June 14, 2015 The Worthiness of Women
Women are important. Women are significant. Women are valuable in our ever-changing, and fast evolving global world.
They are major contributors in every area of society. They are our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, co-workers, soldiers, physicians, and incomparable role models.
However, there are stunning new statistics and reports that are troubling for the well-being of women — and the significant roles they play in the lives of all of us.
Women are often unacknowledged, not seen or heard. It is unbelievable in this our 21st Century society, how often women are treated with disdain, disrespect or even worse.
One very worrisome example was reported in The Los Angeles Times on June 8, 2015. American female military veterans are committing suicide nearly six times the rate of other women. This is an alarming and staggering statistic.
Often times these women “in-service” to their country have suffered sexual harassment and sexual abuse during their military service. These military personnel are left to face their traumas in silence. No one was listening — or hearing.
Why is this?
In the recent Los Angeles Times Op-Ed When G I Jane Comes Home, by GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON, a survey of female veterans, experienced a “perception of invisibility both in the service and at home.”
While in uniform, nearly two-thirds of respondents said they had to work harder than men to prove themselves. When those women left the military, barely a third (37%) felt recognized, respected and valued by society for their contributions as veterans.
This distancing creates barriers to these brave veterans as they begin their reintegration back into society.
It was furthermore reported that, women tend not to identify themselves as veterans thereby, and their tendency is not to apply for benefits, much needed help and/or services available to all veterans.
There are valuable resources and available help in obtaining housing, healthcare, job placement and transitional services. However, women are not reaching out for the help they have earned.
These brave women who volunteered to join the military forces to fight for the rights of all Americans — are not gaining access to help and services they fought for.
Disrespectful and deplorable treatment of women occurs in all walks of society and diverse cultures. Whether it is in the western developed societies or among the women of indigenous communities, it is troublesome.
The empowerment of all women starts with each of us. We must as men and women work together to solve these unfair practices.
The awareness to this inequitable stance needs to transition into the changing world of inclusion. Women are worthy.
Women have for too long been over-looked and not afforded the respect they have earned – and deserve.
With awareness comes change – and through change, our society as a whole becomes stronger. The critical acknowledgement of women being treated as “less than full equal citizens” is unacceptable and an outrage.
To recognize this unjust issue that faces one of our most valuable segments of humanity is the first step to change and to promoting inclusion. We need to address these problems not just for the women in the military, but for all women in society.
If we translate this behavior of disrespect, isolation and potential trauma to all sectors of women; those in civilian life as mothers, teachers, mentors, and in mainstream society — it would prove to have stunning negative consequences.
Women’s human rights both in military and civilian life are paramount to the success of all of us in these changing times. These common issues must be brought to light, dealt with through communication and thoughtful processes creating greater advocacy for solutions.
As valued members of all communities women should never be separated by society’s imposed divisions — whether these divides are stated or implied there is a disconnect that is detrimental.
It is time for all of us to raise our voices in concert with one another to gain the strength needed to be heard.
We are all valuable.
Lesli Moore Dahlke
Founder of The Oneness Foundation
Author The Best Is Yet To Come (2011)