Gratitude

Today, education is withheld from millions of children. Today, millions flee from their homeland, labelled refugees, making them seem less than human. Today, those who are divergent face oppression, rejection, and suffering.

 

Today, parents mourn their dead children, killed by tyrannical systems. Today, people get news that change their lives irrecoverably for the worst. Today, women struggle for rights we take for granted on a daily basis.

 

Today, our fellow human beings are forced from their homes as a result of natural disasters and war. Today, people never make it back to their families, never heard from again. Today, corrupt regimes prevent their citizens from accessing basic democratic rights, such as voting.

 

Today, I am grateful, regardless of the outcome of this referendum. Today, I vote and my vote is counted. A gift millions of humans worldwide still fight for. Today, I am filled with joy and humility, as I am part of history.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

___

Like this? Why not try another? Like when you’re eating sweets.

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/why-im-voting-yes-on-may-25th/

Why I’m voting YES on May 25th

When I was 15 I was forced to watch a video of childbirth in science class. I went to an all-girls Catholic school, and I assume this was done to try to prevent teenage pregnancy. To this day, at 28 years of age, I’m terrified of becoming pregnant. I do not want children. I’m not a monster, but I’m not going to change my mind. Having children was never in the cards for me, I knew I couldn’t marry my first love because he wanted children, and I didn’t. You can’t compromise on a child.

The day I was born I nearly killed my mother. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but I did damage to her body. To this day she still suffers the consequences. Now I was desperately wanted, loved unconditionally and so was my younger brother. However, my parents had to discuss if it was safe for my mother to have another child before she became pregnant with him. Woman have to give some of their body and soul to have children. Of course, when a child is wanted, this is a small price to pay for the mother-to-be.

It’s a huge price to pay though, for the woman whose liberty has been taken away. Childbirth is traumatic. So when you say ‘love both’, you are telling the frightened teenager, who got pregnant by accident, that she will have to go through this trauma. That she will have to give birth, and then ‘give up the child’ as you so easily put it.

Even if you thought you were ready to hand over the child, when you’re suddenly faced with the reality of giving the baby away, it’s harrowing. Woman are not monsters and when we hold a baby in our arms, we want to love it. This isn’t always possible. When you say love both, you’re saying to a woman, you must carry this child to term, give birth, and then decide can I, A) give up some of my life force to raise this child or, B) give the child away. All the while knowing that when the child grows up, they will feel rejected because you couldn’t keep them.

That’s what your love both is saying.

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Here are some tweets by the Vote No side, which have validated my feelings on repealing the 8th:

VN1

Trust me, if a woman is considering having an abortion, she is way ahead of you. Abortions are not just physically painful. Women do not have abortions as a form of birth control, and the decision is never taken lightly. Can you imagine if you’re trying to make this awful decision, and you read something like this?

VN2

This person is particularly callous. Note how they say, “Abortion to treat a “mentally unwell” mother is much like treating anorexia with liposuction.” Aside from that horrific statement, lets read what they’re referencing. Yes, in cases abortions may take place after the limit of 12 weeks. Why? Because continuing with the pregnancy will not only result in the death of the child, but the death of the mother. How can you love both if they are both dead? Savita Halappanavar would be alive today if it wasn’t for the 8th amendment. Please get your facts straight, and try to be kinder to those who are already suffering.

VN3

While I agree that maternal mental health care, childcare, flexible work hours, housing, financial aid, and emotional support are valid issues in themselves, they are not the issue we are voting for on May 25th. The vote will repeal the 8th amendment, which will stop women from being criminalised in their own country. They will be able to access safe abortion care, rather than travelling or ordering abortion pills.

VN4

This could be true, constitutional issues surrounding abortions are exceptionally complex. However, I would like to point out, that it will not remove all rights for the unborn baby. This is very important, and I will continue to state it. A women who is 5 months pregnant will not be able to walk in and get an abortion without a valid, medical reason. When it is repealed it will take 2 years for laws to be constructed and passed to for the female citizens of Ireland.

