Friday, March 13, 2009

Bad Kitty

Great Satan put the "OOOH" in shampoo and the 'Ho" in Hostess this week as she hosted some of the bravest girls in the world.

"International Women of Courage Awards " celebrated these nigh indestructable, living embodiments of what Uncle Tony so aptly appointed and annointed as the "Universal Values of the Human Spirit.

Mutabar Tadjibayeva of Uzbekistan - Imprisoned for criticizing her government's handling of events surrounding the 2005 violence in the city of Andijon, Mutabar Tadjibayeva refuses to be silenced. She has returned to human rights advocacy, and remains a fearless critic of human rights abuses.

Wazhma Frogh of Afghanistan - Afghanistan Country Director for the NGO Global Rights and a dynamic leader in the fight against domestic violence, marital and child rape, and sexual abuse in Afghanistan.

Norma Cruz of Guatemala - is on the forefront of women who are fighting on behalf of victims of violence and sexual abuse. As director of the NGO Survivors Foundation, Ms. Cruz combats the widespread impunity that too often accompanies the endemic violence against women in Guatemala.

Suaad Abbas Salman Allami of Iraq - A prominent lawyer, Suaad Allami fights against the erosion of women's rights and defends the most disadvantaged. She founded the NGO Women for Progress and the Sadr City Women's Center, which offers free medical care, literacy education, vocational training, and legislative advocacy. She has accepted a Humphrey Fellowship from the State Department for academic year 2009-2010.

Ambiga Sreenevasan of Malaysia - An accomplished lawyer who became President of the Malaysian Bar Council, Ambiga Sreenevasan masterfully uses the rule of law to advance human rights, the status of women, and religious tolerance. In the face of death threats and intimidation, Ms. Ambiga has emerged as a strong voice of tolerance and justice.

Hadizatou Mani of Niger - Sold to a "master" at the age of 12 for the equivalent of $500, Hadizatou Mani persevered in gaining her freedom and helped pave the way for others trapped in similar circumstances to seek justice. Through her valiant efforts, persistence, and refusal to succumb to social pressure to abandon her case, she won a historic, precedent-setting decision in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice that condemned her enslavement.

Reem al Numery of Yemen - When she was 12, Reem Al Numery had her childhood cut short when she was forced to marry her 30-year -old cousin. She has emerged as a strong and brave voice on behalf of other girls facing a similar fate. Her courage has inspired a widespread drive against child marriages in Yemen.

The American experience proves as girls advance status wise, so do families, communities, career work places - and the entire nation.

Tolerance and egalitarianism are the handmaidens of success - on every scale - personal, national and international, wealth, education, self worth.

With war against women, there will be no peace.

Deny us learning and literacy and we grant failure, intolerance, misery and rage to our own sons and daughters too.

Ignore us and neglect us. Keep your societies pitiful, needy, and backwards.

If we are not loved, we will not love back; and if we are not nurtured, we will neglect.

If we are not valued - we have no values to instill.

Girls who are treated with cruelty give birth to murderous intolerants and oppressors.

Destroy us - and you shall destroy yourself

Art - "Bad Kitty"