Well I guess that concludes my Women Studies Praxis Project 2011—WAG—Women around the Globe. I probably should have some wise and witty conclusion for you all, but unfortunately I don’t. All I want to say is thank you so much for reading my blog and supporting me throughout the last few weeks. I hope that I have been able to open your eyes to some of things, both positive and negative, that women around the world are dealing with today and have dealt with in the past. I hope it has inspired you and brought a new sense of connection between women everywhere. And remember it doesn’t really end here, I hope you take what you have learned and share it with others and maybe even be encouraged to do something to make a difference too!
Thank you again and have a good one!



America’s child beauty pageants.
Distrubing...i think yes. Scroll to bottom of this blog for shocking videos.
Taken from this blog ...check it out, also check this one out too!

Population: 313,232,044
Capital: Washington
Language: English 82.1%, Spanish 10.7%
Religion: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%
Life Expectancy: 78.37 years
GDP per Capita: $47,400

• 31% of adult women say they have experience physical abused by a male partner or inmate. Domestic violence costs more than $1 billion a year in medical costs alone; 22-35% of women who visit a hospital emergency room do so because of domestic violence.

• On average 23 women a week are killed by intimates, of all the women murdered between 1976 and 2005 42% were killed by an intimate or other family me member, 74% of all murders of women form domestic violence occur after the woman has left the relationship, filed for divorce or sought a restraining order against her partner

• An estimated 50, 000 women are trafficked the USA each year.

• Up to 700, 000 rapes are estimated to occur in USA each year

• 798 women die each week from breast cancer (second highest in the world)

• USA 2002- 42% of girls in Grades 1-3 want to be thinner, 81% of 10 year old girls are afraid of being fat, the average US model is thinner than 985 of all US women, 80% of 13 year olds have attempted to lose weight.

• US has the biggest cosmetic market at $50 billion

• Cosmetic surgery in the USA 2006- eyelids-240, 763, nose reshaping-151, 796, facelift: 138, 153, Breast augmentation: 399, 4400, Abdominoplasty: 185, 335, Liposuction- 456, 828, botox injection: 2.8 million, chemical peel: 575, 080, microdermabrasion: 829, 658, and laser hair removal 1.4 million

• 11.7 million cosmetic procedures where performed in 2007-91% of them on women

• Americans spent 13 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2006.

So why it is that American woman are so concerned with their looks, their weight and their bodies? Why do some women spend hours getting ready in the morning, or refuse to eat the sufficient amount of food for their bodies to function, or spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on clothes and surgeries? And why is it starting at such a young age? Check out these videos…

This breaks my heart, what is this telling young girls? You have to look a certain way to be beautiful. Makeup, fancy dresses, spending so many hours and money on looks…that is what is important in life? What is our society coming to? What are these girls going to end up like? So much pressure at such young ages. I want to just tell these young girls that they are so beautiful and they don’t need any of that to be beautiful or to be loved or to be successful. I just want to tell every young girl, every teenager, and every woman that they are BEAUTIFUL! We as women, have what it takes, we don’t need products and botex to make us worth something.

Thanks for reading!



Three truly Canadian Women!
Love you guys!

Population: 34,030,589
Capital: Ottawa
Language: English, French
Religion: Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3%
Life Expectancy: 81.38 years
GDP per Capita: $39,600

So I was trying to figure out what to focus on for women of Canada, in doing research I came across at lot of information on Violence against women in Canada, and then in class today that was actually exactly what we talked about, here is what we looked at in class;

The following statistics come from the Violence Against Women Survey of 1993,

• Half of Canadian women have experienced some type of physical or sexual violence since the age of 18
• 3 out of every 10 Canadian women currently or previously married, or in a common-law relationship have experience at least one incident of physical or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner
• 29% of ever-married women have experience wife assault
• 16% have been kicked, hit, beaten, choked, had a gun or knife used against them, or have been sexually assaulted
• 11% have been pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped
• Children witness violence against their mothers in 40% of violent marriages

I found the following statistics from this website, more heartbreaking numbers; isn’t it crazy that this is happening in our very own country?