VN5

These numbers are a reflection of the abortions being recorded. They were not recorded as well before 1968 as they were illegal or abroad. Also they are not taking population growth into account. It’s very easy to manipulate numbers to show what you want.

VN7

This was tweeted by a male. He thinks, “killing a child in the womb because they are ill or terminally ill is barbaric.” Well I think that making the mother carry a dying or dead child to term is barbaric. I think allowing a sick child to be born, who will only suffer and die, is barbaric.* I think that compassion is right answer here. Compassion for the mother, (who may have children at home already), and compassion to the unborn child, who will be lost.

*Update: An old friend contacted me regarding the language I used here. It really affected them in a negative way, and reading it back I understand completely why. I want everyone to know, that mothers who carry their sick babies to term are absolute heroes. I don’t think that it’s the wrong choice (although it sounded like I did), I think the situation is unique to each and every person. I am absolutely appalled at the idea that I hurt anyone’s feelings on this matter. I have no idea what it feels like to be in this situation. I want to thank my friend for calling attention to it. If anyone felt personally affected by anything I wrote please know, I’m truly sorry, and you are welcome to message me anytime so I can be held accountable for it. 

 

VN8

When a child who has been neglected all their lives, turns to drugs and overdoses, this is a unique life being destroyed. When a father is murdered on his way home from work at 3am, this is a unique life being destroyed. When a girl is raped and forced to give birth to a child, this is a unique life being destroyed. Why is the life of the unborn, of a foetus more important than the already living, breathing, unique life? This is a non-argument. Once the child is born, if it lives in poverty, people couldn’t care less. Also it’s ‘foetus,’ not ‘fetus.’

VN9

This is not being supressed, this kind of information is readily available on any legitimate governmental medical site. This is a insensitive description of some hard cases, and is not the norm. What is not being said here, is that these unborn children, are probably already dying. They will not survive in the world without their mother, and will soon perish. This is a terrible tragedy, and no one should have to go through it. Yet when at all possible, shouldn’t we do everything we can to preserve the life of the mother? Of the human beings suffering from the death of their child?

VN10.PNG

Of course she was distressed at having to travel. Her own government made her a criminal in her own country. I have said this, and I will say it again. No one has an abortion on a whim, or as birth control. The entire experience is traumatic, and we are compounding the issue for the women who have to leave their country to do it.

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No side debunked:

20180519_112336.jpg

  1. Yes it will, but there will be laws created in place of it. At the moment, women are criminals in their own country because of this constitutional amendment. If the amendment is repealed, it will make updating the law much easier. As a ‘yes’ voter I want the children protected as much as the ‘no’ side. Unborn babies will have rights. It’s important to state this.
  2. Yes it will legalise abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks / 3 months. A women who presents herself to a doctor, looking for an abortion will undergo a 3 day period in which she will be counselled and presented with each option. These women are being painted as evil, and that needs to stop. Life is not perfect, and sometimes a woman will need to avail of this service so her own life can continue. Don’t make an already difficult decision, more difficult by sending them abroad.
  3. When I see something like ‘Mental Health,’ on a political poster, I wince inside. As someone who has mental health problems, it only exacerbates how we are viewed. As if it’s not a real health issue. The cases they are talking about here are exceptional hard cases. You must remember repealing the 8th will save women like Savita Halappanavar. She was diagnosed, and she needed an abortion. She died because of our restrictive laws. This cannot be allowed to happen again, regardless on your views of what constitutes an illness.
  4. Finally I agree hard cases are the exception to the rule. However the argument is once again, when does life begin? A foetus cannot survive outside the womb. We must be compassionate to the living, breathing woman with a harrowing decision to make.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

To end this post, I would like to post some information for the Yes side of the campaign. If you are in doubt, if you are undecided, please read these.

T4Y1

Abortion will continue regardless of the 8th being replealed. Women have a basic medical need withheld for them in their own country. If they need to avail of medical attention, they will travel so they can fulfil that need.

