The Great Debate UK

Time to break the silence on injustices against women


gisellportenier- Giselle Portenier is an  award-winning documentary filmmaker who focuses on human rights abuses around the world and a member of the Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival committee. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in.-

Soon it will be that famous Ladies’ Day again, International Women’s Day, when the Western press packs their pages with stories—and it’s already started– either celebrating all we have achieved, or lamenting all that still eludes us—equal pay for work of equal value, glass ceilings, balancing work and family life, domestic violence, and so on.

And while these stories are worthwhile, as we head into the hundredth year celebrating International Women’s Day, the time has come to slow down this navel-gazing, change this narrow focus, and come to the aid of millions of women worldwide.

The time has come to break the silence, in a big, real, systematic and very public way, on all the human rights abuses endured by girls and women in the developing world in the name of culture and religion.