• Spousal violence makes up the single largest category of convictions involving violent offences in non-specialized adult courts in Canada over the five-year period 1997/98 to 2001/02. Over 90% of offenders were male.
• Thirty-six percent of female victims of spousal violence and less than 10% of victims of sexual assault reported these crimes to the police in 2004.
• Physical and sexual abuse costs Canada over $4 billion each year (factoring into account social services, criminal justice, lost employment days and health care interventions
• Violence against women occurs across all ethnic, racial, religious, age, social and economic groups. Some women are more vulnerable however, and are more likely to experience violence, including women with disabilities, geographically-isolated women, young women and Aboriginal women.

On a different topic, if you are interested in history here are two sites that talk about the Women’s suffrage movement in Canada 1 and 2
Women in Canada have fought quite hard to achieve the status we have today. It’s amazing; I just want to send out my thanks and appreciation to the women who worked so hard for equal rights for Canadian women!

Moving on, back to violence, another issue that was briefly discussed in class today was the “Montreal Massacre,” I had never heard of it before but it broke my heart and I decided to research it a bit more. This is what our handout in class said about it;

“1989-Montrel Massacre: On December 6th, at L’Ecole Polytechnique (School of Engineering), Marc Lepin murdered 14 women, and injured 9 women and 4 men, before killing himself. In his suicide note, he blamed feminism for ruining his life and described the murders as a political act, he also identified 19 prominent Quebec women as on his ‘hit list,’ saying that they lived because he started to late.”

I found this website which describes the event in much more detail and calls it “the worst single-day massacre in Canadian history.” Here is what his suicide note said;

“Please note that if I am committing suicide today ... it is not for economic reasons ... but for political reasons. For I have decided to send Ad Patres [Latin: "to the fathers"] the feminists who have ruined my life. ... The feminists always have a talent for enraging me. They want to retain the advantages of being women ... while trying to grab those of men. ... They are so opportunistic that they neglect to profit from the knowledge accumulated by men throughout the ages. They always try to misrepresent them every time they can.”

The act of the genocide is also described in detail on the website, I encourage you to check it out, I can’t believe I had never heard of this horrific event before today. It’s heartbreaking, and my condolences go out to the loved ones of those killed and to the entire school.

Thanks for reading.



The Gramma at one of the houses
 i stayed at in a Mayan Villiage!

Population: 13,824,463
Capital: Guatemala City
Language: Spanish (official) 60%, Amerindian languages 40% (23 officially recognized Amerindian languages)
Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Mayan beliefs
Life Expectancy: 70.88 years
GDP per Capita: $5,200

• More then 2, 4000 women were murdered between 2000-06: 97% of cases are unsolved
• Abortion is illegal or severely restricted only to save a woman’s life
• 50-70% of births are not attended by a doctor, nurse or midwife
• 26-50% of women are illiterate
• Fewer then 75% of girls who start primary school complete it
• 5-14% of women are in government

Guatemala is a country very close to my heart…how could it not be after spending three months living there, exploring and building relationships? Before I traveled to Guatemala I watched a documentary film called “Killers Paradise,” its about the huge amount of rapes and murders that are happening to Guatemalan women and how the government is doing nothing about it. It’s crazy, women fear for their lives every time they go out, in Guatemala City I was never allowed to walk around by myself, not even during the day. I highly encourage you to watch this documentary, its on you-tube in 15 parts (and yes the beginning writing is in spanish, but don't worry the movies are in english!), below is the trailer and part one just to get you interested…

Another thing I wanted to talk about for the beautiful country of Guatemala is a indigenous woman named Rigoberta Menchu, before going to Guatemala I read her biography “I Rigoberta Menchu” (Elisabeth Burgos-Debray (Editor), Ann Wright (Translator)) and was blown away by her story and her bravery. Here is a link to a very short version of her biography. She amazes me, she has gone through so much, almost her entire family killed during the Gorilla warfare, she has worked hard, and had to flee her country but now is an activist of human rights and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, what an inspiration!

