Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"worst place to be a woman"

We all know that it's tough being a woman in most places in Africa--the endless violence, poverty, and lack of equality between the genders. In a column in the NY Times Op-Ed pages today, Helene Cooper brought that home with her commentary on the recent elections in Liberia and the daily realities for women in Bukavu, Congo. She writes:
"Ever since the voting results started coming in a few days ago, showing what the Liberian women had done, I've been unable to get one image from Bukavu out of my mind. It is of an old woman, in her 30's. It was almost twilight when I saw her, walking up the hill out of the city as I drove in. She carried so many logs that her chest almost seemed to touch the ground, so stooped was her back. Still, she trudged on, up the hill toward her home. Her husband was walking just in front of her. He carried nothing. Nothing in his hand, nothing on his shoulder, nothing on his back. He kept looking back at her, telling her to hurry up. I want to go back to Bukavu to find that woman, and to tell her what just happened in Liberia. I want to tell her this: Your time will come, too."
But how long, O Lord? How long?

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