Ok, ok, title entry auntie ni a bit garbled, but as auntie is prone to say, there is method to the madness of anything auntie might say even when madness itself can be the method (more garbles, garbles).
Anyways, in this entry auntie nak cerita tentang keistimewaan bulan March. First, of course, there are many birthdays of loved ones in March (hehehehe plus someone really, really close to this blog, hint! hint!). The advent of March hari tu was Shills aka Badak President's birthday. Prezzie nanti dulu ya Shills (got one..., don't worry, although abang hensem dah boikot lu punya besday kerana menuduh lelaki suci bersekongkol dengan Casper mengacau rumah auntie, lu better say sorry to him!).
Then, 3rd of March was Ajmal-cutie-pie's besday. Ajmal yg semakin berisi dan keletah (pics in bro1's blog). Auntie was lucky enough to be in KL when Ajmal had his party. Ajmal was all excited masa maksu and auntie sampai rumah and dia dok sebut "Ada cake!!!!" Sekuat hati. Tapi bila time nak ambik gambar and nyanyi happy besday Ajmal malu pulak and menyorok bawah meja. Like Shasha, Ajmal also hates goodbyes, so bila auntie nak say goodbye, dia lari pi nyorok pulak. Anyways, hope Ajmal knows that it is always 'au revoir' with auntie and never goodbye!
Of a more global importance, March also is the month to celebrate the International Women's Day (IWD). 8th March to be exact. This year is the first time that Malaysia celebrates the International Women's Day because in the past it has always decided to celebrate only the national women's day which falls on the 25th August (after some significant event of some political party). Well, better late than never auntie would say. So, hopefully, Malaysia will continue to celebrate this day the same date as the rest of the world so that takde la rasa macam passe jek when we celebrate it in August. This year's IWD theme is Women and men uniting to end violence against women and girls. In auntie's university, the theme is modified a bit to be "Sharing the caring: Towards a sustainable future". Both these themes are close to auntie's heart because auntie's research and voluntary work is about the issue of violence against women and girls and how to eradicate it. Auntie has been working on this issue since 1993 (starting with auntie's postgrad studies) but things are not getting any better. Every year in the last 10 years about 3000 women are being abused by their husbands in the homes in Malaysia. In auntie's research work, auntie have seen reports about all forms of abuse that might be unimaginable to many of us. But these experiences are real and grievous. Auntie had also come across cases of young girls been sexually abused by family members and people they trust. Sometimes this abuse last until their adulthood when they were able to seek help independently. Auntie prays that children close to auntie had not had to go through all this. More importantly auntie prays earnestly also that none of auntie's loved ones and those close to auntie are perpetrators of these heinous crimes. Women and girls also face violence in the public sphere. Women are being sexually harassed in their workplace and young women and girls in their places of education. Women and girls are constant victims of harassment and rape in public places. Rapes of women and girls also occur in the homes either independently or as part of the commission of other crimes (like buglary and break-ins). In auntie's favourite quote 'the risk factor [of being victim of violence] is being female'. It goes without saying that the majority of the perpetrators of violence against women/ girls are men. And take it from auntie (so that you guys do not have to go read all the literature about this issue), one of the main reasons for this is because women is seen as the weaker sex, not deserving of respect and thus easy victims of an expression of power by men. Which is why, we must change society's perception about this. As mamachupan wrote, we must teach our children that both women and men are deserving of the same dignity and respect to prosper as human beings. When boys respect their sisters [in more sense than just biological] as equals, they will grow up to treat them as fellow human beings and will not think that the female sex deserve to be violated if they don't conform to their perceived roles. So, auntie hopes that everyone who reads this blog can see the IWD as pertinent to all of us from now on (if they had not already been) and not think it as just a Western-based idea that has no relevance to our lives.
OK, enough serious thoughts.
Now to the remaining event in March. Of course you know what's coming! Yes, there is no.1 and no.2 in it and it will come in a day or two. Pada awalnya auntie nak buat cool dan see whether AH will remember. Tapi auntie tak tahan la so kena jugak tanya if he remembers. Nasib baik ingat. Kalau tak harus auntie terus pi meeting 2-3 minggu kat KL and tak balik. Anyways, auntie dah beritau AH auntie's wish list, so kalau ada yang need ideas (hehehehehe, perasan ni!), tolong la bercalling-calling ngan AH yek?
Happy IWD everyone. Semoga Allah mengurniakan kesejahteraan kepada kita semua dan melimpahkan kita dengan sifat-Nya yang kasih mengasihani sesama umat manusia. Wassalam.