Monday, March 19, 2007

The girl child...

“The United States is dismayed to see that much of the language in the Agreed Conclusions is more attentive to the political preoccupations of international conference goers than to the needs of women and particularly of girls. For instance, the document mentions “sexual and reproductive health” several times and life-saving immunizations only once. Some delegations insisted that the document could not contain an explicit reference to the violent and discriminatory practice of aborting unborn baby girls for the sole reason that they are girls – and yet they insisted on multiple references to programs and activities to help girls “understand their sexuality”….However, we are happy that the document condemns female infanticide and “harmful practices of prenatal sex selection,” which is universally understood to include sex-selective abortion, even if some delegations insisted that this practice not be called by its real name.”

Ambassador Brister, addressing the Commission on the Status of Women

The United States had initiated a formal resolution at the CSW that would condemn the now widespread practice of aborting baby girls because of their sex. The US took the position that the issue deserved to be highlighted in its own resolution, like the other four stand-alone CSW resolutions on issues such as female genital mutilation, HIV/AIDS, forced marriage and the plight of Palestinian women. This was especially relevant since the theme of the CSW this year was "discrimination and violence against the girl child." More Here

Friday, March 16, 2007

To Keep a True Lent

Is this a Fast, to keep
The Larder lean?
And clean
From fat of veals and sheep?

Is it to quit the dish
Of flesh, yet still
To fill
The platter high with fish?

Is it to fast an hour,
Or ragg'd go,
Or show
A down-cast look and sour?

No: 'tis a Fast to dole
Thy sheaf of wheat
And meat
Unto the hungry soul.

It is to fast from strife
And old debate,
And hate;
To circumcise thy life.

To show a heart grief-rent;
To starve thy sin,
Not bin;
And that's to keep thy Lent.

Robert Herrick, 1591-1674

Image: Icon of the Ressurection