The Vulnerability of Women in Morocco and Haiti

A Philadelphia City Councilperson, Blondell Reynolds-Brown, recently proposed legislation to review the Board makeup of various businesses that have contracts with the city.  Her goal is to increase the amount of women that are represented on these Boards and empower women in the process.  I agree with her goal because I believe that women have been underrepresented for years in corporate boardrooms and in pay equity.  If pay equity and Board representation are major obstacles for Women here in the U.S., we are miles ahead of some other countries.

I read with dismay this morning about women in Haiti who are vulnerable to rape and abuse.  The article mentioned a young lady who found her Mother's body after the recent earthquake and then she was raped repeatedly by a number of young men.  Because she could not afford the morning after pill, she bore the child of one of these attackers.  In Morocco, a rapist can avoid jail by marrying the woman that he attacked.  A 16 year old girl killed herself rather than marry her rapist.  Her death became a rallying cry for women in this African country. 

A Doctor was concerned about the high rate of pregnancies after the earthquake in Haiti but it took months for the women affected to talk about the horrors that they were experiencing.  It seems like the police cannot or will not help the women in Haiti.  In Morocco, women are still considered second class citizens in many instances.  As the father of a young woman who has designs on a productive career, I hope she can overcome some of the obstacles facing her in the U.S. I thank goodness that she does not have to experience the horror facing young women in Haiti, Morocco and other countries throughout the world.

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