Tuesday, December 28, 2010


How is it to be loved by someone? Genuine love can be overwhelming at times but it does lift you out of that rubble of chaos. It makes everything okay even if none of the circumstances have changed at all. It gives you hope in impossible situations.

I am quite fortunate to have experienced love from so many people and in so many ways, even in ways I could not imagine before. It is truly an amazing experience especially when trauma leads you to depression, even to suicide. You may lose all hope but God doesn't lose hope on you.

I am truly blessed to live the life I have lived in the past decade. Though the pain of betrayal and disappointment still hurt me, I know that everything was meant to be for my own good and the good of others.

Forgiveness is something I'm still trying to learn. I have learned not just from me, but also from others, how bitterness can eat away your soul. I am a child of what might be termed as a broken home though I really never will know the true pain of having divorced parents.

They are still both resentful toward each other; but they never let that get that in the way of being my parents, even now that I am an adult. They are still as supportive as ever and have always let me make my own decisions. How have I taken that for granted!

Not many enjoy the freedom I have... Many girls and young women in the world are bound by poverty and old, dangerous traditions. Some are imprisoned by abuse, neglect and ignorance. The world we live in today is still a dangerous place for a girl to be born in.

Women are being treated like animals, like slaves which men own and control. In most of the world, their education never goes beyond basic reading and writing. Sometimes, they never even go to school. They are expected to be homemakers and sometimes forced to be just that. Look at the Taliban regime in Afghanistan!

In rural China, baby girls are being killed immediately after birth. China still holds the one-child policy in strict respect though there are some exceptions. Since the Chinese culture favor boys, there is now a lack of women in China. And this has resulted in a large number of women from poorer Asian countries being trafficked into the country. South Korean women are also being abducted and sold to Chinese men as brides.

There are so many things perilously affecting women. I can only write about so many in one article. But I know that not many women have ever felt genuine love. A love that respects, protects, nurtures and cherish who they really are. Not the commodities that they are for men and their families.

That is why I have become such an advocate for women's rights. I have seen in my own life how much I have accomplished because of the opportunities given to me. I have seen what I have contributed to the betterment of the world from the support of so many wonderful people in my life. Imagine if every woman in the world had the same opportunities and support as I had!

We need to show them the love that every human being deserves. If we are to be light in this world as God has instructed us, we must not just feel compassion, we must courageously act this compassion out. I am challenging everyone, especially me, to show them how it is to be loved someone. You may have gone through abuse and neglect yourself but know this, you are also asked to love yourself as someone genuinely loves you.

Friday, December 3, 2010


The World Wide Web has let us built campaigns against many things. Domestic violence in October now child abuse on Facebook with people's favorite cartoon character. But this doesn't really get to the heart of the problem...

It doesn't take us to the causes of the problems. It doesn't punish the perpetrators. It doesn't salve the wounds of the victims. What we need is to get to the actual communities that these crimes are being committed.

Let's take the issues of female genital mutilation or female circumcision... This is being practiced throughout Africa even in a seemingly progressive country such as Egypt. It is reported that 91 percent of Egyptian women currently aged 19 to 45 have undergone this very dangerous procedure that is mostly rooted in culture than medicine. No matter what we do even with the help of the Egyptian government, we will not be able to completely end the practice once and for all. There will always be people who are adamant advocates of tradition, even if lethal like honor killing.

Domestic violence and child abuse are very much intertwined together and not any single city in the world is immune to them. I live in Washington DC and I always hear reports of really bad incidents. They are pretty awful here. A couple of years ago, a single mother killed her daughters and put the bodies in her freezer. The bodies were found months later after police raided her apartment.

I think the best thing to eradicate violence against women and crimes against humanity is education. We need to teach not just our leaders but our fellow ordinary citizens that domestic violence, child abuse, rape and gender violence is negatively impacting our society in more ways than one. We need to show the world that there are ways to stop these things from happening. The most basic and most important thing is raising our children that it is not all right to be abused and be ripped off our basic human dignity. We must retrain men and women what it is to treat each other with equal respect and how some old traditions and thinking must be done away with. And there are so many practical ways in doing this. For example, have a child abuse workshop at your local library or a showing of documentary at a local college campus. I've seen how getting the community involved, and not just online, gets the ball really rolling...