More Hell, Fewer Dahlias: The Musings of a Radical Feminist.

Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Hey people, did you know the UN’s Commission on Women is meeting to review the Beijing Platform for Action, which occurred in 1995, ¬†and the Commission on the Status of Women, which happened in 2000? I’d heard it was happening but didn’t think of writing it up until a lovely commenter brought it up in my last post. So thank you! I’d forgotten how little attention some events I think everyone is aware of ¬†actually get.

Here’s the text of the Beijing Platform

Some of my favorite parts are

32. Intensify efforts to ensure equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all women and girls who face multiple barriers to their empowerment and advancement because of such factors as their race, age, language, ethnicity, culture, religion, or disability, or because they are indigenous people;

Yay, intersectionality!!!

34. Develop the fullest potential of girls and women of all ages, ensure their full and equal participation in building a better world for all and enhance their role in the development process.


I’m gonna say it here: I’m not the hugest fan of bodies like the UN. I mean, that’s a lot of lofty goals right there, you know? And the radical in this blog title isn’t a joke, I’m a big fan of direct action and advocacy. I’m not against the UN’s Commission on Women by any means. It just isn’t enough. Giving a set of vaguely unattainable goals to governments saturated in the patriarchy can only do so much. It isn’t enough. But it is something, and I look forward to seeing how it turns out and what conclusions are drawn from the evaluation.

And, Happy International Women’s Day!


That’s what Hillary Clinton called Nujood Ali, a twelve year old Yemeni girl who recently published “I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.”

Married to a 30 year old man at age nine by her father, Nujood was beaten and raped by her “husband” for two months before visiting her family home to see her sister. Her father’s second wife advised her to seek a divorce, and Nujood made her way to the courthouse. After sitting there for half a day, a kindly judge recognized her. Her father and “husband” were taken into custody, and the original judge housed Nujood for the trial. After refusing a judge’s original suggestion of taking a break for up to five years, then returning to the “husband,” Nujood was granted a divorce. Her memoir is now being published in nearly twenty languages, and she is enrolled in elementary school full-time.

There’s another great woman in this story: Shada Nasser, Nujood’s lawyer. The first female lawyer in Yemen, Shada started her career by offering legal services to incarcerated women.

Both women have been honored with multiple awards, though they were barred from attending a ceremony in Vienna, Austria, by the Yemeni government. Follow up stories indicate that Nujood may not be treated well by her family, and suffers from the stigma of divorce and reaching out to Western media.

More about the situation for Yemeni women: there is no minimum marriage age, though husbands are encouraged to wait until the wife is “ready.” Over 65% of women are illiterate, and kidnapping and rape are constant threats. Once married, women must obtain spousal permission for actions that involve leaving their house.

Educate someone on women’s situations in other countries today, please! We have a long way to go in so many countries, including my own.