February 15 2011
Carrie L. Lukas
The world's attention has focused on what system of government will be put in place in Egypt post-Mubarak, and the need for a peaceful transition to democracy. Yet a heart-wrenching story about a viscous attack on CBS news reporter, Lara Logan, reminds us that it isn't just the government in that region that needs to change: A culture that too often fails to respect women's rights and leads to unspeakable violence against women deserves the world's condemnation.
As the New York Post reports:
CBS News war correspondent Lara Logan endured a "brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating" while covering the jubilation in Egypt last week following the resignation of President Hosni Mubarack.... During the chaos, Logan, 39, became "separated from her crew" and "suffered a brutal and sustain sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers."
My prayers are with Lara Logan. The veteran journalists surely knew that there were great risks associated with taking on such an assignment, but this incident serve as a reminder to all of us of the extremely hostile circumstances in which too many of the world's women live.
Violence exists everywhere, of course, including in the United States. However women here can be confident that our mainstream culture abhors such acts of violence and that perpetrators will be hunted down and, whenever possible, will face justice. That's just not the case in too much of the Middle East.
Some who see stalwarts of the so-called "women's movement" in the United States focus on trivia (like membership criteria at the Augusta National Gulf Club or exactly how many women are enrolled in college-level chemistry classes) may wonder if there's a need for a women's movement at all. Yet when you look overseas, it's clear that too many women face true oppression and desperately need all of us speaking out on their behalf.