We haven’t taken a snapshot of the “ups” and “downs” of EVE’s rights in a while. So let’s see what’s new.
Where we’re making progress:
On July 12th a young girl celebrated her 16th birthday in a very public way. The birthday girl was Malala Yousfzai and her “party” was attended by 500 young people from 85 different countries at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. She was there to be honored on her birthday, the day the U.N. has designated as “Malala Day” in honor of both the ordeal she suffered and her commitment to speaking out for the education of all, especially girls.
You may remember that Malala was shot point blank in the head by a Taliban member in Pakistan in October, 2012 while traveling to school. Through heroic efforts both in Pakistan and England she recovered from her wound and became a symbol of what the Taliban seeks to destroy – the power of education, change, and equality. And she has demonstrated one of the true strengths of feminism as an outspoken but non-violent advocate for universal education. As she so eloquently stated at the U.N.:
"Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy, and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights." "…thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured. I am just one of them. So here I stand. So here I stand, one girl, among many. I speak not for myself, but so those without a voice can be heard."
We weren’t making progress when Malala was shot for trying to go to school. But the world’s reaction to that attack IS progress: honoring her advocacy and promoting universal education for the 61 million children who are still denied the right to basic education in the world today.
Where we’re losing ground:
A “Clear” sign of how much some corporate owned media think of EVE was made plain recently by Clear Channel Communications, Inc. This mega-corporation, “with 243 million monthly listeners in the U.S. has the largest reach of any radio and television outlet in America.” So it was both disturbing and socially dangerous when three Clear Channel Stations in Wichita, Kansas pulled radio ads for South Winds Women’s Center recently.
The stations pulled the ads off the air because they found them “indecent” but had no problem running ads for the local “adult boutique.” Really - health care for EVE is indecent but kinky sex is not??
Let’s see what words were so offensive that the station pulled them:
“At South Wind Women’s Center, our physicians are committed to providing quality reproductive health care in Wichita. Each physician is board-certified in family medicine or obstetrics and gynecology. Between them, they have over 80 years of experience and dedication, ensuring women are able to receive the care they need when they need it.”
So, it obviously isn’t the words in the ad that are the problem. Clear Channel pulled the ads because South Wind will be offering abortion services along with obstetrics, gynecology, and adoption services. This refusal to air information is a slap in the face not only for EVE in Kansas who need to find a health care provider but for every EVE in America who think their health care is not “indecent.”
But what’s most frightening is the impact that this type of corporate media censorship can have on all information and reporting that affects EVE. Will media owners decide that they aren't going to run ads for EVE political candidates because they don't think EVE should be elected to office or suppress reports on the rapes and murders of EVE because they're "disturbing?"
Once corporations can get away with deciding what information is “decent” enough for us to hear just because they don’t agree with it we’re all in serious trouble – not just EVE!