i'm a white writer. in new york. original, no? i've been blogging since october 2002. this blog picks up in october 2008, when i moved from DC to NY...(and then I moved to Maine in 2012)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why This Issue Is Important to Me

I am signed up for various news aggregates, and through them, I read about issues in the area of maternal mortality, mass rape, and fistula in developing countries.

Every.

Day.

And every day I am sickened and enraged; but above all, I feel helpless.

Every minute, a woman dies in childbirth or from complications of childbirth. That's 1,440 women each day. Dead.

An 8-year-old girl is living with fistula after being raped for two weeks by grown men.

In Liberia, Doctors Without Borders (as reported by Nicholas Kristof) states that, of 275 new sexual violence cases treated in the first four months of 2009, 61% of those sexually violent acts were committed on girls aged 12 and under. That's in four months alone. And those are just the cases that have been documented. By just one organization.

As anyone reading this blog probably knows, Lynn Nottage's play, "Ruined," produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play, which Nottage researched in the Congo, tells the story of a group of women living in a brothel, and how they manage the effects of sexual violence as a consequence of war.

And that, dear readers, is where the intersection of art and social media grabs my attention the most: both art and social media, through artists and advocates, are tools through which we can, and must, give a voice to the voiceless.

We need to hear from women writers. In all fields. Playwriting and social media just happen to be my fields, and by finding and strengthening my voice in both, I begin to feel a little less helpless.

3 comments:

Brash Lion said...

You are amazing. Perhaps I need to move back to NYC to be your intern. Your blog is one of my resources of information on the atrocities in the Congo... I am ashamed to say I am letting you do the work for me and I haven't looked much further. I think I'm just scared that I'll feel so helpless against all that needs to be done.

derora noo said...

I selfishly want you to move back to NYC. We would feed off of each other's energy so awesomely much! You'd have to stuff Christina into a suitcase and drag her along. ;-)

I started learning about all this stuff I guess maybe 2 years ago now from Women's Media Center. They have a daily news reader you can sign up for, and it points you towards all sorts of news items across the world concerning many different issues--women in politics, women and economics, women and farming, women's health, etc. Even if you can't read the articles every day, the daily email sort of keeps these issues in your mental periphery in a cool way.

derora noo said...

There are also some great people to follow on Twitter who are advocating for women's rights and health both in the US and abroad. Check out my following list.