July 30, 2009

By Amanda Wilson

I just came back from living in Lesotho, Southern Africa. Gender equality is not a cultural or governmental value in this country. There is no Lesotho National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood, and the Cabinet does not have a woman Secretary of State. The impact of the lack of recognition of women’s issues is very apparent, at least for a woman who comes from a country where Gender Equality is part of our daily dialogue. Women have little to no property rights, often she is in an unhealthy marriage because she feels she has no alternative (the real tragedy is that in this part of the world, she actually does not have many alternatives). The judicial system of Lesotho does not give women protection, and the culture, unversed in women’s issues, blames the women for their lots. There is a lot of work to do in America, we need adequate health care and equal pay for equal work. But, we should never forget how much we as politically active women have accomplished. We do make an impact though at times we fail to see it. Take it from someone who has seen the other side… we are doing a great job! Never give up, you are the backbone of  this country!