T4Y6

We can save lives. Read this as many times as you want. Savita Halappanavar would be alive today, if it were not for the 8th amendment. We cannot let women die, because the law is criminalising them. We need to stand up for ourselves and vote Yes on May 25th.

T4Y3.PNG

There is a reason, human rights advocate Colm O’Gorman and others like him are voting yes on May 25th.

T4Y4

When a women, whose just been told that her baby is dying, and killing her along with it, has to go abroad to seek the appropriate medical attention, a hard case is created. Woman have had to leave their baby in another country, when they died from a fatal foetal abnormality. How cruel is this? We cannot allow this inhumanity to continue. Vote Yes.

T4Y5.PNG

Make them keep the baby. Force these woman who have already been violated in the worse way imaginable, to carry their rapists child. To go through the trauma of child birth, and then give up the child. A child who will either, A) find out they are a product of rape, and how is that going to impact them? Or B) will never find out why their birth mother rejected them, and have to live with the consequences of that.

T4Y7

Our Taoiseach is a conservative. Yet he is voting yes.

T4Y8.PNG

If this was the other way around there would be all out war. The ‘No’ side’s vitriol, spawned from a generation said and lead by the Catholic Church has providing proof of their awful natures. I can’t help but notice there are 3 men in this photo, taking down a poster which says ‘Stop Policing My Body.’ Horrific.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Why Vote Yes?
  1. Woman should have the right to bodily autonomy. Vote Yes to create a compassionate country for woman in crisis.
  2. Abortions will happen anyway. Vote Yes so they can access abortion care at home. In Ireland,
  3. Babies that are already alive will be loved, woman that are already alive will be loved. Vote Yes so women making a difficult decision, will not have to do it alone in a foregin country.
  4. Woman will not die because of something that never should have been in the constitution in the first place. Vote Yes to allow doctors to treat women without fear of breaking the law.
  5. The UN and the EU are I agreement, Ireland is violating some of it’s citizens basic human rights to safety and bodily autonomy. Vote Yes to regulate and restrict abortion care according to Irish law.

 

T4Y9

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Interested in this? Sometimes I write about politics, have a gander:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/category/politics-economy-concord/

Please, it has to stop.

Please, it has to stop.

There’s a feud happening between Swift and Kardashian. Seems he said/she said rules are being enacted, snap chat has been utilised. In reality, this sort of feud is helping no one. The core issues of the feud are being ignored, and now Swift is suffering at the hands of the media. Kardashian’s influence only incites hatred towards Swift and it needs to stop. While I don’t have one Swift album in my possession and she is not someone I particularly like, it doesn’t stop the fact that she has worked hard for what she has. It was aptly described in this article from the Guardian that:

“Justin Bieber caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to his neighbour’s property by egging it, and allegedly spat on his fans. He repeatedly storms off stage in the middle of concerts and talks openly about his relationships – yet he still can be redeemed.

Swift writes catchy songs about some ex-boyfriends, appears surprised when she wins awards, complains about how she has been represented in a Kanye West song, and is never photographed with a hair out of place. Those are her crimes. And they are apparently unforgivable.”[i]

Consider this for a moment, this is a problem that arises when you are a strong woman. Hard work is how you accomplish your goals. Rare are the moments where success is born out of pure luck, most people work hard and have earned their achievements. If you are a man, this ‘grind’ is seen as a good quality, however, women still suffer in having this quality, and it has to stop. From all angles, from other women, from men. Honestly, it’s too much. Equality is only equality when successful stops being threatening when it’s from a woman.

Yes, it was probably easier for Swift in certain regards considering her demographics and background, I am not disputing that. However, Swift did still work hard to get where she is. Attacking her or her success is the wrong way to tackle these issues. It’s sending the wrong message to young girls, whom I honestly want growing up believe they have zero restrictions on who they can be and what they can do regardless of their background.

