Friday, April 14, 2006

The Voiceless Speak through Writing

Article Link: Writing for - a change

In Pakistan, where women's literacy rates in rural areas run between 3 and 8%, a group of women is busy with something that some among their people would consider radical: they're writing.

In a free journalism course, a subject formerly reserved only for men, women write of their fears, their hopes, of "honor" killings that have taken the lives of friends and family members, of poverty, powerlesness, and childhood marriages that entrap young women before they have the chance for a life of their own.

In developing nations, education is often the path out of poverty, but education is limited for poor men and almost non-existent for women. In this patriarchal society, women write of the fear and anger that men display when confronted by the possibility that "their" women might become educated, might have a mind, a voice, a will, an opinion. It's a direct threat to the way of life. But so long as any group is marginalized to the point of silence and near non-human status, how can there be true freedom?

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