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Tag: human trafficking

Find your passion, find your voice

On this mid-week after Women’s Equality Day, here are some gems of wisdom from around the globe, on the rightful equality of women. Which is your favorite? 

This quote-image includes a photograph of Malala Yousafzai in a pink hijab, and her words, "We cannot succeed when half of us are held back."

How can we work toward the goal of equality for women? One thing every one of us can do is advocate. Call, engage on social media, and/or write to your representatives on the local, state, and national level.

This quote-image shows a photograph of Hillary Rodham Clinton, along with her words: "Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely--and the right to be heard."

What cause calls most to you? Greater educational opportunities for girls worldwide? Women’s equality? Breaking the power of human trafficking? Advocating for more comprehensive access to reproductive health care? Advocacy for victims of rape or incest?Wage equality? Stronger protections for victims of domestic violence?

This quote-image shows a black-and-white photo of Iranian politician and women's rights advocate Mahnaz Afkhami, along with her words: "Women's empowerment is intertwined with respect for human rights."

Whatever your passion, whatever your cause, engagement is only an online search away. Become as involved as your time and resources allow, be that a letter every month or so, or something much more intensive. The important thing is to step up, speak up, and bring your values more fully into your community life.

What have some of your advocacy experiences been? Please share, if you’re willing, in the comments section below.

IMAGES: Many thanks to the Women’s Rights Facebook Page, for the quote-image from Malala Yousafzai; to AZ Quotes for the words and image of Hillary Clinton; and to a different AZ Quotes page for the image and quote from Mahnaz Afkhami. I appreciate them all!

Days of the Dead: Remembering the victims of human-made disasters

What can we do?

Sometimes we tend to look at the state of the world today, and say, “I’m just one person. What can I possibly do that makes any difference?” In yesterday’s All Saints Day post, I invited a pause to remember the amazing and valuable people who have perished in natural disasters this year–then to think about our own best response to those who are left behind. But not all disasters come in the form of storms, fires or earthquakes.

Do you think of all terrorism as local? In every case, it’s local to somebody–and wherever such attacks occur, they’re flat wrong. Here, some of my brothers and sisters in Christ (who happen to live in Egypt) were the target. But no community in any country of the world is invulnerable, and terrorism is always wrong, no matter who does it or why.

On this All Souls Day, it would do the world good to remember that too many disasters–this year and every year–are created by humans. And those human-made disasters routinely kill people and destroy lives in vast numbers.

In response to those, our wisest reaction is very much not to throw up our hands and ask, “What can anybody do?” Our clear call to action in those cases is to sit up, take notice, and ask “What can I do to help?” Because if we are not part of the solution to human-made disasters . . . well, you know how that one ends.

The headlines are full of the opiod epidemic sweeping the world right now–talk about a human-made disaster!–but addictions to alcoholgambling, and many other things abound, while understanding (and appropriate compassion for victims) lags seriously behind.

Terrorismaddictiongun violencehuman traffickinghomicidesdomestic violencesexual harassment and assaulttraffic accidentspollution and environmental degradationcoarsening civil discourse, and the determined efforts of many lawmakers to dismantle social safety nets and leave the poor, the elderly, the disabled and children vulnerable . . . no single human can tackle everything

But every single human can take on something

Just one of myriad examples of environmental degradation: cleanup after an oil spill in Nigeria.

What issues pull at you most strongly? Do you thirst for justice, despite living a class-stratified, discriminatory culture where too many nonviolent offenders are locked up for too long, while all too many better-funded violent offenders seem invulnerable?

Is your passion a yearning for greater kindness and civility in our communities? Compassion for the vulnerable at the hands of oppression? Are you worried over the degrading quality of our natural environment?

Each of those causes has an active community of people working to counteract it. I urge you to find one that suits your personality and concerns, then get involved.

You may not be able to solve the problem single-handedly, but you owe it to yourself and your world to do what you can. As long as we have life, that is the job of every moral being.

IMAGES: Many thanks to Casa Bonampak, for the Days of the Dead Papel Picado banner at the top (handy place to buy them); to NewsInfo on Inquirer.net for the photo of the Egyptian church aftermath; to CBC News for the photo of paramedics working on an overdose victim (and a story about how one paramedic copes with his job); to InvestorKing, for the oil spill photo and accompanying article about environmental degradation in Nigeria by oil companies; and to Pinterest for the quote image.

Feeling powerless?

The Artdog Quote of the Week: 

It is always appropriate to speak up, when we see a wrong. It may be hard or inconvenient, but the alternative is far, far worse.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Rescue Her (a group dedicated to fighting human trafficking) for this quote from Elie Weisel.

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