progress:
With everything that’s gone wrong in Afghanistan over the last decade, it’s great to know there has been some good done. International forces, with a huge commitment and involvement by the U.S. military, have been waging war against the Taliban and their hate-filled, men-must-stay-in-control values for over a decade. And we’ve heard too many depressing stories about the thousands of military personnel and civilians that have been killed and maimed. But maybe their sacrifice will not have been in vain.
While the battles have raged, there has also been another campaign going on – building infrastructure including health facilities and schools. This campaign has suffered from tremendous waste and graft, but it also has had some wonderful effects for the people of Afghanistan. Life expectancy rose from 42 in 2002 to 62 in 2010. Death rates for mothers and their newborns have fallen dramatically. And most importantly for the future of this country, education has taken a huge upswing. In 2002, less than a million boys were in school and virtually no girls. Now there are 8 million students – and more than a third are girls! (1)
If you would like to personally change a woman’s life forever, go to www.womenforwomen.org and click on the “SPONSOR A SISTER” page to see how to become a direct supporter of a woman in Afghanistan.
Where we’re losing ground:
A shooting target mannequin named the "The Ex," a large-breasted woman who bleeds when shot, was being sold on Amazon.com. It's manufactured by Zombie Industries, a company that was featured at the recent NRA convention.
The fact that Zombie Industries created and promoted this mannequin is contemptible. And the fact that Amazon.com was selling it and posting comments like, "This was a very original, cool way to kick off a bachelor party for a firearm enthusiast, such as myself" is unconscionable. Because "The Ex" shooting target turns violence against women into a joke and promotes the idea that men should want to kill their ex-wives or ex-girlfriends.
Gun violence against women is a serious problem. Let's review the facts. 57% of mass shootings involve incidents of domestic violence. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the chance that a woman will be murdered by 500%. 54% of women killed with guns are killed by intimate partners or family members.
But this “falling behind” actually had a decent outcome. On May 7th, Amazon.com pulled “The Ex” from its site after hearing from outraged women across the country. So, it goes to show - there are still those who think that violence against women is a laughing matter, but women are using their clout to actively challenge this Manplan attitude! Go EVE!!! (2)
(1) Kansas City Star editorial reprinted in The Ledger 5/9/13
(2) Ultraviolet.org advocacy group