Whatever tags you assign to yourself, woman, man, black, white, gay, straight, jazz composer, finger painting artist, they’re all just tags when you lay yourself down to rest. What becomes problematic is the propensity of harm towards others based on these tags. Quandeel Baloch was strangled to death by her brother in what he described as an “Honor Killing.”[ii] Baloch was a successful media persona, and this success caused incitement and rage strong enough to see her death at the hands of her own brother. We need to keep feminism alive, and this should be in all parts of our lives, covering even our reactions to a feud on social media.

Before you start your cries of, “feminism is outdated we should all just be humanists,” think of Baloch. The death she suffered shows how much we still need feminism, among both women and men. Yes, I’m also a humanist. No, I don’t think anyone should be ever be terrorised, hurt or killed for how they define themselves. Unfortunately, we’re just not evolved enough yet to let feminism go. Aggression towards woman spans from the general hatred of Swift to the killing of Baloch and many things before, between and after. I’m just reiterating what millions have said before me. Please, it has to stop.

Copyright © 2016 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Did you like this post? Why not check out my last one?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/turn-off-the-light/

P.S If you are in any doubt regarding sexism, just visit this Twitter page. You’ll be frightened, saddened but hopefully inspired to enact change:

https://twitter.com/EverydaySexism

P.P.S For ladies that want to spread girl love check out this Twitter page while I thank the universe for ladies like Superwomen:

https://twitter.com/SpreadGirlLove

Endnotes:

[i] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/18/taylor-swift-kanye-west-kim-kardashian-west-famous-reaction

[ii] http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/18/asia/pakistan-qandeel-baloch-brother-confession/index.html?sr=twcnni071816pakistan-qandeel-baloch-brother-confession0813AMVODtopLink&linkId=26658315

 

 

Turn off the Light

Do you recycle? Do you reuse? Would you turn the light off in a room if you weren’t in it? Or are you the kind of person that finds life too short for these trifling details? If you are the latter, I honestly think you are wrong. Our abuse of the environment has reached a very important moment in its history and there is no easy way to say this, it may already be too late.

We are experiencing the beginning of environmental issues scientists have been warning us of for decades. While most of us in our cosy positions in the ‘Western’ world can deny it, there are people in the world who cannot. A quality inherent of humanity is our inability to act on problems before they escalate. We have been doing this in regards to climate change for decades now.

According to CharityWater.org around 43% of the rural population of Kenya lack access to water.[i] Water. The most basic human necessity and these people do not have access to it. Kenya’s terrible drought is not a coincidence. It’s linked to the environment, and climate change.

There will come a day the world leaders will be hiding out on higher ground while those they are sworn to protect are washed away by rising sea levels. If you’d like some advice, become someone important. That’ll be the only way you’ll have a chance of surviving the rising sea levels and weather anomalies if this inaction continues.

If you’re thinking, ‘our illustrious leaders will never allow that to happen’, you can think again. If we’re allowing people to starve to death in Kenya because global governments will not commit to CO2 reduction levels, then when the time comes and it’s you that’s in peril, they will turn a blind eye.

While I understand this is a pessimistic view of the future, it’s also a logical one. If life has proven anything to humanity over and over, it can be horribly unfair. We are still at the stage where we can look away because our own families are not suffering, but if our leaders don’t agree to changes that are more permanent soon, we may be the ones starving to death.

I myself am not a perfect advocate of the environment, and the neoliberal market has made it difficult for the individual to make a difference. However, we cannot entirely blame the individual. Time and time again, UN summits have proposed frameworks for countries and when they fail to meet their targets, nothing is done. They just meet once again and to draft new frameworks. We are in a constant cycle of frameworks and failure.[ii]

Some hard choices will have to be made by global governments and while we may end up suffering small indignities in the short term, our long-term safety must be considered. Those in authority and positions of power cannot maintain acting like petulant children. Real change is needed, comfortable people need to be inconvenienced, we cannot continue forging this path or it will bury us all.

Ultimately if you are concerned about humanitarian issues and want to help outside of charity work and donations, consider your environmental impact. Those articles that tell you “10 easy steps to reduce your carbon footprint,” honestly, read what they are saying. Even a simple thing like having 1 – 2 meat-free days a week would have a huge impact if we all did it. Or turning off that light when you leave the room, because if you don’t, someday you might not have a room left of one’s own to do so.

