March 8th is International Women's Day, yet women are still denied control over their own reproductive activity. Throughout the world about 80 million pregnancies a year are thought to be unwanted or ill-timed. Some 20 million unsafe illegal abortions are performed yearly, resulting in the deaths of some 78,000 women, with millions more sustaining serious injury. An estimated 100 million girls in Africa and the Middle East have been genitally mutilated, a "customary practice." In many Islamic countries and some Latin ones, men often go unpunished for defending their "honor" by killing their allegedly unfaithful wives or girlfriends. Millions of young females drawn from all parts of the world are pressed into sexual slavery, in what amounts to an estimated $7 billion annual business. It's time we men and women give more attention to International Women's Day and call to mind the rights and needs of our sisters, daughters, and mothers.
- Michael Parenti,
The Culture Struggle