Monday, August 25, 2008

New role of women, ¿cause for violence against them?

A recent article in the Washington Post tells how women in India, having achieved new opportunities in this traditional society, now face increased violence because of the resentment of men. The Indian men some times see this new role as a threat to the status quo of the Indian society.

Reading the article by Emily Wax I can only find coincidences (very disturbing coincidences) about the way men treats women in Mexico.

Lets start just with one recent declaration made by the Catholic Church. A high rank priest said that women should not use mini-skirts and other 'provocative' clothes to avoid the harassment of men.

Is this really the cause of violence, harassment and rapes? Are women guilty of this? Of course not. And his affirmation would have no logic if he had analyzed the way women in India (and other traditional countries) are the victims of violence. Their outfit cannot be seen as 'provocative' in any way, yet in Mexico the priests keep giving advices like these instead of trying to make men more respectful and to convince them of giving better treatment to females.

The real cause for violence against women, as the Indian society case seems to probe, it's men feeling that women want to be 'the boss', and the sensation that they no longer control the situation as it has happen traditionally.

Independence in women in some societies (like the Mexican) it is still harshly criticized. Women who tries to earn and control money, to choose their way of life or to begin living outside their parents home are seen like pariahs who will not have all the 'rewards' a more traditional female can 'earn'.

In some towns in Mexico women are even not allowed to do what in many countries is natural: to participate in the political process and earn important posts in the government.

In Mexico, less than 25 percent of the ministries are guided by women and, in America Latina, our country is 11 in 18 nations in political opportunities for women, as states a news article in the newspaper La Jornada.

Recently, a woman in Oaxaca, Eufrosina Cruz, tried to participate as candidate for Mayor of her town, only to be expelled by men. It is sad to see that this situation happens. Native people in Mexico call this exclusion 'usos y costumbres' (traditions), but the fact is that ignorance some times is the reason to treat women like this, and not only between  native people, but in men of all kinds.

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