So this is Giving Tuesday 2020, called for early because of the crisis we are in. And here within World Pulse and beyond, a call for anyone reading this to think carefully and fully about whether you have some extra money to fund this grassroots work that sisters everywhere are doing. You may have some you can spare. You may be doing this work hoping that some will be sent.
We are in the middle of a pandemic, and we are also in the middle of a time in which being very rich, and having nothing, have never been more extreme. The earth herself is in tremendous distress and through this virus she is healing. For us, in our global humanity the extremes between those who are comfortable and those who are struggling to survive has never been more obvious, because now we are in this emergency together and now we are able to be in contact with each other.
Giving Tuesday, a day to remind people who are comfortable that there are many ways to make lots of people at least a little more comfortable during this crisis, while we figure out together how to get through this, and to build the many ways that we need, to work to change everything that's happening that is wrong, that is painful, and that is the experience of the majority of people on earth, in particular to almost all of the women on earth. Work because we have this extra set of laws in many forms that have been built to keep us subservient. The painful and infuriating irony is that we have the answers, and it is still such hard work through so many roadblocks to get our voices heard, and that is because our ideas point to a whole new way of being together, all of us, on this earth. We are suppressed because we challenge the world economy, and because we challenge a society set up by men to control us as women. The violence is allowed to continue because they do not want to lose their privilege, they do not want to share the wealth, they do not want to lose their control over us, and also because men do not want to be beaten up or lose social position by other men for challenging what is happening. Women do the indentured labour. So do our children. There is also global trafficking of women, stealing of women and men into slavery, and children being forced to do back-breaking labour. Girls are kept out of school, bought and sold in marriages, and there is violence toward and murder of women and girls everywhere. Even though this has been talked about clearly and loudly for a long time, if anything the violence has increased over the centuries. And mother earth is groaning, trying to keep us alive while we continue to destroy her, while women work, most often for free, to clean up this mess.
"First World, Second World, Third World", and later"Fourth World" named by Indigenous people across the world to name their connection to the land, so much of it stolen from them. These terms have always bothered me to my core. So I read about it. Terms made up by men after the second world war, just before I was born. First World for capitalists, Second World for communists, and Third World for countries who did not align with either, renamed in various ways that cover up the theft of goods by immoral governments and highway robbery international trade deals.
As a woman, and with many women who I know feel the same way, these offensive terms are based on who has money. So I don't want to use these terms. I know that this crooked economic system does not work for most of the people on this planet, and in particular it does not work for women.
Current facts: The top one percent of people hold over $25 trillion in wealth, more than the wealth of 80 percent of those with the least. This group who each have more than $1 million, own 44 percent of the world's wealth. Adults with less than $10,000 make up 56.6 percent of the world's population, with less than 2 percent of global wealth. Billions have nothing.
These are numbers I find hard to fathom. Especially reading the reports of my World Pulse sisters, and some World Pulse brothers, who are right now trying to get food and water to people who either have no home, or no food, or no way to make money. Within our vast network such similar stories are reported : so many women and girls now trapped indoors with violent husbands and fathers, or being trafficked, or being killed. Stories of communities with no food or medicine, of the conditions of people forced to migrate, and still about 85 vicious wars going on over territory and resources. And I know about this because of what my World Pulse sisters are in the middle of, and reporting on, trying to create peace and save people's lives.
In North America, specifically Canada where I live, there are hoarders fighting over toilet paper in the stores, and at the same time people forming community projects with and for each other to meet emergencies. Here too, violence against women has dramatically increased, as I am hearing from my sisters everywhere. Women are coming forward, reaching out in communities, across countries and across the world, to work together to save women’s lives, and to continue to step forward together, and to raise our voices together, toward the world we want to see, knowing that it is possible and that it will benefit everyone.
“African Region, Region of the Americas, South-East Asia Region, European Region, Eastern Mediterranean Region, and Western Pacific Region”. That’s how the UN describes us. But what we see together as possible, when those who have the least are made the priority, is what we have been working toward. Given this current crisis which demands that we do things very differently, it is our voices as women that are needed more than ever. More than across the back fences, even though this is how we continue to find each other and meet. This is the moment for us to come together stronger than ever, strong enough to make these changes happen.
Women have been doing free labour because money is kept from us for the most part, too often completely. Denying women leadership keeps this broken, vicious, hierarchical, patriarchal system in place, to benefit a small number of men and a minuscule number of women. This, while ongoing, women and girls continue to be beaten, tortured and murdered. This, despite more that a century known by our own living research and stories, and through time back to past the 1100’s AD, when men solidified a system in which they can dominate, and threaten and kill any woman or girl who breaks the rules or even dares to speak out.
Women have been doing this indentured labor, fighting to survive all of these forms of attacks, having and caring for children, trying to keep everyone safe and fed, trying to get girls into school, trying to end all of this violence. Now we are faced with this crisis and all it brings.
So let’s help each other all we can. If you are overwhelmed by all the calls for support, think of what we can do together if we each do what we can. With those who have some money to spare, send it to sisters who know what to do with it. It will go a long way because the work that is being done, is being done with generosity and love. Think of it as a tank of gas that we would spend to see each other if we could. Think of it as inviting a sister to share a meal. Think of it in whatever way that works. Think of all you know that she will do with any donation you can make happen. Send something directly into a sister’s hands. And send in a donation to World Pulse, because this is how Community Champions get funded, and because it is though World Pulse that we know who is working and where, and we need World Pulse to keep in touch with each other. Then tell your family and friends. Then tell us your story on World Pulse.