Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The World's Most Dangerous Place for Women

The World's Most Dangerous Place for Women is a very moving documentary by the gutsy Fiona Lloyd-Davis about Judith Wanga, an ex pat Congolese whose parents sent her to Britain so she could be safe but she makes a return journey to the Congo to meet her family , parents and then find out what is driving the continued violence against women in the area. The documentary introduces you to some very inspiring people who are working hard to remedy an horrific situation. The Congo is one of the richest places in the world but its people are poor. The surfeit of minerals and mining is making a lot of money but not for the Congolese. The battle is about the black mineral which runs our iPods and laptops. In many of the reactions to the documentary this has been overlooked. It was alluded to in the documentary but needs to be further explored and explained. If we are running our technology at the expense of the lives, the wellbeing and dignity of these women, then we need to look at our corporate and international responsibility. If you go to the BBC3 blog linked above the comments will show you just how much people care , want to care, want to act and want to change the world. On the blog there are links to places if you wish to make a personal contribution.That's the thing. As a planet we are all connected. Literally and metaphorically. The programme demonstrates how what we are doing is impacting on the lives of others.It also shows that there are some amazing people who are out there doing the tough stuff while we sit and blog about it from a safe, soft place. There were some women who were just so inspirational and doctors who were doing their best but who needed more help and support. I have thought about whether to blog about this or not because it is very easy to sit in judgement from a distance, but I am very conscious of the fact we have a number of people from the Congo who live here in Adelaide and yet, we know very little about their country and their previous life.We assume they can just get on with it. The Congo is stunningly beautiful. The shots in the documentary were just so amazing. The lifestyle, without the violence, is very family based and relaxed. Our Congolese speak several languages and then we have asked them to learn English on top of that. They need to explore their culture, their new culture and their profound experiences through their familiar languages and we could help there and show some linguistic awareness. We could also look to them to get some insight into this situation because by harming women in this way there is an attack on that culture which is long lasting and completely damaging. It needs to be understood and the Congolese are the best people to lead the way in terms of us responding to their needs. We can connect. We need to connect to lift people up.

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