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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Wonder WomenPosted Wednesday, April 15, 2009, at 4:16 PM
Earlier today, about 300 Afghan women marched to protest a new law in their country that essentially legislates their subservience to their husbands. These women braved angry crowds and the possibility of being spit on or stoned to stand up to their government and fight for their rights.
According to The New York Times, the law "makes it illegal for a woman to resist her husband's sexual advances. A second provision requires a husband's permission for a woman to work outside the home or go to school. And a third makes it illegal for a woman to refuse to 'make herself up' or 'dress up' if that is what her husband wants."
Sometimes it is hard for me to even understand how lucky I am, as a woman, to be living in 21st century America. I don't have to cover my face in public, and going places alone is perfectly acceptable. To my knowledge, I have never been discriminated against because of my sex. I am allowed to vote, to drive, to attend school and to work in any career of my choosing. My life is easy compared to those strong women living in Afghanistan.
But, my life is easy because of pioneering American women who came before me: women fighting for control of their own money and property, women entering the male-dominated workplace, women balancing careers and family. It's hard to believe that it has been less than a century since we got the vote, even harder to think that the birth control pill was illegal in some states just 40 years ago.
Of course, I can think of wrongs done to American women still. For example, the AFL-CIO's Web site states that, in 2007, a woman earned about 77 for every dollar that a man was paid. There continue to be laws proposed and passed in many states, including Missouri, that encroach upon the protections offered in Roe v. Wade. And, during her campaign to be the Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton received much unjustified scrutiny because of her gender.
Although they are not unimportant, these grievances pale in comparison to the struggles Afghan women are facing today. And though I have never supported the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, I hope that our presence there can help the native women achieve the equality and respect that they deserve.
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Little Town Blues Goes to China
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Something about music. Something about small towns. Something about Hong Kong. Or maybe something else entirely.
Sydney is a former staff writer for the Democrat-News. She received degrees from University of Missouri in both music and magazine journalism. She played oboe with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Marshall Municipal Band while she was in Marshall.