I have been poorly this week so spent a lot of time awake and in reflective mode, but also watched a lot of TV news and documentaries as sleep is a no go with a chest infection!
Is it me or is the world in meltdown?
Honduras, the most dangerous place to live in the world if you are a woman – rape and murder are commonplace with little deterrent and it would appear men really can get away with anything. One women’s husband hacked her feet off with a machete in front of her children when she suggested leaving him. Her lack of economic power in a country that cares less about women’s rights means he will probably get out of jail in 12 months. Then what?
Or consider the Philippines, the cyber sex capital of the world where the age of consent is 12 and abortion is illegal so hospitals are of full of 13 year old girls, alone and frightened having to give birth by cesarean as too young to give birth naturally, having already been through the trauma of rape. In the same country, the prisons are bursting with women who have engaged in cyber sex pimping – some of them pimping their own kids as young as 2 to put food on the table. In a country of abject poverty, when a random stranger from another country offers you $20 just to show them your boobs online and your kids are starving, what ya gonna do???
Or closer to home, in a country whose capital city, LONDON is home to more billionaires than anywhere else in the world, where the working poor have to rely on food banks and the homeless increase daily; where women’s centres are closing everyday due to withdrawal of funding, at a time when 2 women are murdered every week by a partner or ex partner, and where if you are a teenager and self harming your chance of getting help from children’s services is a lottery with waiting lists up to 32 weeks in some areas…and don’t get me started on corruption, corporate tax evasion and violence against women per se.
And then there is the refugee crisis – what do we do about that? I like many just want to open our borders and put my arms around anyone that has had the courage to make such a journey, but I worry about how we can make this work when we cannot even house, feed, educate or look after our own vulnerable population; our track record of managing and integrating diverse communities is hardly one to be proud of. We have just put TB and Syphilis back on the watch list as we are failing at a base level to vaccinate people entering our country from poorer countries where mass immunisation has not taken place.
If we cannot even get this right I worry for the bigger picture.
So should I look the other way and just not read the news? Many people do just that. Many people say I must stay positive and not listen or look at what is going on in the world cos it is all propaganda anyway. But didn’t a wise man once say ‘all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.’
But what should I do? What can I do? I feel so helpless in the shadow of such pain and global tragedy. But one thing I do know for sure, pretending it is not happening or getting stuck in denial is not an option for me so I must find a way of doing something, even if this is just raising awareness of the issues endemic in an unbalanced global economy.