Women around the world continue suffering not only inequality, but grievous injustice, especially uneducated women. We find as part of our daily lived experience, needing to continually be alert for ourselves and our communities. Instead of protecting and defending us, patriarchy is continually looking for ways to manipulate, exploit, and dominate us.
Women are having to stand watch and stand guard for themselves. We are having step up and stand in to give our sisters and all humanity security. This crisis never seems to abate, but only increase globally. At times it can seem that love has truly grown cold.
Right now in my heartland, Congo, women are protesting. Who can hear them from this isolated mountain area, far away from the hustle and bustle of cities and government offices? For six months they have had to live in the bush. At the onset of the rainy season, rebel militias began violently chasing them and their families from their homes, burning all of their villages – over 70 villages to the ground. All of their family possessions either burned or looted. Hundreds of their family members killed. Now, thousands of the displaced are huddled outside UN base camps without food, shelter, or any other support. We have arranged for thousands of dollars of supplies, but the UN forces demand $15,000 per hour to distribute the food and supplies.
After years and years of conflict, 40% of these displaced mothers are widows. They live in constant fear and want. Who will be raped today? But there has been one police commander who has stood in the gap for them. One man is not enough, but he is a hero to these women. For over three years he has done what he could to protect and defend them. Now the governmental police authorities are replacing him – a son of their own – with someone from outside so that the women and their families will be made completely vulnerable again. The authorities don’t want stability, but instability and chaos, to continue exploiting minerals and doing whatever illicit acts they want with impunity.
BUT THESE WOMEN SAY, NO! This is a very isolated region of our country; cut off. Who can hear them? Still they protest. Then the police begin chasing them and they run. But then they take another stand. Because of technology we are able to amplify their voices and actions – for their RIGHT to peace and security.
Who will hear? Who will come alongside these mothers in support? Who has strength? Who is willing?