I was watching the movie ‘Beyond Borders’ last night when I sunk into deep thought and saddening depression. Beyond Borders is an epic tale of the turbulent romance between two star-crossed lovers set against the backdrop of the world’s most dangerous hot spots – mostly due to wars or starvation or lack of water etc. However, despite the story revolving around to people in love, I saw many other things that I thought was more important than the love story.
I could see the despair amongst the people who wanted to help people that lacked food, water, shelter in different parts of the world but were so constrained by difficulties caused by the weak national governance systems, corruption and warfare. Most women suffering in these regions in today’s world are victims of the man-oriented warfare. The men are the ones mostly with guns, knives and who lay down landmines; therefore unarmed women and children are the ones that have to run in times of attack and become legless or die before their natural death, suffer from lack of basic needs because the warfare has destroyed their homes and belongings.
There were three things common in all the three national examples (Ethiopia, Cambodia, Chechnya) shown in the movie:
- lack of food and water
- lack of women empowerment
These weaknesses are in no particular order because they all are so closely inter-related and one could be the effect of another. We need to empower women to bring about equality in these vulnerable unstable societies. It is so disheartening to see the effects of war on their lives – I understand that the result of starvation could force people to do nasty things but such situations gives power to the ones that have the guns to threaten and kill at a drop of a hat. They do not think twice before pulling the trigger – who has given them this right? Food and water are a basic necessity and no one needs to be without it. We have big time FOOD SECURITY issues here but we are wasting time following beurocratic processes to fulfill the needs of these affected people.
Equality is an unknown word in such societies. Many communities in the world do not still let women go to school and stop them from giving them equal rights. Such attitudes do not empower communities in any way they make communities weak. The beauty about a woman is that she is a born manager – she bears her kids, feeds them, collects firewood, cooks, ensures safety for her family and also takes care of her husband and the family’s demands (extended). I admire the perseverance of these vulnerable women and children. Not having education weakens women because they are not able to find paid work, look after their children when men are away fighting, not able to educate their future generations about what is good and bad, they are left on their own with no option but to die of starvation. Unfortunately in today’s capitalist world we have to earn money to afford basic necessities and also be gain respect in a community. Gone are the days of barter and sharing, only because of individualistic attitudes .. therefore becoming educated becomes a necessity ..
How self-centred are these male dominated societies that use women and children as a cover so that they can have their agendas addressed? What do they fear by educating women – that they will not be able to enslave women anymore as their sex toys or they will not be able to come home to a cooked meal or will they not be able to abuse women when they are feeling frustrated? What is it? Why cant people see the power of educating women and giving equality in its real sense? It has become common for countries to sign international declarations of equality, human rights and so on but when it comes to practicing them, they fail!!
I do understand that people will not think about education etc when they cant even afford their basic needs and feel secure .. but we have to better their situation .. I am not sure how!!
This is what I hated most .. the movie also showed that more economically developed nations which could afford to give money always had hidden agendas when donating money to the vulnerable nations .. they only invested when they saw a return on it.. Grow Up!! Why have you developed a world into being selfish, greedy, individualistic and opportunistic? Why are you giving aid (they call it aid) to these nations as if you are doing a favour .. Remember you have screwed up every part of the world in the past that u could and stolen wealth, land and sea. Now, its time to give back!! Unfortunately you are dominators of financial wealth at the moment .. I ask you to show some moral wealth. Its no good to say that ‘my ancestors stole, and not me’!! Then who will pay back to the civilisations that your ancestors have taken from? We cannot bring back your ancestors from the dead. Why should these vulnerable communities suffer because your ancestors screwed up? It brings tears to my eyes ..
However, now it’s not about who stole and who benefitted!! Its about being humane and helping people out when they are in need .. who knows one day your country may be devastated by a natural or man made disaster and then what will u do?? Would you want to be ignored? Would you not want someone to come to your rescue and at least give you a decent meal!! I believe in ‘karma’ what u have done to others will come back to you .. if you help, that help will come back to you when u are in need!! It is true .. this is the rule of nature!! Nature does not discriminate, only humans do!!