People in Guatemala have suffered so much, I remember one lady I met there telling me how when she was born the war was going on and at that time soldiers were outside her home, if her mother screamed while giving birth they would be discovered and most likely killed. Can you imagine, having to be quiet while having a baby! Crazy.

Also in Guatemala few young girls get the chance to finish school, its heartbreaking, but just so you know when I was there I saw lots of hope, I saw young girls actually getting the opportunity to go to school instead of getting married at age 16!

--So once again I highly encourage you to watch the documentary, it will blow you away, and maybe inspire you to do something for the suffering women of Guatemala. If you don’t have time to watch the movie at least read this:

"Deborah Tomas Vineda, aged 16, was kidnapped, raped, and cut to pieces with a chainsaw, allegedly because she refused to become the girlfriend of a local gang member.

Her sister Olga, just 11 years old, died alongside her.

The raped and mutilated body of Andrea Contreras Bacaro, 17, was found wrapped in a plastic bag and thrown into a ditch, her throat cut, her face and hands slashed, with a gunshot wound to the head.

The word "vengeance" had been gouged into her thigh.

Sandra Palma Godoy, 17, said to have witnessed a killing in her home town, was missing for a week before her decomposing body was found next to a local football pitch.

Her breasts, eyes and heart had been mutilated, reports said.

According to Amnesty International, which has collated these stories and others in a new report on the killing of women in Guatemala, the country's leaders must share the blame for an epidemic of violence that has killed more than 1,500 women in under four years”…..

“Neither the police nor the government take the problem of violence against women seriously.” Hilda Morales Trujillo, Network for Non-Violence Against Women…

….."Every day the numbers are growing, and for two reasons," Sandra Moran, another women's rights activist, told the BBC News website.

"Firstly, there is no respect for the body of a woman. People feel they can treat women however they want. Also, there is the idea that women are the property of someone.

If you want to read the rest of this article, here is the Link. The last quote by Sandra Moran rings so true in my experience, the men do not respect the women, everywhere you go there are catcalls and completely inappropriate comments being made to the women, Indigenous, Spanish and White it doesn’t matter, men feel like they can say and do whatever they want, its heartbreaking.

Thanks for reading
Below are a few pictures from my trip of guatemalan women if you are intrested,

Two women working on traditional Guatemalan clothing!
 They spend hours on each one!

A beautiful photo taken by my friend Jeff!
A young Mayan girl.

Here's me with two young Guatemalan girls,
 they were such sweethearts!

We played a mixer game with some of the women,
don't you just love the height difference...it brought laughter to all!


South Africa


Population: 49,004,031
Capital: Pretoria
Language: IsiZulu (official) 23.8% -(has 10 other official languages)
Religion: Christian 36%
Life Expectancy: 49.33 years
GDP per Capita: $10,700

• In 1994 South Africa was the first country to include equal protection for lesbians and gays in a national constitution
• 25%o of adult women say they have experienced physical abuse by a male partner or intimate
• Between 40-70% of female murder victims are killed by husbands or boyfriends
• Is a major source and destination county for sex trafficking
• It is estimated that a women is raped every 83 seconds
• Fewer then 30% of women are in the workforce
• White women won the vote in 1931, Indian and “colored” women in 1984, black women in 1994

This website gives a brief outline of the history of women in South Africa, check it out!

Here’s another neat article about an organization working for women’s rights--article
If you don’t want to read the whole thing, here are some quotes that I liked from it---

“South Africa is supposed to be a democracy. We should be a country that is ‘of the people, by the people and for the people,’ not ‘of men, by men and for men.’ South African women need to benefit from the equality that is spelled out in our Constitution.”

“Leaders in the gender-equity field say women collectively are asking: “If we are the ones who carry water for drinking, collect firewood for cooking, and care for the young, old, sick and dying, then why don’t we have an equal voice in making decisions about government policies and projects that affect our lives, our communities and our country?”

And now here is a video for you to watch if your interested;

Thanks for reading/watching ;)