Worse than the Taliban??

I was listening to NPR the other day (sorry, can’t remember which program), and they were listing the countries with the worst track records on womens’ rights. I think three of the bottom five were Niger, Sierra Leone, and Burkina Faso; the other two, suffice to say, were NOT Afghanistan. So, what the hell is going on in these countries?? (Yeah, I know, female genital mutilation, but as barbaric as it is, I don’t believe it can compare to being deprived of ALL means of earning a living and all contact with the world outside one’s home. Or can it? Explanations, anyone?)

Probably because they were looking at the current situation of women compared to the current situation of men. The Taliban doesn’t cut men much slack either, what with lopping off theives’ hands, and jailing young men who refuse to grow beards.

Nigeria, if I remember correctly from my women’s studies class ten years ago, was considered one of the worst offenders because men have so many rights, it’s practically idyllic, while women have none at all.

Keep in mind I’ve never been to Nigeria. This is half-remembered lecture points regarding the world a decade ago.

Shopping is still cheaper than therapy. --my Aunt Franny

As always, definition of terms would be key. Worst, according to whom ? There is a decent Amnesty Int’l. Medecin Sans Frontieres, Red Cross, even media presence in those African countries, as opposed to Afghanistan. No one to record data (other than official gov’t bodies), no bad news to report.

“Proverbs for Paranoids, 1: You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.”

  • T.Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow.

I don’t know whose runnig Sierra Leone right now (probably nobody!) but during their civil war there was a group of rebels known as the Jombola. What they would do is rape Sierra Leonean(?) women, then, and you can verify this in Fieldings The Worlds Most Dangerous Places, pluck out their pubic hair to make amulets! As a matter of fact, Jombola means “remover of pubic hair” in Mende. I am NOT making this up!

Kind of makes the Taliban look like NOW, doesnt’ it?

As for Niger and Burkina Faso, I believe that there may still be illegal slavery of women in those countries but I have no facts in front of me to verify this.