Posts Tagged ‘signing petitions’

I’ve just signed a petition on Care2; ‘Stand with women working to end gender-based violence‘.

The petition calls on the UK Government to fund the women’s groups working towards ending violence against women, and as such resonates with me and my past. They mention that one in three girls and women suffer violence in their lives. I think it’s higher than that, but I’ll take their word for it. It’s vitally important that this issue is faced head on and that Government, and us, takes the opportunities offered to make a difference.

I am one of those three girls and my mother was one of those three women….my sisters to a lesser and in some instances greater extent, were also one of those girls. We lived with extreme violence for much of our growing up lives; emotional, physical, mental and yes, even sexual violence, much of it directed at my Mother who eventually caved in under the onslaught….yes, she died. Aged 52. I know the official verdict was stroke, but I feel it was despair. She ate too much, she drank too much, she smoked too much, she lived under some of the most dire circumstances (in all three of her marriages)….and all of those combined to kill her….and what the coroner didn’t say was that all these too much ofs that she partook of were caused by stress and despair and pressure.

I don’t consider myself a victim, although in my younger years I felt victimised. I’ve grown up, I’ve become tougher.

But the scars remain. Those same scars affected how I raised my daughter and that affects her still today.  I won’t ever say I hate men, coz I don’t, on the contrary. However, my language right through my adult life and through my daughter’s growing up years has been negative; urgh men!! You can’t trust a man. Never trust a man. Well what can you expect; he’s a man!! – you get the idea….I never realised how powerful those messages were to a young brain growing up, and now it’s too late….the dye has been set and she finds it really difficult to form a lasting attachment or relationship. I set the boat on the water and I tore down the sails.

My sisters and I have all grown up to be tough, strong women, proud of who we have become. We don’t cave in. We don’t suffer fools. We don’t, with the exception of my younger sister (from my Mother’s side – 3rd marriage), have successful relationships with men. They are always fraught with anxiety, frustration, angst and determination to not be ‘the weaker sex’. I gave up on relationships 13 years ago. I can’t be who I become when I’m in a relationship.

There is an inordinate amount of violence towards women. Culturally (and I’m talking about world-wide culture in all ethnic groups bar a few). We, (and yes even in our enlightened Western culture) have been raised to believe that women are ‘the weaker sex’, of lesser importance (see the ongoing debate about salaries and managerial positions). If you look at many cultures today they are still fiercely Patriarchal. Women are refused entry to, kept out of, stopped from doing, have to ask permission of, cannot marry freely, are repressed and vilified, their natural cycles considered bad, disgusting, and a reason for being kept behind closed doors; being forced to stay behind closed doors is a more reasonable assumption. My first marriage rendered me unable to even open a Bank Account without my husbands a) permission b) signature and that was in 1972.

So that said, and oh I have SO much more to say, especially with this recent humiliation and repression of a Muslim woman in France, I ask you to please sign the petition. Thank you.

If however, you feel you don’t want to sign the petition, then please step-up, become an advocate for women, look out for signs of violence…those bruised eyes, the broken arms, the cowered down-cast expression, the sudden withdrawal from society, and if you see it…do take action. It could be within your own family. It was within ours. And no-one stepped up.



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I am a member of http://www.avaaz.org/en/ and often sign their petitions, the ones that I feel most strongly about. I repost these on facebook (sadly with very little response, and apparently it annoys some people) but at least I try.  I receive the avaaz emails (amongst others) on a regular basis and this one (see below in italics) popped into my inbox yesterday.  I am appalled at the fact that we as humans, and supposedly the Guardians of the Planet are the ones that are destroying it.   One of the most heart-breaking of these are the orangutans in countries like Borneo, whose habitat is being systematically destroyed by palm-oil plantations…….and all because we as consumers use the products that contain palm oil….it’s in so many of our food and cosmetic products, it’s frightening.

