By Amy Bollenbach
March is Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day. I hope you will join me in learning more about women in the world on Thursday and Friday. We will be exploring how people have used the oppression against women across the world to make new and wonderful opportunities for women.
An old Chinese proverb says, “Women Hold up Half the Sky.” We’re showing the film, “Half the Sky,” which features women and men who provide education, healthcare and protection against violence for girls and women across the world.
Women suffer violence in Homer, but most of us do not face what many women encounter in the third world. For example, in October 2012, the Pakistani Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai, 15, in the head because she spoke publicly for educating girls. Her major theme was “The Koran does not forbid education for women.”
In February 2013, Malala told Pakistani Geo News that she has recovered eyesight and the ability to walk and talk after surgeries and therapy in a British hospital. She said, “I am prepared to risk my life again to promote girls’ education in Pakistan.”
Unfortunately, rape and domestic violence do happen in Homer and Homer people are working to work to reduce that. In the last week of March, we hope to show “Makers, Women Who Make America,” about the struggles for women’s rights struggles from 1960s and 1970s onward to today. It was shown on public television in February to rave reviews. If you want more information on “Half the Sky” or the “Makers” film, please call me. Amy Bollenbach, 235-6954. This will give ideas of what to do in Homer.
One question to answer on International Women’s Day: How should we respond to the plan by many legislators in Alaska to restrict women’s rights to health care, including contraceptives and abortions?
International Women’s Day events are happening on Thursday and Friday at Kenai Peninsula College, Kachemak Bay Campus, Pioneer Hall, Room 202, and the United Methodist Church Sunroom on East Pioneer.
Kachemak Bay Campus:
Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Film, “Half the Sky,” Part 1 with discussion.
Friday, noon-5 p.m. “Half the Sky,” Parts 1 and 2 with discussion. People are welcome to come and go.
United Methodist Church, Sunroom: Thursday, March 7, 7:30 p.m. -9:30 p.m.
Conversation on “Personal Violence, Suicide, Domestic Abuse, and Sexual Assault” with Will Files, discussion leader. Staff from Haven House staff will be present.
You’re never too young or too old to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Amy Bollenbach is a retired college teacher who started the largest feminist group in Alaska, Anchorage Women’s Liberation Group in 1970. She has lived in Homer for many years, and still works for women’s rights.
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