Did you like this post? Why not check out my last one?

Copyright © 2016 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/we-should-keep-talking/

Reduce your carbon footprint:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rosie-osmun/how-to-reduce-your-family_b_8940860.html

[i]http://www.charitywater.org/projects/countries/kenya/?utm_medium=ppc&utm_source=adwords&utm_campaign=problemgeo&utm_content=kenyadrought1&gclid=CKDwq__W8s0CFdZAGwodsKcIqA

[ii] http://newsroom.unfccc.int/climate-action/global-climate-action-agenda/

 

We should keep talking

When I picture the Earth in my mind’s eye, I often get the geographical locations of countries muddled. Whereas I have other talents, remembering bordering countries has always eluded me. So I often go to Google Maps to remind myself. When I do that, I’m reminded how close Europe is to countries whose daily existences are torn apart by war and dissidence. This saddens me.

People are highlighting the lack of media coverage for the bombings in Bagdad and Istanbul and the fact that Ethiopia is suffering its worst drought in over 60 years.[i]  While it’s on people’s social media and we’re having conversations about it, deep down we know it’s not enough. It’s how we categorise our fellow human beings. We call them something else to distance ourselves. Like the word ‘refugee’ for example. When we read stories about the ‘refugee’ child that was found on a beach, it classifies that child differently in our brains. What we really should be saying is “a child was found dead on a beach,’ because that boy is so much more than a refugee. He didn’t apply that classification to himself, and if we could ask him, surely that wouldn’t be the word he would use to describe himself.

Certainly, I’m not the first person to say this and I won’t be the last, but it’s important for me to state my position. That ‘refugee’ was a human. A citizen of Earth, whose fellow citizens failed them, and we are still failing them. What are we doing? Why are we so quick to separate Europe from the Middle East or African nations?

If you’ve never done this. Go to Google Maps, and just see how close Iraq is to Europe. In an age where 1 in 4 Irish shoppers buy from China,[ii] which is a distance of about 8150 kilometers from Ireland, Iraq is closer at around 6010 kilometers. We’ve watched so much media filtered from the U.S.A that Iraq feels much further away. (Bearing in mind that New York is about 4900 kilometers away from us here in Ireland and Los Angeles is 8190 kilometers.

So the only way for me to understand is to read as much of the media coverage from Bagdad, Istanbul, and Ethiopia as possible, in order to picture myself there, and honestly, it’s terrifying. People in Bagdad are struggling to find their loved ones, and some will have to wait for the confirmation from DNA for conclusive identification. An article from CNN highlighted an important point[iii], death is death. The sadness and pain is felt the same way, and just as powerfully each time it happens. We cannot say death is less painful, or passively cross it off as business as usual because of where it has happened. People are losing their loved ones.

There’s a growing ISIS presence in Turkey and the Ataturk airport bombings are just one example of how scared people must feel living their daily lives. There are pictures and flowers in the airport remembering those who died in the attack, yet business resumes.

I wish I could help, comfort those who are in dire need right now, and I know that isn’t possible. All I can hope to accomplish is continuing to spread the already important message: all lives matter. The more we distance ourselves and protect our feelings, the more we perform a terrible disservice to our fellow human beings. People’s lives are being forcefully ended, we should keep talking.

Copyright © 2016 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

If you liked this post, why not check out my last one?

https://wordpress.com/view/thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com

Sources:

[i] International Medical Corps: https://internationalmedicalcorps.org/ethiopia?gclid=CNXHmfLG3s0CFZEy0wodRJYBfw

[ii] The Irish Times:

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/retail-and-services/one-in-four-irish-online-shoppers-buy-from-china-1.2447920

[iii] CNN :

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/04/middleeast/iraq-baghdad-death-knocks/

 

Borders & Walls

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” Robert Frost – Mending Wall

Borders & Walls

Our borders are slowly closing. Fear is taking over nations. As the final day of campaigning takes place for Britain regarding their European Union membership, those of us in Ireland watch, hoping for a remain majority.

