Womenkind – A Fourth World?


I had a sneak peak into what my A2 Sociology course consists of this morning and we were talking about the differences in 1st, 2nd and 3rd world countries but then the idea of a 4th world bcame apparent. This could consist of those so poor they are starving on the streets but it could also represent womenkind and the way we’re treated in both Europe and other countries around the world.

For example; today I learnt of ‘female circumcision’. It’s a truly horrific procedure often carried out in dirty places with unsanitized utensils and it’s the procedure where a females clitoris is literally snipped off and her labia is sewn together. Now this originates from the majority of Africa and Asia but due to migration, it has been seen to be a problem in both Europe and America. The ‘logic’ behind this is that it keeps the woman ‘pure’ and they don’t enjoy sex so they’re not tempted by other men. They sew together the labia very tight so it’s supposedly more pleasurable for men but it causes problems when it comes to urinating and infections are very common. Also, when it comes to childbirth, not only do these poor women have to push a baby’s head out, the labia skin is also ripped apart. Everything is done without any form of anaesthetic or numbing and it’s a disgusting procedure that I feel to be very unnecessary and just another way of keeping women of a lesser status to men and it could be seen to make them feel ashamed and worthless within their communities.

In Afghanistan, young brides are very coming and girls as young as nine are sold to men much much older than themselves and they’re forced to have sex and give birth and as a result, many die during childbirth as their bodies are just not ready. Dowry’s are very common also where a man accepts money from the daughter’s parents in order to ‘take her on’ in way. I really don’t understand how parents can do that to their own flesh and blood; the children they have given everythng to, fed, clothed, taught and created a bond with. You’re just going to hand them over to a stranger for the sake of an age old tradition and culture? How can they see this as right?

Many of these girls have tried to run away but of course they’re not allowed to leave the house and if they’re seen on the streets, alone, they’re extremely likely to be shot. It’s so merciless.

In Hinduism, there’s a tradition called “sooti” (or “suti” I’m not too sure on the spelling) where if a woman’s husband dies, they’re encouraged to jump onto the fire and die with him in order to be seen as a ‘good wife’. Many women are actually pushed onto the fire and the main reason for this is because the husband usually leaves the inheritance to the wife but if there’s no wife then it goes to the eldest son.

Women are still treated as cattle all over the world as if they’re disposable and they contain no value whatsoever and due to this, countries such as Asia and India are finding that there aren’t enough women to marry or give birth to their sons and so the women are sold yet again to a family of sons (for example) and told to bear all their children. It’s almost like a punishment for being a women and they’re treated as though they have brought this on their selves. It’s so shocking and my heart goes out to all the women out there suffering for their families and for the sake of the country they’re in. Hopefully within time, things will change…

… but we’ve still got a long fight ahead of us.



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