The result of this is that the habitat of the orangutan, and thousands of other creatures who call these jungles home and depend on them for their survival, are being destroyed…..hectares by the minute.   80% of the jungles in Borneo have already been destroyed!! This is horrendous. And this is our doing and we ARE responsible.  Yes, it’s the large corporations that plant/buy the palm oil and manufacture the products that contain them, but we are the ones that buy the stuff!!  We are responsible.  If we stop buying products with palm oil, then the corporations will be forced to reconsider their strategy.  Anyway, at least 70% of products on the shelves at the supermarket today is unnecessary to our survival.   We just blindly buy, buy, buy…taken in by, and fools to clever marketing and advertising.  If the large corporations used the billions they spend each year on advertising, on helping to save our wildlife, our planet would be a much better place.  It’s our demands for more than spurs them on to make more and more products that we don’t need and fill their bank accounts with the profits they get from our blind consumerism.  If they started destroying the ancient forests in Britain to plant palm oil there would be a huge outcry with people marching on parliament, waving placards and demonstrating against the destruction….and yet we have the audacity to condone and accept it being done in other countries (you condone it by buying the products, don’t try wriggle out of the responsibility).

There’s a crucial corridor connecting two essential orangutan habitats in the wetlands of Borneo that is on the brink of destruction. Saving this land could be the difference between life and death for countless orangutans, who need continuous swaths of forest and trees to survive. 

I have pledged £24.00 enough to protect up to 1568 square meters (a very small portion of Borneo jungle) – if I had more I would contribute more.  And I am not telling you this to pat myself on the back, but merely to make a point… Every penny/pound/dollar/whatever currency you have will help.  Surely it’s not too much to ask….and if they don’t raise enough, then avaaz have pledged to not take the money from my account.   I may not be able to save the world, but I can make a tiny contribution towards helping these magnificent creatures to survive and give them a chance.  The £24 I have pledged is a weeks budget for food or 5x Costa Coffee & carrot cake…not a lot really.  And if they don’t manage to raise sufficient funds then I will donate that £24.00 to the Orangutan sanctuary http://www.savetheorangutan.org/ with whom I have already been communicating to that effect.

I am hoping that by posting this blog, I can reach someone else who is willing to make a small contribution towards saving the small corridor of jungle that will make all the difference to the orangutan but very little difference to our pockets. Unless you are out of work or in severe debt…then you’re excused 😉  I have also taken a pledge to NOT buy food or products that contain palm oil…..there isn’t very much really, so I have taken to buying only fresh foods and prepare from scratch.  Not only has this had an impact on my budget, but I have lost weight and feel a lot healthier….ironic innit!!  As for my cosmetics and cleaning stuff, I now only buy organic products and use them sparingly.  We can’t let these creatures die out on our watch!!!

The world’s orangutans are hanging on by a thread, with scientists warning we don’t have much time left before they’re extinct. Now there’s a brilliant plan that could save them, if we all chip in what we can.

There’s a crucial corridor connecting two essential orangutan habitats in the wetlands of Borneo that is on the brink of destruction. Saving this land could be the difference between life and death for countless orangutans, who need continuous swaths of forest and trees to survive. Conservation NGOs and local groups have fearlessly announced they will buy the land and protect it for good, but to do it they need enough money to beat out profit-hungry companies looking to move in and destroy it.

This is exactly the kind of moment the Avaaz community was made for — our unique, people-powered funding model could allow us to finance the crucial sanctuary quickly, and create a fund to defend other key pieces of land around the world. Pledge what you can, we’ll process the donations only if we raise enough to buy the land.

Body of the email: “Orangutans are some of our most intelligent, thoughtful relatives — their name means “person of the forest” in Malay. They spend 90% of their time roaming and climbing trees (the males can stretch their arms up to 7 feet!) — even sleeping high up in nests of leafy branches, and they use big leaves as umbrellas when it rains. So, as demand for palm oil skyrockets and companies rush to clear more and more land, their homes are literally falling like dominoes.

Allowing the world’s orangutans to die out would mean not only losing one of the planet’s most majestic creatures forever, but would also change the entire ecosystem of the rainforests they inhabit. As they roam the forest eating fruit, orangutans scatter the seeds far and wide, helping the entire forest stay healthy and robust.

In Borneo, where 80% of the orangutans’ habitat has already been destroyed, even a small area of land can make a massive difference as it can link together protected forests that have survived. That’s why this plan to save the orangutans is so powerful — by connecting a forest reserve with a wildlife sanctuary, we can get the most from every cent raised.”

Please could you make a pledge?  even as little as £3.00 will make a difference.

And in case you don’t believe me or even avaaz, here is some more reading for you:



It’s like the starfish on the beach, you may not be able to save them all, but it will make a difference to the one you throw back into the sea.

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