Although economically we need Britain, something that grids are the possibility of a renewed boarded with Northern Ireland. With a British exit, this probable border would become inevitable. Yet this is also happening on a global scale, borders are becoming tighter and more complex.

We are letting those who terrorize us control us. Britain leaving the EU would be a backward step for the world, not only economically but socially, and with the advent of a possible president in Donald Trump for the United States, our resolve is waning.

This is what they want. They want to create fear, they want us to be divided.  We are allowing fear to rule our lives and this cannot happen. There is much to fear about the world, sometimes so much so that my heart can hardly bear the burden. Yes, we need to be more secure, yes we need to be creative about how we keep our loved ones safe, but not at the expense of shutting the rest of the world out.

Today would have been MP Jo Cox 42nd birthday. Her death is indicative of a fear of progress, a fear of those different to us, and a fear of letting love in. Advancements cannot be made if countries such as Britain close their borders to those of us who believe that the world should be getting smaller, not bigger. MP Jo Cox was murdered brutally, it close and personal, not by a bomb, but by a knife and gun.

I don’t wish to make it appear as if this tragedy should be used to campaign for the remainder, I’m simply explaining that the world is full of terror that often comes from our own neighborhoods, but this doesn’t stop us from leaving our houses in the morning.

If we keep building borders, then peace will never flourish. Those that are now in their millions displaced will continue to perish, without the hope of welcoming arms. Once again I turn to Frost:

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,”

I plead to Great Britain, please vote to remain, and I plead to the United States of America, please vote for a president that will not build more walls, either literally or metaphorically.

Copyright © 2016 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

If you liked this post, why not check out my last one?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/dear-orlando/

If you haven’t already, read Robert Frost’s full poem Mending Wall here:

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44266

Dear Orlando…

Dear Orlando…

I promised myself I wouldn’t hate. Everything I read about the Orlando shootings stirs powerful feelings within me. I’m very emotional, and in the midst of those emotions, I would not let hatred or wrath rule. There is no room for it, we need to feel the sorrow and realise that we feel it because we love.

We are the ones who love, we are the ones who want freedom for all, we are the ones who are watching these senseless tragedies and asking, “how and why,” because we give love and receive love.

So I promised instead to focus on that love so that I don’t shy away from the world, and while it makes me sorrowful that some people are afraid to simply walk down the street holding the hand of the person they love, I won’t hate the people who oppose them. I will feel sorrow and understand that it reflects my own inner constitution of tolerance, acceptance, and love.

Please, if you do walk down the street holding hands with your loved one, do it with the knowledge that I and countless others will your freedom to do so. Let us be defiant of these acrimonious people together, and instead of hate and fear, let us, love. I’ll say it again, forget hate, forget fear, remember and feel love.

Copyright © 2016 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

If you liked this post, why not check out my last one?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/food-its-surrounding-issues-an-introduction/

Stories from another national election: Uganda

From Ireland to Uganda

Ireland’s 2016 general election has clouded my news feed, naturally. As a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, the results affect the social and economic situation of my loved ones. So far I am unable to ‘spot’ the winning coalition through a mixture of uncertainty and hope that the one blatantly staring us in the face doesn’t come to fruition. I’m disquieted by the possibility of a Fine Gael / Fianna Fáil coalition.

One week and a day before our own general election, Yoweri Museveni was once again elected President of Uganda. Although he is credited with overseeing some political and economic stability, his fifth re-election proves once more that he is too long in his position of power. Some of the voting was reported to be unfairly rolled out. Many balloting papers did not reach certain areas deemed to be less than ‘Museveni friendly’ until late afternoon. According to The Economist, it was “It is a tactic to disenfranchise people in the opposition’s urban strongholds.”

As this 30-year story trundles on (Museveni has been in power since 1986) the world occupies itself with more pressing matters such as the Oscars and Kim Kardashian. Regardless there is still a weight on my shoulders. Why is it that those that are in need of a voice get such a small portion of the exposure?

