First of all to say that it is a lovely day here and snowdrops, crocus, Christmas Roses and wallflowers out in the sunshine and obviously enjoying it. They really come into their own on really sunny days like today -otherwise they just sulk in the undergrowth.
Well - attitudes to women. I began to think about it when I watched Shammima Begum on her interview on BBC2 the other evening. And I felt so lucky that here in the UK I have honestly never felt inferior or been discriminated against for being a woman. Perhaps being in the teaching profession all my working life helped. One is just as likely to find a woman Head Teacher as a man. And the same can be said of Heads of Departments. This was certainly true until I retired at 50 - forty years ago. I am assuming that nothing has changed (and hoping too).
But I watched the interview - she was cold and appeared to me to have no feelings whatsoever. But for the purposes of this post what pulled me up sharply was when they briefly showed an interview with her husband - in prison - not sure where. The way he spoke about Shammima - they married after 'knowing' one another for a couple of hours. She said he was loving at first but quickly became abusive. He wouldn't let her go out alone. They asked her if she would like them to be together. She said a blunt 'no'. When he was asked he said of course - 'she is my wife' - rather like indicating possession.
I thought back to my parents - did my father ever think of my mother in that way? Of course not - they always seemed to be equal to me. In the same way that both my husbands were. They took care of the bits they were good at and I did the same. Neither husband was brilliant at 'keeping the books' so I dealt with the money side of things. Once when I was very busy at school I complaineed to my husband that I really had too much to do. He said he would take over the household finance. I always paid all the bills on the last Friday in the month - when he hadn't done at the end of the first month he said he would do it the next week=end. That was the end of that arrangement! We had many a laugh about it afterwards.
And then I saw some women in burkas. Burkas, which cover the whole of the body have to be worn when going outside -only the eyes are showing. I understand that rich men buy their wives Designer clothes to wear underneath - but they are for their husband's eyes only. Of course these women have grown up in this kind of society and accept - just as in many a country women of a very young age accept arranged marriage.
There are still so many places where women are discriminated against in some way (Afghanistan is a perfect example at the moment when education for girls has stopped.
I read where some States in the US would like to stop abortion - most people here I think would consider that a retrograde step.
I really would like to hear your views on this and on the idea of women in many countries being treated as second class citizens. I would like to be filled in in the gaps in my knowledge. I think women got the vote fully here in the UK in 1928 - not a hundred years yet. We still have a little way to go here but my goodnes, when we look at some other countries, how lucky we are.