I’ve just stolen a song title, I know. Yet it is true. We ARE the world.
Earlier in the week, Mr O was very upset at something that had happened “back home”. During the same week, I noticed a shocking news story about pack rapes in France. Then there was the 14 year-old shot in Pakistan. The disaster that is Syria continues, seemingly unabated.
We are the world.
There are certain things we should raise our voices about. Things we should say loudly, clearly. We are the world. It is not just about solving poverty, it is about caring for our fellow man, about raising global awareness of atrocities and calling for change. We should be SHAMING the countries into action. Yes, I know, “shame” is a hot word in Australia lately: let’s use it constructively for a change.
While both Syria and the case of Malala Yousufzai are receiving wide-spread media coverage, the other issues mentioned above less so.
In a case that has shocked France and cast a light on a culture of youth sexual violence, two women now in their 20s said that as teenagers they had endured months of almost daily rapes by scores of men in Fontenay-sous-Bois, outside Paris. The case is seen as the tip of the iceberg of the wider problem of gang rapes by youths on poor housing estates.
After a four-week trial, four of the accused were found guilty of taking part in gang rapes, but 10 were acquitted. Those found guilty were handed sentences that ranged from a suspended sentence of three years to one year in prison. Only one man returned to prison after the verdict because of time already served on remand.
There really has been little outrage, or little that I have noticed. Even so, there are many more articles (see related, below) on this than the Nigerian case I am leading up to. France, of course, is considered a first world country. We don’t like to stick our noses into the business of other first world countries, do we? This is FRANCE for goodness sake, a civilised nation. Or is it? In some respects, this ties into my previous article on sexism. When women aren’t considered equal, it is OK to rape them. There is coverage, just little condemnation. We should be making damn sure France is aware this isn’t acceptable! Where is the international pressure?
The second issue receiving little, if any, international coverage and even less condemnation is the news from Nigeria that horrified Mr O. Just because one leaves their homeland doesn’t mean they forget it, as I have written before. One of the statements Mr O made was “There is no love. They can be eating out of the same pot, but there is no love.” He can’t get the waste of life out of his thoughts.
Mr O signed a Facebook petition and forwarded it to me. I was shocked when I signed it that only 8,700 had signed. It is now up to 11,000 but in a country with a population of some 170 million, 11,000 is not a lot of signatories. Of course very few have access to the internet, many would be scared to sign even if they could. They could, after all, be the next target. That is the reality.
I warn you very, very strongly: the video below is not easy to watch. Like the photo I published in Been silenced, we debated whether to publish or not. Do not watch it unless you have a very strong stomach. Mr O and I are both very well aware that this sort of atrocity may in part lead to the sort of experience I had at the hairdresser the other day. Yet we also know that unless the word is spread there can be no hope of raising global awareness, no hope of change, no hope of development.
Substantiation of the situation can be found here: http://allafrica.com/stories/201210130292.html
“We are killing our future by murdering our promising youths on daily basis. Every day we are burying our children and yet this is peace time or are we at war? We cannot keep quiet any longer. We are calling on all mothers and Nigerian women to rise and demand answers from Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and President Goodluck Jonathan. We must hold them responsible for these killings.
The murdered students were not entirely innocent. They stole a phone and a laptop. However, they did not deserve what befell them.
I quote from the petition:
We demand that whoever is involved in this killing must face the music, Nigeria must show to the rest of the world that this country is not a banana republic. You cannot be asking investors to come and invest in your country when barberic acts such as this are happening almost everywhere in the country.
We are the world. Sign the petition if you believe in a better world. Help the Nigerians desperately calling for change.
- The Verdict in France’s Teenage Gang-Rape Trial Will Probably Infuriate You [Rape Rape] (jezebel.com)
- Four jailed in gang-rape trial that shocked France (guardian.co.uk)
- Watching your homeland crumble (teamoyeniyi.com)
- Amnesty International Report 2012 (teamoyeniyi.com)