Under the Ugandan National Development Plan women are judged to be under-represented in many political and economic forums. “Uganda’s development progress, however, continues to be constrained by gender inequalities and social vulnerabilities.” While this is true there is little being done to change this at a governmental level. NGOs, human rights organisations, and brave local women continue the battle on the ground. We try and sleep soundly at night by telling ourselves we’ve done our part by reading the article.

Leading up to the election 7 children where reportedly sacrificed in blood rituals associated with wealth and power. This did reach the world’s newspapers today however these killings began in October of last year. Children are the most vulnerable group, entirely unable to speak for themselves, and rather than give them a voice, their deaths are muffled in a sea of seemingly irrelevant garble. The world has failed those young souls.

This is not a comprehensive view of the Ugandan election story, it is merely small pieces of a puzzle I’ve picked up but have been unable to complete. It’s piqued my interest as some of the stories ran parallel to our own election. I am as equally guilty of participation in the irrelevant garble; it keeps the voices at bay.

Copyright © 2016 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

If you liked this post, why not read my last one?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/some-thoughts-on-women-representatives-in-irish-politics/

Sources:

FIDH 2012 Report On Women’s rights in Uganda: https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/uganda582afinal.pdf

Today’s Zaman:  http://www.todayszaman.com/life_report-children-sacrificed-to-bring-luck-in-uganda-polls_413581.html

The Economist: http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21693331-after-30-years-office-why-quit-now-yoweri-museveni-wins-fifth-term-ugandas

Uganda’s National Development Plan: https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1860/National_Development_Plan_2010_11-2014_15.pdf

Thoughts on Female Representatives in Irish Politics

Female Representation

As the counts for the 2016 General Election draw to a close, with 85% of the 158 seats filled, those reporting are at a loss in their coalition predictions. The polling from this short campaign has not prepared us for the voice of the public. Who will be leading the country for the next 5 years is elusive to forecast. In the midst of the discussion on the abandonment of the Labour party’s values and Fine Gael’s heavy losses, I can’t help but feel preoccupied with the uneven balance of male to female candidates.

My own Constituency of County Louth has 16 registered candidates, only 4 of whom are women. To me, 25% is not a sufficient number of female representatives when there is an equal divide of male to female citizens. While Imelda Munster is poised to be the first female candidate elected in the history of the constituency (which is disheartening in the year 2016), she will be the only female in the 5 seat constituency. This is a meager 20% representation to generations of females in the area.

Although we still do not have the results for the rest of the country we know quotas will push the number of female TD’s to 34 in the Dáil. This is opposed to the 31st Dáil having only 28 female TD’s. Even with the reduced number of seats at 158 this still only leaves us at 21.5%. While many fight over the concept of quotas and whether or not they are fair to the male candidates (is the boys club fair to the female candidates?), I consider the problem from further away. We are not sending a positive message to our young women that it is an option to become a politician if they don’t have enough female representatives. It’s not encouraged enough in schools and archaic images of women as homemaker still filters through the progressive cries of those women who have clawed their way out of the norm.

We claim as a country to be progressive and have proven this in some ways with triumphs such as the 2015 Referendum on marriage. Still, Ireland has a long way to go in regards to woman’s rights, especially when the language of our constitution lingers on a woman’s place in the home, and those that choose to work are either shirking their duties or have been given no choice due to economic circumstances. Our constitution cries out:

“2° The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.”

If the Irish Constitution isn’t something you haven’t read before I suggest you glance over it (there is a link below), you may be surprised how out of date the language still is. I ask you this, what is the state of female representation in 2016 Ireland? Is the tide slowly but surely turning or are we still stuck in our antiquated ways? We owe it to the women in Ireland to change attitudes about their place in society, we need to think ahead.

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Sources:

http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/

https://www.constitution.ie/Documents/Bhunreacht_na_hEireann_web.pdf

http://www.rte.ie/news/election-2016/constituencies/louth/

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